Lifting the spirits: Kate Johnson checks into the all-inclusive TRS Yucatan resort, which lies on the Playa del Carmen on Mexico’s Riviera Maya The instructions are clear. ‘Stop complaining about the past and stop worrying about the future.’ This isn’t the traditional blessing I’m expecting from the Mayan shaman standing in front of me, but I like it. It’s early evening and we’re face to face on a small wooden platform covered with an animal skin and flowers, over a beautifully lit cenote. He’s in traditional headdress and robes, with clusters of clinking seashells around his ankles and, as a woman beats two drums behind us, he speaks a lot of sense. The blessing, usually for couples followed by dinner al fresco, is one way that all-inclusive TRS Yucatan resort stands out from its neighbours on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The 125 miles of beaches on this Caribbean coast runs from hard-partying Cancun and hippy-lite Tulum and half of all the hotels are in this middle stretch, hidden behind wildly grand entrances. The region is so popular that in just eight months last year, 13.5 million people arrived at Cancun airport. The TRS Yucatan – oddly unromantic name – is a good hour south of Cancun on the Playa del Carmen and suitably vast. There are three sister properties on the same site, but this one is adults only and the most luxurious. Spread out over 300 acres with a lagoon, there’s nothing smaller than a suite on offer, and all 454 of them are unobtrusive, as the whole low-level resort is built around the gorgeous mangrove copses and is so spread out that you might never quite find your way around or recognise the faces of other guests. It’s easy to walk the resort but the way to get about is by a buggy, after asking your butler to summon one. It sounds preposterously over the top, but it’s informal, friendly, not at all flashy and it’s quite shaming how quickly you can acclimatise to such luxury. It outsources all of the usual faffing at reception, or making reservations, or thinking about anything at all except the crucial decisions of a land-‘n’-lounge holiday Naturally, the first question is where to sunbathe. The immaculate infinity pool with the four-poster sun loungers, bar and grill on-site is beachside, with skyscraper palms and the most popular, the quiet pool with its winding waterways and the seawater pool are more peaceful. The second crucial decision is dinner. There are countless restaurants from Japanese, Italian, French and Mexican – even a cabaret – and there’s no cutting corners. The menus are all generous and delicious and there’s no dress code. The other guests are mostly groups of Americans, though I chat to a returning Canadian couple and some Brits on holiday with their grown-up children, and there are a surprising number of younger couples, plenty from the UK, some on honeymoon. With open-air yoga, in-pool stationary bike sessions, cookery classes and the services of a photographer wandering around, it’s still worth venturing out for a day. Tours by Locals is a good place to find local guides online for a custom-made private jaunt, in this case an enlivening swim in a pristine cenote and snorkelling off Puerto Morelos, which is still a sleepy village, with a permanently tilted lighthouse on the dock. The village was battered by Hurricane Beulah in 1967, around the same time that the government decided to make this once wild coast with barely any roads and a few plantations into a tourist hotspot. It was chosen for its year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches and Mayan archaeological sites, and because it had the fewest hurricanes. The National Reef Park, the world’s second biggest reef has brain coral, a turtle, barracudas and grumpily named bluestriped grunt, chic as Parisiennes midnight parrotfish, and the Mardi Gras-ready angelfish by the hundreds.