Deep in the Yucatan Peninsula, surrounded by sleepy towns and lush, humming jungle, Chablé Resort opened its floor-to-ceiling glass doors in early 2017.
The vision was ambitious: a secluded haven combining modern luxury with Mayan mysticism, where guests can indulge in shamanistic spa treatments and sip century-old tequila, swim in a mythical cenote and sleep under canopy in the tropical forest. And while this hedonistic, one-of-a-kind retreat seems borderline fanciful, Chablé delivers, offering exquisite accommodations and local authenticity in a way few resorts can do.
The property’s raison d’etre is its ancient Mayan heritage. “We don’t bulldoze nature, and we don’t bulldoze culture,” says Chablé’s visionary and acting manager, Nicolas Dominguez. With a nod to the area’s former civilization, every element of the resort, from the landscaping to the cocktail menu, has been thoughtfully designed to pay homage to local culture. Ancient Banyan trees snake around medieval stone walls; colorful stucco buildings dot the property in vibrant shades of burnt orange, baby blue and yellow; all materials are sourced locally, employing indigenous techniques and made with natural, plant-based products; and hammocks hang outside every guest casita, a Mayan symbol of peace and home.
The resort embraces its recent history, too. Set in a restored 19th-century estate, Chablé retains many of the property’s original structures, including a wine cellar and chapel featuring a painting of the hotel’s namesake, Saint Chablé. Thoughtfully updated for the 21st century, the gorgeous Hacienda is the resort’s main hub, complete with a library, lounge bar and boutique and is surrounded by 75 of acres of manicured grounds. Designer Paulina Moran (known for Esencia and Casa San Augustin) was granted complete aesthetic freedom in outfitting the hacienda with the very best artwork and furnishings—and it shows. Décor is whimsical, ornate and authentically Mexican, and spaces are bursting with color and filled with handmade furniture and vintage touches. A dreamy verandah wraps around the hacienda and seems to be straight from a fairytale, complete with wicker chairs, intricate tile work and stately stone columns.