By Nina Gass
What makes Cancun hotels such an excellent beach vacation destination is that they have something for everybody — those who like to party, those who want family adventure with sports galore, and those who like quiet and privacy. Then, past comes to life through the mysterious Mayan ruins and archaeological sites.
There is so much to do along the Riviera Maya that my family has returned again and again to soak up the beaches, nightlife, and adventures , sports fishingand sailing. For our next trip, we’re considering snorkeling, since our boys know how to swim and would love to see the Mesoamerican Reef. Some of our favorite adventures — both without the kids and as a family — include these highlights
- Zip-lining felt like heart-stopping fun! While I’m not the adventurous type, I did discover what adrenalin feels like on a zip line. Imagine flying 650 feet over a gorgeous lagoon. I skipped the 15-foot cliff dive, but my husband went for it and said it was the craziest thing he’s ever done but also so much fun!
- Snorkeling with the turtles was amazing. Seeing the sea creatures up close and interacting with them was unforgettable. It was one of the very first snorkeling experiences for me and a great place to start if you are unsure with this activity.
- Visiting the Tulum ruins led me to read more on the history of the area when I returned home. Wandering through the ruins was an incredible feelingand proved just how inventive and forward-thinking the Mayans were — they were ahead of their time!
- Getting a massage at Jungle Spa was a whole new experience and proved that a day spa does not have to be swanky and posh to provide some of the most amazing treatments you’ll ever feel. The local ingredients used for the massage treatments include aloe, banana leaves, and cacao (chocolate) beans.
In terms of Cancun hotels, the Riviera Maya has some of the most sophisticated and unique places to stay not to mention it is a central location for all the sports, adventure, and cultural experiences to be found in this part of Mexico. Here are some recommended Riviera Maya hotels:
- For privacy, peace and quiet, and pure elegance, try the El Dorado Maroma Adults-Only. Of all Cancun hotels, this one has to be the ultimate in luxury. The personalized service lends itself to this boutique location of only 72 suites that are over 700 square feet. Some are even swim-up suites that connect to a lazy river to carry guests to the main pool and bar area. This beach vacation spot exudes romance. There are special beach butlers to set you up with drinks, food and even reading material. For those thinking of a destination beach vacation wedding, this is the perfect beachfront chapel.
- Another intimate-sized locale among Cancun hotels is the 98-room Azul Beach Hotel, family all-inclusive accommodation set up with a “hideaway village” feel. This hotel treated us like family with private picnics, meals cooked to order, and a barbecue on the beach featuring selections from their own fresh fish market. Everyone was happy. Our personal favorite was the Agavero Tequila Lounge with 30 types of tequila (one or two samples was good enough!). The kids were all about the boogie boards, beach games, and coloring books.
- If you’re looking for Riviera Maya hotels with a traditional Mexican feel, go no further than theAventura Cove Palace, a massive 489-room all-inclusive delight. Who wouldn’t enjoy a large room facing the Caribbean sea with a balcony complete with a hammock? It’s hard to know what to do first at this resort. The spa alone has over 50 spa treatments not to mention the yoga, spinning, tennis, sport court and golf.
Nina Gass is a freelance travel and business writer who lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and two boys. An avid traveler and dreamer, Nina makes the most of her international family connections throughout the U.S., Australia, England, and Mexico.