Wondering where to go for your next vacation? This is how I spent my 27th in Quintana Roo– relaxed, entertained and oh, so loved!
Riu Palace Peninsula was our home for the weekend. It’s so huge that you can see it from Isla Mujeres… Trust me, you can’t miss it! You’ll be greeted with welcome drinks at check-in. Everything in the hotel has a purple accent, which compliments the ambiance of the resort. It has seven outdoor pools with a bar in the main one. You’d be steps away from a private beach– hammocks EVERYWHERE, but if you don’t get so lucky, there are plenty of beach beds for everyone. All-inclusive passes are a MUST so you won’t have surprises later. Seriously, even if you lose your job before the vacation, at least you can be sure that you’ll have a blast. You won’t have a reason to leave.
All-inclusive pass includes:
- All you can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet.
- 5 3-course specialty restaurants (unlimited orders).
- Snacks 24/7.
- Sports bar 24/7.
- Café bars 24/7
- Bottomless drinks 24/7.
- 2-seater catamaran (training not included).
Day 1: Admin Day
Assigning the first day of your stay at any resort to be your admin day really pays off. You can get to know the area and take advantage of everything it offers without rushing into fun and missing other cool things.
We arrived at noon at the Cancún International Airport. The drive to the Riu hotel is 30 minutes with a taxi. And just in case you were wondering, no, it’s not dangerous to take one, but do ask more than one for prices!
What did I learn Day one?
- Specify that you are going to Riu Palace Peninsula because there are several, smaller Riu resorts.
- Check-in is ALWAYS at three! Even if they tell you that it might be sooner, plan for 3 p.m. Your baggage can be left near the check-in desk and delivered once you pick up your room key.
- If you’re staying for your birthday, let them know at check-in ;).
- Thursday is lobster buffet day! But, if you miss it, the hotel has a seafood specialty restaurant that you can dress up for as part of the all-inclusive.
- To eat inside of the hotel, Riu will ask to cover up. A see-through is enough.
- Ferries are available to Isla Mujeres. The ticket booth is five minutes walking distance left of the Hotel (facing the street). Just behind that booth, you can find a catamaran ride, Adventure Bay Cancún-México, to the same island but with drinks and lunch included as well as snorkeling.
Day 2: Got the party started!!
After spending our evening eating at the hotel and getting to know the pools and outdoor areas, we decided to get to know the city a little more on our second day…
The ‘party street’ is only seven minutes in a taxi, but once there, you’ll be able to do your shopping: souvenirs, hygiene, restaurants, and bars. The place I’d recommend most for personal fashion shopping is Plaza La Isla just three minutes farther!
What to do at ‘party street’?
- Señor Frogs- This is the tackiest, most fun bar/restaurant you’ll ever go to, but it’s a MUST!
- Coco Bongo- The dancers from this club also dance at night events at Riu Palace Peninsula. They are AMAZING!
- Taco Factory- Obviously
- Pizzeria Hooka Lounge
- Hard Rock Café
- Supermarket Grocery Store
- Oxxo- Mexican gas station
- Sunglass Island
- Mexican handcraft stores
… And much, MUCH more.
Day 3: Winding down
Not going to Isla Mujeres wasn’t an option, so we booked a catamaran trip for our last day. This was my tan day, and boy did it hurt! The meeting area was just behind a full-service restaurant called Marina Chac Chi where we got two much-needed espressos before the ride. Cancún Bay is very punctual. We left at 9 a.m. and were back by 5 p.m. The catamaran stops twice– the first time is just for fun, to walk around and shop, and the second is a 20 minute ride to lunch! Word of advice? Take tons of sunscreen lotion and Aloe Vera just in case.
Any surprises? Of course!
- I became sea sick 2 hours in, but it only lasted an hour.
- Because you’re in a catamaran, shoes are not permitted but needed when you get off. You’ll have to put them in a sack.
- Getting back on the catamaran after snorkeling is a bit slippery, so watch your step!
- For now, there are several hotels and restaurants under construction. Because of this, the island can look a little incomplete, but what is there now is still neat, not to mention the lunch that’s included, 100% natural seafood!
After going back to the hotel, Sexy Papasito and I got dolled up for a fancy champagne dinner at the Riu. You don’t realize how much you need to dress up until you’ve been sweating all day! It was the perfect last day.
Day 4: Buh Bye Can-City
By this day, I had my clothes EVERYWHERE. We woke up around 8 a.m. While I packed my clothes, my boyfriend took advantage of kayaking and the individual-size catamaran to make up for not working out. I finished souvenir shopping at the hotel shop. Of course, we wanted our photos of the trip that the professional photographers took with the props, so we paid the photo store a visit and couldn’t decide out of so many!
Check out is at noon, like most hotels, so we went back upstairs to finish everything up. Our flight back home didn’t leave until 6 p.m. and with this being a common case for travelers, Riu accommodates as well. We left our bags in a room behind check-in and kept our all-inclusive bracelets with us for the time being. That day they were preparing grilled paddies by the main pool and bar, so we basically ate by the pool for the last 2 hours that we were there. The hotel provides showers on the first floor for those who don’t have a room, so we freshened up and CIAO!
Needless to say, I loved the entire stay!