-Sitting on a plane is enlightening. I love the feeling to being in between the ground and space. It feels like I am floating and gives me time to imagine and envision projects, ideas and dreams.
My husband and I were asked to tag-a- long on a birthday celebration trip to Play de Carmen with another couple who are dear friends of ours. Of course we said yes. Why not hang with friends for a long weekend? But this trip was different for a few reasons:
At Toronto Pearson Airport, we once again line bypassed all of the people waiting in security with our Amercian Express Platnium card. This is one of the best perks of having an American Express Platinum card! You can get from curbside to lounge life in less than 30 minutes! Once in the lounge, we grabbed a bite to eat and waited for our friends to join us.
We flew with Aeromexico which was surprisingly a great airline, centered on customer service. I’m talking free wi-fi, complimentary food, drinks and snacks. The flight felt longer than my flight to Japan and we had to stop over in Mexico City. In Mexico City, we visited the American Express Centurion Lounge before heading to our connecting flight.
Upon our arrival in Playa de Carmen, we picked up our rental car and drove another 45 minutes to our Airbnb accommodations. Our anticipation for yummy Mexican food was too real. So we had to stop at a street vendor and picked up a round of chicken and vegan tacos.
We stayed at the A-nah suites. Check in went smooth. No hiccups. There was parking, security and a great welcoming team. We loved our Airbnb. It was beautiful at night and we couldn’t wait to see it in the morning. There was a rooftop pool, with many lounge chairs and cabanas. The property is a combination of residences and condos so we met people who gave us suggestions for lunch and dinner.
The actual suite was modern and luxurious with two bedrooms,two full bathrooms, ample storage and two king-sized beds. The full kitchen allowed us to cook some of our meals and became the meeting point for excursions. The balcony was large and doubled as lounge and place to hang our swimsuits to dry.
Our Airbnb was a 10 minute walk way from a strip of restaurants and stores ironically called “ 5th ave”. Ha! Sorry no Saks! We headed there for our first full real meal in Mexico. We over did it with the food but it was our first dinner in Playa comprised of nachos and fries supreme, wings and fish tacos. Whoa!
TIP: If you arrive during the evening head over to the local grocery store to pick up snacks, fruits, drinks and quick breakfast food. ie. bagels, cream cheese, jam, milk so you are ready to start the new day.
The next morning we headed to Mamacita’s Beach Club for drinks, food and the sun. My favorite thing to do at the beach is sit next to my husband and read, take notes or play suduko. I took a dip in the water and enjoyed the sun on my face. Beach life is THEE life.
To celebrate the birthday girl, we went to Aluxe Restaurant. The restaurant is in a real cave. The lighting and décor made it even more dramatic and unique. Aluxe features a private wine cellar, handbag racks at your table and a wide variety of fun drinks. The steak dinner I had was literally one of the best steaks I have ever had and the Mexican vegetables were different but added a local flare to the meal.
I didn’t do much shopping beyond souvenirs but there was a lot of duty free options, artisanal pieces and handmade crafts. Instead, I fully immersed myself in the colours of Mexico. Because I spent a lot of time on the beach or by the pool, swimsuits and covers ups were my uniform. The beach cabana was a breezy and cool option while out in the bright sun. With a fries supreme and the best burger I have ever tasted from Mamacita's Beach club, the sun didn't seem as hot. Ha!
Look out for my post with a recap of all of the poolside looks featured on my Instagram.
Despite the bad press, Playa felt very safe. We walked late at night and into the morning, ate from street vendors and definitely stood out from the crowd. But not once did I feel unsafe or out of place. The people were friendly and were willing to help us. There was a language barrier but with sign language and Google translate, we were able to find our way around and find the foods we loved.
TIP: Download travel apps prior to going on a trip. Make sure you know how to use them. I would suggest Google Translate and a currency Converter.
Playa was a great getaway with the sun, food and a variety of activities.
It was a fun location for two couples, celebrating a birthday and celebrating life.
Would I go back to Playa?
Most definitely but I would need to pack a few more swimsuits.