Lose your load, leave your mind behind…

by Jen on November 22, 2009

in Everyone is entitled to my opinion

“Oh, Mexico…” James Taylor sings. It’s been more than fifteen years since I’d been there and back then it was only a three-star hotel room in Cancun, directly across the street from Senor Frog’s, shared with two other girls during spring break. This trip was so very different.

For starters, once we arrived I learned that the resort, Dreams Riviera-Cancun, had only been open since last month. It was a risky proposition, but one that paid off. I was involved not at all in the planning; I did nothing other than, when asked by Hub if I could get away, determining that I could take two personal days. When we first decided to go a friend at work inquired as to our destination and I responded “I don’t know! I don’t even care! Mexico, maybe?”

Our group was made up of four couples, all close friends. It was the most relaxed I’ve been in literally four years, nine months. (Nevermind that when we got back, both Hub and I felt like things were more hectic because we needed to catch up.) Since we were only there for four days, we didn’t leave the resort at all, didn’t take any excursions, do any activities or have any spa treatments. We just relaxed, hung out with our friends, ate and drank. I told our friends that in the future when the adults-only trips are planned, we’re in!

I’m including a few details here about the resort because when I searched for reviews (the day before we left — better late than never), I found nothing because of its relative newness.

The Good

  • The room was so wonderfully peaceful, it was almost a zen-like cliche.
  • Since it was a new resort, we got a special price. Since I wasn’t involved in the details, I was very pleased to learn that we’d booked at six-star (Sorry… six “apple”) resort at a four-star price. Score!
  • I’ve never gone anywhere all-inclusive before, and as our group likes to drink, it was well worth it. I’m resisting the temptation to discuss the number and variety of alcoholic beverages I consumed in the time we were there.
  • The pools were very pretty and not crowded at all, although I have no idea how if the resort was booked anywhere close to capacity.
  • The Rendezvous Bar was, in truth, where we rendezvoused every evening before dinner. It was beautiful, comfortable and located close to the restaurants.
  • The food was fantastic, from the buffet in the World Cafe each morning (I ate quesadillas for breakfast every day) to the restaurants.
  • The Italian restaurant, Portofino, had the best food, but the Mexican restaurant, El Patio, had the best “experience.” Marco, our waiter made our last night there fun and memorable. Surprisingly, the French restaurant, which gets all the hype, had neither the best food or the best service.
  • The Coco Cafe, the coffee bar, had very good coffee, even if the one size option was on the small side when you’re used to American-sized servings.

The Meh

  • The beach was not great, because the resort is the only thing on that stretch of beach right now. It’s sort of plopped in the middle of the jungle.
  • On Friday night there was an influx of what seemed to be wealthy locals coming for the weekend. They were clearly given preferential treatment, from bumping our party of eight from the only table for large parties at the French restaurant on Friday night to the bizarre experience of resort staff saving pool lounges for them, warning away anyone who approached the empty chairs over the course of more than four hours on Saturday. I think these people were investors of some sort, as there was a private party on Saturday night.
  • I wouldn’t ever say I’m a person that’s easy to please, but my requirements for this vacation were simple, so there were really no major downsides.

Excuse the crappy photos. I didn’t take very many, so it was slim pickings.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Jen
Twitter:
December 29, 2009 at 6:35 pm

I couldn’t figure out how to bring the comments over on this one. Sorry to everyone who had something nice to say back here: http://negativelane.blogspot.com/2009/11/lose-your-load-leave-your-mind-behind.html.

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