I’m not sure if I should call it good timing or just plain old good luck. But I just so happened to join my new firm a couple of months before an all expenses paid firm retreat to Playa Mujeres, Mexico! I really lucked out, since I had no travel plans on the horizon for the rest of the year, and this trip happened just as the travel itch was starting to set in again…HARD!
I’m not usually one for vacationing. I prefer to travel. Visiting different cities, taking planes, trains and automobiles, sightseeing, making itineraries, researching accommodations, and discovering great restaurants is all part of the travel experience for me. I am a planner by nature and trip planning is my jam. But, it is nice to go on a trip where you don’t have to do any thinking, once in a while – just book, pack your bags, and go.
I’d been to Mexico before, but it was a completely different type of trip. I went to Playa del Carmen for an electronic music festival, where I partied for 7 days straight! So, this time around, I had high hopes of doing excursions and activities. But since I just joined the firm and didn’t know about 75% of the other lawyers, I opted to stay on the resort and socialize with my peers.
Playa Mujeres (literal Spanish translation: “women beach”) is located on the northeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo. It’s about a 15-minute drive north of Cancún and 45 minutes away from the Cancún International Airport. It consists mainly of resorts, so there is not much exploring to do in the immediate area (other than to find the next hotel bar or restaurant). Nearby Isla Mujeres and Isla Contoy (a protected island) are good places to do mini excursions, like snorkelling and scuba diving.
I’ll start by saying this is a completely unsponsored post (in case you were wondering), and apart from everything being on the firm tab, I did not receive any travel incentives from anyone. However, I would like to thank the Secrets Playa Mujeres Resort & Spa for treating me so well and leaving little surprises for me in my room, like floral arrangements, chilled bottles of champagne and a cake shaped like a purse. My only disappointment was that I could not explore the private pool suites and photograph them due to the resort being fully booked. Oh, and the BEHEMOTH-sized grasshoppers that seemed to be all around the resort (in addition to other wildlife, like giant lizards). Nevertheless, I would definitely recommend the Secrets Playa Mujeres Resort & Spa to people looking for a nice retreat. Currently, it’s more appropriate for adult couples and singles. But I understand they are adding an extension to the resort in order to accommodate families (so I’m actually glad I went when I did).
The resort was absolutely beautiful, clean, modern, and spacious. We had to take a golf cart to get from one side (where the disco and many of the à la carte restaurants were located) to the other side (where the rooms, pool and beach were). Our rooms were also huge, had private balconies, very big bathrooms, and comfortable beds. I felt extremely tiny having a Junior Suite all to myself, but I’m not complaining one bit! All you had to do was walk down the stairs to access the beach, which had white sand and warm water. The pool area is also a definite selling point for the resort. I mean, just take a look.
Eat & Drink
As could be expected, the food was just mediocre. There were 9 à la carte restaurants, but since resorts always cater to the masses, the food wasn’t that great at any of them. I, of course, knew that I’d have to venture off-resort to get the real deal. But, given how secluded this property is and how difficult it was to wrangle someone into leaving the pool to go with me, the trip to a Mexican taco stand in town never did end up happening…Next time!
The drinks were plentiful (and of course, free!), so each day I tried many new cocktails. That’s not usually my style, but when in Rome! I also appreciated being able to have fresh coconut water, which is so refreshing! Overall, however, I don’t think resort vacationing is sustainable after 4 or 5 days of abusing your body with unhealthy food and copious amounts of alcohol. So, I was actually glad our trip only lasted 4 days!
As mentioned, I sadly didn’t venture off resort. But if you plan to visit, you definitely should. Just make sure to do your research and book your excursions through separate tour operators, and not through the hotel concierge where you will pay more. Notable things to do are: visiting the cenotes (large sinkholes that you can swim and snorkel in) and visiting Chichén Itzá (Mayan ruins). I would highly recommend a day trip to Playa del Carmen, which is such a cute and colourful town. Tulum is another travel destination in the Yucatán Peninsula with a chilled out vibe and its own ruins to explore. I’m dying to check Tulum out on a future trip.
What I did make sure to make time for is shooting. I didn’t have my Instagram hubby with me, nor did I get a local photographer. Instead, I had my trusty tripod, which came in so handy when I wanted to snap shots of myself around the resort!