Monday, February 27, 2012
I venture to Old Mexico to have a working vacation
I’ve been having a streak of good luck lately. After almost four years, the gremlins who rejoice in taking my stuff and then suddenly placing it right in front of me, decided it was time to give me back my gold earrings. I got in line at the airport just in time to score the last three business class seats for a mere $40.00 each, and I arrived at the lovely all inclusive resort, the Ocean Coral and Turquesa, Riviera Maya Mexico.
Disembarking from the plane, navigating immigration and customs are pretty much the same everywhere. Long lines of people excited to begin their trip, not paying attention to signage or instructions from the personnel, it’s the pre vacation shuffle. But, when I finally walked through the door from the bleak Detroit pre dawn and snowy morning into the riot of color, light and noise that is Mexico, I was immediately energized.
The beauty of an all inclusive resort is of course .’everything is included’ which in reality means everything is done in large quantities to accommodate as many guests as possible at one time to maximize effiency (and lets be honest profit as well), The ‘shared airport transfer’ is no exception. It’s a bus plain and simple. However how a guest is treated on the bus certainly sets the tone for the visit. I booked my trip through Apple Vacations. Their representatives were easily identifiable in their tropical floral shirts, and once we approached they quickly took our bags and got us situated on the correct bus by property. Once on the road a representative barely had time to explain the check in process and we had arrived at the first resort- the Now Sapphire (another resort I recommend, and I have to say the grounds were as lovely as I expected. I will be touring the property during my stay). Those who were staying at that resort were quickly off loaded and we arrived at the Ocean Coral and Turquesa five minutes later - literally 20 minutes from the time we left the airport.
Check in was pretty painless. We had chosen the Prividge package (ocean view junior suite, secluded area of the resort, priority dining reservations) so we were met by Joaquin, our conceirage for the duration. Our rooms weren’t ready so Joaquin took us on a tour of the property. It was definitely the single most helpful thing he could have done. Everyone has gone on a cruise or to a resort and it is only when you are ready to leave you can easily find things. The Ocean Coral has several pools. One ‘quiet’ pool located in our section of the resort. A larger pool with fountains and the built in tile lounge chairs as well as jets and finally the activity pool the most lively of the three. We had lunch in the Marina del Mar restaurant overlooking the activities pool and by the end of lunch our rooms were ready. Our Junior suite has a nice sitting area, flat screen tv, balcony with table and chairs and more than ample storage. Our room overlooks the garden onto the ‘Quiet pool’ and over to the beach. It’s bathroom has a large tub and separate shower.
.Joaquin had made reservations for us at Los Giraloes the property’s authentic Mexican restaurant. No ‘nachos bel grande’ or ‘seven layer dip’ to be found. I enjoyed a well seasoned flank steak with rice and a three queso dip with warm tortillas. Others in my party enjoyed fajitas, a fresh local wrapped fish in a corn tortilla and beef chimichangas. The high light of the evening was Joaquin’s recommendation of ‘Mayan coffee’ A coffee beverage with kahlua, a local honey liquor and whipped cream. ( I can’t adequately describe the process, so I am posting a few photos).