Friday, August 15, 2014

Mexico...A Luxury Traveler's Haven

Too many people do not associate Mexico with luxury and that is a crying shame.   Mexico yells "luxury!!" but it seems not everyone is hearing or is willing to listen.  I know, when someone says they want to take a luxury trip somewhere, they usually think of places like the Mediterranean coasts of Italy or France or cities such as Venice or Paris.  Others that have more tropical destinations in mind usually equate luxury to St Lucia or Anguilla or some of the BVI's.  But few seem to say the words Mexico and luxury in the same sentence.  Well I am here to try to change that.

I have taken land-based vacations to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos and each of these cities & areas  have 5 star, luxurious options for those who want to be pampered like a dignitary and surrounded by the best of everything.   For example...Cancun has the beautiful Banyan Tree Mayakoba or the Fairmont Mayakoba.  Both are 5 diamond properties and offer the best in luxury accommodations and experience.  They are easily accessible from Cancun's international airport and you can be whisked to your resort in the finest of SUV's or private sedans.

Same goes for Puerto Vallarta.  You don't have to skimp on service or luxury when you stay at the 5 diamond Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit or the St Regis Punta Mita.   This was the original destination of the rich and famous and was quickly named Mexico's Riviera which competed with any of Europe's top high-end destinations.

And you can't go to Cabo without acknowledging that this is the new hot destination for the luxury-minded traveler.   The luxury choices seem endless.  You can opt for the One and Only Palmilla or the Capella Pedragal or Secrets Marquis or Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf and Spa Resort.  All say "luxury" loud and clear.

Here is what all 3 destinations have in common and offer the luxury traveler:

1) Unique experiences.  Every discerning traveler wants something unique.  They want a special occasion option or an experience you can't get at every mass-traveled destination.  Mexico offers that in general, but especially in the 3 areas I am mentioning.  Maybe it is swimming with whale sharks or sipping a morning cup of coffee while watching whales breach the waters of the Sea of Cortez or seeing world-renowned art after dining at one of the world's best restaurants.  Or maybe it is taking in some of Mexico's UNESCO World Heritage sites (over 30 to choose from).  This is what Mexico can offer.

2) Easy Access.  All 3 areas have easily accessible airports from most major hubs in the US.  But what stands out to me is how close everything is to the airport.  There is no traffic to sit in (i.e. London, Paris etc) once you land.  The furthest you will travel to get to the resorts I have mentioned is 45 mins or less once you are in your private car.  Your private driver can give you a great run down on what to do, where to eat etc during the short transfer to your resort.

3)  Safety.  Contrary to what the news tries to tell you.  Mexico is a generally safe country. They have their bad areas just like we do here in the US.  We just like to talk about everyone else more than looking in the mirror.  All 3 areas offer a safe environment for the luxury traveler.  That does not mean someone should let their guard down just like someone should always be vigilant even while dining off of Rodeo Drive.  But the areas themselves are geographically removed from the more dangerous areas featured in the news.

4) Appeal to every generation.  Whether you are a generation Y luxury traveler or a baby boomer who likes the finer things of life, all 3 areas offer a bit of everything.  Want to learn about the ecosystem of the desert that sits between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean and then ride a camel along the shore of the Pacific?  You can do that in Cabo.  Or maybe you want to sit in the quiet ambience of a small, chic restaurant and sip the finest of tequila.  You can do that too.  Or maybe you want to kayak out into the Sea or Cortez and get up close to a migrating humpback whale.  Or you want to try diving off into one of the many Cenotes near Cancun.  Or sit and enjoy a fine bottle of wine from your private balcony while watching the sunset in Puerto Vallarta or take a horse back ride into the lush mountains just outside the city. There is something for everyone and all can be done as a private or shared experience.

5) Privacy.  The luxury and discerning traveler sometimes needs a respite from their daily routine and people in general.  These destinations and their luxury accommodations offer that retreat.  From the luxury private pool villas at Banyan Tree to the Villa Cortez at the One and Only Palmilla.

So please not overlook Mexico when it comes to a luxury getaway.  It is my favorite destination and my wish is everyone would at least appreciate Mexico for its people, its beauty, its culture and rich history and yes...even its luxurious offerings.