Are you looking for the best place to take your family or friends for an all-inclusive resort vacation? Maybe to Mexico or particularly, Cancun? I've been back from traveling to Mexico for a week now, trying to catch up on work and family responsibilities, but I just can't stop thinking about my trip to the amazing Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancun for Macaroni Kid's annual Silver Daisy Boondoggle trip. I play in my mind, over and over, how beautiful the setting was and how completely full my heart feels, after spending some quality time with my Macaroni Kid publisher sisters. Memories to treasure for certain.
I am fortunate to have quite a long list of Macaroni Kid adventure stories to tell. Our publisher trips usually have a fun and action-packed itinerary, and I relish the time spent with my publisher friends, with whom I always connect as if we've always lived in the same city (rather than spread across the country). But this trip was different. It was slower, it was more relaxed, it afforded time for deeper connections. It was fantabulous.
As moms, sometimes less is what we REALLY need. Time to make deeper connections with friends or family. And the setting at Azul Beach Resorts is perfect for that. With a variety of pools, the beach, restaurants, bars, entertainment, activities, a spa and more right outside your door and all-inclusive, Azul Beach Resorts make it so easy to have a relaxing vacation.
There are SEVEN restaurants and SIX bars at Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancun, each one with different cuisine and atmosphere. I wish our trip had been long enough to try them all. The ones I did get a chance to try were so good and the service was impeccable. I love the all-inclusive concept so much. Just order what you want or take as many trips to the food displays as you would like!
|The staff are super friendly and speak English very well.||One of many amazing food displays around the resort.||A vacation for any foodie!|
Go Ahead and Bring the Kids
But, what if the kids want action and adventure, while the parents want to relax or have some alone-time? Azul Beach Resorts make it easy to drop off the kids at Azulitos Playhouse, while you go have dinner at a fancy restaurant or sip drinks at the swim-up bar. There are a variety of activities planned at different times throughout the day, and the staff will even take your kids to the splash pad and kids pool to play. We met families from Britain that were staying at the resort for two weeks. For family together-time, relax in a beach lounger with the kids in their own mini-chairs right next to you. The bartenders will mix-up some special non-alcoholic drinks just for them. You can even schedule a parent-child spa treatment for an extra special memory.
|Playtime for toddlers right on the beach.||A splash pad, water slide, and pool just for the kids.||Check the day's activities at Azulitos Playhouse.|
Action and Adventure Time
I relished the relaxing itinerary on this trip, but I also knew I couldn't leave Mexico without spending time seeing the sights outside the resort. On the last day, a few publisher friends and I booked an all-day adventure at a kiosk right on the resort grounds. The tour company picked us up at the front door in the morning, drove us around all day for our activities and then brought us back, exhausted from all our fun, in the evening! We visited Tulum, one of the area's archaeological treasures, a city of Mayan and Toltec ruins. Tulum is a must-see for any history buff. Or you can book a trip to see Chichen Itza, the more famous Mayan ruins that are a bit farther away. After an authentic Mexican lunch, we visited two "cenotes," natural limestone pits or caves that expose the pristine, cold groundwater. Cooling off in the chilly water was so nice after walking around in the sun at the ruins. Plus, snorkeling in a cave was a thrill I had no idea needed to be on my bucket list. In the middle of this jungle, you see a small hole, with stairs going down into the ground. You climb down and suddenly it opens up into this giant cave room with natural light filtering down into crystal clear water. It was amazing!
|A panoramic view of the ruins at Tulum.|
|Swimming and snorkeling at an underground cenote.||The tour company's photographer took amazing underwater photos for us.|
Karisma, the parent company that owns Azul Beach Resorts, also has some other fantastic properties in the area. On one day of our trip, we visited the nearby Generations Resort, which had swim-up balconies! I didn't even know this was a thing! Pools on the second, third, fourth floors? WOW! And one giant pool on the ground floor. All with a spectacular view of that turquoise, Caribbean Ocean.
|Swim-up balcony rooms at Karisma's Generations Riviera Maya Resort|
We also were the first media group to get a sneak peek at the new Nickelodeon Resort under construction and set to open in 2020. This new resort will have swim-up balconies like the Generations Resort, but with a Nickelodeon theme. A large water park will be connected to the resort by train! How fun is that? The reason for this is that the resort is preserving many acres of mangroves in between. Of course, I'm a fan of that!
Environmental and Sustainability Policies
I was really impressed by the Karisma properties' environmental policies (read more about that HERE). I noticed that our resort had trash cans with separate sections for recycling, trash, and compost. Important when you need to drink bottled water. All other drinks were served in washable cups, with no plastic straws. This was such a relief to me because I've been to resorts where you are served drinks in a new disposable cup, with a straw, every time. That just stresses me out. They also had NO paper towels in the bathrooms. You dry your hands with a fresh, clean rolled-up washcloth!
More Photos and Video
Be sure to visit Macaroni Kid South Birmingham's Instagram and Facebook pages to see more photos and video from the trip. Or you can search #MKGoesAzul on social media to see all the publishers' photos and videos. Here's a video I put together to give you a nice peek into #AzulBeachLife
More About Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancun
Visit the resort's website HERE for more information. If social is more your style, check out their social links below!
|Click HERE for Azul Beach Resorts on Facebook||Click HERE for Azul Beach Resorts on Instagram|
Click HERE for Azul Beach Resorts on Twitter
The Seaweed Situation
If you like to research your vacation destinations, it won't take long for you to discover the news about the seaweed situation in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean right now. Unfortunately, It is an environmental problem cropping up on beaches and resorts everywhere in these areas. It is believed to be the result of fertilizer runoff and is likely going to be an issue until governments take action to combat it. Until then, be assured that Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancun did a great job of removing the seaweed while we were there so it didn't affect guests' experience. And I didn't see any problems at the other Karisma resorts we visited. I was still able to enjoy swinging at the beach bar, napping on a beach cabana and walking along the shoreline. Plus the resort itself is so fantastic, the beach is only a small part of what they have to offer. I would (and hope to) absolutely bring my family back to a Karisma property, despite the seaweed situation. In fact, now that I have stayed at Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancun, I'm much more likely to choose one of Karisma's resorts, trusting that they are taking care of the problem. I also learned, from another publisher, that Karisma is currently working with local entrepreneurs to develop ways to utilize the collected seaweed, like use it to make construction materials or notebooks. That is awesome. I hope more companies will follow their lead and work to find solutions to problems like these.
It is also possible to time your visit to avoid the "sargassum season." Find out if the beach your planning to visit is affected by visiting this website.
Disclosure: Thank you to Azul Beach Resorts Riviera Cancun for hosting Macaroni Kid's Silver Daisy Boondoggle 2019. All opinions are my own.
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