I was eagerly awaiting my first stay at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. Since my last visit to this part of Mexico was along Cancun’s more commercialized Hotel Zone, I was yearning for a resort with some Old World charm amidst a jungle-like setting of mangroves and coconut groves. From my initial research, I came to the conclusion that this resort was destined to tick most of the boxes for me (well, maybe not the mangroves but I knew they were nearby). I definitely was not disappointed; in fact, I couldn’t stop the Cheshire cat-like grin from spreading across my face as I stepped inside this gracious, beautiful resort. From its gilded picture frames, stained glass ceiling panel, crystal chandeliers, and gleaming wood finishes, I knew I had made the perfect choice.