Hot Like Mexico, rejoice! {Dos}

One of my most favorite parts of the Mexico vacation was the fact that we were staying at one of the best hotels in Mexico South America and Europe. Admittedly, I was too ignorant on hotels like Iberostar because I've never been in this part of the world before, unlike my family who've all gone around Europe and South America. When I asked my mom where we were staying, she told me "Iberostar" {like I should know what the word meant in a second but I was like, 'What kind of a name is that?" O di ba, ignorante lang. 

As  I've previously mentioned, Iberostar is one of the giant hotel chains known in the Europe and the Caribbean. Headquartered in Mallorca, Spain, Iberostar Group of Hotels has over 100 five-stars in 18 countries {mostly Spain and Turkey and all those countries whose weather I have no idea of}. Unlike most tourist destinations, Cancun does not fall into the 'backpacker' category as there is no way a DIY-hostel-vacation can be done in this 'strictly tourist destination'. Being a beach/culture city, it is a popular destination for honeymooners and family outings but mostly honeymooners {I know, right?}.

At roughly USD 200/person a night, the price is kinda steep especially since I come from a third world country. However, my parents were feeling a bit generous for this family outing, so it was okay for a vacation that does not happen every day. Plus, as I've mentioned, most European hotels, this included, had an 'all-inclusive' plan, which basically covers all your food {and literally all your food, including room service, if you want to eat 24 hours a day that's fine}, all your alcohol {from Dos Equis to Corona, to margaritas and to wines, to Patron, Jose Cuervo and Don Julio, which is apparently the best tequila in Mexico}, entertainment {I attended one Spanish class and a flamenco class but they also had every sport imaginable plus intro diving classes which I wasn't able to get up for, darn!}and the mini bar {which I just stuffed in my bag and gave to my colleagues when I came home, heehee.

The signage from the Playa del Carmen highway

The  pool makes me want to do a 'Nestea' {back dive} right there and then

At my favorite part of the pool: the party area.
This was, however, taken at 6:00 AM, hence no party people :)

 About 150 of these buildings litter the whole Iberostar Hotel, with 36 rooms each

And how cute is it that there are a flock of exotic birds everywhere?

 It's a stray peacock! I've been waiting for it to spread its peacock
beauty {well, it's a male one, so no dice} but it didn't budge!

The Spanish hallways and man-made ponds

Turtle! Super cute!

Can I just say this is the biggest aloe vera plant I've ever seen?

During Japanese dinner night. Yes, they're playing with fire!

Our hotel had a shopping area and a carousel! A Carousel!
I actually rode it but no one had to take my photo.. so :(

Every night, there were cultural shows. On this particular night, they were showing
Aladdin, I think, but in Spanish.

The beach has gotta be my most favorite part of the hotel. Truthfully, I did not expect anything better. After all, I come from a country with one of the most beautiful beaches, albeit understated. I was wrong.

There were actual seagulls hovering above me when I took this photo and I never thought I'd say this
but I love seeing birds during beach time. I felt like communing with nature!

The stretch of the Iberostar beach line was more than my distance and
camera could take. It was LONG!

My beach companions: a beach bag {bought from Wal-mart}, a fizzy margarita {which was bottomless}, my iPod, a book, a Moleskine and flip flops.

When I took a break from what I was reading, I looked up and saw a couple
getting married at the beach. It was incredibly romantic!

I loved how their sand was so fine and white and that
there was much space to move around and no extras on my photos!

I did not like a couple of things though. While the bed looked so inviting, it actually gave me and my parents backaches, thus needing massages. And the massages were awfully expensive at USD90! Wi-Fi was only free at the lobby, so there were actually some geeks who camped out {yes, sir} at the lobby because they did not dare part with their laptops and smartphones. The shopping areas only carried designer labels and everything in there was again, awfully expensive even for Western standards!

Other notes:
  • If you're going to Mexico, it's okay not to bring a transformer even if they have 110V sockets because most electronics these days are convertible anyways. If you have a bit of an older gadget though, you may have to because I tried looking for one and they don't have it anywhere even Wal-Mart.
  • 1 MXN is roughly PHP 4 but avoid confusion because they're both called 'Pesos.' US Dollars are accepted almost everywhere, as well as credit cards. I hardly had any interaction with the Mexican Peso though because I was using a Service Credit Union Debit Card and USD notes I bought before I left Manila.
  • Most Mexicans do not speak English but our language being a mix of Spanish {their language}, it was easy to ask for basic things like the restroom {banio}, water {agua}, thank you {gracias}, you're welcome {de nada}, how much {cuanto}, I'm good {muy bien}, where is {donde esta}, last price {ultimo precio}, what time will the shuttle leave {a que hora van al permiso de collectivo}, orange juice {jugo de naranja}and so much more!
  • Most souvenirs are available at Wal-Mart {downtown Cancun} for a much cheaper price. Don't buy from the streets!
  • When they say the food is a little bit spicy in Mexico, it means it's incredibly spicy for our tongue. So if they say "Regular Spicy," run for your life.
  • As opposed to common misconceptions about Mexico, there are no drug dealings in Cancun because it's strictly prohibited by the government because the city thrives on its tourism.
  • They serve tequila after lunch. Don't be shocked.
  • The Mexican workers are incredibly hardworking and nice. Don't be hesitant to give good tips :)
  • God is the greatest for making me have such a dreamy vacation with the people I love.

There! Hope my notes on the hotel where we stayed gave you an idea of how things are in Cancun and Iberostar. If you ever find yourself there, I hope you enjoy as much as I did! Will be writing about the tourist spots in Cancun soon!