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When we celebrated our new route to Cancun with a big ol' Virgin Atlantic bash last year, we were thrilled that award-winning magician, mind-reader and all-round entertainer Chris Cox came along to confound our guests with a party trick or two.
Since then, the promise of warm Caribbean seas and guaranteed sunshine have lured Chris back to Mexico once again, so we've invited him back to share his recommendations for a romantic winter break in this world-class resort...
A place in the sun
Winter warmth; an always-thrilling thought which conjures up images of idyllic white beaches, obscenely blue seas and lazy days on sun loungers, safe in the knowledge that all your friends back in the UK are cold and miserable.
All it takes to achieve this wintry wish is a simple nine hour flight to Cancun. Once here, you've the option of spending your time in Cancun itself or travelling 40 minutes south to the Riviera Maya - or do as I did and get the best of both worlds by splitting your trip in two.
Set on an island connected to the mainland by two bridges north and south, Cancun's hotel zone is a mix of party central and luxury resorts, with the Mexican Caribbean to one side and a wide lagoon to the other. Along the 14-mile stretch of powdery white shoreline, you’ll find a modern mix of trendy bars, restaurants and shopping malls, tucked between the large-scale all-inclusive resorts.
Le Blanc Spa Resort
The Le Blanc Spa Resort is an all-white world of calm, far away from the incredible nightlife further down the strip. As you sip a coconut cocktail at your private check-in desk, cooling down with a chilled and scented towel, it's not hard to understand why President Obama himself chose to stay here.
This adults-only resort completely redefines the term 'all inclusive', with a butler on every floor to welcome you 'home' and unpack for you; three outdoor pools including two with swim-up bars; large, light rooms with Swiss spa showers and baths; full size bottles of spirits, and a monster room service menu that would take weeks to devour.
Le Blanc helped me arrange the perfect proposal to my fiancée over a private, candle-lit dinner atop a lagoon, but that's not the only reason why this is a hotel we'd want to come back to. Sure, a huge Jacuzzi bath next to a panoramic window overlooking the beach is a sublime touch, but what makes it so special are all the little details: the pool concierge roaming the sunbeds every afternoon with ice lollies, the complimentary beach bags, the light-up side tables decorated with decadent petit fours every night, and staff who go out of their way to help and get to know you.
ME by Melia
But what if you want to come to Cancun to party with a group of mates? If that's the case, then ME by Melia have got you covered. This design-focused, South Beach-inspired hotel offers various tiers of 'experience package', from the adults-only, everything-under-the-sun collection of suites known as 'The Level' (including the Suite Me used in MTV's Real World) to the smaller but equally stylish Aura or Ocean Front rooms. Come the weekend ME is a hotel to see and be seen in, with the Beach Club and Rose Bar attracting the glamorous and sunburnt alike.
Whether you want to spend all day lazing around the pool and beach being waited on, take a trip to nearby Isla Mujeres, or snorkel over part of the Great Mesoamerican Reef - the second largest coral reef in the world - there's no doubt you'll come back from Cancun with an incredible tan, wonderful memories and a burning desire to return.
Check back soon for Chris's hotel and activities tips for the Riviera Maya.
Virgin Atlantic operates direct flights to Cancun from London Gatwick, and Virgin Holidays offer a wide range of Cancun hotels, including the two mentioned here. For more information on Cancun visit the official travel information website at www.cancun.travel
Header photo © 2013 Le Blanc Spa Resort.
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About the author: MaxineMaxine Sheppard
Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.