Latin America

La Ceiba Dinner Experience at Rosewood Mayakoba Resort

Someone greeted me at the entrance and checked my name, then with a welcome cocktail in hand, I strolled the gardens and looked at plant boxes filled with spearmint, cilantro, habanero peppers, cherry tomatoes, and more. Tonight some of these items would show up on our plate, during a communal dinner at a long table at the La Ceiba dinner, an experience at luxury Rosewood Mayakoba Resort in the Riviera Maya of Mexico.

La Ceiba dinner at Rosewood Mayakoba Resort Mexico

During two nights of the week, this greenhouse transforms into a magical dinner spot hosted by the resort’s executive chef, with a set menu the attendees enjoy together. Before the dinner begins, there’s music from a trio, bartenders making cocktails, and staffers offering tastes of top-shelf tequila and mezcal.

A Communal Experience at the La Ceiba Dinner

When everything is ready, guests sit down at their assigned seats with a placard at a long table together and waiters start pouring some of the best Mexican wines the chef has chosen to accompany the meal. During my visit the general manager popped by to say hello and the executive chef explained what they grow on site, how they source their food, and what we’d be eating that evening.

I was glad I arrived hungry because it was quite a feast we had in front of us, all coming out of the open kitchen. We started out with a salad made from greens, heirloom tomatoes, carrots, beets, root sprouts, goat cheese, and a Yucatan sour orange vinaigrette.

Next up was the first course of a fish filet topped by cherry tomatoes and a corn puree, plus grilled prawns with an achiote basting. Delicious!

La Ceiba dinner Mayakoba

We followed that surf course with a turf one: a blackened rib-eye accompanied by a lamb tamal. Naturally, those who were vegetarian or had other dietary restrictions put those in when they signed up and got custom platings that adjusted for their needs instead. All the while the Mexican wine kept flowing, along with fun conversations between people who had never met before.

A few senior staffers were seated at the table as well, fluent in English like nearly all of them at the Rosewood Mayakoba, so we got a little insight on their lives as well. This resort is really viewed as one of the very top places to work on the whole coast and it was good to hear that the company tries hard to hold onto the A-level people who gravitate here.

We had to make room for dessert, which was a unique offering with a real sense of place. We had creamy corn with a corn cookie crumble, toasted corn ice cream, a dollop of mousse made from a fruit called mamey, and a crisp made from epazote, an herb said to aid digestion. There was one more treat though: waiters came around pouring small glasses of Clase Azul tequila, one of my favorites.

Clase Azul tequila poured at Rosewood Mayakoba dinner

La Ceiba Gardens and a Video Tour of Rosewood Mayakoba

This La Ceiba dinner in the gardens was a really special experience, something worth booking ahead if you’ll be at the resort on the right night of the week. (Wednesday and Saturday when I was there, but check.) Luxury resorts are set up for privacy more than mingling, especially at this resort where the suites are so spacious and nice that you’re tempted to stay put a lot of the time in your own space. This dinner brings guests of various backgrounds together in a natural way.

The communal dinner experience is just one part of this video tour below, but you’ll see all the other great reasons to book a stay here too. Come tour the Rosewood Mayakoba beach complex and pools, multiple restaurants and bars, and a few of the suites.


This was our third time entering the grounds of this Rosewood and it really does get better each time. They’re constantly refining and enhancing their operations to present the best possible guest experience. It’s also well set up for families too, which is nice to see when there are so many high-end resorts in the Riviera Maya that are adults-only.

This resort has won stacks of awards and has come out on top in magazine readers’ polls as one of the best in not just Mexico, but in all of North America. The La Ceiba dinner joins a long list of terrific restaurants and bars that are memorable in different ways.

I couldn’t get many good photos of its Zapote Bar, which has also been tagged as one of the best bars in North America, because it’s dark and cozy at night. I got this shot earlier in the evening though. To the left is the open kitchen: you can see both the chefs and the mixologists in action if you’re sitting at the bar.

Zapote Bar Mayakoba

See our new detailed review of Rosewood Mayakoba Resort and Spa in the Riviera Maya, north of Playa del Carmen.

See more info on the dinner and contact information to make a booking at the official website.

Article by Timothy

Timothy Scott is the founder and editor of Luxury Latin America and has been covering the region as a travel journalist since the mid-2000s. He has visited each country we cover multiple times and is based in a UNESCO World Heritage city in central Mexico, where he owns a home. See contact information here.

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