When your resort is tucked away in the Yucatan jungle on the Mayan Riviera, the quality of the accommodations takes on special significance. Enter Cancun-based designer Paulina Moran, who brought to bear her expertise in textiles to create the interiors for Chablé Maroma's accommodations, including Presidential villas, standalone villas, and standard villas. It's not easy to find the delicate balance between comfort and authenticity: Moran emphasizes regional materials including tropical woods, stones, marble, and pieces by Mexican artisans, but she made sure that furnishings, fabrics, and linens are soft to the touch. Yet nature is never far away, whether you're under the outdoor rain shower (the water emerges from a Mayan-style slot in an indulgent gush) or emerging from beneath the fringes of your villa's palapa-style roof to jump into a private plunge pool.
The walkways at Chablé Maroma are serpentine, surrounded by a riot of foliage. But little by little, the white limestone exteriors peek through the palm fronds. That spells home. Once inside, it's time to lose the shoes: guests feel parota wood underfoot. The tree is indigenous to southern Mexico and Central America; at once, the jungle has made its way inside. The bedroom masters the concept of texture on texture: on the wall, rich grains of tropical hardwood frame the bed wall's woven panel, which climbs up to the wood-clad ceiling. The bed and upholstered bench are thickly cushioned in natural white fabric; the only pops of color come from the hues of the sand and sea on the accent pillows. The tint of seaglass recurs on the washbasins, bathroom accessories, and the generous daybed that flanks the plunge pool.
"The swimming pool, featuring unusual wave-like tiles in the cyan color family, will remain in the memory of every guest."
But leaving the villa, though it's challenging, rewards guests with the continued pleasures of design. In the lobby, ropes in the chandelier signal an homage to the henequen factory that once stood on the site (henequen is a tropical American plant—also known as agave fourcroydes—with thick, sharp leaves used in making rope and twine). The black clay pots represent Oaxaca, in central Mexico.
Much more is to come: the swimming pool, featuring unusual wave-like tiles in the cyan color family, will remain in the memory of every guest. Once submerged, swimmers can gaze in one direction toward the 650-foot private sandy beach, where pairs of loungers are discreetly spaced. In the other direction, the architecture asserts itself as the restaurant's rough-hewn limestone draws the eye to decorative timber brackets that drop down into dark blue reflecting pools.
Three dining venues are led by acclaimed Mexican Chef Jorge Vallejo: Bu'ul, the flagship Mexican restaurant; Kaban, with its breakfast and poolside menus; and Raw Bar by BU'UL, which features an outstanding rooftop terrace overlooking Maroma Beach and a seafood menu that includes fried and grilled clams, oysters, prawns, shrimp, crab and more.
Once guests have enjoyed the seafood delicacies, the yoga pavilion on the beach and the Mayan temazcal, the 17,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor spa awaits, with its circular hot and cold pools and a genuine design surprise courtesy of the expansive therapy pool: It's actually clad in petrified wood. Now that's jungle therapy.