Casa Santa Fe, Puerto Morelos & Royal Decameron Resort, Bucerias
The best laid plans and all that…Our recent Mexican vacation, involving a visit to both the East and West coasts of the country, was a mixed bag. It ended well but we were plagued by many unexpected events almost from the moment we landed in Cancun.
We arrived in Puerto Morelos late in the evening, after a bus ride, then a taxi, thankfully short, as we’d been up since 4 am Vancouver time, and been unable to sleep the night before.
The instructions sent by the real estate agent in charge of our Casa were incorrect and our poor driver ended up at the opposite end of town. We could not reach the agent but fortunately our friend, who winters in the town, answered her cell phone, and was able to give the driver landmarks, and we finally arrived at our simple but lovely Casa.
Our host was not available as she had fallen ill and was hospitalized. All was in order except there were no blankets, and the weather was unseasonably cool and damp. Large, thick beach towels took the place of blankets for the first night, and we were able to get some rest.
Climate change has not spared Mexico, and everyone in town struggled with the high humidity during the first week, with heavy rainfalls, unusual weather for that season. My partner found the weather particularly draining and the medication he was taking made things worse.
The usual Airbnb support was non existent, no referrals to restaurants, tours, etc., but we did okay fending for ourselves. Getting clean sheets and giant water bottle refills was a bit tricky, but the real estate agents came through for us eventually. Other extenuating circumstances led to us moving on a week early, but I will not go into the details out of privacy issues and kindness.
We were quite fortunate to book the next Casa, on the beach, through contacts of our friend. The Canadian owners had de-listed themselves from Airbnb, so they had a vacancy. The accomodation was lovely, and our hosts helpful, but after walking up to one and a half hours daily at the first location, for meals and outings, my old knee injury began to play up.
The new Casa was farther from restaurants and stores, but being the trouper I am I kept walking, what else to do, I had to eat. Eventually I began taking anti inflamatories, then finally booking inexpensive cabs about half the time.
Although our time in Puerto Morelos was not exactly as expected, we enjoyed our time in the town. Puerto Morelos is a beautiful small town, touristy but kind of mellow. There is easy access to many excellent restaurants by walking or biking, and a variety of Casas. All Inclusive Resorts are outside the town. Friends visited a resort a few weeks later but found it too isolated.
After our three weeks in PM we travelled through Mexico City and on to Puerto Vallarta, to a small town called Bucerias north of PV. This part of our two phase vacation was at an older resort called The Royal Decameron, a colourful lodging on the Atlantic Ocean.
We had visited the resort nine years previously. The demographic had changed somewhat over time; quite a few older people, who came each year, three generation family groupings, and a few younger couples. It’s a good gig for Mexicans and the staff worked hard to please everyone. In the main buffet dining room, many of them saw Spanish lessons as part of there job, and we became friendly with them over time.
The food was fair, apparently not as good since the new owners took over. We found we had to get there early when it was fresh, and as the days went on we became tired of the repetition, and ate more foods from the lovely salad bars.
The specialty restaurants were a treat, but the resort still used the outdated booking system that had been in place nine years earlier! We refused to sit waiting for the booking staff at 7:30 or 8:00 a.m., and managed to have three delicious meals at the Mediterranean and Japanese Restaurants anyway, the first time hanging around outside the Mediterranean restaurant until the Maitre D’ found us a table, the second time walking in to the Japanese restaurant and lucking out, then for the third meal I went to the lobby booking desk and secured a left over late booking.
Our time at the Royal Decameron was fine, but not inspiring. My partner was plagued by an odd, but temporary, shoulder injury and another issue, but on the upside this meant we made friends with the lovely resort medic, Dr. Guzman. My limited walking ability meant I was unable to walk the mile into Bucerias as I’d looked forward to. We had one nice day trip by taxi into Puerto Vallarta, (I pumped myself full of anti inflamatories).
We enjoyed high quality music in the evening, were able to get some swimming in during the last five days when the weather improved, and it was a treat to have everything at hand, particularly food. However All Inclusives aren’t really our preferred way to travel.
Overall, we were glad to get away though, and were fortunate to miss the four snow storms Gibsons experienced during our absence!