Trade in man buns for mangroves on Mexico's Riviera Maya where Chablé Maroma beckons guests (and monkeys) with its low-key luxury.
Mexico's Riviera Maya has had a bad press. This once-pristine stretch of Caribbean coastline is now more known for its big resorts in places such as Playa del Carmen, or the dreamcatchers in Tulum. Venture a bit further north, however, and it's more mangroves than man buns. It's here, on the secluded beach of Maroma, that luxury wellness brand Chablé has chosen to build its second retreat. Its Yucatan property shot to fame in 2017 when Cara Delevingne celebrated her 25th birthday there, and the low-key luxury of this new resort - think: stone villas with thatched roofs - looks set to have similar star appeal.
Inspired by the traditional "palapa" homes of the Mayan nobility, each villa aims to bring elements of the rainforest inside. The bedrooms feel fresh with plenty of wooden details, turquoise tones and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the lush greenery outside. The bathroom is big enough to swing a spider monkey inside, and has an outdoor shower if you want to pretend you're in a shampoo advert. On your veranda you'll find a private plunge pool and a hammock, and in the morning, a hamper of freshly baked pastries and coffee. That's if the monkeys don't get to it first.
What's for breakfast?
After your in-bed picnic, head to pool-side restaurant Kaban for bowls of berries, amaranth, chia and coconut. There are also pancakes or huevos rancheros if you're feeling less saintly. The juice bar will make your smoothie to order, whether you're more into spirulina or strawberries.
How about lunch and dinner?
One of Mexico City's most lauded chefs, Jorge Vallejo, has designed the menu in the main restaurant Bu'ul, which keeps things local with freshly made pastas, zingy ceviche and herbs grown on the property. The Raw Bar is a little more adventurous, with grasshopper tacos, stone crab and lobster quesadillas.
Is there a bar?
Although wellness is very much the main event here, the restaurants both have an extensive wine and cocktail list. The roof terrace of the Raw Bar is a good place for a sundowner - tequila, lime and soda is our aperitif of choice.
The spa is a destination in itself. Built around a sacred amate tree, it has three hydrotherapy pools and treatments which incorporate traditional Mayan remedies featuring herbal compresses and quartz crystals. For something to really write home about, book a temazcal healing session, led by a shaman in the on-site sweat lodge.
Things you should know
There's morning yoga, held daily at 8am on the beach, and a salt chamber is currently in the works.
Within a short walk you'll find
The Great Mayan Reef - the second largest reef in the world. Pipped to the post by the Great Barrier Reef, this it stretches from Isla Contoy at the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula all the way down to Honduras. Just grab a snorkel and go...