Forbes Around The World

Mayan Riviera with Lisa

Mayan Riviera with Lisa

Getting There

We flew United Airlines via Houston to and from Cancun. There was a really good seat sale and because we were staying 10 days it worked best for us. We were able to upgrade to business class when we checked in from Houston to Cancun for $99 each. This turned out to be a great deals for a couple of reasons – we didn’t have to pay $25 for our bags, we had access to the United Lounge in Houston (three hour layover), we had full service including a hot meal (lobster mac and cheese), we also were the 1st to get our bags when we arrived in Cancun! Money well spent. On the return we had a quick connection so just upgraded to the economy plus seats from Houston to Vancouver.

Alamo Rent a Car

Having rented cars in Mexico before, I knew what to expect and made my reservation including the mandatory insurance so I would have the full rate when I arrived. We were held up a bit leaving with the “timeshare” people trying to give us $150 US for just an hour of our time at their resort. Having experienced this nightmare before I just stood my ground and we were finally able to leave in our VW golf. TIP – if possible, prepay your gas to avoid the gas stations, they try and switch out your money 100 pesos for 10 pesos saying you must have mistaken the money and given the wrong amount…. Driving in this area is a breeze, most resorts offer free valet or self-parking. Having a car gives you the freedom to explore more areas.

Fairmont Mayakoba– All Ages

It took about 40 minutes to get to this resort from the airport. You arrive to a beautifully lit limestone gate, give your name and proceed through the mangrove jungle to the hotel. There are four properties in this community (Fairmont, Rosewood, Banyan Tree and the Andaz). Once you arrive they you are treated to a refreshing scented hand towel and a lovely drink. The resort is huge, you are taken by cart to your casita. We had a lovely room with a view of the lagoon and golf course. The rooms are large and nicely appointed ours had two queen sized beds, (the beds were so comfortable) sitting area and a bathroom the size of most small apartment in Vancouver with two sinks, soaker tub, separate shower and a separate toilet. There are his and her closets, so lots of room to unpack.

The resort offers a few option to get around the resort – walking, bikes, golf carts or water taxis. They have four pools including an adults only and a kid’s pool with a water slide. They also offer a kids club so that parents can have break. They have a full service spa and a very nice gym. Waiter service is provided at all the pools. They have three restaurants, a lobby bar and a little store that you can get snacks at. The food was fantastic, and the service was amazing. There is a lot of nature at this resort! We saw raccoons, lizards and spider monkeys came to our deck every day!

Viceroy Riviera Maya – Adults Only

I arranged for a site tour at this property and was certainly glad I did. This is an Adults-only property unless there is a total buyout then you can have who you like. They will even arrange for kids clubs at the resort.

The Viceroy has 41 private villas located just outside Playa Del Carmen. The villas are spread throughout the jungle property to offer their guest privacy. Each villa starts at around 1000 square feet and comes with your private butler. They have a private patio, with a heated plunge pool, hammock, lounge chairs, an outdoor rain shower along with the stunning high-ceiling thatched roof. The rooms have king beds with 500 thread count sheets, plush down pillows (plus a pillow menu if you prefer something else) and are decorated in soft colors. The bathrooms are spacious with his and her closets and sinks. In the rooms you have satellite TV, DVD player (they have a library of movies) complimentary Wi-Fi, mini bar and an ihome docking station for music.

One of my favorite touches was the soap concierge who meets the guests when you arrive and cuts soap from brick of home-made organic blocks. They offer a couple of different scents to choose from we got the coconut and the lavender.

They have 2 restaurants La Marea and the Coral Grill & Bar, they also offer room service from 7am to 11pm. We had dinner at the Coral Grill as it was down by the beach and had beautiful views of the ocean. The staff are amazing and the Chef made us a few of his specialties to try. The food was fresh, well presented and super yummy. The prices were reasonable and they had a good selection on the menu.

There is a very nice modern gym that looks out to the ocean, they have yoga classes as well. A beautiful spa that offers Mayan Rituals along with your standard spa services. When you arrive they do a Mayan cleansing ritual if you are so inclined to take part.

This hotel is for anyone looking for upscale luxury and privacy. You can have as little or as much as you like here. I think this would be the perfect wedding location, if you were to buyout the resort for the week!

Club Med Cancun – All Ages

This resort has been in Cancun since 1976, they have a prime spot with amazing snorkeling right on property. I felt that the Club needed an update, especially in the common areas.

We arrived on our own on a Thursday so we were not greeted with the usual fanfare Club Med is known for. Our room was in the renovated section facing the lagoon. The rooms have two twins or one king bed, a small seating area, bathroom with one sink and a shower only. There is plenty of closet space to put away your things.

This resort has a newer sections on the ocean. Jade – has concierge service with a private pool/beach area for guests staying in this section, premium drinks, room service, new larger rooms, bathrobes, minibar, turn down… and lots more.

I would suggest paying the difference and staying in this section of the club.

Club Med has a lot to do anything from Circus to Archery, from Ping Pong to Pilates. You can do as little or as much as you like. My friend is a Scuba diver and said the dive was world class, with one exception being they lead the dive in French. They do let you know they will be doing so and ask if you are ok with that, if you are not a confident diver it might not be the dive for you.

During my time at Club Med I found that the average age was people in their sixties and families. Maybe it was the time of the year but I was surprised to see so many older people.

O’Tulum – Adults only

We ended our trip on a high note, got in the car and headed to Tulum for our last three nights.

This hotel is my paradise. I loved everything about it. A 12 room brand new boutique hotel on the beach just outside of Tulum (10 minute drive to get to the downtown or the Tulum beach area).

When we arrived we were greeted by some of the nicest people I have ever met. We didn’t have a reservation as we didn’t know where we wanted to stay as we had not been to this area in many years. Once we got out of the car it was decided we were staying no matter what. When they showed us our room we didn’t think they would be able to get us out of it. We were lucky enough to get an Ocean View Swim up room.

This is a very thoughtful hotel, when you arrive they offer you butler service to unpack and iron your clothes. They greet you and ask what you would like to drink, they will make you anything. When you are shown to your room they ask what you would like in your very cool retro looking mini fridge to enjoy during your stay. There is free Wi-Fi with the modem in your room so faster connections, you get a cell phone to use during your stay with free call to Canada and the USA, they have wireless Bose sound systems, organic products, Netflix and Satellite stations on the TV, Nespresso machines, comfortable beds with beautiful bedding, cute woven beach bags to use during your stay. They offer a car service to take you into town and pick you up. Included in your stay is free breakfast between 8am and 11am and Yoga every morning at 9am. This isn’t an ordinary breakfast, as they have a menu with a lot of choices to choose from. They also start you with fresh fruit and yogurt with homemade granola.

Once we checked in we went to the pool and ordered lunch, the prices were amazing and the quality some of the best I have eaten anyplace. The GM Carlos handpicked his staff including stealing his chef from his favourite restaurant. We ate at the hotel for most of our meal because the food was so good! My favorite dish was the Chicken Parmesan with the homemade herb noodles.

The hotel had cruiser bikes for their guests use, you could jump on one and ride down the road to the cenotes or the dive shop.

When we checked out we were shocked to see how inexpensive our bill was. We ended up paying $100 each for all our meals and drinks for the 4 days. I would recommend people to go to their restaurant even if they are not staying at the hotel.

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