Updated: Sep 13, 2020
Among the travel advisor community, we discuss the idea that if we don't travel, we can't expect clients to travel. It didn't take much to convince me. After seeing positive reports from other travel advisors who traveled to Mexico, I was ready to give it a try. I carefully selected three resorts that appealed to me and made plans for 5 nights in Cancun. After a Lyft ride, and a flight on Delta, I rented a car in Cancun and drove to NIZUC Resort & Spa for lunch and a tour. Then, I moved on to TRS Coral Hotel at Grand Palladium Resort for two nights, followed by one night at Le Blanc Spa Resort, and two nights at Palmaïa--The House of Aïa.
I am now back home in Atlanta, and overall, the experience was fantastic! In this first post, I will highlight my trip to Cancun and my first two nights staying at TRS Coral Hotel in Costa Mujeres.
Lyft Ride—The car had a plastic barrier between the front seat & back seat. That was an unexpected added level of safety. The driver wasn't wearing a mask, but I still felt safe since I was wearing a mask and am sure that I could have asked him to do the same.
Security—Since I was flying to Cancun, I went to the International Terminal. Usually, security is on the same level as the entrance, and it’s pretty fast. It was very fast since there aren’t many people flying, but I had to go downstairs for security. The reason wasn’t clear to me, but it wasn’t really a problem. Everyone was extra friendly. I’m sure it’s a much less stressful job with a fraction of people flying! The TSA agent even told me that my mask was on upside down!
Lounge—I always like to hang out in the airport lounge before a flight. With free food & drink, as well as personal space, it is a much more pleasant experience than sitting by the gate. The same is true during a pandemic. The employees were very friendly and helpful, and instead of a self-serve buffet, an employee serves you. Certain tables are marked “Do Not Sit,” so there is plenty of space. Guests are asked to wear masks when moving around. While I was writing this , there were 9 other people in the lounge, which was wonderful.
Flight—My flight from ATL-CUN was quite pleasant, actually. People are required to wear masks unless actively eating or drinking. The pilot made the joke that it doesn’t take 3 hours to eat a bag of peanuts! Actually, they’re not even serving peanuts. The give everyone a bag with goldfish, cookies, and a bottle of water, along with napkins & hand sanitizer. I wish they would give as much consideration to gluten free people as they do to nut allergies! I was surrounded by some interesting people. The couple in front of me thought they were pretty and kept taking selfies (and removed masks to do that). The man next to me felt that it was necessary to take his mask off when doing things on his phone. Overall, he was a lovely seat mate, though. He was from England originally, lived in Minnesota for a long time, and now lives in Mexico since he married a Mexican woman. What a life!
Arrival—Customs & immigration was extremely fast! I was out of the airport and in the rental car shuttle within 5-10 minutes.
Rental Car—I had reserved a car with Enterprise, and I had previously read some information about insurance in Mexico. It is confusing. My credit card company said not to take the insurance that is offered anywhere because the card provides coverage. However, when you are at the rental car counter, there is an official sign stating that the Mexican government requires you to buy a certain amount of insurance, unless you can prove that you have other coverage. The wording is weird, and when you just want to get in the car and to the beach, it’s even more difficult to process. I purchased the insurance and will do more research once I’m home so that I can properly advise clients in the future and know for my own rentals. All Enterprise employees were wearing masks, and they sanitized the car one last time before they let me drive away.
NIZUC Resort & Spa—I had scheduled a lunch meeting and tour with Julio at NIZUC. NIZUC is about 15 minutes from the airport, which is so convenient. Although it is close to the airport, it feels very tucked away and secluded. It was awarded most Instagrammable resort in the world, and when you enter the lobby, it is easy to see why. Everywhere you turn, there is something so beautiful that you want to photograph it. The design is modern and warm, and outside, there are many water features. The lunch was magnificent, though. Julio treated me to lunch at their restaurant named Ni, which apparently means duck. (Nizuc is “nose of the duck” which is somehow related to the Mayan calendar. I was very confused!). I ate way too much, but it was completely worth it. Julio then gave me a tour of the property. All of the rooms were completely lovely, from the lowest category to their villas. I really fell in love with the villas, and apparently they are very popular right now for their privacy. Experience NIZUC with me in this video:
TRS Coral Hotel—Costa Mujeres is about a 45 minute drive from The Hotel Zone. The drive was fine, but if you ever do it, be ready for a lot of roundabouts and enormous (HUGE) speed bumps. Arrival at the hotel went smoothly. They told me that there was no valet because of COVID, and the parking lot was a short walk away. That was not a problem for me at all. Check-in was fine, although I could not hear or understand the person helping me. There should be voice training for talking with a mask and shield. I know that projecting and speaking more clearly is a challenge for some people.