For our third and final night in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, we stayed at the Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya. We were debating if we were going to stay here or not up until the very last day. The weather didn’t look too good in the beginning and I didn’t want to waste the points/money if it was going to be raining the whole time. Luckily, I check the weather again that morning and the sky seemed to be clear so I decided to book that day on my Hyatt points.
COST OF STAYING AT THE ANDAZ MAYAKOBA
Unlike the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen, I thought it was worth spending my Hyatt points at the Andaz Mayakoba. It is a Hyatt Category 6 hotel so it would cost me 25,000 points which is the same as the Grand Hyatt. The difference is that the Grand Hyatt is roughly $300/night while the Andaz Mayakoba is around $450/night after all taxes and fees. So, if you are planning to spend 25,000 points, the better deal is definitely the Andaz.
REVIEW OF THE ANDAZ MAYAKOBA
// LOCATION //
The Andaz Mayakoba is actually not located in Playa del Carmen. It is about a 15-20 min drive north of the city center and is located in this leafy mangrove area called Mayakoba. The Andaz shares the area with other luxury hotels like the Rosewood, Fairmont, and Banyan Tree. Even though it’s not that far from Playa del Carmen, we ended up just staying at the Andaz the whole time. It’s definitely one of those places where once you’re inside, they are trying to keep you and your money there for as long as possible. Also, the whole Mayakoba area is so huge that you would want to stay and explore anyways.
// ROOM //
We got upgraded from our regular “1 King Room” to a standard suite which is their Lagoon View Suite (more on how we got upgraded down below). The suite was huge coming in at 1,044 square feet. Surprisingly, the standard suites are actually bigger than the premium suites, but the premium suites do have a better view since it faces the ocean or beach. The room had a separate bedroom, separate living room, separate closet, separate bathroom, separate shower, two patios, and a private plunge pool. Literally, every function had its own separate room. My favorite part was definitely the main patio where you can just chill outside and look over the lagoon.
One cool thing to note about the room is that all the drinks and snacks are free. Of course, the alcohol is not included but you can purchase it like you would a regular mini bar if you wanted.
// FOOD //
Since we didn’t leave the Andaz Mayakoba, we tried a lot of restaurants on-site. We had a quick snack at Tinta del Pulpo, dinner at Casa Amate, and breakfast the next morning at Cocina Milagro. Just FYI, if you want a nice dinner, make sure you make reservations way ahead of time. All the restaurants were completely booked the night we stayed. Luckily, we put our name on the waitlist for Casa Amate and got the last seating. Otherwise, we would have had to eat at Tinta del Pulpo again.
Tinta del Pulpo is a casual Mexican restaurant that fronts the pool area. It’s a great place if you want to get something for lunch or even to grab a beer out on their patio. Casa Amate was the most memorable restaurant for me. If you want this amazing magical date night, I would highly recommend this place. The food and service were top-notch. Not to mention, the indoor and outdoor spaces were absolutely beautiful. Cocina Milagro was our choice for breakfast since they have a buffet there. The buffet was international-themed with a focus on Mexican food. There weren’t a million choices like you see at a Vegas buffet but enough that you can try a little bit of everything.
// ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE //
A quick side note that I want to mention is that the hotel has an “all-inclusive package.” We didn’t actually know about it until it was too late but would highly recommend it for people who can really eat and drink. Usually, I don’t like all-inclusive packages because you seem to only get limited choices of food and liquor but the Andaz, all of the restaurants are included in the package.
At the time of this posting, there are two separate packages that you can purchase. The Basic Package comes in at $125 USD + taxes with the exception of some dishes and premium beverages. The Premium Package is $190 USD which has fewer food exceptions and includes the premium drinks and room service. The payment has to be for the entire stay once it is purchased. If you prefer to do the all-inclusive for only a few days then it will be at the end of your stay (second half of the stay per se).
// POOL + BEACH //
There are two main pool areas: one by the beach that is more kid-friendly and one more in the middle of the resort which is more adult-friendly. I would say most people go to the one by the beach but we decided to go to the one in the middle of the resort instead. By the time we got there, we were one out of three other groups so it was nice to feel like you had the whole place to yourself. We also got a cabana but not sure if it was free or not. Since it was so dead, no one was really regulating and there were no “reserved” signs so we just commandeered one.
If you want to go to the beach and get one of those cute day beds in the front row, we got there around 9:30 am on a Tuesday morning and had no problems at all. We were probably there for an hour and still, there were empty beachfront seats. Keep in mind, even though the beach is nice, there’s quite a lot of seaweed. We were watching people clean up the beach pretty much the whole morning.
// SERVICE //
I am absolutely impressed by the service they have going on at the Andaz Mayakoba. It’s like they are running their own little city over there. First, there is no way you are going to walk this resort. The resort is so big that you get around by golf cart. You have these amazing drivers driving golf carts all over the resort picking people up and dropping them off. We thought we were going to at least ride some of the free bicycles but it was just way too hot. Also, we had no idea where we were going. We only had one night there so we didn’t want to waste our time by riding bicycles.
Second, I have to give a shout-out to the front desk. They were super informative and helpful with us getting our COVID test done. They also helped us find out where their bedding/sheets were made from. We were so impressed with our bed that we wanted to buy the whole set. They didn’t know right off the bat but told us that they would email me the information and they actually did.
// COVID //
At the time of this post, you are required to show proof of a negative covid test (antigen or PCR) taken 72 hours or less before your return U.S flight. If you are staying at the Andaz Mayakoba for at least three nights, they will provide two complementary antigen tests. If you are not staying three nights or have more than two people, each antigen test is $40+ tax. Please check with your airline what test you are required to take. We flew Alaska Airlines and were only required to do the basic antigen test. If you are required to do the more comprehensive PCR, just note that it’s more expensive at around $170/test at the Andaz Mayakoba. You can find more info on this flyer here.
WHO SHOULD STAY AT THE ANDAZ MAYAKOBA RESORT RIVERIA MAYA?
This resort is truly made for everyone. Couples, honeymooners, bachelor/bachelorette parties, families, singles, etc. can all have a great time here. If you are the type of traveler that wants to get away from city life and wants to feel like you are secluded in the middle of nowhere, this place is the place for you. You literally feel like you are living in a jungle. If my friends and I have enough money, I would wish we can all stay here and just go exploring around Mayakoba. That’s how great I think it is.
HYATT STATUS BENEFITS – GLOBALIST
If you have been following my last couple of posts, you would know that I first stayed at the Thompson Playa del Carmen Main House the first night and the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen the second night. During this trip, my Globalist benefits finally kicked in so I couldn’t wait to use them at the Andaz.
// UPGRADE – LAGOON VIEW SUITE //
Originally, we booked a regular “1 King Bed” room with my Hyatt points and got upgraded to a Lagoon View Suite. Our room number was 1831 and we were super close to the lobby which made it convenient for catching a golf cart. This must be the room that Globalists gets upgraded to because I read someone else’s review and they got a Lagoon View Suite that was also close to the lobby. As mentioned above, the room was huge and had more space than we needed. I only wished my friends were here so I can invite all of them to come over and hang out!
// GLOBALIST BREAKFAST //
We had a choice between two places on where to have our Globalist breakfast. It was either at Tinta del Pulpo or at Cocina Milagro. We opted for Cocina Milagro since they have a breakfast buffet there. I was a little afraid at first since we are still dealing with COVID after all, but everything was handled safely. The chefs served you whatever food you wanted behind plexiglass walls. There was a Mexican food station, an international food station, and an omelet station.
// CLUB ACCESS //
Unfortunately, there is no club access at the Andaz Mayakoba.
// WAIVED RESORT FEES //
Since we booked on points, both resort fees and parking were waived for Globalists.
// LATE CHECK-OUT //
Unfortunately, our flight back home was in the early afternoon so we couldn’t utilize the late check-out as much as we wanted to. We initially told them that we were planning on checking out around 12:30 p.m. so I can’t confirm if we would have gotten the 4:00 p.m. Globalist benefit or not.
The Andaz Mayakoba was such a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting the resort to be so big and I like the fact that I felt like I was in the middle of a jungle. Playa del Carmen is definitely great if you are looking for city life but if you are trying to get away and be one with nature, I highly recommend staying at the Andaz. This is the type of vacation I imagine for people that don’t want to think at all and have everything in one place. If I were to come here again, I would definitely want to try the other hotels’ restaurants and do the all-inclusive at the Andaz least for one night. Let me know if you have any comments or questions down below!