JP’s 24 Trips in 12 Months!
Trip No. 3: Cancun, Mexico
Dates: November 16-19, 2017
Hotel: Hyatt Ziva Cancun
- If you stay at Hyatt Ziva or another hotel with a swim-up room option, I recommend it! It’s so much fun to be able to step out of your room straight into a pool.
- The coffee bar and baristas at Hyatt Ziva are awesome! Great way to start your morning.
Best trips and Lessons Learned:
- If you’re going to use a transfer company (always going to be cheaper than taxis), make sure you book ahead of time. They often close the online booking twenty-four hours or more in advance of departure.
- Remember to pack all beach essentials, such as sunglasses/sunscreen. If you have to buy these items on property it’s going way more…ridiculously more.
- Double check your pockets when going through security. I accidentally left one coin in my pocket and it caused a whole situation that delayed me about ten minutes.
- When returning, have your immigration slip in hand. This makes for a much easier transition.
- To call the US from Mexico, you dial 00 + 1 + the phone number).
- If you’re going to do something like renting jetski’s or excursions, always remember to book earlier in the day if you can.
My Cancun Trip:
Trip number three was to Cancun…and the night before, I did it again: not packing and getting ready for the trip ahead of time… so I was hurting in the morning. But… when I got to the airport, I started off with a brisket taco with avocado at the Earl Campbell’s in the Austin airport with a coffee… and felt so much better.
My flights, including my connection in Houston, went smoothly. I only had to go from Terminal C to D at IAH, but remember: when traveling international, sometimes the connection flights are much further apart so it’s best if you try to plan it out before and know where you are going. We made it to Cancun early, and Olympus Tours was my transfer again from the airport to the hotel again, and, of course, they were there waiting. This is something you have to pre-arrange, but it’s extremely worth it. One of my friends who was coming on a different flight forgot to pre-arrange it, and he ended up having to pay quite a bit more using a private taxi.
I stayed at the Hyatt Ziva Hotel, which is an all-inclusive (I definitely fell in love with all-inclusive resorts in Barcelo Maya). The resort was beautiful, and the staff were very friendly and attentive. I was staying in the “Adult Tower,” so we went to check-in in a separate room that had delicious food and snacks plus a fridge full of cerveza and a full bar. Unfortunately, since my room wasn’t going to be ready until around 4 o’clock because someone had decided to stay late (just got to roll with it while traveling). So, I ate, drank, did a little work on my laptop, and had some lunch with some friends who were also staying at the resort.
The room I choose had a swim-up patio…you open your sliding door and you literally have a spa tub and a pool outside your room. I highly recommend it! The room also had its own private concierge waiting for me, who informed me he would be refilling the mini-bar daily (good to know!). I did notice it was a little louder in my room because we had the swim-up pool, so just keep that in mind when selecting your room.
Surprise to me: I look outside in the pool and it turns out some my friends had gotten their rooms right next door! We ended up partying in the swim-up pool which was a blast. It was a little too cool, but if you stayed in the sun or under water, it was perfect. While partying, we ordered a bunch of room service — because it’s an all inclusive, all the room service is included! It was pretty amazing…
I was sharing the room with a friend, and the hotel was very accommodating in bringing up a cot bed and switching out the couch (even though we didn’t pre-arrange it). After relaxing for a bit, we headed down to a party on the beach. Who would have thought Tequila would be the drink of choice? 😉 There was a lot of people out chatting, drinking and having fun.
I woke up and needed coffee ASAP (post-fiesta caffeine to start the day…). The hotel offered an amazing coffee bar with top-notch baristas. I had the best (and only) coconut latte of my life.
I took a walk around the resort to really take in all the scenery. Unfortunately, I found that the resort featured a dolphin pool. I AM OPPOSED TO KEEPING DOLPHINS IN CAPTIVITY AT RESORTS. That’s all I have to say about that. I’m not going to tell anyone how to run their business or judge a culture for doing things, but I just hate seeing such beautiful, intelligent beings trapped in such small, insufficient environments simply to amuse hotel guests.
I went back to the coffee shop and found a nice spot for me to sit and get some work done with a view of the beach and people strolling by for people-watching. After I finished work, I went back to the swim-up pool, which is long and perfect as a lap pool, to swim some laps for exercise. The weather was beautiful–the pool water was perfect temperature and extremely relaxing. After a quick shower, I fell asleep fast for a quick power nap. I woke up, handled some work calls and got back to enjoying the resort. This trip I definitely was going to take it slower and spend more time on-resort.
The next day was my last one so I made sure to make the best of it. I wanted to check out downtown Cancun a bit, so I walked a bit and went to a nearby club called Mandala. They were having a pool party with a DJ, but I wasn’t really digging the vibe. Please note that downtown Cancun can definitely feel a bit sketchy–they do regularly have travel warnings about Cancun, so stay away. Anyway, I went back to the resort pretty quickly.
I ended up renting a jet-ski they had on site for an hour. They had a great deal for groups (we had got a group of four people together). We booked ahead of time (remember to book ahead!). We cruised and had a great time… felt very exciting and fun, but also very safe. We had a professional with us taking photos and making sure we were safe and we had a huge area to explore. Really enjoyed it!
By the time we finished and got cleaned up, I was starving. We tried to have dinner at the Japanese restaurant, but the wait was ridiculously long since they don’t take reservations. There’s a lot of people at all-inclusives, so that kind of thing can happen. We ended up at the Italian restaurant instead, which was just fine. After that, we found a rooftop bar with a dance party going on, and we had a great time. Unfortunately, a small fight did break out… but nothing more than you’d see at any normal gathering of drunk dudes.
After getting some rest, I woke up and had the perfect amount of time to hit the gym before taking off. The resort has an amazing gym with a nice view and (when at an all-inclusive, you definitely need to remember a little self-care and fitness). When I was done it was about time to check out… and it turns out I didn’t have enough time: I’m used to just dropping off a key and walking out…I didn’t expect to sit down and go over my bill at checkout, so I was running late to my shuttle. Thankfully, Olympus tours was there to take me back to the airport without any trouble, even though I was late and kept them waiting 5-10 minutes.
One last note: more and more airports are adding these new types of open, stylish dining and drinking options with self-serving touchscreens. I love tthese!. IAH was looking better than I could ever have imagined! Enjoy them as you’re passing through airports if they’re there.
There’s always more to say, but I’ll leave you with this: Hyatt Ziva Cancun is a great all-inclusive to spend a few days at with friends. Thanks for reading about my trip to the Hyatt Ziva Cancun., and I encourage you to sign-up and take your next last-minute travel adventure with Tripaly!