Every year my family goes on a vacation, this year we went to visit El Dorado Maroma in Playa del Carmen.
After a three-hour plane ride, we landed in Cancun International which is a pretty good sized airport. We ventured out and caught a van to our resort, which was about an hour away.
As soon as you get to El Dorado you are escorted out of the humid air into the lobby where they give you a moist towel after your travels. It's all about the details here, they think of pretty much everything for visitors!
After unpacking, we threw on our swimsuits and went out to enjoy some family beach volleyball and the pool bar (hello pina coladas!)
Our rooms were next to the smaller pool and next to some ADORABLE hammocks. They were so great to swing in after sunning on the beach.
The employees at El Dorado were absolutely amazing. They went above and beyond to make you feel comfortable. We managed to go during the down season, so it felt quiet and intimate at the resort. We kept seeing the same employees day-after-day, which made it feel familiar even after just a day.
One of the nice things about the resort is they have several small restaurants that you can go to. Most people really enjoy going out and getting off the resort, but we liked to stay near home. We visited their sushi bar and mexican restaurant.
Did I mention how HUMID it was? A lot of my camera lenses kept fogging up, and we look pretty greasy in a lot of photos ... but eh! Nothing we could do!
The beach itself is absolutely stunning, the only drawback was the artificial island in front of the beach. They built it so sea turtles have a place to come back to lay eggs, which I am ALL for that. But some of the sand doesn't cover the black tarp like things they used to create it. They were in the process of building Mexico's first over-the-water bungalows, which look freaking awesome.
They also have amazing beds lined out on the beach, complete with a cabana boy to run and get you stuff. One morning I woke up early and had my quiet time out on one of them. I was deep in thought when suddenly out of nowhere an employee showed up and insisted that I have a towel. I kept trying to explain to him I was just sitting for a moment, but he got me one anyways. Talk about dedication!
One morning I went out on a run on the beach and it was so peaceful and quiet. I tried to work out while I was away, but I ended up only doing one "WOD" as Crossfitters say. ( I ran 400m, 20 squats, 20 push ups 4 times!)
Bryan and I have a tradition to try and get a massage anywhere we go, so we did a couple's massage. You got to pick your choice of oils that smelled like wine, so of course I picked a Malbec. It was so super relaxing!
Here is where my trip took a turn for the worst ... let me tell you about a thing called Montezuma's Revenge, nope ... not the game. I've always known you aren't supposed to drink the water in Mexico, which I didn't or I guess I thought I didn't. But in the middle of the night, I felt like a giant hot knife was trying to tear my lower intestines in half. It was probably one of the worst nights I've had in my life (not exaggerating) and what made it worse was we had a full day of adventuring planned the next day! I ended up staying behind with my dad while everyone else went out.
While laying in a hammock, one of the workers named Jonas, noticed that I looked pretty rough. I told him that I ended up getting sick, and he immediately went and got me chamomile tea. He was seriously like our family's private butler. He went above and beyond helping us feel like we belonged there.
So while I sipped on tea, the rest of family went to an eco water park called XelHa and to the Mayan Ruins, based on my husband's pictures it looked simply wonderful!
The next day I was up and about, but not a full 100%. I was determined to make the most of my trip! We had a snorkeling tour schedule that afternoon and my sister and her husband wanted to hoverboard over the water.
Another great feature of El Dorado is that it is located right next to an adventure planning center, You can literally walk next door and plan your excursions, super convenient!
Snorkeling was my favorite part of the whole trip! I've always been too afraid to do it, which is strange because I love the ocean so much! But I also know a lot about the creatures that swim in it ... sharks! But I prayed, and decided to do it! Did I mention that Cancun has the SECOND largest reef in the world?!
We took a nice cruise around the coast and snorkeled back towards where we started. It was beautiful and an amazing experience. I felt like I was flying over small little cities of fish hiding in the coral. We almost got to swim with a sea turtle, but it had other plans.
When we got back, everyone went off and did their own things. My husband and mom parasailed, and sister and her husband did the hoverboarding thing.
One of the things I did come across was their "Swim with the Dolphins" attraction. I walked up to the tiny tank and watched as several dolphins swam aimlessly around.
Before I would have jumped all over this opportunity, but after learning the cruel way that companies acquire their dolphins convicted me to not support them with my money. I sat next to the tank for probably 30 minutes admiring how beautiful and intelligent they were, but it broke my heart to see how small their environment was. Without going off on a soapbox, I encourage you to research and learn more about the stressful environments they live in.
After dinner one evening, Bryan and I went to do a little photoshoot. He looked so handsome in his linen shirt!
Overall, we loved Playa del Carmen and most of all El Dorado Maroma. We would totally go back! If you are looking for a quiet, intimate getaway with your family or spouse, I totally recommend it!
Photo credit - My amazingly talented husband, Bryan.