Rosewood Mayakoba, a luxury property situated between mangroves and the Caribbean Sea in Mexico’s Riviera Maya region, is known for its wellness programming, from sound bath meditation to yoga float; suite amenities include aromatherapy shower steamer pods and reflexology stone wading ponds. But even wellness-seekers crave a good cocktail, which is why accommodations come stocked with the makings for a pineapple, habanero mezcal margarita mixed by your personal butler on demand. And the attention to well-made drinks doesn’t end there.
At the resort’s Zapote Bar — dubbed a “love letter to the Yucatán” — a laid-back, shabby-chic vibe reigns throughout the indoor and outdoor space. The focal point is a gnarled tree trunk wrapped in hanging leaves and branches shooting through a round skylight, a nod to the cenotes that dot the region. But it’s not all palm fronds and pretty textiles: World’s 50 Best Bars recently named Zapote Bar the No. 11 bar in North America. Ingredients and technique attain the next level, no doubt why the lounge garners quite a following beyond resort guests.
The menu is divided into signatures, mocktails and libations designed for day or evening, but no one’s looking if you want a Manhattan at noon. The signature Mayayo, a tropical gimlet love child, combines local Gin Katún, sour orange, guava and lemon leaves, while Eneldo offers a refreshing spritzy blend of vodka, St. Germain, cucumber, lime, fennel and Xtabentun (Mexican anise and honey liqueur). Obviously, agave spirits get their fair shake, as in the earthy, brooding, spicy Manzano, which shakes sotol with Ancho Reyes, Aperol, beetroot and chili. If you love tangy, aromatic tipples, Wana Bana infuses tequila with lemongrass mixed with soursop purée, lime and chili. Not imbibing? Sip a watermelon and cilantro Sandia or the Manzanilla, with clarified grapefruit juice and chamomile soda.
Joshua Monaghan, director of mixology, also curated the drinks program for Rosewood Mayakoba’s latest venture, La Isla Secreta. The exact location of the secluded bar remains undisclosed to guests, who must access it via a private boat ride through the mangroves. At the destination, they’ll find a Tulum-inspired lounge decked out with pillows and low tables, artisanal Yucatán textiles, hanging plants and flickering lanterns, all surrounded by dense jungle and a winding lagoon.
The team eschews a formal menu for the pre-Prohibition-style cocktails, instead offering an organic and Bohemian interaction similar to an intimate cocktail party with friends. Small-batch local spirits like Reves Whiskey from Baja California, Rum Libertad from Chiapas and Uruapan Charanda (a sugarcane distillate from Michoacán) are joined by fresh fruits and herbs from the on-site garden, used for sophisticated bespoke cocktails. Exclusive, tucked away and fleeting (the pop-up runs through spring), this swank experience is indeed the best-kept secret in Mayakoba.
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