Wednesday 4 January to 17 January 2017

This was planned simply as a trip to enjoy some sunshine in the depths of winter and to see if we liked Mexico.  As we were not travelling out to see places on a day to day basis I am simply going to do a longish summary posting (this one) with two further posts which will cover the one trip we did take and the saga of our delayed return.  The three posts are effectively the bad, the good and the ugly in that order!

Our hotel is the Azul Sensatori, Cancun and is / was described as adults only.  Which is true of the accommodation (and in theory the adjacent pool) but not of the entire hotel.  The hotel does in fact have children on site and facilities for children on the other side of the central area but we certainly saw them at the “quiet pool” between our room and the Caribbean restaurant.  It also has a vast number of Americans which is far from surprising.

What we found was that the hotel was some significant distance from Cancun, or indeed anywhere.  Talking to other people who have stayed elsewhere in Mexico they had the benefit of being able to walk out of their hotel and onto the street and have other restaurants available (similar to our experience in Phuket and when we get there in a couple of months time Paphos; I am getting ahead of myself).  If we walked from the hotel to the main road at our hotel we would be too tired to walk back!  And as we are some distance from a town the taxi cost would not be insignificant (unlike some locations – eg Crete).  So once there you are there!

On arrival we are both feeling tired and so head for the restaurant and a bowl of tomato soup.  Restorative.  Nice room and reasonably well laid out.  Photos from Jackie Whitbread.

We head down to the adjacent pool in the morning and only find individual sunbeds so move two together.  All is well for about 30 minutes until the powers that be decide we all want to listen to the same loud music throughout the day.  Well I want to listen to what I choose from my phone (which might be music or voice) – but cannot because it is being drowned by the delivered music.

During our time here we sample the various restaurants.  The choice in the self-service is pretty wide and decently presented.  Le Chique is top end and very good.  Zavaz (Caribbean) for breakfast also provided some relief from the self service and we used this several times – it was also close to our room.  Zocalo was the Mexican restaurant and again the food was excellent but we only used it once as the noise (even after they turned the sound system down) was such that we could hardly hear each other.  We dined in Siena – Italian cuisine – several times but the quality of the food never quite reached the heights I think they would like.  Pizzza Dude is in the children related area and we did wander over there one day.  Nothing wrong with any of them and there is certainly variety.

Except over one aspect and that is the noise.  We went to Siena and were placed in the “overflow” room – and initially were the only occupants.  I think it took three requests to get the sound turned down so that we could hear the waiter, let alone each other.  On another evening we went to a special food and wine evening – but were still only offered red or white wine – and to hear the other people talk we once again had to ask for the music to be turned down.  (That evening was also marked by a joke which included a knife being pointed at Jackie; that should never happen even in jest).  Zocalo I have mentioned already as well as the noisy pool.  I got to the point of downloading a sound meter for my phone to see what decibel levels we were suffering, not illegal maybe but simply inappropriately loud!

Making bookings for the upmarket restaurants required queueing and the system changed whilst we were there – so simply not well organised.

There is an upmarket and more private section of the hotel and Jackie asked if we could use their sunbeds if it was not overcrowded and this request was granted so for the last week we were able to use this area:

Another Jackie Whitbread photo and clearly not heavily occupied at the time.

Doing nothing is tiring and so we often have early nights and do not do much of the entertainment.  Both of us suffered from bad colds and feeling grotty through our time here.  There were sneezes on the plane and I suspect we both were infected on the outward journey.  So feel grotty on top of everything else.  Once a week there is a market – which we wandered through but did not buy anything.

During our stay there was a more or less constant wind in from the sea, so not calm.  But there was plenty of sunshine.

The real aim was to see if the additional flying time meant that this was a better destination for some winter sun than the Canaries which have tended to be our normal destination.  I had expected something labelled “Sensatori” to be concerned about providing something peaceful – particularly as it was adults only (so we believed).  Well American adults on holiday like noise it seems.  To be honest there was nothing which would particularly appeal to us to make the longer distance journey again.

So a return visit is unlikely.  The next post is the good; the final post will be the ugly.