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El Dorado Maroma

From the minute you arrive at El Dorado Maroma you feel like you are home.  The staff opens the door of your vehicle and offers to help you out and provides you a cold towel and a glass of sparkling wine.   They then walk you into the lobby where you are greeted by name and within 2 minutes are checked into the resort.  The staff really makes this resort.  Within a day or so they know you and your likes.  When you sit down at breakfast they remember what you had to drink the day before and will bring you over some of their amazing fresh made green juice.   The resort has only 157 rooms of which they offer the Palafitos, which are the only overwater bungalows in Mexico.  Some of the rooms are within 10 feet of the white powder sand beach.  Other rooms are swim outs and some even have private pools.

  

Even though the resort has only 157 suites, they have over 7 restaurants, 5 bars and 3 pools.   If your goal is to eat on vacation then you have found the right place.  During our stay we ate at Mio, which serves tasty Italian cuisine.  We also had amazing ceviche at Limon Limon which serves Peruvian cuisine.   Do not miss their Pisco sour drink. It is hard to pick my favorite but I would say I am split between Sabores which serves Mexican and Caribbean dishes.  I would have just had apps for dinner as they had so many great choices.   I also truly enjoyed Kiyoko which serves sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki and other great Asian fusion dishes.  Again there were so many choices it was hard to choose.  Just make sure to order the Mai Tai.   After dinner the resort is quiets but they do have a show each night at one of the 3 bars.   Talking about bars, each of the bars at the resort has top shelf brands and creative drinks.  Just ask the bartender what they suggest.  Don’t miss the frozen jalapeno mango margarita at Bar 24.  If you are thirsty during the day you can either swim up to one of the two swim up pool bars or lay back in your lounger or beach bed and every few minutes one of the amazing staff will stop but to see if they can refresh your drink.

The resort is easy to get around.  No matter what room you stay in your are less than a 2 minute walk to the beach.  If you really want to upgrade your room think about one of the Beach Villas, which are 1600 sq. feet and two story and sit right on the beach or one of the overwater Palafitos.    No matter which room you choose you will have a great time.  Many of the rooms have outdoor romantic showers.  All rooms have 24 hour room service, mini bars, plush robes and soft slippers.

As we were leaving the resort so many of the staff stopped us to say good bye and have a safe trip home.   The staff at El Dorado Maroma really made this an amazing experience.  It starts at the top with the General manager, Joslin, who is always walking around the resort and talking to guests and staff.

 

 

 

Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon is an amazing city to explore.  We would suggest spending 3-5 days there and then taking some time to leave the city and explore the country side.  Here is our best suggestion for 3 days in Lisbon

Day 1: Start your day downtown, down Avenida da Liberdade to Rossio Square before strolling through the pedestrianised Rua Augusta to Comercio Square, where you can hop on tram 15 to Belem. Go inside the cloisters of Jeronimos Monastery and take a break at Antiga Confeitaria de Belem to have one of its legendary custard tarts. Then take the underpass from the monastery’s gardens to cross the road to the Discoveries Monument. Walk along the waterfront from there to Belem Tower. Return down the same road and choose among the several museums nearby – the Coaches Museum and the Berardo Museum are two favorites, while the Maritime Museum is a good choice if you become curious about Portugal’s maritime past. For lunch you may want to consider one of the international restaurants in Docas (take the train from Belem station to Alcantara-Mar, and walk in the direction of 25 de Abril Bridge), or if you decide to stay in Belem to explore one more museum or perhaps to visit Ajuda Palace, there are good-value traditional Portuguese restaurants in the pretty row of buildings along Rua Vieira Portuense facing the park between the monastery and Belem Palace.
Back downtown, walk up Chiado and have some coffee or a refreshing drink at Brasileira Cafe or Cafe Benard. Walk up to São Roque Church for its splendid baroque chapels (and if you didn’t decide to stay in Belem for the afternoon, there is still time to visit the gothic ruins and eclectic museum of Carmo Church), followed by a stop at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara for the sunset over the city. It is now dinnertime, so step into the cobbled Bairro Alto streets and choose among the various restaurants. After a long, relaxed dinner, join the locals bar-hopping through the neighborhood. If it is a Friday or Saturday night, you will stumble across what has to be Europe’s biggest bar crawl.

Day 2: Take the metro to Parque das Naçõs and visit the Oceanarium. Walk along the waterfront to admire the impressive modern architecture of the surroundings (including the seemingly-endless Vasco da Gama Bridge), before heading to Alfama. Wander around the maze of narrow streets, stopping at the miradouros before walking up to the castle. You may want to choose to visit the Tile Museum (take a taxi) or São Vicente de Fora Church, or go straight to the castle if it is now late afternoon – you don’t want to miss the sunset as you stand above the city. If you did not have lunch at the popular docas when you visited Belem, it is perhaps a good idea to head there for dinner today. Stay for some drinks and dancing at the neighboring bars and clubs, or burn off your remaining energy in style, at Club Lux.

Day 3: The third day could be one of art and culture. Start at the Gulbenkian Museum where you can spend half a day admiring its treasures, relaxing in its pleasant gardens, and ending at its Modern Art Center. After lunch, you may want to continue admiring art, this time at the Ancient Art Museum. Take a tram back downtown, where you can decide where to go for dinner (see our restaurant recommendations, although we’d go for one with a view on this last day – perhaps “Chapitô” or “Bica do

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