The Fairmont Mayakoba Resort and El Camaleon Golf Club form one of Mexico's most high-profile vacation properties. The resort and golf course hosts the PGA Tour's Mayakoba Classic each winter, played opposite the World Golf Championships in Tucson, Ariz.
Just south of Cancun on the Riviera Maya near the beach town of Playa del Carmen, the Fairmont Mayakoba takes an approach different to the many high-rise properties on the Gulf of Mexico beaches. The property is set just off the coast and weaves around a series of canals and in thick mangrove forest. Units are offered on the beach. Walking and bike paths provide additional beach access.
On site is the El Camaleon Golf Club, designed by Greg Norman. It features many holes lined on both sides by the mangrove forest, while also playing around canals. Two par 3s, one on each side, play out to the gulf, which can cause some heavy coastal breezes and makes both short holes more difficult than the yardage might indicate. Another unique aspect of the course is the handful of cenotes - deep caverns that were discovered when the golf course was built.
A 2010 addition to the resort and golf club is the Jim McLean Golf School, the only Mexican location for the teacher based in Doral, Fla. It highlights a tour-worthy practice facility that includes a large driving range and numerous short-game greens.