Mexico is a beautiful country, and an even more beautiful honeymoon destination, but, as with most things in life, timing is everything. This was certainly true when it came to our honeymoon, which was taken during the British Easter holidays. Unfortunately, this timing also meant that in Mexico, there would be many holiday makers celebrating ‘Spring Break’. This was particularly unfortunate as the Mexican section of our holiday was to be the second, more relaxing part of our honeymoon, having spent four hectic nights in New York. I was guilty of not heeding my now-husband’s warnings. We were going to a five-star adults-only hotel – surely students seeking fun and freedom wouldn’t choose a honeymooner’s hotel to stay in, right? Wrong. But this didn’t mean to say that our honeymoon was ruined; we were lucky enough to just catch the tail end of the Spring Break vacationers, who mainly left the day after we arrived, and we also sought out the more serene aspects of this beautiful honeymoon destination. So if you want to escape the parties and excess of Mexico, here are some ideas for a more tranquil time:
We chose to stay at the lovely Golden Parnassus Hotel in Cancun, which is an adults-only all inclusive hotel on the quieter side of the Cancun coast, away from the city centre (if it’s a family-moon you’re after, the Golden’s sister hotel, the Grand Parnassus, is located on the same strip, and welcomes families with children of all ages). One of the best things about the hotel was its fantastic location on a beautiful white-sand beach. Each morning we took the option of the hotel’s beach sun loungers, shaded by raffia umbrellas blowing in the breeze, and with their own private bar (complete with swing seats to enable you to while away an hour or two sipping a cocktail, looking out upon the blue ocean!). This way, we were close enough to the pool, our room and the restaurants when we needed them, but had the calmness of the beach surrounding us, rather than the slightly rowdier pool side.
The view of the wonderful beach from the hotel’s poolside
Once the Spring Break crowd left, there were some great activities on offer at the hotel. These included cocktail making on the beach, weaving friendship bracelets in the shade of a gazebo overlooking the ocean, and even free massages by the pool. One of the most enjoyable aspects of our Mexican honeymoon was indulging in the gorgeous food at the à la carte restaurant. With everything from exquisitely presented guinea fowl and sumptuous steaks, to gorgeous crème brûlée and chocolate mousse for dessert, all washed down with a celebratory glass or two of champagne, we were spoilt for choice – and all served in calm, relaxing surroundings with a formal air and even a pianist to hand!
Champagne in the a la carte restaurant!
What’s more, being located away from the hubbub that is Cancun Town doesn’t mean that you have to stay in your hotel 24/7. The excellent bus service which runs past the hotels on this strip at a frequency of once every three minutes means that you can easily get into the main town of Cancun, or if you don’t want to go that far, to the interesting flea market, just down the road (and if you’re a Christmas decoration collector like we are, you will be in heaven! I didn’t expect to find the wide variety of beautiful and unusual decorations available that we did!). Similarly, your hotel will offer a great range of excursions; without a doubt, the highlight of our Mexican adventure was our trip to Dolphin Discovery on the nearby island of Isla Mujeres. After an hour’s boat trip, we arrived at this island which has a dedicated sea life experience centre. Having already swum with dolphins the previous year, we jumped at the chance to swim with manatees on this occasion. These graceful, naturally curious creatures have a calming influence by nature; not only did we get to learn about these amazing animals, but also feed them and swim with them as well. Topping off the day with a wonderful snorkelling experience too, this really was the sort of thing that honeymoon memories are made of.
Swimming with the manatees
If you’re a party animal, Mexico will offer you everything you’ll ever desire. But similarly, if you’re a honeymooner, don’t let this put you off; seek out the relaxing parts, the stunning beaches and scenery, the honeymoon hotels. It’s the sort of place that you’ll have once in a lifetime experiences – and isn’t that what a honeymoon is all about, after all?