Hotel Review: Secrets The Vine

The view from my room

It’s the middle of December now and for some reason I keep going back to the feeling I had as I walked into my room and admired a huge wonderfully furnished suite full of light with an amazing terrace overlooking both the ocean and the lagoon, wow what a treat!!

So finally I got enough inspiration to share my review of this great place on the Caribbean Sea, don’t you just love life at the beach?

From top to bottom, this hotel offers what I like to call the Perfect Adults Only Luxury Experience.

1. The Property- The elegant minimalistic vertical design allows the property to make the most out of its narrow beachfront, but OMG is it a gorgeous beach! Long white sands that end in that emblematic turquoise clear water that becomes bluer as it gets deeper, whenever I think of the beach of Cancun, that one image I get is translated exactly in the way the beach looks from the hotel.

2. F&B- The options are great, of course a lot of variety and a good quality from the Buffet at Breakfast to the specialty options for dinner, my favorites were the Mediterranean—Olio— I really liked the menu (truly mediterranean); the Asian restaurant — Dragon’s—- also has many options (japanese, chinese, korean); Sea Salt Grill for Lunch (excellent service) and Market Café (Buffet for Breakfast), the omelette chef here is a gem!! cheers to her!! In room Dining- Excellent, The Vine Café and the Bars very nice, you never have to struggle for a good meal or your favorite drink at anytime.

3. The rooms- I could easily stay in the room and never come out, they are super modern, luxurious, well equipped, comfortable and just dreamy, I was lucky enough to experience a Master Suite so there was nothing more I could ask for, it became home from the moment I stepped in and I enjoyed it to the fullest, with a huge terrace overlooking the ocean for an unforgettable sunrise on the beach and windows everywhere for a romantic view of the sunset over the lagoon, free wifi and smartTV (Yay!!), wooden furnishing, 2 bathrooms, 2 living rooms, dining room and entrance hall, it was just perfect!!

4. Activities- They offer a good variety from yoga, spinning, aquaaerobics to wine pairing daily, and the gym even though it is not too big it has a stunning ocean view that makes you want to stay and workout all day, the pool and beach are very comfortable and clean and they have good amounts of shade.

5. The people- What I love the most about AMResorts is their staff, I haven’t stayed in too many of them but it really feels very warm, and I can say I recognize it as an asset to that brand, memorable staff at the resort would be Laura at Concierge, she was just the sweetest and what I loved about her is she is authentically passionate about service, you can tell right away, she is genuine, caring, professional, patient, kind, eager to listen and to help, I could also tell she has great leadership so I hope she gets promoted soon!

Jesus at Sea Salt Grill, very sociable, fun and full of energy, a driven man with clear goals, hopefully he will also get very far. And although I didn’t meet him I saw the manager around everyday in the areas making sure everything was perfect everywhere so cheers to that!!

The only thing I felt I wanted and didn’t get was more time to stay there!! it is worth at least a 4 night stay to experience the variety of flavors and atmospheres and also I still need to visit the spa, hopefully next time.

Choose this resort for a romantic getaway to surprise your partner, you will not regret it.

Tulum from a different perspective

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Revisiting Tulum after 12 years was an amazing experience, the first time I went there I was 15 years old and ready to explore the world, Tulum always called for me and I had to answer, I remember I took all of my savings went to the bus station and set out for adventure. My sister was 10 at the time and she was sad I would leave her so I took her with me. We didn’t even have a camera and I was just carrying a bag.

I remember she was kind of scared, we almost missed the bus and had barely enough money to pay for it. We ran for the bus station and catched the last call for it, in that time the bus went from Cancun all the way to the mayan town corridor and stopped in Tulum, we drove for more than a couple of hours, in those years the roads were very precarious in Cancun, there were no bridges or even nice pavement, it was a one lane road from Playa del Carmen on to the rest of the state.

Unlike in Cancun, the bus didn’t stop in a station, it just stopped in a bumper in the middle of the road and the driver shouted “Tulum” so we rushed to get off otherwise we would end up having to wait for the next town and with no way of coming back.

We got off and we were just there in the middle of the road, a couple of handcraft stores and a couple of restaurants. We walked to look for the sign indicating the ruins, we found it and our journey started, walking the dirt road unaware of what we would find.

That is one of the beauties of Tulum, it makes you walk up and starts to unveil it’s magic in front of you.

Nowadays as you get to the site there are a lot of restaurants and handcraft stores, bathrooms, and many services.

On this visit I brought my camera with me and tried to look at Tulum from a different perspective. Without the comfort of my zoom lens, I just took my 50mm attached and threw my camera in my beach bag.

As you go in, the place starts to appear as you move forward.

I loved seeing that some of its original fauna still lives there, a lot of Iguanas lay around in all sizes trying to blend with the soft grey stone.

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As you keep walking you can feel this sacred place was dedicated to Venus and something just vibrates with mysticism. First temples and signs of gods begin to appear.

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The architecture is very particular, lovely and amazingly well preserved, it stands there in front of you without losing it’s essence.

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As you continue to walk you start climbing as the ground goes up, it’s an amazing moment because you can’t really see much, until you get to the highest part of the ground only to unveil the heart of this magical city

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The view is absolutely breathtaking, I remember the first time I saw it, I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t have a camera so I just stared at it trying ti keep that image in my mind, then I went down for a swim, and tried to blend with the place. I just wanted to stay there forever.

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The ancient mayan city was originally named Zamá (Dawn) probably because of its beachside location.

In ancient times it was a very important city for commerce and for religious ceremonies to honor Kukulkan the descending god.

Tulum was still an active city inhabited by mayans when the spaniards arrived to Yucatan and Quintana Roo, but due to the heavy epidemic diseases they brought, the city was abandoned shortly after.

Due it’s amazing landscapes it has been one of the most visited archeological sites in Mexico and because of this, the heirs of the mayan culture that still visited Tulum as a sacred ceremonial place in the XXth Century, have decreased their spiritual activities at the site.

Nonetheless, Tulum in itself both the site and the city have a very clear mystic quality that attracts people from all over the world.

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This wonderful city protected by the high rocks of the coast and the marine reef was one of the most beautiful cities in mayan culture and a very important reference for sailors and traders in the sea, who took the Castle as a reference to avoid getting caught in the reef.

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The castle also served as a lighthouse, because of the way it was built, the sun would come across a couple of windows protecting the light into the ocean and guiding mayan traders on their canoes.

They also had a hurricane warning system, on the top of a temple there’s a hollow rock they carved facing the ocean, when the wind speed would become hurricane like, the hollow rock acted like a whistle warning everyone.

Thanks to Ina and Pazit for sharing it with me and allowing me to visit Tulum again.

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Weekend adventure in Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres.

ISLA MONUMENTO

A little island only 5 miles long and half a mile wide in the far east corner of Mexico. It is the island where the territory ends and nothing is left between her and the rest of the world.

Originally one of the mayan territories that conform the state of Quintana Roo, Isla Mujeres was located in the province of Ekab and it was a ceremonial center dedicated to Ixchel, goddess of the moon, fertility and abundance.

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In 1517 the spanish expedition of Francisco de Córdoba, arrived into the island where they found nothing except for the ceremonial center and the female keepers of the sanctuary, because of this, the spaniards named the island “Isla Mujeres” (Island of Women), and it is the name that it has beared ever since.

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Spending the weekend on the island made me remember the delights of living away in a little corner of the planet where you don’t need a car to move around or even a cell phone to stay in touch with family, friends and…everyone.

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I love the particular charm that makes Isla Mujeres different from the rest of the touristic sites in Quintana Roo, all things there are very local, more authentic and have a history behind them.

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Waking up to watch the sunrise knowing that you are standing where firm land ends for miles ahead and watching that amazing and loving spectacle that nature has been performing for centuries before us. I wonder how mayans greeted the new day in that exact same place thousands of years before.

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As you walk by downtown there is a mixture of old original cabins built by the fishermen, they are wooden small and colorful cabins in the middle of streets, next to restaurants or hotels.

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On the inner side of the island you get amazing clear waters, turquoise oceans with a special tone, a unique glare and you can see the other side of the island and Cancun skyline.

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As soon as night begins to fall you are able to walk the streets filled with artwork, coffee shops and restaurants.

There is a great variety for dining from small cabins to very elegant and modern restaurants, all types of cuisine, but the best part is that everywhere you go, you are family, from hosts, to waiters, to cooks and owners welcome you and treat you like an old friend.

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Walking around so freely, made me want to stay there and never come back, it’s definitely the perfect place for people looking for a quiet, low profile, relaxed and very authentic experience of Mexico and the Caribbean culture.

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The most memorable time that I visited “Isla” as we call it, must have been 11 years ago, we went there on a sailboat, as we arrived I couldn’t believe the colors I was admiring in the ocean it’s different from the ocean in Cancun and in other parts of Quintana Roo, when we docked we swam, we ate and we headed back when the sun was coming down, sailing into cancun at nightfall, being out there in the ocean watching all the stars.

I am so blessed to live in this beautiful state and to know all of it!

If anybody plans to visit, contact me and I’ll make sure to give you the best advice on places to discover. Life is great! We are alive, and breathing 😀

Photography Field Trip: Crococun

The end of my photography class with Photographer Eric Blanc is near, and as part of our program, we went on a field trip to get some nature shots.

We visited a Crocodile farm near Cancun in Puerto Morelos and were able to photograph many interesting things, but the best part of it all is that we were lucky enough to presence the birth of some newborn crocodiles!! and a pregnant Spider Monkey  with a little one waiting for the family to expand.

spider monkeys live in the wild but they approach the park because they find comfort in the preserved jungle, since the surrounding areas have been devastated they are running out of their habitat, just like many other native species.

The job that biologists and young people do at Crococun is very important for the local wildlife, so I hope you enjoy the pictures and if you ever visit Cancun, Puerto Morelos or Playa del Carmen, don’t hesitate to visit, they have guided tours and your entrance fee will help preserve wildlife.

For more on Crococun visit their webpage here

Our tour guide after opening the door for us to greet the mexican xoloitzcuintle dogs, a very special thanks to out tour guide and all of the staff at the park who make a great job in informing visitors and preserving natural life.

And here are the newborns!

By: Kristina Guerrero

Photos: Kristina Guerrero

Lights at night in a park in Mexico

I always like to go to this place called “Parque Las Palapas” in Cancun, it’s a place for gathering of families and it just reminds me of the town part of Cancun, it’s a very local place, opposite to the hotel zone and beaches, makes a lot of contrast and I like it because I common elements to mexican culture in different parts of the country like Mexico City or Chiapas, there is always this folklore represented in bright colors and lights.

Nights in the town are like traveling in time, like going back to a time when everyone gathered at the square and enjoyed the time and the place, there’s people selling food, a local church, kids playing, families, crafts for sale, groups gathering to read and write, music playing at restaurants close by.

I guess there’s a place like that in every corner of the world, so I’m glad to share this one.

A cart selling lamps crafted for decoration
 
 
A cart selling all sorts of rosaries in different colors and materials
 
A food cart selling the local version of a crêpe “Marquesita” and next to it a cart selling food that reads “Super Churros Santos” next to the church.
 

I like the way that because they are next to the church they use creative names like that “Super Holy Snacks” translation for Super Churros Santos.

by: Kristina Guerrero

 

Inauguran Exposición de Arte Contemporáneo en Cancun

Con el apoyo del Instituto para la Cultura y las Artes del Municipio de Benito Juárez y gracias a la labor de J. Alejandro Hernández y Gena Bezanilla, Cancún recibe con agrado la exposición de arte contemporáneo denominada “Fuerzas y Cambios”.

Ocho artistas de la Ciudad de México y Michoacán, egresados de la Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado “La Esmeralda”, del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, toman el reto de “Salir de su zona de confort y llevar su obra a un público diferente” inserto en un contexto diferente, para llevar a la sociedad un mensaje de libertad, de posibilidad, de acción mediante la creación.

La exposición constituyó un gran reto para los artistas quienes motivados por la misma sociedad cancunense que a menudo solicita novedad y vanguardia en la escena cultural y artística local, tomaron la iniciativa de viajar al Cancun de los cancunenses para despertar las conciencias que puedan ser tocadas por su obra.

Con ellos trajeron piezas elaboradas con antelación para exhibir y al mismo tiempo fusionaron su talento con los medios y los materiales locales para crear obras inéditas, adaptando su experiencia al medio y creando el intercambio y la interacción con la ciudad misma, generando arte y proyectando un mensaje a partir de los recursos que ella misma provee.

Fuerzas y Cambios es una exposición muy diferente a lo que Cancun ha visto anteriormente, no solamente por la creatividad demostrada y los puntos de vista reflejados sino porque es una exposición dinámica, las obras por sí mismas invitan al diálogo entre artista y espectador, al recorrer la galería los destellos de la cultura mexicana interpretados son familiares y provocan reacciones, desde el reconocimiento de materiales de la vida cotidiana en México que aluden a canciones populares y nos recuerdan la revolución interna del indígena en nuestra sangre, hasta las paradojas de la creatividad forzada por la carencia que constituye lo que denominamos como “el ingenio mexicano”, la denuncia, la teoría, ingeniería, diseño y psicología de convertir una piedra en el arma perfecta para las manifestaciones, pasando por la comprensión de la paradoja y la necedad del subconciente que interpreta el simbolismo de pintar las paredes de blanco en las casas, hasta los tipos de confeti del mundo y su transformación, el monitoreo de los fetiches desconocidos a partir del video, hasta re interpretar un cuadro monocromático para descubrir su aroma, su significado, lo que en nuestra vida cotidiana evoca y dejarse envolver por esta nueva forma de experimentar el arte.

Sin lugar a dudas un gran reto no sólo para los artistas ya que desde generar el proyecto hasta limpiar y preparar la galería ellos mismos, en beneficio de toda la sociedad de Cancun, confrontan a una sociedad que sedienta de arte y cultura, aún no está acostumbrada a la participación masiva.


De igual forma Fuerzas y Cambios constituye un reto para la comunidad de Cancún que siente insuficiente la oferta cultural local y busca conocer y experimentar nuevas formas de humanidad a través del arte; ésta exposición constituye la oportunidad que con frecuencia resuena en la sociedad por conocer nuevas formas y transgrede el arraigado concepto de que “En Cancun no hay cultura” por lo que es turno del espectador asumir el reto y participar de Fuerzas y Cambios.

La muestra permanecerá abierta al público hasta el 27 de Agosto en la Galería del Instituto para la Cultura y las Artes del Municipio de Benito Juárez ubicado en la Av. Tulum 20 Mz 28 entre Liebre y Jabalí. Entrada Libre

por: Kristina Guerrero

Fotos: Kristina Guerrero

 

SUNSET: a colored gift

After a few moments of rain and a potential thunderstorm, nature gave us:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romantic Photos in the Shores of Cancun

As part of a personal project and a combination of family fun, my cousin and I set out to the beach to take some romantic pictures of yet another cousin that came to visit.

Here’s what we got:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you,

All comments appreciated 😀

Celebran en Cancún el Segundo Torneo Amateur de Artes Marciales Mixtas y Kickboxing

En días pasados se llevó a cabo el “Segundo Torneo Abierto de Artes Marciales Mixtas y Kickboxing Amateur” en el gimnasio Jacinto Canek en Cancún, Quintana Roo.

El gimnasio se transformó en una arena sobre la cual compitieron 150 peleadores en distintas categorías.

Las escuelas Kung Do Lama y García Kickboxing en representación de Cancún, compitieron con escuelas invitadas de Mérida y Playa del Carmen.

Entre los peleadores más destacados se ecncontraron Erendira “Guerrera” Castillo ganadora de la categoría femenil, Julián “Dragón” Rascón  ganador de la categoría de los 95 kg completos, Joaquin “Sempai” Castillo ganador de la categoría 75 kg Welter,  Melissa “Metralla” Iglesias, , Diego “Sukothai” Cervantes, Cristian “Satán” Calderón y Agustín “Huracán” López, quienes pusieron en alto el nombre de Cancún.

La pelea estelar fue la pelea de revancha entre Ricardo “Hanuman” Sánchez vs Aristeo Pachecho, misma que mantuvo la expectativa de la audiencia y que logró la emoción de todos los asistentes en un foro repleto.

El torneo constituye una alternativa cultural para fomentar la salud y el deporte, es organizado cada año por los peleadores amateur de kickboxing y artes marciales mixtas, se pretende lograr dos ediciones del torneo cada año, hasta ahora la entrada al público general es libre.

Por: Kristina Guerrero

Inaugura Luis Ladron de Guevara exposición Itinerante

El Instituto de Cultura de Cancún abre un foro para artistas locales


El pasado martes 5 de junio, se inauguró en el Instituto de Cultura de Cancún la exposición pictórica itinerante de Luis Alberto Ladron de Guevara, artista cancunense que forma parte de la nueva generación de creativos.

Al igual que muchos jóvenes de su generación, Luis Alberto de 22 años de edad es un artista multidisciplinario que se ha abierto camino de manera independiente en el mundo del arte. Gracias a la herramienta que representa el internet hoy en día, Luis Alberto cuenta con el apoyo internacional de la comunidad artística de Australia, país que le ha otorgado diversos reconocimientos por su trabajo fotográfico.

A través de sus fotografías y pinturas el mensaje del artista despierta la mente del espectador con su propuesta de nuevo abstraccionismo mexicano, para él la fotografía es un medio más directo y accesible para plasmar su mensaje ya que independientemente del equipo con se cuente, el artista ya es en esencia, “un buen fotógrafo no necesita un gran equipo, más bien sabe encontrar la iluminación perfecta, no tener cámara es más un pretexto que un impedimento para crear.”

Actualmente Luis forma parte de un colectivo independiente de artistas jóvenes denominado “Rolando Calles”, el cual tiene como sede el Jardín de las Artes, donde se reúne cada quince días para realizar exposiciones e intercambios culturales entre artistas urbanos de diferentes disciplinas.

La exposición consta de 13 piezas seleccionadas de un acervo de 113 obras y se presentará en el Instituto de Cultura de Cancún, la Bilbioteca Pública José Vasconselos y el Domo del Ayuntamiento de Benito Juárez.

Por: Kristina Guerrero