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Travel


I probably shouldn't confess this - brides everywhere will have my guts for lacy blue garters - but a tiny, sugar-coated-almond-sized part of me was looking forward to my Mexican honeymoon more than my actual wedding day. You know, the moment you and your hubby finally get to relax, just the two of you?


Long gone are the petty arguments over the first dance and the seating plans. The only decision we wanted to make on our week-long break was whether we ordered champagne at the swim-up pool bar or sipped cocktails on the beach.


That's why we chose the five-star Excellence in Playa Mujeres, Cancun. With a personal concierge and 24-hour room service, this adult-only all-inclusive hotel was one wedding plan we did agree on! Lapped by the Caribbean Sea, it offers the same calibre of soft white sandy beaches and bath-warm blue sea as the Maldives or St Lucia, at a snip of the price. But that doesn't mean they scrimp on anything.


Pulling up at the grand gold-gated entrance, just 25 minutes from the airport, we were handed a glass of champagne before being whisked through the sprawling marble lobby, past the other new arrivals to our private check-in. We'd upgraded to the Excellence Club and there were plenty of perks to follow.


We were spoiled with superior toiletries, a private beach and members-only pools. With no unsightly wristbands to differentiate between guests, it's the waiters' job in these secluded areas to remember you by face, making you feel extra special. They even recalled couples - and their favourite tipples - who had visited a year earlier. With attention to detail like this, it's no surprise the hotel is at least 85-95% full all year round with honeymooners, couples getting married and lovers returning.


But you wouldn't know it to wander round the extensive grounds. With seven pools, nine restaurants and a two-mile long beach, on our first day we didn't see another person - except for the waitress refilling our glasses.


Relaxation certainly comes easily here. There are hammocks big enough for two in the pool and double beds that swing gently under palm trees. Another way to explore the resort is by the lazy river, which winds around the spa, past a juice bar and through secret paradises you might not have found on foot.


Still recovering from the 10-hour flight from London Gatwick, on our first night we ordered room service, popped open the complimentary champagne and climbed into our Jacuzzi. Every room in the hotel has one.


The next day, we headed to the main pool. With a swim-up bar, live Spanish or Jamaican bands and plenty of sun loungers, it had a party atmosphere. And by now, we were ready to continue our celebrations!


That night, our concierge organised a private dinner for us on the beach. Fairy lights decorated the palm trees and the waves lapped soothingly a few feet in front of us. Just when we thought it couldn't get any more romantic, a saxophone player emerged from the darkness and serenaded us.


10 Life Begins www.lifebeginsmagazine.com


View of Playa Mujeres.


Spa pool at Playa Mujeres.


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