Live Aqua, Cancun Review - An all Inclusive Paradise

Groupo Pasadas, the leading management company in Mexico, operates  120 hotels, and six brands, including Fiesta Americana  and Live Aqua. They  make guests feel they are in Mexico by drawing on Mexico’s  rich  traditions  and history.  All guests are greeted in Spanish, and  Spanish lessons are included in the full schedule of daily activités. In response to market trends, their porfolio of  family friendly and adults- only  properties are being converted into all inclusive resorts.

My recent four night stay at  the five star  Live Aqua, Cancun  delivered many memorable sensory surprises  and a renewed  appreciation for an all-inclusive vacation. From the  welcome  arrival hand massage in the lobby, by a Spa Aqua therapist,  to our final check-out farewells, we were treated  to excellent service from a caring and well trained dedicated staff.


Façade of the hôtel

My spacious terraced room, offered a panoramic view of the hotel’s private white sandy beach and  the Caribbean. When we returned to our room every afternoon,  the  bed was covered with a charming  picture, made from colored sand, and at turn down, a small electric burner was activated to release  vapors of  mood inducing essential oils, I had chosen for the evening.


Happy birthday Chena

Live Aqua, has reinvented  the all-inclusive expérience with innovatiive gourmet cuisines, premium  wines and spirits, and a fusion of spa treatments that embrace and celebrate cultures around the world. This is a resort that is all about  awakening and enhancing  the senses. There’s a DJ on staff who programs mood enhancing music in all the public venues, and a lobby aromathérapy shop sells a cache of exclusive  oils and electric burners for at-home use.

There are several  restaurants to choose  from, each designed with a different personality. The wide variety of food choices is impressive and innivatively plated and presented.

We  begin  our mornings in Siete, feasting on a sumptuous breakfast buffet that includes a wide variety of Mexican specialties, fresh fruits, meats, cheeses and pastries. We gape in awe as a fast order cook builds a, Big Boy. This culinary concoction begins with a soft totilla that is layered with grilled  shredded  pork, beef  or  chicken,  an  assortment  of vegetables, grated cheese, and spicy salsas.  It is then topped with a fried egg, a drizzle of sour cream, and strips of crispy bacon. At night, Siete turns into a table cloth elegant  Mexican restaurant.


Short order cook making a BIg Boy

Big Boy

After a few hours on the beach and in the pool, we head down to the Sea Corner in our bathing suits to feast on tangy ceviche, tapas and  frothy  margaretas  

Azur, a terraced ocean front restaurant, specializes  in fresh seafood, and  Mediterranean cuisine with Latin and Asian influences. My favorite was the spicy chicken served with an array of piquant sauces and huge slices of  lightly fried potatoes. A family of iguanes that live under the deck waddle out to make friends and bask in the sun.

One doesn’t have to move far from the refreshing pools ; daily specials like paella are cooked and served from a poolside food cart,  and a parade  of chefs  pass afternoon treats.


Paella served by the pool

Varenna, , a casual  Italian culinary  corner that sits in the shade of a huge almond tree, serves yummy pizzas and pastas.

Before dinner, we stop by the indoor sushi bar to design our own  signature sushi dish, and then  carry it out to a patio, along with an icy Mexican beer.

The mb International Restaurant, an original concept of Miami Chef Michelle Bernstein, has refined  thé art of presenting  molecular food under the  creative direction of Chef Fernando Zavala.  Fernando,who developed the menu we were fortuate to sample twice during our stay, was born in Mexico City  started working in the kitchen’s world in 2004 on the Princess Cruiser, and then had the chance to work together with Mikel Alonso & Bruno Oteiza at the “Biko” Restaurant, one of the top ranked  restaurants in the world. Fernando was in charge of mb, until his recent promotion to Sous Chef Jr. of all the restaurtants at Live Aqua, He stops by our table to suggest a few house specialties, and then wows us with his spicy habinara soup, thinly sliced raw tuna with mango sésame oil dressing, juicy succulent short ribs, coconut glazed garlic shrimp and olive oil cake.


Chef Fernando Zavala

Garlic shrimp

Succulent short ribs

Monday night’s deluge of  rain  does not dampen our spirits  or alter our plans to dine in the Hidden Garden Restaurant, tucked away down a path of lush exotic  plants.  In fact, it  enhances  the tropical  ambience of this candle lit hideaway. It is an ideal place for  a romantic dinner or a  special occasion, and  tonight we are celebrating  my daughter’s birthday.  The Lama  Dawa and  Claudia, his Spanish interpreter, accept my invite to join us, and we feast on a medley of Asian infused house specialties, ignoring the rains that  flood the dirt floor beneath our bare feet. The staff seranades us with a rendering of happy birthday in Spanish ; a waiter places a sheet of glass on the table, and then proceeds to surprise us with an  intricate mandala made with food colorings, and a dozen artisically placed  bite size pastries. It is a festive evening, and we drink many  bottles of icy  Mexican beer. 


Babbie and waiter

Hidden Garden celebration

Live Aqua was not my first all-inclusive vacation,  but it was one of the best and most personable. It  definately suceeded in embracing and enhancing my senses  …and my taste buds.


Blvd. Kukulcán Km. 12.5 | Cancún | Q. Roo 77500 | México
Tel: (011) 52 (998) 881 7629

Fax: (011) 52 (998) 881 7601


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