Inside the Largest Suite in North America, a 27,000-Square-Foot Mayan-Inspired Oasis

As supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio danced in the shallow end of a sleek infinity pool, fashion designer Prabal Gurung stared out at the lush mangroves, swaying palms, and the glistening Caribbean as the sun dipped into the horizon.

They were just two of hundreds of guests who spent the day in North America’s largest hotel suite at Edition Hotels’s first Caribbean outpost, the Riviera Maya at Kanai EDITION, which opened in February.

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The sprawling 27,000-square-foot room—with over 10,000 square feet of outdoor space—is dubbed the Sky Rooftop Villa. It’s designed to be the stuff of a high-worth-net individuals’ dreams, the type that won’t blink at the suite’s starting nightly rate of $40,000. It occupies an entire top floor of the hotel, affording unobstructed views of the pristine surroundings.

The Sky Rooftop Villa at the Edition at Kanai
The Sky Penthouse has five apartment sized suites, all with private pools.

And those views are pristine because the suite is located in the 620-acre Kanai, a four-hotel gated resort community just 30 minutes south of Cancun. (So far there is an Etero, St. Regis, and branded residences, as well as the EDITION in the Mayakoba-esque compound).

Of course, there is much more to the penthouse than just spectacular views. It features five apartment-like suites, each with a plunge pool, a Jacuzzi, and a private terrace with sun lounges and umbrellas, in addition to ample living room space, king-sized beds, floor-to-ceiling windows, French doors, and large dining tables.

The penthouse’s multipurpose living area comprises two kitchens, a lounge, and a bar, and extends to a covered outdoor terrace through sliding doors, flanked by two reflecting pools. But the star of the show is the massive “entertainment deck” that, with two DJ booths, really lives up to its name. The endless views of the Caribbean from the adjacent terrace—with an 80-foot-long infinity pool, a sun deck with cabanas, and a sunken garden lounge space with hammocks—provides that top-of-the-world feeling. Or, make that the top of the underworld.

Architect Michael Edmonds was inspired by the Mayan underworld.
Architect Michael Edmonds was inspired by the Mayan underworld.

The EDITION’s resort’s architect, Michael Edmonds of Edmonds International— who also designed the neighboring (and Marriott-operated) the St. Regis Kanai—said that he looked for inspiration from the Mayans, who believed in the existence of three worlds. While the St Regis invokes the celestial world with its airy semicircular design, the EDITION represents the underworld.

Creating that descending feeling is the three-mile road to the resort surrounded by verdant mangroves bustling with wildlife. The property’s lobby is equally lush, with plants cascading down from the ceiling.

But it’s no jungle hell. The interiors of the 180-room and 30-suite resort are on par with the classic EDITION aesthetic—clean lines, wood accents, marble bathrooms, and a neutral palette.

“The most important thing, I think, is to manifest the location and the place,” said EDITION mastermind Ian Schrager. “When people go to Mexico, they want to feel like they’re in Mexico. They want to feel like they’re getting a true Mexican experience.”

The yoga deck of the Riviera Maya at Kanai EDITION
The resort’s yoga deck shows off Edmonds’d vision.

To help create a stronger sense of place, Schrager and Marriott enlisted two of our southern neighbor’s most prominent culinary talents, Francisco “Paco” Ruano and Tomás Bermúdez. Ruano helms KI’IS, a modern Mexican restaurant, where he showcases local ingredients and seafood in a chic dining room clad in limestone, white ceramics, and light woods. Ruano is also behind the menu of Kitchen, the hotel’s breakfast and brunch eatery, where highlights include cochinita, a Yucatán street-style stew, and ceviches. For al fresco dining moments, guests head to the beachfront SO’OL, where chef Bermúdez makes a case for fusing Mediterranean and Mexican flavors with oysters, clams, and aguachiles prepared with freshly caught local fish.

The Sky Penthouse roof deck at the Edition
The Sky Penthouse comes with 10,000 square feet of outdoor space.

After an evening of too many margaritas, you can detox in the property’s spa, located under a futuristic bamboo yoga dome and a water feature reminiscent of a cenote. Curving walls, serene treatment rooms, multiple pools, a Turkish hammam, an infrared capsule room, and holistic treatments focusing on aromatics and custom floral blends.

With apologies to Edmonds, the effect is more secret-wellness Eden than the underworld.

Nightly rates at the Kanai EDITION start at $637.

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