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Playa del Carmen right before we boarded the ferry to Cozumel for snorkeling.{ }(Image: Susan Galbraith / Seattle Refined)

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Next time you go to Mexico, skip Cabo and head to Riviera Maya

I asked my new husband to be in charge of a couple things pertaining to our wedding - and picking a honeymoon spot was one of them. Having never been to Mexico before and with the crazy amount of all inclusive resorts all over, this decision was one that I was all too eager to give up. But man, am I glad I did - because he found a beaut!

In fact, I am literally ditching my brand new husband on our honeymoon to write this piece - I feel that strongly about TRS Grand Palladium in the Riviera Maya (and no they're not paying me - but I'm open to that if they'd like...)

My main requirement for this vacation consisted of just a few things…sun, beachfront, and relaxation. The Riviera Maya starts there and then continues to blow your mind. This is the perfect vacation destination to cure those winter blues, and you don't need a honeymoon as an excuse.

We arrived exhausted after a red-eye flight and were greeted at the most massive resort I’ve ever seen. Our cab driver zipped us through cobblestone pathways lined with greenery, palm trees, and lightening fast iguanas, passing multiple gigantic lobbies to come to a stop at the brand new addition, TRS. The lobby surrounded us with white marble and clean open space, not to mention it smelled INCREDIBLE. This section of the resort was only finished a month ago and is adults only, leaving the multiple pools, outdoor restaurants, and cabanas all free of the rambunctiousness and noise level that children tend to bring. That doesn't mean that that can’t be accomplished by the adults however… because who can resist playing in super awesome fountains in the middle of an infinity pool?! Not me.

All inclusive is THE WAY TO DO VACATION. The constant flow of drinks, pool-side sushi and wraps, as well as free room service never got old. There’s something so freeing about just getting up and leaving when you’re done with lunch or dinner without worrying about the check. I imagine that Jay and Bey feel like that most of their life and it gave our honeymoon a bit more of a baller feel.

Our room was complete with our own private pool off our patio and was consistent with the white marble everywhere with clean, modern decor. Five bottles of alcohol lined the counter, above the fully stocked mini bar, as our amazing personal butler, Ramon gave us the run down.

Side note: Not only did Ramon express his dream of someday coming to Seattle, another employee told us about his obsession with Grey’s Anatomy. He loved hearing about life in the city and was super pumped about the fact that I named my cat after Meredith Grey. Looks like I’ll have to send them some Seahawks and Starbucks swag to keep the Seattle spirit alive around there!!

Golf carts are constantly running taking the guests from lobby to lobby, to buffets, and events. Vendors bring in jewelry, sunglasses and hats to be sold while live bands keep the party going each night. We spent more than a day or so in the spa with couples massages and salt scrubs but the best part consists of a lazy river that takes you from the steam room, sauna, turkish baths, and hot tubs, to a massive infinity pool. Get a fresh smoothie from the juice bar, sip it in the pool, and swim back at your leisure. I’m not a strong swimmer but I was feeling this!

We ventured out of the resort one day to snorkel on Cozumel Island as well as check out the culture outside of our comfortable TRS bubble. Just a twenty minute cab ride to Playa del Carmen and a ferry took us to the most warm, clear blue waters I’ve ever seen while an abundance of tropical fish gracefully danced around us. I was just starting to feel comfortable in the water when a gigantic sting ray came barreling straight at us! I had a choice word or two as I started frantically swimming back toward the boat when the sting ray turned suddenly and carried on its way. Later, when a local told us that sting rays are generally extremely friendly and will even play with humans in the water, I tried to down play my ‘not so smooth’ reaction but I figured if this thing took out Steve Irwin, I wasn’t about to mess around!

Playa Del Carmen was the best place to end our last night in Mexico, complete with a fine dining experience inside a cave. A CAVE!! We ate steak and lobster surrounded by beautifully lit stalagmites while live Spanish guitar provided the soundtrack to the evening. Alux Restaurant and Lounge is beyond a must do when in the area.

With miles and miles of beachfront, resorts and companies galore to take you scuba diving, para-sailing, or even on a tour through Mayan ruins, this area is the best kept secret in Mexico!!

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