Recently returning from Cancún, Mexico, my visit was highlighted by my hotel experience in a new boutique-type hotel by Hilton. Thank you Coronavirus (COVID-19) 2020 for disrupting so many of my international travel plans this year. Before you accuse me of whining, I am keenly aware of the death toll and severe financial hardships the pandemic has effected countless families and businesses. But, the ache to travel is real.
Just after Covid hit, my trip to the Netherlands in April was canceled. I had really looked forward to mostly gathering a huge collection of tulip season stock images along with doing a deep dive into the local culture(s). After that trip was canceled, Portugal was one of the few central European countries still allowing international tourists and I was excited to capture the XXXXL waves of Nazaré, Portugal. With updated mega-zoom optics in my camera bag along with the new DJI Mavic Air 2, I was ready to document surfing similar to the YouTube vid below:
Plan B resulted in using my purchased ticket with Delta and flying to Cancún which is in the Mexico state of Quintana Roo. To date, I have never returned to an international destination twice but my initial visit back in 2017 was so successful I wanted to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday week and Mexico was more open for business than doing domestic inter-state travel. This time I opted for staying dead center in the Hotel Zone for ease of access mostly to the wonderful Aquaworld which does an impressive job of delivering high quality water adventures around Cancún.
It took me a few days to determine that this new breed of boutique hotel by Hilton called Canopy was perfect! Worst case the pool would be a stellar place for a partial or full photoshoot with a model I connected with on Model Mayhem. This hotel was the epitome of what I never knew I desired in a hotel experience. As many of my friends and customers know, I mostly will refuse to patronize any business if they opt for really bad design or fonts in their branding. The Canopy exceled in every area of design, art, composition and service! Once a vaccine is legitimately deployed, I would forecast that international travel will once again become an economic engine for so many industries. And, I would hypothesize that Hilton has secured a visionary foothold on what travelers REALLY want from their home away from home.
Most trips I try to make significant pre-planning efforts and then be prepared for that all to change. This trip had the following goals and I achieved all but one and there was a bonus experience added later.
My accent was horrible. In Mexico, nobody says, ‘You speak English with a good accent.’ You either speak English, or you don’t: As long as you can communicate, no one cares. Salma Hayek