Yoga in the Yucatan, luxury spas in Los Cabos, meditation amid Mayan ruins – Mexico boasts some of the most impressive high-end hotels in the world. From Baja California overlooking the Pacific to Tulum on the Caribbean coast, here’s our pick of the ultimate in luxe, money-no-obstacle places to stay.
Coqui Coqui COBA Residence and Spa
Luxury, Hotel, Resort, Spa Hotel, Chain Hotel, Boutique Hotel
Part luxury boutique hotel, part archaeological dig, the Coqui Coqui Coba Residence and Spa is an architectural wonder, taking inspiration from the nearby Mayan ruins to create a one-of-a-kind hideaway. Two limestone towers rise from the jungle floor, housing four unique suites, where polished concrete floors are sheltered by thatched roofs, and lagoon views come as standard. Linked by a suspended wooden bridge, the towers sit astride a freshwater lagoon, and outdoor dipping pools provide cool relief from the Yucatán jungle heat. The cuisine is as local as it gets – using mostly ingredients grown or reared on the resort – and the spa specializes in energizing treatments using traditional Mayan techniques and homeopathic healing.
In the heart of Mexican wine country, the Encuentro Guadalupe is made up of 22 individual ecolofts, set floating above the mountainous landscape, so as not to interfere with the 7 acres (3ha) of wine-producing soil on the hotel vineyard. These intimate cabins come complete with a clay chiminea on their private terraces, which offer breathtaking views of the valley by day, and a front-row seat to the unspoilt night sky.
Is there anything better than a luxury treehouse? At Acre, located in the foothills of San José del Cabo, private elevated cabins offer privacy among the treetops. This unique resort is based on an unwavering respect for its environment combined with a free-spirited vibe, where yoga classes take place among mango orchards, and global influences meet locally grown ingredients at the Acre Restaurant and cocktail bar. A jungle oasis where your only alarm clock is the dawn chorus, Acre is an earthy yet sophisticated stay.
An elegant retreat, the Esperanza is the only private beach resort in Los Cabos. Stylish coastal decor nods to the laid-back vibes of Baja California with neutral linens and wooden accents. Reconnect with nature at the spa where treatments harness the healing powers of local plants, and dine in Cocina del Mar, set on a dramatic cliff edge. The casitas and villas offer spacious indoor-outdoor living with private terraces and hot tubs, but for a truly decadent stay choose a hacienda, a four-bedroom house complete with your own hacienda host on hand to ensure your stay is one to remember.
Perched on the Tulum coastline, Azulik’s 48 villas offer true respite from the modern world. No wifi or electric light means you can reconnect with nature, undistracted by your devices. The network of cave-like rooms and bird’s-nest treehouses will remind you of Robinson Crusoe. Contemporary dining is offered in private cocoons, tucked among the treetops, and ancient rituals give rise to a holistic wellness experience at the unique spa.
In über cool Holbox, Ser Casasandra boasts hyper-personalized service with just 17 rooms and one deluxe villa. Set next to the sea among landscaped gardens, this boutique hotel proves luxury happens in the details – from bicycle rides to tequila tasting and Cinema Paradiso nights under the stars. Decorated with bohemian crystals, antiques, Indian linen and local artwork, Ser Casasandra is a masterclass in rustic elegance. With a cellar of Mexican-only wines, toiletries made from local, organic ingredients, and a restaurant serving freshly caught fish, this is a special place rooted in local culture.
Half an hour by car from the state capital Mérida, Chablé Resort and Spa is raising the bar for luxury in Yucatán state, which is often overlooked by travelers making a beeline to the more established resorts of Cancún and Tulum. Submerged in dense rainforest, the hotel is a maze of ancient walls and paths, leading to casitas with outdoor rainfall showers, hammocks and a private outdoor pool. Practice yoga overlooking the serene ponds or indulge in flotation therapy at the luxury spa. The hotel’s main restaurant Ixi’im is run by Mexico’s most celebrated chef Jorge Vallejo of Mexico City’s Quintonil.
Another luxurious jungle getaway, Esencia is set near Playa del Carmen in Quintana Roo. The vast estate surrounds an impressive central villa and 42 suites scattered in secluded parts of the grounds. The hotel also has direct access to a pristine white sand beach. The restaurant Mistura is run by Dimitris Katrivesis, an alumnus of the acclaimed Michelin-starred El Bulli in Spain. Esencia also boasts a luxurious thatched-roof spa that blends seamlessly with the jungle. Try the Pinda massage (a special technique using herbal compresses to ease tension and insomnia) – it’s divine.
Imanta Resorts is a secluded hotel in the increasingly upscale Pacific beach town of Punta de Mita. Each suite is hidden away in the leafy jungle, with its own outdoor bathtub to unwind in. You can book a romantic dinner on the beach under the stars or experience a temazcal ceremony to rejuvenate your body and soul. For the ultimate escape, book the treehouse, a three-story villa with a waterfall spilling over into the private pool, panoramic Pacific views and its own private beach.
Located in Mexico City’s Freedom Tower, the St Regis Hotel offers panoramic views of the surrounding metropolis. As with the original St Regis Hotel in New York, guests are provided with a butler who attends to specific wishes – whether it’s a morning wake-up call or a freshly pressed suit. The hotel boasts no less than five restaurants, which are consistently ranked among the best dining options in the city. Try the suckling pig tacos with pickled red onion and grilled pineapple at their modern Mexican restaurant, Diana. Don’t miss the sabrage every evening at 6.30pm when the maître d’hôtel uncorks a bottle of champagne with a sword, in the style of Napoleon Bonaparte.
This splendid nine-suite boutique hotel in Puerto Vallarta comes with a sizable dose of Hollywood glamour. Formerly owned by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the hotel comprises two separate houses, belonging to each actor, connected by a replica of Venice’s Bridge of Sighs. According to local lore, Burton was sent to the opposite house whenever an argument broke out between the stormy lovers. The Richard Burton Suite is set in the actor’s former sitting room and is available to guests. The Elizabeth Taylor Suite is a 2,500sqft (232sqm) luxury pad that was once her bedroom and boasts her original heart-shaped bathtub.