Memorable Mother & Daughter Mexico Getaway
by Susan Campbell
I’ve traveled extensively around the Caribbean with my adult daughter Jessica, but since she’d never been to Mexico, I decided that it was time she see some of my favourite spots south of the border. And her 28th birthday was looming, so I planned a two-pronged stay throughout the Cancun/Riviera Maya /Tulum region with some exciting adventures along the way. We stayed at two different Dreams brand resorts- both very different in design and vibe-but both family-friendly all-inclusive. All Dreams resorts feature a trademark Unlimited Luxury ® program which is a comprehensive offering of food, drink, activities and amenities with reservation-free dining and multiple themed restaurants as well as 24/7 room service, pool and beach service and much more. And a bonus is that you don’t have to wear those tacky wristbands! Also a big bonus is that all Dreams Resorts offer free unlimited Wi-Fi and local and international calling through their complimentary Unlimited Connectivity ® program. Basically, everything you can think of is covered.
Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa
Our first stay was at the Dreams near Puerto Morelas- a small fishing village and a much less developed tourist region than Cancun. The resort is on its own beach – a gorgeous strand of powder white sand cresting clear, aqua waters. If I could only use two words to describe this complex, they might be: “waterbaby heaven”. There were so many spots to get wet!
Beyond the beach, there’s a massive infinity pool circuit and pool bar. There are also outside whirlpools. Then there’s the spa- a South Pacific style affair with thatched huts and winding water circuits with outdoor waterfalls and multiple hydrotherapy options. And though there are some swim-out suites with private dipping pools, we opted for the Preferred Club tower suites with whirlpool tub and private Jacuzzi on the balcony. I am so glad we did. The sea views from that balcony tub where spectacular, especially at sunset. Add champagne ( included ) and we really were in waterbaby heaven!
Other highlights we enjoyed include the gorgeous lobby bar- the design is incredibly exotic and it overlooks a massive eco-walking trail and features live entertainment at night. We also loved the Pan Asian restaurant Himitsu- one of many themed spots; the Hibachi chef was a fabulous entertainer. But we found the cuisine all around was excellent, even at the beach bars, and the service was always above and beyond. My daughter is vegan, and that can often make dining out at these types of resorts a challenge, but they always went out of their way to ensure she had flavourful and interesting choices even if they weren’t on the menu. Overall, we had a wonderful time, and even though I typically prefer adult-only resorts, this place has lots of escape spots where adults can lounge in peace.
Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa
Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa- For our second stay, I chose the Dreams at Tulum near the famous ruins. It also has a glorious white sand beach, and lots of daybeds with beach service, and a cool pool with pool bar but it’s very different from the other resort in design. This one centers on its own recreation of a colonial style village replete with a functional chapel where couples can wed, and a charming, colourful courtyard. Beyond the village, this is a sprawling resort on its own 44 acres of forest and gardens, and the spa is also unique as it’s located within the jungle part and offers rainforest style private retreats.
Local culture is well represented there in the décor and entertainment, and we really enjoyed the alfresco Mexican dining spot by the sea- food was authentic and drinks were divine. Again, we stayed in a Preferred Club suite in a hacienda style villa, but though it didn’t offer sea views, it made up for it with a private hammock on the deck that led onto its own swim-out channel- very cool. And the beach was only a short walk away.
Again, the food and service was great all round–but what also stood out for me was how committed this resort was to operating green. They are recipients of numerous eco awards including the prestigious and hard won Certificate of Environmental Quality in Tourism by PROFEPA.
Awesome Adventures: Soaking up so much sunshine, liquid luxury and gourmet food was rejuvenating and really gave us a chance to reconnect girl’s getaway style, but I also wanted Jessica to see more of the region beyond the resorts. So we also visited Xel-Ha eco-park- a natural wonder where the underground rivers rise up to meet the sea. It is an incredibly beautiful oasis. But though we had an excellent time snorkelling there and trying the cool new zip-line bikes where you pedal your way through the treetops of the rainforest, we didn’t realize just how massive this park was and how much it had to offer. Half a day is nowhere near enough to really explore and enjoy it all, so we will have to return.
Getting Around: Amstar DMC is always my very first choice of transfers from the airport, as well as for transportation around Mexico. I also trust them to book the best tours and activities using the most dependable and professional operators available, and they have never disappointed. And their drivers have always been first-rate, professional, on time, and well informed about the region, and their vehicles modern, well maintained, air-conditioned and comfortable. I highly recommend them.
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