Sunday, January 7, 2024

Ocean Maya Royale for Christmas ~ December 2023

This Christmas we capped off our best year of travel with a visit to our home away from home for the 24th time. Ten days of sun and relaxation is a perfect way to finish out the year.

In 2023, we visited 10 countries as well as Asheville, Philadelphia and Fort Lauderdale in the U.S. For Steve's 50th birthday we toured the Mediterranean with stops in Spain, France, Italy and Croatia. We also celebrated cancer survival and liver transplant success with Ron and Jean with a trip to the ABC islands in the Dutch Caribbean. 

But when we just want to get away from everything and relax, we book a trip to Ocean Maya Royale. With just the click of a mouse and a quick 3.5 hour flight, we're at the resort and living our best life. 

As I've said in all of my previous 23 posts, when we visit OMR we have our daily routine. We love to relax, have fun and literally do nothing but spend time together. The icing on the cake is we are treated like royalty. 

We have visited OMR 24 times since July 2013, so if you're a fellow traveler looking for additional information, you can find the links to all of our previous visits on the right side of the main page of the blog.

The best way to see all the menus and activities is to visit

We start every morning at the lobby bar where Tiger makes us Don Julio bloody Maria’s. He knows how to make them extra spicy for us!

One of our favorite upgrades since our recent visit in October is the expanded vodka and tequila options for Privilege guests. We love having vodka martinis in the lobby before dinner, so adding Belvedere vodka is a welcome upgrade.

Having been to OMR so many times, we have met a lot of lifelong friends.

We met Darcy and Tanya nearly 10 years ago at OMR and have been back together several times. They even visited Cleveland with their kids this year.

To say we had fun again is an understatement. We're all regulars and all part of the OMR family. 

During our visit in July 2018, Carolina took a picture of us. She printed the picture, framed it, and hung it up on the "Wall of Fame" at Blue Moon. 

As of this visit...we're still on the wall!

Moving onto other highlights...

Wings at the sports bar are an essential part of our diet at OMR. (Note: wings are only available from 6-10 pm) Lots of wings and rings were consumed during this visit!

 La Dolce has the best atmosphere (by far!) We eat here as often as possible and enjoy the Chicken Valdostana (OMR's version of chicken Parmesan). 

One of my favorite parts of the day is the a la carte breakfast at Privilege. 

Pancho is the resident cat who is always looking for you to "accidentally" drop a snack.

The Privilege lunch menu has several items. The fish croquettes, fish tacos and coconut shrimp are quite good. 

Blue Moon is nice for a quiet and romantic dinner. We enjoyed the onion soup and beef short rib.

There is an a la carte menu for lunch at El Charro. We enjoyed the beef and shrimp tacos. The chicken sandwich wasn't bad either. At dinner, the quesadilla really hit the spot.

We didn't visit Yookoso, but it's your typical hibachi restaurant with a separate a la carte sushi menu.

While we don't frequent the buffet at La Hacienda often, the fruit is delicious and they have traditional breakfast foods, as well as eggs/omelets to order. The earlier you go, the fresher the food.

At lunch, they always have a pasta bar and plenty of meat, cheese and veggies to make sandwiches. We enjoy the lunch at the buffet when we're looking for something quick and not too filling.

Every night there is a themed dinner at La Hacienda. While we didn't eat dinner at the buffet, I walked around and took a few pictures from Italian night. They always have lots of salads and grilled proteins. 

One night, we made ourselves a little cheese plate before heading to dinner elsewhere. 

Mike's Coffee opens at 7 am for all of your coffee needs. They also have small sandwiches and dessert if you're desperate for a snack.

The buildings are set-up as 8 rooms villas (4 first floor/4 second floor). The rooms are comfortable and they recently renovated most of the bathrooms. Once you've been to the resort a few times, you have a pretty good idea of what rooms you like! 

We enjoy buildings closer to the quiet pool (29, 33, 36) while Darcy and Tanya prefer buildings closer to the party pool (8, 9, 11, 12)

We spend most of our time at the pools. Steve and I are known to frequent the quiet pool, but when Darcy and Tanya are in pool it is!

You can easily spot our chairs with our Cavs shirts. Just because we're not in our seats, doesn't mean we're not in the pool nearby! 

The beaches at OMR are somewhat small, but there are times when the warm breeze and sound of the waves are just what you need. We never have an issue finding beach chairs.

The sargassum on the beach can be hit or miss and I honestly don't know if depends on the season. We have visited nearly every month of the year. I can say we've had the most rain in October and July is the HOTTEST. The pool water can be pretty cold in December, January and February, and May is probably my favorite time of the year to visit. 

On Christmas Eve, there was a gala buffet available for all guests. We decided to eat from the regular menu at La Dolce Vita because it's our favorite. 

In addition to the buffet, there were some nice decorations, including a Christmas tree and a nativity scene. We were entertained with some other fun activities to celebrate the festivities.

Well, there you have it. Another fabulous trip is in the books! We napped, stayed up past our bedtime and slept in every day. Spending time together and with forever friends is priceless. 

 Being treated like family is why we continue to return over and over again. This was our 24th visit and it's impossible to stay away! Sending love to our OMR family and know that we'll be back in May (just 4 short months!)

We laughed, we danced and we had so much fun with friends we met at OMR nearly 10 years ago. Cheers to having that special place that feels like home! 

Next on the SMS travel docket is a trip to Bonaire in March.