Highly anticipated resort on Mayan Riviera to open in December 2005 with first hotel, “The Fairmont Mayakoba”

MAYAKOBA, the luxurious new eco-resort on Riviera Maya to feature 5 luxury hotels and the first Greg Norman golf course in Mexico

TORONTO, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ — “Mayakoba”, the ultra-luxurious and highly anticipated resort on the Riviera Maya, will welcome guests for the first time in December 2005, when the Fairmont Mayakoba opens its doors. The resort will also be home to four other luxury hotel brands including Laguna Kai, a Rosewood Resort (2007), Banyan Tree Mayakoba (2007), La Casa Que Canta (2007) and Viceroy Mayakoba (2008) .The 18-hole Greg Norman Championship Golf Course, El Camaleon, will open in November 2005. All hotels on the resort will be located on 9 kilometers of crystal clear freshwater lagoons leading to a virgin beach and the Caribbean Sea. Guests will be transported through resort canals via custom-built mahogany gondolas called “lanchas” – causing Mayakoba to be dubbed “the Venice of the Yucatan”.

In addition to the unprecedented number of luxury hotels in one resort, Mayakoba is unique in its approach to preserving the delicate environment of the Yucatan. Guests of Mayakoba will experience 3 distinct ecosystems in a pristine state: limestone “cenotes” (freshwater caves), mangrove forests and virgin beach. Yet they can still enjoy all that our luxury hotels have to offer – lunch at the stylish bar at Viceroy’s Beach Club overlooking the ocean, a spa treatment at the legendary Banyan Tree, a nap in a Fairmont casita, or a candlelit dinner at one of Rosewood’s two restaurants.

It took the Spanish development company, OHL, 6 years to research the challenging landscape of Yucatan. A team of architects and biologists painstakingly transplanted and grafted thousands of native trees and flowers using traditional Mayan and cutting-edge techniques. Today Mayakoba’s landscape is not only authentic but has set a standard for environmentally sound resort developments all over the world.

First to open at Mayakoba is the 401-room Fairmont Mayakoba. Operated by Toronto based Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, it will offer extensive event facilities and a 20,000 square feet Willow Stream spa. While at the Fairmont Mayakoba, guests will enjoy the exclusive Mirasol area with ocean-side casitas overlooking rolling white sand dunes and the Caribbean waters. Fairmont Mayakoba will open in December 2005.

Laguna Kai, a Rosewood Resort, comes from Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, a U.S. company that excels in small, one-of-a-kind luxury hotels. All Laguna Kai’s 120 rooms at Mayakoba will be on the water, with their own plunge pool and outdoor shower adding to the uniqueness of the resort. Laguna Kai will be ready to take the guests in the spring of 2007.

Known for its extraordinary locations and legendary spas, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts will bring a little Asia to the village at Mayakoba. Their first North American venture, Banyan Tree Mayakoba will open in the winter of 2007 and feature 120 villas that include private pools, outdoor Jacuzzis, meditation salas and spacious poolside terraces.

La Casa Que Canta, Mexico’s stylish refuge that defines luxury, will be the fourth addition to Mayakoba. With the original La Casa Que Canta ranked No. 1 Best Hotel in Mexico, Central and South America by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine, owners Jacques and Yvonne Baldassari will bring the same original design and experience to Mayakoba in 2007.

The Kor Hotel Group also brings its own style to the mix of Mayakoba. Recognized for their hip and imaginative hotels, Kor Hotel plans to create a luxurious haven of sophisticated design and innovative amenities. The ultra- exclusive Viceroy Mayakoba resort community will boast 110 luxury villas, 70 overlooking lagoons and fairways and 40 woven along the Caribbean coastline. It will also offer signature luxuries such as a full-service spa and destination dining.

Tying all hotels together is the newest masterwork of Greg Norman, the 7000-yard golf course crowned El Camaleon. Managed by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, El Camaleon will open in November 2005. The course layout is unique – not just to Mexico, but to the entire golfing world. The course bends through three distinct landscapes and is balanced so that it is enjoyable for golfers of all abilities. El Camaleon will not only be recognized for the beauty of the course, but also for its surrounding amenities, including a driving range and the Mayan-influenced clubhouse that rises above the 18th green. Perhaps most amazing of all, with the resort’s unique canal system, golfers will be able to step out of their rooms and into a boat, which will ferry them to the first tee – located on a cenote, the naturally occurring freshwater caves unique to the Yucatan Peninsula.

From December 2005, guests will be able to experience luxury in the jungles of the Yucatan at the magnificent resort called Mayakoba.

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