A Modern Twist On All Things Mayan
The Nizuc Resort & Spa was originally conceived by Jean Michel Gathy with the exterior and interior design finalized by a prominent local architect Alejandro Escudero, known for creating some of Mexico’s finest mansions and grand haciendas on the idyllic Punta Nizuc.
The surroundings have been artfully shaped with serenity in mind.
In a nod to ancient tradition on a pristine section of the otherwise crowded Yucatan Peninsula, it’s a secluded retreat that was, in times gone by, strictly reserved as a private getaway for Mexico’s presidents and their well-heeled cronies. A blissful marriage of land and water maximizes the coastline’s breathtaking views and invites guests like us into a world of majestic master suites, outdoor terraces and pools, plush accommodations and sweeping panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea from almost every vantage point.
Classic furniture leaves a lasting impression of yesteryear as it gracefully blends with cool surfaces such as glass, slate and granite. Stylish touches of Mayan iconography and heavy 17th century stone doorframes fuse with box-like Asian architectural forms to fill expansive open spaces. And, despite the obvious modern glamour, Mexican warmth and character still come graciously bubbling to the surface in Escudero’s tasteful use of time-honoured indigenous materials.
To dine at any one of the five restaurants here by day or night is to experience dishes made with “love and heart.”
The Mayan octopus at Romona is unique. The octopus is braised and is accompanied with Recado Negro Sauce Xnipec, mashed potatoes and a pickled relish to create what has become most guests’ favourite dish.
At Terra Nostra restaurant, Chef Daniele Tonin’s take on simple regional homemade pastas and seafood stews is traditional yet innovative. Imagine tagliolini tossed in a touch of squid ink. At Ni, the resort’s Peruvian scenic oceanfront eatery, Chef Eric Ramos makes it his mission to always surprise.
One evening, we are served traditional ceviche with the addition of sweet potato, followed by a comforting bread and butter pudding with a jolt of flavour from Pisco-marinated raisins.
Reflection pools are one of the architect’s signature design features found throughout the resort, but they’re perhaps at their most dramatic when we enter the 30,000 square foot Nizuc Spa by ESPA. Here, European therapies meet Mayan healing rituals in a matrix of private indoor/outdoor treatment rooms that share space with quiet and peaceful meditation gardens, spacious couple’s villas and a movement studio, hydrotherapy circuit and tiny café.
And, come nightfall, when fiery cauldrons illuminate the spa and the rest of the resort, giving everywhere a romantically decadent vibe, it’s hard to imagine why we’d ever want to leave.