Word spread quickly among our friends that the Mayan Islands Resort was holding its grand opening this past Sunday and an invite quickly became the hottest ticket on Ambergris Caye.
To say the opening has been highly anticipated is a bit of a reach — it has been years in the making, after all — but it has been the subject of a great deal of curiosity and speculation.
For example, every time we set off by boat for the back side of the island and pass close by the resort on the tip of the island’s western prong, it is the subject of much resort envy.
“That place looks awesome.”
“I wouldn’t mind hanging around there”
“I wanna sit in one of those giant basket chairs by the pool and sip on a drink all day!”
That sort of thing.
From the water, Mayan Islands is enticing. Its clean, austere, almost Bauhaus-like architecture and stark white buildings, framing pools of blue and plush lounge chairs hold promise of leisurely days, baking in the sun.
It was more like a dingy drizzle when we took off from the old Sunset Bar’s dock for the 10 minute boat ride to the resort, but not enough to put a damper on our evening.
Mayan Islands Resort is a work of art in progress. It has, after all, a big canvas to fill — 500 acres, according to founder & CEO Scott Zeus Smith. Only a fraction of that is currently occupied by residences, a central restaurant, lounge and pool area and some nice landscaping.
But it is enough to see where Scott and his team are headed.
Already some of the units are rented for the coming High Season and as soon as local wedding planners scope out the spacious facilities, Mayan Islands will easily become a destination resort. It is completely self-contained and a short boat-ride to the rest.
The spacious cabanas on the west side come with their own infinity pool and gorgeous sunsets. They also have a decent view of Cayo Enpanto, the current high-end luxury resort standard-bearer for the island. On the east side it is all sunrises and San Pedro. These slender but deep units are a modern and sleek take on the old Louisiana shotgun shacks, where there is an unobstructed flow from front to back, taking advantage of the constant Caribbean breeze.
Until ownership and occupancy build out, Mayan Islands Resort is making itself available to San Pedro residents and visitors for day trips, lunch and dinner dining in the Star Restaurant and for conventions and weddings. Call ahead for the details.They even have a boat that will shuttle parties to the remote site.
There was a lot of enthusiasm in our group for making Mayan Islands a stop on the way home after a day picnicking on the backside of the island, and even talk of a large group overnighter.
That is a sure sign that the Mayan Islands canvas is going to be a masterpiece.
More images from Mayan Islands Resort: