Travel Photography

Coqui Coqui Residence & Spa, Merida

Mexico is full of so many different experiences, and staying at the Coqui Coqui Residence (L’Epicerie) in Merida has several all rolled in to one. The Coqui Coqui Lifestyle brand includes accommodation, spas, perfumes, oils, candles and more and at the Merida Residence & Spa it is all there to experience.

When we first enter the Coqui Coqui townhouse the scent is the first thing than strikes you. On this day it was orange blossom and we instantly felt relaxed and refreshed after a turbulent flight from Mexico City. What is unqiue about this accommodation is that you have to walk through the elegant perfumerie before reaching the check-in desk. It sets the scene for what you know will be something quite special.

On the first floor is the accommodation which, to me, was like walking into my perfect world. Two luxuriously styled rooms which, despite the opulence, felt as comfortable as being home. The rooms are richly decorated in antique furniture and heavy velvet curtains. The main bedroom has a king size, wrought-iron, four poster bed. But I can’t take my eyes off the two, French claw-foot bath tubs sitting next to each other. I love a bath, and two is just my idea of decadence. Of course, you can’t have a bath without Coqui Coqui bath products and candles to burn and luckily a large gift box is provided and enjoyed throughout our stay.

If that isn’t enough pampering then there is your own, private plunge pool to the rear and spa on the upper level. After a week of travelling I was ready for a little rejuvenation and their signignature facial, “Under the Yucatan Sun’ was just the answer. Coqui Coqui products are all about connecting with nature. Their facials use the direct approach with fresh ingredients such as honey, cucumber, avocado and yogurt leaving my skin feeling refreshed and nourished.

What I probably have failed to mention is that there is only that there is only one suite. You are the only guests, When the staff go home to the evening you have the whole place, including the shop, to yourself. As a child you dream of being locked in a candy shop, this is my adult equivalent.

Mexico City

Some tips for navigating one of the world's largest cities....

I love doing quite a bit of research before I visit a new destination. I hate the thought of missing out on seeing something amazing and finding out about it afterwards. The reality is, you just can't cover everything, and with only 4 days in Mexico City I feel like we didn't even experience the tip of the iceberg. There is just so much to see.  But, from my experience here are some suggestions and tips. Firstly, getting a taxi at the airport was easy and safe (this was probably my main concern before visiting). Secondly, unlike Australia, the ATM machines give you your cash first and card afterwards. Don't do what my husband did and walk away with your pesos and forget your card. My knowledge of Mexican food was not extensive so to start the holiday off on the right foot we went on a food tour with Eat Like a Local (www.eatlikealocal.com.mx). From street food to restaurants and a couple of markets, we covered a lot of ground and ate way too much food. The other tour we did was The Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera Tour with The Traveling Beetle (www.thetravelingbeetle.com) because logistically I didn't know how we would cover all this ground in the short amount of time we had, plus they arranged the entry tickets. Of course driving around in an open top VW Beetle was lots of fun (even though temperatures were fairly low). The Luis Barragan House is definitely worth the effort for those interested in architecture. You need to book on a tour to visit and even though our one was in Spanish (which I don't speak), they did add quite a lot in English. Tamayo Gallery was also enjoyable, with an excellent cafe attached. The Museo Soumaya is striking from the outside and we felt the exhibits inside improved as you progress higher in the building. The Zocalo, for its scale, is an incredible experience. We had a cocktail on the rooftop of the Hotel Majestic to get a bird's eye view of the giant square - the view is great but the Hotel needs a good upgrade. The Downtown Hotel is good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Pujol is a must and popular with viewers of Netflix's Chef's Table. Finally, we found Uber the easiest way to get around and is very cheap. We also found Starbucks was everywhere, and while I don't recommend the coffee, the free wifi is extremely helpful.