From the moment guests pass through the private gates of Mexico’s Chablé Resort and Spa and enter the 750-acre property, they are transported back in time to the realm of historical Mexican haciendas. Neglected for decades, this former playground for nearby villagers from Chocholá has morphed into a posh retreat.
The resort—12 years in the making—is an oasis of elegance that embraces nature and Mayan traditions melded with the bells (Mayan flute calls) and whistles (birdsong) one expects from a five-star resort.
The contemporary architecture of the 40 private villas scattered throughout the property is a sophisticated use of glass, stone, and wood imagined by architect Jorge Borja. Sliding pocket doors reveal private pools and outdoor lounge areas surrounded by a jungle of flora and fauna.
Interiors by Cancun-based designer Paulina Moran combine a neutral palette and luxurious textures to create balanced, livable spaces.
“We kept the original colors of the exterior walls and incorporated traditional elements—like the flooring, which was reinterpreted with a modern design and color palette,” Moran says.
Design elements include linen-clad -sofas, drapery-encircled beds, jute rugs, and Riedel glassware. Custom-made variegated green-and-brown glazed ceramic sinks and accessories replicate the color of the area’s jungles and cenotes (underground pools, including some that were sacred to early Mayan culture and used for rituals).
Regional traditions have been integrated into the daily activities, spa treatments, and fine cuisine. Every morning, staff members play Mayan flutes—serenading the verdant plants in the herb and vegetable garden.
Sunset happy hour is served in la terraza, where guests sip artisan tequilas and mescal or daily cocktail specials made with tropical juices and fresh herbs from the hacienda garden.
The resort’s food—whether cochinita pibil tacos at the poolside Ki’ol or the tasting menu at Ixi’im—is as enticing as the decor. Typical Yucatan dishes are prepared in a traditional kitchen with a wood-burning stove.
Traditional Yucatan dishes and cocktail specials are served at the resort’s three restaurants. Chef Jorge Vallejo and his team create organic, seasonal cuisine sourced from gardens on the resort grounds.
Guests can work off calories exploring the property on complimentary bicycles, focus with a Zen meditation lesson, or punch it out in “combat fitness” class.
The spa treatment rooms—overlooking a mystical cenote—are an oasis of modernity. A personal spa butler attends to each guest’s every need, offering herbal-infused waters to refresh during the hydrotherapy circuit and a cold washcloth and rosewater spray in the sauna.
The Mayan Herbal Compress, a blissful 90-minute massage using herbal compresses, begins with a cleansing ritual that includes incense, a conch shell horn, and Mayan prayers. Yet one more example of the healing power of this dreamy escape.
Photography: Karyn Millet