Did you catch the last night’s episode of Vanderpump Rules? Turns out the cast visited the award-winning Andaz Mayakoba in Playa Del Carmen to celebrate Jax’s birthday and I just got back from a three-and- a-half-day getaway there and have been meaning to blog about it, so here we go!
Completely Burnt out
Like many of you, I was overdue for a vacation. Like VERY overdue. As an entrepreneur, I have a hard time shutting off my business brain and found myself very burned out. However, the thought of stepping away from my business for a whole week quite frankly — stressed me out.
So when my good friend (and fellow female entrepreneur) Manna Kadar decided to have her dream destination wedding at Andaz Mayakoba in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico I got really excited. My friend Lin Schatz moved to Playa Del Carmen to open up the Andaz Mayakoba (he used to manage the Andaz West Hollywood, which is how we met when we served on the Chamber Board together) and I had been wanting to visit for awhile now. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to celebrate Manna’s big day, spend time with friends AND recharge my poor work-weary body and soul.
Aerial view of the property courtesy of Andaz Mayakoba
Following, is my breakdown of my three and a half day getaway in the beautiful Mexican Riviera:
DAY 1: THURSDAY
4:00 p.m. Touchdown in Cancun
The Mexican Riviera is three hours ahead of Los Angeles, so I landed around 4:00 p.m. I had the unusual and unfortunate situation where immigration took me almost 3 hours to get through the line. My friend Jenn had arrived earlier in the day and whipped through the line in like half an hour. I met some really awesome people in the line including a couple from Redondo Beach who were also getting married in Playa Del Carmen, and a woman who had flown in from Perth Australia to attend a wedding. What I learned from this is that Playa Del Carmen is a world-class Destination Wedding option.
6:30 p.m. Private Car Service
The Cancun airport seemed well organized and safe to me and shuttle drivers were available to take all of us to our respective hotels. The Andaz offers private car service and I was so glad that I opted for that after the whole immigration situation. My driver Alex placed me in the back of a nice air conditioned car and offered me cold water and a cold Corona. I What’s App’d my friends and family to let them know I arrived safely and settled in for the 45 minute drive from Cancun to the Mayakoba.
Exterior of the Registration area known as the Sanctuary courtesy of Andaz Mayakoba
7:15 p.m. Sanctuary
I passed a sign that said “Mayakoba” as we turned into the eco-destination.
Jenn had texted that her shuttle driver didn’t quite exactly know where the Andaz was on the property because there are four luxury hotels located at the Mayakoba. It can be pretty confusing as the property is very big. We pulled up to the registration area known as the Sanctuary which is dramatically designed to look like a Cenote.
“a deep natural well or sinkhole, especially in Central America, formed by the collapse of surface limestone that exposes ground water underneath, and sometimes used by the ancient Mayans for sacrificial offerings.” – dictionary.com
The sun had already set so the Sanctuary was dramatically lit. I was seated while Ignacio, my registration concierge, gathered my paperwork and offered me a much-needed welcome drink.
Ignacio then escorted me to my room overlooking the lagoon. If you caught Vanderpump Rules, it was the room that Stassi and Kirsten shared with the world’s most comfortable bed, a luxurious walk-in rain shower that had privacy glass so it brought the outside in and a generous balcony overlooking the lagoon.
I also loved that there was a bike stand right outside the room that featured the cutest beach cruisers that you could simply hop on and go anywhere you wanted. Also, golf carts ran regularly so there were many many options to get around.
The bride had greeted us with the cutest welcome beach bag with flamingos and some of her eponymous makeup line and a recovery kit. Manna had thought of everything.
9:00 p.m. Dinner at OllaTaco
I hadn’t eaten since that morning back at LAX, and Jenn was starving because she waited for me. I freshened up in the spacious bathroom and we headed to OllaTaco. OllaTaco and OllaCeviche are the resort’s poolside, beachfront restaurants offering live entertainment and stunning ocean views. Carefully flanking two sides of the pool terrace, each restaurant directly faces the sea and is surrounded by the resort’s white sand beach. A party with a DJ and open bar was taking place so we had music both indoors and outdoors which is fitting since the architecture and vibrant décor is designed to have a casually luxurious indood/outdoor appeal.
Olivia the Octopus at OllaTaco| photo JennChanGlam
We sat at a long wooden table as Caribbean ocean breezes wafted in. I ordered a mixed fajita plate and Jenn opted for the shrimp fajitas. I ordered what was to the first of many margaritas.
After dinner, we took a walk on the beach and I caught the first glimpse of the massive white open-sided tent that was built right on the sand for Manna and Rob’s wedding. I could see the beginnings of the dance floor. The moon reflected off the water and I could already tell that this was going to be a really beautiful destination wedding and I was just so happy to experience all of it.
My stress had officially been sacrificed once I stepped foot into the Sanctuary.
Caribbean White Sand Beaches | Courtesy of Andaz Mayakoba
More to come! xx