June 7 – Sunday
The flight went great and the Lomas rep was waiting at the airport for our non-stop transfer. Our room was not ready upon arrival at 11AM so one of the employees showed us to the snack bar so we could eat and get something to drink. When we were able to check in we received a free upgrade from a standard room to a Select Club Deluxe Room
The Select Club (for adults only) has a separate check-in/reception area. In the Select Club area there are 3 room categories – 1) “Superior”, which is a standard room, 2) “Deluxe” which includes a Jacuzzi tub and 3) “Penthouse” category, but I was not able to see that room in any of the sections. The Select Club offers many extra amenities; for example, 1) SC only pool and La Jungla, an a la carte restaurant (breakfast and lunch only), 2) Oceanfront Club House, serves premium liquor, has light dessert type snacks, board games and free wi-fi, 3) private concierge and check-in. They are working on free wi-fi in the room in this section and it should be completed later this year.
The Royal Elite Ocean Front area offers beachfront penthouse rooms and additional amenities. Some of the amenities are 1) discounts on the spa, golf, wine, room upgrades, transfers and romantic dinners, 2) free wi-fi in room, 3) 24 hour room service, 4) premium bar selection, 5) unlimited a la carte dinners, 6) Royal Elite Beach Club and 7) Royal Elite Pool with waiter service. This is the newest build on the property and is very upscale looking. This category also accommodates families.
After a quick dip in the adult’s only pool and a nap we headed out to have dinner and explore the property. Along the way (the first of MANY times we got lost!) we happened into the Xcalacoco Facilities – a special Mayan natural area. It was here we saw a “Jesus Walker” in the wild (a small lizard that runs on its hind legs and can “walk” on water). We also witnessed a Mayan ritual where a woman was blindfolded and standing bare foot near a small cenote while another woman chanted to music and danced around her with sage. The spa offers a selection of healing Mayan treatments as well as other spa treatments. There was also a Temazcal (indigenous steam bath [igloo] with aromatic grasses) in this area.
We stopped to watch the Spider Monkeys, which was super cool! I have seen monkeys in the wild before but they seemed so at ease on this property. Even the workers would stop whatever they were doing to allow “nature” to take its course. We saw many raccoons and coatis on the property as well. The habitat allowed these animals to root around in their own natural area and they really didn’t disturb the guests. Of course, there were still those guests that tried to hand feed them!
June 8 – Monday
We ate at the Select Club La Jungla then met the Sales Manager, Alex Martinez G., for a quick tour of the property. It was the first time I had a personalized tour and it was great asking a ton of questions. After meeting the onsite Wedding Coordinator, Marine Gautier-Larret, then eating lunch at La Jungla (the fish and chicken here were very good), we plopped into a lounge chair at the Select Club pool for a couple hours. Since I LOVE to walk the beach we headed there next. The beach was very sea-weedy, as has been common this year. I walked along the beach then we wandered around for bit before heading back to the room to clean up for dinner. On our “lost tour” back to the room, we found the Spa and headed in to try out the facilities (free for adults only). We also browsed the shops to see what they had.
Our room was set up against the jungle so we had a lot of flowers and birds outside our balcony. Our most frequent visitor was the Yucatan Jay – a very noisy but very beautiful bird. We were serenaded late every afternoon/early evening by this bird.
Alex arranged for us to have supper at Lirios, the fish and steak restaurant. Since I normally eat fish, I thought I would try a t-bone steak. My husband had the New York Strip and loved it. Everything else we ordered was very good. We again headed down to the Oceanfront Club House and met a couple from Germany. He has family in Cuba City, WI and has been here to visit! The world sure gets smaller when you travel! We relaxed for several hours here, listening to the waves and soft music, watching the sun turn the clouds pink. This became our favorite time of each day… AND our favorite spot!
June 9 – Tuesday
We again ate at the Select Club La Jungla for a late breakfast. Today was the day for me to swim in the cenote! I was so excited!! I had my new goggles and my newly fashioned floating camera gear, ready to see what I could see and capture it. “On the way” to the cenote we got terribly lost and ended up in the Mayan natural area again. This time we decided to take a little more time to explore. We found the open space where they hold one of the other Mayan “shows”. We went through the “jungle” area which had a suspension bridge over a cenote, where we saw a couple double breasted cormorants. We watched the spider monkeys again. This time we saw a momma nursing her baby… really a precious site!
We enjoyed a couple hours at the beach. I tried to go swimming in the ocean, but there were quite a few rocks in the water and I didn’t have water shoes (and was not buying $40 water shoes at the gift shop!!). I opted to dip in the water and walk the beach a bit more. That night we had dinner at the Mediterranean Restaurant and had the best meal of our stay. I again ordered a steak and it was absolutely wonderful – along with everything else. The dessert… WOW! It was a warm chocolate lava cake with a scoop of ice cream on the top. It was heavenly!
There was a traditional Mayan story (“show”) that night on the beach in front of this restaurant. We thought we would have the best seats in the house, but you couldn’t see very well and you couldn’t hear much. It was a fantastic atmosphere though. After supper we wandered over to the Oceanfront Club Bar and chatted with our new German friends for a while. We ended up sitting there until it closed at 10PM. We tried to stay out late this night but I was ready for the cool air conditioning!
June 10 – Wednesday
By now you know the drill… ate at La Jungla and lounged by the pool. Then we headed up to the spa/jacuzzi area, a “second floor” area in the adult only pool area which we had not visited yet and decided we liked the other ones more, so we went in search of the other pools we had not seen. We first went to the Chill Pool, and because the kid’s waterpark was closed for remodeling, this pool then became the kid’s activities pool. We stayed on one end and the kids being there didn’t really bother us. They had waiter service and a non swim up bar next to the pool. As we were leaving this area, the heavens opened and it just down poured! Eventually we left the pool overhang and ran down to the Oceanfront Club Bar. Needless to say, it was busy inside so we got a drink and went to the second story lounge area. We stayed just long enough for the rain to stop then left to walk the property. It pretty much rained off and on the rest of the day/night.
We had a light meal at the snack bar and went back to the room. We napped a bit in the room before heading out for the Mexican buffet restaurant that is only open on Wednesdays. My husband decided to try one of the salsas… it was just a little hot. I could see him living out the cartoon where the guy’s head gets red, fire coming out his ears and breaking out in a MAJOR sweat! He couldn’t even eat his last chip!
We went to the theatre and watched a bit of the show – Finding Nemo/Toy Story. We had decided that we REALLY needed to see the disco so we had drinks with another couple until 11 when it opened. It definitely was the most hoppin’ disco we’ve been to in Mexico! Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay very long because we had to pack to leave the next morning.
June 11 – Thursday
Our last day… raining cats and dogs! Our transfers arrived at the hotel at 6:25AM so we didn’t have time to do anything but pack and leave for the airport. One unusual thing… the airport is under construction so when we walked through the doors of the gate to “board our plane”, we actually got put on a bus and driven out to an airplane that was not seen from inside! Since it was still raining, it was nice to get driven out there, but just a bit strange that we were already ticketed!
There were 2 specific wedding locations on this property. However, there were many other places a wedding could be held so you could always speak with the wedding planner to arrange exactly what would suit you. The first of the 2 primary locations was on the cenote where I went swimming. They have a deck area that is a very beautiful… especially if a bride likes the water but doesn’t want to be in the wind on the beach. The second location is on the beach in front of the Royal Elite Club area. This space has these really unique round balls that could be lit at night or serve as shade and a bit of a wind break during the day. You can see below how the “aisle” is lined with plants. For the wedding being held on this night they had sunflower decorations on the dinner tables and a small bar set up off to the right. At 11PM when the disco opened the guests could go right up the stairs to the disco! I was told that many local couples get married here, too.