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This was our second stay at Vidanta property. The first was Nuevo Vallarta. This time we were in Riviera Maya. I rented through VRBO from an owner who had platinum status. Platinum status is the way to go! Regardless of which status you have, the rooms at the Grand Luxxe are like luxury condos. We were in a master villat wo-bedroom with two-and-a-half baths. It had two king-size beds, two Jacuzzi tubs, sprawling terrace with a plunge pool, a separate private deck, gourmet kitchen, two living areas with sleeper sofas, and four LCD TVs!
Or platinum status gave us access to the private beach as well as VIP golf cart transportation. Basically, the platinum wristband gives you VIP access to anything and everything you could imagine.
The beach sand itself is not rocky but the entrance to the water is. Another guest told us that the beaches near the other buildings are much smoother. However, I wouldn't trade the beach beds, lounge chairs and platinum beach service!
Where we slept:
Where we ate:
Todd English PUB
I'm a big fan of adults only getaways. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids ..but, with a house, 3 kids, 2 dogs, a cat, and a turtle, some adulting is mandatory in my book. I am grateful that my husband has many opportunities for business trips that I can tag along on! This time, he had a meeting at the Aria. We have never stayed there before and the reviews on Tripadvisor were quite good. As it is typically done, the bulk rooms were reserved run of house. I reserved a standard king room through the meeting organizers. Upon our arrival, there were no king rooms available. I spoke to the manager on duty , Jonathan. He apologized and confirmed that there were indeed no king rooms available so, he gave us a $100 food credit. While this was a nice gesture, when you're on a kid-less vacation , it's not ideal to sleep in separate beds ...umm right? The manager then told us to check back the next day to see if anything else was available. The next day, not only did we get a king room but in the Sky Suites! It was a beautiful room with upgraded beds and bedding (much better than the first night in a standard room!) There was a lounge exclusively for the use of Sky Suite guests with complimentary coffee and pastries in the morning and wine and cheese at night.
While my husband was working, I got to play with my mom sister and grandma who live in Las Vegas full-time. One of my must do's when in Vegas is a liquid lunch. They bloody Mary's at The Todd English P.U.B are to die for! On Saturdays and Sundays till 2pm, they offer a "Farm to Table" bloody mary menu that allows you to completely customize your bloody mary with various mixes, garnishes, house-infused liquors and more. We're talking about an impressive number of customizations here with everything from habanero vodka to a lobster garnish. But if you really want to go all out, the real show stopper is the "All About Mary." Coming in at $35, this thing is a beast and includes, well, pretty much every garnish you can think of on top of a classic bloody mary. Yep., THAT was our brunch!
The Sky pool was very crowded but very comfortable. It is quite noisy though. It is adjacent to the "liquid Pool" which has a live DJ.
Dinner at Carbonne: The food was great (table-side Caesar salad was fabulous!) and the service was great. What we couldn't understand was the choice of loud music playlist. It just didn't work and when we asked the waiter he said "yeah, this is was the owner wants. We don't get it either". We felt like we were in Jonny Rockets and the servers should be on roller skates. Hate to say but we wouldn't recommend it or go again because of that.
To cap off our great getaway, as a Sky Suites guest, we were given complimentary airport transportation in a Cadillac limo. We have been to LV many times and have mostly stayed at the Wynn Tower Suites. The SS beat the Wynn with the amenities.
Where we slept:
Where we ate:
Scarpetta - Fontainebleau Miami Beach
A Fish Called Avalon
Where I Yoga'd:
We live in a small-town in Southeast Minnesota. Well, I guess it's not a small town to sound but to me, having lived in New York city, it's a small town. It's small, and it's cold, and there are certainly no Yoga Journal conferences here! One of the perks of my husband's job is that he can pretty much select where in the world he wants to go for a business conference. So, when I saw the Yoga Journal Live event in Miami I asked if he could find a meeting to go to at the same time and we could go for the weekend. The plan was that he would go to his conference and I will go to mine. It was a win win! We stayed at the Fountainbleu in Miami where his meeting was. The yoga Journal event was about 30 minutes north in Hollywood.
I love the history of the Fountainbleu. My husband's parents had stayed there in the 50's. It's very glamourous! This hotel is located in the quiet end of Miami Beach but still a short taxi ride from the action in South Beach. We had an ocean view room with a king bed (320 sq. ft.). The hotel has everything; fine dining, various pools to choose from and a beautiful staffed beach. I think my only complaint is that the pool (and the pool bar!) closed at sundown. I asked for a drink about 15 minutes before they were closing and the server never came back!
Scarpetta: Overall, this was an impressive meal with attentive service - and a gorgeous setting!
A Fish Called Avalon: If you want to feel like you have stepped back into the art-deco era and dine on fabulous food while watching vintage cars go by this is the place! We arrived slightly before our reservation and started on a bottle of wine at the bar. The bar is tucked into a corner but still comfortable. I had reserved a table outside (when you live in Minnesota you ALWAYS reserve a table outside when traveling somewhere warm!) and while it was a bit crowded, the service was excellent and the food superb!