Checking In: Secrets the Vine Cancun

I've fallen asleep in a pool side cabana. I turn over to see my friend Annabelle has done the same. I check the time.. 1:00pm on the first day of our stay in Cancun. For the first time in my recent travels, there is no sense of urgency. Instead, that all-too-rare kind of tranquility.  I've come here for all the reasons that traditionally come to mind. Picture perfect beaches with sand as white and powder soft as icing sugar and crystal clear water. And it's true. With postcard like views, this spot along the northeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula has drawn people from across the globe for decades. 

As two bloggers who are constantly scheduling shoots at new restaurants, shops and the like, we're not used to slowing down. This trip is different. The agenda is refreshingly loose. Now, I've been to Mexico a handful of times. As a child, my family travelled to tropical destinations once a year to escape our cold Canadian winter. Since then, I've considered myself more of a city person. But when Expedia suggested I spend a week at Secrets the Vine Cancun, I couldn't resist soaking in sun and spending some time simply unwinding.

getting there

Major airlines fly direct out of Toronto to Cancun. We book our flights with Air Canada Rouge. Low cost carriers like this make it easier to jet around on a budget.

The beautiful balmy climate hits us as soon as we walk out of the airport. The salty ocean breeze, the warm sunny rays. An Expedia Local Expert is waiting for us. We zip past tall palm trees, with the ocean twinkling in the distance as we drive to the resort. 

WHERE TO STAY

Cancun's pristine coastline is lined with resorts appealing to everyone from families to spring breakers (even in July, a foam party breaks out at the resort next door), to those seeking some serene seclusion. We arrive at Secrets the Vine Cancun, a contemporary designed, adults-only resort. Greeted with cool face towels and a glass of champagne, I extend my thanks for the kind gesture, to which the resort staff reply, "It's a pleasure." And I realize at this moment why sun-seekers leave behind the daily city grind in favour of the dreamy oceanside oasis that is Cancun. We're in for a truly special stay.

Our suite is part of the 'Preferred Club', with access to a private infinity pool and lounge, concierge services and all the amenities you could ever ask for. It's the ultimate in luxury. The suites are stunning. Picture teak furnishings, beds with custom headboards, fine linens, a complimentary mini bar and a private balcony with an ocean view. 

Several gourmet restaurants are on site. The seafood forward dishes at Olio were a favourite. Try the ceviche. We too loved the upscale Italian menu at Nebbiolo. Ask for Isaac. He was the kindest, sweetest waiter we had during our stay. And went out of his way to ensure we enjoyed our dinner. And more importantly dessert. To our surprise, he had the Chef prepare us a platter of mini creme brûlées. For breakfast stop by the Market Cafe for the most incredible buffet brunch experience before heading to the beach. And if you'd like to change it up one night, the concierge will set you up with complimentary dinner and drinks at one of their partnering resorts nearby. 

The best part of the resort is without question the staff. They are incredibly welcoming, gracious and kind. They go above and beyond to ensure your experience is a memorable one. And we owe our experience all to them.

DURING YOUR STAY

From dawn to dusk, there is plenty to do at the resort -- from daily sommelier led wine tastings to dance lessons. We started each morning with a yoga session, followed by a dip in one of the three infinity pools. On our second day, a lovely woman named Maria hands us a hibiscus infused iced tea and takes us on a tour of the spa. We treat ourselves to an afternoon there, enjoying a wine therapy massage treatment followed by a stop in the eucalyptus infused steam room. It's an experience I highly recommend splurging on. But our favourite moments during our stay had to have been the cooking class with a Chef in the resort's commercial kitchen and the private champagne tasting we indulged in. Treat yourself. On top of all this, you can swipe through the tablet in your room to see the daily activities and nightly entertainment. 

places to go

Set aside at least one of your days to head off the resort. There's so much to see beyond the city limits. From the centuries old history of the Mayan Ruins in Tulum, to Isla Mujeres, a small Caribbean island only 20 minutes away by ferry, there are definitely day trips worth taking. Expedia has plenty of excursion ideas and will help you narrow down the best ideas for your interests, from experiencing Chichen Itza, of the seven wonders of the world, to snorkelling in a cenote. We headed to Isla Mujures for the day. With one of the top beaches in the world, Playa Norte, it is truly a tropical paradise. The temple of Ixchel is located on the southern most tip of the island. As you find your way to the temple, you'll take in Punta Sur Sculpture Garden, bordered by breathtaking views over steep, naturally carved cliffs. 

After five fabulous days, I find myself spending the last taking in the perfectly blue water Cancun is known for, admiring its picturesque coastline dotted with resorts and people. I find myself making plans to return soon to visit Tulum. That night at dinner, our waiter Isaac prompts me to take out my camera. On one side of the beach, a brief downpour starts. On the other a colourful sky, with a beautiful sunset. It's paradise. 


Thinking of taking a trip to Cancun? Check out Expedia's best vacation packages and travel guide. Or book a stay at secrets the vine cancun!

Stephanie Trendocher
Derek Cardigan x We Are Handsome Eyewear Collab
 
Derek Cardigan x We Are Handsome Eyewear Collab

Bold and Sophisticated

Love the look of tortoiseshell glasses? This style is for you. Gold rimmed, with a geometric patterned brow in rich caramel hues, this frame takes the classic style to the next level. With handmade acetate and a light metal base, these glasses compliment round faces and slightly wider cheekbones (like mine!).  

I've been wearing glasses since i was ten. and I've been a fan of Clearly for years, buying my contacts and eyeglasses from them. I LOVE THE RANGE OF STYLES AND COLOURS WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR SELECTION OF FRAMES. NOT TO MENTION HOW AFFORDABLE THEY ARE! IT MAKES IT SO EASY TO CHANGE UP YOUR LOOK. and whether it's clothes or accessories, come spring and summer, who doesn't love to try out fresh new styles? needless to say, I was excited when I saw their new collaboration with swimwear line, We Are Handsome. when clearly asked me to review the new capsule eyewear collection, I jumped at the opportunity.

A perfect fit for summer, I love this capsule collection. Jeremy Somers, the Creative Director behind We Are Handsome, took three classic Derek Cardigan styles and put a fresh, fun (and in some cases fruity) spin on them. Each has a sophisticated and playful side, and are available as eyeglasses and sunnies as well. Of the three styles, I really loved the Geometric Gold frames that I'm wearing in these photos. All the frames are handcrafted in Mazzuchelli's handmade Italian acetate so the quality is stellar, and so is the price (only $95!). And as with any glasses you can buy from Clearly, each come with free standard air lenses. I work in front of the computer for hours and hours each day, so I opted for the Kodak BlueReflect™ lenses which help any glare and strain caused by your screen or office lights. And let me tell you, they make a huge difference. 

If you haven't shopped for glasses online before, fret not. Clearly has a couple tools and tricks that will guide you along the way. The Face Shape Guide helps you decide which frames will suit you best. Oval, heart, round.. it's the perfect guide to finding a flattering fit. And if you have a current pair of glasses, you can enter your measurements into the MyFit tool to have Clearly recommend a selection of great fitting glasses. 

VINTAGE WITH A TWIST

Who doesn't love a classic 60s cat eye frame? Sophisticated from the front, this style is bold, with a punchy print on the along the arms of the frame. And the angled frame is so well suited for rounded jaws and soft features.

Derek Cardigan x We Are Handsome Eyewear Collab

You can check out the full Derek Cardigan x We Are Handsome collection here. Let me know your fave frame!


Thanks to Clearly and Shopping Links for supporting this post!