With a name like Breathless, it's only fitting that this place would blow me away. Crimson dragonflies hover over wild mangroves like the hummingbirds of Quintana Roo. Beautiful people of all different cultures laugh and toss their heads (and expertly mixed drinks) back as - depending on the pool - a live saxophonist wails or international DJ spins.
Fire dances against water, living rooms are sunken into pools, catamaran hammocks suspend without a vessel, and other such brilliant improbabilities all work together to inspire the realization that sometimes, the resort itself can be the destination … and that's perfectly fine.
Don't get me wrong. The setting was everything one could wish for in a Yucatan escape. We were in the heart of the Riviera Maya, where the water hits every shade of turquoise before fading into porcelain sands. Just outside of Cancun, this locale was as convenient to the airport and downtown as it was to the Mayan city ruins in jungles yet unplumbed.
But once we arrived at Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, none of that even mattered anymore. Because what laid in store for us was a luxurious, tasteful, exhilarating stay that was able to eclipse even this world-famous destination.
The devil wasn't in the details at this resort - each one was heaven-sent. Built from the ground up to meet AAA Five-Diamond standards, name-dropping wasn't done in a gaudy way, but in discreet nods to luxury aficionados and connoisseurs.
Riedel glasses in the restaurants - I see you over there, winking a sparkle at me … like the complimentary bottle of Belvedere vodka dressed in a cosmo recipe in my room.
GROHE shower heads, how am I supposed to decide between all three of you when I'm too short to stretch across the spacious glass shower? Villeroy & Boch sinks, I feel wrong profaning your surfaces with the Colgate toothpaste the staff so thoughtfully left for me.
As wrong as leaving without having taken a jetted bath with the Gilchrist & Soames bath beads left in the oversized courtesy tray. And glass Taylor digital scale, boy am I glad I found you tucked shyly in the closet, gently encouraging me to stay on track, even as the bedside tablet offered one-touch room service.
Of course, these upscale touches extended beyond accommodations. The fitness center was a veritable playground for endorphin junkies like myself, its brand-new Technogym equipment crooking a sultry finger to come hither. Near the professional racks and pulley systems was a dispenser of refreshing iced chlorophyll water, perfect for sipping while posting about a workout well done on the seamless Wi-Fi.
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All of those are great for work, but the eye for detail oversees play, too. There are millions of options for every lounging style, from plush grass or traditional patio underfoot to in-water chaises. The conversation pits mentioned earlier make an entrancing sight seemingly submerged in the pool, keeping you dry while you socialize; a massive 24-person Jacuzzi is a wetter venue for making friends.
There are even squashy daybeds and catamaran raft material slings in the pools, as well as big swings at some bars to delight the child in us as we sip on adult beverages. At the party pool, a dramatic row of massive fire pits drew the eye to the sea on the horizon while a Veuve Clicquot Champagne bar is featured at the classy xhale quiet pool.
Which brings us to the gourmet touches found across ten dining venues (including a coffee shop) and bars that go from swim-up to rooftop to spa to theater.
Freshly muddled mint and real Havana Club rum for authentic mojitos that brought me right back to Cuba. A 24-hour buffet with multiple show-cooking stations and high-quality meats and seafood right on display. Tableside soup presentation, poured piping hot into your bowl right before you. Pasta made on premises. Espresso topped with creamy foam made from aseptic packaged milk, just like in Europe.
Believe it or not, these are only the tip of a Mendenhall Glacier-sized iceberg of all the little things at Breathless Riviera Cancun that add up to one major thing: a resort worth making a destination.
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