Blue seas and stunning white beaches make Club Med Cancun a delight
Azure seas and white sand beaches stretch along the Yucatan peninsula and arch around the premier coastal destination in Mexico - Cancun.
A legendary destination for American college kids on spring break, the sun-drenched shores of Cancun have been on my bucket list since I was a spotty teenager, so I jumped at the chance to head across the Atlantic last month.
The journey took well over 15 hours, but the epic slog was made easier by the helpful and professional Club Med staff who were waiting for me and my friend Aaron on arrival at Cancun International Airport.
The driver knew our names before we could say them when we arrived at 9.30pm and we were whisked down palm-lined highways and into the sticky heat of the Mexican night before reaching our resort at Club Med Cancun.
Customer relations officer Tatriana welcomed us with freshly prepared cocktails and hot towels for our tired faces following the long journey.
We were then shown to our plush luxury room overlooking the beach which came complete with two large, luxurious double beds, a sofa, vanity unit and spacious modern bathroom with a walk-in shower enclosure and a rainfall showerhead.
After the long journey, both of us were pretty shattered and given it was pushing 10pm local time, decided to hit the sack and get a good night's sleep, ready to discover the resort the following day.
Waking up refreshed after a blissful sleep, we couldn't wait to get outside and see the resort in the daytime and boy, it did not disappoint.
The beach outside our room was a stunning expanse of white sand, lined with palm trees, lapped by impossibly clear blue waters and calmly soothed by the gentle ocean breeze.
Taking up loungers on the beach just yards from our porch we relaxed in the blazing Caribbean sun as polite, very non-pushy sellers of cigars, sarongs, watersports and club nights in nearby Playa Del Carmen wandered along the beach.
We spent the rest of the day doing nothing but drinking ice cold cervezas, reading and taking the occasional plunge into the warm crystal blue waves which lapped against the shore.
After such an arduous day we eventually rolled around to La Estancia steak restaurant overlooking the other end of the beach in the heart of the resort.
The eatery is classy and elegant and comes complete with its own in-house wine cellar which is encased in glass within the restaurant, meaning diners can wander over and choose their plonk, as opposed to simply picking from the menu as per usual.
Being a steak house there was really only one option for us both and the steaks were cooked on display just yards away from our table as we were tended to by smartly dressed and courteous staff.
My entrecôte steak was huge, juicy and perfectly seasoned and came with a delicious potato gratin and a rather artfully presented Caesar salad.
I didn't really have room for dessert but I forced myself in the name of journalism and opted for the creme brûlée which was full of delicious richness and came topped with fresh strawberries and a luxurious dark chocolate shard. The next few days followed a similar pattern, with neither of us venturing far from our loungers on the spectacular white beach, save to get refills of house beer Dos Equis, avail of the all-inclusive cocktails or grab the occasional shot of tequila.
The resort has four restaurants - The Hacienda, Taco Arte, The Beach Lounge and La Estancia - which offer an array of fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
La Taco Arte quickly became our favourite spot for lunch as it occupies a beautiful wooden decked rotunda which overlooks the stunning blue ocean.
The buffet-style restaurant offers local and international foods from tacos, quesadillas and fajitas to exotic salads, healthy pastas and stews, as well as more family friendly options for kids.
The resort is a sprawling mini-metropolis and has a variety of activities and facilities available to both holidaying adults and families with children. Guests can take on endless all-inclusive water sports, as well as tennis, archery, flying trapeze and fitness classes.
With newly-renovated family rooms, a new pool, new lounge and kids' clubs from two to 17, the resort really does cater for all demographics.
Alongside the activities included in your stay, the resort is also able to offer trips and excursions including visits to the ancient Mayan ruins dotted around the Yucatan peninsula.
Also available via the on-site dive shop are trips to nearby scuba diving spots, including an impressive variety of diving from coral to cave to open water.
I took up the opportunity to check out the diving in the enormous natural swimming pools known as cenotes at the nearby Kukulcan cenote in Chac Mool.
The two-dive excursion was an incredible combination of fresh and salt water diving in the dark and mysterious open cave network. The semi-enclosed environment produces a magical and dazzling light show, as you glide silently past ancient, haunting rock formations.
I had a few medical issues getting myself booked in for a dive in time before leaving Cancun to return home, but the staff at the dive shop on-site at the resort were incredibly professional and helpful in making sure I got my dives.
Having managed to avoid any of the physical activities, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be any good as we tried water skiing during the last few days of our holiday.
Aaron took to it like a duck to water, but for me it was a different story. Try as I might I just couldn't get the knack of getting upright on the skis as the speedboat drags you along. After several failed attempts and mouthfuls of water, I gave up.
Archery, however, proved to be a different story as I outperformed Aaron in almost every round, the spirit of Robin Hood bursting from my bow with each loosing of the string.
As well as the sports and circus facilities on offer, the resort boasts a modern, spacious and - very importantly - crisply air-conditioned gym, which we also made use of throughout our stay.
There are also regular indoor, outdoor and poolside fitness classes and zumba for the health conscious traveller as well as an on-site wellness spa by L'Occitane.
After failing on water skis and basking in the Caribbean sun for a week, it was sadly time to return home. However, thanks to the incredible facilities and surroundings on offer at Club Med Cancun, Aaron and I were well-rested, well-fed and thoroughly relaxed.
For couples, travelling adults and families alike, Club Med Cancun offers the complete all-inclusive package for anyone looking for year-round Caribbean sun, fun and wellbeing.
Prices from £1,475 per adult for a seven-night holiday, transfers and flights from Dublin included or £4,835 for a family of four (two adults, eight and four years old children - kids below six stay free) for a seven-night holiday, transfers and flights from Dublin included.
Until May 31, the Big Summer Sales will enable a saving of up to €600 pp on Club Med all-inclusive holidays from June to October 2019 on more than 40 resorts. Check out www.clubmed.co.uk