Hey Golfers! How does 18 Holes of Good Karma Sound?

 

Hey Golfers! How does 18 Holes of Good Karma Sound? - Condo Hotels Playa del CarmenIt is no doubt that the Riviera Maya is the landscape for some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world which coincidentally attracts many golf excited vacationers every year! And lucky for us, we have some the most prestigious golf courses right in our own back yard here in Playa del Carmen, including Grand Coral and Maya Koba!

But if you are planning a trip down to the Sunny Rivera Maya to conquer those 18 holes, you might want to consider adding a little extra love to your game by entering a charity golf tournament (Good Karma Free of charge)!

How often do we have the opportunity to do what we love and support an amazing cause at the same time?

Last week I had a fantastic opportunity to tag along with the Plank and Imprevist team as they participated as a Gold Sponsors for the Lorena Ochoa Charity Classic at the Grand Coral Golf Club in Playa del Carmen.

Hey Golfers! How does 18 Holes of Good Karma Sound? - Condo Hotels Playa del CarmenWe participated in a casual cocktail hour, providing some of Chef Juan Diego’s creative specialties to re-boost everyone’s fuel and keep them going until dinner time! It was so nice to be out there and interact with the community and get to know some of the players.

While the morning rained just a bit, it did turn out to be an incredible event! Plenty of local and vacationing golfers came out to play along the beautiful green for which the Grand Coral hosts.

It was a full day event starting with breakfast, a round of golf, cocktail hour, some expert golf advice and lessons from world champion golfer, Lorena Ochoa; and ending the day with a magnificent dinner and celebration.

All proceeds for the event went to the La Barranca Educational Center in Guadalajara, Mexico. By raising money it is possible to help underprivileged children get the tools they need for a better and stronger education – ultimately resulting in opportunity for a brighter future!

If you missed this excellent event to raise money for a fantastic cause, you have plenty more opportunities to do so, as similar events will be organized throughout the year!

The next, most anticipated, charity golfing event is being held by the Seaside Rotary club in Playa del Carmen; whose constant charitable initiatives have helped to bring more and more smiles and true good to the community!

The Second Annual Seaside Rotary Golf Tournament will be held Saturday November 1st, 2014 at the beautiful Grand Coral Golf Course. It will be a full day of golf including great food and prizes!

El Taj, Plank Restaurant, Imprevist and the GYM are extremely glad to be sponsors in this incredible event. All proceeds for the Seaside Rotary Second Annual Golf Tournament will be divided up to numerous charitable causes such as KKIS (Keeping Kids in School), Cruz Roja (Red Cross), DIF Solidaridad, Christmas Dreams and Kick4Kids.

All of these are local charities that truly work hard to help out the community and are super geared towards extra smiles and better lives for children!

If you are interested in participating in tournament you can find more detailed information on the Seaside Rotary Playa del Carmen Website.

We are always happy to see our tourist community come out and join us for all our wonderful community events!

Staying Fit is a Way of Life in Playa del Carmen- Even on Vacation!

 

Aqua Tone at the GYM Playa del Carmen - Condo Hotels Playa del CarmenWell, for those of you who read my last blog about my very real pizza addiction you would have to imagine that I need to balance it out a little! So here are a few very nice suggestions on how to manage a serious love for food while maintaining a healthy lifestyle!

Fitness is not just a trend it is a way of life! For this reason many people like to continue their fitness routines even when on vacation! Some people will seek out traditional GYM type settings, or look for ways to experience the new environment around them simply by seeking outdoor activities and sports, taking a jog or going for a refreshing swim.

Whatever your thing is, Playa del Carmen has it all for you to stay in shape and, of course, eliminate some of that guilt of overindulging in too many margaritas and guacamole!

Rock that body at the GYM Playa del Carmen

If your hotel does not already include a fitness center or if you are looking for a gym that offers more, the GYM Playa del Carmen offers daily and weekly passes for vacationers. I have been a member of a few other gyms in Playa and so far the GYM Playa del Carmen is where I feel most comfortable, plus has it the best centralized location and, on top if it, includes the most activities inclusively offered with their membership.

Not only do you have access to the most state of the art equipment, you can also take advantage of over 20 different class offerings; ranging from yoga, to Pilates, to creative dance, to kick boxing, to body sculpting and so much more!

There is something for every interest. If you are a Yoga or Pilates junkie, have no fear, vacation will not interrupt your mojo! They even offer outdoor aqua aerobics classes and Yoga and Tai chi on the beach!

If you are a guest of CondoHotels you will receive complimentary access to the GYM Playa del Carmen during your entire stay!

Yoga

Aside from the inclusive Yoga offerings at the GYM, there are also many other opportunities to experience Yoga in Playa. You will run into a yoga studio pretty much on every block. Most studios will offer indoor, outdoor and oceanfront yoga experiences. Or spice up your yoga and do in in the ocean! Yes, I said it! Surf Board Yoga in the water! Oralay!

Running the 5th Avenue in Color - Condo Hotels Playa del CarmenGet your Run on!

Let me start off by saying that I am not one of those people who can do the same fitness routine day in and day out. I need to switch it up a bit every now and then. I also LOVE to run but I hate running the same route every time because I will get bored. But in Playa, I never have the option to get bored as there are so many safe and pretty running routes for daily or nightly running, as well.

Let’s start with my number one favorite running route – The Beach! If you live at the beach, if you are visiting the beach and if you are a runner then you will know the invigoration you can receive from running on the beach. Plus, if you are running in the sunlight it’s a perfect and non-boring way to get your tan on as well! If you are running the beach in the evening, the ocean provides sense of calming – especially perfect for runners who run to clear their minds. Go ahead and take those shoes off and just let yourself go!

The 5th Avenue is a classic running route as well. The mornings are the best to run the stretch of the 5th since it is quieter and there is less people traffic. I also should mention that running the mornings in Playa make it more comfortable, as the hot sun can wear you down and dehydrate you during a run. If you are adventurous though, run the 5th in the day or evening. While some people feel it’s too crowded for a calming run, I actually enjoy watching the people and sometimes I even like to think of it as a challenging obstacle course.

Playacar is also quite a delightful route to run! Playacar is so pretty and has sort of a Beverly Hills style neighborhood feel. The whole circuit is a perfect 5k so you can let the time wiz by while you get a good look at the beautiful homes, the golf course and surely the giant resorts. Playacar is a bit more shaded and can be a cozy run even during the daytime hours (still remember it’s hot).

I should also mention that Playa del Carmen has a beautiful field with a running track located on 10th Ave between 28th and 34th Street.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for those road races, as we do have many in Playa and all around the Riviera Maya! If your timing is right, registering for a road race can be a fun way to see the sites and meet new people at the same time! Note: Playa del Carmen also hosts an annual half marathon every fall!

Spinning in the Nature of the Outdoors

Bike riding is also a great leisurely way to stay in shape, but also get to know many of the sites in the area. Playa del Carmen is extremely bike friendly. The central part of the 5th Avenue is closed for cyclists during the day, due to the high pedestrian traffic, however there is a great bike path located on the 10th Avenue. Playacar is also really nice for leisurely cycling as well. If you aren’t a runner, try out the same 5k route on your bike! Different high but same satisfaction!

Many hotels will provide bicycles for free! If not, then ask your concierge or front desk where you maybe be able to rent one!

Fun Session of Beach Volleyball - Condo Hotels Playa del CarmenExercise by Accident in Paradise

And when all else fails you can exercise without even thinking about it! Join in on a sweaty session of beach volleyball, rent a kayak – if you don’t move those muscles you won’t be going anywhere; or try paddle boarding – great ab work out and you wouldn’t even believe it! Bring that inner gymnast out and do handstands and cartwheels on the beach! Go for a swim – surely you are bound to spend some valuable time in the water!

Until next time -Enjoy your vacation fit and happy in paradise!

The Color Run Comes to Playa del Carmen

This morning I headed to Fifth Avenue for my morning walk. I love strolling the pedestrian avenue before the stores and restaurants open. Every morning I pass walkers, joggers and runners of all ages, and there is always a great feeling in the air as Playa del Carmen comes to life.

This morning, however, something was different. As I approached Fifth Avenue, I was met with a different view from the normal wide, empty street.

Runners of all ages were streaming along ‘La Quinta’, smiling and laughing. I have seen a few fun runs take place in Playa during my time here, including the half marathon, which was held in October.

But this run looked very, very different from the others I had seen, and I have to say, it looked like a lot more fun. Runners were covered in blue and gold powder. It turned their hair a wacky shade and transformed their previously white t-shirts into colorful creations.

color run fifth avenue

Most runners wore colorful shades and some even dressed in colorful tutus, like athletic ballerinas. Colorful powder filled the air, creating a festive atmosphere.

People of all ages, shapes and sizes were running and walking; children as young as two ran alongside their parents having the time of their lives, and even furry friends pounded the pavement!

Color Run México family - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

What a wonderful idea, I thought as I walked along the avenue in the opposite direction. I came across a late finisher running along a section of Fifth Avenue, which looked like the ‘yellow brick road’ from the Wizard of Oz.

Yellow brick road - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

“Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the yellow brick road…”

Further along, once all the runners had passed, I came to an empty stretch of Fifth Avenue, all but deserted but for the bright blue powder which covered the ground, looking like something out of ‘Smurfland’.

Smurfland - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

It was great to see so many people out in force for the Color Run in Playa del Carmen, a creative, exciting event which encourages health, fun and friendship.

I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for information on more Color Run events with the hope of participating. Maybe next year it will be me covered in colored powder and painting the town blue, yellow and red!

Color Run México - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Get Into Yoga in Playa del Carmen

Have you been wanting to get into yoga to see what this ancient spiritual and physical practice is all about? There are many different schools of yoga in Playa del Carmen, including our very own Gym with a wide variety of classes for all levels, free for all Condo Hotel guests.

Yoga on the beach

What better place to get your introduction to the healing, calming powers of yoga than on the shores of the Caribbean Sea?

Yoga on the beach - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Every Saturday morning from 8 AM, our experienced instructor Sam leads a a beachfront yoga class in front of the El Taj hotel. Listen to the sound of the waves crashing upon the shore and feel the sand between your toes, deepening your connection to the Earth.

Watch birds soar overhead and become connected with your body and nature. It is a wonderful way to begin the weekend and you will feel the difference in your energy levels throughout the day after taking one of Sam’s yoga classes on the beach.

Work up a sweat

Looking for an intensive workout – a detox for your mind, body and soul? Then Karla’s high-intensity Vinyasa flow classes on Tuesday and Thursday at 8 AM will not disappoint. Hot yoga and Bikram yoga have taken the world by storm, but here in Playa del Carmen, we have natural tropical warmth to ensure you sweat out those toxins which weigh you down physically and mentally.

Yoga studio - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

After Karla’s classes I feel fresh and rejuvenated, with a sense of accomplishment for having pushed my body beyond my comfort zone. I’ve performed poses I thought I could never do thanks to her expert guidance and intuitive teaching.

On Wednesday and Friday mornings at 8 AM, the Gym has a new teacher among its ranks. Alan is a young yogi with a background in fitness and nutrition. His classes are strong and challenging and he encourages everyone to push themselves to attempt new postures.

He believes that simply having the intention to perform a pose is how you eventually manifest it physically, and it is no wonder he is one of the hottest new yoga teachers in Playa del Carmen.

Relax and restore

Of course, not all yoga classes are about strength and fitness. Yoga is also relaxing and restorative and our evening classes will ensure you unwind after a busy day. Empty your mind, center your soul in the present moment and renew your spirit at an evening restorative class at the Gym.

Mariel teaches a gentle Hatha yoga class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 8 PM. Afterwards, drift off to bed for a wonderful night’s sleep with a clear mind and a relaxed body. Restorative yoga is a wonderful stress reliever and tension is expelled from muscles and joints as well as the mind.

Hatha yoga - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

No matter what sort of style you enjoy, there is a yoga class in Playa del Carmen to suit you. With our team of experienced, professional teachers at the Gym, it is the perfect place to begin your yoga journey and renew your body, mind and spirit.

Check out the Gym’s website for a full schedule of yoga classes.

5 new year’s resolutions to achieve at The Gym

The Gym in Playa del Carmen is the perfect place to begin the new year with health and happiness. Whether you are looking to get fit, tone up or simply learn something new, there is truly something for everyone in our excellent range of classes and activities.

The Gym - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Whatever your resolution for 2014, you can make it come true at The Gym.

The Gym has become so popular in fact, that we have recently expanded to create more space for extra equipment. Now there is even more room to work out in comfort and style. There really is no excuse not to achieve your health and fitness goals in 2014, and achieve the following new year’s resolutions:

1. Get fit

This one is probably the most common new year’s resolution for a lot of us. The difference with committing to getting fit at The Gym is the wide variety of methods available. From boxing, spin, weights, step classes or circuit training, you will never get bored of the same style of fitness, ensuring better results.

The Gym Boxing - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

2. Make friends/socialize

This is an aspect that many people overlook. I have made some great friends by attending classes at The Gym. Locals and ex-pats from all over the world converge at The Gym to exercise and socialize, and The Gym also hosts many social events to get involved in throughout the year.

3. Dance more

Okay, so maybe this one is just for me, but in 2014, I really want to dance more! Dancing is good for the heart, the spirit and the mind, releasing endorphins and working the body in a gentle, fun way. I definitely need some more dancing in my life in 2014 and The Gym’s Afro Jazz, Salsa and Belly dancing classes are the perfect way to get my dancing fix!

The Gym Belly Dancing - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

4. Learn something new

They say that in order to stay young, you should learn something new every day. Whether you would like to try yoga for the first time or try a spin class to see what it is like, there are great opportunities for new experiences at The Gym. Often the hardest part is taking the first step, but the sense of achievement for getting out of your comfort zone and trying a new activity is always worthwhile.

5. Get strong

The Gym has a new personal trainer in residence, Ian Kelly, who brings years of experience and a wealth of knowledge to The Gym community. Ian’s commitment and dedication to his passion of fitness and strength training is a welcomed addition to the team and we have seen some excellent results since he joined us.

The Gym - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Check out this video of the Gym to inspire you to achieve all your resolutions for 2014:

Happy New Year from Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen and The Gym! Let’s make 2014 a happy, healthy and prosperous one!

Access to The Gym is complimentary for all Condo Hotel guests.

 

Aquatone at El Taj: Working Out in Style

There’s nothing like a little glamour to encourage me to exercise, which is exactly why I attended my first Aquatone class at the luxurious El Taj Condo Hotel on Friday morning. Surrounded by tropical gardens and presided over by two standing Buddha statues, the gorgeous beach-front pool seemed like the perfect place to work out in style.

playa del carmen hotel

I have to admit, before starting the class I thought it would be a breeze. I mean, how much of a workout can you really have in a gorgeous Balinese-style pool? For me, the word ‘workout’ conjures images of sweaty repetitions and bulky gym equipment, not floating around in a tropical paradise.

playa del carmen hotels

I joined several other ladies and a couple of men in the crystal clear waters to begin the class which began at 10 AM. Our instructor Melissa started with some slow shoulder rolls to get us loosened up.

Then as the sound of the waves faded against the uplifting soundtrack, we started picking up the pace.

“Hey, this is pretty tough!” I thought to myself as I moved my arms and legs through the water, trying to keep up with Melissa’s coordinated moves.

I found it hard to keep my feet on the floor – I kept floating up as my arms moved through the water – and had to work on stabilizing my core to stop myself from floating away!

Melissa demonstrated every move from outside the pool, encouraging us to “be aggressive” and push ourselves harder. I felt my muscles burn as we lifted our knees, ran on the spot as fast as we could, and ‘frog jumped’ up and down the pool.

gym in playa del carmen

It was quite a tough workout after all!

As I looked around at the faces of my class-mates through the splashes made by our moving limbs, they were all smiling and laughing, which encouraged me to loosen up and enjoy the watery workout. So I kept moving, and kept smiling.

I felt rather uncoordinated under the water as though I was moving through jello or walking on the moon, but I knew it was just the water providing my muscles with the resistance necessary to build strength and stamina.

And I could certainly do with some of that!

Melissa encouraged us to use the water to our advantage and move against it deliberately and powerfully. I felt my heart rate increase and was very grateful to be surrounded by the pool’s cooling embrace, unlike poor Melissa who was having a much warmer workout on the pool’s edge.

We began some slower stretching as the class started to wind down. Waves crashed onto the nearby shore and water trickled down from the ‘infinity Jacuzzi’ perched above a tiled feature wall at the end of the pool. It was definitely the most beautiful setting for a workout I had ever experienced, and I was actually a little sad when the class came to an end.

After a healthy breakfast of fresh fruit salad I secured my sunbed for the morning at Indigo Beach Club. A light breeze flowed in from the turquoise Caribbean Sea as birds glided across the clear-blue sky above me. Just in front, fishing boats bobbed around gently on their moorings, having recently returned with the morning’s catch.

I thought to myself, “Yes, Aquatone at El Taj is definitely the kind of workout I could get used to.”

*Aquatone classes are at 10 am Monday, Wednesday and Friday and are complimentary for all Condo Hotel guests, as are all the classes and facilities of The Gym fitness center nearby*