Your First 2014 Indulgence


Located on the eastern portion of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is a little slice of heaven called Riviera Maya. Stretching northward from Tulum to Playa del Carmen to Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo, the district has rapidly grown as a destination for sun-basking, surfing fanatics who fancy large, all-inclusive resorts. There is no shortage of the beauty associated with tropical vacation spots, such as a jungle room in the middle of a lush green forest (Zen Grand Selection), or a phenomenal suite with the ocean steps from your balcony in the form of your own private plunge pool (Grand Class/Ambassador Suites).

Now All-inclusive isn’t really my thing, but Grand Velas in the Riviera Maya goes beyond All-expectations. Service: stellar and unparalleled. Accommodations: jaw-droppingly luxurious. Views: breathtaking. Activities: endless. Food: delightful to any palate. Drinks: continuously quenching your thirst. The serenity factor: priceless.

Activity buffs, don’t fret. There are a multitude of options including scuba diving, swimming with dolphins, jungle crossing, snorkeling, golf, kayaking, sailing, sport fishing, and a simple dive in the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. Cozumel is renowned for its pristine beaches and scuba diving, or perhaps zip-lining through the lush greencanopy or exploring the region’s jungles on horseback is more your speed. Tours offered to ancient Mayan ruins such as Chichen Itza are a must for vacationers, while a decidedly more modern offering is the Grand Velas Spa, which was named ‘Best Spa in the World’ by Virtuoso in 2010. Coupling the concept of wellness and pleasure, the Spa transports you to a world of unparalleled relaxation to allow you to alleviate the stress of your daily life you chose to leave behind for pure rejuvenation. Trust me when I tell you, this spa will do the trick.

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For me it was a toss-up on the most impressive aspect of this resort. It was either the delectable array of fresh juices to be enjoyed right on the beach, or the view that is truly breathtaking. As you drag yourself out of bed to wake up to the sound of waves crashing alongside the chirps of the birds that tickle your ears as you slide open your glass doors with the sun glistening off your skin, you stare down at the pool only to be beckoned by the fresh fruits that will be turned into a fine concoction of the purest liquid imaginable. The list that will make you book your room at this very moment includes watermelon, grapefruit, beets, pineapple, orange, apple, papaya, pomegranate, and my personal favorite, carrot, which combined with ginger is my happy place. As the waiter approached the table I inquired of ginger to which the reply was, “Ginebra”? “Is this ginger?” I said. He stated, “No, gin”. I quickly realized I would not mind an alcoholic beverage at that moment, however to clarify it was ‘gengibre’ I was seeking, not ‘ginebra’. You can see how easily one would confuse the two, anyone would. Note to self: Ginebra contains gin. In hindsight, as spectacular as the views were, the juices really were the highlight for me.

Photo courtesy of Grand Velas in the Riviera Maya

Mademoiselle Wanderlust is a regular contributor to the Markets Media Life section.

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