Sunday, 8 May 2011

A Trip to Paradise

Just arrived at Washington Dulles Airport, flew with United in Economy Plus...Super!
Great check-in at LHR... great crew on the flight.  As an ex-Stewardess myself I love "in flight chats and catch-up’s”!

Have walked the length and breadth of Terminals C, D and B looking for that elusive "Boutique"! No such luck, all I gave myself was Blisters!

Passengers beware the E.S.T.A. (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) is now well established and passengers not having completed this requirement will be possibly refused onward U.S. travel.

Arrive in Mexico City at 10p.m...I love arriving here at this hour, the evening is just beginning, always buzzy, happy smiling people and my lovely 7ft tall Ramon to meet me!  Off I go to Casa Vieja, my Margarita ready upon arrival, along with my selection of cheeses, cold bottle of white wine and rose petals on the bed!

Up with the Lark (this area of the City is one with the most incredible birdsong in the early morning).  Breakfast on the terrace where I bumped into some of our clients.  Decided to drive to Acapulco (or rather be driven) which in a way is almost as quick as flying by the time you get back to the Airport, it is just as easy to go by road and stop off en route in Cuernavaca for lunch.

A true delight, the first of the Mexican resorts to hit the headlines in the 40's and 50's.  A three hour drive by road via "The Eternal Spring City" of Cuernavaca or a 45 minute flight from Mexico City.  I stayed at the fabulous and famous LAS BRISAS, home to "Fun in Acapulco" with Elvis Presley and to the sadly departed Elizabeth Taylor for her birthday visits.  The views of the Bay from Las Brisas are some of the best in the world.  Frank Sinatra was not wrong when he recorded "Fly me to the Moon"!  This is a true glamorous resort and so badly misunderstood. Who would know for example that you can go down to the main strip for breakfast on the beach at 6 a.m. and watch the fishermen bring in their nets just loaded with Lobsters and Fish or that you could literally exit one of the incredibly sophisticated Disco's at 6 a.m. and do the same thing! Many of the most sumptuous private homes are to be found in Acapulco.  Don’t forget the richest man in the World (Carlos Slim) is Mexican and yes he also has a home here!

Made a very sentimental visit to the old Los Flamingos Hotel.  This property was built by the “Hell Raisers” of Hollywood in its day; John Wayne, Alan Ladd, Johnny Weissmuller and believe it or not it finally became the last home to Bob Spiers, creator of “Absolutely Fabulous” and “Are you Being Served”.

I flew Acapulco to Toluca Airport.  How fabulous is this on INTERJET…40 mins up and down and a small quiet airport on arrival.  Luggage comes immediately, outside and into the car and reached Mexico City in 45 minutes.  Go directly to my Beauty Ladies.  These ladies are the best in the world and I should know, I have been visiting them for 25 years.  They do all my treatments and do their best to repair my poor little feet.  After three days of walking around the travel show my original blisters have become something like "creatures from the deep"!
Change and out for Dinner! I love to "dress up" in Mexico City.  No shorts or t-shirts in this up-market area of Polanco.  Drinks at the exquisitely sophisticated LAS ALCOBAS.  This hotel now has a signature chef restaurant, Butlers for each room, immaculate service and even a soap menu.

Must make a mention of a visit I made to a great little apartment building with strictly kosher restaurant.

Lunch next day at a fabulous restaurant in the Banking district; full of fabulous designer outfits and Saville Row Suits and fish to fresh you would think you had died and gone to heaven!  A ride of "terror" in my escort's Ferrari to the airport and board Aero Mexico for my flight to Cancun. I sit as always on the plane and mourn the sight of the Airport littered with the planes of my "departed" Mexicana!

Arrival into Cancun, met and escorted by Scott Balesteri, Director of Omni Hotels; what an honour to have him himself drive me all the way.

Believe it or not have never stayed at the Omni Puerto Aventuras before, which means I have not done my little investigations that I do into “secret” beach places, hidden alcoves etc. and these I have certainly found.

Arriving to total peace and tranquility…I actually checked in behind some Americans and just heard the chap say “WOW”!  I don’t want to spoil the surprise but it is simply lovely here so you will see for yourselves when you come and all say “WOW”!
Dinner by the sea in the moonlight …unfortunately alone  but still romantic, it felt a bit like Shirley Valentine without Tom Conti!  I had shrimp Tacos and a glass of excellent wine, fish so fresh and delicious.  Remember I always say that no Mexican housewife would buy our fish laid out for days on the supermarket slab!

Room so comfortable with a huge bed and a great T.V. Terrace with hammock and yes a Jacuzzi.  I know that in this day and age sometimes this can be considered naff but believe me with candles and Mayan infusions this could be very romantic.  It was “wasted” on just me!
Off to explore the beach this morning and found gorgeous nooks and crannies.  I am never a great “Fan” of snorkeling along the shores of Cancun but here amongst the rocks and sand dunes I saw lots of pretty tropical little chappies!
If you ask me to tell you where these “hidden” places are I will…if you don’t ask me then I won’t!
As a “Loner” which I am Omni ticks all the boxes; lots of quiet places.  Today there is a small wedding being prepared but even with all this going on I have been able to wander about and swim both in the pool and the sea without being bothered by or having to speak to anyone which suits me just fine.  Outside the Hotel is a little convenience shop to buy wine, suntan cream or whatever you may need.  I can’t think of anything more perfect.  Imagine if you are on a huge complex and only have the “Hotel Shop” to rely on, I cannot think of anything worse. I love freedom to what I want when I want to and here you have this.  For children you have the “Swim with Dolphins” and yes I have checked it all out.  Omni is for me and I don’t want to leave!


Well…What an amazing stay at this paradise!  This is a top notch luxury resort.  Only 30 separate villas with pool, huge bed, bathroom, garden, TV, Bose sound system and IPod dock. Also my room had a very sexy outside shower.  In fact the whole concept is sexy and exciting.  Once again I am in my” Shirley Valentine” guise! The Beach is sensational and goes on forever.  This is a boutique Hotel with interesting things going on. Thursday is Guests’ cocktail and a special Chef’s table.  There are cookery classes throughout the week.  On Tuesdays it is Tapas evening with all local Yucatecan dishes. I am sure I do not have to tell our Clients that the Yucatecan Cuisine is one of the best in the World.  Obviously the only person who does not know this is Jeremy Clarkson!

I had the Ancient Mayan Massage yesterday and what a treat.  It is an ancient Mayan system cleansing treatment and does absolutely leave you with a feeling of complete liberation and rejuvenation.

Food! My favorite subject of course! I had room service when I arrived (I love room service)
Excellent. The service levels at this Hotel are amazing.  Yesterday evening I had a glorious dinner in true Tides tradition wherein the food is matched to the wines not the other way around.  All Mexican Wines from amazing vineyards, some very ancient.  It was a masterpiece.

Tides is one of the few 5 Star boutique properties along this coast line. Is it expensive? Yes.  Is it worth it? Yes! Do not ask us for a “Cheaper room” or an upgrade! All suites are the same except for the Presidential of course which is out of this world.  Would you walk into the Ritz, the Savoy or the Dorchester and ask for “Cheaper”? I rest my case…

Went from here to Al Cielo.  This is our very special “secret” at Mexican Tours.  Only 5 rooms, the ultimate in total seclusion, beach goes on forever.  The restaurant is famous amongst all the local hoteliers along this coast.  Please ask us for details.

Amarte.  A beautiful complex of private casitas set amongst lush gardens and fountains.  Situated next to Maroma (Orient Express), built by the original owners and architects of Maroma.  We have sole agency for this property so please ask us for details.

Dreams Tulum.  The “All-inclusive”!  This is a large property (400 rooms) I was really very, very impressed.  The beach goes on and on and on.  I was in an old section of the hotel in what was originally the Presidential Suite.  There are 5 of these suites available and they are out of this world.  Excellent value and whilst we are not know at Mexican tours to “favour” the all-inclusive I would have no hesitation in recommending this fine property.

Now beginning a service to Chetumal so our client could continue along the cost from Tulum to entry into Belize and Guatemala.

Other properties visited in Tulum were
Cabanas de Ana y José
Las Ranitas
Be Tulum.

And so back to Miami.  After 7 nights of comfort, cleanliness, luxury and fresh air we come to the Runway Inn!  I have taken in my time a huge amount of negative comments reference “My” Mexico.  I always remember years ago when people would say “Acapulco must be like Blackpool”.  How would they know?!  Finding myself stranded at 2am I can tell you that the Runway Inn has no comparison with anywhere I have ever visited, not even Blackpool!  And this was the USA.

News of the office…we have a wonderful new admin assistant called Nora.