The Sweetest Reward: My Trip To Mahekal Beach Resort

4BDB6B4E-E0F2-45FB-BA82-28980E0C7720.jpegA little Slice of Heaven

If we’re friends on Instagram (I sure hope we are) you know that I spent spring break in paradise. Well, it was really a resort in Mexico but it might as well have been a little slice of heaven. I’ve been to the Caribbean a few times and I know that a lot of people either love it or hate it, but the chill vibe of Jamaica is typically my jam. However, I’ve never been south of the border before and I’m not exaggerating when I say it looked and felt like a tropical paradise.

The Backstory

Again, if we are friends on social media you’ve probably seen me using the hashtag #OMagInsiders. And you may or may not know that I am one of a select group of Brand Ambassadors for O, The Oprah Magazine with the O Mag Insider program…which leads me to how I landed in Mexico just last week.

When I first began the program last year (I’ve actually just been selected to carry on for another year and I couldn’t be more pleased) we had a group call where they laid out what we would be doing as Insiders (you can learn more or apply to the program here). We were also told that there would be a possibility of winning awards for our work.

To be honest that went right in one ear and out the other because there were so many amazing things that they shared on that call including the possibility of attending Oprah’s Favorite Things.  However, I think the real reasons I didn’t focus on the award much was that 1. I never win anything and 2. there were some really big bloggers and Influencers in this program and then there was little old newby me. I was just happy to be at the table with all of these fabulous people, I wasn’t even thinking about winning anything.

Now, I could ramble on about how awesome this year has been with this program, but for the sake of time I’ll get to the good stuff… I did indeed end up winning the O-verall Partner Award! So although I never set out to win, I do believe in always doing my best and I guess in this case the universe rose up to meet me. When I received the email that began with You have been unanimously selected… I squealed. What an honor to be recognized for doing what you love to do, which is to simply share the things that I love with my friends and followers!

The Vacation Destination


Mahekal Beach Resort was our vacation destination. I was informed that I could bring a guest and we could go whenever we wanted. Somebody pinch me. So hubby and I pulled out our calendars and decided that since we are both educators spring break would work perfectly for both of us.

When we arrived at the resort it was even more beautiful than the pictures. We were shown to the cutest bungalow room with hammocks on our front porch. Little did I know that these would be my favorite resting spot. Hammocks are surprisingly more comfortable than they look. Who knew? Probably everyone… except me.

The rest of the resort was lush with coconut trees, gorgeous tropical flowers, and palm plants. Everything is open and breezy, the pools look like magazine ads brought to life, and there is even one that actually looks like it runs right into the ocean.



My Favorite Things


Here are the top three things I loved about Mahekal Beach Resort not necessarily in order (except for number 1 which is always my number one).

  1. The Food- People always seem surprised by this because I am a vegetarian but I am a self-proclaimed foodie. I love a good meal. The food was amazing. There are three restaurants: Las Olas where we had a fabulous breakfast buffet everyday which consisted of traditional breakfast options and mexican delicacies. We even enjoyed a smoothie station, and quesadilla station! Umm yes please… Cocina was our typical dinner destination where the buffet changed nightly from appetizer options, a seafood dinner, and even mexican street food. Everything got high marks here and there were always vegetarian options. Fuego restaurante Y Cantina was always on fire! This restaurant rivaled many of the 5 star establishments I’ve visited in my favorite food city -NYC . We had a couple of meals here  including my husband’s favorite Fresh Catch Night where they literally pulled a boat up, carted off the fish and you got to claim your very own fresh catch, which they cleaned and filleted for dinner. It was also our go to morning coffee spot where we sat in our favorite open aired place with a spectacular view of the ocean.
  2. The ambiance (aka the vibe)- there was so much attention to detail put into this resort. I’ve been to a few really nice ones but they are usually more like large, fancy hotels. This one was so unique in that there were actually individual (or two or three level) bungalows, the gardens were so beautiful and well maintained and the whole vibe gave off that relaxing welcome to paradise feel. Everything is inspired by Mayan Architecture. The spa was even complete with a whirlpool bath in a high ceiling hut. I am all about a theme and I loved that this place delivered without feeling corny or forced. The people working at the resort were super friendly and helpful too. You felt safe and secure and relaxed and free at the same time!
  3. The surrounding area-I loved that we were actually smack dab in the middle of Playa Del Carmen. We were able to walk right out of the resort and a block up to the famous 5th Avenue which started out looking like your typical tourist area with Mexican vendors and beautiful handmade goods and ended up looking like any US big city shopping area. As we walked further down there were remnants of home: Starbucks, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, American Eagle… you name it. We even biked through the surrounding city one day and stumbled upon a Walmart. We also had the best pizza and pasta I’ve ever had in a restaurant three blocks from the hotel. Solento came highly recommended by two couples we met from Chicago and though they raved about it it still managed to exceed my expectations. It was fabulous! Who knew you could have the best Italian food in Mexico! I think this vacation solidified the belief that there is more that unites us than there is that separates us.

As you can tell I really enjoyed my time at Mahekal Beach Resort and I am so grateful to have been selected for this award. I left Mexico after a week of 85 degree temps and landed home with snow on the ground. I’m already missing the resort and I can’t wait for the weather here to catch up!

If you are looking for a beautiful place to visit I highly recommend this resort. We are planning a family trip next year and are happy to add Mahekal Beach Resort to our top repeat travel destinations. Do you have a favorite warm weather destination? I would love to hear your recommendations too!

Until next post,

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Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

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