What am I still doing in Cancun?

The adventures of an American single mommy working and playing in paradise.

Cancun musical theater

March 23, 2018
by admin

Rock of Ages Cancun at Dreams Playa Mujeres

Most resorts in the Cancun area feature nightly shows, and they are generally entertaining, but Dreams Playa Mujeres has taken things to a whole other level with Rock of Ages, a local version of the Broadway musical that features rock hits from the 80’s.

And well, I am a child of the 80’s! I absolutely loved it and I sang my heart out the entire time.

The almost entirely Mexican cast performs the show completely in English. I was very impressed with the singing. The acting, sets and lighting were excellent as well. With over 100 shows under their belt, the musical has been featured since October 2017, and they are hoping for another extension.

Before the show we got to hear a little from the cast, and we took some pictures in the lobby.

I tried to make a rock face here but I think I look more like the devil.

Then it was time for the show! I laughed, I sang, and I almost cried at the end. (I was in shows in high school and musical theater always makes me very emotional.)

Here you can actually see that I sang my heart out because somehow I ended up in this video…

The show is really very entertaining, especially if you like 80’s rock. It’s a great evening activity for those who want to do something other than go to a nightclub or bar.

Quick info:

Performances: Wednesday—Monday: 8:30 PM

$119 USD for adults including transportation at participating resorts and open bar

$69 USD (ages 13-17) including transportation at participating resorts listed below


$99 USD for adults no transportation and open bar

$49 USD (ages 13–17) no transportation 

The price for locals is just 900 mxn and includes open bar.

Email: roa_reservations.drepm@dreamsresorts.com

Tickets: http://bit.ly/RockOfAgesTickets

Official Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/RockOfAgesCancun


March 16, 2018
by admin

A Wedding and One Night on Isla Mujeres

A few weeks ago I attended a friend’s wedding on Isla Mujeres… ALONE. I mean well, I wasn’t alone per say, a lot of my friends were at the wedding as well, but I actually went to Isla Mujeres ALONE and rented a room and stayed ALONE. It was so much fun! I felt so free! (Sorry about the gushing, but single moms don’t get a lot of alone time.)

Anyway, I headed to the island on Saturday afternoon after dropping Bebé at his papá’s (I dunno, seems a little awkward to call him Papi now). I parked in the Ultramar garage (only 132 pesos for 24 hours), bought my ferry ticket and literally walked on to the boat as it was about to disembark.

The ferry ride never gets old. Never.

boat to Isla Mujeres

ferries to Isla Mujeres

After the quick trip I jumped off the ferry (I felt so light on my feet with just my purse, a backpack and no Bebé in tow) and took a few pictures during the walk to my Airbnb.

Isla Mujeres fishing boats

Isla Mujeres street scene

Isla Mujeres mural

I am disappointed to say that the island is A LOT more crowded than it used to be, and I feel guilty for contributing to that, at least in a small way (maybe I’m giving myself too much credit) but it hasn’t lost its charm… at least not yet.

I easily found my Airbnb but before I went inside I needed an iced coffee. Found this little place around the corner…

cafe Isla Mujeres

Then I went back to my Airbnb, met the caretaker and got my key. Simple but central, clean, and absolutely adorable.

Airbnb Isla Mujeres

rooms for rent Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres solo travel

They don’t have hot water and there is a bar right next door that plays music until around 12:30 am but they are very clear about it on the website.

Next, it was time to get ready for the wedding, and I was really excited because I had a brand new dress from Boutique Mexico (they don’t sell dresses anymore, but the bag is also theirs and all their stuff is AMAZING so check it out).

Whaddya think? I was very happy with my look.

The decoration and set-up were gorgeous… colorful and very Mexican. As we waited for the bride, we took some pictures.





Then it was time for the main event. Divorced and jaded, I am still a sucker for a good love story, and this one is a tear jerker. I am so happy for my friend, who is beautiful inside and out.


The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was fun yet relaxing, with some interesting twists. For instance, they had marquesitas (a traditional Yucatecan street treat which consists of a rolled-up crispy crepe filled with melted shredded cheese and a sweet filling of your choice) instead of a wedding cake.

So after about a million Sol cervezas, Palomas (tequila with grapefruit soda or juice served on the rocks with a lime wedge and a salted rim), a delicious Yucatecan dinner, and some Salsa dancing, I headed back to my room and bathed in the shower, which interestingly enough had a sink inside of it.

I slept in for the first time in ages and woke desperately needing fat and sugar. I had researched some restaurants but decided that all of them were simply too far away (like 5 blocks ha), so I ended up at an old, convenient favorite, Compadres, which is on the pedestrian street Miguel Hidalgo.

It was just what the doctor ordered. Perfect.

I have eaten here many times over the years and they just do good, simple food well.

It was then time to head home. As much fun as I had, I missed Bebé and Sunday housework was calling. But I must say, it does feel good to know that there is still an independent girl somewhere inside of this single mom.

Oh, and I almost forgot… I caught the bouquet!

Cancun, Mexico travel writers

January 5, 2018
by admin

The Backstreet Boys Sing Their Hits at Moon Palace Cancun

Soooo good.

That’s my official review of the Backstreet Boys concert at Moon Palace Cancun.

🎶 Last Friday Night 🎶 my Cancun bestie and I attended Palace Resorts‘ hugely successful year-end event. I didn’t even realize how much I needed a fun night out and this was the perfect occasion.

The concert was originally planned for December 29, but it sold out so quickly that Palace Resorts added a second show on December 30.

When we arrived there was still parking available inside the resort, but we had to take a bus from where we parked to the Moon Palace Arena. Everything was very well organized. They even gave us a card to help us remember where we parked and which bus we would have to board when the concert was over.

Once we were inside the arena we ordered draft beers. They were huge and cost 100 pesos each (5 usd), which is a bit expensive for Cancun but totally reasonable considering it was a concert. There were also waiters available inside the venue, where the beers went up to 150 pesos (we still bought them LOL).

Cancun events

I was super excited to meet up with the PR girl who hooked me up with the tickets. We have worked together online for years but had never met in person. Palace Resorts has a supurb PR team. We couldn’t believe it when we found out we had floor Front Stage tickets!

By now it was time for our second beer, but there was suddenly loud music coming from inside. The waiter seemed to take forever but finally he brought the beers and we ran in. We were about 3/4 of the way back in the Front Stage section. If we wouldn’t have been so worried about our beer and had gone in earlier we could have been much closer, but it was still pretty close and luckily we are both tall.

The concert began at about 9:15 pm, and well, we screamed like 14 year old girls.

Photo: Palace Resorts

They played it right. They didn’t try to switch things up, they kept it simple, and it was perfect! It was a trip down memory lane (to the 90’s). They have so many hits and they sang all of them. One of the things I loved most about the concert was the fact that everyone in the audience sang along to every song.

Each of them took turns chatting with the audience during breaks/wardrobe changes. The effects and sound system were excellent. At one point there was a video montage of each of them that everyone loved. Nick still seems to be the favorite with the ladies.

Photo: Palace Resorts

The Backstreet Boys weren’t my favorite group or anything, but I know all their hits, have their greatest hits CD (yes CD), and basically I know almost all the words to every song.

Plus, Brian, AJ, Kevin, Howie and Nick look great. The singing and dancing were still on point.

Photo: Palace Resorts

When they left the stage, we knew they were coming back, because they hadn’t sung Everybody!

I do have one negative thing to say that has nothing to do with the band or the concert. Today’s young people need to enjoy experiences instead of filming the entire thing. Of course I took a few photos and videos, but mostly, I sang and danced. I couldn’t help thinking that the band probably notices the cell phone thing as well, since they didn’t exist in the same way in the 90’s.

Here is just a little taste of the concert…

Bravo Backstreet Boys and bravo Moon Palace! It was a night I will never forget! We loved it so much that we wanted to go again the next night.

The Backstreet Boys play a residency show at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, and even if you’re only a semi-fan, I would definitely recommend seeing it!

Cancun restaurants

December 15, 2017
by admin

The Table at La Joya, the New Dining Experience at Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun recently debuted The Table experience in their breathtaking Mexican restaurant, La Joya. Besides memorable meals with family and/or friends, this is the single best dining experience I have ever had. Really! From the food to the presentation, everything was delightful and so very unique.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. The meal is described as a “Hi-Tech-Interactive ‘Gourmet Mapping’ Dining Experience. I imagined a video projected on the wall and possibly some music.

After a couple of La Joya’s Cadillac margaritas (they are perfection, but be warned, they are very strong) we headed up to the second level of La Joya and found this table waiting for us.

That’s when I knew things were going to get interesting.

We checked out our view and our first course, a palate cleanser / amuse-bouche was served.

Now I don’t want to give too much away, because the surprises are a big part of the fun, but the experience follows the history of the Yucatan Peninsula, as do the ingredients, cuisine, explanations and projections on the table.

Here are a few more pictures…

This truly enchanting meal is an 8-course dinner accompanied by cocktails, wine and even shots!

The Table is available Friday and Saturday nights and begins at 9:00 pm. The cost is 115 USD per person. Tax and service are included. 

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach is home to one of my favorite lobbies in Cancun. It’s no surprise that they have a spectacular Christmas tree. I couldn’t wait to see it, and it definitely lived up to my expectations.

For those visiting over the holidays, the resort invites their guests to join them in celebrating Mexican traditions.

– They hold piñata parties where kids can have fun winning candies and parents can also score some special gifts such as Gem Spa treatments, upgrades and more. 

-They create a “posada” or reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s pilgrimage to Bethlehem in search of a place to stay. 

-At Coral KidZ Club, young guests get in the Christmas spirit by decorating Christmas cookies. 

For those who will be in Cancun for New Year’s Eve, the “Coral Fire” white-themed event is an interactive, high-tech party which transforms the ballroom into an underwater oasis via video-mapping technology highlighting oceanic scenery. The event includes a live show featuring colorful, energetic acrobatic performances. The party continues until 4:00 am and includes a complimentary Mexican buffet.

November 29, 2017
by admin

Seadust Cancun Family Resort: A Pleasant Surprise!

A couple of weeks ago Bebé and I were treated to another wonderful mini vacation, this time at the Seadust Cancun Family Resort, formerly the Great Parnassus Family Resort. I have to say, I wasn’t sure what to think. The resort recently changed owners and I had read some reviews that were less than stellar, but I was very pleasantly surprised and Bebé loved it. It’s a wonderful resort for families.

People always say that the resort looks and feels like a cruise ship. Now I have never been on a cruise ship, and I didn’t get that feeling at all, but I can kind of see why people say that. What do you think?

Photo: Seadust Cancun Family Resort

Either way, the lobby and restaurant area are really beautiful.

We got there are on Friday evening after Bebé’s soccer game. The bellboy was very friendly. He even wrote his extension on the pad of paper in the room just in case we needed something. That was a first!

There was a nice surprise waiting in the room for us.

That first evening we had dinner at El Maguey, the Mexican restaurant and the only one not located in the central area of the hotel. It was excellent! And really pretty!


In fact, all of the restaurants were quite good. We also had dinner at Samurai, the Asian restaurant and Big Ben, the steak house. Other restaurants open for dinner include La Maison de Michelle, a French restaurant which is only for adults, and Portofino, an Italian buffet restaurant.

We always dress up a bit for dinner! It makes a vacation feel even more special.

We never had lunch or dinner at Magnus, the main buffet, but we had breakfast there two mornings and it was good, a pretty typical all-inclusive resort buffet.

There is also Le Creperie, which serves crepes, ice cream and donuts and is open in the evenings, and Manhattan Deli, which offers late night snacks. We had lunch at the snack bars. There is one at the main pool and one by the waterpark.

They also offer 24-hour room service. We ordered it twice, once when Bebé was starving before bed and once for breakfast. For breakfast you must place a sign on your doorknob with your order before 3 am and you can choose what time it will be delivered.

The resort also has many bars. Took full advantage of that in the evenings!

The next morning we could fully appreciate our room and its view. (Our room looked just like this one sans the yellow things on the bed.)

Photo: Seadust Cancun Family Resort

They are renovating all of the rooms, floor by floor. The room had a phone, television with cable, toiletries, safe and iron and ironing board. It is important to note that WiFi is free in the lobby but there is an extra charge to have WiFi service throughout the resort. The signal is very good. There was a mini bar in the room but there is also a daily charge to have it filled. Different packages are available.

This was our view from the balcony. *Sigh*

There is actually undeveloped land (almost unheard of in the Hotel Zone) next to the resort so we could see the lagoon as well.

We didn’t get any towel animals this time, but I loved this… so pretty!

Of course, we spent most of our time at the beach, pool and waterpark, not in the room.

The beach is perfection… the Cancun beach everyone imagines.

The first day it was much to rough to go in the water. See how you can’t really tell from which direction the waves are coming? Bad sign! (Note: Pay attention to the beach flags. It can be very tempting to go swimming anyway, but it’s very risky. Lifeguards constantly have to rescue people and there are drownings all the time. Respect the sea… it’s very powerful!)

Bebé didn’t care one bit. He met some nice people and played beach soccer with them. (Click on the video to play.)


The next day it was much calmer.

Each morning we spent some time on the beach, then headed to the pool, which is divided into three infinity levels. There were always fun activities taking place. I did aqua aerobics and Bebé played water polo.

They use the towel card system. There is also an adult only pool but I never visited it.

One thing we loved about the pool was the fact that the staff pushed around a little “paleta” (popcicle) cart and handed out authentic Mexican flavored paletas. Perfect for a hot day.

After pool time we always headed to the waterpark. This is the area where the baby (18 months to 4 yrs.), kids (5 to 12 yrs.) and teen club are located. There is actually an entire family area above the waterpark with a snack bar as well. One of our favorite things about this area was the popcorn machine! Bebé loves popcorn, which was also available at the shows every night.

Bebé almost never wants to spend time alone at the kids club, but a friend recently stayed as Seadust and her 5 year old loved it. They keep the kids busy all day. He did however enjoy the xbox in the teen club since we don’t have one at home.

We had a blast on the big waterslide (adults can use it too) and Bebe liked the waterpark.

This is the baby club.

Every evening after dinner we went to the show. We saw the Fantasy Show which was fun and a bit wacky. We absolutely loved the Grease show, which was lip-synced but still very well done. Sunday night we went to the karaoke bar which is a small nightclub. Bebé played pool with some other kids and Mami sang two songs!

The resort also has a minigolf course (go in the morning or in the late afternoon or evening to avoid heat stroke) and best of all, a zip line for kids! Bebé was really nervous but as soon as he landed he said, “Otra vez!” or “Again!” There is also a climbing wall but he didn’t try that.

Seadust also offers a full service spa, which looked really pretty, and a fitness center.

This is not the newest, fanciest resort in town (Bonus: it’s not the most expensive either!) but we had an awesome mini vacation at Seadust Cancun Family Resort! I would definitely recommend it for families and in fact, a friend from the U.S. has already booked her next family vacation there.

November 6, 2017
by admin

Catering in Cancun

I love having friends over but often times we end up ordering pizza for dinner because I just don’t have the time or I’m too lazy to cook.

The solution? Catering! It’s not something I can afford to do, but you might be able to, and Jen, formerly the owner of The Alley/El Callejon in Cancun, has started catering events, parties and get-togethers with her company Catering Cancun.

Jen catered my casual get-together last weekend, and it was super convenient, a full meal delivered to my home. Our menu consisted of:


Crab dip

Fresh veggies and dip



Beef and vegetable kabobs and rice

Cole slaw

Pasta salad


Banana split kabobs

Portions were huge and I had tons of leftovers.

Check out Jen’s website and blog and here is a cool PDF with her most popular dishes. She also offers transportation and concierge services.

October 27, 2017
by admin

An Adventurous Beach Day at Isla Blanca, Cancun

Last weekend my friend was visiting from the U.S. (I have known her since 1st grade!) and I wanted do something new and special. We had never been to Isla Blanca, a virgin, off-the-beaten-path (really) beach to the north of Cancun, so I thought it would be the perfect time to check it out. Bebé brought a friend as well.

To get to Isla Blanca you basically drive north on Bonampak Avenue, the first street in downtown Cancun, and keep going until you literally can’t go any further.

It was an interesting drive, made up of new highway ( it’s super depressing, tons of new hotels are being built in the area north of Cancun, which is technically Isla Mujeres, even though it’s on the mainland) where you couldn’t even tell if you were on the correct side of the road to bumpy dirt tracks with huge holes in them, and everything in between. From downtown Cancun it probably took us 45 minutes to get to Isla Blanca.

There are a few signs before you get to the very end that offer beach access, but I recommend simply driving until you can’t drive anymore. You will literally run into a small sand “parking lot” where you can pay 35 pesos to park. It was almost full and the elderly man who was collecting money suggested we park in the other section (literally on the beach) by driving on a suspicious two track that looked like it went directly into the lagoon. I declined and we squeezed into the last available spot.

We brought everything we needed. A huge sheet, towels, food, water, sunblock, toys, rafts, beer (shhh… more about that later) because there isn’t much around. There is something that could loosely be called a “beach club” with mismatched, run-down tables, chairs, umbrellas and palapas, but we didn’t check if they sold food or anything else.

We walked about 50 yards past the “beach club” and set up camp. If the boys hadn’t been with us I would have walked further but after the ride, etc. they weren’t up for the walk.

We had left the umbrella in the car because it was kind of cloudy but we found a nice tree that could provide some shade.

day trip Cancun

“isla” means island, but Isla Blanca is more like a peninsula. On one side there is a beach facing the open ocean (above) and Isla Mujeres can be seen to the south, and on the other side a huge lagoon.

lagoon Isla Blanca Cancun

For a better idea of where and what Isla Blanca is, are are an aerial view and a map.

Map: buycancun.com

Right in front of our little camp, there was a huge, dead sea turtle. Heartbreaking. Hopefully it died of natural causes.

sea turtles Cancun

At one point it rained on us for about 15 minutes. Bebé was a little dismayed but when we pointed out that he was already wet anyway, he got over it!

Our things dried quickly in the sun and sea air, and we had a wonderful day. We played football, the boys played in the sand and we had lunch. The Caribbean was rough that day, but they had a blast “surfing” right on the shoreline.

Soon it was time to head home. I didn’t want to try to find my way home in the dark and the Caribbean was getting super rough. My friend took this time lapse video of the road back to civilization. This trip was actually about 30 minutes long.


I had heard that they put up roadblocks to check for drunk drivers on the one road that leaves Isla Blanca, but I figured they probably normally do that on Sundays when tons of locals go. However, there it was! My first alcoholmetro. Luckily they didn’t even test me. I think it was obvious we weren’t drunk and they saw the boys in the back seat (Bebé was totally passed out and his friend used his teddy bear to wave at the officer) but take note! I’m sure they are there every weekend. If you get busted (the level is VERY low, .04) they will take your car and take you to jail.
We will definitely visit Isla Blanca again. In fact it just might be my new place to take all visitors, as Isla Mujeres has gotten very crowded!
concerts Cancun

September 30, 2017
by admin

Backstreet Boys in Cancun, Alright!

I’m really excited about this one!! Backstreet Boys and “awe-inclusive” resort Moon Palace Cancun are teaming up for an awesome end of the year fiesta.

concerts Cancun

Backstreet Boys are the most popular boy band of all time and now Cancun will have the opportunity to sing along with all of their hits (I know you know all the words too! ♫“Quit playin’ games with my heart” ♫), when they perform their “Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life” concert at the Moon Palace Arena on December 29 and 30, 2017.

They were originally scheduled to appear only on December 29, but the show quickly sold out, so a second show was added for the next day. Tickets for the second show went on sale this week.

Best of all, Backstreet Boys still consists of the original members including Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, AJ McLean and Kevin Richardson. Which one was your favorite?

events Cancun

Moon Palace is a great place to see a concert. Their events are always very well organized. I’ve seen both Usher and Ricky Martin at Moon Palace. They have hosted many shows as well. Last December Bebé and I saw The Illusionists, which will appear at Moon Palace again from December 22, 2017 to January 3, 2018.

Cancun all-inclusive resorts


Palace Resorts are some of my favorite hotels. We have stayed at AAA Four Diamond Moon Palace, Beach Palace and Playacar Palace, and we loved them all. They have all of the bases covered when it comes to the perfect all-inclusive vacation.

Tickets for the “Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life” concert in Cancun range from $89 USD (Bronze) to $459 USD (VIP). Palace Resorts guests will receive a discount and may purchase tickets in advance. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the show starts at 9:00 p.m.

Backstreet Boys concerts 2017

Note: Palace Resorts is currently offering its Kids/Teens Stay Free Promotion. Families can bring kids age 17 or younger, and their kids’ stay is on the house.

Palace Resorts guests who book a stay of five nights or more are privy to the most valuable vacation promotion on record – $1,500 Resort Credit.

July 27, 2017
by admin

Le Basilic: Cancun’s AAA Five Diamond Restaurant

Last Saturday my Cancun bestie and I were treated to dinner at AAA Five Diamond restaurant Le Basilic. This is the restaurant I wasn’t able to dine at during my stay at the Grand Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun a few weeks ago, because Bebé fell asleep.

Actually, it worked out perfectly, because this is not a restaurant for fidgety 7 year olds. In fact, children are not permitted, but they were going to make an exception for Bebé. There is a strict dress code as well. No jeans, flip-flops, shorts, t-shirts, etc.

So anyway, mommies’ night out was fantastic. It is no wonder Le Basilic has earned the Five Diamond award from AAA. It is exquisite.

The restaurant serves French Mediterranean cuisine prepared by Chef Henri Charvet. The ambiance is formal yet inviting. A pianist plays just loud enough that you can relax and listen to the music and just quietly enough that you can have a conversation.


Photo: Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun

Dinner began with a cocktail. We chose a mojito which was made with dark rum.

We ordered a Sauvignon Blanc to drink with dinner and then the deliciousness began to arrive. The service was impeccable, attentive yet non intrusive.

There were four kinds of bread offered at the beginning of the meal. They were all excellent, but I liked the onion bread the best. There were also three kinds of butter!

Before the appetizers arrived the chef sent out this amuse bouche. Yummy!

There were many surprises like this throughout the meal, a favorite was the basil popsicle palate cleanser, so it may be a good idea to share an appetizer. I know this because we actually ordered two. haha I had the foie gras ravioli appetizer and my friend had the cannelloni. Both were very good.

For the main course the chef suggested this beef dish with black pepper sauce and au gratin potatoes. We both ordered it and it was SO good! Perfection! The beef literally melted in your mouth and the potatoes were so creamy. I want more!

There were more surprises after the main course, including this highlight made with berries in a clear cardamom sauce. So fun and so refreshing.

The creme brulee with berries, chocolate crumble and pistacho ice cream is a must for dessert. We shared it.

After dessert the chef sent out another surprise and in addition we were each given a little box of chocolates.

I feel so lucky to have been able to dine at Le Basilic. It was a wonderful meal!

July 17, 2017
by admin

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun

Bebé and I recently spent a long weekend at the fantastic (no exaggeration) Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun.

I had spent the day at Grand Coral Beach before but I had never stayed there. It is not an all-inclusive resort, and it really has a different feel, more like an upscale hotel. We have been to some very nice all-inclusive resorts, but everything at Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun is just a step above.

The Lobby

The lobby is beautiful. It has a feeling of grandeur.

The Grand Club

The top floors of the resort make up the Grand Club. I’m not sure how I got lucky enough to get a room up there, but it was luxurious. The Grand Club rooms come with access to the Grand Club Lounge, an elegant space high above Cancun with lush carpet (I really miss carpet) and living room and dining room furnishings. There are gourmet snacks available all day and a bar with a bartender. There is a separate area with special food for kids. It is quiet, relaxing and comfortable. It. Is. Fabulous.

Grand Club guests also have access to a special sundeck and beach club.

Oh… and private check-in and check-out. No waiting in line in reception in the lobby.

For those who are interested, the resort has just created one all-inclusive option, the Grand Club Unlimited Experience.

The Room

Our room was gorgeous. I loved the colors!

It contained a safe, flat screen television with satellite programming, a hairdryer (not sure if there was a flat iron), iron with ironing board, a telephone, a HUGE bathroom, toiletries, a living room and small dining area.

The room also had a fully stocked minibar that included beer, water, juice, soft drinks, liquor, wine and snacks. But remember, the resort is not all-inclusive, so these treats come at an extra charge. The WiFi was good and is available at an extra charge as well.

The view from our balcony was breathtaking.

The Beach and Pools

This actually may be the best pool-beach combo of any hotel in Cancun. The beach is wide and uncrowded with aqua blue, calm water. It’s great for children. We LOVED the raft out in front and swam out to it twice. Bebé is really starting to enjoy swimming in the ocean and he loved the challenge of swimming out to he raft where the water was way over his head.

The pool runs the entire length of the hotel and it is HUGE, but it doesn’t feel huge because it’s divided into sections. There are waterfalls, water spouts and swim-up pool bars.

We spent the first day at the pool below our room and the second day and the morning of the third day at the other end where there is a large swim-up pool bar, a wading pool for kids and a swing set. (Notice my pretty Boutique Mexico beach bag.)

There are cabaña beds available for rent around the pool and on the beach (1,400 pesos or about 78 usd). Pink is my favorite color and I love Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun’s pink towels. No towel cards either! There were always plenty of lounge chairs available and although there were a few “chair savers” most chairs were available when we arrived at the pool each morning. The music played around the pool is chill lounge-type music, played at a low volume. Very relaxing.

During the day waiters come around and hand out little treats like quesadillas, fruit shish kebobs and popsicles!

The Cocktails

Cocktails don’t usually get their own category in my blogs posts, but in this case, they deserve one. All of the cocktails I had at Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun were excellent, like the mojito in the Grand Club Lounge and the Cadillac margarita in La Joya (more about the restaurants later), but the tropical-vacation-dreams-come-true drinks I had by the pool were not only good, they were really pretty.

Little touches like umbrellas, fruit, or the actual drink in a pineapple or coconut make a cocktail memorable, and they are great for taking vacation photos!

The Restaurants

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun is home to six restaurants. La Joya is a gourmet Mexican restaurant. I absolutely loved it. Both the meal and the Cadillac margaritas were delicious. Plus, I loved the decor and ambiance. Both mariachis and a trio performed. Be sure to try the cornbread dessert with almond ice cream and tequila sauce!

Also, it was really dark in La Joya. I love dark restaurants!

Viña del Mar serves what is know as one of the best Sunday brunch buffets in Cancun, and if you’re staying there, you can have it every day. It really is breakfast buffet perfection. There is a large variety of scrumptious fare and the decor and views are beautiful.

Don’t miss the sopes. Yum yum yum!

Coral Cafe is a bistro/bakery/coffee shop located off the lobby, Isla Contoy is an open-air buffet restaurant located right on the beach and Bikini Bar serves meals poolside. All of our meals were just a little bit better than even the best all-inclusives we’ve been to.

It is important to mention AAA 5 Diamond French Mediterranean restaurant Le Basilic. I wasn’t able to dine there while we were staying in the hotel, but I will soon. This place deserves it’s own blog post.

There was a children’s menu available in all of restaurants. Love that! Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun also offers room service.

The Activities and Kids Club

Although they are not as in your face as in other resorts, Coral Beach does offer activities like, water aerobics, water volleyball, fitness classes and a really cool paddle board stretching/yoga class, among others. You have to ask for a schedule because they don’t come around announcing the classes or asking people to participate. It’s very low key.

The Coral Kidz Club is da bomb. You can read all about it in this article I wrote about it for 10Best.com.

Plus, they have now added a sweet water park.

Photo: Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun

It is important to note that the kids club has organized activities. For instance, the water park time was from 11am to 12:15pm and video game time was from 5pm to 6pm.

Babysitting is also available.

The hotel also has an area with kayaks and other water sports, and Bebé and I went on a jet ski for the very first time! We had a blast! (I really wish I had a GoPro.)

The only evening entertainment is some really nice live music in the lobby.


The Spa

What can I say? The Gem Spa is increible. Just look at it.

I didn’t have any treatments, but I did their famous ten-step hydrotherapy ritual and it was ahhhmazing. I don’t want to give too much away but I highly recommend it. The Gem Spa also offers a beauty salon and fitness center.

We absolutely loved Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun. There is a noticeable difference compared to all-inclusive resorts and the hotel is definitely upscale, but without the attitude.