Monday, July 11, 2011

Riviera Maya Luxury from Secrets to Zoetry

I knew the day would be great when it started with a walk out to the balcony for a breathtaking view of the Caribbean Sea. The beach at Secrets Maroma is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in this half of the world.

Breakfast was at the World Cafe buffet, where the choices are endless. I couldn’t decide what I wanted so I took a small taste of everything. I didn’t have much time before my ride to Zoetry Paraiso del la Bonita would arrive.  I had never seen a Zoetry and, after seeing the “unlimited luxury” of Secrets, was anxious to see what more could be offered by AMResorts' highest level property.

We passed by Puerto Morales, a small fishing village, to the other side of  Riviera Maya. As soon as we arrived I realized this place was different. This boutique resort reminded me a bit of Royal Plantation, which I had visited a number of years ago, but it appeared to be even more intriguing thanks to the artwork the owners had picked up around the world. Around every corner there is a new unique piece, which flows with the open design built by a local architect.

Guests are greeted with Orange Cinnamon Iced Tea and there is an Afternoon Tea daily where you can sample more of the resort’s infusions from their plants. The Library Bar is warm and inviting, as it has been to many of the celebrities who stayed there and left their photos behind (Heidi Klum had just left the resort). Another celebrity is always in residence -- Maquita, one of the many beautiful parrots here, already has 275 Facebook fans of her own and receive emails!

I was very interested in the Thalasso Center, where the Therapeutic Seawater Pool is available to all guests. The full service spa has yoga lessons every morning and a gym that faces the sea. Wellness and well being is definitely a theme here at Zoetry, even down to the food. Calorie counts are available for all menu items in the restaurants and they are quite reasonable. I could certainly see coming to Zoetry and eating gourmet meals without gaining weight (and possibly losing a few pounds if you are taking advantage of all the activities). La Canoa is a Four AAA Diamond restaurant (the property itself has been rated Five Diamond). Children are welcomed here with their parents, but there are no programs specific to the younger set.
My lunch at Zoetry’s Kaax with Sales Directors Hayde Bacelis and Irene Prado was perfect and started with my choice of the restaurant’s homemade tequilas. I chose the cinnamon and was quite happy with it, along with my Caprese Salad Skewers. For a main course I chose the Chicken Skewer with Peanut Sauce and Wild Rice with Coconut followed by a Cappuccino and delicious chocolate raspberry dessert. It was more than satisfying and the whole meal came in at about the same amount of calories as an entrée in most restaurants.

Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita has 90 rooms, making it the smallest of that chain’s properties. It is built horizontally so that all of the rooms are ocean view. In keeping with the luxurious theme, there are some wonderful amenities at this resort that you won’t find included at no extra charge in many all-inclusives: private, chauffeured airport transfers; aromatherapy pillows and scented linens; shopping excursions to Puerto Morales by boat; 24-hour laundry service; unlimited worldwide phone calls; and maid service three times a day. At this time, there are only two other Zoetry Resorts, in Los Cabos, Mexico, and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. All three run specials so don’t presume you can’t afford this high end chain.

As inviting as Zoetry was, I was happy to get back to Secrets Maroma Beach with a bit of time to spare. I spent an hour floating on the pool (I love hotels where there are enough floats that everyone isn’t fighting over them) and relaxed on the lounge with a piña colada for a short time before getting ready for my very special dinner. I was going to experience the Wine Cave Dinner with Maria Rivas, Sales Manager, and Maru Suarez, Director of Sales, with visits from Chef Cesar to explain each course. The chef, as he does for the couples that chose this dinner, made up a menu just for me, based on my allergies, likes and dislikes. It was quite an event and I enjoyed the company as much as the food and wine.

We started with some Foie Gras with Apple Compote and Chocolate Sauce. (I may never be able to appreciate “plain” foie gras again!) Next, it was a Mix of Soups, actually three bowls of soup: French Wild Mushroom, Italian Minestrone and Mexican Tortilla. They went well with the recommended wine, Albarino Lagar de Cervera, a complex wine with light spice.

The main course was a Duo of Beef &  Lamb – Beef Filet with Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto and Tomato Sauce, and Lamb Chop with Mashed Polenta and Demi-Glace Sauce. We had that served with Chateau d’Arains, a Bordeaux blend of four of the region’s best reds.  Dessert was tasty, but not too rich: Melon Cannelloni; Kiwi Carpaccio; Tiramisu; Chocolates, Ganache. All were great.

I relaxed a bit with an after dinner drink before calling it a night. It had been a great day in Riviera Maya and I was ready for another, as I still had to tour Now Sapphire and Dreams Riviera Cancun, where I was having lunch. Then, there was my final evening which was fittingly a Mexican Fiesta at Secrets Maroma.


1 comment:

Pablo Alejandro Macías Torres said...

Wow, looks like you had a really nice vacation! Surely there are a lot of luxury retreats at La Riviera Maya that are worth looking at!

Post a Comment