Original post: Wednesday, May 14, 2008
David and I have been married 10 years next month and have only been on vacation together ONCE. Oh, sure, we go and take mini-trips to Cape Cod to visit the OB’s, or to Cleveland or California to visit family, but only once have we been n a trip alone, where we have absolutely no obligations or schedule whatsoever. Since we will be parents in a few months (hopefully), we decided it was time to take a much-needed break from everything and relax, before we become baby and family central.
We decided to go to Cancun, Mexico at an all-inclusive resort called the RIU Caribe. I had never done an all-inclusive, but let me tell you, that is the way to go! EVERYTHING IS INCLUDED…accommodations, room, drinks (yes, even booze), water sports, hotel transfers to the airport, airfare, etc.
So, we booked through Liberty Travel (actually cheaper than doing it online ourselves) and upgraded our package to the “Junior Suite”. According to the pictures and description the room had a living room area, and a huge ocean view balcony. We were also told by the hotel that we would be in a corner room. When we got there, we were in a larger room, but no suite, and it was right in the middle of the hotel, so it was pretty loud.
Let me explain a bit…the hotel is shaped like a Mayan ruin so all rooms have an ocean view. It sort-of steps up in a pyramid fashion, with a “pyramid” on either end, and a “flat” row of rooms on the middle connection the two. On the backside of all of the rooms, it is open to the lobby, there there is a bar, lounge, restaurants, etc. Everything echoed, and you could hear the music from the lounge until 1am.
So, we went to the desk and complained about our room…we were supposed to get a bigger room, on the end, etc. They said they didn’t have any of those rooms left, so we would have to stay in our current room until we could talk to the manager the next morning.
So we did, and slept with earplugs that night. You guys know I am a very light sleeper and I never sleep well in a hotel.
Anyway, the next morning we went to the desk and they did have an end room, which was an actual suite. They also had the Presidential Suite which was usually not available. That room would cost more, of course, but we were welcome to look at it. How much more? Only $100 a night, so we decided to take a look. SOOOO worth it!
The Presidential Suite room was at the very top of the hotel, like a penthouse. It had it’s own private stairway up to the room, all marble. The room had a huge king-sized bed on a platform of marble with windows all around it looking out to the hotel strip, and the lagoon on the opposite side of the ocean. It had a true living room, double sinks, a huge marble shower big enough for an entire family, and a balcony. But not just any balcony…this one had its own private pool! AND it looked out over the hotel gardens and pool, AND the Carribean beyond. See my picture above…that’s the view from sitting in the pool.
Um, so, yeah…we took the room. We called our travel agent to let her know, and she said they don’t even let the agencies book that room. And for $100 extra a night, we were stealing it. HELL YES!
So they moved all of our bags for us…very nice since the elevator only went to the 9th floor, and you had to climb three more flights to the suite. We felt like royalty!
So our days were spent like this…get up around 9, eat breakfast at one of the 4 restaurants, go to the beach, go to lunch. Then we went back to the suite and stayed in the pool or took a snooze in the sun until the evening. Took showers in that huge bathroom, ate dinner, walked the grounds and took pictures, had drinks, then back to the room for a little night swimming. Sooooo nice! It was 90 and sunny every day and the nights were about 80…perfect to keep that private pool nice and warm.
Let me expand on this a bit…all of the food in any of the four restaurants was included. It was all buffet style, which was strange at first, but it was all gourmet food. And the selection! WOW! Hot stuff, cold stuff, caviar, a salad bar with things I had never seen before, the meats and cheeses, the champagne…man! It was delicious. I was really impressed.
The pool for the common-folk of the hotel 🙂 was a huge, swirling thing that had room for a thousand people…no, really. It also had a swim-up bar at one end, and you could see the ocean when you were in it. We only swam in it once, on the first day, but it was very nice. Around the pool were tropical gardens, an area with hammocks to take a siesta, and spa tables if you wanted a massage. The pool had this cool “shelf” around the perimeter where the water was only about a foot deep, so you could pull a chaise onto the water and lay there. AWESOME! Our pool had this also, so that’s what we did all afternoon in our richy-rich suite.
The beach was beautiful! The water was so clear and they has these cool thatched wood umbrella things for shade. During lunch, they opened up this huge area with a giant skillet/pot thing that held this seafood concoction made of the hugest shrimp I had ever seen, mussles, crab, etc. all in a spicy sauce. YUM-O! And you could get drinks everywhere! We brought the seafood on to the beach with a frozen drink and enjoyed.
We’re not huge drinkers, but these things they called lava-flows are so good! It was a half-anf-half drink: half strawberry daiquiri on the bottom, and half pina colada on the top. OMG! Soooo good!!!! Plus, they had you champagne in the lobby and some fruity thing when you walk through any door. My kind of place!
So the afternoons were spent in our suite in the pool. I could skinny-sip up there! We were on top of the world with no one around. It was so relaxing.
So we spent 5 days there, and when we went to check out, the hotel clerk, Jose, said he would charge us the agreed $100 a night, OR we could just pay $200 cash for it all. So we said, “Where’s the ATM?”
The closest ATM was about a mile away, so he had the bell-hop drive us there, in his own car! Talk about accommodating! Those two got fat tips, let me tell you.
The downside…coming back to 50 degree weather when we were used to 90. I was freezing! But I now have some beach pictures on my desktop, so when I want to relive it, I can.
I sure hope we get to go back there someday…it was a beautiful place, and I highly recommend it!