Toni’s # 1 & Pesos vs Dollars

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The bad words that were going through my mind because I couldn’t find my glasses began with F.

F. F. F.

I looked EVERYWHERE in the room, about ten times. Nope. I called the concierge to see if maybe they had been turned in. Nope. Karen told me to go look where we had been sitting on the beach. Nope. I was beside myself about losing them. They are progressives. Yes, progressives. I am an old chica. I need progressives. I can’t see well. I can’t hear well. But I can still wear 4 1/2 inch stilettos. When I can’t do that anymore, I will know I am really old!

They are progressives and they are made of titanium, so they were freakin’ expensive. Worth a really nice pair of shoes. I was starting to feel very sad about it. Karen told me to go look where we sat on the beach again. “Take a flashlight.”

They did not have a flashlight at the concierge desk. (Try asking for a flashlight when you don’t speak Spanish. Just imagine the hand gestures!) I had my iPhone and it has a flashlight, so I used that. When I got out to the beach chairs, I realized the first time I had looked at the wrong chairs. I went to the correct chairs and there they were! In the sand! I had taken them off, put them on my lap and then must have stood up and they fell on the sand. OMG! I was so happy to find them! So, so happy!

Now, I would have a good time tonight!

I went back to the room and Karen and I left for dinner at Toni’s.

There are people waiting. We check in with the hostess. She asks us to come back in 15 minutes. Ok, this is new and different, but I knew they had squeezed us in. I asked if we could have a drink while we waited and she said sure, give her a few minutes and she would get us one. We went in to the restaurant waiting area. Within 5 minutes Hugo (Toni’s manager) is seating us.

This place (the Grand ) rocks!

We are seated by the window. We order wine, which is good. We order the seafood selection app, which is good.





It is served with three different sauces (I only remember the cocktail sauce), and wash cloths (in case you ate it with your hands).

I ordered the Rib Eye. I have had this several times in the past. It is thin, but usually delicious. Not so much this time. Chewy.



Karen had the Surf and Turf with the Double Cut filet. The filet is good, but the lobster is not.



We both have the Caesar Salad.



The presentation of the Caesar Salad is different if you order it as a side, as we did tonight, than if you order it as an appetizer. (Check back for tomorrow’s dinner for a pic of that).

After dinner we go to………the Lobby Bar!

Karen chats with a young (really young) couple sitting next to us at the bar. I am feeling very antisocial, so I don’t participate. Instead I watch Daniel make me a chocolate martini. Someone on the internet said he made a really good chocolate martini. So, I needed to try his and compare it to Humbeto’s.

Daniel put on a really good martini making show.









Is he not adorable? I just DO NOT understand why his girlfriend broke up with him.

Status update: They are back together now.

He is adorable, AND makes a damn good chocolate martini. But I felt like I was cheating on Humberto.




Humberto showed up and took one look at Karen’s chocolate martini and dumped it out and made her the one the way she likes.





These guys are so cute, but a little competitive when it comes to chocolate martinis. They both make awesome chocolate martinis. Humbeto has Karen’s down. I am more flexible. I love them both.

Karen gets done chatting with the toddlers and shortly after we go back to the room. Or maybe it was awhile after. I can’t remember.

What I DO remember is that we got in a HUGE argument about whether you should tip in pesos or dollars. I say pesos. I base this on researching it from the forums and asking the locals and expats. Karen says dollars. She bases this on having asked a couple of the staff. She is convinced she is right, as am I.

My rationale is that, while they are thrilled with any tip, if you tip them in the national currency, then they don’t have to take time on their one day off, exchanging money, and paying exchange fees. I’m pretty sure they pay their rent and for their groceries in pesos. Karen’s thinking is that the dollar is more valuable.

It was quite the heated discussion. I said we had to agree to disagree on this one. She was not ready to let it go. At one point I was worried we were yelling so loud that our neighbors might complain. I kid you not.

I always say, just freakin’ tip. But don’t for a minute think that they are ever going to refuse a tip if it’s in dollars. And to say that that proves that dollars are just as good is stupid. Some people say that…”I’ve never had them refuse it.” Well, DUH! And don’t tip in dollars only because it’s “easier” for you. You’re on vacation. you can take a couple of minutes to exchange money. And DON’T whine about the exchange rate at the hotel (it’s actually decent). This is what got us started on this argument in the first place. The toddler couple was complaining about the exchange rate offered by the hotel. It’s a hotel. It’s not a bank. They have to take their time to get pesos for you to exchange, so it’s not going to be as good as if you went to a bank. Quit your whining. Be thankful that you can afford to go to an awesome place like the Grand on vacation and tip the staff, who make your vacation so awesome, generously.

And tip them in pesos!

Ok, yes, I feel strongly about this.

In the morning, Karen apologized for being obnoxious. I agreed that she had been. But on the peso vs. dollars issues, we continue to agree to disagree.


This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. A,
    Remember when you thought you lost your sunglasses last August? I’ll have to get you one of those chains so you can wear them around your neck – LOL!

    Those are great action shots of Daniel and Humberto! Miss those guys! BTW-your new bracelet looks very nice!

  2. OMG! J, you are right! I’m getting senile! But I can still wear my stilletos, so I’m not completely gone yet.

  3. When I was in China many moons ago the locals definitely preferred US dollars than the Yuan. Because US dollar is the international currency I have always thought that people in developing countries tend to value it more. Imo I don’t think it is a big inconvenience for the locals to go exchange their US tips for pesos. However I choose to tip in pesos since I am Canadian and I get pesos from my bank before my trip.

    1. Mexicans might take issue with being described as a “developing country.” As for the USD being “the” international currency, I can’t even imagine the response you would get if you tried to use it in France. The Euro is used in more countries. It’s probably not a “big” inconvenience, but it is probably less of an inconvenience for US citizens to exchange their money. However, US citizens usually get 2 days off a week and paid vacations, Mexicans work 6 days a week and their vacations are not usually paid. I’ll take the inconvenience of standing at the lobby counter and exchanging money if it saves Daniel and Humberto a few minutes on their day off.

  4. Wow not what I expected pesos vs usd who cares I would never fight over something like this have another drink

  5. We probably fought over it because we’d had too much to drink at that point!

  6. Hi there! I had the rib eye, too- and felt the same way- it reminded me of a steak at Sizzler or whatever. But Pods’ surf & turf was TDF. And I loved that Caesar, it was perfect. On the Asian restaurant, I agree with Karen- it is just not for us, and we love asian food. I wanted to tell you, we had the same butler! Charly was adorable, and so, so proud of his baby! Your comment about Humberto coming in and tossing the tini to make one the way Karen likes it- OMG, that really made me laugh, I can picture the whole thing. Daniel and Humberto are beyond enough praise- they are both so wonderful, and both did so many things for us on our last vacation to make it even more special than we thought possible. I truly love those men. 🙂 Sorry to be commenting all at once on several posts, hope you don’t mind- thanks for writing it, always a great read!

    1. Can’t believe we just missed you Ellen! Sounds like you had a great trip.

      1. You saw me! LOL- I know, but that moment we had was pretty funny! And yes, we had a wonderful time- I even golfed twice this time because you weren’t there. 😉

  7. I think it may have been me who commented on Daniel’s chocolate martini. When I was there Daniel and Humberto were both making mine and trying to see who’s was better. Eventually we switched to espresso martinis and then decided to develop a recipe for chocolate espresso, sadly we were never able to make one that was drinkable.

    They do like to have a friendly competition over who makes the best drink.

    The dollar/peso debate will rage on forever and is one in which each side thinks its right so you’re better off not having it 🙂 I usually use pesos now but used dollars for years. I think tipping in either is the priority since the staff works so hard to make every stay special. I also think that in some instances tips in dollars are preferred simply because it works out to be a larger tip – a $2 tip exchanges to around 24 pesos at the official rate (as of now) so a rational person would prefer it to a 20 peso tip since its an incrimental financial benefit per tip that grows depending on the number of tips received. I do agree that having to take time out to exchange on their day off is probably a small nuisance they could live without. Dollars or pesos just remember to tip.

    I can say with confidence that you’re not the only people to have had arguments at the Grand after having a few too many drinks. I’m pretty sure my best friend and I do it every night on our group trips.

    I like the Asian (especially the beef in oyster sauce) but prefer a regular table.

    So looking forward to a return this December.


  8. First…love your blog. Follow it weekly! My husband and I are Palace Resort members and visit the area 2-3 a year. So obsessed with the people and area just as much as you. I am posting for the first time because I will be vacationing this June in Cancun with my sisters family. She has a special needs son and this will be his first trip out of the US. His disorder has seizures, but they are currently under control. Since you have experienced the Cancun Hospital a few times, I guess I am just looking for reassurance that IF something happened, there would be good care. They have the meds to take care of the seizure if one happens and have only had to go to the hospital once in 3 yrs. My sister and family have given up a lot and they are ready to start living again. As she put it…they can’t keep living in fear of something happening. He is 7 and his older sister is 9. This will be there first trip as a family, besides spring break trips to Myrtle Beach. Thanks in advance and LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!

    1. I felt really good about the care we received at Hospiten Cancun. I’ve been a nurse for 30 years (geez, has it really been that long?) and I feel like I have a good sense of what good care is. Most of the doctors were outstanding and most of the nurses were as well. Hopefully you won’t have to find out for yourself. Have a great trip!

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