One of the most coveted perks at Travelzoo is the Travelzoo Experience, in which Deal Experts and other employees take advantage of the same travel, entertainment and local deals we publish to our subscribers and report back on their experience.
I am a Virgin America Elevate member and when I saw that a Cancun route was added by Virgin America, I knew it was the perfect place for my first Experience.
My husband and I flew into Cancun and took a shuttle to the beautiful Fairmont Mayakoba resort in Riviera Maya, about a 30-minute drive from the Cancun airport. Once we arrived at the resort we were pleased to discover that we had been upgraded from a standard room to a deluxe casita without asking. The staff’s service was perfect from the moment we walked through the door at the Fairmont. We received blueberry iced tea while we checked in, our luggage was whisked away, and we were driven to our room on one of the resort’s many golf carts.
Our deluxe casita was on the second floor of a two-story house. The upgraded room featured marble floors throughout, a Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom, separate shower and double sinks. We also had a balcony with view of the jungle plants. It was extremely quiet, and all the trees made us feel that nobody was around for miles.
The food at the Fairmont was the highlight of the trip and was anything but typical with menus chock-full of delicious Mexican specialties and every type of salsa you could hope for. The first night we tried La Laguna Grill, named for the lagoon next to the outdoor decks where you can sit for your meal. We feasted on the tuna tartar served with avocado and a scoop of mango sorbet and then the barbacoa tacos with poblanos and corn. We enjoyed chilaquiles, chips baked with salsa and garnished with sour cream, onion and avocado, delivered by room service one lazy morning (my favorite food of the trip) and also dined on seafood on the terrace of El Puerto Restaurant and traditional tapas at Punta Bonita.
Eager to try some authentic Mayan food, we took a taxi from the hotel into Playa del Carmen and saw a fire show at the Blue Dolphin bar that involved about five performers juggling giant sticks and hoops that were lit up with flames.
Because it was 90 degrees outside every day, we spent as much time as we could in the warm ocean. We also relaxed under the umbrellas and enjoyed free treats from the hotel -- homemade popsicles and fruit salad. There was also the option to order food and drink at the beach (or pool), which we took advantage of daily. My standard order quickly became a Miami Vice, which is a combination of pina colada and strawberry daiquiri. It is obvious that we planned this trip for pure relaxation!