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Yucatán-Final Reflections

Christmas tree in the lobby at Hilton Playa del Carmen

There is no doubt that the holidays are upon us. Everywhere in Playa del Carmen the decorations have gone up during our 3-Day stay. Some are tasteful and others kitschy – as always judgement on such matters lies in the eye of the beholder.

Pool day in our private cabana

Our last day on the Riviera Maya was spent lounging at the pool in a private cabana that provided some needed shade for sunny moments and reprieve from the elements when rain and wind swept through the complex. As the temps stayed in the 90s, it didn’t matter either way and fun was had by all. Note that in most resorts these days, private cabanas are offered at a surcharge which ranges from a low of 25 upwards of 150 depending on location and amenities provided. As a long time Hilton Diamond top tier member, our treat was a very reasonable 35 for the day. My advice to fellow travelers is to always ask if your loyalty program perks save you a few bucks. At worst, it doesn’t hurt and at best you get a benefit for your loyalty.

As I mentioned, the Hilton is classified as an All-Inclusive resort which means food and beverage is included in the rate paid per night. The question then is what does that get you in terms of quality and experience? From the above picture you can see what breakfast looks like. What was a buffet prior to Covid-19 is now a served station with a mix of traditional Mexican dishes and global favorites. Breakfast was hands down the best meal of the day.

Cochinita Pibil in the foreground
Oldest restaurant in Valladolid

As the title of this blog stated, these are my final reflections on this trip. Thus my posting of the food above as this was the stand out meal. Local, fresh, and culturally relevant to the town we visited after our Chichen Itza day. While the Belmond impressed with an eclectic selection of dishes and the Hilton fills your belly, it is this meal I will remember for years.

Our shuttle driver’ view of the road back to Cancun airport
Delta flight 1679 to Atlanta

A huge thanks to Delta Airlines for their masterful handling of services and passengers during the pandemic. No other domestic carrier does it as well at this time. From the video intro by their Chief Customer Service Officer to the safety demonstration and overall mask protocols, the crews managed each segment we flew in a warm, caring, and matter of fact way. Impressive given the many anti-maskers whom still have not realized that this disease is real and not “fake news.” Right on time, we landed back at SFO last Tuesday night refreshed and ready to tackle the remaining weeks of this most unusual year ever.

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