Need To Know
29, including 17 spacious suites and two two-storey, two-bedroom cottages.
12 noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Times can be flexible, subject to availability; for early/late arrivals, the hotel can store your luggage, while you use the hotel facilities.
Double rooms from £862.32 ($1,084), including tax at 29 per cent.
Rates exclude breakfast, which is served poolside at Sol y Arena restaurant. À la carte items, which include coffee and teas, fruit-topped yogurts, porridge, pancakes, eggs many ways and freshly pressed juices, range from $5-$15. Children Under-2s stay free in cots. Under-12s stay for US$75 a night and an additional (third) bed in any room is US$150 a night.
All areas of the hotel are pram and pushchair/wheelchair accessible. One hour of arts and crafts is available each day for the little Smiths aged five and younger; book these sessions 48 hours in advance to guarantee a spot. Complimentary yoga sessions and scuba instruction are also available.
At the hotel
Two pools, beach, restaurant, bar, organic spa with temazcal treatments, Jacuzzis and steam room, gardens and free WiFi throughout.
In your room
FlatscreenTV, DVD/CD players, iPod dock, preloaded iPod mini, internet access, black-out blinds, Molton Brown bath products, minibar with complimentary water, soda, juice and beer. Kids get their own mini-robes and sandals, and there are colouring kits on arrival for small children.
Our favourite rooms
With the exception of the La Torre Deluxe Ocean View room, all Garden View and Ocean View rooms have ample space for families (two adults and one or two children). The Garden View Rooms (with private balconies) or Garden View Suites (with plunge pools) each have two beds and an ensuite with bathtub, in an open-plan layout. While spacious and roomy, these rooms do lack the privacy of having two distinct bedrooms. The two-storey cottages offer the most space for larger families, sleeping two or three adults and two or three kids. Make your casa away from casa a spacious two-storey cottage loaded with the comforts of home… and then some (butler service, in-suite chefs). Mayan textiles and hand-woven rugs add a pop of local colour to the contemporary furnishings in these Spanish-style abodes. There are two bedrooms (one with a king-size and the second with two twins beds), two ensuites (one with a bathtub), a full kitchen (for early risers and late-night snackers), a dining room and living room indoors along with a terrace, private pool and serene gardens outdoors.
With a family-friendly pool (wide, gradual steps lead to the heated pool, but no lifeguards) and a quieter adults-only one, everyone will happily find a relaxing and refreshing place for a dip. Both pools are open from sunrise to sunset, so claim one of the sunloungers on the cement deck trimmed in tropical flora, and be get ready to spend a good chunk of your day poolside. That goes for dining, too – Sol y Arena, which serves breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the day, is set overlooking the hotel’s main pool.
Aroma has the distinction of being the Riviera Maya's first organic spa (using indigenous fruits, plants and herbs – many grown in the estate’s garden). There are five treatment rooms, four Jacuzzis and two Mayan-style temazcal domed steam rooms. There is a menu tailored for children aged 5–13 (14s and over can choose from the adult menu) with yummy signature treatments like chocolate baths and massages and tropical strawberry and vanilla body wraps. Teenagers and parents can refresh with holistic healing treatments – reiki, cranio-sacral therapy – and a range of facials and other revitalizing couples’ massages.
When it comes to beach gear, the hotel has you covered. Oversized towels, buckets and spades, and pool floats are all on hand.
The small group yoga sessions for yogis big and small (aged four and older) fill up quickly: book your slot in one of the three age-specific classes when you make your reservation. Book one hour arts and crafts lessons for little Smiths (aged five and younger) 48 hours in advance.