Contributor by Matthew Wexler
“Get me out,” was my first thought as another winter storm pounded the east coast, leaving behind six inches of snow and the feeling that I would remain pasty and housebound until my last days on earth. Fortunately, I had planned a well-timed respite to The Royal Suites Yucatán, an adult-only resort within the Grand Palladium Resorts of the Mayan Riviera.
Royal Suites Yucatan Pool
Situated just 60 miles south of Cancun and equidistant from Playa del Carmen and Tulum, the low-key enclave within the larger property offers all of the amenities you may desire to unplug from the daily grind — including the absence of family vacationers and their wild-eyed children wreaking havoc at the pool while you’re trying to enjoy the endless flow of tropical cocktails.
The Royal Suites offers a range of room options, including Royal Junior Suites, Royal Suites, and Royal Mayan Suites, the last of which includes a king-size memory foam mattress, Jacuzzi, and picturesque lake views. All rooms offer butler service just a phone call away, turn down service, international newspaper delivery, and a pillow menu so your slumber is as restful as possible.
To Do Or Not To Do, That is the Question
A visit to the Grand Palladium Resorts can be as action-packed or restful as you wish. The massive property is divided into five separate mini resorts, including Colonial, Kantenah, White Sand, Riviera and Royal Suites. Winding paths and shuttle trolleys connect all the various areas and you could spend hours lazily wandering among the lush trails and tropical flora and fauna.
Programming is scheduled from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. every day, so there’s never a lack of something to do, whether it’s a salsa lesson, beach soccer or live show. I opt for copious amounts of time at the adult-only pool near my suite and become friendly with the staff at La Terraza Bar, who are happy to keep the drinks flowing as I catch up on the latest news with free resort-wide WiFi.
Of course, no trip to the Mayan Riviera would be complete without a dip in the Caribbean Sea. Fortunately, the Grand Palladium Resort offers a 2,400-foot stretch of private, white sand beach. What’s even better is if you catch the trolley to the north end of the property, you’ll discover an adult-only section, outfitted with cabanas and bar service. Speaking of bars, one of the most charming and lesser-known parts of the property are the two premium bars, Churchill and Hemmingway, where you’ll discover a selection of board games, dusty novellas, and the perfect digestive after dining at one of the 14 on-site restaurants.
A Gastronomic Adventure
Often times, an all-inclusive vacation package translates to freezer-to-fryer and cheap eats when it comes to dining. Fortunately, Palladium’s restaurant options run the gamut, offering international flair and jaw-dropping settings to satisfy any palate. The five various buffets scattered throughout the resort offer a staggering array of cuisine, but be sure to saddle up to the taco bar, where handmade corn tortillas are pressed and seared on a griddle before your eyes, then topped with various meats, vegetables and spicy salsas.
A la carte options include El Dorado (steakhouse), Mare Nostrum (Mediterranean), Bamboo (Asian), La Adelita (Mexican), Rodizio (Brazilian), and others, but the most picturesque is dining under the stars at Punta Emilia. This al fresco option offers platters of fresh, locally caught seafood in an al fresco setting.
A day of drinking, eating and sunbathing can be exhausting and there’s no better place to unwind after such exertion than Zentropía, Palladium’s on-site spa. The spa is nestled inland, amid lush foliage and peaceful tropical birds chirping in the trees. In addition to a range of treatment options including massage, manicures, pedicures, and exfoliations, a flowing pool winds through the property along with plunge baths, dry and wet saunas, and plenty of space to lay out and catch a few more rays.
I opt for a Vichy treatment and body scrub that utilizes local botanicals. After donning a pair of disposable underwear, I climb onto the treatment table and my therapist gets to work, exfoliating a winter’s worth of dry skin and angst. He entombs me in the contraption and cranks up the water jets – an initial blast of cold water that eventually warms to a gentle mist.
There’s something oddly unnerving about the whole experience, as I imagine this is what old age may feel like if I’m wealthy enough to have someone bathe me when I’m no longer able to manage self-care. That being said, when I meet up with friends after the treatment, they’re all oohing and ahhing over my skin “as smooth as a baby’s bottom.”
Keepin’ It Green
Palladium Resorts’ commitment to five-star service goes beyond its customers. The company continues to invest in eco-friendly business practices in an effort to preserve the environment.
“At Palladium Hotels & Resorts we are fully aware that our long-term success depends entirely on the quality of our guest experience. That, in turn, is strongly influenced by the beauty, appeal and health of the surrounding natural environment. Our service, facilities and restaurants can be the best in the world, but if guests are not delighted by their surroundings they will be disappointed. So, a commitment to the environment is one of our highest priorities,” said Jacques De Paep, Palladium Hotel Group’s commercial director for North America.
Palladium’s Mayan Riviera property is the one with the least building density in the area, having preserved more than 80 percent of the existing environment. The grounds feature only native species. The complex also features its own reverse osmosis water plants with approximately 85 percent of used water returning to a treatment plant and eventual reuse for irrigation. And since 2010, the resort has been composting all fruit and vegetable waste from its kitchens.
More Getaways for Grown-Ups
Beyond the Royal Suites Yucatán, Palladium resorts also offers two other boutique, adult-only properties worth considering for your next grown-up getaway:
Royal Suites Turquesa, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Royal Suites Punta de Mita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico