As featured on Today Family Travel at MSNBC.com,the Fairmont Mayakoba Resort in Playa del Carmen is located in the heart of Mexico's Riviera Maya and offers guests an exclusive experience that is in harmony with the environment. Located just one hour from the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum and the stunning Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve,the resort is kid-friendly and complete with more than 400 rooms sprawling across nearly 50 acres of lush jungle.
The name "Sian Ka'an" translates to mean "Entrance to the Sky," and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has benefitted from the attention of world-renowned scientists and environmentalists. To date,the reserve has already carried out more than 200 successful conservation projects aimed at providing sustainable solutions for tourism and the use of natural resources. While visiting,be sure to check out Muyil,a small Mayan village located in Sian Ka'an,as well as the jungle and river tours. With more than 1.3 million acres,the reserve is home to more than 330 species of birds along with more than 50 ancient Mayan palaces and temples,making it the largest protected area in the entire Mexican Caribbean.
The Fairmont Mayakoba hotel and resort,in partnership with the Mexican government,has been working with local Mayan communities on plans to open a restaurant and museum in Muyil that will act as an educational center highlighting Mayan culture. Hotel spokesperson Veronica Escobar told Today Family Travel,"We need to develop strategies so that guests can experience the region even when staying in a big hotel." As part of these efforts,profits from all Mayan handicrafts that are sold at the resort are returned to their communities of origin.
The hotel employs an on-site biologist who is responsible for directing its eco-friendly efforts,which to date include preserving a stunning stand of mangroves on the property that is home to more than 160 species of birds, spending more than $500 million on canals to preserve the underground river system,and replanting more than 1,500 trees and 10,000 plants that were lost during the construction process. Children visitors automatically receive three free hours daily at the Fairmont Mayakoba's Kids' Club,which regularly takes kids on eco-tours that explain the many green practices employed by the hotel.