Palmaïa, The House of AïA, a new hotel in the Riviera Maya, is now officially open. A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts’ LVX Collection and Travel Leaders Group’s Select Hotels & Resorts, the newbuild resort is set between a white sand beach and cool-water cenotes, on the edge of the jungle.
The resort’s founder, Alexander Ferri, designed the resort experience after his own way of living, which emphasizes the belief that inner exploration and respect for nature and community is key to bringing people together to create meaningful change. For example, the Architects of Life program, led by the in-house Shaman Balder, takes guests through rituals such as cacao ceremonies, yoga, multi vibrational sound healing, meditation, plant ceremonies, and ancient practices that inspire reflection, exploration and connection. Both Balder and visiting teachers and guides lead the ceremony.
The resort also offers a Rituals of Sounds program that pays homage to the musical environment of Tulum and Mykonos in a relaxed setting available only to guests. Experimental musicians lead guests through curated deep beats and deep-fusion electronic music with acoustic overlays, with the music rituals taking place in various forms daily from 4 p.m. until midnight.
The property has 314 suites, all of which are oceanfront and each of which have their own private terrace. Seven layouts are available, including suites aimed at families with bunk beds for the kids, as well as open-plan suites for adults, suites with swim-out access to one of the hotel’s four infinity pools and suites set among the oceanside jungle. All accommodations are designed sustainably and without the use of animal products. Additionally, a Nomadic Guide assigned to each traveler will attend to guests’ needs throughout the stay; for families, a holistic fun children’s activities program in hospitality is run by certified Waldorf Educators.
While on property, guests can dine from a selection of four restaurants along with a rotating food truck, each serving mainly ethically sourced food from trusted farms and fisheries around Mexico. Executive Chef Eugenio Villafaña, who has trained at numerous Michelin-starred restaurants, oversees the culinary programming, including the creation of parallel plant-based menus for each dining venue. Leading the plant-based dining programming is Noma alumni Mauricio Alvarez.
The signature fine-dining restaurant LEK serves gastronomic Mexican cuisine; Mar de Olivio is a destination for redefined Mediterranean cuisine; and the Asian-fusion restaurant Ume merges Thai and Continental cuisines for à la carte dinner experiences. Su Casa, an integrated beach bar and restaurant on the dunes, offers a laid-back Caribbean beach ambiance, while El Caminante offers an authentic food truck experience with a daily rotating menu.
Eolo Beach Club plays beats by visiting sound artists, two pool bars serve fresh fruit cocktails and custom creations based on guests’ moods, and the Atlas Club creates libations late into the night and houses a Health Café where guests can relax in a more modern city loft environment while sipping matcha lattes and snacking on avo-toasts.
The resort also includes a jungle spa, Atlantis, where ancient ceremonies like Temazcal are included in the menu of services. At Atlantis, guests are guided by the Book of the Nine Paths to Health, designed to treat emotions as root causes rather than physical pain. Treatment rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the foliage and are set between natural cenotes used for rituals and meditation. The fitness center is also hidden in the jungle.
Also in keeping with its philosophy, Palmaïa was designed with sustainability in mind, with plans to become one of the first true carbon-neutral properties in the world in 2021 by compensating its energy use with solar panels built on the resort and in other parts of Mexico. Additionally, there will be no plastic water bottles on-property and all bathroom amenities will be refillable and made with 100 percent biodegradable ingredients and essential oils.
The resort is described as a “gifting community,” meaning that it will provide everything guests need in the cost of a stay.