Friday, August 12, 2011

Toddlering in Cancun, part 1

This year, we decided for a family vacation in Cancun, Mexico. Since it's only 4 1/2 hours away from Los Angeles by plane, we figured it will be the perfect family get away. And it was.
We got to the Intercontinetal El Presidente hotel around 8 in the evening (it was already dark, we couldn't see much outside, except for the amazing pool and the unbelievable warm water of the sea).
Facts about the hotel:
-El Presidente is most likely not the most beautiful, awesome hotel I've ever stay in, BUT we had a very nice suit with a big bath and shower and a big balcony looking towards the Caribbean (the view was breathtaking):

-because we were having an upgraded status, we were getting in the morning complimentary breakfast (a nice buffet- fruits, cereals, omelet bar, pancakes, fresh orange juice or mixed fruits juice, coffee, milk); it was not a big buffet but big enough to satisfy any morning hunger and with lots of options to feed a toddler (my son, 23 months will have fresh fruits, cereals, omelet, fresh orange juice). If you want a bigger, better breakfast you can go to the restaurant downstairs where you could have a bigger buffet selection and you could order an expresso (the only place to order an expresso) which was a big plus for me. Also, you'd have to pay for this one (generally around $50 for 2 persons, tip included)
Overall, I wouldn't say the food at this particular restaurant was that great. If I'd have to give them some stars, it would be somewhere between 2 and 3 stars.
The service overall was good (especially the room service and the servers in the restaurant). We didn't find particularly helpful the people from the reception desk (they either didn't understand our request or they were very slow in processing the information or they would just not help). 3 stars as well for the service.
Now, for the sand and the beach. I believe probably El Presidente has one of the nicest beaches on that strip. Meaning is long, wide, you have enough space and you don't feel particularly clutter by anything or anybody. The sand is to die for: soft and white and the water is absolutely the BEST.
Things to do in Cancun with a toddler:
Look, this is not a MUST SEE, MUST DO list while in Cancun. If you don't want to spend all day long by the beach or the pool (which for us it's boring), if you want to get something out of the vacation but not go too crazy 'cause you have a little one, then you can try one of the following or try them all. It's a lot of fun!
-in the second day of our stay, we just wanted to enjoy the beach and the pool of the hotel but in the same time, we wanted to do something fun so we booked a trip on a sailing boat (it was $35/ person); it was divine; the wind was just perfect, the water just blue and clear, the sea views breathtaking; So, if you want to be GREEN, choose a sailing boat and adventure yourself in the sea;

3rd day was:

-it's a natural aquarium combined with a man made park; it's an absolutely beautiful place;
-to get there you can either go by bus (there are tours organized through the hotel you live in or you can rent your car and be the master of your time); because we didn't know we had other options, we choose the hotel tour and we didn't like it that much (hey, but that's just us, we're a bit picky); first of all, the transportation sucked (excuse my language); The first bus picked us up @ 7:15 am, after making the tour of the hotels to pick up more people, then we end up to another bus station where we had to took another bus to take us to XEL-HA. Total of hours spent in the bus: 3. And this is a 1 1/2 -2 hours kind of trip. So, if we'd have to do it again, we would totally rent a car and be in charge with our own time.
-secondly, once you subscribe for these kind of tours, you have this all-inclusive kind of situation: all you can eat, drink, etc. The food was not good! So, we didn't end up eating that much and we don't drink (alcohol) anyway, so, again, we didn't feel gaining anything.
But once you get there, as I said, the area is very beautiful, well kept and clean. Even if they are areas where little toddlers could hurt themselves (if you are careful and aware of them) then you can have a good time. Once your kid is 5 and older, this is the perfect place to visit and have fun!
In the same tour, there was also included a tour to
OMG- what a magical place! The Maya ruins are just beautiful and breathtaking, the whole site is very well kept, the tour guide (or at least the one we had was very, very knowledgeable and funny) and you can totally walk around with your stroller if you have to 'cause there are handicapped built pathways.
BE AWARE of the mosquito bites!!!! They are horrendous!!! I was so annoyed because I packed a mosquito repellant but forgot to put in my backpack so I ,especially, end up with a lot of bites which turned up to be very itchy. So, if you plan to go there, don't forget to use some on your skin!!!


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