From Cancun to the Belize border, Riviera Maya unfurls along eighty-one miles of Mexico’s Caribbean coast. With some of the finest beaches and golf courses in the world, nearly 40,000 hotel rooms, duty-free shopping, eco-adventures, archeological sites and Great Mayan Reef - largest coral reef in the western hemisphere – Riviera Maya is the preferred destination for three million travelers annually.
Hot spots include Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres and the Tulum ruins atop cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea. With seventeen miles of resorts facing the sea, Cancun has a first-rate tourist infrastructure while fifty miles south, Playa del Carmen has morphed from a sleepy fishing village to the largest city in the region with resorts that woo lovebirds from around the world.
Home Suite Home
Hugging the breathtaking beach on the Yucatan Peninsula and under an hour drive from the airport in Cancun, the Royal Hideaway Playacar marries stellar service with distinctive style. As the world’s first adult-only all-inclusive resort to earn the prestigious AAA 5-Diamond Award, the uber-swank seaside resort delivers an unforgettable vacation experience with a glittering array of all-included indulgences.
Big on the romance factor, the ‘luxury’ rooms invite with comfy beds and marble bathrooms. Fresh fruit greets upon arrival while a stereo system with a CD player inspires a musical mood. For a honeymoon worth a million memories, the Presidential Suite boasts ocean views, full kitchen, living and dining room, hydro-massage tub and a host of amenities that morph a great vacation into a grand vacation.
Troy and Emily escaped the city to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. Flying in from Newark, the lovebirds were delighted to see their suite overlooking the sea. “We wanted sun and luxury rolled into one,” Emily said sipping a frosty lime margarita, “we didn’t want to make too many decisions once we arrived except for what kind of cocktail to have before dinner.” Busy at home with two young children, the cheerful couple asked their travel agent to handle the arrangements. “She booked a package from Continental Vacations which was the best decision I made except for the lime margarita.”
With unbridled convenience, the resort is, indeed, royal with an oversized cascading infinity pool, relaxation pools and seaside solarium decks for tanning par excellence. “My husband Rich and I are so busy at home that a few days away in the sun was a dream come true,” says New Yorker Janet Lynn enjoying the infinity pool, “the resort renews and refreshes us, not to mention spices up our marriage.” Her husband Rich couldn’t agree more, “a few days at the resort feels like a real vacation from morning till night. We’ve already decided to return for our 20th anniversary.”
Six gourmet eateries, unlimited 24-hour room service, top-shelf libations and natural fruit juices keep hunger at bay while two lit tennis courts, shuffleboard, basketball, bocce ball and water sports from windsurfing and sailing to scuba and aqua aerobics work off the added calories.
With 24/7 concierge service, expert advice is just a few steps away. “How about a round of golf or a game of tennis,” suggested Jose Valesques, concierge par excellence in Villa 24, “or a walk along the beach to Fifth Avenue for a little shopping?” Assisting with wedding arrangements puts a big smile on the friendly concierge’s face. “Seaside ceremonies are the most popular because couples feel famous on their special day and barefoot weddings are the stuff of Hollywood movies.”
Breakfast is a fine affair with a delectable buffet worth waking up for. Opening with the sunrise, the sumptuous selection features an omelet station, Mexican specialties, countless varieties of cheese, fresh fruit, cereals, pancakes and hot peppers that kick start the day. For lunch, Spices dishes up divine guacamole, freshly baked tortilla chips and savory shrimp quesadillas while the Deck grills great burgers and pizzas. Be sure to ask for the Mexican-made Don Octavio habanero hot sauce. It adds a zip to just about everything. High Tea every afternoon is a lovely time to sip a glass of sparkling wine and nibble on canapés, finger sandwiches and pastries.
Dinner is spectacular at Las Ventanas with specialties that are a treat to try from sautéed octopus and scallops in mole sauce to desserts worth the splurge. At the unique Chef’s Table, a live video feed from the kitchen offers guests the opportunity to watch Chef José Bossuet Martinez and his team prepare Italian dishes like goat cheese ravioli wrapped in melon. To look forward to, Chef Martinez is busy perfecting his yummy line of chocolates filled with local herbs, flowers and spices that will be exclusive to the resort.
Azia offers tasty sushi and fragrant curry duck and for a nightcap; Bar Allegria is casual elegance with bartenders who excel in shaking and stirring fruity martinis.
Tie the Knot
A Five-Diamond wedding is as simple as saying “I Do”. One wedding a day with personalized service from an experienced wedding coordinator means unrivalled passion in paradise. Complimentary wedding packages includes the Justice of the Peace, legal documents, white linen-covered chairs, champagne toast and steaming of the bridal gown.
Bigger and better, the Extravaganza Wedding includes a Mexican musical trio,
manicure for bride, couples massage, wedding photos and en suite flowers to keep the mood tropical. And for couples who want the whole enchilada, Infinite Bliss Wedding includes a romantic dinner on the beach and a mariachi band at the reception.
Pure indulgence begins at the Spa where the “Caribbean Love” is a multi-sensory massage designed expressly for couples with a mellow musical soundtrack and enough rest and relaxation to last a lifetime. For couples who prefer to relax privately, en suite massages for two are available. For the ultimate regal chill-out, the 80-minute Diamond Massage is a full body treatment using golden clay to smooth the skin to silky perfection followed by a champagne exfoliation of your tender tootsies.
For resort information, visit www.royalhideaway.com
For tourist information, visit www.rivieramaya.com