We first visited the Lindo the previous year. We had a really great family vacation that year and the bar had been set pretty high. I was hoping for another great time together as a family (plus Tony). I really had no idea how far from this reality would be as we drove the 25 minutes from the Cancun airport. As you zip down Highway 307 some of the billboards are in Spanish and some are in English. The ones that are in English are tourist ads for the most part.
We passed by some other resorts. We always take a private van because we are impatient to get to the hotel and really be on vacation. If you are in a group van (transportation to your hotel is often included in packages purchased through Apple, Funjet and the like) you may have to stop at some of these hotels before they get to yours.
We were soon pulling into the entrance and then up to the Lindo. The bell boys took our luggage and directed us to the lobby. The Lindo lobby is on the right and you go inside and see how beautiful it is. We were greeted and started the check in ritual. We gave them our information, they gave us our silver bands and welcome drinks (fruity, no alcohol).
I asked if we could have rooms in Building 50 or 51. Last year we had been in Building 51 and I liked how close it was to the beach. It is also right next to the pool and towel hut, but we spend no time at the pool, so that didn’t matter. It also didn’t matter that we wanted those buildings. We were informed that we had only booked a standard room and those buildings had all jr. suites (which is what we had booked the previous year). At the time I thought, “okay.” I will admit though to feeling irritated when I later learned that another group that had booked three standard rooms (same as us) were given rooms in those buildings. We were repeat Iberostar guests and they were first timers. Iberostar is really arbitrary about upgrades. But there isn’t a thing you can do about it. Some people ask for pretty outrageous upgrades (I recall one lady whining on one of the forums because she had booked the Maya but really wanted the Grand and they refused to give her a comped upgrade even though….she had a long list of why she should get this upgrade). My attitude is, if we get upgraded, great, if not and someone else does, good for them. Part of my irritation this particular trip was that not only did we not get the requested building, they put us in Building 55, which is right next to the theatre and n my opinion is probably the worst building because of the noise from that. I didn’t know this when we were told where our rooms were. But you know now, so you can request “NOT Building 55.”
I had requested that our three rooms be in close proximity and this request they did grant. They were right next to each other and on the 2nd floor.
After we were checked in Nicholas and Patrick headed right to the rooms and Zung, Susie, Tony and I made a stop at the Lobby Bar, which is right across from the Lobby. I ordered my first Havana and coke.
I don’t usually stop at the Lobby Bar right after checking in, but thought this might be a good tradition to start. Havana Club rum is “excellente” and of course not available in the US, being a Cuban product and all. It is an extra special treat to get to drink it when we are in Mexico. “Make it a double!” The very cheerful bartender got us fixed up in no time.
Drinks procured, we headed on to our rooms. There was a cute towel animal waiting as well as a fruit basket.
The rooms with the king beds had a sofa and I couldn’t tell how it was different from the jr. suite we’d had last year. The jr. suite had maybe been slightly larger. The room with the two double beds only had a table with chairs and no sofa. The king room had the table and chairs also.
I went to see the concierge to make dinner reservations. There are three restaurants at the Lindo that are ala carte and all require reservations. There is also a large buffet that is drop in. Lindo guests can also use the buffets at the Beach and Del Mar without reservations. The ala carte restaurants at the Beach and Del Mar are also available for Lindo guests to make reservations at. The Maya has three restaurants also that Lindo guests can use — the Steakhouse, Mexican and Seafood. I booked the new “International” for our first night and the Gourmet for our second night. (The International is no longer there though.)
The concierge asked if there was anything “special” in out room. He said there should be t-shirts since we are “repetitive” guests. Sounds annoying, doesn’t it? He later brought the t-shirts. It was a nice gesture, but they were all extra-large and looked more like they should be for honeymooners. It’s the thought that counts though, right?
We followed our standard vacation hotel arrival procedure. Unpack, the kids ordered room service, I performed the ceremonial removal of the watch (cause I don’t wear a watch when I’m on vacation).
Zung and I went over to the shopping center. We were hungry and wanted tacos and they have a taco place over there. Once fed we were ready for the next vacation ritual — visiting the beach.
I have mixed feelings about this picture of Zung and I. It’s a great picture, but every time I look at it I am reminded (as if I could forget) that this vacation did not go at all as expected, planned and hoped for.
We didn’t know that yet though and were really happy to be there. The boys went in the water.
The Lindo Lobby Bar has a round aquarium in the center with colorful fish. There is really a smoky smell inside and I much prefer to sit outside and listen to the fountains. However, there was a piano player tonight, we sat and listened to him for a bit.
We then walked to the other end of the property to get to the International restaurant. It is in the building that has a breakfast and lunch buffet right by the pool. It is the last building before the boardwalk that takes you to the beach. It is probably about a ten minute walk from the lobby area.
At dinner I lectured Tony about drinking plenty of water because it is so easy to get dehydrated from the heat. I quickly realized I had not been drinking enough water because I started feeling sick to my stomach and was sucking down glass after glass of water. You feel better quickly if you drink a lot of water, but usually not soon enough to enjoy the meal in front of you. I remember it tasted good, but I just had no appetite for it.
The food was good, the service was good and the waiter was friendly. At most of the ala cartes, there is a buffet for appetizers and desserts and then you order your drinks and main course from your waiter. Overall the restaurant was given a thumbs up.
After dinner Zung, Susie and I went back to the room. The boys went to discover what kind of trouble they could get into. Zung and I went to sleep because we had a long day of relaxing planned for tomorrow. Although the had been a couple of glitches getting started it appeared we were off to a good start on our vacation.
What’s that saying? Appearances can be deceiving.