On a whim, we accepted an offer to go to Cancun with my sister-in-law and her husband, Khanh and Don, for a few days. We left Fort Worth on Sunday April 26, 2009 and are returning home today after a short four-day stay.
Khanh and Don had booked a beachfront, two-bedroom condo at the Royal Sands in the middle of the Hotel Zone in Cancun. We traveled separately and when we got there, they had already hit the beach. It has been several years since the last time we were in Cancun with the kids and so this time, the prospect of vacationing without the kids was certainly appealing to me.
The Royal Sands, Cancun
Royal Resorts own several large condos in Cancun and one near Playa del Carmen, the Royal Hacienda, which is 45 minutes by car south of Cancun.
The Royal Sands seems new to me and similar to other high-end condos, it has large swimming pools, swim-up bars, well-maintained ground, and all its rooms have views of the ocean.
The Pools at the Royal Sands
Our condo is on the third floor on the wing that is the closest to the beach and therefore, the view of the Caribbean Ocean from our bedrooms and living room is simply terrific.
To me, Cancun water has the best colors. It is dark blue near the horizon where the water is deep, then changes to various shades of turquoise closer to the shore, and crystal clear where it comes crashing onto the beach.
View From Our Condo
The hurricane landed here a few years ago and its effects are still evident. Erosion has taken away a major part of the beach along a long stretch of the shoreline and some of the stairways at the adjacent hotels and condos are now part of the sea. Even with all of that, the view of this crescent beach is still tremendous.
In the afternoon, after a day at the beach, the four of us would gather on the balcony enjoying our tea and wine and watching the ocean before going to dinner.
Lee and Bo on Condo Balcony
Khanh and Don
We didn't do much here except going to the beach, the pool, dinner, and gathering on the balcony for a night cap after a full day of sun, sand and surf. Of course, we took a LOT of pictures. In the daytime, we would order foods and drinks at the condo's restaurants and at night, go out.
Royal Resorts institutes a pretty interesting payment system. No cash or credit cards are accepted for goods and services during your stay. If you eat at one of its restaurants or buy things at its gift shops, the costs are charged to your room even if you had the money and wanted to pay for them right then and there. You pay for everything one time at checkout. For your information, one US dollar is equal to 13 pesos; and things are slightly cheaper here than in the US.
Lee and Khanh Sunbathing
Lee, Bo, Khanh and Don Relaxing on the Beach
Dinner at Night
On Tuesday, we rented a car and drove to Playa del Carmen. We walked around the town's quaint little streets, looked at its shops, restaurants and boutique hotels. We took a few pictures then went to the Royal Hacienda which is also a part of the Royal Resorts.
Touring Playa del Carmen
Khanh and Don in Playa del Carmen
Lee and Khanh
A Beachfront Restaurant in Playa del Carmen
Royal Resorts allows its guests to use its facilities at all locations and so we decided to try the beach at the Royal Hacienda near Playa del Carmen. This facility is even newer than the Royal Sands and its architecture and landscaping are fabulous. Buildings are painted in different colors and surround a terrace of pools, water lilies ponds, arbors and hammocks.
Relaxing at the Royal Hacienda
Relaxing at the Royal Hacienda
Bo and Lee at Royal Hacienda
The beach at the Hacienda is wider and less rocky than the Royal Sands' beach. Here the waves are gentle and one can go far into the water and is still only knee deep in it. We swam for a long time and took long walks along the leaning-coconut-trees shoreline.
Don, Khanh, Bo and Le at Royal Hacienda Beach
At night, we went back to a place called Los Canarios where we had dinner the night before. The reason we went back was because the place offers a perfect spot to watch the sunset. Here in April, the sun begins lowering itself around 6:30 PM and in the process, radiating a glorious orange glow over the calm water of the Nichupte Lagoon. The friendly waiters sat us at table with a full view of the sunset and took pictures for us. It was so relaxing munching on appetizers, sipping Dos Equis, gazing out on the water as the sun was setting. That was a great dinner.
The Los Canarios Restaurant Patio
Lee and Khanh Dining at the Los Canarios
Los Canarios is a Perfect Place to Watch the Sunset
And It has a Perfect Spot to Take Sunset Pictures
As I mentioned, we are leaving today to head home. Khanh and Don are staying another day. We waved goodbyes to them as the shuttle was pulling away from the hotel entrance. We thanked them for inviting us to join them in Cancun and told them that we had a wonderful time here. We are ready to reunite with Steve, Jessica, Stephanie and Julian and hope to see Christina soon. I'm sorry that the family has been worrying about the swine flu spread in Mexico. We are fine.
Don and Khanh will come back to their home three miles from us tomorrow to reunite with their daughter, Courtney, and their Maltese, Bentley. We'll probably get together again this weekend for dinner. That what happens when you have a close-knit family. Lee and I will travel to Mount Rushmore in May to watch our daughter, Christina, playing golf; but for now...