Anse Chastanet St. Lucia
It's not easy picking my favorite resorts in the world but these have to be at the top of the list. Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia, the Excellence Resort in the Riviera Maya of Mexico and Grand Vela in Puerto Vallarta.
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF DIANE BLAISDELL EXCEPT WHERE NOTED

I have to admit I have never seen any resort as lovely and amazing as the Anse Chastanet. Every single room is uniquely different.  They offer superior rooms, deluxe rooms and premium rooms. All of the rooms at this resort have an ocean view except for the beachside rooms which are totally secluded but still just a short walk to the beach. The deluxe and premium rooms are partially "open air" so you have the lovely breezes and sounds of the wild life all around you. There are even open air showers so you can look out at the beach and mountains. But they are private so you can see out but no one can see in! The beach here is beautiful and private with snorkeling off to one side and a beautiful sandy, swimming beach past it. The famous Piton mountains are visable from many of the rooms. This resort is simply the most romantic resort I have ever been to in my life.


 

            Deluxe and premium rooms have one wall that is open air and with the lovely St. Lucia tradewinds it's rarely too hot. The bath areas are really large and really open and many have open air showers with breathtaking views of the mountains, the lush greenery and the sea. Anse Chastanet is an intimate and romantic resort--the perfect place to get away from it all.

The Riviera Maya area of Mexico runs south from Cancun for about 80 miles all the way to Belize. The Maya is filled with spectacular resorts; some great for families and some for adults only. Some are so large they have an "Adults Only" section and other areas are perfect for families. The Excellence Resort is my absolute favorite resort in Mexico. The resort is elegant yet casual with a beautiful beach, inviting pools, a Spa like no other, wonderful restaurants and so much more. My favorite rooms are the "Swim up" rooms with patios, a jacuzzi outside, a hammock, two lovely chaise lounges on a lovely grassy area and then just steps away is a beautiful winding pool just for the occupants of this section of rooms. The rooms themselves also have a jetted tub, double vanity sinks, a huge shower, a canopy bed, mini bar and entertainment center, and a separate living area with a couch, table and two chairs. In spite of all this luxury I think my favorite memory from staying here was the service. From the time we stepped out of the car until the time we checked out we were treated with the utmost in courtesy and concern. The Excellence truly lives up to its name.

PHOTO COURTESY OF BRETT SMITH

I think Mexico just has the lock on All Inclusives. Even though All Inclusives originated in Jamaica, the resorts in Mexico are just the top of the line, in my opinion. The people here are so friendly and courteous and they really do aim to please more than any I have seen anywhere. The Excellence Resort is large enough to offer everything you need or want and yet it never seems crowded or busy or hurried. And you know how so many hotels have nowhere to put those ugly room service trays with messy dishes and half eaten food but out in the hallway? Well, not at Excellence! They have a secret cubby hole in your room and you open the little door and slide it in and they open the door from the other side but until they pick it up you never know it's there! What an ingenious idea!

PHOTO COURTESY OF BRETT SMITH

The room photo shown to the left (view from the pool toward the rooms) and the ones below are of the "Spa view Swim up Room" and you have a jetted tub in the room and a jacuzzi on the patio, plus the hammock, the two chaise lounges on the grass and then you are just steps from the pool. It really is just perfect. You can have the king bed or two queens so yes, singles and families can stay here as well!

PHOTO COURTESY OF BRETT SMITH
PHOTO COURTESY OF BRETT SMITH
JUST PERFECT ACCOMMODATIONS

 

 

 

 

 

The Mexican Riviera is simply breathtaking. With the rocky Pacific coast and the beautiful desert terrain of Cabo San Lucas, the royal blue of the Pacific, surrounding mountains and the waves crashing up against huge boulders in the water, it is definitely a place to have that vacation you will always remember. Puerto Vallarta and Cabo are  wonderful places to see the whales during the months of December through February, sometimes mid March. The Grand Vela Resort in Puerto Vallarta has it all; beautiful pools, lush, tropical landscaping, a wide, sandy beach, elegant rooms and excellent service.

The service at all of these resorts is excellent. When you are a guest there they make you feel like royalty. At the Grand Vela Resort, pool attendants come by every 30 minutes or so to see if you need anything, including a spritz of cold water, a cold tropical drink and even ice cold popsicles! What fun!

 
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