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Just back: A swim-up suite in the Riviera Maya

Chenille talks about The Hideaway at Royalton Riviera Cancun

Photo courtesy of Royalton Resorts

Barbara: Today I have an amazing guest with me. I am talking to Chenille Askew, who recently returned from a trip to the Riviera Maya. Welcome, Chenille!

Chenille: Thank you for having me!

Barbara: I'm so glad to be able to talk to you today. The place where you stayed is called the Hideaway at Royalton Riviera Cancun. Let’s jump in and start talking about the planning process. First of all, tell us why you wanted to go on this trip, who you were going with, and anything else about the planning.

Chenille: It was a girls’ trip for my best friend and I. We are both in the beauty industry. The holidays are very rough, and last year was a rough year and we needed to get away. We normally work anywhere between 80-100 hours a week, and we just needed a break and a reset. I had been dying to go to Cancun and I talked her into it. And then because I work so much, I was like, I don't have time to plan this. I had met you at one of those market trade shows in Salt Lake. I had saved your information, and I reached out for you to help us, and it was seamless. We could not be more grateful for everything that you did.

Barbara: Thank you! I actually am going to pause for a minute right here and point out the elephant in the room. We can see in the background that you are actually sitting at the airport again right now!

Chenille: Yeah, I am heading off on another little getaway. And thank you for saving the day with our transportation for that too.

Barbara: No problem! So, let’s touch on the beginning of your trip. Once you started on your trip, was there anything that you specifically wanted to talk about with the airport or on the flights? Was there anything that stood out to you?

Chenille: Obviously if you're helping people from Salt Lake City, we have a new airport and if you haven’t yet been to the airport, it is very different. I would recommend getting here at least two hours early, and if you're flying international, I would recommend two and a half hours early. I'm not flying international today and it has taken over two hours to get through that whole process. I will say that having a direct flight out of Salt Lake City to Cancun was very nice, and they made it really easy and took our picture when we got on the plane. Then when we got back into Salt Lake City, I didn't even need my passport to get back through customs. They just took my picture again and it matched.

Barbara: That is very easy!

Chenille: When I’ve flown previously, international travel has not been that seamless. So that was great. When we landed in Cancun, you had transportation already arranged for us, and you told us what to look for, which was really nice. And the pointers you gave us to not talk to anybody inside the airport were very helpful as well. It made the airport anxiety feel less, and not intimidating. And we knew what to look for with our transportation, and that was great. Our driver had printed out all of our information and knew who we were, which was so nice. It felt very safe.

And the COVID restrictions, I would say they're not extremely high. They're just similar to Salt Lake. They did spray off our bags and our shoes before we got into the transportation. But other than that, once we got to the resort, we just had to wear a mask to go into restaurants, but not at the resort, which was nice. Cause we don't want any mask tan lines. That is not fun! On the excursions, we did have to wear a mask, and I feel like they're taking the necessary precautions. I feel like it’s the best of their ability.

Barbara: That’s great. We want everybody to feel safe and not anxious about traveling. So let's get into the resort a little bit and talk about it. During the planning process, one thing that you and Amy told me is that you wanted to have a room with a swim out. And so we worked on that and you went back and forth between a few different options. Tell me why you decided on the one that you did (Royalton Hideaway), and what it ended up like. Tell us about your room a little bit.

Chenille: We decided on that one just because it seemed like that resort had the most amenities. The swim-out suite was awesome because it was open 24 hours. The rest of the pools closed about 6:00. The room was nice. The only complaint I had was with the bed.

Barbara: Tell us about the bed. The rooms are really beautiful. Nice and spacious, lots of light and brightness in the room.

Chenille: Yes. And we loved the room. It was so bright. And there was a curtain that would split the room, so one of us could take a shower and the other one could still be outside and it would be fine. I do have to say that it wasn’t the most comfortable bed, but it might be because we were there for seven nights.

Barbara: All right. So on a scale of 1 to 10, as far as comfort level, what would you give the bed?

Chenille: I’d say a 7.

Barbara: So it wasn’t terrible. I'm sure we’ve slept in worse, but it’s too bad that this just wasn't amazing. We would love to hear anything else about the resort that you want to share.

Chenille: The food was absolutely amazing. The steak house and the hibachi grill were absolutely incredible. We ate at the steak house every other night. The staff was so helpful, and if you make friends with the staff and you're really nice to the servers, they will literally go above and beyond and make you like special things that aren't on the menu. They were incredible. The staff is amazing and there's no complaints with the resort at all.

Barbara: That is so great.

Chenille: We did go to the spa, and that was my first spa experience at a resort, but Amy had been to plenty of resort spas. And she said that that was the best spa that she's ever had at any of them. It was amazing.

Barbara: That's awesome. Did you get a massage, or did you do a different treatment?

Chenille: Yeah, they hooked us up and we did a couples package even though we’re best friends. So they gave us a deal. And we got massages, facials, wraps and scrubs for like $200 per person.

Barbara: Wow! What a great deal! Did you find time to spend time at the beach?

Chenille: The beach is great. They do comb it daily. There was plenty of room everywhere. We didn't ever fight for a chair.

Barbara: That’s perfect. I don't want to take a lot more time, but I do want to talk about excursions for a minute. So tell us what you did. I know you did Tulum and Xel-Ha.

Chenille: Yes, we did Tulum and Xel-Ha, and we swam with dolphins and took a catamaran to Isla Mujeres. That was fun, but I wouldn't do it again. On the island they take advantage of Americans, and I didn't like that. But it was pretty, and the dolphins are fun. It was absolutely amazing. It was an incredible trip.

Barbara: Which one overall was your favorite excursion?

Chenille: Absolutely Tulum and Xel-Ha.

Barbara: That's a fun one. In fact, I like to recommend that one to first-timers, people who haven't gone to Cancun and haven't seen Tulum. Those ruins are so amazing.

Let's wrap up. I know you're sitting on your flight and have to go soon. Do you have any last-minute recommendations, or anything you would tell somebody who's going to Cancun or the Royal Hideaway? Anything you want to leave us with?

Chenille: No advice. Just have a great time. It was the most incredible trip and, Barbara, we can't thank you enough. You did great. It was so nice to send you an email of exactly what I needed. And within two emails, you got it done. Time is a crunch for me, and it was the most amazing trip. It could not have been better.

Barbara: That makes my heart so happy that you had a great time!

Chenille: I have one more thing: about the tips, we brought about $150 in $1. If you give a server five ones, they’ll take care of you all day. So that was a thing that I didn't really know. When I was in Jamaica, we didn’t really tip, but that was the only thing here.

Barbara: Yes. You have to tip very little and they take great care of you. I agree.

Chenille, thank you so, so much for talking to us. I am just so happy to be able to talk in person and be able to hear about your trip.

Chenille: I will definitely using you again in the future.

Barbara: Thank you so much! Have a great flight.


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