RIU Republica – Set to Reopen as Adults Only (I Love RIUS)

Set to Reopen: Update: Adults Only RIU REPUBLICA: This beautiful hotel´s new 501-room wing and new Splash Water World are now set to open on November 18th of this year. You’ve got the perfect Adults Only resort for an exciting, fun and party-like atmosphere.

New Riu Republica wing offer:
• New Main restaurant
• New Indian restaurant
• New “Olé” Spanish restaurant
• New “Kulinarium” restaurant
• New “Jerk” grill on the beach
• New Macao bar
• New “Coco´s Bar” on the beach
• New Aquatic bar
• New Poolside bar with plaza and stage
• New 3 swimming pools
• 501 New guestrooms
• New Splash Water World

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20 Best Overwater Bungalows in the World

I was working on an update regarding overwater bungalows when this article came out from Audrey St. Clair, which reflects the best of the best.   If interested in traveling to any of these, please message me.

20 Best Overwater Bungalows in the World

From Tahiti to the Caribbean, these are the best overwater bungalows in the world.

Staying in an overwater bungalow is one of those bucket-list items you must check off. Of the world’s 8,000 rooms over the water, we’ve rounded up the 20 best — all worthy of those long-saved dollars and precious vacation days. From the South Pacific to the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean and even Cambodia, your overwater oasis is waiting.

Overwater Bungalows: Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Formerly known as the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa, the recently refurbed Conrad Bora Bora Nui is the proud owner of two impressive superlatives. Not only does the 114-room escape sit on Bora Bora’s longest stretch of white-sand beach, but now it boasts the region’s first two-story overwater bungalows. At the 3,229-square-foot Presidential Overwater Villa, decide between lounging in the pool or on your balcony’s day bed.

 

Overwater Bungalows: Likuliku Lagoon Resort

Likuliku Lagoon Resort – Fiji

Designed specifically for couples, Likuliku Lagoon Resort (Fiji’s first resort with overwater bures) is a romantic haven of unmatched stillness. While you’re here, your mind turns to a permanent state of repose, slowly quieting as it retreats from daily woes. Fall in love all over again as you sip a Fijian Bitter from your private deck, wander up the hilltop to Jona’s Lookout or stroll along Naivaka Beach. Bula!

Overwater Bungalows: St. Regis Bora Bora

St. Regis Bora Bora

Here, even the smallest bungalows feel like mansions. Set on 44 acres of fastidiously manicured grounds, the St. Regis Bora Bora is marked by bespoke service, including a private butler as part of the standard. Add to that a restaurant by the James Beard Award-winning chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and you’re in for a once-in-a-lifetime rendezvous with stardom.

Overwater Bungalows: El Dorado Maroma

 

El Dorado Maroma – Riviera Maya, Mexico

You don’t have to travel around the world to feel like you have. At the El Dorado’s palafitos, glass-bottom floors, Jacuzzis, large decks and private infinity pools create an exotic setting for a customized getaway. Enjoy 24-hour room service, hand-delivered reading material, a tailored-to-your-taste beach picnic, an ancient Maya spa treatment — all without the jet lag.

Overwater Bungalows: Four Seasons Bora Bora

Four Seasons Bora Bora

The Four Seasons name is synonymous with luxury, and the Four Seasons Bora Bora’s 85 overwater bungalows — with walls made from volcanic stone and speckled with mother-of-pearl accents —are no exception. There’s even a washer and dryer on every boardwalk. Be sure to snorkel the resort’s Ruahatu Lagoon Sanctuary, which is exclusively accessible to Four Seasons guests. Guided by marine biologist Oliver Martin, you will learn to graft bits of coral so they can grow large enough for planting, eventually becoming a permanent part of the lagoon’s ecosystem.

Overwater Bungalows: Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani – Maldives

At Soneva Jani, the sister property to Soneva Fushi, you’ll be asked to remove your shoes on arrival — you won’t need them while you’re here. Spend your days lounging in the private pool or catamaran net and capturing Instagram-worthy moments on your own personal water slide. Come nightfall, it’s time for dinner atop the resort’s observatory at So Starstruck, where astronomer Mike Dalley regales you with stories about the constellations.

Overwater Bungalows: Manava Beach Resort & Spa

Manava Beach Resort & Spa – Moorea

Built on the bones of one of the first Bali Hai hotels, Manava Beach Resort & Spa is committed to preserving its delicate environment. By installing a coral nursery named To’a Nui, colonies of corals can regenerate in perfect ecological conditions. You’ll feel like you’re leaving a smaller carbon footprint when you take a dip in the island’s largest infinity pool and splurge for that premium overwater bungalow.

Overwater Bungalows: Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi – Maldives

Gili Lankanfushi is barefoot luxury at its best. The 45 overwater suites include the standalone Crusoe Residences and the jaw-dropping Private Reserve, accessible only by boat. From an artisanal cheese room and a chocolate cave to jungle cinema and an overwater spa, you’ll be left imagining what they could possibly think of next.

Overwater Bungalows: Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort

Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort – Moorea

Sitting at the edge of a turquoise lagoon framed by emerald-green mountains, the Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort exudes French styling and Tahitian hospitality. The 39 bungalows float over the water next to a beach that is consistently rated Moorea’s most beautiful. From snorkeling with manta rays to golf to exploring the pineapple fields via roadster, Moorea is a mecca for active travelers.

Overwater Bungalows: Rosewood Mayakoba

Rosewood Mayakoba – Riviera Maya, Mexico

Just 50 miles south of Cancun is Rosewood Mayakoba, a blissful, close-to-home escape rivaling that of the South Pacific or Maldives. Nicknamed the “Venice of Mexico,” Mayakoba is a 600-acre resort community with a labyrinth of canals linking the property’s many mangrove forests and emerald lagoons. On the boat ride to your overwater villa fashioned from Yucatan limestone, you’ll sample fresh fruit served just like the locals eat it with squeezed lime juice mixed with salt and tajin pepper. It’s the perfect precursor to the welcome tray of tequila that awaits you.

Overwater Bungalows: Vahine Island

Vahine Island – Tahiti

A distinguished Small Luxury Hotel of the World, Vahine Island sits on the tiny private island of Motu Tu Vahine. Sugar-white beaches, an underwater coral garden and stands of coconut groves set the scene at one of the region’s most intimate escapes. The hotel has just three overwater bungalows, each featuring an aquarium table that reveals the sea life that call this place home. Don’t leave Vahine without learning how to weave coconut leaves or exploring the island’s many shades of blue in a traditional Polynesian pirogue.

Overwater Bungalows: Song Saa

Song Saa – Cambodia

An escape to Song Saa comes with a deep connection to the people and environment. Don’t be surprised if you find a note outside your villa door wishing you “Souse Day,” or good day, and inviting you to dinner. The food here at the region’s first luxury resort is unparalleled (the chef even makes his own sea salt). Khmer classics meld with Western comfort food — think wok-fried seafood in kampot pepper sauce, lamb burgers and coconut crème brulee — at Vista restaurant, complete with panoramic views of the Koh Rong archipelago.

Overwater Bungalows: InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa

InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa – Tahiti

The largest luxury resort on the island of Tahiti is also the most accessible. Just five minutes from the airport, the InterContinental exudes Polynesian charm amid a haven of tropical gardens, hosting the island’s most popular traditional Tahitian dance show every Friday night at Tiare Restaurant.

Overwater Bungalows: Sandals South Coast

Sandals South Coast – Jamaica

On the heels of Sandals’ huge success with its first-ever overwater villas at Royal Caribbean in Jamaica comes the debut of 12 more — this time at Sandals South Coast. Available to book now for travel in November, the heart-shaped throng of overwater suites invites pure immersion. Don’t miss grabbing a drink (or two, or three …) at the resortbrand’s first overwater bar, Latitudes. Grab a hammock (yep, it’s overwater too!), and you’ll never want to leave.

Overwater Bungalows: Hilton Moorea Lagoon & Resort

Hilton Moorea Lagoon & Resort – Moorea

At Hilton Moorea Lagoon & Resort, you’ll find crystal-clear lagoons, mountains blanketed in green and the region’s only overwater bar. At Toatea Bar & Creperie, chef Claude Gerard dishes up more than 100 crepes a night as schools of blacktip reef sharks swim below. Try a mango daiquiri and choose from a dizzying selection of crepes before sauntering back to your overwater oasis beneath a starry night unlike you’ve ever seen.

Overwater Bungalows: St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort – Maldives

Pop open your welcome bottle of prosecco at the Overwater Regis Suite and look out the floor-to-ceiling glass doors: It’s hard to tell where your private pool ends and the ocean begins. It’s this kind of seamless luxury that defines the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort that opened in November 2016. See the artistry of the architecture in the 44 overwater villas that resemble manta rays and in the library, which mirrors the shape of a giant conch shell. The shrewd styling continues inside, where carpets depict the ripples of the lagoon and the lighting elements conjure the look of coral reefs.

Overwater Bungalows: Le Taha’a

Le Taha’a – Tahiti

Designed in authentic Polynesian style, the private-island hideaway of Le Taha’a was built seamlessly into its surrounding vegetation of bamboo groves and pandanus trees. Featuring 45 overwater suites, the region’s only Relais & Châteaux resort is just a five-minute boat ride from Taha’a Island, famous for its vanilla plantations and black-pearl farms.

Overwater Bungalows: Cocoa Island by COMO

Cocoa Island by COMO – Maldives

Cocoa Island by COMO’s 33 overwater suites mimic the style of the local dhoni boats, their gentle curves reaching out from the water in distinctive arcs. The villas are spaced 24 feet apart for the ultimate in privacy, each suite boasting its own terrace for slipping right into the lagoon below. After a day of water play, your muscles will beg for a hot river stone massage at the COMO Shambhala Retreat.

Overwater Bungalows: Le Méridien Bora Bora

Le Méridien Bora Bora

Offering epic views of Mount Otemanu, Le Méridien Bora Bora’s thatch-roof overwater bungalows feature local woven-palm walls, a canopy bed, timber floor and signature Le Méridien beds that hug you right to sleep. The resort is also home to an ecological center that focuses on preserving coral and caring for turtles, including a touch pool, museum and aquarium.

Overwater Bungalows: Sandals Grande Lucian

Sandals Grande Lucian – St. Lucia

Nine more overwater bungalows have become part of Sandals Grande Lucian’s giant’s growing inventory, along with the Caribbean’s first overwater wedding chapel. Of course, it’s hard not to be a beach bum here, with a butler-prepared spot on the sand complete with hand-delivered jerk chicken and Piton beers. But it’s worth peeling yourself away for the Helen of the West Indies. Climb the Pitons; tour the Caribbean’s only “drive-in” volcano, which erupts with sulfurous steam instead of lava; take a mineral bath; explore Diamond Botanical Gardens; and learn how rum is made at St. Lucia Distillers. The bungalows just opened for booking in May, so get one while you still can.

 

Legendary Rick’s Cafe – Negril

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Rick’s Cafe in Negril is one of Jamaica’s most famous hot spots. It’s actually a bar and restaurant, but most people go there for heart-throbbing cliff jumping, and breath-taking sunsets!

Located at the top of a 35-foot high cliff on the far west end of Jamaica, it boasts some of the best, uninterrupted, sunsets in the world!

Picture of Ricks Cafe

If you get there before sunset, your attention will without a doubt be on the people jumping the off the highest cliff (35 feet). You’ll see both men and women of all different fitness levels making it look like a piece-of-cake.

History of Rick’s Cafe

The cliff side was originally owned by a local doctor who was the son of the first Governor-General of the newly independent Jamaica. However, Rick’s Cafe was founded in 1974 by Richard Hershman. At this time Negril was pretty quiet with very few establishments, electricity, telephone or running water. Negril was always known for the wonderful seven-mile beach, however, Rick’s Cafe added another breathtaking attraction. It was the first public bar and restaurant in the area that possessed such a magnificent view of the sunset.

Unfortunately, in 1988 Hurricane Gilbert hit the island and totally destroyed Rick’s Café. The waves went as high 25 feet on the cliff and over the trees. Rick’s Cafe was soon rebuilt but Hurricane Ivan hit in 2004 and destroyed it again. Waves from Hurricane Ivan went as high as 60 to 80 feet. Once Hurricane Ivan passed, Rick’s Cafe came back bigger and even better.

Visited by my Co-Worker Trish TheTravelGal

Trish’s Visit to Royalton – Negril

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A warm reception and chilled cocktail set the tone for the perfect vacation at Royalton Negril, complete with modern room appointments, reservation-free dining at more than six restaurants plus entertainment for any age. Sitting on a breathtaking clear water beach, this resort masterfully blends Jamaica’s unique culture with a luxury product featuring top quality service, great attention to detail and exceptional personalized service.

Royalton Negril is comprised of 3 distinct sections, each one unique to our guests’ needs and vacation styles. Choose from the Resort or Diamond Club™ sections, or enjoy the ultimate luxury in the adults-only vacation oasis at Hideaway at Royalton Negril.

All-In Luxury®
Discover elegantly styled rooms and a heavenly night’s rest atop the Royalton signature DreamBed™ mattress. Wake each morning and enjoy in-suite coffee or tea stations, breakfast served to you by gourmet room service and your own private balcony or terrace, promised in each room. In the afternoons, get active with non-motorized water sports or beach volleyball, savor all-inclusive food and drink before nightfall, when each evening a different show is put on to entertain each and every guest.

Imagine a premium, handcrafted bed specifically designed with you in mind. Royalton Luxury Resorts created the DreamBed™ for guests to experience the absolute in comfort and support from the moment you go to bed until you wake up totally refreshed. Return from your luxury vacation well-rested.

Hypoallergenic sealant
30% more pocketed coils, all double tempered for durability
Patented “Solo Split” system to prevent motion transfer
Zoned support with firmer coils around the head, sides, foot and middle of the bed
A 3″ high density convoluted foam Euro-top

Unlimited reservation-free dining 24/7
All drinks – domestic beer, cocktails and select international brands
24-hour room service
Premium handcrafted DreamBed™
Unlimited free calls to North America and parts of Europe
USB charging station and Bluetooth audio station

Ceiling mounted rain shower
Satellite television
24-hour concierge service
Sports Event Guarantee
Weekly themed pool & beach parties
Non-motorized water sports
Fitness centre
Free resort-wide Wi-Fi

Elevate your vacation to the next level with All-In-Connectivity™, a signature component of All-In Luxury®. Discover the convenience of free Wi-Fi throughout the entire resort for all your devices; so you can post on every social network, stay caught up on your favorite season, or send important emails – no matter where you are on the resort.

Free Wi-Fi throughout the entire resort – from the lobby to the beach
Unlimited free in-room calling to North America and most of Europe
Convenient USB charging outlets and Bluetooth audio stations in your room
Free Royalton app for unlimited free calling plan from your mobile device while on the property

Innovative bracelet key cards gives you effortless suite access and a convenient means to handle on-resort purchases

SPORTS EVENT GUARANTEE
Never miss an important game again! Rest assured sports fans, our Sports Event Guarantee™ ensures that all major international matches and important sporting events are broadcast at the resort. Did you pack your jersey? Head over to SCORE Sports Bar & Lounge for premium drinks and traditional pub food. Watch your favourite sports events on any of the flat-screen TVs and experience it as if you were there.

RESERVATION-FREE DINING
Our All-In Luxury® feature of unlimited reservation-free dining was created to provide guests with a range of gourmet culinary experiences that easily adapts to any vacation schedule. Choose from any of our a la carte restaurants and try a new exquisite dish every night of your holiday through this innovative feature that allows you to dine where you want, on the night you choose.

INTRODUCING – ALL NEW ROYALTON FIT
Stay healthy and fit during your All-In Luxury® vacation. Royalton Luxury Resorts comes with the latest fitness equipment so you can maintain your exercise routine wherever you are vacationing! We provide a variety of fitness programs and classes that cater to your every wellness need; whether its cardio training, weight lifting, or a fun and energetic Zumba class. Achieve your wellness goals during your luxury vacation!

by my Co-Worker, Trish-TheTravelGal

Why Should You Use A Travel Specialist?

“Without a Travel Agent, You’re on Your Own”

What is the role of the travel agent and how has it changed?
Travel agents work hard on behalf of the consumer. The role of a travel agent is to make a trip – whether for work or pleasure – a stress-free and memorable experience. Travel agents spend time not only booking tickets and searching for affordable prices, but also personalizing their services for individual clients. “Without a Travel Agent, You’re on Your Own,” exemplifies the importance and way professional travel agents view their role in today’s changing market. The job of a travel agent has grown and adapted to reflect the changes within the travel industry and the difference in the way people think about travel. Travel agents recognize that consumers today have done their homework and are more knowledgeable about what they want. Clients who turn to a travel agent desire an in-depth, personal approach and want the advice and expertise of a professional.

In January, the television news magazine, 20/20, reported the results of a test in which travel agents beat consumers at uncovering the best airfares. However, it is much more than the “lowest fare” that provides the compelling argument for a good travel agent.

The best thing an agent can do is to match up a traveler with the vacation that’s right for them. The professional travel consultant builds relationships with their clients to learn their interests and lifestyles, as well as their dispositions.

Below is a list of some of the important services, which are either provided free or for a nominal charge, by travel agents:

1. Distilling the product information: Through an on-going and time-consuming process of familiarization, continuing education and customer feedback, the agent becomes a travel expert.

2. Investigating and supplying competitive information: No single supplier is going to advise a consumer that a better route or a better fare is available on a competing carrier.

3. Staying abreast of the most current and timely promotions: Via daily faxes, agent-only e-mail transmissions, and their relationships with their district sales managers, agents are obtaining the most current promotional information.

4. Analyzing the current promotions: The cheapest is not always the best.

5. Clarifying the fine print, such as cancellation penalties and restrictions: Again, the benefits of a professional’s experience can save a traveler money . . . and headaches.

6. Making recommendations for travel-related options: Travel agents share the experience and knowledge they accumulate about a variety of travel topics – from where to eat, where to shop and what to pack.

7. Simplifying the research and subsequent transaction: Like a personal shopper, agents can provide one-stop shopping for travelers who require air arrangements, rental cars, cruise accommodations and hotel stays – with suggestions that are in the best interest of the client, not the supplier.

8. Enhancing the trip with value-added benefits and amenities: Agents can add to the client’s experience by sending a bottle of wine, providing a special land package, a specific escort or other customer amenities.

9. Using their clout to obtain the best possible in seemingly impossible situations: Whether it’s airline seats, hotel rooms or cruise space, the travel agent has more buying power than the consumer.

10. Getting problems resolved: The agent serves as the consumer’s advocate in the event something inadvertently goes wrong.

What are the benefits of using a travel agent compared to the Internet?
The Internet can be a powerful tool. It can increase the scope and reach of a consumer’s efforts and allow a person to check hundreds of options or research destinations in depth. But to make the Internet work effectively, a person has to understand where to look and what questions to ask, otherwise hours can be wasted surfing the Web and ultimately produce unsatisfactory results. This is where a travel agent can make a world of difference.

A professional travel agent is trained to guide a client through the entire process of planning a trip, whether for business or for leisure. Travel agents take classes, participate in seminars, become destination specialists and join professional associations in order to ensure they make each client’s travel experience as personalized, convenient and memorable as possible. When planning a business trip or family vacation, the Internet can be a valuable resource, but it cannot replace the expertise and guidance of a travel agent. Also, during travel crises, the Internet can’t replace a human being who will persist to help a client get restitution.


Will the Internet replace the need for travel agents?
There are some things technology cannot replicate, and the personal touch is one of them. The Internet is a valuable resource, but it cannot replace the expertise, guidance and personal service of a travel agent. At a time when travelers are stressed out with hectic schedules, travel agents have all of the information at their fingertips, saving valuable hours of surfing on the Web. Agents also can offer insider tips based on personal experience.

With the dozens of online travel sites and the ability to book directly with almost any airline, hotel or other travel service, it would seem that travel agents might go the way of the dinosaurs. The American Society of Travel Agents, though, reports travel agents sell 85 percent of all cruises and 70 percent of all packages and tours, as of 2008. Agents are still in demand, and offer plenty of benefits when you are booking your vacation.

Do travel agents charge service fees? How much? How has this changed? I DO NOT CHARGE A FEE FOR MY SERVICES
Most do charge fees. Since 1998, the number of agencies charging service fees on one or more product line has increased from 64 percent to more than 91% percent in 2009. The most common fee charged is a service fee for airline ticket procurement services. On average, travel agencies charge their customers $36 for providing this service. Agencies also often charge fees for other services such as trip research, Amtrak, car rental and hotel-only reservations.

What percentage of airline tickets, rental cars, cruises and hotel rooms are sold by travel agents?
When it comes to booking travel, travel agents are experienced professionals. Travel agents sell:
85 percent of cruises
70 percent of all tours and packages
50 percent of all airline tickets
30 percent of all hotels
25 percent of all car rentals

Time and Money Savings
Sometimes, spending hours on the computer searching for the best travel deals gets you results — and other times, it just leads to frustration. When you work with a travel agent, she does that legwork, searching out the travel options that best meet your needs and budget. In most cases, travel agents have access to information about rates and routes that average consumer might not have, saving you time and money, even when you consider the agent’s fee. Using a travel agent can also help you score a great deal on a package or promotion. Agents generally receive information and access to promotions from resorts, cruise lines and other travel providers that aren’t available to the general public.

Travel Assistance
You’re en route to a Caribbean cruise a when a snowstorm in Detroit delays your flight in Philadelphia. If you booked your travel through an agent, you can call him to get assistance with rebooking your travel arrangements. When you book through an online travel site, you might not be able to get that level of personalized attention, or you could have trouble finding someone who can help you get where you need to be. If something goes wrong when you arrive at your destination, such as your room is unacceptable or the transportation to the resort never shows up, your travel agent can usually resolve those problems.

Travel Recommendations
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to take a cruise, but you’re not sure which cruise line is best for you or where you want to go. Maybe you want to take the kids to Disney World, but you’re having trouble navigating the endless array of ticket and package options. A travel agent can help. Many travel agents specialize in a particular type of travel, such as cruises, Disney or Europe, and are able to make recommendations and help you plan a trip that meets your needs and budget. Their inside knowledge helps you avoid wasting time and money on the things you’re not interested in, and lets you focus instead on taking the trip.

Perks
Travel agents who book a high volume of trips often have access to perks that you might not be able to get on your own. Whether it’s a room upgrade, a fee waiver or even reservations at a hot resort or on a popular tour, travel agents often add perks into your vacation plan. If you are planning a trip for a special occasion, such as a marriage proposal, a travel agent has access to the resources and people who can help you plan the perfect event.

Riu Palace Las Americas – Cancun

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Cancun Mexico

One of my favorite places in all the world, Cancun!   Ahhhh, the beaches and ocean and fishes (I love diving) that I call home away from home.   Have even considered relocating to Cancun many times.

This time I got to take my Aunt Mary Ellen, who had only ever been on cruises, never to an all inclusive, and now, she’s a convert to the world of all inclusive vacations.

Cancún (Spanish pronunciation: [kaŋˈkun]) is a coastal city in Mexico‘s easternmost state, Quintana Roo, on the Yucatán Peninsula. As a rapidly growing city with a quickly changing skyline, the estimated population for Cancún is 705,000 in 2010, a 20% increase from the census in 2005. Cancún is located on the Yucatan Channel that separates Mexico from the island of Cuba in the Greater Antilles. The Cancún region is sometimes known as the Mexican Caribbean or the Mayan Riviera.

Cancún is the municipal seat of the Benito Juárez municipality and a world-renowned balneario and tourist resort. The city center is located on the mainland which connects the Nichupté and lagoons to a narrow 7-shaped island where the modern beachfront hotels are located in the tourist centric hotel zone.

RIU Palace Las Americas:

Like being at a Palace  🙂    Just a few from around the resort

This was a personal yacht that was anchored out between Cancun and Isla Mujeres all week.  It was really beautiful all lit up at nite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These were being painted by a finger, yes, a finger, at the resort!

One of the restaurants, during lunch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chichen Itza, Mayan Ruins

600 AD

encounter with the Maya, at Chichén Itzá. About 120 miles…glory days of the Maya, about 600 AD..Cortes. Unlike Chichén Itzá’s flat jungle …

1000 AD

It is generally believed that the Toltecs invaded Chichen Itza and the Yucatan in about the year 1000 AD, conquering the Maya and installing new …

Chichen Itza was a center of pilgrimage for the ancient Maya for over 1,000 years. The Sacred Cenote (a large natural well or limestone sink hole) was holy to the ancient Rain God “Chac”.

About 987 the ruler of the Toltec people of central Mexico came here, and with his Maya allies made Chichen Itza the most powerful city in the Yucatan. The ruler called himself “Kukulcan”, the name of the Mesoamerican Feathered Serpent deity (also known as “Quetzalcoatl”) and Chichen Itza became a center for worship of that god as well. More buildings were built here in a mixture of Maya and Toltec styles.

About 1221 the Maya revolted against the rulers of Chichen Itza. The city was not abandoned, but as political power shifted elsewhere it declined and no major new buildings were constructed. Chichen Itza remained a place of pilgrimage for the Maya until it was conquered by the Spanish Conquistadors in the 16th century.

The structures of Chichen Itza were overgrown with jungle and slowly decayed until major archaeological projects began in the 1920s. Since then, more of the ancient structures have been cleared and restored and more and more tourists come to visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IK Kil, Cenote

Close to Chichen Itza the “Sacred Blue Cenote”, is a well-type cenote with waterfalls. The lush jungle like environement of hanging vines and waterfalls make it the perfect place to cool down after experiencing the magic of Chichen Itza.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adults Only Luxury – Hyatt Zilara Cancun

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Update 12/6/14 to reflect personal photos from Swim Up Suites, see below.

One of my very favorite resorts of all time:   The Adults Only Hyatt Zilara

The amenities are much too many to even list, it just goes on and on, even down to a guy that comes around the pool all day every day and cleans your sunglasses for you, and brings you skewers of frozen grapes!   A 24/7 bakery where you can get lattes and desserts, a 24/7 sports bar with snacks and ping pong and pool, all their meats are cooked in front of you while you watch, several specialty restaurants, a big 32 inch flat screen tv with a woofer on it for sound, which rotates so that you can watch it on the balcony, a huge in room jacuzzi looking out over the ocean, the shower has like 8 shower heads in it including a rain shower, stocked fridge and premium brand liquors in the room, a ‘smart butler’ service for room service, they don’t come in your room, they put it in a door in the wall at your door and turn on a light so you know it’s there, and you reverse that when finished, HUGE beach!  It just goes on and on, I was just amazed even myself.    

This is a FANTASTIC resort.   The amenities are so many it’s almost impossible to mention them all, starting with a massive stretch of beach looking out over gorgeous teal waters and, close to the airport.   A few of the things that fascinated me, and these are only a few, of so many:

A guy that comes around the pool all day every day and cleans your sunglasses for you and brings you skewers of frozen grapes!

A 24/7 bakery where you can get lattes and desserts

A 24/7 sports bar with snacks and ping pong and pool

All their meats are cooked in front of you while you watch

Several specialty restaurants

A big 32 inch flat screen tv with a woofer on it for sound, in each room, which rotates so that you can watch it on the balcony

A huge in room jacuzzi looking out over the ocean

The showers has 6-8 shower heads, including a rain shower

Stocked fridge and premium brand liquors in the room

A ‘smart butler’ service for room service, they don’t come in your room, they put it in a door in the wall at your door and turn on a light so you know it’s there, and you reverse that when finished

It just goes on and on, I was just amazed even myself and I’ve been to Cancun MANY times

Wonderful spa services, and each day they give free samples massages around the pool

Beach Cabana beds all around the pool and the beach, enough for everyone and with some room categories, you get one assigned specifically to you.

This resort has a variety of room categories, including swim up rooms in blocks of 4 and these have their own pools so they don’t have to come into the main pool, unless they want to; Premium Oceanview  and Premium Oceanfront Suites (Double and Kings), as well as Swim Up Suites.  Corner Suites with wrap around balconies, a hammock, table, and chairs on every balcony; and every room looks out over the ocean.  They also have a great pilates area, full state of the art gym, a 5 jacuzzi therapy system, each one designed to stimulate a different body portion; furnishings are incredible!

SWIM UP SUITES:

You get all of the VIP Privileges of the resort, and are one category below the Ambassador Suite. There are a limited number of the Swim Ups and they include everything all of the other categories have, plus top shelf liquors (such as Don Julio), the rain shower and massage shower, plus a steam shower, all of the spa facilities, and more. They also have a WII playstation, bose sound system, Ipod/iPhone dock, flat screen TV, DVD player, munchies, coke products, and more.

You step down from your balcony into your personal, private, heated infinity pool (only shared with 3 other swim ups in your bank of rooms), two chairs and a table in the water on your pedestal, and bartender service.

Here are a few personal photos, please pardon a few personal items in them.

This is the view looking out from the swimups to the resort and beach:

2nd Vanity, closets (in-room safe, ironing board, iron, umbrella, robes and slippers inside)

Looking down into the room from the upper level where the sofa and office is

In room jacuzzi.  When those blinds are open, you look out over the beach and ocean

Looking out the sliding doors.    There’s also a huge hammock on the balcony, and, they will bring you special dinners there.

Also a comfy chair and a personal telescope for star gazing!

Looking up from the lower level

Additional premium brands.    More are in the dispenser in the cabinet.   Also, a personal coffee maker, and, a personal expresso machine

Looking towards the door from the upper level

Rain shower, 4 massaging jets, phone head, and, steam sauna, large enough for two people, with a built in sauna seat.  The window looks out into the room and out to the ocean

iTunes dock, loaded with music already

Looking down the resort from the water

Looking up towards the room from the private pool

Nice little greeting!

Looking down onto your personal pedistal and chairs

View of beach from sitting in your sun chair

They also do a LOT of weddings here, and they take care of everything.

These are my personal photos and video, below.

Infinity Pool

All rooms have a huge jacuzzi and a hammock and furniture on every balcony

A double room, called the Jr. Oceanview Suite

Corner Suite:

Watching this wonderful wedding was so much fun.   They were a really fun group

One of the Beach weddings

Turtle Nests

 

 

 

Getting ready for a private dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 hour pastry-coffee shop

Pelicano’s, by the Ocean!