Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos

In June I was invited to check out the beautiful Le Blanc Spa Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. It was stunning. Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos is an adults only, 373 rooms, all inclusive resort. It features 4 heated outdoor pools (1 infinity pool), 2 swim up bars, 2 outdoor hot tubs, daily activities (including TRX, yoga, spinning classes in the pool and BOGA yoga/pilates classes), unlimited (included with your stay) hydrotherapy at the spa, 24 hour room service, 8 restaurants and 6 bars.

I flew with WestJet, a direct flight from Vancouver in just under four hours. It was my first time to Cabo, so I was very excited to see a new part of Mexico. Landing into Cabo I could see why so many people loved it as a destination. It’s dry and not really humid. It reminded me of Arizona or Sicily, cactus lining the mountainsides along with sage brush. Again, also such a quick flight from the West Coast to get some much needed sun. Once I dodged the timeshare representative gauntlet in the Cabo Airport, I found a representative from Le Blanc who met me outside, gave me a cool towel and took me over to the waiting Cadillac Escalade for my private transfer. Once inside the air conditioned vehicle, luggage was loaded, I was given a cold bottle of water and enjoyed the 20-25 minute drive from the airport to Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos.

Once I arrived at the hotel, I was given a welcome drink, a beautiful flower and checked in seamlessly at one of the reception desks. I knew at that point, this was a very different all inclusive resort from others I have stayed at in the past. I really needed food at this point, so I checked out Blanc Ocean, the casual oceanfront restaurant here. The food and service is amazing. I ate at Blanc Ocean a few times, it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. After a late lunch, it was time to check out my room, and it didn’t disappoint. I was treated to a Royale Deluxe Honeymoon Suite. It was stunning. The room had an amazing, very comfortable king size bed, a soaker tub (with a view of the ocean from the bathroom), separate rainfall shower, BVLGARI bathroom amenities, a Nespresso machine, beach bag for you to use during your stay then keep and of course a bottle of Tequila (which I took home, or you can enjoy in your room).

Every room includes butler service. I would highly recommend downloading the app (yes there is a Le Blanc Resorts app), so that you can manage everything regarding your stay. Using the app you can message your butler, order off the pillow menu, select in room aromatherapy, select which bath salts and handcrafted soap you would like in your bathroom, and you can order room service, then track your order afterwards. My butler came and introduced himself, he also offered to unpack for me and/or iron anything that needed to be, I kindly declined, but the service is there if you wish to use it. They also offer a packing service on the day of check out should you feel inclined.

It was then time to try Blanc Italia for dinner. It was the some of the best Italian food I’ve had outside of Italy. The pasta is made daily, everything was delicious. It was totally worth breaking my keto diet for (another post on this soon). Afterwards, it was time to check out Blanc Fire, one of the beautiful bars here at Le Blanc, looking over the pool area. Comfortable lounge chairs and outdoor chairs create a cozy laid back environment with fire pits lining the space.

Every morning I ordered room service. The Dulce de Leche pastries in the morning were so good. It arrived very promptly and I ate out on my balcony most mornings. The food always arrived hot, which was nice as I find that can be a struggle with room service. I’m an early riser (5:00am), and took advantage of getting the perfect spot at the pool quite early each morning at 7:30am (yes it was already quite sunny and hot). I arrived down to the pool where the pool concierge greeted me and laid out my towels for me on the chair I had selected. He them brought me over a side table with a bucket of ice and a couple bottles of water. Never thought anything of it, he asked for my room number and headed off to greet the next guests. About half hour later my regular butler greeted me at my chair asking if there was anything I needed or had forgot in my room (at this point I was already impressed with the service, but this blew me away). I was all good, so just wished him a good day. This is a spa resort, so the music near the pools reflect that, which I loved. It was mostly quiet, spa style music, in the afternoon a little bit more upbeat however still not loud. If you’re hoping for foam parties and DJ’s by the pool, this resort is not for you. It is a serene place which I was so thankful for and enjoyed thoroughly. I even read two books!

After a site inspection and resort update, I look part in a margarita making and ceviche cooking class. It was so much fun to learn how to make this amazing dish and a proper margarita. They also host tequila tastings so you get to learn a little more about tequila and how each tastes better with different flavours. Who knew dark chocolate truffles with Anejo tequila tastes so good?

I did try a full body toning pilates class followed by yoga on the BOGA boards at the “activity pool”. It was a lot of fun and really suggest getting involved in all the different activities. I also tried the water spinning class, which was challenging but so much fun! Then it was time to enjoy the spa. The hydrotherapy (water journey) is included for everyone at Le Blanc, spa services (facials, massage, etc are at an extra charge). You enter the split hydrotherapy room (one for women, one for men) and are led to the locker room by your spa butler (yes, a spa butler). Your spa butler gives you a robe and sandals to use while taking advantage of the hydrotherapy. I was then led to the Sauna, asked how long I would like to stay here (up to ten minutes), then she applied cucumbers to my eyes with a cool towel on top and sprayed my body with a lime smelling water. I dosed off when she lightly tapped my shoulder and asked if I was ready to continue (I totally lost count of time so I already think having a spa butler is amazing). She then took me to the “Ice Room”, where I was given a pumice full of ice and an aloe vera gel to apply to my body (felt amazing after spending the morning in the sun). I stayed here for five minutes. Then off to the Steam Room. Before entering the Steam Room I was given a lavender and rosemary facial mud to apply and a thermal protectant conditioning treatment for my hair. I applied both and enjoyed the Steam Room for ten minutes. Then it was time for the invigorating shower, a series of showers at different temperatures and intensities. Time to now relax on a tiled heated lounger, where you can sip on hibiscus iced tea or ice water. Again once rehydrated, relaxed here for twenty minutes with another set of cucumbers and a cool towel over my eyes. The time flew by, as again she lightly tapped me on my shoulder asking if I was ready for the therapy pools. From here you are shown to a seat in a private cabana and explained the three pools in this area, the main therapy pool has many different water jets and is a warm temperature, a hot tub and a cold plunge pool (yes it’s cold but very refreshing after doing all the pools). You can then relax in the “Relaxation Room” where they have these amazing nest beds (yes, I had a nap). You can do the water journey and hydrotherapy as many times as you like. I did it at least twice a day!

All the restaurants here are amazing! The food is incredible for an all inclusive resort. The most surprising to me was Mezze, everything was sharable and meant to be shared. It is a Lebanese style restaurant and the food was so delicious! Make sure you order the Turkish Coffee, they make it the traditional way in the sand, table side. The French restaurant “Lumiere” is the only restaurant that requires reservations (you can make this reservation when you check in or from the app) and is a bit more of a formal dress code. Again, can’t say enough about the food, very very good. Blanc Asia has amazing appetizers and sushi, if you’re a seafood fan there are lots of great options on the menu. Poolside, I ordered from Blanc Pizza, actual stone fired pizzas and fresh salads (I love a caprese salad on a hot day). Also ordered from Blanc Ocean poolside, guacamole and pico, and of course amazing tacos! The other poolside attraction is the churro cart every afternoon! They make fresh churros right in front of you and you have the option of getting it stuffed with dolce de leche (yes, so yummy).

Overall, this is definitely my favourite all inclusive resort so far. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation where you are spoiled from the moment you arrive, this is the resort for you. If you have any questions or if your interested in working with me as your travel agent, please send me a message here.

Thanks again for reading and happy travels!

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Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta ~ December 4th to 8th, 2016

It was an early morning flight on WestJet from the Vancouver International Airport. I definitely was way to excited and got there far to early. In reality for a Mexican bound flight you really only need to arrive two hours ahead of time. I was there, alone, three hours in advance. Thankfully, Starbucks was open. I picked up a much needed coffee, a Cranberry Bliss Bar and a sandwich for the flight. Unfortunately, WestJet doesn’t supply food anymore (cookies and pretzels isn’t food), however the coffee is now McCafe and is pretty good. It was a quick 4 hour flight down, however the in-flight entertainment left much to be desired. I always like to know where I am flying over, geography has always interested me, however as WestJet doesn’t have the screens in the backs of the seats anymore, the app you have to use doesn’t have a map of your location, just a rough idea of your flight duration time left, so I had no idea what town we were flying over, or which sea side city I could see in the distance. I was also very happy I packed my “Pocket Farmacy” from Saje. The two people beside me clearly had the flu, so I was lathering “Immune” under my nose the whole plane ride down (and no, I didn’t get sick!), I totally swear by this stuff travelling. I was able to sleep a bit and woke just before we landed. It was a rough landing into Puerto Vallarta. It was quite stormy, so I actually grabbed the seat in front of me when we were jolted touching down onto the runway.

Once safely on the ground and parked at the gate, we headed through border control and through the gauntlet of timeshare sales people. They are so pushy, even physical! I was so glad to get out of the airport and into the warm air (though extremely humid as it was pouring rain). There were about 16 of us travel agents, huddled under one of the shades, we waited for WestJet to set up our transportation. Once our mini bus arrived, we all piled in and headed to the Hyatt Ziva. On our way through town (about a 25 minute journey), we got to see the Marina areas, the Malecon and Old Puerto Vallarta. About 5 minutes later we arrived at the gates of the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta. Once we had pulled inside, we parked in front of the beautiful open-air lobby. We were checked in, offered a welcome drink and escorted to our rooms. It was just after 2:00pm, I was ready to refresh and explore the resort. My room number was 1611, an ocean view king room with a juliet style balcony (not really a balcony, but large glass sliding doors with a railing just outside). The waves were so loud. It was so soothing. A few agents and I walked around the resort checking out different areas. David (a good friend from my Flight Centre training class) and I ate lunch at Melanzane. I had a delightful Caprese salad and a much needed Mango Margarita. The rain had stopped and we walked around a bit more taking photos before going back to our rooms and getting ready for our welcome dinner at Casa Grande. The food was so good. It was a great time to meet everyone and talk about our businesses. I think a lot of us were pretty tired, so we retired somewhat early. I went back to my room to find a delightful turndown service. It included a few lush bites (chocolate cake, a Nutella filled macaron and a lemon tart), along with a hand written welcome note from the General Manager.

The next morning I woke to a beautiful sunrise. I ordered room service as I was just happy sitting on the couch in my room listening to the sound of the ocean. My order of “Divorced Eggs” (yes, yes I did haha), a fruit plate and Mexican Coffee (spiced with orange peel and cinnamon). Afterwards I got ready and met the other travel agents in the lobby for our official site tour followed by some training on the Playa Resorts family of hotels. We all had a free afternoon to which a few of us had lunch at Blaze (absolutely love this restaurant, the view is stunning). I then went up to my room, changed into my swimsuit and found a palapa with a lounger in the sun and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon with a few pina coladas and mango margaritas. Our group dinner tonight was at Melanzane. I had a caprese salad followed by a portobello mushroom and spinach pasta. Of course I finished it off with a tiramisu 😉 Tonight’s entertainment was a circus style show, with a clown, dancers, a juggler, an aerial entertainer and a ring gymnast. Some decided to go into town tonight, a few of us stayed behind. I perused the night market that was at the Hyatt Ziva that night. I do think it’s good they go this, however I didn’t buy anything as I was pretty sure prices were better in Puerto Vallarta proper. After a couple more drinks at the Sunset bar, I grabbed a cheesecake and a caramel macchiato from the deli and headed to my room. I can’t say enough how much I loved the sound of the waves. They are loud. There are times I woke up because of them, but I loved it.

The following morning we had breakfast at the buffet and then a few of us went downtown Puerto Vallarta and walked the Malecon. We were dropped off at La Iglesias de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (the beautiful cathedral) in the heart of Old Puerto Vallarta. I did add two Starbucks mugs to my collection, a “Mexico” one and of course a “Puerto Vallarta” mug. I also took my photo of the Puerto Vallarta mug in front of the cathedral. Right after that, I bought a beautiful painting of Puerto Vallarta, it was so colourful just like the colours of the buildings and streets. So it was my first impulse buy. I was on the hunt for a silver ring, similar to a ring I had seen the night before at the night market at the Ziva. I went into several shops, I did buy a pair of earrings and found a few magnets. We arrived back at the place we started from, two of the agents we had wandered with decided to go back to the resort, David and I decided to keep wandering. We walked to the South this time, taking in the beautiful scenery of Puerto Vallarta. We finally reached Olas Altas Road, a cobble stone street where the Malecon board walk ends and the street begins. At that point on the right hand side, there is a thatched roof hut. From what I’ve heard is a very honest silver dealer. Nothing alpaca. His name is Roberto and I actually read about him the night previous on several websites including Fudors, TripAdvisor and many other forums. He was very friendly and offered me a great price on two rings. It wasn’t the ring I was after, but I actually liked it better. The other was a small ring with two white opal stones. Afterwards we continued down the road and found another cute little shop not far down the street called Safari Accents. I bought a beautiful handmade christmas ornament for myself and one as a gift for my aunt and beautiful a small bowl. We went a little further and stumbled across Andales! Ok, I’ll admit it, I watch many of the Real Housewives shows, and I can see why Vikki loves Andales, David and I had to get a margarita (and a few photos of course). Afterwards, it was time for us to head back, so we found a taxi and went back to the Resort. When I got in, I went to the buffet again and had a late lunch. I didn’t know what time I would be eating again as we were going to be going to the Rhythms of the Night by Vallarta Adventures tonight. We left the Resort for the Marina at 5:30pm, at the marina I saw the most heartbreaking thing. A poor sea lion propped up, taking photos with cruise ship tourists. In all honesty I wanted to slap everyone and snap them out that they were supporting the harm to this poor animal. Quite a few of us travel agents did make loud comments on how wrong it was and one mother did come up to me after and thanked me. We took a catamaran out to Las Caletas, it was incredible! It looked like we were walking into a tribal council in Survivor. The entire island was lit by candle light and torches. The Rhythms of the Night tour was very good, although we ate quite late. By the time we ate dinner after the show, it was about 10:30pm. I would suggest eating before you go, or go and eat before the show. It was quite cool on the catamaran ride home, thankfully   Freddie let me borrow his jacket, it does cool down at night here and I wished I would have packed light jackets. We got back to the Hyatt Ziva just after midnight and I went straight to bed.

In the morning, I again woke early. I took advantage and did what most tourists on vacations do, stake out the best palapas and lounge chairs for the day. David and I ate breakfast at Blaze, I had delicious crepes with fresh blueberries and Mexican Coffee. Afterwards, I checked out, said good bye to my beautiful room and stored my carry on in the day use area downstairs. They have lockers available for a $10 USD deposit. The wifi (which I have to say was awesome, worked absolutely everywhere on the resort) was extended until I left as well. I retired back to the palapa, enjoyed a few more pina coladas and enjoyed soaking in the sun. It had been snowing back in Vancouver and this was the first time in two months I had really seen sun. I was going to soak in ever drop of sunshine I could. David and I ate lunch at Blaze again, this time seeing iguanas basking on the rocks below. We also realized there was a monkey face in the cliffs there (no we hadn’t been drinking that much). I went back to enjoying the pool this time, pondering life and why I didn’t want to leave here. I had reservations about Mexico. I never thought I would be an “all inclusive” person. Three nights, although quick, was enough. I enjoy seeing other parts of a country, not to be confined to one area. The Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta was amazing. You see, every employee that works for Playa Resorts believes in “service from the heart”. Whenever you see a staff member the place their hand on their heart as a welcoming gesture, at first I thought it was a bit tacky, but it’s genuine. It’s heartwarming.  The service at this resort is outstanding, I can’t say enough how staff go out of their way for you.

Overall, this resort is amazing! I would come back here in a heartbeat. The food is fresh and delicious. The resort and rooms are very clean. The beds are so lush and I couldn’t get enough of the sound of those waves. Every room faces the ocean, I didn’t miss having a proper balcony, It still felt like I did. The service is incredible and I just can’t say enough good things about it.

We regretfully gathered in the lobby, but not before watching the last sunset. It was the most beautiful one we had yet on this trip. We all packed into the van and headed for the airport. It was a long walk to the gate. Sitting, waiting for the plane, I could’t help but feel blessed. This year has really been a year of transformation, of exploration. Really, karma has been good to me. I’ve built this life from scratch, by myself. Heading home, we boarded the WestJet flight just after 9:00pm and touched down just after midnight. I was thankful I brought my Nexus as it was a quick and seamless entry and was out the arrival gates in no time. It was such a fun trip, and I can’t wait to see where my next journey will take me.

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