ZAMAS: Rustic chic on the Yucatan Peninsula
The real Margaritaville
By Amanda Jones
ZAMAS is the kind of place people on the lam are looking for. It's cheap, it's beautiful, it's hard to get to and communication with the outside world is limited, to say the least. We all know Cancun, but the miles of empty beaches on the "Mayan Riviera" haven't yet made it onto the radar screen of the glitterati, thank God.
No one cares if youíre a big shot or a peon at Zamas; everyone looks the same in a sarong. Whatís important is that there's an impeccable white beach (sin peddlers), palm trees a plenty, tepid azure waters and an endless supply of muy fuerte margaritas.
Before you rush off and book, here's a test to see if you can survive a stay at Zamas: If you must plug things in , hair dryers, razors, laptops , go somewhere else... You'll have light to read by... but modern accouterments? No way, Jose.
As far as the accommodations go, you've got to love a place that describes their "rustic chic" cabanas thus: "The effect is absolutely Caribbean, with no attempt to outshine the natural environment."
The cabanas are in fact very nice , simply done, in keeping with the environment and the hotel's ecological credo, but roomy, cheerful, clean, off-beat tasteful and wholly comfortable. Each has a private bathroom with solar-powered hot water (or cloud-powered luke-warm water), large beds with sultry shrouding of mosquito netting, and a patio with the tropical imperative , twin hammocks. This is big hammock culture. Cast off the flip-flops, assume the position, read, sip your cervesa, drift into an alpha state, change your attitude , all the righteous things extolled by Jimmy.
The hotel restaurant, ¡Que Fresco!, is widely famed for its fantastic food (people travel pot-holed miles just to eat here) and biting margaritas... When you tire of fresh lobster, grouper or snapper spiced with Carib/Mayan flavors, you can get by on their wood-fired pizzas or fresh fruits and vegetables.
The snorkeling off the beach isn't bad, and there's scuba diving a boat ride away... It's also worth the enormous exertion ofhefting yourself out of the hammock to see the impressive Mayan ruins of Tulum and Coba nearby... Hey, you might even come home a Parrothead.
- San Francisco Examiner