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Mexico - February 2019

2019


A Complete Change!
We had decided to head West, rather than East, for Pete's birthday. Furthermore, we we going on an all-inclusive package holiday and travelling on a charter flight! We need not have feared. We checked in painlessly at the TUI Premium Club check in and were soon heading for "Fast Track" security check at Gatwick. Speeding through we headed for the, included, lounge and whilst this was not our normal "Star Alliance" lounge was more than adequate for a quick English breakfast at an early hour.

We were given priority boarding onto our 788 Dreamliner and were pleasantly surprised by the seat width and pitch which compared with EVA Air's 777 Elite class. Our surprise did not end there. The flight, food and service could not be faulted and I even managed to catch up on a couple of hours missed sleep, caused by our early check in. The Premium cabin, comprising only 7 rows, was exceptionally quiet.

We pushed back slightly behind schedule but had an uneventful and really quite pleasant flight to CANCUN airport. There our baggage came out as priority, the feared delay at immigration and customs was in fact minimal and we were soon boarding our pre-booked private thansfer to the
H10 Ocean Maya Royale (OMR) in Riviera Maya, a few miles North of Playa del Carmen. The journey was uneventful and some 40 minutes or so later we were pulling up at the entrance to our hotel, where we were speedily and efficiently escorted to the Privilege check-in - a quiet and air conditioned oasis within an open and bustling lobby area. Really a quite painless experience, end-to-end.

2019 - OMR - Room 215 Garden View
2019 - OMR - Room 215
2019 - OMR - Hammocks on the Beachfront

2019 - OMR - Room 215 Garden View

2019 - OMR - Room 215

2019 - OMR - Hammocks on the Beachfront


This was meant to be another "Chill" holiday and following an excellent flight and transfer, it certainly appeared to be heading in the right direction. We had a very easy and speedy check-in at the Privilege reception and were soon off to our Club suite. Here we met our first disappointment when we were shown to our accommodation which we had believed had a private jacuzzi on the balcony. Unfortunately, all jacuzzi suites were ground floor with a terrace, which we believed were not suitable. I must say that the hotel was very helpful and we arranged to move to a larger, but non-jacuzzi, Privilege suite the following day. This proved to be an excellent choice - a recently refurbished suite, with much more space, in a quiet location and with a nice garden view.

We decided to have a quiet meal on our first night in the Privilege lounge and had a thoroughly enjoyable steak meal. This was to set the scene as we decided to always take breakfast in this lounge, where the food and service were excellent. In fact, the ability to always book any of the resort's a la carte restaurants as part of our Privilege package gave us access to the best selection of "inclusive" dining that we have encountered to date - it was very difficult to fault and the experience far exceeded our expectations.

We thoroughly enjoyed the service, accommodation, food, drinks and entertainment throughout the resort and would have no hesitation in recommending. It is also worthy of note that this resort was not a large, sprawling "urbanisation" which seemed typical of many resorts locally. It comprised 302 rooms (so it was by no means a boutique hotel) but was exceptionally well laid out in the form of a small village, with all the facilities within easy reach. This was clever planning and provided both open space and light. The grounds were well tended and delightful.

2019 - OMR - Tapas Lunch (Marbella Prawn and Scallop)
2019 - OMR -Yookoso
2019 - OMR - Blue Moon Lobster

2019 - OMR - Tapas Lunch (Marbella Prawn and Scallop)

2019 - OMR -Yookoso

2019 - OMR - Blue Moon Lobster


The Staff, entertainment and facilities at the OMR more than met our expectations and, believe it or not, we did not even begin to go stir crazy! With a Privilege restaurant, four bookable a la carte restaurants - Blue Moon (Romantic), La Dolce Vita (Italian), Yakooso (Teppanyaki), El Charro (Mexican) - and one buffet restaurant plus several bars, a coffee shop and reasonable day and evening entertainment and evening shows there was no room for boredom. Add, to that combination, a good crowd of guests and a great helpful, and friendly staff and this resort had all the ingredients to provide, for us, an amazing vacation.

We took a trip to Chichen Itza (not to be missed) taking lunch at a Mayan village (a very tasty combination of appetizer dips, spicy chicken and rice and dessert, washed down with home made lemonade) and then visiting an underground cenote in a cave of stalagtites and stalagmites where swimming was the order of the day.

A long day, booked through the TUI rep, only spoiled by poor transport co-ordination for both collection from and return to our hotel.

2019 - Mexico - Chichen Itza
2019 - Mexico - Mayan Village
2019 - Mexico - Cenote Swim

2019 - Mexico - Chichen Itza

2019 - Mexico - Mayan Village

2019 - Mexico - Cenote Swim


We were somewhat unfortunate, in that the whole of the coast was affected by drifting sargassum weed which the resort staff struggled to clear on a daily basis. Fortunately there was a fresh water river outlet (pure and clear from an underground stream) which formed a small fresh water lagoon very close to the hotel. As we prefer hotel pools to the ocean, in most circumstances, the lack of sea bathing did not cause us any grief. In fact I found the "lagoon" to be excellent for bathing.

For my birthday we had booked the VIP champagne and dining experience at the Cirque du Soleil wher the show "Joya" was in production. This was also an experience that we would thoroughly recommend. The venue was a permanent site at the Vidanta hotel, about 10 minutes by taxi from the Ocean Maya Royale. The grounds and setting were very pleasant and we had a couple of excellent margaritas, before we entered the show venue. We were collected by a "Flower Girl" and taken to an ante-room where we were entertained to a theatrical mixing of a champagne cocktail. This set the scene for the entertainment to come and we were escorted to our smallish table, front and centre stage, within touching distance of the performance.

We were then entertained by an excellent trio of musicians whilst we had a most pleasant dinner, prior to the show. Dinner comprised of an appetizer, a most unusual starter, a main course of short rib of beef and finally a selection of 4 desserts in a book (leading in to the story of Joya). This was washed down by an initial bottle of Mercier and followed up with a second during the show.

The show and the supporting acts were well performed and received - we think that this was a "never to be forgotten" night that we will reminisce over in years to come! Back to the hotel for more fizzy stuff and a couple of glasses of Remy Martin made for a very good sleep!

Our 14 nights at the Ocean Maya Royale were over a little too quickly. We could have, certainly, spent longer there and our time was enhanced by good company from other guests. The journey home by Dreamliner was almost as good as our outward trip and TUI have done themselves a great favour. We normally fly EVA Air to SE Asia, either Elite or Business class. We have already booked for Vietnam by TUI Dreamliner (Premium Club) for February 2020!

2019 - Mexico - Circue du Soleil Big Top
2019 - Cirque Du Soleil - Margaitas
2019 - Riviera Maya - Cirque du Soliel - Music to Dine To

2019 - Mexico - Circue du Soleil Big Top


2019 - OMR - A Happy Cheers

2019 - Cirque Du Soleil - Margaritas


2019 - Cirque du Soleil - Joya and Grandad

2019 - Riviera Maya - Cirque du Soliel - Music to Dine To

2019 - OMR - A Final Happy Cheers

2019 - OMR - A Happy Cheers
2019 - Cirque du Soleil - Joya and Grandad
2019 - OMR - A Final Happy Cheers

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