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Great Road Trips From Donna Vissing - Cancun The Uncommon Cure For Cold Icy Roads

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Post Wilma: The Sun is bright the beach white and the warm sea turquoise blue, with aditionals hotels and resorts re-opening each week...go and enjoy!

By Donna Vissing
Travel Editor

Cancun is the ideal vacation destination for singles, couples looking for romantic getaways or families seeking a destination to please everyone. Rivaling Ft. Lauderdale as a “spring break destination”, Cancun` has skillfully preserved its natural beauty and cultural heritage. Sharing with more than 3 million visitors annually, you can arrive to relax, be entertained or adventuresome.

Your choice of hotel or resort is very important when planning your trip. They each offer unique amenities, activities, and personalized services to fit your itinerary. With over 100 hotels and resorts available for choice – your options are limitless, fitting any budget.

The “Deluxe” Resort & Spa accommodations now offer “all inclusive” package prices, akin to the cruise line industry. The Resort & Spa accommodations are a stand-alone destination, even without adding the experience of visiting other exciting Cancun` highlights. In addition to luxurious room accommodations, there are on-site restaurant choices, secluded beaches, swimming pools, nautilus fitness centers, planned activities, spa, golf, tennis, water sports, night entertainment, and more.

Whether traveling alone, as a couple or a family, this is a financially efficient way to plan vacation. Once the upfront cost is covered, you no longer worry about carrying the billfold around, unless you desire to visit the gift shop and ancillary retail shops. Some resorts do charge extra for spa services, outside tours and motorized sport activities.

The Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort is one of several all-inclusive resorts. Located along a secluded white sandy beach with tropical foliage covering 123 acres, this resort is a destination. All rooms offer private balcony, Jacuzzi-built-for-two and amenities you'd expect from a first-class resort. The two swimming pools are among the largest lagoon-style pools in Mexico, outlining the beach over 650 feet, offering Jacuzzis, swim-up bars, children areas, water volleyball and poolside dance lessons. There is a fully equipped marina with diving, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing and paddleboats. Add six tennis courts, two basketball courts, two fitness centers, beach volleyball, miniature golf, billiards, bicycles, and in-line skates and there is little reason to leave.

November 2002, the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course opened. A Par 72, 27-hole golf course, is the only signature course in Mexico’s southeastern region. With consideration design for surrounding environment, it maintains the region’s balance of nature and exotic animals. Hosting 18 lakes, dunes, jungles and sand pits, Jack Nicklaus has designed a course to satisfy every level of player.

With golf as your vacation’s focus, the newly opened villas are nestled away from the resort hotel and offer seclusion to be enjoyed by golfers and couples looking for a quiet get-away. There are 48 apartments within 5 villas, each serviced 24-hours with room service and a concierge to secure bell service, cart transportation, or confirm a tee time. The villas are secretly tucked around Hole 9 overlooking the lake, with just the birds to provide background ambiance.

The clubhouse will soon have a total of three restaurants opened by June-July 2005 offering Japanese and Italian cuisine. The Hole 19 Restaurant serving American entrees is already open. Under construction is a 360-capacity swimming pool, along with a pool/bar. There is a full-service spa catering to men, women and couples desiring to add a special touch of romance. The villas are the perfect choice for golfers and couples seeking more peaceful, private and luxurious accommodations.

Prices range from $315 per night for two adults to $505 depending on the season. Children 4 – 17 years of age are $45 per night extra, and children 3 and under are free. To add the golf package, prices range from $448 to $652 per night for two adults depending on the season.

One of Cancun`s newest hotels, Fiesta Americana Grand Aqua Cancun`, caters to couples and those seeking a distinctive spa experience. Opening December 2004 and featured in Travel & Leisure, February and March 2005 issues, this 5-star hotel reflects “barefoot luxury”. From the moment you enter the lobby, a spa-like environment greets you accentuating every sense – sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing with a sixth sense highlighted – emotions.

The hotel is glass encased with the ocean visible everywhere you go, enhanced by the relaxing sound of flowing fountains throughout. Aromatherapy touches your sense of smell, ending with the room’s nightly turndown service and special added aromatherapy scents to close out the evening. It is your private balcony view of the enchanting Caribbean that reveals this will be a vacation not soon forgotten.

Outside all 371 rooms, the resort’s eight pools and Jacuzzis sprawl out reaching the beach, including an infinity pool blending into the Caribbean. The choice of sun leisure is limitless – including chaises, private cabanas, hammocks, beds, massage tables and refreshments. Fiesta Americana Grand offers outdoor yoga, Pilates, tai chi classes, and tennis courts with two night-lit courts. The signature spa offers a special blend of Eastern, pre-Hispanic and Western treatments. Included is a sauna and steam room modeled after the ancient Aztec “temazcal”. The resorts hosts eight restaurants and lounges, called Siete, featuring Mexico’s premier chef and well-known cookbook author Patricia Quintana. Prices range from $600 a night for two adults to $712 a night, depending on season.

Cancun’ offers an array of parks, shopping, museums, boating, and other activities. Archaeological sites are scattered throughout for those interested in history. A recently discovered archaeological site is Ek Balam. The well-preserved sculptures, still being uncovered, date from 100BC to 700 – 1200BC. The main temple is impressive standing 500 feet in length and 200 feet wide, placing it in the record books as Yucatan’s largest excavations. A history lesson provided to children they could never appreciate reading from a book.

A full day of activities await at Garrafon Park, Cancun`s best reef snorkeling adventure in the Mexican Caribbean. Garrafon is an eco-park sitting on Isla Mujeres’ lush landscape. Water sports, snorkeling, sea-trek, zip-lining, kayaking and swimming are just a few of the engaging activities. Touring the park, viewing modern art sculptures and visiting the Maya temple of Ixtchel, the goddess of fertility, are other ways to enjoy Garrafon Park.

Prices range from $59.00 for an all-inclusive day to separately priced activities and tours. Children from 5 to 12 years old are 50% of the adult price.

Another fun-filled day can be found at Xcaret, once one of the cultures’ most important ports and a revered ceremonial center. Now an eco-cultural park, it is located on the coast-line site of an ancient settlement. The park encompasses a jungle area, a natural inlet and palm-fringed beach. There are over 25 attractions including underground and Mayan rivers, manatee lagoon, coral reef aquarium, butterfly pavilion, ecological tour, Xcaret cultural and archaeological museum and more. The day ends with the Xcaret spectacular night show and equestrian show.

Price of admission, including 25 attractions is $59.00 for adults, $29.50 for children 5-12 years old and children 0-4 years are free.

Cancun` is a paradise for sun-bathers, shoppers, cultural enthusiasts, sports athletes, and those just in need of total relaxation and pampering. Discover Cancun` and get ready to enjoy an unforgettable vacation and getaway.

For More Information: Cancun` Visitors & Convention Bureau 011-998-884-6531; Aeromexico Airlines offer Faresavers, weekly discounted fares to Mexico. For round-trip ticket prices, go to Check for Re opening Dates of individual hotels

SEE ALSO: Other Great Road Trips