Arriving at the Viceroy Riviera Maya is a distinctly unique experience.
From the main highway, you'll be driven down roads so narrow only one car can pass, taken over some deeply rutted sections and, if it weren't for the occasional VICEROY blue directional signs, you'll be convinced your driver is lost. But then you arrive at what feels like a back entrance to a high-end private residence. Don't expect the usual registration desk. While you're looking for it, you're guest will likely be being guided toward your Villa. Catch up.
Heavy vegetation canopies a meandering walkway toward to your Villa, past the spa, and eventually, the Ocean. You check-in within your Villa. Ours was pool side with view of the Coral Grill, the bar, and the ocean beyond. Thoughtfully appointed, the large bedroom and equally generous bathroom area both open to the outdoors. The bathroom opens to an large enclosed outdoor shower, the bedroom to a patio, small pool, and hammock. Incense was burning upon our arrival.
The staff is remarkably and consistently exceptional. We were referred to by name during our entire visit and the staff seemed genuinely concerned that our experience would be pleasant. They made sure we were well taken care of whether at the dinner table, bar, poolside, or with concierge services.
With an adults only policy, couples were generally together and happily enjoying their stay without distraction. Their attentiveness to each other created a positive backdrop for our own experience. No cannonballing or solitary drunks at the bar make for a nice couple's vacation. We guessed that at least half of the guests were on their honeymoon and, those that weren't, acted as if they were.
Nightlife was a bit more difficult. If you need it, plan on the 200 peso/15 minute cab drive to Playa del Carmen. We decided that we didn't need it and took full advantage of the two supremely satisfying restaurants at the Viceroy as well as the competent, friendly bartenders.
A side trip to Cozumel involves the 15 min taxi to Playa del Carmen and then a 45 minute ferry to the island. An excellent guided tour and private car trip to Chichen Itza, arranged by Hector (remember that name - he is a remarkable host), was a 9 hour affair - and a highlight of our vacation.
Running on the beach was safe in either direction but we'd recommend traveling north toward the Princess and beyond. Sunrises are not to be missed.
If you seek quiet privacy, luxurious accommodations, impeccable service, beach access, professional staff, and to be surrounded by like minded lovers, sign up for the Viceroy. Enjoy.