Luxury hotels with good food are one of life’s great pleasures, but I don’t have money to burn. Neither does my longtime pal Belinda. When we meet up at the Cancun airport in July for a carefully budgeted vacation, she’s seething. Her airline wanted to charge her for a glass of milk.
“And then they wanted me to pay to watch TV,” she’s saying as we ride in a cab down Highway 307, south toward Playa del Carmen. “I refused and drank water the whole trip.” I’m not feeling much better, after paying extra on an already-expensive flight from New York City for a bulkhead seat. So when our cab (an alarming $70) pulls up to an elegant wall of solid wood at our first destination, the Blue Diamond Riviera Maya, it’s none too soon for either of us.
- Rick Bayless in Baja
- The Mexico City City Guide
- A Lesson in Mexican Flavors
- A Yucatán Adventure
- Oaxaca’s Art and Food Rebels
- A Cooking Adventure at a Mexico Spa
“Bienvenidos,” a guard says. The wall opens and we find ourselves in a vast thatched-roof lobby surrounded by water. A manager gives us tropical juice in champagne flutes and puts bracelets on our wrists.