Monday, May 17, 2010

"Mangos, Mojitos, and Completely Blissful Escapism"
Club Med Ixtapa, Mexico
May 17th, 2010
*Make sure to check out the slideshow at the bottom of this posting

After a lifetime spent traveling to developing world countries and living on the cheap, I've always eschewed the idea of resorting it and spending a week or two comfortably cut off from the local culture while sipping fancy drinks and surrounded by my similarly situated socioeconomic and national kinsmen. Well it turns out that this form of travel is called "vacation" and that it's actually quite enjoyable! I had NO IDEA how amazing the experience of resorting it could be.

By sheer fortune, my boyfriend's parents offered to take us and his brother, sister-in-law, and nephew all to spend a week at Club Med in Ixtapa, Mexico. And all I can say is OH.MY.GOD. AMAZING! I think that the older I get the more I appreciate the art of relaxation and learning to spend an afternoon doing absolutely NOTHING! Club Med also provides ample opportunities for guests to stay active if you're not entirely content reading Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and drinking endless glasses of cool, sweet minty mojitos under a private palapa on the beach (I know…it sounds rough, doesn’t it?).

From the morning into the late evening, you can choose from Zumba Classes (one of my favorite activities…a Latin/Hip Hop style of really popular cardio-exercise), tequila tastings, Body Sculpting, Archery, Trapeze/Circus Classes, Tennis, Rock Climbing, Body-Surfing, Kayaking, Sailing, Swimming, and Cooking Classes with the top chefs from the resort. At night you have your pick of checking out an incredible variety of dancing performances, hilarious skits playing off of movies and pop culture music, and an unforgettable finale circus performance.

Then there’s always the option of just staring thoughtfully into the Pacific sipping on a Pina Colada as you contemplate whether you’ll be going with the Beef Tenderloin and mushroom sauce for dinner or the grilled Mahi-Mahi with a side of fresh mango and lime juice.

Or you can do both. Whichever way…it’s all about the options you have at Club Med!

We were especially blown away by a the quality of food and drinks that we indulged in day after day....homemade spinach stuffed ravioli, fresh ceviche, mouthwatering slices of mango, papaya, and watermelon, endless trays of freshly made fruit tortes and pastries, cinnamon and sugar-dusted churros, imported cheeses, hand-rolled tortillas and pre-hispanic dishes, stir-fried vegetables, and Moroccan, Mexican, Chinese, and Italian themed dinners.

The staff was also incredible to us…I can’t say enough amazing things about the quality of service we had there. Another one of Club Med’s philosophies is that guests are treated like royalty but that they have a chance to interact and become friends with the staff, who hang out, eat, and drink with the guests at the meals and parties. I feel a special affinity for many of the staff that we got to know there over the course of the week and want to send out a special thanks to several of them:

A huge THANKYOU to Eduardo (operations manager), Daniel (bar and entertainment), Asaia (hosting), Sandra (boutique), Nat (incredibly talented head of entertainment….amazing trapeze artist and comedian as well!), Jona (hilarious impressions of Ricky Martin and self-professed ‘shy guy’…), Chefs Sheik, Miguel, and Arturo (who taught some super fun cooking classes and treated us like royalty while we were there….including an amazing fruit masterpiece you’ll see in the slideshow!). Big thankyous also to all of the dancers, choreographers, costume designers, A/V guys, trapeze artists, cooks, bakers, bartenders, and groundskeepers that give it 150% on a daily basis.

You guys couldn’t have done a more amazing job or made our experience there more amazing!
Thankyou! Gracias! Merci! Cheers! Obrigado! I highly, highly recommend going to Ixtapa, Mexico or trying out another Club Med. In the meantime, for a little taste of paradise...enjoy the slideshow I put together for Steve's family as A HUGE THANKYOU for affording us with this opportunity!