A Mexican Getaway :: Luxurious Cancun
If you’re like our fabulous Style & Travel Editor, Jason Salzenstein, you could probably use a short break from cold weather, snow, and/or gray skies right now. Setting out to find a warm destination that wasn’t going to break the bank, he discovered a tropical getaway just south of the border...
Boston is freezing right now- literally. And while I love the snow (and let’s be honest, the opportunity to wear giant scarves and fabulous cashmere sweaters), after eight weeks of down jackets I needed to escape to a place where I could slip on some shorts, lie in the sun, and sip a fruity cocktail... or four. Of course a good spa, excellent service, gourmet restaurants, good shopping, and a couple unique cultural activities are also on my list of requirements for any destination.
Given the state of the economy -and my budget- price was also a factor. Luckily, I didn’t have to look far, and thanks in part to the depressing economic situation, there are a lot of great deals to be found- especially at luxury properties.
On the hunt for a short vacation that wouldn’t cost me a fortune, I discovered the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun (which will lovingly be abbreviated as "FAG" periodically from here on out) on the Mayan Gold Coast, and decided to take a short getaway that ended up being exactly what the doctor ordered. (Although he might not have recommended quite as many margaritas...)
The Mexican Caribbean
Located in the southeast of the Gulf of Mexico, in the Caribbean Sea, Cancun is a town developed specifically for tourism. The city is easy to get to from nearly anywhere in the US, the climate is beautiful all year round, and the ocean is usually calm, crystal clear, and clean- making it a perfect vacation destination for those seeking sun and sand, as well as a whole list of other offerings.
Surprisingly, the exchange rate is pretty good right now, making Mexico much more affordable than many other destinations. Additionally, because of current economic "issues," many resorts in Cancun- even high-end, five-star luxury resorts- are offering great deals and promotions, allowing visitors to get more for their money, and experience a more glamorous vacation than you might normally get to have.
The current promotion at the Fiesta Americana Grand is one of the best deals in Cancun right now. With a minimum three-night stay, each room comes with a $200 voucher good for spa treatments, food and beverage, and onsite activities at the resort. Combine that with their seasonally lower room rates, impeccable service, and record 15-year AAA Five Diamond status, and you’ve got an opportunity that was too fabulous for me to pass up.
I just got back from a trip to this incredible resort- and I can’t wait to go back.
Here’s what I found...
A tropical paradise
I arrived in Cancun around 1pm local time after an easy 4-hour flight from Boston (where I left 20-degree weather and blustery winds). Having only been to Cancun once -on a horrible trip a few years ago- I was a little trepidatious, but the research I’d done on the Fiesta Americana Grand was all positive. As soon as I arrived and stepped into the resort’s grand lobby, I knew I was in for a fabulous time.
I’ve often seen commercials for beautiful resorts in warm, tropical locales on TV, or watched as characters in movies visited beach resorts, and thought, "that’s where I want to be... but I’m sure it doesn’t really exist." It turns out that the "dream" locale from ads is in fact Cancun, and the resort is the Fiesta Americana Grand. The beachfront is immaculate and expansive, the pools sparkle magnificently, and the staff is everything you’d want them to be- including very attractive!
Although most of the resorts in Cancun’s Hotel Zone are five-star properties, the FAG is one of only three that’s earned AAA’s prestigious Five Diamond Hotel Award for 2008; in fact they’ve received this award for a record 15 years. They’re also a member of Leading Hotels of the World, so it goes without saying that this place is at the top of the list of resorts in Cancun.
I was immediately struck by the service, which is impeccable; in fact, it felt a bit like being at Daddy Warbucks’ house- minus the singing. Everyone who helped me during my stay was friendly and eager to please, without being pushy or overbearing.
If you’re concerned about security as a vacationing American in Mexico- and given some of the high-profile news reports over the past year or so, it’s not unreasonable- don’t be. Security at the resort is top-notch; given the number of security men walking around, you can’t even sneeze without a well-suited security guard speaking quietly into their hidden mic. I’ve never felt more secure at an international resort.
Location, Location, Location
Aside from the fabulous resort itself, the location of the Fiesta American Grand couldn’t be better. To start with, they’ve got prime beachfront with plenty of room for lying out, building sand castles, and swimming in the ocean. On the other side of the hotel, you’re a short walk from the best nightlife in town, five minutes by car to fabulous shopping, and only a stone’s throw from Starbucks!