In September 2017, a group of Les Roches alumni flew from all over the world to gather in Monterrey, Mexico, for the union of two beloved Les Roches lovebirds – Hemant Chawla and Ana Lorena Gonzalez.
Prior to being part of the Les Roches community, I knew nothing about Mexico, apart from tacos and margaritas, which I’d get from a typical Mexican restaurant in my city. When my husband and I were invited to the wedding, it was an excellent excuse to travel to a new country and learn more about a new culture. We certainly weren’t disappointed.
When I started researching on how to spend a 14-day vacation in Mexico, I began to realize how big Mexico is as a country – It has 31 federal states and a coastline of 9,330km. With 127.5 million people and Spanish as its national language, it explains why Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world.
Our initial plan was to travel to Mexico City. However, due to the earthquakes, we decided to visit Merida, the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula. Plan B took us by surprise as we discovered the beauty of the cenotes, which are natural underground water holes in the region, as well as important archaeological sites of Mayan culture. We chose to stay at a local B&B and were hosted by a lovely couple, Patrick and Wendahl, who had ventured out of America to call Merida their home. Patrick has the most extensive china, silver and glass collection I’ve ever seen – it was such a treat to be served breakfast with different designs every morning!
Our favorite place to visit was San Miguel de Allende, as the landscape of the town was absolutely captivating – rolling hills and colorful buildings gave the town a unique beauty. With the Les Roches alumni network so large, it was no surprise that we met a fellow graduate on our travels. We met Carlos while staying at the Rosewood San Miguel and were very well looked after. Even years after graduating, it gives us great pride to be part of the Les Roches family, and getting to meet friendly faces wherever we visit.
The wedding weekend, located in Monterrey, was a party to remember. More than 20 Les Roches alumni gathered from all over the world, some of whom had only spent one semester at Les Roches Bluche. This just proves that there is something magical about the friendships students make while studying in the Swiss mountains.
Our final week in the all-inclusive resort was extremely eye-opening, as we chose to stay in Cancun’s largest all-inclusive resort with 3,200 rooms spread across three lobbies. To further educate ourselves, we participated in the behind-the-scenes tour where the facilitators showed us how large-scale operations are done on the resort. For example, each towel has been tagged and counted by a machine prior to being bundled up and sent to the central laundry service. While even the most organized of properties cannot escape the challenges of the breakfast rush hour, we were most impressed by how the resort organized its hurricane and thunderstorm warnings – delivering guest letters to inform when the storm was expected to arrive and that all non-essential services are limited until the storm subsided.
Overall, it was a very memorable trip as we got to spend time with friends and to discover a new part of the world. What we have seen is just a peak of Mexican culture, and we hope to have the opportunity to return to this beautiful country.
Christina graduated from Les Roches in May 2014, with a Postgraduate Diploma in Hospitality Administration and is a frequent guest contributor.