Monday, 20 December 2010

Cathy says...My México December 2010

Well it is December 17th I am looking out at the most exquisite snowy scene here in Devon… It seems a century has past since I was in my adored Mexico (although in fact it was only 3 weeks ago)

I was lucky enough to be invited on the British Airways inaugural non-stop flight London Gatwick to Cancun.  I am old enough to remember the last service B.A. had to this destination – but with no Business Class!!!
The flight superb, great service, great food – I think that the crew were as excited as me to be going to Mexico!!

It always amazes me as to how busy and sprawling Cancun Airport is, gone are the days when it was just a small table and one conveyor belt for the luggage…There is also the added small problem that no one can collect anyone from the concourse, it has to be outside…That lovely “Yucatecan” heat hits you as you descend from the aircraft.  After all the immigration forms and general official stuff we are finally outside ready to be whisked off to…Guess Where …..


I am sure everyone will recall me going on and on about “How I discovered the property when it was just a private house over 20 years ago etc etc…”
I remember literally begging the new owners never to change the wonderful true ‘Mayan atmosphere’ that this almost spiritual property has…They never did!! The hotel is truly the best it has ever been!  It still retains that very special feeling I had walking down the jungle enclosed driveway all those years ago…I was in Heaven…My wonderful friends in the Bar, the Restaurant, the Garden…were all still there, this is an oasis of peace and tranquillity amongst an ever growing coastline of new hotels and resorts…Maroma will never change and will always remain the same…Yes compared to the “All Inclusive” Maroma is expensive, upmarket, exclusive luxury...I call to mind the all encompassing  question “What is luxury” No it is not the best room, the best Jacuzzi or the best Spa…It is in fact the “Experience”  and here you have it...So many things I could tell you but I want it all to be a complete surprise as so many wonderful little secret things happen here to delight and enchant the Client!

I met with my friends (the original owners of Maroma) Jose Luis and Sally…believe it or not, they have built a small clutch of flower surrounded casitas next door, with the same elegance and style they set out to create at Maroma…More on this later…

The British Airways trip – known within the industry as an ‘educational’ therefore were invited to visit other hotels…Mexicans are incredibly generous hosts so no expense was spared,

Properties we were invited to see……

MANDARIN ORIENTAL…only 30 minutes from the airport with 128 rooms and suites, this well known global chain hotel lives up to its name.

RITZ CARLTON…situated actually in the resort of Cancun itself

FIESTA AMERICANA CORAL BEACH…This is one of the first of the Hotels in the resort. At Mexican Tours we tend to rely very heavily on our General Managers of properties. The particular man in question here is a great friend and a fabulous hotel man!! It is important to us that our clients are really looked after and it so helps if it is with people I personally have known over the years.

This is a relatively new development, situated 50mins from Cancun and created from a cleared jungle site, hence the abundance of water, river ways and lush surroundings plus of course fabulous beaches…situated in this lush setting are a couple of well known hotels

FAIRMONT MAYAKOBA…for those not in the travel industry reading this…Fairmont are the same company that own our gorgeous (recently reopened to much publicity) SAVOY LONDON
At Fairmont we have the great and famous Ian Robinson.I was invited by Ian in London two weeks ago for cocktails at the American Bar in the Savoy…delightful man and delightful experience

BANYAN TREE one word…STUNNING! Again here we have one of our old and true friends – Tets Kato

I spent time travelling up and down the famous road visiting our trusted properties which we recommend to our clients with full confidence in their hospitality.

When I mention the famous road!! It is because everything is along this stretch of highway…so best to arrive and stay put!! Yes there is a Cenote that can be visited along the way and of course the ruins of Tulum, otherwise the journey back and forth is tedious…

UNLESS you choose to stay on ISLA MUJERES at the gorgeous VILLA ROLANDI this way you have the isolated Island feeling but if you want to do a little shopping you board the hotel yacht and nip over to the centre of town!! Easy Peasy!!

Before leaving this chapter I must make a special mention of the OMNI PUERTO AVENTURAS

My happy little band of comrades left to return on B.A…I stayed on and began my adventures!!

Since being unceremoniously discarded by my adored MEXICANA AIRLINES, (long story more on this another time!!), I have not travelled too much internally…We are so proud to now be the office of MAYAIR…a great little airline...11minute flight from Cancun to Cozumel and I was HOME!!

My career if you can call it that began here on “My” island of Cozumel… How special is this place to me…PLAYA AZUL with the waves lapping the shore line, the divers setting off early in the morning to swim with the multi coloured tropical fish, that will eat out of your hand…There is nowhere else in my opinion (after all this Blog is called Cathy says!!!) that is as good for snorkel, fishing, diving … as Cozumel.. I learned to dive here and will always remember meeting my first Conga Eel...I even gave him a name!! My daughter was constantly with me on the island always in the water…Cozumel is a paradise for children!!

After a mucher shorter stay than I would have liked, I boarded MAYAIR and set off for MERIDA…how I love to be in this place!!

I went to see our new property HACIENDA MISNE which can only be described as A DREAM!!
I went to Playa Progresso…where the fish is cooked in front of you straight out of the sea…

I then travelled onward to MEXICO CITY…Where did I stay? Where I always stay CASA VIEJA!

Back to U.K on British Airways…

So there you have it!! My first attempt at a Blog… I hope I can write lots more about “My” Mexico … It will not be until 2011! Lets us all hope that it is going to be a better year….I have never known a more “tough time” than the past 18 months not just professionally!  After what seems like a lifetime of paving the way for the Mexicana Airlines MEXICO LONDON non-stop service…not only to have lost the facility to run their office but to see them go into an administration situation has caused me a lot of  personal grief… but lets see if they get their act together  for 2011..
On that note I will close.
I wish everyone a Very Happy Christmas and New Year…..

Cathy Matos…..