Travel: Riviera Maya, Mexico

Mexico has never been high on my list of places I’ve wanted to travel.  I have lots of friends who go and each time I’ve been invited I’ve politely declined.  I never thought I would feel super safe in Mexico, and to be honest, I have a very sensitive digestive system and I was positive I wound end up like Charlotte did in the Sex and the City movie.  You know, The Princess of Poughkeepsie…

But things changed when my sister got slightly toasty at a charity event and bid in a silent auction on a week in a condo in Mexico.  She was bound and determined to win the condo {even though we had plans to go to Hawaii and she had just been to Mexico}, so she kept outbidding her rivals, and she won.

Riviera Maya Mexico Vidanta Resort

She broke the news something like this:

E: “We’re not going to Hawaii, we’re going to Mexico.”

Me: “I don’t want to go to Mexico, I want to go to Hawaii.”

E: “Fine, but we have to use the condo by February of 2019.”

We take our Hawaiian vacation.

She decides to give the condo up; the money went to a good cause and she can write it off on her taxes.  She then decides she wants to use the condo for a trip with her friends.  She gives me four weeks notice, right before Christmas, and asks if I want to go.

Ummmm, no.  I’m not good at spontaneity and it was my busiest time at work.  She reminded me that I work from home, therefore, I can work anywhere, therefore I was going.

So, I went.  There were four of us, my sister, me, and two of her friends.  One I had met several years ago, and the other I met when we arrived at the airport to leave.  We had an amazing time!  And you better believe my mouth was glued shut while taking a shower…

Where We Stayed

We stayed at Vidanta in Riviera Maya.  It’s a huge resort with lots of different condos in a tiered system of buildings, starting on the low end and going up to the luxurious.  We were supposed to stay in a nicer building, but since we booked it so late, we ended up in the lowest tier which is the Mayan Palace.  We were later told by some time share owners on the beach that it was the first building ever built on the resort, which explained a lot.

Mayan Palace Mexico Riviera Maya

When I asked a friend who had stayed at the resort her thoughts, her biggest complaint was that to get to the main pool and the beach, you had to wait for a shuttle.  The resort is basically built in a rainforest and it’s huge, so walking from building to building takes a long time.  Apparently, so did the shuttle.

Even though it wasn’t the best building or room, we ended up being closest to the pool and the beach. The location was amazing because we didn’t have to use the shuttles to get around.

However, the room was not the greatest.  Since it was an older building near the beach, it smelled kind of beachy.  I’m being kind here.  It was severely outdated except for a couple of small updates to try and spruce the place up.

Our shower was the plastic kind from the 90’s, that was peeling so badly, they just kept painting over it.  Yes, paint on plastic.  In a muggy environment.  You get the picture.  Hop in, hop out became my method of showering for the week. That, and don’t open your mouth.

We just kept reminding ourselves that the location trumped anything else about the room.

What We Did

We did nothing. Literally.  We arrived on a Friday night and stayed for five days.  Three days we spent at the beach, one day we spent at the pool, and the final day we split between the beach and the pool.

Riviera Maya Mexico Beach

While literally doing nothing, I found inner peace, and I’m shocked it happened in Mexico.  I drank while I was there, but I was never drunk.  I relished in the doing nothing, enjoyed the view and tried to really disconnect as much as I could.

Vidanta Resort Mexico

I stayed on top of my emails at work, and decided most of them could wait a couple days.  I responded to a few timely ones, but for the most part was able to disconnect from work as well.  During my busy time.  Not something I thought was possible.  I felt calm and I truly believe this is where I had made it to the next level in my spiritual journey.

Inner Peace Vidanta Resort Riviera Maya Mexico

This next level of inner peace probably happened on the dance floor because we found ourselves at a beachside dance party on the last night we were there.

Vidanta Resort Mexico

Where We Ate

The resort has lots of restaurants, so we never had to leave.  We woke up every morning and walked out of our building, to the next {remember location, location, location} where there was a big store with a coffee shop inside.  We started each day with cappuccino and chocolate croissants on the patio.

Vidanta Resort Riviera Maya Mexico

For lunch, we ordered nachos, quesadillas or other snacks to go with our 2 for 1 drinks at the beach or the pool.

Chiringuito – The third night we opted for fine dining.  We shared the Paella Valenciana and drank red wine.  It was a good night.  If you want to eat here, you need to plan ahead and make reservations.  Of course, we didn’t, but they were able to squeeze us in. They had one time available during our entire stay, so we took it.

Chiringuito Vindanta Riviera Maya Mexico

Frida’s – We ate here on the night we arrived.  The food was good, they had margaritas, and they also offered crickets on the menu.  No thank you, I’ll just have an enchilada. This was my favorite of all the casual restaurants.

Frida's Vindanta Resort Riviera Maya

Havana Moon – Lack of planning lead us to Havana Moon on the fourth night.  It wasn’t my favorite, but it was good and I loved the décor and atmosphere.  Can’t be sad with a bright pink table cloth staring you in the face.

Nektar – We ate here on our final night.  It’s across the highway next to the Cirque du Soleil theater, so we had to take a shuttle. It wasn’t bad getting there, but when we were leaving the first show was also leaving and it was a little crowded. The shuttles seemed to come quickly enough, and Nektar was delicious so waiting on the shuttle wasn’t a big deal.

Nektar Vidanta Mexico

Salum Beachside Eateries and Market – The second night we kept it casual as well.  When we were seated, they handed us a bunch of different menus from the different eateries.  My sister and I opted for Robayaki Grill & Sushi.  Not the smartest choice.  It was just okay and at one point my stomach made me concerned that water may not be the only thing to avoid in Mexico.

Overall, I would say Mexico was a good, spontaneous decision on my part.  The money went to a good cause, my sister got a tax write off, and I found inner peace in a destination that wasn’t even on my list.

Muy bien, Mexico, muy bien.

Riviera Maya Mexico Water

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