Traveling Back in Time to a Secluded Tropical Hideaway in the Mexican Caribbean
It was almost 30 years ago when my husband and I decided to take a trip to the Mexican Caribbean. He had visited the Caribbean islands before and I had traveled all over Mexico’s pacific coastline, but neither of us had been to the Mexican Caribbean.
As a big fan of Mexico, I convinced him that the Mexican Caribbean would be just as nice as the Caribbean islands he had visited, but with better food. He insisted it wouldn’t be the same. He claimed that the water wouldn’t be as clear, the sand wouldn’t be as fine or as soft as the islands he had visited.
When we arrived at the Cancun airport, we stepped off the plane into dense jungle, no Caribbean sea in sight. We rented a little VW bug and off we went down the narrow two lane highway connecting Cancun to the Riviera Maya. There was nothing but jungle on either side of the road.
Our first stop down the peninsula was a small road off the highway that led to Akumal Bay. As we drove down the road, I could see the water ahead of us, and I thought I was imaging something. Did they dye the water? I had never seen water so blue and crystal clear. My husband’s jaw dropped when he saw it and especially when he put his feet in the soft, white cool sand.
This way beyond any expectations of the Caribbean. It was something that dreams are made of, but this was just the beginning.
We checked into our charming little hotel, the Hotel Akumal Caribe. We had rented a little room right on the beach. The room was spectacular in its simplicity. The bed looked right out onto the water and the rippling of waves would put us to sleep.
It was a magical vacation, snorkeling with the sea turtles right in the bay, visiting the beautiful Yal Ku Lagoon and spending our evenings drinking margaritas under the moonlight. It was a sacred time for us, especially since we didn’t have much time left to be together. We didn’t know we would loose him only a few years later after our daughter, Isabella, was born.
My daughter and I currently live in Cozumel. Due to the effects of Covid on the island economy and a broken arm in need of healing, we ventured off the island to spend some time on the mainland.
We had made plans to visit a special restaurant for lunch. We drove 40 kilometres down the now large highway and drove up to our destination. As we pulled up we noticed none of the kitchen staff or waiters were wearing masks or any protective gear whatsoever.
We were far from home and hungry at this point so we started calling around to other restaurants to inquire about their sanitary measures. The first place that came up after googling restaurants near us, was a restaurant named Lol Ha. We called the restaurant and they assured us that they were taking all the proper precautions, plus some. The menu looked great, so off we went.
As we drove in the road, memories came flooding back. This was the same place I had come almost 30 years ago with my husband, Dan, and now I was arriving with my daughter. Wow, what emotions. The further we drove in, tears started to run down my face, tears of happiness, memories of good times filled with love and laughter.
We were received with such warmth by Don Carlos, the food and beverage manager. He personally walked us around the property, walking past that beautiful room that Dan and I had shared many years ago. The place hasn’t changed at all. Everything was almost exactly the same. From the time you park your car, you step on to a sandy stretch of beach. The hotel itself is nestled among palm tress on the beach, being unobtrusive to the outside world.
Apart from the natural beauty and the charm of this old school Mexican hotel, what stands out the most is the service. It is the type of service that you rarely get anymore ,anywhere in the world. It is the sincere, friendly and kind Mexican spirit that made me fall in love with Mexico originally.
We had such a magical day of dining, swimming, snorkeling and touring their property. We felt like we had traveled in time, that we were all there together as a family. The feeling of warmth and gratitude for life was overwhelming. What a magical place and a magical day indeed.