Travel Review: Mexico

My husband, Ryan, and I recently took our postponed Honeymoon trip. I will say this… if you have the option of going to Mexico in August vs. January, you pick January every time. It definitely felt right to leave the 20 degree weather for some fun in the sun. This ended up being the first international trip for both of us, so we wanted to keep things simple by working with a travel agency in Omaha. They were able to help us find a wonderful resort named, “Grand Palladium,” located in Riviera Maya. It was a short one-hour shuttle ride from the Cancun airport.

I had received several recommendations and tips from my helpful co-workers, so I was fully prepared, fanny pack and all, to fight off the timeshare representatives, haggle on excursion prices, tip the drink boy heavy at the beginning of the day, and scope out my favorite ocean views and get their early enough to claim my favorite lounge chair.

Lomas Travel hooked us up with a wonderful experience with shuttle services and excursion booking. I would highly recommend partnering with them for a fun, safe experience.  There were an over-whelming amount of excursions to choose from, but we ended up deciding on two. The first, an exciting full day that began with a Tulum tour and ended with hours of fun at the beautiful, Xel-Ha. Our tour guides were fantastic and I was amazed at the level of skills associated with the bi-lingual communications to and from the park. As far as Xel-Ha… the views were magnificent and there were lots of family-fun activities available, the food and drink was mediocre. There were a lot of activities that were not included in park entry price. I would still recommend it, especially if you enjoy snorkeling.

The second excursion was a boating/snorkeling trip at a nearby resort (I apologize for not being able to come up with the name of this resort, but they had several activities available including deep sea fishing, ATV outing, etc.) We went out on the boat and jammed to some Jimmy Buffett until we found their most favorite snorkeling areas, where we stayed close to two guides who led us through incredible coral and aquatic life areas. We even saw a large stingray eating only feet below us. After about 3 hours out on the water, we headed back to the coast and were greeted on the beach with beautiful, personal hut tables, blue margaritas, and a fabulous 4-course meal, including lobster. This was a wonderful excursion experience and I was ecstatic to be back to the resort by 3 o’clock for some time for a quick nap and shower before going out for dinner and the show.

The resort itself was right out of a travel book. I’d assume any of the resorts set in such a beautiful place would be tough to complain about. The employees were very welcoming and always wearing a smile, which made for a very pleasant experience. There were two sides to the resort… one that was more family oriented and the other that was more for couples. The restaurants included a wide variety including Brazilian, Italian, Mexican, Spanish, BBQ, steakhouse and more. All were fantastic. Our favorite was certainly the Mexican style. We are fans of heat and the variety of salsas was phenomenal. Upon returning, I’ve had several dreams about the cheesy tortilla soup. If you’re wondering if I often have food dreams, the answer is, embarrassingly enough, yes. The resort had its own entertainment team called “POP” or “People of Palladium.” They were a talented and entertaining group of individuals and I thoroughly enjoyed every show. They’d perform a children’s show on one side of the resort around 8 and head over to the adult side and start around 9:30. When we’d wake up for breakfast, we’d eye them back on stage from around 7-10 practicing for the nightly show. By the end of the trip, I was their biggest fan and was on the lookout for a “POP” t-shirt to sport around back in Nebraska.

On my next trip to Mexico, I’d like to think I would venture out to different areas and resorts. However, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be tempted to return to the Grand Palladium. Until then, all I have to remember my trip is my POP shirt, a faded tan, and those margarita and salsa dreams.


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