I have many travel rules, including avoiding mass market package tour destinations. So I was a bit apprehensive about flying down to Cancun this week, even with the promise of a 5-star hotel, the Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita, far from the raucous Hotel Zone, in the sedate Riviera Maya south of the city. From the second I was picked up at Cancun’s airport, with a cool towel and champagne waiting for me in the car to the hotel, I felt like royalty.
The property itself was gorgeous, with its 80 massive suites all named after destinations the owners have visited (my room was Mozambique). I was told the architect who owns and built the property created it as a sort of Taj Mahal for his wife, hence the name, “La Bonita,” or The Beautiful. Throughout the property, the owner’s fine tastes and true knack for shopping were quite evident. Virtually everything had been acquired on foreign trips resulting in a very authentic and unique feel to the place.
While I certainly enjoyed getting sunburnt by the pool (to the point that I had to completely cover up by day two) while the amazing staff waited on me hand and foot, the spa was pretty memorable, too. At their Thalasso Center, which bills itself as the first certified Thalassotherapy center in North America, I enjoyed a “marine hydromassage” which was basically a high-tech bathtub (imported from France, I might add). I was given a skimpy bathing suit to put on before slipping into the tub. Next the spa attendant came in and started his magic. First up: dumping a large mixing bowl full of seaweed puree into the clear water. Next, many, many drops of lovely essential oils. He turned on the jets, and programmed the tub for a 30-minute session. Their marketing materials claim the tub features “72 seawater, air and ozone jets strategically positioned along acupressure meridians.” Not a bad way to start the day.
By the pool with Jimmy and Ani, post-sunburn:
A huge recommendation for this property…