Jamie’s Bleisure Moment at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

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The hot topic in travel these days is “Bleisure”…the desire of business travellers to add on some personal or leisure time to enhance a business trip. I was attending a conference at the Grand Velas Resort in Puerto Vallarta and when looking into flight times, it worked out that I would have several free hours before the start of the conference. I decided to have my own “Bleisure” moment and plan something fun. I have been to Puerto Vallarta a few times before and I gave some thought to going into Old Town, maybe doing some shopping or finding a great restaurant, but I decided to play it by ear and see what I felt like, once I arrived. I realized very quickly after my arrival, where I wanted to spend my free time.

When you first pull into the lobby of the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, you are asked to take a seat in a comfortable chair and you are given a refreshing, chilled pineapple drink. Then the concierge asks the magic question “Would you like a Spa Representative to give you a little head and shoulder massage while we check you in?”…….Ummm – YES, please!

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After a long day of airports and travelling, this lovely woman from the spa appears and over the next 10 minutes, she gave me the best shoulder massage I have ever had. These folks at the Grand Velas know how to sell a product! When she asked if I would like to make an appointment at the Spa, it was impossible to say no.

The following morning, I found myself arriving at the spa. There is nothing better than walking into a peaceful spa area, full of the scent of lemongrass and instantly relaxing. The very helpful and gracious spa concierge led me to the changing area, followed by the different water therapy areas, which are included with any spa service. It started with a dry sauna that is infused with cinnamon, followed by a stay in the Eucalyptus steam room. Then you get a cold ice rub, guaranteed to help with your metabolism and circulation, before popping into a sensory shower. Next up a jacuzzi, then hot and cold pools. Throughout the steps, they give you special drinks for energy and well being. All of this took place in a women’s only lounge area filled with natural light, plants, waterfalls and soft music.

The 80 minute therapeutic massage combined aromatherapy, reflexology, acupressure and traditional deep tissue massage. At the end of the massage experience, you can spend as long as you like in the water therapy area, or relax on a lounger with some warm spiced tea.

The spa is fully equipped with everything you may need, from full shower facilities, to toothpaste and mouthwash, brushes, combs and hair products. It was so easy and peaceful and they truly have thought of everything. Two and a half hours after I walked into the spa, I walked out feeling like an entirely new person. It was time well spent and I was now refreshed, relaxed and ready for a few days of meetings and networking. A perfect combination of business and leisure.

Are you ready to start planning your own bleisure getaway?  Our team of leisure and corporate agents are ready to help with whatever it is you’re dreaming of.

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Paradisus Playa del Carmen is Perfect For Everyone

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Paradisus Playa del Carmen is split into two resorts. There is the adults only side, Paradisus La Perla and the family side, La Esmeralda. Having two resorts in one is a huge benefit when traveling as adults only, families and groups and here is why:

Adults:

As an adult you have free range of most pools, restaurants, bars and other public areas in both resorts. An upgrade to the Royal Service on the La Perla side or Family Concierge on the La Esmeralda will give you full access to all areas including the pools, beaches and restaurants that are exclusive to these special room categories. As an adult you will have exclusive adult only spaces and restaurants. Even if you book on the family side you will be able to access these spaces but your kids cannot join you. This will expand your choices for restaurants, pool areas and beach sections. It is great to have the extra options. The rooms on the adult side are designed for romance. Be sure to take advantage of the bathtub that’s big enough for two!

Families:

The family side, La Esmeralda, still has many restaurant, beach and pool options. They also have some great inclusions for families. The water park is a great area for families to hang out. They have a large splash park that caters to both older and younger kids. There are plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas so everyone in the family can enjoy themselves and hangout in the same area. Parents can take advantage of the baby, kids and teen clubs offered at this resort. There is a daily schedule of activities that the kids can enjoy to give the parents a break. Even at the main pool area they have a pirate ship play structure. No matter which area you would like to hang out for the day there will be something for the kids to be entertained. If your family upgrades to the Family Concierge your room will have upgraded kids amenities (such as mini robes and slippers), plus your family will have exclusive access to the Family Concierge beach section.

Groups:

If you are planning a group trip or a destination wedding then this resort is perfect for you! Booking into either resort, you will be able to set up private events. Only two wedding can be scheduled in one day and they have a minimum of three hours between them. With both outdoor and indoor venues, your wedding will go off without a hitch, even if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate. The wedding gazebo on the beach is my personal favorite. The bride can also look into booking the bridal suite. This is an exclusive area to get ready for her big day! Romance by Paradisus also specializes in same sex ceremonies. The wedding packages are diverse and have many inclusions depending of what kind of ceremony you are looking for.

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Where You Want To Be Married

As you can see, no matter what type of holiday you are planning the Paradisus Playa del Carmen is a diverse resort and would make an amazing vacation option!

If you have any questions about the Paradisus Playa Del Carmen, Paradisus Cancun or Melia Cozumel please feel free to contact me at 306-955-1449 or cordell@uniglobeyxe.com.  I’m ready to help you experience paradise.

Cordell’s Crazy About Cozumel

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Cozumel is a major cruise port but have you considered it as a vacation destination? Or even a day trip? The island is full of great experiences and I would highly recommend checking it out.  Here are my top three reasons you should put Cozumel on your list to visit:

  1. It’s easy to get to

Cozumel has its own international airport, which means that you can fly to the island. Depending on which city you are departing from, flying may not be your easiest way to arrive. The alternative is taking a ferry from Playa del Carmen. It will cost you 22usd for a roundtrip ticket. The ferry will take about 20 minutes in one direction. The ferry is very easy to catch as it runs every 30minutes. There is a bar on board and music. You can sit inside or take in the views from the top deck.

  1. Things to do

Once you are on the island there is plenty of things to do while you are there. Take in the shopping, bars and restaurants in the main town. Or if you are looking for a more active adventure, rent a car, scooters or 4×4’s and drive around the island. Cozumel is known for its water activities. If you love to snorkel or scuba dive then this is a perfect destination to visit. The island will also have kite-surfing, catamaran tours and fishing.

  1. The beaches and water

Cozumel is a small island but there are plenty of beaches to check out. If you rent a car you can easily find a piece of paradise to set up shop for the day and have it all to yourself. You can find the calm turquoise waters to snorkel and feed the fish. I stayed at the Melia Cozumel where the marine wildlife is right outside your doorstep. I was able to be in waste deep water and have schools of colorful fish swim around me. Be sure to bring a banana if you really want to attract the fish.

 

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The next stop on my trip around Mexico’s East Coast is Playa Del Carmen!  I can’t wait to tell you all about my experiences there.

Check out more photos and videos from all of our team’s travels here.

Our Puerto Vallarta Recommendations

Recently we were asked “What are the best things to see and do in Puerto Vallarta?”.   Our team includes a LOT of PV fans so we thought this was the perfect opportunity to let you know what we think.   Here are some of our recommendations:

THINGS TO DO

A must is the Malecon (Puerto Vallarta’s downtown boardwalk area) you can shop, do some tequila tastings, check out the local art and eat some great food.
~Correna Tymchen

I 110% recommend the evening Pirate show – great experience and amazing food!
~ Casie Schmidt

 

Absolutely do Rhythms of the Night!
~Amanda Campbell

 

The daytime pirate ship adventure is a great family fun excursion.
~Karen Katelnikoff

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If your resort offers it part take in their turtle release program.  It’s a pretty neat experience.
~Amanda Campbell

The thrills of the Outdoor Adventure tour are totally worth checking out!  It includes a speed boat ride, zip lining, 4×4 off road adventure and more!
~Karen Katelnikoff

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PLACES / THINGS TO EAT

My favorite place to visit is Cheeky Monkey for $1.00 USD drinks! It’s a great place right on the Malecon for a quick beer or margarita after a day of shopping.
~Stephanie Afseth

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Completely off the beaten path, Taqueria Los Mapaches Taco & Grill. There are raccoons all around the restaurant and you can ask to feed them.  (they are free to come and go as they please) Be careful, they are not scared to steal your tacos off your plate! Amazing food and the price is right!
~Casie Schmidt

You will for sure want to eat out a few times while in Puerto Vallarta as they have great restaurant options.  One of our favorites is the Margarita Grill in old town.  They have the best Molcajetes and margaritas the size of your head, if you are a Guac lover they also make this table side along with roasted tomato pico.
~Correna Tymchen

OTHER

I also really love the architecture of Our Lady of Guadalupe church. It is such a stunning building.
~Stephanie Afseth

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I am an Old Town lover so when it comes to buying Mexican glassware, we always shop at Mundo de Cristal.  You will always find something to take home
~Correna Tymchen

A can’t miss Puerto Vallarta moment is watching the sunset.  Luckily there’s one every day and each one is more beautiful than the one before!
~Heather Peters

There’s plenty more where that came from so make sure to reach out to our team to plan your own trip to Puerto Vallarta and get all of their best tips.

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Cordell Finds Paradise at Paradisus Cancun

When picking an all-inclusive resort, one of the most important factors to consider for myself is the beach. As a guy from the prairies, I need to experience the ocean, sand and sun. Visiting a beach is important to me and it brings so much happiness to my life. The Paradisus Cancun’s beach has exceeded my every expectation. Here are my top four reasons the Paradisus Cancun is a must do beach vacation:

  1. Sunrise/ sunset
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From dawn until dusk, this is a beach that keeps you enthralled. If you are a morning person, this resort has stunning sunrises! You will be only one of a few people up at 7am but it is well worth it. I wasn’t ready to go down to the beach at this time, but I was in an ocean view room and could take it all in from my balcony. The sunsets from the beach are equally as beautiful as the sun sets over the pyramids of the Paradisus Cancun. If you are by the beach at night you can check out the stars. You do not get the city’s light pollution so you can see the constellations.

  1. Service

There is nothing worse than having to walk endlessly to the beach only to find that the nearest bar or food options are miles away from the beach. I would recommend springing for access to the Coco’S Beach Club. This exclusive area is centrally located, and the staff will truly take care of you. You can order food and drinks without having to leave your beach chair. The washrooms are also very close so you do not have to walk very far.

 

  1. The Physical Beauty

If you are looking for 78377049_2481774365397418_3078050722848178176_nwhite sand and turquoise waters than the Paradisus Cancun is for you. The powdery white sand doesn’t skald your feet as you walk along the seemingly endless beach to either side of the resort. The ocean itself is picturesque and breathtakingly beautiful. Be prepared for a photo shoot! The Caribbean side of Mexico has a bad reputation for sargassum, but at this resort there wasn’t even a trace of seaweed. As an added bonus, the resort has roped off beach areas. This means there were not very many venders pestering you on the beach, so you can really soak up the sun’s rays in peace and quiet.

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  1. Activities

Laying in the sun and reading a book can be a full-time job but sometimes you need a little extracurricular activity. Yoga is offered in the morning which can be a great way to start your day. While beach volleyball and soccer run periodically throughout the day. The waves along the beach are perfect for bodyboarding. If you are more of a thrill seeker you can pay to go parasailing or take a jet ski out for a rip.

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No matter what your beach preferences are there is something for everyone at the Paradisus Cancun.

Follow along as I check out a few other resorts in the area!

 

Stephanie’s Loving Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos – Part 3

My final experience at the Le Blanc Spa Resort is the hotel’s namesake…. a visit to the spa! You can’t visit a spa resort without checking out the spa, right?

They have an entire floor dedicated to the spa and salon, and it’s relaxing from the moment you walk in. There are 25 treatment rooms, so you won’t have a problem getting an appointment for your preferred time. A bonus of staying at Le Blanc is you receive a $1500 USD resort credit, and up to $500 of that can be put towards the spa!

After quickly checking in with reception, you’ll be greeted with a warm neck wrap and a healthy juice. Your spa butler will then show you to the change rooms, where you’ll be assigned a locker and given time to change into your swimsuit.

You start your spa appointment with a trip through the hydrotherapy circuit. It is complimentary for all guests, even without a spa treatment. It’s recommended to arrive 60 to 90 minutes beforehand to enjoy all the sections. Starting off with a dry sauna, you’ll move into the ice room complete with chilled aloe vera (perfect after a day in the sun), then into the steam room with a mud mask and hair treatment, a cold and then warm shower, and finally a heated tile bed before you finish at the 3 pools. You take a drip in the warm pool first, then the hot tub and lastly the cold pool. It truly is a cold pool, and I didn’t last more than 5 seconds. It was surprisingly refreshing, however.

Your spa butler will collect you 10 minutes before your treatment so you can get dried off and ready. My massage was absolutely wonderful, and I was just about to fall asleep as it was wrapping up.

Whether you are looking for some adult R&R, the ultimate food experience, or a world class spa, the Le Blanc Spa Resort offers it all. I can’t wait to help you plan your visit here soon!

Ready to start planning your stay at the Le Blanc Spa Resort in Los Cabos?  You can reach me by calling 306-934-3400 or emailing stephanie@uniglobeyxe.com.   I’m back in the office on Thursday.

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Stephanie’s Loving Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos – Part 2

Today we are talking food. I truly appreciate a good meal, and Le Blanc doesn’t disappoint. I don’t think I’ve been to a resort that has such amazing food options from around the globe. In less than 36 hours I’ve dined on Italian, Mexican, seafood, and Lebanese. The variety of food choices from all parts of the world is something that makes Le Blanc Spa Resort really stand out.

With 8 dining choices for only 373 rooms, you’ll never have to wait in line for a meal. Each location has its own head chef to make sure that the menu is curated to reflect each cuisine authentically. You’ll fall in love with the pasta choices at Blanc Italia, enjoy authentic Mexican chilaquiles and a great view on the open terrace of Blanc Ocean, or be treated to a unique and flavorful meal at the Lebanese restaurant Mezze.

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If you aren’t in the mood to leave the comfort of your bed, there is always the room service menu just a click away on the resort app. On Sunday I ordered a mid afternoon snack, which arrived in a record 23 minutes. The service is supreme.

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Room service in record time

With another 2 nights to go here, I hope I can find the time to enjoy the remainder of the dining venues. My waistband might not agree, but it’s hard to pass up such great food!