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Mayan Riviera - Mexico

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This is just my experience -- I am not speaking for the resort.

Maroma's Website

My husband and I just returned from a week at Maroma in Mexico. I have been a bit shy of travel outside the country since my diagnosis two years and two months ago. But, it was our silver wedding anniversary on top of what was hopefully the end of a catastrophic year for my entire family and we wanted to both get away and celebrate an important milestone in our lives. I asked my husband to find us a fabulous and warm place to go and he chose Maroma resort on the Mayan Riviera south of Cancun.

The Mayan Riviera is part of a fairly new Mexican state called Quintana Roo. It is a paradise for people who enjoy scuba, snorkling or other water sports. There is even fresh water snorkling in undergroiund rivers and cenotes. I did not do any of that as my primary goal was relaxation and the beach. Nearby to the area are at least three ruins of the Mayans - a late period and the northern most extent of their spread: Tulum - the only Mayan ruin on the ocean, Coba and Chitchenitza.

Okay so there is plenty to do there, but what is there to eat. Well, first of all Maroma is a small, very, very expensive resort so they are very eager to please their guests. THere are hundreds of resorts there and I know that one new one, currently being built - the Mandarin Oriental, is also eager to help out Celiacs as I have had good experiences at the Washington DC Mandarin Oriental. In general, Mexican cuisine is pretty celiac friendly as it's based in corn and rice. THe chef told me that other than bread baking and flour tortillas it is unusual for him to even use wheat flour. The entire staff knew I could not have wheat, oat, barley or rye, and they purchased special -- and very good -- wheat free bread for me. Unfortunately, I did not get the name of it.

Breakfast was a bit limited as other than granola and muesli the only breakfast items were eggs and chicken chilaquiles. Chicken chilaquiles are very filling and quite healthy but I found it too weird to eat chicken for breakfast so I had eggs or egg white omelets daily with fresh corn tortillas delivered by the woman who had just made them. Now, that is something delicious. Refried beans are also served with just about everything.

For the non-bread consuming the choices on the menu were almost entirely Mexican food. Although I had a beautifully prepared and delicious tamarind chicken one night. Suffice it to say I will not be craving nachos anytime soon, but it is not because the food wasn't great. At my house I cook mostly Italian or continental and I would have liked to have seen a bit more variety. There were always steaks on the menu, and of course a burger or chicken wrap -- I wasn't really in the mood for it. My husband had excellent fish the whole week but that isn't my thing.

My point is that if you are looking for a great place that will take care of your needs as a celiac AND will watch out for you so for once you can be somewhere where being a celiac isn't the first thing on your mind in a restaurant or ordering room service than Maroma is a great place to go. That it is 5 star deluxe on every other level as well is a bonus. They have great beach beds and our ocean front suite had everything you could want (except TV): living room, patio with hammock and pool, an exercise room with a cross arc-trainer and all kinds of mats and and weights, and on a separate story a massage palapa along with a complimentary massage. THe entire place is filled with candles which they light every night, and a 4 poster bed with gauze curtains. On our anniversary they filled the suite with rose petals and the tub was all ready filled with bubbles and rose petals and surrounded by candles. The resort is quite small -- about 80 rooms and suites. Three restaurants and an outdoor bar with beach service. There is only one small shop. On arrival, you are greeted with a cocktail and a tour. Tips are included in all the charges, so you don't have to carry things around with you. Breakfast is included -- either in the restaurants or in your room. Dinners are either in the main restaurant or in the special restaurant, El Sol. Service is outstanding in any event with the servers operating as a team. Speaking Spanish is much welcomed although completely unnecessary.

The beach in front of the resort and at the Italian resort next door is cleaned daily, however, the beaches that are not attached to the resorts are a sad sight and the best argument for recycling I have ever seen. It looks like a landfill. Maroma abuts a nature preserve so the lack of beach hygiene is somewhat astounding. The government has "Paras" on the beach looking for drugs, I think. It would seem to me that they would be well used cleaning the amazing amounts of trash (supposedly off the cruise ships which no doubt account for some of it - but it cannot be entirely off these ships) up off the beach. THis was the only flaw that marred the experience. Even with the litter, the water remains clear, blues and turquoises. In January and February, high winds (El Norte) can cause lots of seaweed to wash up and be in the water but on calm days the water is stunning.

As I could count on the food at Maroma, I did not eat elsewhere.

Gluten free romance. What more could you ask for?

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