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11 Hidden Gems in Mexico and the Caribbean

These Forbes-Rated escapes in Mexico and the Caribbean are short, nonstop flights from most major airports in the United States. With beachfront villas, stunning penthouses, and world heritage site vistas, there is no shortage of excellent properties for a quick getaway.

1. Maroma, A Belmond Hotel, Riviera Maya (Forbes Five-Star)

Maroma, A Belmond Hotel, Riviera Maya, is a hidden paradise nestled amid verdant foliage and towering coconut palms. The entrance is modest and unassuming, but a short drive under a tropical canopy reveals a luxurious colonial-style hacienda surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and a sparkling pool.


The hotel's welcome drink, a housemade margarita infused with licorice and honey-flavored liqueur, is just one of the things that make the arrival experience memorable. Guests are also treated to a breathtaking glimpse of the white-sand beach and endless blue horizon beyond it.


Situated in between the tourist hotspot of Cancun and the laid-back bohemian town of Tulum, this newly renovated luxury resort boasts a stunning stretch of beach encircled by tropical jungle. Retreat into one of the nine spa cabins at the 30,000-square-foot Maroma Spa by Guerlain to partake in ancient healing rituals or indulge in outdoor wellness activities, an apothecary, and a relaxation lounge inspired by Mayan mysticism and the stingless Melipona bee.


For fitness enthusiasts, there are yoga retreats, meditation sessions, and a 560-square-foot fitness center. Additionally, the resort can organize sailing expeditions, snorkeling trips to the world's second-largest barrier reef, golf, and swimming in the region's spectacular cenotes.


Experience the cultural treasures of the Mayans through Belmond's signature luxury with a helicopter tour to Chichén Itza that takes off from the beach and whisks you away to the ancient ruins. Designed with privacy in mind, Villa Maroma is the ultimate accommodation, featuring four suites and its own private pool. From May to September, guests have the rare opportunity to see and snorkel with whale sharks.


Venture outside the hotel to explore the surrounding area and get a taste of Mexico's nightlife. Nearby Playa del Carmen offers cobblestone streets, world-class shopping, and trendy bars and restaurants.


For those seeking spiritual realignment, the beachfront Temezcal ritual at Maroma Spa by Guerlain is a must-try experience. Inhale the herbal steam and let the sounds of traditional drums and crashing waves wash over you as a Mayan shaman leads you through this unique meditation session.

2. Casa de Sierra Nevada, A Belmond Hotel, San Miguel de Allende (Forbes Four-Star)

Casa de Sierra Nevada, A Belmond Hotel in San Miguel de Allende, is a collection of historic Spanish Colonial buildings located on a picturesque street at the heart of the city. The hotel offers 37 rooms and suites that provide the convenience of a big hotel and the exclusive feel of private apartments.


As expected from the renowned Belmond brand, Casa de Sierra Nevada provides luxurious amenities, including authentic dining options, a beautiful pool, intimate spa treatments, and lush gardens. Every detail reflects Mexico's unique culture, offering guests an unforgettable travel experience.


Despite the quiet and tranquil atmosphere of each building, the hotel's prime location means that guests are just a short distance away from San Miguel's main square and all its attractions. Guests can enjoy breakfast in the morning or have it delivered straight to their room. Casa Palma houses the hotel's beautiful pool in its gardens, and all guests have access to the building for a relaxing sunbathing session.


With a personal butler ready to attend to every guest's needs, they will rarely want for anything. The locally focused Laja spa has an Old World cottage feel with intimate rooms, complete with fireplaces and low ceilings, adding to the charming tranquility.


Every room at Casa de Sierra Nevada is unique, with a colonial elegance that matches the city's feel. The hotel's entirely authentic Mexican menu stays true to its roots, and Laja Spa, named after the river that flows through the mountains and into San Miguel, is set apart from the main buildings.


For the ultimate indulgence, guests can upgrade to the Presidential Suite, which features a plunge pool on the private terrace, providing a luxurious retreat.

3. Nizuc Resort and Spa (Forbes Four-Star)

Nizuc Resort & Spa is an idyllic beach getaway that features stunning views of the Caribbean Ocean. The resort seamlessly blends contemporary design with Cancun's Mayan heritage, creating an atmosphere of relaxed elegance. The high ceilings and clean lines are accentuated by natural elements like rock, wood, and tile, while dramatic up-lighting illuminates the exterior stone walls. The open architecture allows for unobstructed views and refreshing ocean breezes. Guests can bask in the tranquil ambiance created by fire and water features throughout the property.


Each of the rooms boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, private balconies or terraces, and breathtaking views of either the Caribbean jungle or the ocean. Nizuc is tucked away in 29 acres of protected mangrove jungle, providing a secluded and peaceful experience for guests.


One of the main attractions of Nizuc is the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest reef in the world, just off its powdery white beaches. Snorkelers can discover an abundance of sea life in this magical underwater world.


For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, the Nizuc Spa by ESPA is a must-visit. The spa offers signature services such as Mayan Cacao and Nizuc Renewal, along with other luxurious treatments.


Families and couples alike can enjoy the three swimming pools scattered around the property. The resort also has an impressive 8,500-square-foot Conference and Events Center that includes a ballroom, two conference rooms, a large lobby, and outdoor space for weddings or meetings.


The Ocean Suites, situated near the lobby, offer easy access to both Nizuc and Reef beaches and the main pool. The resort also arranges tours to nearby Mayan ruins, golf courses, and fishing spots.


Nizuc caters to families with children of all ages. The newly renovated Winik's Kids Club is perfect for kids aged 4 to 12, while Terra Nostra Lounge offers billiards, foosball, and plenty of TV screens for teenagers.


Overall, Nizuc Resort & Spa is the ultimate destination for a tranquil and luxurious vacation.

4. Casa de Campo Resort & Villas (Forbes Four-Star)

Casa de Campo Resort & Villas, nestled in the historic sugar mill town of La Romana in the Dominican Republic, has attracted a bevy of A-listers such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Julio Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, Jay Z, and Beyoncé to its expansive 7,000-acre property. The resort values privacy and tranquility, with a discreet and professional staff.


Activities abound at Casa de Campo, including three Pete Dye-designed golf courses, an equestrian center, a shooting center, a spa, tennis courts, and fifteen bars and restaurants. Thanks to its size, guests enjoy complimentary golf cart use for easy navigation. Whether you seek adventure or relaxation, the resort has something for everyone, from horseback riding, fishing, shooting, boating, tennis, golf, fitness, and even shopping.


Golf enthusiasts will relish playing on three championship courses, with Teeth of the Dog course being the top-ranked worldwide. Private charters are available for several luxury yachts and fishing boats in the marina. Saona Island and Catalina Island offer exquisite diving and snorkeling opportunities.


For those who crave relaxation, indulge in a massage using local organic ingredients at the spa or lay on a chaise lounge by the new beachside pool complex with casual cuisine from two food trucks.


Families can enjoy a range of supervised activities for kids of all ages, including basketball, table tennis, art, puppet shows, and beach Olympics. The resort offers luxury villas on the golf course or along the ocean for families or groups of friends. Parents seeking alone time can take advantage of the professional nanny service.


Recent additions include a family pool complex at Minitas Beach with two pools, shops, and dining options and a Golf Learning Center equipped with state-of-the-art Trackman technology.

5. Wymara Resort and Villas (Forbes Recommended)

Wymara Resort and Villas, located on the stunning Grace Bay Beach, boasts a unique blend of city sophistication and Caribbean charm. The hotel has welcomed an impressive roster of high-profile guests but maintains a welcoming atmosphere for all visitors. A walk around the property's open-air walkways reveals beautifully adorned wooden trellises with an explosion of bright bougainvillea against the whitewashed walls. The hotel's rooms are equally impressive, each featuring floor-to-ceiling windows that offer breathtaking ocean views. The private villas, in particular, are a standout feature, offering four or five bedrooms, secluded courtyards, infinity pools, and private swimming platforms over the turquoise waters.


For those seeking peace and wellness, the Exhale Fitness & Spa is a haven for relaxation. The spa's treatment rooms, one designed specifically for couples, are complemented by an outdoor shower. Yoga, barre, and boot camp classes are conducted amidst the serene sounds of the sea.


The hotel's dining options are also a highlight, with two distinct styles to choose from. Indigo offers sumptuous and stylish cuisine, while Zest provides a carefree atmosphere overlooking the beach.


The resort's centerpiece is a magnificent 7,000-square-foot infinity-edge pool, surrounded by chaise lounges and private floating pods. Guests also have access to Hobie Cats, kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkel gear. For fitness enthusiasts, the hotel features both an indoor gym and an outdoor yoga deck.


After indulging in a spa treatment, retreat to your outdoor shower, shaded by the branches of a Poinciana tree and surrounded by ferns and palms. Experience the magic of Wymara Resort and Villas, where simplicity and sophistication meet in perfect harmony.

6. Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection (Forbes Four-Star)

Experience the celebrity lifestyle on your next vacation at Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection in Cabo San Lucas. After a complete renovation following Hurricane Odile in 2014, the resort has come back better than ever. While some of its major features, like the multi-tiered oceanfront pool, have been improved, standouts like the palapa-topped spa and the tiered cliffside Cocina del Mar restaurant remain largely unchanged.


Located just 15 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas on Punta Ballena's hillside, Esperanza has hosted many stars, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Aniston, as well as luxury seekers. Relax in style by the azure-blue pool, where a staff member will set up your towels and bring you citrus-infused water. From there, everything you need is just a wave away, including complimentary foot and neck massages.


The resort's spa, situated a short walk from the main check-in area, welcomes you with a palapa-topped structure and koi pond, blending seamlessly with the indoor/outdoor vibe of the resort. You can also revitalize yourself by joining one of the free classes offered, such as yoga or Beach Bootcamp, or by shopping for stylish athleisure wear and take-home products at the spa's boutique. Don't miss out on the resort's signature scent, the irresistible Baja lime.


Enjoy breathtaking ocean views from almost any spot on the property, whether it's your bright and airy room, the infinity-edge pool, or the signature cliffside restaurant. Though the Sea of Cortez's shores are rocky and the waves unpredictable, Esperanza's private beach is perfect for leisurely strolls or lounging in a private palapa-topped cabana. Indulge in locally inspired spa services, including the Esperanza Tropical Essence Massage, Aloe Glaze Skin Soother wrap, and creamy coconut baths that restore moisture to sun-dried skin.


When dining at the Cocina del Mar restaurant, request a table as close to the ocean's edge as possible and bring a wrap. You might get sprayed by a passing wave, but it's all part of the experience.

7. One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos Resort (Forbes Five-Star)

Located in sunny Los Cabos, One&Only Palmilla is a luxurious retreat that showcases the wonders of Mexico. At this legendary resort, you can stay in spacious cliffside havens that offer breathtaking views of the sea and are surrounded by privacy and Old-World Mexican charm.


With 55 acres of property, One&Only Palmilla features 174 guest rooms, including the famous four-bedroom Villa Cortez where A-list celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston have stayed during their visits. With over 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, the villa offers unparalleled luxury.


The resort's highlights include a 20,000-square-foot spa and four exceptional restaurants. You can explore the rugged landscape on a 4x4, quadbike, or horse and relax at the resort's swimmable beach, one of the few in the region. The crystal-clear waters offer endless opportunities for adventure, such as scuba diving, whale-watching trips, and sunset yacht charters. After a busy day, unwind with a drink at Agua Bar.


One&Only Spa at Palmilla offers private treatment villas with outdoor beds and soaking tubs, massage pavilions, and gardens. The spa also features shaman-led ancient healing rituals and Temazcal steam baths inspired by the indigenous practices of the Mayo tribe. Upon arrival, guests can enjoy a tequila treat and housemade popsicles.


At night, the resort transforms into a candlelit oasis with candles lining walkways and in-room candles lit by your butler. The attentive attendants at the pools offer towels, cocktails, and even pillows for your knees. You can also enjoy a complimentary poolside massage and a mini-cooler with ice to keep sunscreen chilled.


One&Only Palmilla offers two infinity-edge pools, one of which is an adults-only retreat. The beachfront Villa Cortez and Villa One, both boasting four bedrooms, offer spectacular views, an infinity-edge pool, and a host of spaces ideal for outdoor relaxation or entertainment. The cliffside tables at Agua offer the best seats in the house to watch the stunning sunset while sipping on a Serrano margarita.

8. Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort (Forbes Five-Star)

If you're seeking a luxurious retreat in Los Cabos, Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort is the perfect choice. This resort offers breathtaking views of the Sea of Cortez and an array of amenities that will make your stay unforgettable. The resort was rebuilt exactly as it had stood after Hurricane Odile, with new programming and amenities added during the nearly year-long closure. Las Ventanas boasts a Mediterranean-Mexican-style architecture, blending into the desert landscape with its succulents, cacti, and other native plants.

One of the unique offerings at Las Ventanas is the Tequila Sign class, where guests can experience a blind taste test of different types of tequila to create a personalized tequila profile. The resort's service is unparalleled, with every suite receiving a 24-hour butler service and a "director of romance" for creating private dining experiences or over-the-top anniversary celebrations.


The Spa at Las Ventanas offers open-air treatment spaces under palapas amid local desert flora and fauna. The spa services incorporate local ingredients like moonflower, fragrant pineapple, regional honey, and tequila.


At checkout, guests receive a keepsake - a hand-blown glass heart from the tree in the lobby. Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort, indeed provides an oasis in the midst of the desert and will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

9. Rosewood Little Dix Bay (Forbes Five-Star)

Escape to paradise and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Virgin Gorda's 500-acre wilderness at Rosewood Little Dix Bay, situated in the British Virgin Islands. This luxurious resort was once an eco-retreat owned by conservationist Laurance Rockefeller and boasts a tranquil beach that complements its understated refinement in Caribbean-modern design, featuring crisp, clean lines and natural materials like wood and stone.


With 81 accommodations, including private villas and cottages, as well as single rooms, all offering stunning views and easy access to the white-sand beach, Rosewood Little Dix Bay has something for everyone. Drop off your kids at the Rosewood Explorers Club while you indulge in activities such as swimming in two pools, playing on six tennis courts, working out in a state-of-the-art fitness center, or practicing yoga on the outdoor platform overlooking 25 miles of crystal coastline. Don't forget to book a time to snorkel in the warm sea, enjoy a Caribbean-themed spa treatment, or hike along the island's stunning rock formations and vibrant nature. You can also step away from the property and enjoy a half-mile of powder-white sand and a colorful barrier reef nearby, perfect for mid-morning snorkeling or kayaking, both provided by the hotel.


For ultimate relaxation, visit Sense, a Rosewood Spa perched on the cliffside with breathtaking views of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Indulge in one of the Caribbean-themed treatments, such as the Plumeria Crown Healing, which includes a body mask utilizing the flower's unique properties and a full-body and scalp massage.


The ocean-view cottages and multi-room villas provide a private oasis with unparalleled vistas and access to the beach. Executive Chef Francisco Sanabria oversees the extensive dining program at the resort, which includes four on-property restaurants.


At this Virgin Gorda hotel, every guest is pampered with a dedicated butler who will take care of everything from unpacking your luggage to making dinner reservations and shuttling you around the grounds. Expect nothing but the best at Rosewood Little Dix Bay.

10. Rosewood Mayakoba (Forbes Five-Star)

Mexico's Riviera Maya is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a luxurious and tropical getaway. Rosewood Mayakoba is one of the top resorts in the area, nestled within the 620-acre Mayakoba community. The resort boasts stunning villas and luxury suites, all complete with private plunge pools and some featuring outdoor showers. Guests can arrive at their accommodations via teak motor launches with direct access to private docks. One of the highlights of the resort is its exceptional service, with staff going above and beyond to ensure an unforgettable experience.


Rosewood Mayakoba features modern and sleek common areas, including shops, restaurants, and the Casa del Lago pool complex. The resort also includes Sense, A Rosewood Spa, which is located on its own private island and offers 12 lagoon-side treatment rooms and eight private spa suites. For the ultimate spa experience, guests can book the Mayan Healing Hands journey, where a shaman guides them through a traditional Mayan holistic healing treatment.


The resort has spacious accommodations resembling villas with sun-filled terraces, living areas, and mosaic tubs. The adults-only seaside retreat, Aquí Me Quedo, features three infinity-edge pools, lounging spaces, a Mexican-street-food-inspired restaurant, and an open kitchen for interactive culinary classes.


Mayakoba is a self-contained complex with a Greg Norman-designed golf course and an array of restaurants, beach clubs, bars, and spas across the four resorts, including Fairmont Mayakoba, Andaz Mayakoba, and Banyan Tree Mayakoba. Guests can enjoy complimentary shuttle van transportation within the community and scheduled ferries linking the resorts. For a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine, head to La Fondita in El Pueblito, where you can sample tostadas, and fresh ceviche and enjoy Mexican soda, mezcal, or craft beer.

11.Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos (Forbes Five-Star)

As you step into the torch-lit, private tunnel leading to Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, you'll instantly know this is a special place. Built directly into the side of Pedregal Mountain, the 119-room property provides stunning ocean views for every guest. To celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2019, the beachfront resort introduced new offerings like ultra-luxe three- and four-bedroom Casa Bella Vistas with private plunge pools, Waldorf Astoria Spa's moon phase-inspired treatments, and Va Y Viene Beach Bar.


The hotel also offers plenty of perks like personal assistants who provide concierge services and even iPad check-in. La Estancia is an exclusive, palapa-shaded living room available only for guests, where they can enjoy a complimentary welcome drink, read an oversized coffee table book, or play a board game overlooking the pool. The AlmArte Gift Boutique stocks designer and locally made items for souvenirs.


With two signature restaurants (El Farallon and Don Manuel's), a pool bar/seafood restaurant Crudo, a casual lunch spot Beach Club, and a champagne terrace, guests need not leave the resort for meals. Downtown Cabo is just minutes away via the private tunnel, providing shopping and nightlife options. The hotel staff can arrange fishing charters or tours at preferred rates.


During the whale season, the resort's proximity to the ocean allows for stunning views of humpback whales. Additionally, Luxury Avenue is just a short stroll away, offering high-end stores like Carolina Herrera, Salvatore Ferragamo, Fendi, Cartier, and more. At Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, the biggest inconvenience is deciding how to spend your day, whether by the pool, the indulgent spa, or strolling along the private beach.

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The Haen Travel Guide

Browse some of Haen's most loved locations, popular client destinations and general bucket list properties around the world.

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