By Marcia Chaiken and Jan Chaiken
Love and romance is alive and well on the Oaxacan Riviera, according to the readers who responded to our February survey. Some of our more jaded readers said that their lack of a love life disqualified them from responding. But many of you were willing to share your advice – even if a bit tongue in cheek.
When asked to tell us the best place on the Oaxacan Riviera to find your true love, 12% of our respondents made clear that they arrived on the Coast with their true love, and one reader plaintively reported, “If I figured that out I wouldn’t be single.”
Whether in or out of Huatulco, 27% of responding readers mentioned beaches as the best place to find a true love. And among specific places in Huatulco, 25% said bars and 38% said resorts.
The vast majority of those who offered a best place for a first date (89%) mentioned a restaurant or a bar. Readers nominated specific restaurants and bars, ranging from relatively low cost places to some of the most upscale venues. For best places to have a romantic date, sites with water views predominate as reported by 84% of reader respondents. Among these venues, 58% were beaches, including two that are accessible only by boat, 13% were literally high points with sweeping views of the water – such as the mirador of the Copalita eco-archeological park. The remaining readers suggested a boat or a pool at home.
While just 9% of respondents chose homes as the best place for a romantic dinner, and one reader lamented that there are “too many to choose”, most (87%) apparently had no difficultly naming a favorite. Among those, the top rated one was Azul Profundo at the Camino Real Zaashila (reported by 30% ) closely followed by La Terraza (25%).
A variety of types of places were given as best places to give or receive a proposal. Beaches were suggested by 17% of respondents, restaurants by 13%, boats by another 13%, and high places with ocean views by 9%. Perhaps the most unique place given for a proposal was 60 feet below the surface in Violin Bay – if you get ‘yes’ for an answer there it is obviously a match made in heaven.
Almost all reader respondents (96%) reported that the best place on the Oaxacan Rivieria for a wedding is in Huatulco. Almost half (45%) of these places are upscale hotels, followed by beaches or beach clubs (27%). Small chapels were suggested by a few people (14%), as were public or private gardens (9%).
To keep all that love and romance flourishing, the best romantic gift for her available on the Oaxacan Riviera (mentioned by 38% of respondents) is not surprisingly jewelry – especially from a store well known by locals. Another traditional romantic gift nominated by 19% of readers is chocolate and and an additional 14% suggested all day trips tailored to the interests of their sweetheart. Kudos to the couple of respondents who came up with a no-cost gift that shows the labor of love – seashells. And one reader suggested there’s “an endless” supply of romantic gifts for her.
While readers had no problems suggesting gifts for “her”, readers were not so confident about the best romantic gift for him. Only 56% of people who responded to the survey came up with an idea. One respondent actually offered, “Who buys gifts for the guys?” and another, “Not many choices.” Among our more romantic readers, one-third suggested a day out on the water fishing, rafting, or just cruising. The other, frequently mentioned “romantic” gift (31%) was beer – yes, beer! And one respondent creatively suggested, “tan lines, sheer dresses and good company.”
The most romantic breakfast dish one-third of our respondents suggested should focus on eggs prepared in various ways including Benedict, rancheros, scrambled with chorizo and even divorciados. Another third of the responses made it clear that champagne was needed either by itself or in a mimosa. Combining almost all the responses, the ideal romantic breakfast would be served in bed on a tray decorated with flowers and, in addition to eggs and champagne, would include fresh fruit – especially strawberries and mangoes, a fresh baguette, coffee, and “anything sinful” from the wonderful local bakeries. (Yum!).
Finally, surprisingly, among all the ways suggested to show your love, fewer than one-quarter (23%) of reader respondents mentioned physical demonstrations, and even these did not include “making love”; rather hugs, kisses and holding hands. Over three-fourths of suggested ways of demonstrating your love were providing emotional support and affection. For example, one of the responses was, “truly listen to what he or she says.”
How lovely of you who shared your insights with us! For the jaded readers who didn’t feel qualified to answer the survey questions, you now know where to look and what to do to join the thoroughly romantic set. By next Valentine’s Day, we hope to see you head over heels with your own true love.