Last week, I escaped reality and the super cold NY temps, for a weekend in Mexico. Oh, and did I mention, it was kid free. Normally, I prefer traveling as a family, but this solo time was much needed to catch up on rest and replenish the batteries. In just a little under four hours, we touched down in sunny Mexico. Unlike a traditional getaway, we had reservations at two different hotels. Both were Paradisus Resort properties; one in Cancun, and the other in Playa Del Carmen. Paradisus Resorts hold a special place in my heart, because Jason and I were married at the Paradisus Punta Cana almost nine years ago. Our nuptials came after multiple trips to the Dominican Republic, at the many different Paradisus resorts on the island.
Our first destination in Mexico was the Paradisus Cancun. I haven’t been to Cancun since spring break during my junior year of high school, so I had always associated the destination with young spring breakers. Boy, I can tell you, that this trip proved me completely wrong. There were tons of families with young children, and the property had plenty of activities and comfortable accommodations for everyone. The resort offers a Family Concierge service, which makes traveling with children easier and more enjoyable. In addition to catering to children’s every needs, the service offers upgraded rooms, with luxury amenities for kids and parents, and private check-in lounges. While staying in the family concierge, children receive a cookies and milk turn-down service, and a customized mini bar with drinks and snacks, geared just for kids. Other extras include a kids camp for both babies and big kids, a game room, and my favorite; a children’s spa.
Since I was traveling without children, I opted for the Royal Service portion of the hotel, which is for adults only, craving a little extra attention, pampering, privacy and even butler service. Guests with Royal Service access are treated to exclusive amenities, such as a private beach and pool area, personalized turn out service, choice of aromatic pillows, in-room bathtub preparation, private continental breakfast buffet, snacks, and coffee daily. Since my goal was pure relaxation, the adults only pool and beach were just what I needed.
All Paradisus Resorts are all-inclusive, for all guests. Paradisus Cancun offers a whopping ten restaurants, so the options are pretty much endless. Since we were only there for one night, it was of course impossible to try them all, but I was extremely impressed with La Palapa, offered to Royal Service guests only. It was a sit down lunch, overlooking the ocean, which was a nice departure from your typical all inclusive, buffet restaurant setups.
In the evening, we dined at Tempo by Martin Berasategui, which may take the prize for one of my favorite meals in the islands, in all my years of travel. This exquisite dining experience was put together by Six Star Michelin Chef Martin Berasategui, offering an over indulgent eleven course tasting menu, paired with complementing wines. The restaurant, open to guests on and off property, provides a glamorous atmosphere with the highest level of quality and service, and it’s a must try to anyone vacationing in Cancun.
Our lavish meal lasted a record breaking four hours, so it was off to an early bedtime, to be ready to explore the rest of the property in the morning, before we headed to Playa Del Carmen.
I woke up to this view above from my balcony, which I could’ve stayed on for the entire day, just admiring it.
After a little time in the sun, we headed over to the Yhi Spa, where I was treated to an 80 minute YHI Mandala Massage. The extra long treatment was a combination of aromatherapy and hot stones, leaving me on cloud nine.
It’s so hard to showcase this serene beauty of vines draped over each floor, throughout all five buildings of the Paradisus Cancun. This, combined with their koi ponds make you feel as if you are in a rain forest.
With all its beauty, I didn’t want to leave the turquoise oceans and white sands of Cancun, but once we arrived at the Paradisus Playa Del Carmen, I was surprised that it rivaled and probably surpassed its sister property.
Paradisus Playa Del Carmen is on an enormous plot of land, split into two sections. One side was called La Perla, catering to adults only, and La Esmeralda is best suited for families, but open to all guests. The resort offers the same amenities as Paradisus Cancun, including Royal Service, Family concierge, and spa amenities. Some rooms even have there own swim up pool.
With fourteen restaurants, not including bars and lounges, it would be difficult to dine at the same place more than once, unless your stay exceeded a week. As if our dinner the night prior wasn’t enough, we had the opportunity to try another Martin Berasategui restaurant, named Passion. The signature cuisine of Basque-French featured a nine course tasting menu this time along with wine pairing, even a whiskey one. Some of the fine dining experiences come at an addition cost to the all inclusive plan, but well worth the extra expense. Below, you can see our final course, which was brought to the table after dessert. Need I say more.
Another unique offering from this resort was the champagne tasting lounge, where guests can sample a wide variety of bubbly. I tasted a sparkling rosè while there, and enjoyed it so much that I plan to pick up a bottle at home.
The sunrises in Mexico were so lovely, that I ordered room service, to sit and soak it all in. My room, which I had all to myself, was probably bigger that my apartment, with a private 248 sq. ft. terrace complete with an outdoor jacuzzi. The one bedroom master suite featured a king-size bed, a separate living room area with sofa bed, and a kitchenette with dining area. Funny that I was all alone, because it was large enough for my entire family.
This is the walk to the beach…
My morning was filled with a tour of grounds, and a stroll over to the La Esmerelda side of the resort. The children’s pool and play area looked so much fun, and left me missing my kids.
Gabi Beach Club……
The view from the Executive Suite, overlooking the adults only pool.
In the afternoon, we headed into Riviera Maya to experience one of the Cenotes, which is rainwater filtered through limestone, resulting in crystal clear fresh water. This one was Cenote Azul, where some parts of these caves were completely underground, and some partially covered. The one below, as you can see, had a cliff for jumping. Not sure how high, but it is definitely higher than it looked in the photo. I mustered the courage to jump twice, and it was incredible.
After a jammed packed day, we ended with dinner at The Grill, and cocktails at the Gabi Club. I wanted the night to last longer, but the next day was the final day in paradise, and I spent it in the sun, rather than sleeping in. After all, I was flying back to 20 degree weather, and lots of snow.
While I did miss the kids, this trip was the first time I was away not laden with guilt. This mama deserved a little R&R, uninterrupted nights of sleep, exquisite dinners, and a little pampering. It was pretty neat to discover more of my beloved Paradisus properties, and see how they compare to their counterparts in other countries. While the scenery may be unique to each resort, the staff and service are consistent with being overly friendly and their willingness to please, along with attention to detail. Since its only a short flight from NY, I definitely plan to come back with Jason and the kids.