I was so excited for my arrival in Cancun. After not being able to travel internationally for over a year, it was thrilling to have my passport in hand while boarding the plane. Going to Cancun on a beach vacation and getting away from the snowy Colorado mountains is just what my mental and physical body were calling for!
Note: This is Part 2 of my blog Cancun is Calling.
The Flight: Denver to Cancun
When I got to the gate, it was virtually empty so I thought I missed my flight or I was at the wrong gate – but the guy at the desk said there just weren’t that many people on the flight – so… most people had a row to themselves!
As a travel agent, this was a work trip for 3 days in the middle, but with an extra day at the beginning and 2 days at the end for me. And with golf being part of the “me time”, seeing my golf bag on the conveyer belt allowed me to sit back and relax. It was Fabulous!
The only thing kind of goofy was that when filling out the Customs Declaration Form, the flight attendant didn’t know if we were supposed to fill out the bottom section which seemed like a duplicate of the top part. She came back and told us did need to fill it out and we were supposed to keep that part with us. The top part is the entry form which they take when you arrive, and the bottom part is the exit form which they require when you leave. You do not need to get a “Mexico Tourist Card” ahead of time. You just fill out the form on the plane.
For the arrival in Cancun, it seemed we were going to get there early, but it took a fair amount of time to get over the Yucatan Peninsula, then the plane had to go to the end of the Cancun airport. Then we pulled up to the gate and the jetway started coming toward the plane then it backed up. They announced that the plane had pulled up too far so we had to wait for a vehicle to push us back a bit. It probably only took 5 minutes but it seemed like a long time when you’re excited for your beach vacation to start!
Arrival in Cancun Airport
We entered into a modern looking part of the airport and went through customs. Arrival in Cancun was all very easy and no problem. The only issue was locating the Oversized Luggage carousel. I asked 3 different people and they all pointed in different directions. The oversized luggage was back by where I had come from – on the right looking back at the Duty Free shopping area. Then they said my golf bag had to be scanned. But not my suitcase. Ok.
My pre-arranged transfer to the resort was with Lomas Travel. Unless you’re really comfortable with traveling in Mexico (or Central America or any of the islands), there are three things you should do:
1) pre-arrange for a transfer from the airport to your resort and back,
2) know the signature dress code of the transfer company – seriously, Lomas Travel is teal shirts with white pants, Amstar is blue shirts with flowers,
3) walk straight through the “shark tank” and directly out of the building to meet your transfer company.
The hallway between customs and the exit is lined with rental car companies, tour and time-share sales people and can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not expecting it. Just look straight ahead and if approached say “no thank you.”
Even with all of that during the arrival in Cancun, the time from the plane to the exit was about 40 minutes. (My last picture from the airplane was at 2:52 pm and I was in the vehicle by 3:35pm.)
Iberostar Selection Cancun Resort
Driving up to the Iberostar, with the palm trees swaying in the breeze, I had my first look at the iconic building. It’s an unusual looking “spoke & hub” building with a central lobby and three wings sticking out like spokes on a wheel. When you do an internet search for Cancun, you’ll usually see a picture of this building. It’s pretty cool because it allows two wings to have gorgeous views of the beach and ocean.
Check-in at the Iberostar went very smoothly upon my arrival in Cancun. The check-in desk (where the person is standing on the left below) was well staffed, friendly and competent. The people sitting at the desks on the right are the concierges. Then all the way at the back is the bar. My first impression of the interior was “glossy.”
Looking the opposite direction, the seating area in the lobby is bright and airy. Just past that potted palm on the right, there is a coffee shop which serves sandwiches for breakfast. This was a great find for me because then I wouldn’t have to go to a different building for breakfast before golf early the next morning.
After having my all-inclusive arm band attached, I was given the key to my ocean view room. I took the elevator up to the 3rd floor and looked down on the bar area below. And surprisingly, it was not noisy at night. I didn’t hear anything from the bar in my room at night even though I was only a couple of doors away from the central elevator.
The view from my room was gorgeous! I couldn’t stop taking pictures.
Here is a video that really shows what my view was like. It is also on my Facebook page: A Happy Place Travel
Note: I love that Iberostar is family owned, but I also want to set expectations correctly. The lobby and view are gorgeous but this is an older building. The shower is not modern, the decor is kind of minimal and I’m not sure the safe worked. I had luggage that locked so I just used that since I was only there one night.
If you’re looking for a resort with a fabulous view, includes golf, great food choices, activities like pool volleyball and easy access to a mostly seaweed free beach, then this is the resort for you! (The Iberostar Selection Cancun is also close to the airport – it took about 20 minutes to drive from the airport to the resort.)
I got to my room, took some videos and pictures, put on my swimsuit and cover up then went down to the concierge to check on dinner reservations. He told me everything was already booked up for that evening but if I showed up at 10 past the hour, they would know what cancellations they had. Thinking about what time I needed to be ready for dinner made my eyes cross so I went out to the pool bar and got a Mai Tai.
The guys in the pool were playing volleyball for hours! Normally, I would have joined in, but I was relaxing after my travels and just enjoying having my feet up!
The beach at the Iberostar Selection Cancun has some seaweed, but not near as much as other places further down the coast. Here it is just a thin line and then the water is clear azure blue! It is just gorgeous!
The Iberostar resorts are family owned and committed to sustainability. They have this display which says, “Iberostar Group is committed to preserving the natural environment of the destinations it runs. To achieve this commitment, we stand for the reduction of environmental impacts.”
Dinner at the American Bistro
Normally, I would have tried something a little different for dinner my first night in Cancun, but as I mentioned, the choices were limited by the time I checked in. Plus, the concierge said the salmon was really good and she was right!
It was starting to cool off by the time I went to dinner. (I went down to the concierge at 7:10pm expecting there to be a line, but it was just me.)
The decor seemed kind of Asian inspired with lots of lighter wood. I was seated by the window and there was plenty of space between the tables and the service was good.
The Best Salmon in Cancun!
The New Orleans Salmon at the American Bistro at the Iberostar Selection Cancun was actually THE BEST SALMON IN CANCUN that I tasted the entire time I was there! And I had salmon several times and nothing compared to this. I did not expect it to be great – but it was! It was cooked perfectly and not too dry, plus it was basted in an amazing sauce. YUMMY!!
The desert was called “WOOPIES!” and I’m not kidding – your taste buds say “Whoopie!” when you bite into one of these. I was only going to have one because I was trying to watch (or get back) my girlish figure but I ate all 3 and loved every bite!!
There was a movie set up before dinner then the movie was playing after dinner. Since I was golfing in the morning, I didn’t want to stay up to late, so I skipped the movie.
On the way back from dinner, I was accompanied by the moon. Note: I was a solo female and there were plenty of people around so I did not feel nervous walking by myself.
Then the Buffet was still open, so I popped in to take some pictures. (I might have sampled some shrimp and maybe a bite of chocolate.)
Then when I got back to my room, I saw the Moon over Cancun!
Day 2 – Coming soon!