The premiere of The Riviera Maya EDITION at Kanai introduces a new concept of laidback luxury to the Caribbean coastline, combining unparalleled dining and entertainment, services and amenities with the unique traditions and tastes of the famed locale. Created by Ian Schrager as a result of a partnership between Ian Schrager and Marriott International, the EDITION brand has become synonymous with individualized, customized, and one-of-a-kind hospitality experiences.
Situated within a 620-acre nature reserve with two miles of pristine white-sand beachfront, the property rises up from a forest of mangroves and tropical flora. Set within Kanai, a new luxury resort community in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the latest EDITION was designed with a minimal construction and environmental footprint to protect and preserve the area renowned for its mangroves, lagoons, ancient Mayan cities, tropical beaches and the Mesoamerican Reef, the world’s second-largest coral reef.
Abundant with rainforest plants, palms, cacti, tropical fruit trees and flowers, and home to iguanas, raccoons, spider monkeys, deer, anteaters, indigenous white-nose coatis, Yucatan squirrels and hundreds of species of birds, Kanai is a nature-lover’s paradise. The turquoise waters of Riviera Maya are also home to flourishing marine life including sea turtles, which are protected both by the Mexican government and the property’s comprehensive conservation program, which to date has hosted 12 nests, each containing an average of 120 eggs.
With interiors by Ian Schrager Company in collaboration with architecture and design firm Rockwell Group, and architecture by Edmonds International, the three main buildings that make up the resort converge in the architectural equivalent of a cenote. A massive rippling bamboo structure, designed by Eduardo Neira, seems to rise from the water and funnel back down into it. This striking structure serves as the resort’s dedicated yoga space as well as a visual and spiritual centerpiece anchoring the terrestrial world and the realm below it, while also drawing the eye towards the sky and stars above.
The property boasts 182 guestrooms, including 30 suites, with numerous rooms featuring plunge pools and terraces that provide stunning ocean or mangrove views. Additionally, it offers a one-of-a-kind Sky Rooftop Villa – the largest hotel penthouse in North America. The classic neutral EDITION palette within the property’s rooms and suites, uses materials that pull in the embroidery and patterning techniques from the region to ensure that the local culture is honored throughout. In every guestroom, light and airy materials and colors create a calm oasis.
Helming EDITION’s signature restaurant, KI’IS (a Mayan word that translates to “zest”), Chef Ruano creates a modern Mexico dining experience with a tasting menu inspired by regional flavors, local ingredients, and a clear focus on the sea and the Mexican vegetable pantry, especially that of the Yucatan Peninsula. His talent earned Alcalde a spot on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and the honor of being named to The Best Chef Top 100 list. Honoring flavors from Guadalajara and taking inspiration from Mexico’s Pacific coast, KI’IS mirrors Alcalde’s culinary offer with ingredients found in the Riviera Maya. The restaurant itself is located on the south side of the property, accessible by golf cart or walking paths, surrounded by mangroves. Beyond the timber and limestone structure, the interior of KI’IS projects a clean and light aesthetic enhanced with white artisanal ceramics and serve ware and punctuated with greenery and local flora, both edible and decorative.
With his concept for EDITION’s beach club restaurant, SO’OL (meaning “oyster” in Mayan), Chef Bermúdez brings cuisine reminiscent of a Mediterranean beach club with Mexican influence. The casual beachfront venue focuses on seafood with southern France and eastern Mediterranean inspiration, featuring fresh oysters, clams, aguachiles and raw fish from the best catch in the Mexican seas. Bermúdez’s four La Docena restaurants have been named to Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list, bringing even more anticipation to EDITION with the debut of SO’OL. Adjacent to the beach club and pool is a private pier, featuring 10 lounge-style cabanas with direct access to the ocean.
Completing EDITION’s category-defying, influence-driven food and beverage offerings is the Pool Bar. Flanking the lagoon-sized Pool and adjacent to the main lobby building, the bar offers a health-conscious selection of food items. A calmer alternative to the SO’OL bar, the Pool Bar is a wide oasis of sun-soaked warmth at the heart of The Riviera Maya EDITION at Kanai.
Of equal importance is The Spa, located in the main lobby building, next to the fitness center. Echoing the cenote-inspired architecture, the central spa lounge sits directly beneath the bamboo yoga dome structure and water landscape, so guests can look up through the glass ceiling at the terrestrial world above.
The resort also includes a Ballroom nestled amidst the mangroves, providing an ideal setting for meetings and events accommodating up to 450 guests across 980sqm/10,545 sqft. The venue is bathed in natural light and features expansive terraces offering sea views. It can be partitioned into three smaller areas and comes equipped with cutting-edge multimedia technology and floor-to-ceiling glass. The space is versatile, ready to seamlessly transform for various occasions, ranging from a glamorous wedding to a corporate shareholders’ meeting. Additionally, the main building of the resort houses three smaller studios suitable for private board meetings.