What a great adventure trip! K and I flew Virgin America First Class to Cancun (roundtrip 40k points each Virgin Atlantic miles used). We stayed at the Westin Regina Cancun at the end of the Hotel Zone – we actually have a timeshare there so we used it for 2 nights in a one bedroom suite. We had a gorgeous view overlooking the beach and pool area:
We did booked a tour with the hotel to go see the mayan ruins at Tulum, about 90 minutes south of Cancun. Boy, was it hot! But it was a short visit to a beautiful spot with the Mayan Ruins overlooking the turquoise blue waters so we enjoyed it. We also booked a tour to drive the speedboats through the mangroves in the lagoon and out to sea, with a short snorkel stop as well and that was fun.
Some restaurants we enjoyed in Cancun were La Habichuela (downtown; they also have a location in the hotel zone with a Mayan show) and Tango (Las Americas Plaza Mall). La Habichuela downtown has a lovely outdoor garden, but unfortunately, that is also the smoking zone.
We took a 30 minute Ultrazone Ferry ride to Isla Mujeres (about $19 round-trip per person) and took a short taxi ride (only $4 into and out of town) to the Villa Vera Yacht Club, where we spent the next 3 nights. This hotel is part of our timeshare as well so we enjoyed the room with two full sized beds and a separate sofa/sitting area and jacuzzi tub outside our door. This is a small boutique hotel so we did need to go outside the hotel for meals. The pool area was nice, though, and it was nice, clean and quiet. Some good restaurants we enjoyed were Angelo’s and Rolandi’s – both excellent.
We went to El Garrafon de Castillo to snorkel, but it wasn’t that great there – old facilities and not that many fish. The highlight of our trip though, was a whale shark excursion with Ramon of Searious Divers – they took us about 90 minutes off of Isla to swim with the whale sharks and it was a magical experience:
We took the ferry back to Cancun, and stayed our last night at the Barcelona Tower Suites (Condominio Torre de Barcelona) next to the Plaza Las Americas. It was so hard to find and googlemaps was off on this one. We just needed to go up the parking ramp on the North side of the Mall, past the CPK, and that’s where it was. We stayed here because I found an incredible deal on Orbitz for this 2 bedroom condo for $10 for the night. I did confirm with Orbitz that they would honor it before I checked in though. It was really not a hotel, but a condo complex, so we needed to leave it to eat but having the mall right next door as well as a supermarket really helped. Even with an ugly building being constructed in front of the condo and no hotel services, I couldn’t complain about paying $10 a night!
This was an awesome adventure for us – I hope you can put your miles and points together for a trip like this too!