I can’t believe it has been a whole year since we were in paradise!
I’m genuinely not sure whether we will ever top this holiday… it was truly out of this world. Whilst we didn’t pay for anything, in this blog I’ll price it all up in case you’re planning a mega trip / your honeymoon post COVID… 🙂
Click here to watch a video I made of the trip.
Flights (economy return from London to Cancun) for next May are around £950 direct / £700 with one stop. The earlier you book, the cheaper they’ll be. It’s worth noting that there aren’t direct flights from London to Cancun everyday so look into this before you book your hotel stay.
We stayed in the Rosewood Mayakoba which is a 35 minute drive from Cancun airport. It’s part of a gated complex of swanky hotels and is completely private, surrounded by a lagoon and a beach.
The Lagoon Studio Suite King is 645 USD (£508) per night.
You could choose a Beachfront Studio Suite but this will set you back 1,193 USD (£939) per night.
There are other options with prices in between OR if there are more than 2 of you, you can opt for a Three Bedroom Villa with prices ranging between USD 1,853 (£1,458) – USD 4,125 (£3,245) per night.
This blog is pretty much going to be solely on the hotel as there was no need to go anywhere else during this trip… more info below the currency and transport sections.
Is the Mexican Peso… £1 = 24.36 MXN / 100 MXN = about £4.
In most places they also allow you to pay in USD but think there’s probably an unfavourable exchange as they give change in peso.
All shuttles to / from the airport and Playa del Carmen were put on for us by the company organising the Presidents Club. I am sure you’d be able to arrange taxis directly with the hotel / there is Uber.
What we did…
We stayed in a lagoon suite and it was totally incredible… miles better than anywhere I’ve ever stayed in my life… magical from start to finish.
After we’d arrived and checked in we were taken by boat to our room which was a wonderful experience in itself. (I say room, they’re more like little stand alone villas). Also, the staff never called them rooms, they called them homes!!
By the time we’d arrived our butler and luggage were there waiting for us.
Aside from the usual (hair dryer, minibar etc.), the lodge included:
- Butler service (could contact him / her on an app and ask for help with anything)
- A heated plunge pool on our outdoor deck
- Fruit replenished daily
- Bose speakers, TV, CD & DVD player, iPod docking station
- Nespresso machine
- 2 bathrooms
- Outdoor & indoor shower
- Rooftop with comfy sofa
- 2 bikes
The resort is fairly big so there are golf carts which run regularly past the lodges to help you get around. The team said they come every 5 minutes but we never waited more than a minute or two for one. OR if you’re willing and able you can cycle around the resort which I really enjoyed. As mentioned above, each lodge / suite has a bike for each guest parked outside. There are bicycle racks by the beach, the spa, all the restaurants and pools so you have somewhere to park once you’ve reached your destination.
Our mini villa was just perfect. So much space and so beautifully designed. (I do a full tour in this video if you’d like to see).
The service was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. From knowing our names / knowing every ingredient in the meals on the menu, to the Rosewood app where you can contact your butler should you need anything at all. Being typically English and preferring to do things ourselves, we spent the majority of the trip not using this app at all. I think our butler was wondering whether we were still alive as he showed up when we went down to the beach one day to make sure everything was okay (I think they must get a notification whenever you give a Rosewood team member your room number to order food / drinks).
There is a spa and well equipt gym free of charge to use (which Adam did every morning). Treatments are expensive… if you’ve spent all your cash on your suite, hang out at the beach where they come round each day and offer short head / foot massages for free!
There are plenty of beds and umbrellas by the many pools and we never struggled to find a space. Our favourite were the beach pools… what a view! As soon as you arrive a member of staff delivers a complimentary bucket of ice with plenty of water and a mist water face spray (which is a lovely touch and much needed in the heat).
They Rosewood team regularly come round with complimentary food / drinks. I can’t remember what time it was, but champagne o’clock was my favourite o’clock.
Within an hour of arriving at the beach we’d been offered champagne, mango sorbet and a head massage!
Unfortunately they have a real seaweed problem in this area of Mexico… a few of my boyfriends colleagues had stayed for a few days in Tulum before meeting us and said the water was impossible to swim in. However, the Rosewood team work relentlessly (all day long) to clear as much of it as they can.
Restaurants at the Rosewood…
We had 2 event dinners with Adam’s company, one sushi / liquid dinner and one we ate off the premises. Below are pictures of our first night event dinner on the beach.
Breakfast was always put on by the company in Punta Bonita which is a beautiful restaurant with a stunning beach view. There’s a wide variety of food on offer, all of it yummy.
The Rosewood also put on complimentary drinks / nibbles during evenings throughout your stay. One night we had some delicious drinks and sushi (from restaurant Agave Azul) & I noticed some other similar complimentary events throughout the 5 days we were there. Food and drink are expensive so it was really nice to be able to enjoy some for free!
On the last night our butler, Daniel, recommended a Thai restaurant called Saffron at another hotel (Banyan Tree) in the complex. He organised a private boat to get us there which was just incredible as we saw turtles (or terrapins) and 2 crocodiles. Again, this is an example of where the Rosewood team went above and beyond to make our stay as special as possible. I mentioned to our boat driver that I was gutted I missed the eco tour (which happen everyday at lunchtime) as I had wanted to see a crocodile…. he drove away from our route in order to try to find them for me!! And we did 🙂
Dinner at Saffron was unreal. We got a fantastic table on a decking on the lagoon.
Whilst the food was pricey, we couldn’t fault it…. incredibly tasty, and again, the service was impeccable.
To top it off, I’m a MASSIVE mango and sticky rice fan and am on a mission to find a version similar to that you find in Thailand. Whilst it was slightly different (and about 20 times the price) it was absolutely delicious!! Seriously, seriously, seriously good. I was one very happy girl that night.
There are many other restaurants at the Rosewood and of course you can order poolside snacks. It is expensive but I’d say it was worth it due to the outstanding service.
If you’re drinking in your room / by your private plunge pool a lot, take a taxi to a petrol station / supermarket. We went and bought a couple of boxes of 12 beers for about 600 pesos (making each beer 25 pesos as opposed to about 200 pesos at the Rosewood). We were able to keep them cool in our fridge as there was plenty of space.
We spent a lot of time in our own poolside plunge pool and sitting on the decking trying to spot the wildlife. We saw birds, iguanas, lizards and turtles right by our lodge. It really is so peaceful and amazing.
Day trip – snorkelling!…
Adam’s company organised a catamaran day trip with a company based past Playa del Carmen called Cancun Adventures.
We only went on this one trip with the company so I don’t know for sure whether they’re like this across the board, but they seemed keen to promote ethical tourism – no touching the reef / sea creatures, wearing reef safe sun cream, etc. This is unlike companies they mentioned who lure turtles and other sea creatures to them for photo opportunities by giving them food.
It was a 45 minute very choppy ride to the reef… unfortunately motion sickness got the better of me and I had to lie down covering my face for most of the way!! I was very glad to get in the water when we stopped…
Whilst we weren’t guaranteed to see turtles, we did within about 5 mins of getting off the boat which I was SO happy about. What gorgeous creatures.
The group of photos below were taken by the photographer who came out with us on the trip – it’s me with the turtle in the first 2 pics!
Snorkelling is quite hard with people hitting you with their hands / kicking you with their flippers. *TOP TIP* stay at the back!! You feel like you’re on your own and not with a group of 20!!
Whilst I was curled up in a ball hoping I wouldn’t be sick on the way back, everyone else enjoyed a free bar and amazing lunch. We stopped about 5 mins from where we were picked up for some paddle boarding and swimming in shallow water which was really enjoyable. Anything to get off that boat… (next time remind me to take some motion sickness tablets!)
I’ve just got to mention these gorgeous handmade and hand painted wooden figures which were left on our pillow each night.
It was nice to learn a little bit about Mexican culture / beliefs and the figures are pride of place on my bookshelf at home… wonderful memories of the trip.
I honestly couldn’t fault the Rosewood and our time there. If you are able, book to go… you absolutely won’t regret it.
SAD SIDE NOTE…
In terms of Playa del Carmen, I can’t really say too much as we only spent a couple of hours during the evening there. There’s a big and busy strip with tourist shops, bars and restaurants on.
There are lots of fish spas for some reason (which are cruel), but the thing which shocked me the most was seeing a place on the main strip which offered a menu of animals to pose with. I could see a tiger and black panther cub in plain sight with a tourist waiting to take a photo. I can’t even tell you how cruel this. The babies will have been torn away from their mothers at a very early age, drugged and poked all day for photos. They are most likely killed when they become too big to pose for photos like this. Their lives until then will be torture. Do not be these people. I know it’s so tempting to go and touch a cute little cub, but please do not contribute to cruel animal tourism. The fewer people who do it, the more likely these places will go out of business.
1 thought on “Riviera Maya, Mexico”
What a lovely holidays you had Shan 🙂 it must be awesome to do snorkeling in those waters eheh stay safe and cheers from Portugal, PedroL