Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

JAN-FEB 2019

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Even with a selection of reputable dining choices, such as the taste bud-tickling Axiote (axiote.rest), a quick walk or pedal away (complimentary bicycles are available), the dining options on-property are truly commendable. Serving three meals daily, the interior of Las Olas, which is positioned to face the beach at the edge of an infinity pool, is defined by intricate chandeliers and Mexican-made tables. At the buffet-style Cocina, guests are able to sample cuisines that span the Yucatán and Latin America. My personal favorite was the oceanfront Fuego, where every dish is "kissed" by fire. Attesting to the quality of the ingredients across the dining spectrum, the popular Catch of the Day program allows guests to follow executive chef Crescenciano Nerey from boat-to-bite as he greets local fishermen on the beach to select the catches of the day. W h e t h e r y o u a r e a f o o d i e o r a n a r m c h a i r s o c i a l anthropologist, booking the Mayan culinary experience is a must. Led by a Mayan chef working with a co-chef and translator, the interactive cooking demonstration and meal celebrates traditional Mayan ingredients, rituals and cooking methods. e experience begins with a Copal incense blessing, followed by a toast with Xtabentún, a liqueur made in the Yucatán region from anise seed. e multi-course lunch features Tikin-Xik, a whole fish steamed in a clay pot within a firepit dug into the earth. Guests depart with recipes to recreate the dishes at home. Resembling a minimalist cathedral, the 2,500 square-foot Revive Spa is designed with whitewashed walls and a soaring ceiling highlighted by a fiber optic lighting that mimics a starry night. Indigenous-inspired and tailored head-to-toe treatments incorporate organic Kinich products. Tempting as it would be to remain in the confines of the resort, you'd be remiss to miss the boutiques and restaurants of Playa del Carmen, as well as more adventurous excursions further afoot, including cenotes, Xcaret, Tulum, Chichen Itza and Yal-Ku Lagoon, all of which can be arranged by the concierge. Bobbing about in the crystal-clear waters of the Cenote el Sueño, watching as slim, silvery fish darted in and out of pitch- black darkness only cracked by the singular beam of a flashlight, I wondered (in addition to thinking that this would be an ideal site for a horror flick), what the Mayans, who regarded these openings to underground rivers as sacred, would think of the area today. I couldn't help but surmise they'd find some familiarity in the palapas and palette of magical Mahekal. Room-only rate at Mahekal Beach Resort from $190/night. For more information visit mahekalbeachresort.com. sl slmag.net 43

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