Ancient worlds and modern luxuries combine to stunning effect in Cancun.
Do you have a special birthday or anniversary next year?
Well, 2015 is the designated ‘year of Mexico’ and I’ve found the perfect resort for your special occasion.
I visited Cancun in the Yucatan Peninsula and stayed at a resort that really took my breath away.
Situated close to the amazing Mayan ruins of Chichin Iza, Tulum and Coba, it’s a wonderful place to relax for a week.
The peninsula was home to one of the most sophisticated cultures in history: the Maya. Great observers of the stars, they were also incredible architects, mathematicians and artists.
They built tall temples decorated with the faces of their gods and constructed cities which had remarkably advanced water conservation systems.
250 to 900AD was the zenith of the Maya civilisation and it is the ruins from this period that you can visit from Cancun.
Situated along a white sand beach on Mexico’s stunning Caribbean coast, the all-inclusive Grand Velas Riviera Maya is fringed by lush, tropical Yucatan jungle.
The resort is divided into three sections, each with a distinct atmosphere:
The exclusive Grand Class adult-only area of the resort was where I was lucky enough to hang my hat. It’s designed for optimal privacy and features 90 ocean-view suites with private plunge pools. Ridiculously opulent if this is the BIG holiday, go for it!
The Ambassador family-friendly area of the resort has suites conveniently located around the main infinity pool and near the kids’ club and gym.
The Zen Grand Section is located less than a mile from the beach and surrounded by Mayan jungle. This is also family-friendly.
Within the hotel you can access several pools, five fine dining restaurants, three casual restaurants, three snack bars, a karaoke and sports bar, a fitness centre, water sports, plus a spa, beauty centre and various shops.
It’s like a city all of its own.
The restaurants range from gourmet Mexican, Asian and French to ‘molecular cuisine’.
In case that’s not enough, there’s also an Italian.
The spa is simply one of the finest I’ve seen anywhere in the world and, in common with everything else in the hotel, it’s huge!
Built on a beautiful ‘cenote’ (fresh water sinkhole), the 89,000 sq ft spa is surrounded by lush jungle.
Treatments include an hour-long water journey designed around the spa’s seven hydrotherapy facilities, while key amenities include a steam room, clay room, experience showers, whirlpool and a Polar pool.
The excursions I took included The Tour Tulum and Xel-H.
Offered by Experiencias Xcaret, it costs US$149 and is designed especially for tourists to learn more about the Mayan culture and admire the beauty of the beach.
At Tulum, you will find a very special Mayan city.
At Xel-H, you can eat, drink and snorkel all you want, have fun with the different aquatic activities or simply relax in a hammock admiring the landscape of this natural wonder.
The highlight though was Coba, one of the highest pyramids in Yucatan at 42 metres tall.
The site at Coba haswell-preserved white stone roads called ‘sacbe’ and is located deep in the jungle.
It is less commercialised than Tulum and Chichen Itza but is well worth the two-hour drive.
Cost is £1,995 with Virgin Holidays, including scheduled flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick to Cancun, all-inclusive accommodation and transfers. Price is per person basedon two sharing a Zen Grand Suite, on a departure of February 24, 2015. To book, visit virginholidays.co.uk, phone 0844 557 3859 or visit one of the 110 stores located in Debenhams and House of Fraser nationwide. For more information, visit rivieramaya.grandvelas.com.