Mexican Beach Bliss by Chef Rosie Trotter
Rosie, also known for her successful cooking business Cook with Rosie travelled to Mexico with her husband in March 2018. This aim of the trip was to escape the hustle and bustle of London, soak up the sunshine, relax and explore the food scene on the Riviera Maya.
9 hours, 2 films and several cat naps later, we are off the plane and being jostled into the immigration queue at Cancun airport, before being spat out into the arms of our guide. In a long haul daze we were soon cruising down the coastal highway to our first port of call, hotel Esencia, nestled inconspicuously further down the Caribbean coast just south of Playa del Carmen. This place is as hidden and discreet as it’s coastal neighbours are ostentatious and brash. We wove down a sandy track lined with overhanging palms, through a security controlled gate – (you immediately feel you’re in a safe haven with no need for a concern over Mexico’s tarnished past of drug wars).
Hotel Esencia is everything and more in terms of setting, style and service. It is this pared back luxury that clearly has visitors flocking from around the world to enjoy R and R around either of the 2 pools, on the beach, or lolling in a hammock slung between 2 palms. The food from each of the 3 restaurants is impossible to beat. My only sadness is that I had to ask for ‘salsa picante’ with everything – a far cry from my days spent living in Mexico City when I asked for most things ‘sin chile’. They are clearly catering to the milder taste buds of their clientele, but without sacrificing flavour from the most amazing array of local ingredients.
We passed the days kicking back under one of the several beachside palapas, complete with service button which we hit when we felt ready for our first beer of the day, and when ensued a burst of energy, we took to the paddle boards and kayaks on offer to get a whole new perspective of the beautiful coastline.
3 days on and we were Tulum-bound, and ready to be immersed into more of Mexico, accompanied by more perfect white sandy coastline and blue seas of the Yucatan peninsula.
Tulum is a very different place to what I remember, and I hasten to add not in a bad way. The laws on beachside development mean that the only noticeable difference is that the hotel area on the beach stretches a good 3kms further than it did 15 years ago. Hotel Be Tulum was our base camp for the next 4 nights, and we immediately became part of a bare foot brigade, wearing flip flops only to venture out on bikes for lunches or dinners scattered along the pot-hole laden road from the ruins to Punta Allen. This hotel oozes attitude and style without compromising on luxury, and we were bowled over by yet more fantastic service. The Mexicans really do seem so genuinely happy to have you visiting their country and we felt happy that tourism is clearly booming here and takes your thoughts far away from the tainted image of Mexico you hear about on the news so often.
Who wouldn’t want to cross the Atlantic for year round warmth, stylish hotels and unbeatable food and service? KTT services meant we holidayed in complete and utter comfort and security, in an area of the world that we will be running back to in years to come. Mexico is a land of colour, charm and contentment, and so worthy of being a holiday destination on the map. Tourism is how this place can thrive. Mexico has won my heart…again.