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by Orient-Express
Maroma Mexico - Maroma Resort and Spa in Mexico

Handmade Hospitality

We coined the phrase “handmade hospitality” to describe the ambiance of Maroma. It also describes our philosophy of taking care of our guests on a very individual and tailored basis.

The basic building materials used in Maroma are concrete blocks and cement that are put together in a masterly way by a team of masons who have been working for us for over 20 years. The architect need only drew a few lines in the sand with his cane and in a week or two a building had taken shape. When it was finished the building was truly handmade, raised without the aid of machinery or electricity and shaped and finished by hand.

Each outward corner was rounded off with a chisel; each inward one was filled with cement and smoothed to soften its lines. Niches for lights were carved out of solid walls, and windows and columns were trimmed with cement moulding.

Then the building was plastered and stuccoed by hand inside and out, the stucco thrown with a trowel until every surface is covered evenly. (The exterior stucco finish is an energy–saving device: the bit of shade cast by each tiny bump reduces the heat absorbed by the building as much as 50%).

Local artisans using local materials made the most of the finishing details of Maroma. The driveway is limestone harvested on the ranch and laid piece by piece. The front portico platform is of the same material, but the stones have been flattened and precisely shaped with a chisel to fit into a jigsaw-puzzle design as used by the ancient Mayas to ensure a sturdy construction without cement.

The huge wood pillars supporting the portico are zapote, or ironwood, trunks in their natural form and the square beams above the door are the same wood shaped by machete. (This is also the tree that yields chicle, and you can see it growing in our jungle, scarred with many horizontal slashes where the tree was bled of its valuable sap in years gone by.) The handhewn stone frame around the double entrance door is from an 18th century hacienda near Mérida. The stone tablets on each side of the door are hand carved reproductions of Mayan works.

The thatched roofs used in the reception area and on many room terraces are the traditional form of roofing used in the Yucatan and are made with leaves of the xit palm grown on the ranche and carefully harvested to keep the plant intact and growing.

In the dining area, the white stone flooring, called conchuela because of the many shell fossils embedded in it, and the salmon colored accent stone are quarried near Mérida, and their soft colors blend perfectly with the cool tropical style of the room. All of the woodwork and furnishings in the guest rooms and public areas is designed and made in our workshop using mahogany for its beauty and also for its bitterness which discourages termites.

The bamboo used in shutters and furniture is harvested here on the ranch. And of course, the hammocks are a tradition of the Yucatan and are woven in homes in the many villages dotting the countryside.

We want Maroma to be a showcase for the beautiful and unique arts and crafts produced in each region of Mexico; two of the best examples are the exquisite pottery mermaid and the whimsical tin soldier watching over the dining room.

The hand-painted tile used in the bathrooms, the bedside lamps in each room, the hand-loomed natural cotton bedspreads, decorative pillows and throws and soft wool rugs are all fine examples of Mexican artistry. The rooms and public areas feature original art by Mexican and international artists (a catalog is available), and each room also has its own special objects, each placed with love, care and affection.

The care we have taken in creating Maroma is mirrored in the smiles of our staff and in our desire to evoke the style and warm hospitality of a gracious hacienda, where “mi casa es su casa” is the rule.

 

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