We descended to the Cancun International Airport in the early evening. Quickly putting immigration and customs behind us, and one hundred feet from the door we were stuck by the familiar tropical smells and high humidity of the Mayan Riviera. Having been here twice before, and being a master cheapskate, I was confident that I would be able to find a reasonably priced shuttle to our resort. After attempting to negotiate a price with several vendors and almost being talked into a timeshare by a strangely helpful, well-spoken man, I found a manager who was just as tired as I was determined and my party and I boarded the shuttle with another couple and headed to our resort. We ended up paying more than I thought we would have to, but you are given few options. In the future spending the extra few minutes before departing and booking the shuttle online is totally worth it for the ability to skip the frustration after a long day of travel.
Arriving at our resort, Riu Palace Las Americas, it was easy to see that this week was going to extraordinary. This perfectly white edifice, whose precipice was adorned with elegant roman style rotundas, stood five stories out of the earth. Earning the moniker “Palace” it was the old world style jewel of Cancun. We were greeted by a doorman who politely took our bags and showed us to the front desk through the opulently decorated main hall, where a smartly dress gentleman was waiting to greet us. Because we had planned so much in advance, he was aware of our flight times and although we were not the only people checking in, he knew our names and had our rooms and keys ready. It was getting late but due to their efficiency, they had us in our rooms quickly.
Upon entering our room we were met by a towel sculpture in the shape of a cute little cat holding a flower. We had just enough time to admire the décor and clean raw silk bedspread when our luggage arrived by way of the bellman, who had patiently waited while we were checking in. Further inspection of our room revealed a fully stocked bar, mini fridge, polished marble floor and columns leading to a sunken sitting area with a flat-panel TV and love seat. The focal point of the room was clearly the huge bay window that stretched from floor to ceiling and dominated the wall. It was too dark to see our view, but the sound of the waves was crystal clear alluding to the views to come. We quickly changed, met our travel companions at the brass elevators and went in search of the buffet.
The Buffet restaurant was located on the lobby level past the beautiful “quite” pool and garden. We were greeted at the door by the manager and two waiters, all in bow-ties, who showed us to our table that was draped in fresh white linens. We were asked our drink orders and were told that this evening’s theme was international. The huge buffet was decorated with carved exotic fruit. All of the delicious food was fresh and well prepared. Even the seafood, which is easily over-cooked by the finest cooks, was perfectly prepared. After dinner, and tired from traveling, we all said our good nights and retired to our rooms.
The air-conditioned room was a welcome relief from the humidity, to which we were not yet accustom. Slipping into bed between the clean, soft, white linens we drifted quickly to sleep. We slept soundly, partly due to exhaustion, but also because, although we were flanked by other occupied guest rooms, it was peacefully quite. We woke gently the next morning with the light of the rising sun reflecting softly off of the Caribbean sea through our window.