Travel is a funny thing. We used to say never return to the same place twice, yet this year we found ourselves returning to the same place for a third time. Originally we had planned to go to Aruba. Had a resort picked, going to spend a few nights in Toronto, maybe catch a hockey game and really live it up as this was my ‘go out with a bang’ retirement trip. Then, as luck would have it, we spied a good deal on Akumal Bay Beach and Wellness Resort (ABBWR) from Air Canada Vacations. When push came to shove and we looked at everything as a whole, we just couldn’t not book it. It was meant to be. So Aruba will have to wait for now.
Airport arrival was as chaotic as ever. Thankfully we had a pre-booked private transfer so we were out of there in a flash with cold beer in hand and at the resort within an hour.
One of the things that draws us to ABBWR is the staff. They are so great and how they remember you from all the many faces they see throughout the year is unbelievable. When your face is new to them they are quick to introduce themselves and ask your name, which they will use every time they see you during your stay. These are just a few of the friendly faces that greeted us this year. I missed getting a picture of my buddy Luis, but his smile is always in my memory.
One thing I have learned over the last few years is that I am not willing to settle when I travel anymore. I worked hard to be able to afford this once a year adventure south and I don’t want to be just another number. Among other things I’ve learned I want a nice ocean front/view room, I don’ think I could ever go back to anything else. People say the room doesn’t matter, but when you wake up everyday make your coffee and watch a view like this, you realize it does matter. There is no better way I can think to start the day.
To have a space where you can kick back after a long day and just enjoy the moment is absolutely essential to the overall vacation experience. We did a 12 hour tour this year, it was nice to be able to order room service, open some wine/spirits and just enjoy the evening on the balcony in the tub listening to the ocean when we returned. Your room does matter.
Our first few days this year we didn’t do too much. Walking, swimming and appreciating that we were able to be in Akumal. On arrival, our first stop was to try the new brick oven pizza, yummy! We had been waiting for that since we saw them post it on Facebook. It was worth the wait! Later he tried a burger at the snack bar – which he loved – then drinks, more drinks up at Lol Ha and so on :).
The next morning we got to try the new smoothie bar, made to order and it was fabulous, and then headed out for a walk to check out the Jungle Fish Beach Club just down from the resort on the beach. You also get a great view of the whole resort walking in this direction!
We got our annual fix of the wonderful tunes played by Abel the Orchestra Man on the beach.
We visited the town of Akumal and Lucy’s for Ice Cream! So good!
We also had one my most favourite meals of the week at the Gourmet restaurant. I looked forward to the desert for an entire year…so good! Then off for drinks and entertainment with the live band, which we did most nights. It’s fun to watch people dancing to the different bands, especially the entertainment crew. They can dance!
Most importantly in those first few days, while walking up the beach we see this woman coming towards us arms outstretched calling my husbands name. Would you believe it was his cousin from Edmonton who we hadn’t seen in 25 years! She, her husband and their travelling companions had rented a palapa just up from our resort! Just lucky that we were both walking on the beach at the same time and saw each other.
We did rent a golf cart again this year and we booked a trip to Bacalar, which was by far one of the most amazing spots I have ever seen. More on those in future posts!