Caribbean Getaway

Etéreo, the Riviera Maya’s new “It” luxury hotel, was built with an appreciation for nature and a reverence to Mayan history

by Dara Klatt

Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection, on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico (photo courtesy)

It’s the holistic nature of luxury travel that Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection, on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, understands so precisely. Travelers want it all—splendor in design and views, a spiritual connection to a place, wellness and tranquility—and Etéreo delivers. Accessibility is just the cherry on top. After a roughly four-hour nonstop flight from Dulles or Reagan National and a 40-minute ride in a black SUV, the magic sets in.

Etéreo is set above a protected forest of mangroves

As one pulls up to the secluded retreat, Mayan traditions are dramatically evident. After a conch shell is blown upon exiting the car, we are welcomed inside and given a traditional Mayan blessing from a local xaman or spiritual coach and walked to our oceanfront room, one of 75 on the property, that fuses a traditional Mayan blessing at the door. It’s an airiness, a harmony that absorbs any stress in your system from Beltway life, and just lets you melt into a peaceful calm.

A traditional Mayan blessing from a local xaman

Set above a protected forest of mangroves on a beautiful white sand beach, the property honors the region and keeps sustainability at its heart. The architecture is by Mexico City–based Migdal Arquitectos while interiors are from NewYork’s Meyer Davis, who incorporated natural elements such as lava stone, copper and indigenous tzalam wood in custom-designed furniture and textiles by local artisans plus sculptural cylindrical woodwork by Mexican artist Manuel Felguerez that represents the Mayan belief in life cycles.

Architecture is by Mexico City–based Migdal Arquitectos while interiors are from New York’s Meyer Davis

This emphasis on local talent, spiritualism, and environmental sustainability extends to the in-house “conscious-living” boutique and decor at La Chula, while the SANA Spa invites you to journey through heat, water, sound, ice and rain in a self-described “modern-day cenote” that focuses on “unique Riviera Maya healing ingredients.”

Such attention to pristine detail likely explains why the resort has earned accolade after accolade after opening just over a year ago, including Conde Nast Traveler’s “Readers Choice Award,” Travel + Leisure’s “It List 2022,” Architectural Digest’s “Great Design Award” and World Spa’s naming of Etéreo as “Mexico’s Best Wellness Retreat in 2022.”

Freshly made tortillas prepared on a wood-fired comal at Itzam

Design at Itzam


But the real award in this winter escape is flashing an exuberant sun-kissed face the entire time … until leaving that is.

Check out these experiences at Etéreo:

SUN: Take a dip in the palatial pool set against lush greenery and lined with swinging hammocks, or saunter down to the beach and spread out on a plush private daybed.

SNORKLE: Plunge into one of the most beautiful underwater landscapes in the world while setting your sites on spotted Eagle Rays, Hawksbill Seat Turtles, Angelfish or Blue Tang fish.

SAVOR: Bite into freshly made tortillas and fire-roasted corn, prepared throughout the day on a wood-fired comal at Itzam. The menu focuses on local products that are sustainable and organic. Get even more hands-on with a cooking class with the resort chefs.  Coming soon: from March through early April, reserve your spot in an ultra-exclusive community-style moonlight dining experience (12 people max), where guests gather by the Tranquilo pool for a five-course menu curated by Executive Chef Miguel Baltazar.

SEEK: Be guided through the secrets of the Mayan calendar, enjoy a customized healing ritual aiming to restore mind, body and spirit at SANA spa, or take a private golf lesson on the 15-hole course.


Mangrove studio with plunge pool starts around $1,100 per night. Two-bedroom ocean penthouse starts around $5,199 per night. Visit | Paseo Kanai 16, 77730 Q.R., Mexico

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