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Tasting Sunshine; Food at Rosewood Mayakoba

One of my favourites things about my visit to Mayakoba in Mexico was the food (I know BIG surprise, right?). Honestly, having lived in the UK all my life I’d never truly experienced really, really good Mexican food until I visited the country….and then I was blown away. In this post I want to tell you about all the wonderful food I tried whilst staying in Rosewood Mayakoba and in my next post you can read about the other hotel restaurants in the resort that I tried during my time there.
Let’s start with the most important meal of the day…breakfast is served in the hotel’s pool side restaurant, Casa Del Lago. Now personally, I’m not huge fan of breakfast buffets, I’ve been to a few where there’s vast amounts of food but nothing’s done well. But at Rosewood Mayakoba, that’s definitely not the case, everything on the buffet is prepared and presented beautifully.

From the elegant bakery section with delicious donuts, pastries and a new treat every day.
To beautifully prepared yogurt pots…

And the freshest fruit, beautifully cut and and array of cheeses and cold meat. Quite honestly, one of the highest quality breakfast buffets that I’ve ever had. 
We’d enjoy our buffet selection with this beautiful view of the pool and fresh homemade jams and conserves with our toast. Everyday we’d also order hot food from a carefully curated à la carte menu. The classic section of the menu has a Mexican twist and we tried most of the menu throughout our stay. 
Unique French toast with Mexican fruits and spices served with Molasses ice cream. 
Smoked salmon eggs benedict with black Chile Hollandaise, tomato, radish and avocado salsa (my favourite!)
Waffles with berries and maple syrup.

And traditional sopes from Mexico City – something I’d never tried before these were made up of handmade corn tortilla with black beans, chorizo, salsa, lettuce, sour cream, quesco fresco and red onion.

There was also a section of the breakfast menu for huevos rancheros, the popular Mexican way of serving fried eggs with salsa. In every region of Mexico there are different varieties and our daily breakfast at Rosewood Mayakoba allowed us to try a couple. 
Rancheros Divorciados – so called because it is split into red and green salsa and served with queso fresco, jalapenos, chorizo, pickled onion and sour cream. A spicy way to get the day started.

The most intriguing choice on the menu were rancheros from Oaxaca. These fried eggs are served with green tomatillo salsa, Hoja Santa, goat’s cheese. And a side of toasted grass hoppers… yes really!! Apparently you can find snackable grasshoppers all over Mexico!
Every day there’s a homemade smoothie and juice selection which was just an ideal way to kick off the day. 
At lunch time, Casa Del Lago is a chilled out place to enjoy the sunshine and gentle breezes with some Mexican food such as shrimp and fish ceviche ‘A la Mexicana’ with tomato, red onion, coriander and garlic. I absolutely love ceviche and it was the perfect light but flavourful dish for the hot weather. I ate loads of it during my time in Mexico. 
Of course, we get quesadillas in the UK, but trying authentic ones in Mexico was another level. I loved these traditional quesadilla from Oaxaca and you can choose between chicken, shrimp or steak with gooey melted cheese. Only the finest and fresh ingredients are used and Rosewood Mayakoba is committed to partnerships with local farmers, fisherman and meat purveyors. All this delicious fish is sourced right in the Cancun – Playa del Carmen area.

Fish tacos are another favourite of mine and I’d only had really great ones before in the States. I loved these Ajillo shrimp tacos with Mexican salsa and guacamole. Honestly I ate so much avocado in Mexico, I’m surprised I wasn’t turning green by the end.
At night Casa Del Lago takes on it’s final guise, a romantic candlelit restaurant serving Italian food with Mexican influence. Carpaccios, meat and fish and pasta were on the menu here if you’ve eaten your fill of Mexican food by day.

Our favourite place for lunch was down on the beach at Punita Bonita.  
You could escape the heat by eating inside the restaurant – we loved the whale mural on the wall made of Mexican baskets. 
Or you could enjoy a table outside with a view of the beach and adjacent to the pool.
The selection of different flavours of Margarita was just right to get you in the mood.  
And nacho crisps smothered in guacamole and other spicy sauces, were just perfect to nibble on.
For lunch Punta Bonita serves a selection of Mexican tapas and fortunately, Thash and I have similar taste in food and were keen to share. More ceviche and avocado of course!
As well as grilled fish tacos and tuna tostadas with habanero mayonnaise, Poco de Gallo, guacamole and pork Chicarron. It was all so colourful and delicious it was like tasting sunshine!

One evening we headed to Punito Bunito for a barbecue, which we enjoyed sitting on a deck and listening to the waves crash on the beach…
Sparkling lights, live entertainment and delicious food made this whole experience a feast for the senses.

My favourite restaurant in the hotel, and actually in the whole of the Mayakoba was the Agave Azul Sushi and Tequila Bar. Only open in the evening, it was most the lively and trendy restaurant that I tried during my stay.

There’s a library of over 100 tequilas and Maestro Tequilero to guide through the fine selection. You definitely can’t come to Mexico without sampling some tequila!

An open kitchen and views of the lagoon add to the stylish vibe of this restaurant and the sushi and sashimi is excellent too. 
There are more substantial options too such as Asian-inspired curries and noodles, but we kept it little with a few bites to share and snack on. 
Dessert stuck to the theme of the trip…avocado…or was it? Actually this delicious confection was matcha cheese cake, and truffle with mango and chocolate skin. It was amazing!

Finally I want to tell you about something very special and unique to Rosewood Mayakoba.
La Ceiba Garden & Kitchen is a rather recent addition to the hotel and the 20,000 square foot space is designed as interactive dining concept where guests can explore and forage through the garden, cook and enjoy rather special dinners.

The garden itself is lush with tropical trees, fruits, vegetables and herbs such as passion fruit, mango, cucumbers, basil, rosemary, chiles and so much more! It’s totally open plan with a communal dining area, al fresco kitchen and bar.

One night we were invited to a very special evening that took place in the garden…
‘La Ceiba’ is a tree indigenous to Latin America and important to the Mayan people as a symbol of prosperity, strength and unity, connecting heaven and earth. The garden is centred around this majestic tree, all lit up with lanterns for our special dinner and shadowing the beautifully dressed communal table. 
I love experiences like this where you can come right into the kitchen and talk to the chefs… here according to Mayan tradition, food is only cooked over an open flame in order to highlight traditional cooking techniques.

Sitting down for dinner with a group of eighteen hotel guests allowed us not only to sample classic and modern Mexican dishes family style, but also to meet and interact with other people staying at the resort.

We listened with interest as the head chef (who bore a striking resemblance to George Clooney) explained the dishes of octopus with Mexican greens, lobster with jalapeno vinaigrette, local trout and lamb chops. Finishing with a dessert of plantain strawberry with raisins and rum ice cream….and of course a shot of tequila.

The whole experience is part of the Rosewood’s Sense of Taste program which allows guest to enjoy culinary traditions of the region with visits to local farms, towns and artisan producers. Further ‘Epicurean Encounters’ offered by the hotel are Tequila tastings, or do as we did and explore the hotel’s lagoon whilst enjoying artisanal wines and cheeses.
Just watch out for this guy…

I think you can see why I loved the sunshine-y dishes and unique experiences offered by Rosewood Mayakoba…it was difficult to go back to my usual daily diet after that!


Rosewood Mayakoba

Ctra. Federal Cancún-Playa del Carmen KM 298 Solidaridad, Q. Roo
CP 77710 Mexico
+52 984 875 8000

I was invited to review by Rosewood Mayakoba and the Mayakoba Resort and all our food and experiences were complimentary.