Just south of Cancun, Mexico lies a strip of perfect, white sand beach bordered by the lush jungle of the Yucatan Peninsula. This gorgeous area on the Caribbean Sea is known as the Riviera Maya and is at the top of my must-visit list.
The Riviera Maya is about as close to paradise on Earth as you can get, with a heady mix of natural beauty, stunning ruins, rich local culture, luxurious accommodations, fine dining, and a huge variety of entertainment. The area consists of ecological reserves, jungle, mangroves and lagoons, Mayan ruins, a large coral reef for diving and snorkeling, and picture-perfect turquoise seas.
Riviera Maya boasts many luxurious places to stay, from all-inclusive resorts to smaller, personalized hotels. The Viceroy Riviera Maya was designed to blend seamlessly into its surroundings outside Playa del Carmen. The decor shows an influence of Mayan simplicity, using natural materials to achieve a sophisticated and sexy environment.
For a true escape from the rush a daily life, retreat to a cliffside villa at the Azulik resort in Tulum. These incredible villas perch on rocky cliffs with stairways to the beach. With no electricity or telephones, you’re truly surrounded by only the sights and sounds of the ocean, day and night. These villas may look and sound a bit rustic, but guests are steeped in luxury with huge windows for incredible views and in-cabin massages.
The most impressive aspect of Riviera Maya is the natural landscape. When not taking in the wonders of the ocean and the coral reef, visitors can enjoy a guided tour to experience both ancient and modern Mayan culture. The ruins at Tulum offer an incredible glimpse into the distant past at the intriguing Mayan civilization. It must be a humbling experience to make the short trip from modern, luxurious surroundings to ancient ruins built by people without sophisticated tools or machinery. You can even tour the Tulum ruins at night for a totally different perspective. At night, the sounds and sights of the jungle are a completely alien experience from the daytime jungle. Animals that aren’t active during the day emerge, the ruins must seem larger, more imposing and mysterious, and the brilliance of the stars isn’t dimmed by city lights.
Wouldn’t this be the perfect escape from the ridiculous amount of snow we got last week?
I think most people have a bucket list of places around the world they dream of exploring. I’ve been so fortunate to visit some beautiful places, but there are still many sights I’d love to see in person. Once such place is Uruguay.
Uruguay may not be an obvious choice, or even a spot on the map most people can immediately point out. When you think of South American destinations, it’s probably not the first place that comes to mind. However, for me Uruguay seems like such an interesting combination of development and wildness. Its rolling plains and low hill ranges form a striking geography completely independent of the beautiful coastline.
The appeal of Uruguay for me lies in the contrast between the wild beauty of the landscape and the architectural lines of places like Fasano Las Piedras in Punta Del Este. This is an experience I would love to have, walking up through this dramatic greenery with the clean lines of the modern buildings that still manage to look like an organic part of the area. There’s no commercialized clutter, just this stunning architecture among a rugged landscape.
Fasano Las Piedras is a luxurious estate comprised of 32 bungalows designed by renowned Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld. Weinfeld combines natural materials and sophisticated textures, weaving together the sensual and the severe. His modern style has produced an artistically beautiful environment at Fasano Las Piedras. Almost all of the color comes from the surrounding plants, a perfectly landscaped area that still feels casual and true Uruguay’s unique beauty. It seems perfectly fitting that this resort is comprised of private bungalows instead of traditional hotel suites. The privacy and isolation of the bungalows simply reinforces the dwarfing effect of Uruguay’s sweeping skies.
What’s the most unusual travel destination on your bucket list?
With its white sand beaches, lush landscape, and luxury accommodations, it’s difficult to imagine a more sumptuous and relaxing destination than the Viceroy Resort at Anguilla. The most stressful part of a vacation here could be deciding how to spoil yourself rotten. Snorkeling, swimming in picture-perfect pools, treating yourself to an incredible spa day, enjoying drinks at the cliff side beach bar, experiencing authentic local culture, or playing at water sports are just some of the ways guests can while away their tropical days.
But what makes the Viceroy Resort so stunning is the incredible design of the resort and its guest accommodations. The 116 guest spaces, from private villas to bluff top guest rooms, showcase amazing design by Kelly Wearstler. The resort’s modern architecture interacts seamlessly with the surrounding nature, while the interiors feature organic, locally-inspired palettes, and textures. Sophisticated and contemporary, with natural, complex textures, everything about the decor immerses guests in luxury.