Paraiso!

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Days 164-171 Monday-Monday October 1-8, 2007 – Cancun & Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Our much anticipated arrival in Cancun marked the beginning of a relaxing week for us.  The original plan called for us to stay in a Cancun resort for four nights before leaving for less comfortable budget digs in Playa Del Carmen.  After a little discussion, Jasmine and I decided to blow the roof off of the budget and stay for three nights at a resort in both Cancun and Playa De Carmen.  In the research, we managed to find all-inclusive resorts in both towns for around $120 USD per night which fit within our splurge budget.  Also, to ensure we got the most time in our resort in Playa Del Carmen, we decided to stay in a budget hotel for our first night there.  When all of the dust settled on our new plan, we were to spend seven nights between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen with six of them in all inclusive resorts.  It is safe to say that we were pleased with this itinerary!

While searching for different all-inclusive resorts in which to stay we had three priorities. The first was a Kid’s Club for Shawn Reece to interact with other kids, second was good reviews on the internet and third was price.  In fact, we picked the cheapest hotel in both places that met criteria numbers one and two.

The first hotel of our stay was the Oasis Palm Beach in Cancun.  While arriving, our initial impression of the hotel was a positive one.  While it certainly wasn’t luxury by most people’s standards, for us, it was a vast improvement over where we have been staying for the past two months.   Our hotel room was average size and featured two double pillow top beds.  It was decorated in a basic Mexican style and the best part was the spectacular ocean view.  After settling into our room, we spent the rest of our first day lounging around the pool and swimming in the ocean.  The Oasis Palm Beach’s location on the north side of Cancun’s Zona Hotelera means that it doesn’t get a lot of waves, making it a perfect swimming spot for Shawn Reece.

Our stay at Oasis included all drinks, food and activities. The property has four restaurants, a snack bar, sushi bar and a buffet.  The different choices of food allowed us to break out from the comida tipica we have been eating for two months.  It was a great change of pace and for the most part, the food was excellent.

During our time at the Oasis, we had very little interest in actually leaving the property.  For the most part, Jasmine and I spent the days going from the pool to the beach and back again, while Shawn Reece spent most of his time playing in the Kid’s Club.  The Oasis has a brand new Kid’s Club with video games, art activities, a private pool with water slide and more.  At times, we had a hard time getting Shawn Reece to leave this kiddie heaven.  Unfortunately, being that it is slow season, Shawn Reece only had a few other kids to play with while visiting this resort.  The staff was excellent though and filled in for the lack of kids with enthusiasm.

During our three night stay at the Oasis, we somehow managed to eat at all of the restaurants and enjoy almost every amenity the property has to offer.  On Thursday morning, our time was up and we packed our things and headed south to Playa Del Carmen.  As mentioned before, our first night in Playa was spent at a budget hotel, so that we could wake up bright and early and head to the second resort and take advantage of a full day there.  On Friday morning, we headed to the Viva Wyndham Maya which sits on the beach about five minutes from town.

The Viva Wyndham Maya is another all inclusive resort with similar amenities to the Oasis in Cancun.  One of the benefits of the Wyndham was that in addition to the normal activities, they also had kayaks, snorkeling gear and catamarans available for free to guests.  Unfortunately, the food and kid’s club were vastly inferior to our resort in Cancun.  The pool and beach were on par with each other, but the turquoise water in Playa Del Carmen is a tad bit easier on the eyes.

The one thing that upset us at the Wyndham was the way they handled restaurant reservations.  There policy is to allow guests to book reservations for the sit down restaurants ahead of time and at check-in all restaurants on property were already booked for our entire stay.  We had the choice to either eat at the buffet every night or walk 10 minutes down the road to their sister property.  Of course, we begrudgingly walked down the road as the buffet food was, to be nice, not very good.

The Wyndham did offer a few new activities for us to experience.  For example, on our first day, Jasmine and I tried our hand at archery with mixed results.  On day two, after getting a thirty minute lesson, we took out a catamaran for an hour of sailing on the open sea.  I also participated in my first ever game of water polo in the pool area and my team won!  Shawn Reece particularly enjoyed the snorkeling we did just off shore.  Of course, scattered between all of these activities were swims in the pool and ocean.  We also spent some time enjoying the view from our room’s balcony.

While we didn’t enjoy the Wyndham as much as the Oasis in Cancun, the week was relaxing and just what the doctor ordered.  Unfortunately, some time during the week I pulled a muscle in my back that began throbbing any time I stayed on my feet for more than fifteen minutes.  This continued to get worse as the week went on.  On Monday morning, one week after arriving in Cancun, we left Playa Del Carmen to head south to Tulum before eventually heading out of Mexico.  More on those adventures and my back in the next installment!

The Coomer Family


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