After checking out from the Westin Regina on Thursday morning, we walked out and took a bus to Solaris Villas, the all-inclusive resort that we had booked for the remainder of our stay in Cancun. It was a short ride, since they are both located at the beginning of the hotel zone.
We were received by Jose, their representative who told us he’d be our “manny” (male nanny) for the length of our stay. He also asked us to participate on a 90 minute presentation, which was basically a sales pitch for us to buy into their time-share. As they took care of our check-in, we were offered a ‘welcome cocktail.’ Renata had a margarita, while I went for a shot of tequila.
We reached our rooms and were a little disappointed. Unlike at the Westin, we had no balcony, and the bathroom was much smaller. There were also fewer English-language channels on TV (not that we watched much), and the bed was not as comfortable. The gym facilities were also smaller there, and there were fewer machines. However, the service at the hotel itself was great. There was great variety at the buffet, and every meal had a different theme.
We took advantage of the facilities the best we could: we went biking, pedal boating and used the gym daily. I chose not to participate in events like beer drinking contests or “tequila volleyball,” but we did attend most of the nighttime shows and enjoyed the live music. Every afternoon at around four flambé coffee was served, and we were there for that too.
Like I wrote before, public transportation in Cancun is quite effective – buses run all the time, giving us access to downtown, where we went shopping at Market 28 (an artisan market where you can find all kinds of souvenirs and jewelry) and at the local Wal-Mart, where we shopped for a few things we needed.
At the hotel zone there are some Mayan ruins in a park called “El Rey.” We spent some time there taking pictures of the remains of a temple and what seemed to be a dwelling. Things were pretty loose there, so we got to climb to the top and take in the breathtaking scenery around us. Renata was especially fond of the plentiful iguanas in the area, and snapped quite a few shots of the animals as they stood under the sun. She was very careful in her approach as not to scare them away – and she got the pictures she needed.
Next up…. The visit to Chichen Itza, the most famous Mayan ruin in the area… Just don’t call it “Chicken Pizza!”