Summer 2020 has almost come to a close. Due to Covid-19, the world has been SHUT DOWN! Maryland has been under quarantine since the beginning of March but the rest of the world went under lockdown mid/end of January. The United States was hit harder than other countries due to negligence but this is not a political blog.
Life as we KNEW it had changed in the blink of an eye and we were due for a much needed quiet but fun getaway. 2020 has been quite stressful, as mentioned above. However, my window was closing due to the beginning of the 20-21 school year…albeit virtual for the first semester.
The researching began! I started looking at Jamaica, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Aruba. The prices were okay, but for an 11th hour trip…a little on the pricey side. The search continued…Breathless, Secrets you know all the well known resorts. One day I received an email notification to read the reviews on The Reef 28. I immediately clicked on the link and my jaw dropped! This adults only, all inclusive resort with a rooftop also had an infinity pool and two jacuzzis. The price was right with flight, and private transportation included. Now, don’t get all excited the private transportation is just a white van that only has one stop…YOURS! Perks…TRUST!
We flew United from DCA, which had a short layover in Newark, New Jersey. United was really good about sending out documentation that was necessary for the trip, however most of those papers are still in my possession. I would fill out and print everything, just in case! Things are changing day by day and you don’t want to get caught without important documents.
We are still in a pandemic and there are some people out there that do not like to abide by the rules and guidelines set forth by the CDC, airlines, restaurants etc. There were a few times I had to stick my foot out to the side, give the death stare, and say, “GIVE ME MY 6 FEET!” I had my mask, gloves, face shield, and wipes ready to go. I was prepared!!!
Once we arrived in Cancun, we had to battle the vendors to get to our transportation. Keep your eyes straight until you see your transportation company. Otherwise, you may end up being scammed! We made it to our transportation without any issues, got right into the van, after they sprayed our shoes and bags down with some type of solution, and we were OFF to our hotel.
This boutique hotel is not on the beach but is a short 5 minute drive to The CoCo Reef or a 10-15 minute drive to The Reef Playacar, both sister resorts. The Reef 28 offers shuttle service throughout the day, but we really weren’t trying to be on anyone’s schedule because…vacation! All inclusive visitors are able to visit the other two resorts, participate in activities, eat, and drink any time during their stay. Each resort has a spa. 👇🏽
If you’re a Taurus the most important part of LIFE period is FOOD! Yes, FOOD! The Reef 28 has two restaurants. Veinti8cho, formerly a buffet and the other I don’t recall the cuisine…it was decent but the portions were rather small. However, we happened upon three really great restaurants in Playa del Carmen. The first was La Parrilla, which is on 5th Avenue right across from Forever 21. The second restaurant is Rockas Jamaican Kitchen. It is a very small restaurant but the food is amazing! As I placed and waited for my order, the aroma smelled authentic and I began to wonder how in the world Mexicans were able to season the food like Jamaicans. I was a little confused but intrigued. A few minutes had passed, then this van pulled up, and a tall Jamaican man walked into the restaurant…it all made sense now! Needless to say, the food was OUTSTANDING!
Our last dinner in Playa del Carmen was extra special because he wanted to make sure we ate somewhere new. So, we walked down to Ictio, which was no more than a five minute walk. The sun was going down, there was a nice breeze, and we were seated at a table near the road, in this quaint restaurant that certainly didn’t look like much. We placed our orders! I got an appetizer which easily could’ve been my meal…battered fish over cabbage, he ordered octopus (YUCK), and for my entree I ordered the Pesca del dia (catch of the day) red snapper. Of course, I had to have the head removed because my food can’t be staring back at me. NOPE! Due to the pesca del dia being rather popular that day, I had to wait for 30 minutes to get my entree. LINDA LISTEN!!! The aroma of that fish was EVERYTHING but I was full from my appetizer. How could I not eat it, after he planned our last vacay supper? I had to eat it because I am NOT one to waste food…it’s against my religion LOL! I have NEVER tasted any fish made by anyone that tasted that good. I had mine baked with lemon garlic seasoning on top. I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture of it, it was THAT good!!!
This is where the vultures play! LOL! If you don’t like being bombarded by people trying to get you to spend your money, you may want to avoid this area. However, it is part of the experience. Just keep your eyes straight and have a firm NO resting on your tongue! I highly encourage that you walk down 5th Avenue, as it’s great to be amongst the natives and to see all of the souvenirs they had to offer.
If you like Tequila you want to try to find Crema de Almendrado con Tequila. I am not a drinker but let me tell you something…this is the tastiest tequila out there. It is not at all easy to find but if you can find Mom’s jewelry shop (which is to the right as you come out of the hotel, left at the very first street…walk past the building, and you will see two small jewelry stores) they may offer you a taste and then ask to buy a bottle or two! Thank me later!
The absolute worst thing you can do when you are traveling outside of your country is not have any small bills. Luckily, I went to the ATM at the airport and had a decent amount of money for spending and tips BUT I didn’t get small bills. If you forget to get money before you leave there is only ONE ATM that I suggest you use. You can find these ATMs near the Avis car rental on…I believe it was Constitution (which is parallel to 5th Avenue but the main street). We also found a location that changed out our large bills for smaller ones for free! I however gave the guy a tip just because!
We did not get sucked into the excursion abyss leaving the airport! Nor did we attend the timeshare trap which is offered at EVERY hotel. However, we were approached by a gentlemen on our CoCo Reef beach day…he offered jetskiing, parasailing, and snorkeling. We weren’t prepared to put any money down that day but we surely went back the next day for our adventure!
DEALS and DISCOUNTS
If you aren’t afraid to travel, now is the time to look into staying at The Reef 28! This was the best trip EVER! Playa del Carmen is a scale down from Cancun, in that the pace is slower and more family oriented. It was also nice being amongst the natives with no fear!
The Reef 28 is still offering amazing deals so check it out TODAY! The cost was less than $1500 for two adults, all inclusive, flight, transportation to and from the hotel, and insurance. Don’t hesitate and book your next vacation at THE REEF 28! Tell them we sent you. LOL