Last month, Azim and I were lucky enough to escape for a week to Playa del Carmen. We went to celebrate his brother’s wedding – a beautiful beachside ceremony for two of the loveliest, kindest, and most generous people I know.
I teared up several times (when the bride walked down the aisle, during a couple of the speeches, when my tan refused to get any darker), laughed a ton (babysitting all the adorable kids, watching Azim guiltily order nachos at 1 am night after night, getting to know lots of new family), and felt a lot of love and gratitude. To respect the privacy of my loved ones, I’m mostly going to share my own experience of the trip, and leave the wedding memories offline 🙂
We picked the perfect time to escape Toronto – the winter hasn’t been too bad in the city, but during the week we were gone, we managed to avoid a crazy snowstorm and some bitterly cold temperatures. Woohoo! The weather in Playa Del Carmen was perfect – sunshine every day, blue skies, and balmy breezes off the beach.
By February I always start to wilt a little, and am in dire need of Vitamin D. My skin starts to look “clear” as Azim puts it (he means he can see my veins because I’m so pale. He does not mean that my complexion is free of any blemishes. Lol).
I spent a good three days lying on the beach, plowing through an assortment of magazines I had brought. I always find it so hard to get through a magazine cover-to-cover when I’m at home, because I tend to reach for my overdue library books and fashion blogs instead. It was so refreshing to read the wonderfully curated content in Elle, Marie Claire, and 1843 (by the Economist).
Azim and I also tried to work out most days – a first for me during vacation! Normally my trips are to destinations that require a packed itinerary of museum-hopping and sight-seeing, but being on the beach meant no agenda items whatsoever. It was actually a lot of fun to get up and hit the gym together, and pop over to the juice bar afterwards. I really loved the resort we stayed at – Azul Fives – because the amenities were wonderful. In addition to the 24-hour gym, there were other workout options available such as water aerobics in the pool, yoga on the beach, and tennis courts.
The swimming pools all had swim-up bars, and there was a tiny pool just for kids with mini lounge chairs! I enjoyed the hammocks – although there were always humongous lizards chilling on rocks close by – and of course the beach was great! There were a few different types of colourful fish right in the shallow waves off the beach, and the resort offered complimentary snorkelling gear.
The resort boasts nine different restaurants! I would say that I enjoyed one of them immensely (Italian), would eat again at two others (sushi and Thai), and the rest were generally good. Better than good, considering it’s an all-inclusive resort.
The breakfast buffets were awesome because the variety was impressive (gluten-free options?! wow!), and they also had green juice available on request. I’ve never experienced this at other all-inclusive resorts.
Another positive was their 24-hour room service. If you’re wondering who would order room service when there are nine restaurants available, look no further. Azim tore through a few orders of nachos, and I may have ordered mac and cheese when I was feeling a bit peckish… 🙂
We also went on a snorkelling excursion to Cozumel! If you’re interested in this, I would advise you to do your research before your departure. We sort of planned this outing on the fly, and I wasn’t very impressed with the snorkelling guide or destinations.
When I went with my family as a child, we visited a gorgeous reef with TONS of colourful fish everywhere. This time around, we saw three or four different kinds of fish, and visited a dying reef by the side of what appeared a highway or main road. The reef was grey.
I thought Cozumel was a sweet place to hang out. There were a lot of cute little restaurants and bars, and I had spiced coffee at a cool café. The ferry ride was a bit difficult for me – about 40 minutes one way from Playa del Carmen – but Azim was totally fine. I think the older I get, the more I take after my mom. My dad likes to say that she gets seasick in a bathtub 🙂
I would definitely visit again, and am actually looking forward to my next beach vacation. Hope you enjoyed these pictures that Azim took! The colourfully tiled bar is actually the Tequila bar on the resort! xox