I was delighted to be awarded Travel Counsellors Gold Status for my sales achievements when they acquired Holidaysplease earlier this year, and even more thrilled to be offered a recognition trip to Mexico, along with a couple of my closest colleagues.
Over the years, I have been lucky to visit many countries, but amazingly Mexico hadn’t yet been ticked off.
The trip not only allowed me to experience four days of all-inclusive luxury in the sun but also an insight into the Travel Counsellors family, and I came home excited about the next chapter of my journey - and with a bunch of new friends.
I was travelling as a group, so opted to fly direct to Cancun from Gatwick with British Airways (the flight is just short of ten hours) but there are direct flights from most major UK airports, including Edinburgh and Glasgow, making it easily accessible and great value.
On arriving at Cancun, we got through airport security quickly and found our private transfer who delivered us to Secrets Moxché Playa Del Carmen by early evening local time.
The hotel is set within a large resort on a beautiful beach just outside the town of Playa Del Carmen. It boasts eleven impressive restaurants including Mexican, French, Italian, Southeast Asian, Pan-Asian and seafood; seven bars and 24-hour room service. You are not going to go hungry here!
It has eight swimming pools including three refreshing artificial cenotes (Mexican sinkholes) and a huge spa with a unique cenote-inspired design.
We were privileged to be staying in the Preferred Club which provides exclusive access to a rooftop infinity pool, bar and restaurant amongst other things.
For the more adventurous, there is a range of aquatic activities including kayaking, sailing, water polo, pool volleyball, scuba diving, snorkelling and deep-sea fishing, plus a beach waiter service if you prefer some downtime or a break between the exhilarating pursuits.
My personal favourites:
Breakfast – room service on the balcony
Lunch - Seasoul – Seafood Restaurant
Dinner - Suki – Pan Asian
Cocktail – must be the Mojito
Pool – Cenote pool
There is lots to do outside of the resort too, and my must-see recommendations include:
Have a stroll down the town of Playa Del Carmen and interact with the friendly locals. One half of Fifth Avenue contains local shops (some full of tourist tat but I did manage to spend a few pesos in the local boutique!). The other half of the main street is where you find the higher-end chain stores.
The spectacular Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza are a couple of hours' drive away but totally worth it.
Sea Turtle and Cenote Snorkelling Tour
Holbox Island - tour the protected area to see wildlife, marine life and colourful boats and houses.
My first Travel Counsellors Gold Trip was a valuable chance to learn more about the company and meet new colleagues, as well as being a hugely enjoyable introduction to Mexico at a magnificent resort.