Paradisus Playa del Carmen is Perfect For Everyone


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:


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!


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.


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.


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  I’m ready to help you experience paradise.

Should Your Next Vacation Include a Butler?

Why your next vacation needs a butler, seriously.

Ok I know what you’re thinking, a butler, really?  I’m here to tell you that although there are ways that a butler on vacation could be used for over the top requests there are also a lot of ways that a butler simply makes your hard earned vacation just a little bit better.

I recently enjoyed two nights at the unbelievable Paradisus Playa Del Carmen – La Perla.  La Perla is the adults only section of this resort featuring modern décor, a hefty selection of a la carte dining and interesting bars featuring craft cocktails, multiple beaches and a pool that suites any vacationer’s tastes.  The La Esmeralda section is family friendly and equally spectacular.

La Perla Junior SuiteI stayed in a Royal Service Junior Suite which was nearly as big as the apartment I share with my boyfriend and two cats.  The room is beautifully decorated with two white closets and plenty of drawers, a king bed with an aquatic themed headboard, a sitting area featuring a couch, coffee table, table and chairs and more.  The bathroom was something out of a dream with a shower big enough for a party with two rain shower heads that provided just the right amount of water pressure, a huge bathtub and more than enough space on the vanity to keep all of your necessities organized.  All of this comes standard in any junior suite at the Paradisus La Perla but since I was in Royal Service my balcony also featured a Jacuzzi.

When you have the Royal Service upgrade, a butler is a part of your package.  I was introduced to my butler at check in (which happens in the exclusive Royal Service lobby).  He took my bags and showed me to my room, pointing out features of the building like the small fitness centre exclusive for RS guests. After the standard “here is your safe and how to use it, here is the thermostat, here is the tv remote” he asked if I was on Whatsapp and when I confirmed he asked for my phone number.  From that point on we were able to communicate via text.   The next morning as I was enjoying a gourmet breakfast at the restaurant available exclusively to Royal Service guests Fernando, my butler, texted me to see what my plans were for the day.  I told him that since it was a bit windy I would rather be by the pool than the beach and that I would go find a spot soon.  He replied almost instantly letting me know that he had a bali bed by the pool ready for me.  What a treat! I quickly realized that the major benefit of having my own butler was that I had the freedom to simply send a text from the pool or my room to arrange a la carte reservations, inquire about spa services, request late check out etc. without having to get up and wander into a lobby to chat with the front desk or a customer services desk.  I consider my time very valuable and this is a service that I genuinely appreciated.

Other services available when you have a butler on your vacation at the Paradisus La Perla are:

  • preparation of whirlpool bath in your room if you wish.  Just shoot him a text and let him know when you would like to enjoy a bath on your balcony and he’ll have everything set up for you including bubbles and towels.  If you request some sparkling wine for your bath, they’ll be happy to oblige.
  • personalized coffee service in the room
  • free ironing of up to two garments per day
  • shoe shining services
  • booking of the tennis courts and other activities
  • personalized mini-bar in the room adapted to your taste
  •  unpacking and repacking of your suitcase
  • personalized wake up calls
  • And more!

Although an upgrade to a vacation that includes a butler may not be practical for every traveller or every trip, it’s certainly something that has value and well worth considering for your next special vacation.  You absolutely won’t regret it!

To book your next vacation to Paradisus Playa Del Carmen reach out to our team!


Colleen’s RIU Palace Mexico – Part 2

Our hotel is in the Playacar area that is about 30 mins from Cancun. We have stayed in this area before and we always love it. It is more like staying in a nice neighbourhood instead of being off the main highway. When we walk out of our hotel it’s like walking on a street at home. Every night we are able to go for a walk. There are always a lot of people out and about and there is a small shopping plaza about 2 minute walk from our hotel so you can pretty well get anything you need.

The best part about it is that you are just a 20 minute walk from Playa Del Carman so you can go into town whenever you like and to take a taxi back is 90 Pesos so about 6.00. There are also lots of bikes available if you prefer not to walk into town and a bike stand just as you enter Playa Del Carman. The area has lots of different hotels to choose from.  They also have a couple of golf courses in the area that we walk past everyday including the Hard Rock Golf Club. We love that we can leave our property without having to take a cab.

To see the full beauty of the RIU Palace Mexico check out my resort tour here

Colleen’s in the Mayan Riviera Take Two!

The Beach

This is one of the nicer beaches that I have been on.  It is really wide and goes for probably 3 miles from tip to top.  It’s great to walk along the beach in the morning past all the hotels here in Playacar.  It is just white sand as far as the eye can see.   There are so many palm trees in front of our resort that you can’t actually see the hotel from the water.  This makes it great to find some shade when the temperatures get too hot.  The other thing that I love about this hotel is that you don’t have to worry about getting a chair in the morning, there are more chairs then people.  Nothing that I hate more than having to get up really early to put a towel down on a chair or risk having nothing.  Here you can just come down to the beach when ever you roll out of bed.  There are a lot of activities offered by the hotel.  They have kayaks, hobie cats and wind surfers all for free.  There is also the other guys selling scuba trips jet skis and parasailing so there is never a dull moment.   There is some topless bathing which I think is in bad taste at a family resort but I see a lot of smiling teenagers who probably don’t agree.  There is also an area setup for massages on the beach which looks very nice.    There is no bar service on the beach so sadly you have to walk up to the pool bar to get your drinks.  The weather here has been great around 31 every day so those palm trees are really coming in handy.  Well I am off for a swim and then a quick nap on my chair.  I love vacations.  Talk later.



The Spa/Gym

There is no spa or gym at our hotel so we walk down to the RIU Yucatan to check it out.  It is about a 5 minute walk from us.  The gym is small but looks like it has all the popular equipment.  There is a rowing machine, 2 elliptical machines, 2 treadmills, 2 bikes, free weights and a weight machine.  They are open from 7:00am until 7:30pm.  The gym and the spa are at the same location so we stop at the spa desk and book ourselves in for a Swedish massage.  Our appointment is at 4:00pm and so we book and head back to our hotel.    We are back about 10 minutes before our appointment to fill in all the paperwork.  This is a small spa with limited services.  We head upstairs into the massage room.  There is nothing nicer than a massage to get your into relax mode.  The girls here are great and after the massage we move into the lobby of the RIU Yucatan for a quick drink.  We decide to walk the beach back to our hotel as it is quite hot and the water on the feet will help.

The Restaurants

This is a small resort so there are not a lot of dining options.  There is the main buffet restaurant for breakfast and supper.  It is a large room with plenty of options for food.  Here are my 2 main drawbacks .  No mimosas at breakfast and no air conditioning so at night for supper it can get quite warm here despite the many ceiling fans.  They also have the Turquesa restaurant for lunch and at night this restaurant converts to the steakhouse and Mexican restaurant.  They are just on opposite  sides.  These are open air restaurants so if it is hot out, it is hot in the restaurant.  They also have an Asian restaurant called the Jade in the main lobby.  All specialty restaurants have to have a reservation.  You must make your reservations in the morning at the buffet.  They open at 7:00am so you need to get there early to get signed up.  We did go to the Steakhouse restaurant where they have a set menu and they just bring you the entrees.  You do have a choice of your main entrée.   The food was good and the service was excellent.  They have the best staff at this hotel.  We ate mostly at the buffet because we are too lazy to get up and make reservations.

Colleen is in the Mayan Riviera!

RIU Playacar – 27Apr.-03Aug.12

We flew out of Calgary so we overnighted at the Radisson Hotel by the airport.  The Radisson is a very nice hotel and the staff there is excellent.  You have to love those number beds.

We flew down to Cancun with Canjet and they were very good.  The flight down was 5 ½ hours and we arrived into Cancun on time.  The customs area was much better than the last time we were here and we were through customs and in our transfer in 1 hour.  Record time.  In February we were in customs over 2 hours before we even got to our luggage.  So we were really surprised.

We are staying at the RIU Playacar in the Playacar area and it is like a small neighborhood.   We arrived at the hotel, had supper, then headed off to bed.  It’s was a long day!


We had a quick tour of the hotel in the morning.  This is the type of hotel that we love to stay in.   I would say that is a solid 3 star family hotel.  This is a small hotel and everything is within a 2 minute walk.  You enter through the lobby and there is a lobby bar and 2 restaurants, you take the main path out of the lobby and all the rooms are on either side of the path.  There are 3 buildings on each side.  We are in the last building closest to the beach.  If you continue down the path, it takes you by the pools and beach restaurants and theatre.  And that’s the whole resort.  The rooms are basic but clean with only a shower.  The T.V. has a couple of English channels so that is good.  It’s the staff here that makes the difference.  They are all very helpful and friendly.   I think we are the only Canadians here as the hotel is full of Brits, Germans and people from every Spanish country so not much English is spoken.  Will definitely have to learn some Spanish.  We went out for a quick walk to see the other RIU properties.  Because Playacar is a like a small neighborhood, there are sidewalks on either side and it is really easy to get around.  We are about a 25 minute walk from Playa Del Carman and we feel totally safe.  It is so hot we do a quick round of the hotels and then back to the beach for the rest of the day – it is a holiday after all 🙂

Heather’s Magic Mayan Riviera

May 10th, 2012

A cheap (poor) girl’s first really luxurious experience!

Yesterday mom and I were lying by the pool, fully planning to spend the entire day doing just that (OK probably not, I would have gotten bored eventually).  Along came some members of the spa team offering “five minute free massage”.  I instinctively declined knowing that it would be a trick for sure.  Mom chose the opposite, which ended in both of us getting our five minute free massage, and the two of us being booked into the spa for the promotion of the day for later that afternoon.  Apparently my mother felt the need to spoil me?  I hardly go for massages in Saskatoon and they are even covered by my health plan!  Getting my hair done more than three times a year is my level of personal pampering,  ha-ha.

One of the massage rooms


Later that day when it was WAY TOO HOT to sit by the pool anymore anyway we ventured into the spa.  We were greeted with Hibiscus Water while we filled out our forms and then taken to the change room with lockers.  In each of our lockers was a towel, robe, pair of sandals to wear inside the spa, a basket to put your valuables, a bag to hold your wet garments and the key on a fancy little bracelet.  WOW!  After we changed we were led to the “relax” room which was a room with some comfy chairs and sofas and quiet music playing (relaxing right?).  We were given warm shoulder bags (bags filled with beans or something, and they smelled like tea… I don’t know what it was but it was nice) and offered something to drink.  After a few minutes we were led to the room for our massage.   It was beautiful.  This picture is what it was like but not necessarily the exact room (from my hotel tour earlier this week).  We were told to sit on a sofa and warm towels were placed over our faces.  They did some aromatherapy stuff, rubbed our feet and wrapped them in warm towels and let us relax there a while.  Then we moved on to the actual massage.  It was lovely very relaxing and far more enjoyable than anything I have experienced at home (less therapeutic and more relaxing I guess you could say).  They even gave me a scalp massage!  After they were done they waited outside the room with tea and took us back to the relaxing room to sit with the warm bean bags again.  All in all it was just a whole level of pampering that I have never experienced before!  I’m blown away.   I wish I could say that I will be doing this more often but to be honest my “vacation spending money” tends to be saved for other things… like shopping, tipping, cabs, excursions etc.

That said; if you are spa person, or a person who isn’t interested in leaving the resort much I think it’s a great thing to do on your vacation!  I absolutely enjoyed every moment of it was truly luxurious!

Speaking of Tipping.  Just a note about the excursion we went on the other day.  Mom and I discussed how much to tip and I figured $20.00 was reasonable;  $10 for the driver and $10 for the guide.  Everyone filled out their comment forms and handed them back to the guide with some kind of tip while we drove back to our hotels.  I watched as the guide counted out the money between the two of them.  I was shocked and disappointed to see that some couples in our van honestly only tipped around $5.00.  It was really sad to think that these people (some staying at the RIU Playacar Palace) didn’t feel that these men deserved more than that.  They had a really long, hot day and did a wonderful job of keeping us entertained, fed, comfortable and informed.   Anyway, there’s my rant.

Yesterday we went shopping in Playa del Carmen.  I am pretty sure we walked the entire 5th Avenue.  The cab cost us $15.00 and we were dropped off right at one end.  We were there by 10 AM and it was very quiet.  There is a TON of shopping here so it’s hard to know where to start.  We found that the shop owners were quite a bit more aggressive than the ones in Puerto Vallarta this past February.  They also were a lot less willing to barter,  (I’m sorry if I paid a certain price for the same type of knock off sunglasses or bracelet in Puerto Vallarta I expect a similar price here!  They actually tried to tell me it was a different country; ah no I’m pretty sure it’s still Mexico!).  There were a handful of other shops (Roxy/Quicksilver, miscellaneous shoe shop, a sporting goods shop, some name brand kids clothing etc.) if you wanted to shop for that type of thing, but for the most part it was either small souvenir shops where you bartered or giant souvenir shops where the prices were posted.  You will pay less in the store with the posted prices almost every time so if you don’t barter for fun, don’t bother.

I returned to the hotel with what I had set out to get.  A new hat (it was necessary), new sunglasses (because I’m addicted), a key chain with my Mayan zodiac symbol and a Christmas ornament.  I somehow also have acquired new earrings, probably because mom was spending too much time in a jewelry store and it was TOO hot to wait outside.  Or maybe the guy selling them was ridiculously cute… oh well supporting Mexico’s economy is all part of being a tourist!

We had fun in Playa del Carmen and did see the beach (personally I am not a fan of crowded public beaches so we didn’t hang out there).  Mom commented that she wouldn’t like to stay right there because you would constantly be badgered by the people trying to sell things whenever you left your hotel.  I have to agree but can see a lot of benefits to being that close to shopping, bars, other hotels, etc. too.   I guess it just depends on the type of vacationer you are.

Alright, off to supper.  (Oh and in case you were wondering about the salmon and spinach perogies, I totally DID have them again last night!!!)


May 9th, 2012

Hola, blogging by the pool! Its ultra hot out already, actually I don’t think the heat really reduces in the evenings….

Imagine me on a bike riding through the jungle full of Mayan Ruins! For anyone who knows me they know this is the very best moment of my life (so far). That was me Tuesday. We purchased the Mayan City Tour for a little under $100 per person and it was fantastic! We were picked up at 7:10 AM and joined by 3 couples from other hotels then continued on to Tulum, a Mayan Village, Coba and Akumal. I love history that I can feel and this was definitely one of those days!  The moment we arrived at Tulum and our guide brought us through the wall I was completely pumped by what I saw. So many of the buildings are still in really great shape considering Tulum is an ancient port city on a cliff. Think about how many hurricanes must have smashed through there.


The Mayan Village was a really interesting experience. The community that we stopped at was a couple of houses on the side of the road in the jungle. One family lived there. This family had six daughters and eight sons. Of all of the tours I’ve been on that have stopped at a “typical farm” this was by far the poorest. They did have a creepy monkey as a pet though. The monkey wrapped itself around the baby sleeping in a hammock to protect him from us.

The amazing view from Tulum!

Coba was HUGE! This was where I could really feel the history all around me. I could see the place where human sacrifices were made and the temple where the very important people went to be closer to the Gods. It was so big that we had to rent bikes (or you could have someone drive you on their passenger bikes) to get from the main temple and ball field to the infamous tower that you can climb. The ride was great, the path only has other cyclists and people walking on it so you don’t have to worry about traffic really (AKA I was a far calmer driver than I would be in Saskatoon). It was a beautiful ride with the occasional temple along the way. The 40 degree heat didn’t seem so bad in the jungle. Then we turned a corner and there was this giant temple. I climbed about 4 steps and remembered my extreme fear of heights (more like extreme vertigo). Perhaps if it had been cooler out I would have made it higher, I’m sure the view from the top was outstanding.

Me in Coba!!

It was an extremely long day and the heat made it difficult at times but it was well worth it. For anyone who is interested in Mayan history I highly recommend doing the Mayan City Tour. They claimed to be the only tour that did two of the sites in the same day. I wonder if I can convince mom to do Chichen Itza tomorrow…

Some Tips

– If you are going to visit Tulum, try to do it as EARLY in the day as possible.  There is very little shade and it is blazing hot there.  It also gets ultra busy so the earlier you’re there the less people in your way

– If you visit Coba, get a bike.  It is not a short path to the pyramid and you don’t want to waste your energy, in case you are a climber.

– Use bathrooms when your guide suggests, obviously they are hard to find at ancient archaeological sites!

May 6, 2012

Hola Amigos!

I am hanging with my mom at the Azul Fives by Karisma in the Mayan Riviera.  This hotel is by far the nicest we’ve ever been to.  After check-in late yesterday afternoon we walked into our room (which is bigger than my apartment in Saskatoon by the way, no I’m not joking) and all we could say was “wow”!  It is beautiful, beautiful, and beautiful! This hotel offers both all-inclusive and regular accommodations so the room comes with a full kitchen, two bathrooms, a dining room table that can seat eight, two flat screen tvs, a king bed and a big couch with a pull out bed.  SO MUCH SPACE!  We saw a group of five girls in their 20s today and figured they probably are sharing one room.  Why not?  I can imagine doing it with my friends!

Azul Five by Karisma – our living room!

We’ve been here for a day and a half but here are some things that stand out so far.

The people:  Never in my life have I said “Hola” so many times in a day!  It seems that everyone employed here genuinely loves their jobs and is happy to see us.  I really refreshing change from other destinations and hotels I’ve visited.  It is such a warm inviting feeling.

The food: OMG THE FOOD!  Imagine sitting down at an a la carte and ordering something that seems like it will probably be decent.  It shows up and it is the very best thing you’ve ever tasted!  That was my experience today.  We made reservations at the Italian restaurant.   I ordered the salmon and spinach pasta – it seemed basic enough.  My meal arrived after I had filled up on bread, antipasti and wine and boy did I ever regret that!  The only way I can describe this meal is spinach and salmon filled perogies in a lemony sauce from heaven!   Yup I said perogies, I’m sure that’s not the technical Italian word for it but that’s my basic impression of them.  The most delicious perogies in the universe!  If only perogies tasted like that at home…

salmon and spinach perogie – Yum!

All of the other food has been really good so far so I can’t wait to see what else I can consume before the end of this week.

Mom is blown away with how well this hotel is maintained.  The vegetation is lush and groomed, the buildings have been recently painted, and everything is perfect!

Azul Fives by Karisma

One thing Mom is loving, and I’m not loving as much, is the heat and humidity.  I like it hot but this is HOT!  All I can say is if you want to visit Mexico in the spring/summer stay hydrated and near a pool!   I’m probably going to die or become a lobster by the end of this week, I’ll keep you posted (no burn so far but I was ultra careful today and the sun was mostly down by the time we arrived yesterday) considering we saw SNOW in Calgary on the way here I will take my chances with the heat!


Jamie’s Puerto Vallarta 2 – Sun, Shopping, Siestas and Sunsets

I’m happy to report that the three of us have happily settled into our new home at the Sheraton Buganvillias.  the Sheraton has two large pool areas, both with excellent kids areas and one with a hot tub.  The activity pool also features a pool bar, aqua size and  pool volleyball.  The kids area is perfect for small kids and there are lots of families here.  Sydney has made a new best friend and they have spent hours the last couple of days playing and splashing in the pool.

There is a 24 hour internet cafe and 24 hour gym here, plus a few shops to poke around in, and of course the beach vendors if you are in for some bartering….which I did this morning (good bargains!).

The beach is smaller here and the water a bit rough, but we tend to like the pool better than the beach anyway and are quite happy with the resort.  The service has been excellent!

From our Romeo and Juliet balcony, we can leave the window open at night as we are on the 17th floor and listen to the ocean.  There is no traffic noise at all and no rowdy guests.

The grounds are lush with lots of vegetation and flowers.  The food is really good—not a bad meal yet and even a good house red wine.  they have a kids menu with things like chicken nuggets and grilled cheese so even a picky eater like Sydney is finding lots to eat.  There are 3 a la carte’s that you can go to once each, plus the main restaurant which is buffet and a la carte.  so far we’ve just gone to the main one because its easy, the food is great, and you don’t need make a reservation.  tonight is the Mexican Fiesta which they include with their all-inclusive plan and its normally 75 USD each.  they also include their Sunday champagne brunch.

The weather has been great, sunny and in the high 20s or low 30s every day.  It’s a bit cool at night so a light sweater has come in handy.  The sunsets are spectacular.

Yesterday morning we walked to the Malecon which is about a 20 minute walk and would have been good, except it was difficult with a stroller the sidewalk was broken up and under construction in some areas.  It was hit and miss on the way there.  We saw some nice restaurants and shops beside old abandoned buildings, etc.  However, there were lots of tourists and we felt quite safe.  The Malecon itself was great with lots of street performers and sand sculptors amazing – as well as lots of shopping and restaurants.

Today we will enjoy some r and r by the pool and then hit up the Mexican Fiesta after our requisite afternoon siesta.  Tomorrow we are excited to do the family dolphin experience where we get to take Sydney to touch, feed and kiss the dolphin at the aquarium in Nuevo Vallarta.  It was 70 USD each for Mark and I, with Sydney free.  this also includes lunch and seemed like a great deal.  We spoke to another family here who did it with their three-year old and they really enjoyed it.

I will update you again after our next adventures!