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The Explorean Cozumel is a new concept in all-inclusive resort hospitality.We caught up with Matthew Anderson of Funjet Vacations, who recently explored the resort and gave us the inside scoop.
Here & Beyond: Tell us a little about The Explorean concept. What makes it so different than other all-inclusive resorts?
Matthew Anderson: The first thing to know about The Explorean is that it’s tucked directly behind a sister property called Fiesta Americana Cozumel. Both properties were recently renovated, and the Fiesta Americana Cozumel faces the ocean and has the active pool area and a variety of restaurants.
The Explorean is totally surrounded by foliage in the jungle – but it’s only 24 steps from the Fiesta Americana (I counted). Guests at The Explorean can access the beach, pools and restaurants at Fiesta Americana (but guests at Fiesta Americana don’t have access to The Explorean).
H&B: How would you describe the atmosphere at The Explorean?
MA: It’s a more secluded but active atmosphere. The property is beautifully landscaped, and all of the rooms are casitas. It feels very small and intimate, with just one pool and one restaurant. But, again, people who want to spend time on the beach or have a meal at a different restaurant can walk right over to the Fiesta Americana Cozumel.
H&B: We’ve heard the restaurant at The Explorean is pretty amazing.
MA: Yes, it is. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before at an all-inclusive resort. The restaurant doesn’t actually have a set menu; the chef comes to your table and asks you what you would like to eat, and then he creates an amazing dish for you.
There is a suggested menu in case you’re not sure what you want, and it also lists chef specials for the day. But really, it’s cool that you can tell the chef that you like seafood, and he will create a dish just for you. They are also really great about asking if you have any allergies or foods you don’t like. It is super customized, and the food is incredible.
H&B: The activities at the resort are also pretty unique, right?
MA: Absolutely. One thing that other resorts don’t do is include a daily excursion as part of the all-inclusive plan. The resort staff run the excursions, which include things like catamaran trips, horseback riding to Maya ruins, paddleboarding, snorkeling, an archeology expedition and bike riding around the island. I chose to try the sundown discovery of Passion Island. It’s a nighttime kayaking tour out to a small offshore island.
H&B: Sounds a little scary to kayak on the ocean at night!
MA: It’s really not! The tour starts in the daylight and the group is taken in vans out to basically the middle of nowhere. It’s a little cove where all the kayaks are set up. You kayak out to the island, and it takes 20-45 minutes. You get out and explore the island, while the guides tell you about the history of the Maya people and Cozumel. Then you take a few minutes to sit and meditate as the sun goes down. It’s so relaxing. You kayak back to Cozumel in the dark, and when you get back to shore to have a torch- and candle-lit gourmet dinner right there in the middle of the jungle. You can also have hot chocolate (which the Maya invented) or tequila.
H&B: Which one did you have?
H&B: It sounds like a really fun place for a vacation, but possibly not for everyone. What kind of traveler would enjoy it?
MA: I was pleasantly surprised to find that there really were people from all walks of life – all shapes, sizes and ages. There were a lot of families, even with little kids. There are no televisions or minibars in the rooms, so it really is about focusing on spending time with your family or friends. It’s definitely a great resort for people who enjoy exploring rather than staying on the resort for their whole vacation – though of course the beach is right there for the days when you just want to relax in the sun.
Because it’s such a small resort and most people go on the excursions during the day, everyone gets to know each other. It’s definitely a place to make memories. You make friends with the people around you. It’s all about sharing these really cool, unique experiences.
To learn more or to book your own vacation to The Explorean Cozumel, contact your travel professional or visit funjet.com.