Archive for the ‘mayan riviera’ Category

No Apocalypse? Head to the Mayan Riviera to Celebrate!

Dos Ojos Cenote

Dos Ojos Cenote

Well, since we all knew the world wasn’t really going to end, what better way to pretend you’re surprised and thankful than a trip to the land of the Maya? If you’re planning any spring getaway, the Riviera Maya is always a great choice. The region has cemented itself as a safe, culturally diverse and accessible region in Mexico.  Flowering with lush biodiversity, dotted with intimate hideaways within steps of the clear Caribbean Sea, and featuring gourmet restaurants serving up locally sourced fare, the Riviera Maya seems a world away, but is only a short direct flight from nearly every American city.

Here are just a few eco-chic ways couples can discover new wonders while connecting with nature and strengthening their bond, whether that’s…

Overlooking the sea and stirring up passion at an intimate hideaway, you can stay at any of the vibrant, beach boutique hotels and enjoy the drop-dead views from your room, wake up to the sunlight and the songs of tropical birds. Some ocean-front hideaways include:

o    Casa de las Olaswith sustainable practices ranging from solar powered energy and rain water collection to the use of biodegradable products;

o   Papaya Playa, a pop-up design hotel we’ve written about before, is ideal for those wishing to reconnect with nature. The hotel also features a kiteboarding school for those looking to learn a new sport.

Hartwood Tulum

Hartwood Tulum

–         Eat & Sip with a calm conscience at Hartwood TulumSet in an open-air environment, couples will enjoy the tranquil beauty of the beach under the night sky while indulging in bold flavors from local products and fresh ingredients used to prepare meals by hand. This restaurant is owned by Eric Werner, a Chef who left New York to pursue his dream in paradise.

–         Stay bee-utiful with products found only at the destination: Enjoy the benefits of honey from the native Melipona stingless bee at several spas throughout the region. Examples include: “Ritual Ixchel” at Esencia and “Honey in the Heart” signature service at Fairmont Mayakoba.

–         Awaken the senses at a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Visitors can delight the eyes with the picturesque vision of tropical species, float on mangrove-surrounded rivers while interacting with turtles and fish at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, which covers over 1.6 million acres of various ecosystems.  Other activities include sport fishing, kayak, hiking and snorkeling, while admiring 103 species of mammals, over 345 species of birds and 52 species of fish.

 So since the world isn’t ending quite yet, as Ke$ha says, might as well make the most of the night like you’re gonna die young!
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Fabu Family Eco Adventure Deal – Cancun

Whale Shark!

This just in! From June through September, hundreds of whale sharks gather in the waters just a short boat ride from the Villa del Palmar beachfront resort in Cancun – one of the top two places in the world to see these incredible ocean-dwellers. The family-friendly beach resort, which opened last December, is currently offering a Whale Shark Adventure Family Package Deal at great value, with massages included (helloooooo, Cancun!) and two children under 12 staying and eating for free.

  Whale Shark Eco Adventure Package Deal at Villa del Palmar Cancun

5 Days / 4 Nights
Seasonal (June-September) 

 

 

Villa del Palmar

Package Includes:

• 5 Days and 4 Nights in a luxurious One Bedroom Ocean View Suite
• 2 50-Minute Relaxing Massage per room, per Stay
• 10% Off additional Massages
• Up to two children under 12 stay and eat free (sharing room with their parents)
• 2 Whale Shark Tour passes
• Round Trip Transfers
• Welcome Cocktail upon arrival
• All Meals, Snacks and Beverages + Premium Brand Alcoholic Beverages
• Complimentary Internet access in your room
• 6 times daily shuttle to Downtown and Hotel Zone Shopping Centers
• Complimentary use of Water & Land Toys: Non motorized water sports
• Daily Theme Nights
• Taxes and gratuities

Price: $1,598 total package

www.villapalmarcancun.com

Boot Camp Series: Amansala’s Bikini Boot Camp


Amansala’s Bikini Bootcamp: Tulum, Mexico

The second in Jaunt Magazine’s ‘so nice it’s naughty’ Boot Camp Series, this one is bound to give you the vacation you desperately need. Add a stunning setting, eco-chic digs, chemical-free fresh food, and a Bikini-tastic agenda that will get you in gear for that balanced body right in time for summer. The best part? It won’t break the bank and you can do it alone, with friends, or a lover.

Imagine staying in Pablo Escobar’s old beachfront pad on the Mayan Riviera’s Caribbean with Melissa and Erica, two ex-New Yorkers with a flair for substance and style. Now, imagine an ocean brighter than Jude Law’s baby blues, a creative relaxing vibe, a bit of indulgence, and a naturally-fulfilling yoga bikini boot camp.

Did you imagine it?

Good.

As the site says, “Amansala was the name of Melissa’s small import company selling interesting items collected on her world travels. Taken from the two Sanskrit words ‘Peace’ and ‘Water.’ It was while Melissa toyed with the idea of starting a traveling spa, that she finally decided to create a fixed location in one of her favorite places in the world… Tulum, Mexico. After years of traveling throughout Southeast Asia and experiencing the best and the worst hotels, she wanted to create a place where people could come solo – or with their partners or friends – and have an adventure where they would meet other like-minded people, eat good healthy food, be on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and it would feel more like staying at a friends beach house than a hotel.”

I’m here to say this… my good friend at OK! Magazine swears by the place so… I’m next.

Erica, who had been working in Public Relations & Marketing in NYC, was ready for a change so when Melissa suggested she join her in her latest adventure, the two girls packed up and left the city behind. They set out for Mexico, and together, they created Amansala and Bikini Boot Camp on the beaches of Tulum, Mexico.

With beautiful white flowing fabrics, mosaics, eco-bohemian style and the comforts of staying at a plush friend’s pad in the Caribbean, Amansala is all about getting back-to-basics… in paradise.

2 hrs south of Cancun, Tulum is famous for the Mayan ruins and a relatively undiscovered paradise with pristine beaches and clear turquoise waters that will remind you to give thanks and BREATHE.

Says a recent visitor, “One of my greatest memories with Amansala was eating grilled shrimp and sipping fresh pineapple juice, barefoot on a sandy beach, surrounded by candles, a starlit sky and a small group of good company.”

Days start with a beach or jungle powerwalk followed by a combination of body sculpting, power ab sessions or pilates, and end with yoga and meditation. In between there are excursions to the nearby jungle for swimming and snorkeling in fresh water swimming holes (cenotes), visits to Mayan ruins, pampering with beach side massages, salsa lessons, Mayan Clay Treatments, plenty of agua di limon and sunshine.

Sample Itinerary
8:00-9:00 Silent Beach Walk

9:15-10:45 Exercise In Motion

10:45-11:30 Beach Body Sculpt

11:30-12:30 Free Time & Spa Services
 (yipppeee!)
12:30-1:30 Low fat, low calorie Lunch

2:00-5:00 Hike to the freshwater swimming holes (cenotes)

5:00-6:00 Gentle Yoga
 (Ommmmm….)
6:00-7:00 Meditation
7:30-8:30 Candlelight dinner

8:30-9:30 Salsa Lessons (Aye Dios Mio!)

The low fat diet consists of all local fresh food like just caught grilled fish, mangos, jicima salads and other yummy low cal selections that leave you satisfied, yet feeling lighter and cleaner.

The price for all of this back-to-basics Caribbean coast meets Mexican retreat fabulousness?
A reasonable 
$1675 plus tax and service for a grand total of $1954

($700 extra for a private room: with tax and service $818)

Price Includes:

Accommodations
All meals

2 massages

A Mayan clay treatment

All classes, activities, excursions

Designed to help people feel good about themselves and their bodies, this is the part we like best: “There is no pressure to participate in any of the activities and there is no competition. Guests are encouraged to set their intentions, become more aware of how they feel and pay attention.”

Ditto. And sign me up!

I detest pressure, but could totally use a Bikini Boot Camp escape… in paradise.
Couldn’t you?

Running weekly starting NOW!

http://www.amansala.com

Mexico: Yo Quiero Conchinita y El Caribe


Playa del Carmen, Mayan Riviera

When most people think of Mexico they might think of loud Americans with fanny packs heading to Cabo for a cold Corona, but the real Mexico… she’s somethin’ else entirely. Yes, I am enamored with Mexico. Aside from the fact that I’ve fallen in love there on more than one occasion, she’s still, in so many wonderful ways, undiscovered country. Sure, she can dangerous, untrustworthy, and macho, but she’s full of riches. Sometimes I wonder why she suffers so… this wild country of margaritas, ruins, rugged hills, tumbling waves, crystal waters, and more chiles than you can handle. Then I remember… she can’t really be trusted, and if a people can’t really trust themselves, then who can they trust? Ah, yes… other countries may capture my soul, but Mexico, she has mi corazon (y mi Chichen Itza).

This Jaunt will take you to Mexico’s caribe, but stay tuned as we break down Mexico into the breathtaking regions that give the country her rich history and her renegade spirit.

Locals have been known to ask the secret aid of Mayan curanderos (healers) to mend a broken heart or cure a pesky ailment, but visitors flock to the Riviera Maya for the healing properties found in the sweet Caribbean lobster, electric blue waters, ancient ruins, and nightlife teeming with sleek European and South American tourists seeking out the relaxed bohemian vibe.

Situated on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, it’s a land of ancient tradition stretching from Punta Brava to Tulum. Tropical mangroves, exotic chiles, and achiote lend wild flavor to an already lively region of locals and ex-pats. In addition to the cozy port town of Playa del Carmen where Ula Gula (5th Avenue and Calle 10) traps guests with their fresh fish entrees, there are countless Caribbean gems that offer travelers a chance to find seclusion and sophistication away from the throngs of Cancun party-goers.

When to Go:
The best time to visit is during the winter, spring and summer months. Hurricane season is typically summer into fall.

What to Do:
Take in the ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza, relax with unique spa offerings, snorkel/scuba in the second largest coral reef in the world, and visit hidden cenotes (sinkholes) or the caves of Aktun Ha with a local guide. Don’t miss dinner at John Gray’s Kitchen in Puerto Morelos (Av Niños Heroes, Lote 6 Puerto Morelos Tel: 998-871-0449) and cocktails in Playa at Fly (5th Avenue), Hotel Deseo, and Om. For brunch, I’m a fan of 100% Natural.

Where to Stay:
Paraiso de la Bonita $$$$$
One word. Gorgeous. One more… DELUXE. Translated from Spanish, “Paradise of a Beautiful Woman” is the ultimate sexy retreat for the hotel connoisseur. The definition of privacy and sophistication, it’s located in Puerto Morelos twelve miles south of the Cancun Airport. From airport pickup in Lincoln Navigators to piano concerts and culinary afternoons with the chef, there are ninety ocean view suites on fourteen acres of beach, mangrove, and gardens. Open courtyards lead to private plunge pools, Bulgari amenities, and fountain filled paths. Reflecting pools make it designed to feel like a five-star private residence rather than a hotel. Mediterranean, Indian, and Balinese artifacts create a decidedly island chic getaway.

http://www.paraisodelabonita.com

Maroma Resort
Located ten minutes from Playa del Carmen, Maroma is a favorite among my Hollywood friends. A sophisticated, yet rustic hideaway located on a beach front portion of a coconut plantation, it’s among the finest resorts in Mexico. Built in the tradition of a Mexican hacienda, this sixty-four room resort boasts a powder soft white-sand beach named “Top Beach of the World’s 10 Best Beaches” by the Travel Channel and Forbes. Beautiful unspoiled beaches and over a hundred cenotes offer an eco-adventure or exotic escape. Don’t leave without trying the Goddess/God Ritual, two hours of relaxation which begins with the burning of copal, the sacred resin of the Burrsera tree, and ends with chamomile tea poured over your body and a two person Lomi-Lomi massage.

http://www.maromahotel.com

For those who want to get their groove on with the likes of old Italian movie projections set to the beat of local house DJ’s, head to Playa del Carmen and try:

Hotel Deseo (www.hoteldeseo.com) and fellow Habita property, Hotel Basico (www.hotelbasico.com).

I’m a fan of Deseo for drinks, but it could get a bit loud if you’re staying there as well. The bar is right outside the rooms. I stayed at the Blue Mosquito in Playa as well, but wasn’t that impressed. For a fraction of the price, you can stay at any number of spots on Fifth Avenue.

PS. For the true diehard Jauntophile who would rather be in the quaint town of Playa, but doesn’t want to break the bank, I have a list of what I lovingly refer to as ‘secret’ hotels… we’re talking $45-$75/night gems that I have personally scouted out and stayed, but guess what… you’ll have to send an email expressing your genuine interest, otherwise, they’ll become entirely too popular and you know what’ll happen next, don’t you? That’s right… they’ll raise the prices. We simply can’t have that now, can we?

Now Vaya Con Dios!

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