Trip Report: Hotel Villa Rolandi – April 2012

Villa Rolandi Beach

Villa Rolandi Beach

Do you want to get away from it all? Then check out Villa Rolandi on the island of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. You can be relaxing on their private yacht for the short trip to the hotel a mere twenty minutes after arriving in the Cancun airport. Thirty-five rooms, two pools, one huge saltwater hot tub, plus a private beach. The food is excellent and the service is great. A fun island to explore, or just spend your days relaxing at the beach. Check out the full photo tour below:

 

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Trip Report: Maroma Resort and Spa – May 2011

Beach bed at Maroma

If you are looking for a relaxing and tranquil vacation on the best beach in the Mayan Riviera at an intimate boutique property, then you will love Maroma Resort and Spa. We had a wonderful five night stay with lazy days spent lounging on our beach bed, swimming in the warm ocean, snorkeling on the reef, and eating delicious Mexican food. Wake up in the morning to a fresh pot of coffee waiting outside your room and end your day with a nightcap among flickering candles and twinkling stars. Read the full review of our trip below and don’t forget to check out all of our photos.

Rooms:

There are a total of 65 rooms and suites at the hotel giving it an intimate estate feel. During most of the year (check with the hotel directly to confirm) Maroma only accepts guests that are aged sixteen or older. Four room categories will provide you with either an ocean view or oceanfront view: Ocean View Room, Ocean View Junior Suite, Ocean View Master Suite, and Oceanfront One Bedroom Suite (Sian Nah). There are only two room categories that do not offer views of the ocean: Charming Room and Garden View Room. Unlike newer luxury resorts in the Mayan Riviera, this hotel is set up horizontal to the beach giving you more opportunities for a room with a view of the ocean (and less chance of being bitten by mosquitoes due to the plentiful ocean breeze).

We stayed five nights in a second floor Oceanfront One Bedroom Suite (Sian Nah).

Oceanfront One Bedroom Suite (Sian Nah)

This is the top room category at the resort, unless you are interested in (and can afford) renting Villa Karolina. The suite consisted of a living room (with mini-bar area, sitting area with a selection of current English language magazines, and a desk with an iPod compatible stereo), bedroom, bathroom (two vanities, large closet, safe that was large enough to hold a laptop, indoor and outdoor shower, separate water closet), exercise room (elliptical machine, weight bench, free weights, and yoga mats), massage room (two tables), and two outdoor patios. The largest outdoor patio contained a dining table with two chairs, hammock, and plunge pool. We chose this room category over the Ocean View Master Suite for it’s oceanfront location, outdoor shower, plunge pool, and because it offers a Nespresso machine.

Overall the room was spacious, clean, and well laid out. The architecture and decor reflected a simple elegance and had a decidedly Mexican feel – wrought iron, local stone and tile, thatched roof, whitewashed walls, dark wood, and bright fabric accents. Another key aspect of the room was the inability to hear or see neighboring guests. There are four Oceanfront One Bedroom Suites (Sian Nah) in a building – two upstairs and two downstairs. The units are separated in the middle by an outdoor hallway and stairs, so no walls are shared.

We loved the romantic feel of the room when returning after turn down service to soft lights and flickering candles. In terms of improvement, we felt that the furniture in the sitting area was uncomfortable for extended lounging. Of course, on a beach vacation with perfect weather we didn’t need to sit indoors, so this wasn’t a big issue. Also, we knew that the room would not have a television (we were surprised that we did not miss this at all) but we were a bit shocked that the room did not contain a clock. We were able to use our cell phones to determine the time, but a small clock would be a helpful addition to the room.

Location:

Maroma is located approximately thirty-five minutes south of the Cancun airport on the most beautiful stretch of beach in the Mayan Riviera. We booked our transportation through the hotel and enjoyed an air-conditioned, comfortable, and stress-free ride in a new SUV. It’s more expensive to do this than other transportation options, but we find that the seamless coordination is generally worth the extra cost.

Restaurant/Lobby:

Bread basket

The resort was originally a coconut plantation. It has a wonderful tropical jungle feel, due in part to the fact that the landscaping is quite mature. The relatively small size of the resort lends additional credence to it’s estate feel. Of all of the resorts we have visited in the Mayan Riviera, Maroma feels the most like Mexico.

Maroma does not have a traditional hotel lobby. However, there are two indoor air conditioned sitting areas where you can watch television or borrow a book. There is another nook off of the main entrance with a pool table.

There are three main restaurants at Maroma: El Sol, El Restaurante, and Freddy’s Tequila and Ceviche Bar. Breakfast is taken a la carte at El Restaurant. Lunch can be ordered at El Restaurant, Freddy’s Tequila and Ceviche Bar, or delivered to your bed at the beach. The menu for both breakfast and lunch did not change from day to day and is the same regardless of your location when ordering. Dinner is available at all three restaurants, although they did not all seem to be open on the same night. Of course, room service is always available.

We enjoyed our meals, especially the fresh handmade tortillas and pastries at breakfast. The wait staff were very accommodating to menu changes and off-menu requests at all of the restaurants. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a vegetarian although my traveling partner is not.

Gym/Spa:

We had a tour of the spa upon arrival at Maroma and it looked gorgeous, but we did not participate in any treatments during our stay. Since we had a gym in our room, we also did not use the gym facilities.

Check In/Out:

Check in began with a warm greeting and an icy cold margarita. We were given a tour of the property and then taken to our room to complete the check in process. Check out was easy as we had been given an advance copy of our bill to review the evening before our departure.

Overall:

We loved our stay at Maroma. It was perfect match to our vacation requirements. We wanted an oceanfront room in a tranquil adults-only luxury environment. We also wanted a “free” setting where we could feel comfortable dressing up for a three course dinner or grabbing some sushi at the bar with our feet in the sand.

The majority of guests during our stay were couples aged 30+ and the hotel is gay friendly. We loved the free snorkel trip, the morning coffee delivered to your room, and the fabulous beach beds. I would recommend Maroma to anyone looking for a relaxing vacation to reconnect with a loved one or for a relaxing friends getaway. We would definitely stay at Maroma again!

Details:
Trip Length: Five nights
Room Type: Oceanfront One Bedroom Suite (Sian Nah)

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Trip Report: Four Seasons Boston – August 2010

What could be easier than a luxurious hometown getaway to celebrate your wedding anniversary? Staying local is fun and you can afford to splurge a little on the hotel because you don’t have to pay for airline tickets. We chose to stay two nights so that we could spend the full day of our anniversary in Boston. We had a fabulous time walking in the park, swimming in the hotel pool, strolling down Newbury Street, and of course, enjoying the wonderful service at the Bristol Lounge.

Rooms:
Deluxe Room

Large room included an over-sized desk with two chairs, sitting area with coffee table, sofa, chair, and ottoman, L’Occitane bath amenities

Location:
Located on Boylston Street directly across from the Public Garden. Picture perfect park views. Upscale neighborhood.

Restaurant/Lobby:
Bristol Lounge is spacious and quiet The food and views are great. Lobby is somewhat sparse, but feels luxurious.

Gym/Spa:
The gym is located on 8th floor of hotel. Aside from the usual equipment there is also an indoor pool and whirlpool with beautiful park views. You can order food at the pool and they provide magazines and newspapers.

Overall:
The Four Seasons is the grande dame of the Boston luxury hotel scene. You can sense that the hotel is thinking of your comfort and satisfaction at every step. Although we didn’t utilize all of the services that the hotel provided, I had no doubt that each and every request would have been handled with personal care and attention.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Four Seasons for either business or leisure travel.

Details:
Trip Length: Two nights
Room Type: Deluxe Room

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