Checking In | Viceroy Riviera Maya

The ultimate vacation, for me, is the tropical getaway. I travel quite a bit for work, and love seeing new places, but rarely do I block five days and relax on a beach. That’s exactly what I did this past week. My girlfriend and I (she’s responsible for a few pictures here too, so you know) headed to Mexico to fully ensconce ourselves in the blood pressure lowering confines of the Viceroy Riviera Maya.

The resort is set up as a series of villas, tucked into a heavily forested part of the Mexican coastline. It’s like a well appointed Spanish speaking version of Swiss Family Robinson with an emphasis on delicious food and super attentive service. Everywhere you turn there’s a very pleasant Viceroy staffer happily willing to help get you a towel, clean your sunglasses or help you with anything you could possibly need. And it’s not crowded – and that is key. While we were on the property, we barely saw more than four or five guests. No lines for anything, ever. No trouble getting your preferred cabaña on the beach, no waiting for a table at one of the restaurants. Coming from the insanity of the city, this was crucial to the relaxation factor. We needed waves, sun and a salty breeze, not lots of people.

Making a decision as to where to go on vacation, there are many things to consider. We wanted a resort that is small, relaxing and it a needs to be easy to get to from NYC. We spent nearly the entire time in Mexico on the Viceroy property and couldn’t have been more content.

I was continuously awed by the views and the beauty of the place. The blue skies and blue seas contrasted with the deep greens of the foliage. It is, undeniably, in the running for the title of paradise. This place is fully endorsed, recommended and all that good stuff. Frankly, I insist.

Each villa has it's own private little pool, complete with hammock.
Outdoor shower

Over the past few months I have stayed in some amazing hotels, so Checking In is my attempt to share those experiences with you. Think of it as a less bitchy TripAdvisor for guys that like Barbour coats. Oh, and I took the name from The Standard Edition, well, because I couldn’t come up with anything better and I didn’t think Jamie would mind me stealing it if I sent him some booze and throw a link his way. Honesty + gifted liquor = best policy.

Comments on “Checking In | Viceroy Riviera Maya

    George on April 18, 2012 4:38 PM:

    Looks like a pretty hack-y attempt to scam press trips, no?


    Michael Williams on April 18, 2012 4:40 PM:

    Wasn’t a press trip, was a personal vacation and it was paid for by my lady and myself. Ye of little faith George.

    Fashion Directory on April 18, 2012 4:51 PM:

    Oh my god ! What an amazing place, the pictures are like a dream !

    Robert on April 18, 2012 5:15 PM:

    Looks beautiful but I cringe at the thought of “all inclusive” or a place that you would never leave…. Part of the charm of visiting a foreign country is experiencing the.. well… charm!

    There’s a very similar place on the pacific side just north of Puerto Vallarta — an isolated beach resort, this one is carved into a mountain. What a prefer, though? It’s within walking/taxi distance to an amazing surf village that has nightlife, killer restaurants, street food and authentic mexican charm. The water is a little cooler and the snorkeling sucks — but…. surfing!

    Check out Playa Escondida and Sayulita, MX.

    wazzzup joan on April 18, 2012 6:02 PM:

    good response to that first poster. not everything is a shill…or i hope it’s not….

    Berty Morales on April 18, 2012 6:10 PM:

    Beautiful and I wish I was there right now. Have a great vacation and enjoy your time :)

    Coleman on April 18, 2012 6:35 PM:

    Love this and so many other pleasing places posted on your blog. I’m not rich and I worry that so many “cool” blogs are ultimately about exclusivity and maybe I’m a bit bitter (guilty) but as soon as I saw this I cringed…it seems so out of reach for most of us. Or perhaps only to me. *sigh* That said, you’re a lucky dude and I hope are having a swell time (sincerely)…

    Tim on April 18, 2012 6:41 PM:

    I’d have no problem if it was a press trip – I trust Michael’s judgement in most things, I doubt he’d shill for a craphole vacation spot (and this place sounds perfect).

    Brian Miller on April 18, 2012 8:02 PM:

    I must admit that I thought it was a shill job at first. Mexico Tourism is busting their hump, giving out a lot of free trips to celebs (so they’ll get photographed there) to try and overcome the PR problems due to this pesky beheadings, abductions, robberies and other issues of that ilk. It’s what’s kept me away for years, frankly.

    Jeff on April 18, 2012 8:18 PM:

    You got a fucking machete and pile of coconuts. Let me say that again. The hotel gives you a fucking machete.

    I’m in.

    MR on April 18, 2012 10:14 PM:

    Canon PowerShot S90 , Impressive !

    mt on April 18, 2012 11:19 PM:

    I hope this is a press post. This is Michael’s personal website where people like us come to read about what is on his mind. We are getting his info and opinions for free. In other words, the existence of this website is possible because Michael takes time out of his day to write, update, and educate his loyal readers about topics that have interest to them. Job title sounds a lot like a college professor, but without the tuition.

    Michael, whatever income this website does make for you is definitely below what you deserve and I think you should do more sales posts. You deserve it!

    Brad from Tacoma on April 19, 2012 2:07 AM:

    Looks similar to Esencia where my wife and I stayed a few years ago on a major splurge- I often hear, for those of us in WA State how…”easy Hawaii is to travel to..” from Seattle…but honestly, if you have ever been if you can make it happen :) …to travel to places like this in RIviera Maya, SOUTH..pretty far south of Cancun – its super easy Caribbean travels with the same water and way lower key than, say, the french indies like St. Martin or St.”Brats” et al. The Caribbean, via this Quintana Roo region, is the way to go for a painless getaway.

    When you hit this area, stop at the San Francisco (sp?) grocery stores and stock up on $11 bottles of good booze, grab a $4 cooler and you are covered.

    Great little pictorial. There are a handful of places like this with relative deals – and its way WORTH the easy travel. Thanks for posting this.. looks solid.

    dc on April 19, 2012 6:38 AM:

    Beautiful place, terrible book!.

    You should try brasil: the beaches or mountains, not the cities (see vila naiá, in bahia).

    Following your posts almost daily…

    Aaron on April 19, 2012 10:10 AM:

    Plus you didn’t get beheaded by druglords! Bonus!

    Ted Harrington on April 19, 2012 10:19 AM:

    We stayed at a similar resort on the Riviera Maya last March. Everything new and the staff was enthusiastic. The All inclusive thing made us nervous but there are no options outside the resort. And besides it’s hard to fuck up BBQ chicken on the beach and Fruit. There was a restaurant that was set up for Culinary Students from the States ( was one of the best meals we’ve had in years) The cabana during the day does not suck. It was a good for a 5 day Spring Beach Vacation.

    Ramalhoni on April 19, 2012 10:24 AM:

    Amazing Hotel…

    Colt45 on April 19, 2012 11:58 AM:

    I was in the Riviera Maya in January, going from hostel to hostel (with some beach cabanas thrown in for good measure) for 10 days. I had a total blast and the tropical beauty, awesome food, Mayan ruins, friendly locals, and top notch scuba diving made a real impression on me. Is this near Tulum? These pictures have that rustic Tulum quality- the whole area is low impact development and concrete is really frowned upon.

    Brett on April 19, 2012 12:43 PM:

    “Haters gonna hate.” At least that’s what I hear the kids saying.

    Hilla on April 20, 2012 3:22 PM:

    literally heaven !

    Bebe on April 22, 2012 2:48 AM:

    @ Robert, Please, please do NOT let the gringos know where to go surfing, or that there are lovely spots where tranquility rules. How else will we make sure that Norte Americanos like Brian Miller and Aaron continue to hate Mexico and stay home where they belong?

    Seriously a beautiful state, Quintana Roo, and the newest Mexican state. As long as tourism is better planned for the populace and the fragile environment, so much the better. Like Robert, I prefer the Pacific Coast, and I find the MX govt.-built resorts like Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen a bit artificial. Around the Gulf Coast, Veracruz has a killer Mardi Gras plus excellent coffee in the uplands. Just know that everywhere in Mexico is brutal for US citizens: better to look at the pictures, and never, never go [sarcastically rolls eyes].

    Oliver Beaston on April 22, 2012 5:01 AM:

    You’re killing me!

    Poor Homey on April 22, 2012 4:47 PM:

    I can’t believe Michael has a girlfriend!

    Mel on May 2, 2012 9:02 AM:

    what about activities? are those available? (i.e. scuba diving). and i agree with what you said about experiencing the charm of a place. all these all inclusive places keep you on the resort and a lot of the time you dont get acquainted with the culture too much.

    Michael Williams on May 2, 2012 9:18 AM:

    You can dive at Cozumel if you wish, it’s just a boat ride away. And to be clear, the Viceroy is not “all inclusive” in the way that drinks and food is included, but there isn’t much reason to leave really. So if you are looking for lots of action — this is probably not the place for you.

Comments are closed.