Ravishing Riviera Maya

Katrina Smith on 04 July 2018

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In June I was lucky enough to gain a place on a trip to Mexico with nine other Travel Counsellors. I had not been to Riviera Maya before, so I was very excited to sample this part of Mexico.

We flew with Thomas Cook in Premium Class which I would 100% recommend - they have seats with extra space, upgraded in-flight entertainment, premium meals, complimentary drinks, increased luggage allowance and priority check-in.

We stayed in 4 different hotels during our trip, starting with Dreams Riviera Maya. Our room was a Preferred Club Ocean View room on the third floor which was huge with an indoor Jacuzzi bath and a further Jacuzzi on the balcony. Ground floor Preferred Club rooms have plunge pools. The rooms looked out across the swimming pool as well as the beach. Whilst staying there a wedding took place which I was able to watch from the balcony - it was beautiful - so if you are looking for somewhere to get married right beside the sea - here is the place!

Dreams Riviera Maya is all-inclusive and is great for families and couples alike - there is so much going on, with great restaurants and premium drinks included.

Our next hotel was the Occidental Xcaret. This hotel is set in beautiful grounds in the rainforest, with monkeys, iguanas, deer and exotic birds around every corner. The beach here, although small is lovely with a fabulous beach restaurant overlooking the sea, and a beach bar that serves great mojitos. The hotel has 11 restaurants and 7 swimming pools and is set right next door to the Eco Park, which we also visited. You can swim the underground rivers, take in one of the shows, sample the food at several different restaurants (we tried the Mexican, which was very good) or swim with the dolphins or stingrays. This makes for a great day out.

Next it was adults only Secrets Akumal - this is a beautiful hotel with 3 swimming pools (one a nice quiet pool for sitting with a book and just chilling - with a cocktail in your hand of course, one for activities and the other with the swim up bar). The food here is excellent, with Asian, French, Mexican and Seafood restaurants - the food at the seafood restaurant was fabulous (and I don't even like fish particularly). From the beach you can snorkel and swim with the turtles which is amazing to do. We also took a 20-minute drive to the Tulum Ruins, which as a bit of a history buff I was especially keen to do - it did not disappoint. I would however recommend visiting early morning, before the temperature gets too high and the crowds too busy.

Lastly, and by no means least we visited Grand Velas resort - what can I say about this hotel, other than Wow!! We were in the Grand Class Suites which are adult only and face onto the beach. All rooms have plunge pools on the balconies and terrace, along with a large Jacuzzi bath in the bathroom. The rooms are huge and beautiful. The Ambassador area is for families and again large and some with inter-connecting rooms. Families are well catered for here with a baby concierge, strollers, bottle warmers, cots etc. The kid’s clubs are excellent. The third area is the Zen area, set in the rainforest this area is for couples and families. It has such a chilled out feel to it. This is also where the spa is housed - and the spa is one of the best I have ever visited - you must try the Water Ceremony.

All in all Riviera Maya has something for everyone, whether you are a couple going to get married or on your honeymoon, whether you are a young family with toddlers or a family with teenagers, or whether you are an older couple (like me) looking for some winter sun in a beautiful location. I shall definitely return.

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