Casa Las Tortugas Hotel in Holbox

Our favorite part of our weekend trip to the island of Holbox was our hotel: Casa Las Tortugas. Jorge and I both agreed that if and when we return to Holbox, we will be staying at Casa Las Tortugas again.

The hotel has a beautiful pool area, a beachfront restaurant, a spa and a chic beach club area. We loved the rustic Mexican design and beautiful palapas throughout.

Jorge and I booked the most basic room. I was worried I’d regret not getting an ocean view room, but as we spent an evening lying in the hammock on our balcony listening to the ocean breeze move through the palm trees… I knew we’d made the right choice.

Casitas Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Cancun

Last night I had an amazing opportunity to go to the Ritz Carlton Cancun to see their first baby turtle release of the year. Within the next few weeks you’ll see more about their turtle program, but for now I wanted to share other parts of my visit.

When I walked into the lobby, I was excited to see an old buddy from college at the reception desk! (Cancun is a very small city.) So while I waited for my hostess, Eduardo (“Lalo”) and I got to catch up on old times. Paulina Feltrin, the hotel’s PR Director, came to greet me and gave me a tour of this immense hotel. It was amazing! Luxury restaurants, beautiful artwork, gorgeous facilities… *sigh* Everywhere we went, we were welcomed by smiling and attentive staff.

What really caught my eye was their culinary center. They offer cooking classes with Chef Rory Dunaway in this amazing kitchen:

I know, right?

As of now my cooking skills are limited to sandwiches,  spaghetti and some pretty great guacamole, but if my kitchen looked a bit more like this… I’d make cooking a priority! (Then I’d invite all of you guys over for fabulous brunches.)

After the turtle release (more on that later, I promise!), Paulina and I had an incredible dinner at their beach restaurant, Casitas. It was a truly beautiful setting in a private cabana overlooking the Caribbean. I got to practice my nighttime photography, which you guys know I’m still trying to master… so you know, apologies in advance for all blurriness.

Casitas Restaurant

Our private cabana

We started the meal with their seafood platter: shrimp, Alaskan king crab (my new favorite), lobster, oysters, tuna tartar and a variety of amazing dips.

**Word to the wise: You’re supposed to swallow oysters whole, not chew them. Learned this the hard way.

For the main course, I ordered the Petit Filet Mignon, which came with a selection of salts as well as chimichurri and bearnais sauce. Anyone who has had a meal with me knows that I tried them all! I also asked for a side of mashed potatoes with grated cheddar, which reminded me of my mom’s Twice Baked Potatoes. The entire main course was to die for, but unfortunately I was too busy enjoying it to take pictures. (shameful behavior for a blogger)

I did make up for it by taking pictures of dessert: a sampler of all their dessert options!

From left to right: chocolate with brownie, Key Lime Pie (best I've ever had!), orange and mandarin pannacotta, tiramisu, upside down pineapple cake, and cheesecake with raspberry cream

Paulina and I talked in Spanglish about culture, family, tourism and food throughout dinner, and completely lost track of time! It was 10:30 before I left to go home. By the time I walked out the door, I had fallen in love with their beach, the hotel, their community programs and Casitas restaurant.

Thanks so much to Paulina Feltrin and the Ritz Carlton Cancun for their incredible hospitality.

Vegas Weekend Part 1

I’m back from Vegas! I have a cold and started 10 hours of travel at 6 am yesterday (Pacific Time), and today I just wanna curl up and sleep… but somehow I managed to make it in to work today. That means ya’ll get to enjoy some Vegas pictures 🙂

We spent most of our time at Caesar’s Palace. My sister Sarah and I stayed the last 2 nights at Imperial Palace across the street, but anyone who’s been there knows it’s not picture-worthy. We really only went there to sleep. (It does have a great location, though!)

I didn’t take too many because I was trying to just enjoy the moment most of the time… but I got some cool ones.

Here goes:

 

View from my lounge chair at the pool

 

 

Gringation by the fountain in the Caesars Palace lobby

 

 

My lovely sister Sarah

 

 

Casino at Caesar's (love that ceiling!)

 

 

The Forum Shops and Caesars... Sarah and I were taking the "Poor Man's Tour of Las Vegas", so we just walked around and longingly stared into store windows. Good times 🙂

 

 

Beijing Noodle No. 9 at Caesar's Palace... crazy looking!

 

 

My Belgian waffle with fresh fruit at Augustus Cafe...

 

 

...and the butter and syrup to go on top of it.

 

 

The New York New York hotel

 

 

Yours truly out and about in Vegas

 

 

Mandalay Bay... probably my favorite hotel we went into. Miles and miles of restaurants & casinos... not to mention an aquarium and a lazy river! Seriously, the pool area was like a water park!

 

 

Lunch with the family at Raffles restaurant at Mandalay Bay

 

 

Walking under a sleeping lioness at the MGM

 

 

The Centrifuge at MGM

 

My favorite part was probably the view from my sister Noelle’s room at Caesar’s Palace. Got to enjoy this every day…

 

Day

 

 

Night (Bellagio Fountains!!!)

 

My overall thoughts:

As a Hotel Management major, I was in Heaven. These places are INCREDIBLE! I heard a guy at the airport say, “Vegas is like DisneyWorld for adults… pure fantasy.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

The food was expensive… but amazing.

I did a few hours of gambling at Caesar’s on Saturday night with my sisters and lost 10 bucks. It was worth it 🙂 I followed the rule that you shouldn’t gamble more than you’d want to spend, so I think I did pretty well!

I’m so glad I got to experience it! I can certainly see why people would go there… but personally I’d prefer something much more relaxing if I could go on vacation.

Tomorrow: Pictures of my sister’s wedding! It was AWESOME.