Cancún

Excellente!

There are All Inclusives and then there are All Inclusives - LIVE AQUA is at the top of it's game delivering a solid 4 Star experience.

We do as rule prefer Small Luxury Hotels of the World or Preferred hotels & resorts and so had natural reservations about an Adults Only’ (true) ‘All Inclusive’ that seemed to offer so much in the way of excellent service, food and overall ambience. After six days, we can say it was a solid 9 out of 10 with a few caveats. The Service and friendliness is unquestionably there at every level, especially if you are lucky enough to befriend Eduardo, Restaurant Manager of Azur, MB & the Steak & Lobster venue. Eduardo is one of the hotels, most valuable assets and would hold his own in Customer Service anywhere in the world. Most bookings will give you a $60 credit here, but you’ll have to buy the other $60 dinner.. If you just have to have lobster, go for it, but honestly, MB’s Executive Chef, Fernando, is pushing the boundaries of culinary art, in a good way, no make that in an exceptional way! The Swordfish over caramelized sweetbreads, rivals any Five Star restaurant, I’ve dined at anywhere in the world. (My alias, Philip Barrington aka “The Phantom Gourmet”, is as a travel and food critic – trust me I’m a serious foodie). Azur is the thatched covered lunch and dinner venue and again Chef Ugo, goes out of his way to impress with artful and tasty presentations. If you like good wine and are prepared to pay for it, you will be let down by a two variety choice of red or white, but hey with a good couple of cocktails before dinner, you can easily forgive the lack of variety here. Siete the breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet ala cart restaurant, offers up an impressive selection of choices, but is what it is.

As all the other reviewers attest, rooms are lovely, clean, bedding & linens, comfy. Our Fuego Suite on the ninth floor was absolutely magnificent with panoramic views up and down the beach and lagoon. Same goes for grounds and ZEN-like feel to the entire property, the essential oils burning, add to the air of calm and serenity. Music around the pools is quite and soothing, well except for a couple of times, when whoever was programming the music must have forgotten the mantra of the resort, ‘Balanced – Your wish our wish’ – they might have been catering to a boogie-woogie crowd. (there always seem to be a few who just can’t resist the party-boogie-till-you-puke mentality when on vacation). There is plenty of nightly offerings like Coco Bongo, The Beach Party & the City, the largest disco in the world, if you just have to get your “YA-YA’s “ out. The use LIVE AQUA as your peaceful retreat for recovery. But most people seem to choose Live Aqua for what it does so well, in making their guests feel truly pampered and relaxed. The Cabanas are $80. a day, unless you have a Suite, in which case they are complimentary, with a 20 minute foot massage, by some of the best Masseuses we’ve experienced. (we’re Spa nuts if that helps – do go to the Spa and have the Candles & Mayan treatments among others – they will transfix). If you are lucky enough to have Daisy attend to your tired and aching muscles, be prepared to be totally rejuvenated, ten years of experience really shows in what this lovely girl has to offer. Service is probably the most impressive thing about this resort. Firstly, Mexico, in our opinion (and we’ve lived in countries all around the world and even in Los Cabos, Mx) has some of the hardest working and most ‘wanting to please people’ anywhere. And for those who just want to harbor fear, because of what they read, hey take a walk on the wilder streets of any country (US included) and you’ll find violence. At Live Aqua in Mexico, you’ll rediscover peace and quiet and some of the friendliest people anywhere!

On our last night, we met Alfredo Santamaria, General Manager, who is obviously on top of his game and knows the challenges of going beyond the boundaries of what people expect in an All Inclusive – he and his staff, we believe are exceeding most everyone’s expectations (including two very hard to please world travelling customers) to make his property a truly unforgettable experience. We think he has surrounded himself with good and gracious people and as such has succeeded in making Live Aqua Excellente! It deserves the Travel & Leisure Award. Awards are nice, but it’s what people say and feel in the end, that makes the difference - you will enjoy LIVE AQUA.

Charles Woollett

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