How Elton John Ruined Our First Day at Chichen Itza

After driving 160km from Playa del Carmen we arrived at our next hotel, Villas Arquelogicas Chichen Itza. The hotel is just a 5-minute walk to the famous Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and we thought this would be the perfect base to explore from. Our plan was to go to the lightshow at Chichen Itza that night and then tour the ruins early the next morning before the tour buses arrived and the temperature got too hot.

We walked into the hotel lobby and were surprised at how quiet the place was with just the sound of exotic birds singing and the sweet smells of tropical plants. After coming from the busy Playa del Carmen area with its large resort hotels, this was a nice change. We walked up to the counter and rang the bell. A man came out and gave us cold “welcome drinks” and cold washcloths. This was very refreshing after our long hot drive. I started to pull out our reservation information when I heard a “bleh” sound. Looking down I noticed that Sydney had just thrown up all over their clean lobby floor.

“Are you okay?” I asked Sydney.

“Yeah,” came her reply looking like nothing had happened.

We quickly found good use for their cold washcloths. Kerri cleaned up the vomit while I filled out the paperwork. I think I definitely got the better end of things. After filling out the paperwork the desk clerk informed us that the lightshow was cancelled due to the Elton John concert the next week. This was a bit of a shock as we were really looking forward to a cheesy lightshow that night. I assumed it was cancelled just for tonight and they would have another one the next night. But I was wrong. The stage crews were setting up each evening and there would be no lightshow until after the Elton John concert. Damn you Elton John!

The bellhop led us through the building to a central courtyard with an open air restaurant and small swimming pool. Our room was on the ground floor near the pool which would be convenient for going swimming. Once inside the room we immediately noticed how small it was. It was clean, but small. The bellhop turned on the air conditioner and brought our bags into the small room. After the bellhop left we settled in to see what the room offered, which was not much. The only thing it had was a phone, a safe, a built-in full size bed, a built-in twin size bed, and a bathroom. What more do we need? We located our bathing suits and decided it was too nice outside to be hanging out in a small hotel room.

We stepped out to the very quiet courtyard and grabbed a table near the pool. A waiter came out and we ordered a couple of “cervesas” for ourselves and lemonade for Sydney. We jumped in the pool to cool off and sat in the courtyard enjoying our beverages. We started to feel like we were the only people staying there, but then people slowly arrived and a few hotel guests came out to join us in the courtyard. The only thing you could do in the rooms was sleep and shower, so the courtyard was everyone’s living room and source of entertainment. Since our plans to go to the lightshow that evening were ruined by Sir Elton John and there was no other forms of entertainment in the area, we decided the next best thing would be to lounge around the pool area with everyone else. Sydney immediately made friends with an American girl who lived with her parents in Mexico City. They had fun playing in the swimming pool while we spoke with the girl’s parents about life in Mexico City. Many of the hotel guests were from France, Germany, and other parts of Mexico. Chichen Itza truly draws an international crowd and it was nice interacting with people from all over the World. This is what travel is all about.


Dreamer. Photographer. Sailing addict. World traveler. I left my desk job in Portland, Oregon to travel the world...

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