After following the pre-opening of ME by Melia’s flag ship property in London I was looking forward to experiencing their adult oriented resort in Cancun, Mexico.
I wake up as the bus rattles into the ADO, Cancun’s main bus station. Outside it’s raining. In Cancun. I mean, really? It’s also not exactly hot, there is a cool draft instead of the hot, tropical breeze I expected. Javier must be happy though. He is the driver ME Cancun sent to pick me up and he’s wearing all black so he’s probably relieved about the weather. To be fair, with all the clichés and prejudices about Mexico, I wasn’t expecting him to be there on time, but strike 1 pm and he pulls up in his white Ford Explorer.
Is this really Mexico? It might as well be California: Ford F150 pick up trucks, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Sears, wide roads, high rise buildings. I don’t know what I expected but perhaps a more Caribbean feel? Our car’s wipers have stopped moving as the sun glimpses through the clouds. I spot a couple, kissing under the protection of a gigantic tree, further down a man with a bonsai tree is getting out of a cab. I practise my Espanol with Javier. It’s been a while since I last spoke, so I’m a bit shaky, yet I am surprised how well it goes after all these years (Javier, if you read this, and I got everything you said right: I hope your son Gerardo had a successful football tournament).
We leave downtown Cancun and head towards the Zona Hotelera, past Bubba Gump Shrimp, the Hard Rock Cafe Cancun and various entertainment entities before reaching our final destination, ME Cancun, located right in the middle of Cancun’s more than 20 km long, white sandy beach.
Rebranded from Melia Turquesa six years ago, the hotel is a fusion of contemporary design with traditional elements. As we pull up the grand driveway LEVEL Manager Guillermo awaits curb-side with a welcoming smile. I am guessing the hotel has a reception desk, however, I don’t get to see it as we go straight to the 10th floor to the LEVEL Welcome Desk. With it’s gigantic panoramic window it’s like the command centre of an enormous cruise ship, overlooking the entire resort, beach and immense infinity of the Caribbean sea in front below. With one difference: a ship’s bridge doesn’t come with a Nespresso coffee station, plush armchairs and selection of fabulous homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Guillermo puts a turquoise bracelet (which is so stylish I will keep wearing it for a while) on my arm, entitling me to not only the Complete ME All inclusive option, but as a LEVEL guest I get the Total Experience, which includes a complimentary massage, bottle of tequila, as well as several other little perks.
My 10th floor room features a bright, maritime look, underlined by little bulls eye windows next to the bay windows offering spectacular views either over the lagoon or the Caribbean sea. As I pull back the curtains the sun is out completely and I watch a group of pelicans majestically sailing by just in front of my window.
I make my way down to one of the pools: the adult only pool is entertained by ME Cancun resident DJ and the atmosphere is perfecto (cue Chris Brown’s Beautiful People). I settle for a pool side lounge bed and am impressed by the friendly staff everywhere. Gustavo, my waiter, seems to be able to read my mind: just as I was thinking about ordering my first margarita, he appears out of nowhere and puts it down in front of me. Now that’s the kind of detail I am talking about! A small snack in the shape of a grouper ceviche makes this afternoon perfect.
Recognised as the region’s most trend setting hotel, ME Cancun is not only a magnet for the local jet set but international celebrities alike. As I dip into my ceviche, Richard Branson drops in for lunch. There are plenty of lunch spots in the resort and should the weather turn bad again, the clever people at ME have come up with enough options to spend time inside, from a Nespresso Café with pool table to the most notable YHI Spa, which I can highly recommend.
The next morning there is no sign of the bad weather anymore and so I decide to spend the entire day by the pool. Only in the afternoon do I move down to the beautiful beach, which on weekends is home to a pumping club style party. This is South Beach in the Mexican Caribbean. This is ME, literally. Time for another margarita.
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