Mexico is a great option for a winter getaway. The weather is nice and the prices tend to be lower than other places in the Caribbean. This is the place to stay if you want to head to Riviera Maya….
Scouted: Fairmont Mayakoba
Rooms: There is a wide range of room types from a typical standard hotel room to an oceanfront villa. The room was clean and I found the beds to be comfortable with soft sheets and down pillows. The bathrooms had glass showers, which is an absolute must for me. The decor is quite dark. I prefer light and bright.
Food/Drinks: We loved eating at La Laguna for breakfast. We sat outside overlooking the lagoon and the food and coffee were great. We ate lunch at the pool and had room service for dinner. The food from room service was better than at most hotels. I love dessert and I’m very particular about the quality and taste of it. This hotel definitely has better dessert than the other five-star hotels I’ve stayed in.
Beach: Our first day at the beach we sat near the entrance. This was a terrible idea. It was very loud and not at all peaceful. Walk to the end of the resort’s property for a quiet spot with more space. The lounge chairs were comfortable and they have umbrellas to shade you. The waiters were very friendly and helpful with food and drinks. The sand was amazing…like white brown sugar. The water was warm and the waves were small.
Pool: There are a few different pools. The one in the center of the resort has a water slide and is a good family pool. Just past this pool is a secluded infinity pool overlooking the lagoon that seemed to be an “adults-only” pool. It was quiet and tranquil. There is waiter service for food and drinks. Lunch was delicious. The pools are not heated.
Activities: There are kayaks, paddle boards, and catamarans you can use at the beach. An official operator goes with you to drive the catamaran, but you can use the kayaks and paddle boards on your own. There is not a roped in area that you have to stay in. This made me very happy. I like to be free. There was no additional charge for these water sports.
Service: The staff was very friendly and our food and drink orders were always right.
Flights: There are nonstop business class flights from New York to Cancun. The duration is approximately 4 hours. The seats are recliner (not lay flat). Customs and immigration at the Cancun airport went quickly. I have tips on how to find the best flight for you in my article, How to Become a Jet-Setter.
Airport: The Cancun airport is air-conditioned and has decent food options. We ate lunch at Guy Fieri’s restaurant. The food was quite good.
Transportation: We booked an SUV through Maritur at Fairmont Mayakoba (firstname.lastname@example.org) for our trip to and from the airport. The drive is approximately 40 minutes. The ride was comfortable. The cars were air-conditioned and clean, and the drivers were friendly.
Warning: The property is large and depending on where your room is located, you need to take golf carts (that are operated by the hotel as a little bus) to get around. There are also bicycles you can use.
- Boat transportation looks good on advertising, no bueno in-person. We got on one that was called a “ferry service.” After a 10 minute speech in two languages about the Mayakoba development, we found out that it would be 45 minutes from the beach to the lobby (golf carts take just a few minutes). We quickly opted to get off at the next resort and walk back. We still have no idea what they were trying to sell us, and why no one else jumped ship with us.
- Depending on where your room is, be ready to protect your room service if eating outdoors. When I turned my back from our porch to finish setting the table, 10+ exotic jungle birds swooped in to grab a fry.
- While I love Mexico, restaurants all play Mexican music a bit too loud, and a bit too lively for a relaxed vacation setting. Poolside, beachfront, and room service are the ways we most enjoyed the good food here.
- Order a lunch to-go from room service the night before departure. They give you a cooler with tasty sandwiches and drinks for your ride to the airport at checkout.
Andrea Graye & Ryan Glotzbecker :)