One day an architect flew down the coast in a small plane and about 30 miles south of Cancun he discovered the loveliest of bays where a forest of stately coconut palms promenaded toward the turquoise sea. He fell in love with the place and bought it from a man who made his living drying and selling the coconut meat, harvested from the 200-acre plantation.
Along with the plantation and a beautiful piece of jungle and beach, the ranch included the thatched hut of the owner and a caretaker named Timoteo who stayed for 14 years and whose five sons were born there without the help of doctor, nurse or midwife.
In 1980 Sally just happened to take a spur-of-the-moment trip to Cancun for a week of sun before the harsh winter of Chicago set in, This is where she met the owner – an architect named José Luis. “How’s Chicago?” he asked, “Cold!” she answered, and in that moment both of their lives changed: He introduced her to his beautiful Maroma where they swam, drank coconut water and sat in the shade of the old thatched roof.
He showed her the jungle and the reefs, told her he had come by boat before Timoteo cut the road out of the jungle with his machete, drew her an image of the house he would build here so he could fish and swim everyday. Soon his dream became hers and she left Chicago for the warmth of the tropics.
Their next dream began to take shape when a house they built for sale was damaged by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. They took the opportunity to use the structure as the seed of a long-dreamed of small hotel where they could share Maroma with more friends than could comfortably fit in their home. The hotel grew as their house had, the gardens flourished, the buildings took graceful shape, the kitchen began to whisper delicious messages, and the hotel filled with new friends who came to be enchanted by the primal rhythm of the ocean and the jungle.
Today Maroma is a vibrant reality dedicated to pampering its guests, each of whom is counted as an honored member of the Maroma family.
When they were ready to build, the old thatched hut seemed the perfect place to start and it became the heart of the house where the original support poles are still visible in one wall. They planned a simple weekend cottage which soon grew to a two bedroom, artist’s studio and dining room for ten.
During the following years the house continued to grow room by room, and Sally and José Luis shared it with many visitors from around the world, all of whom confirmed by the pleasure of being there that Maroma is an extraordinary place.