So, I like planning. But sometimes life happens and it turns out, unexpected events happen so frequently that unless you lead a very structured, repetitive routine, you’re bound to be affected by change. Enough with serious zen thoughts though: I am talking about holidays!
Holidays are quickly becoming an integral part of my working routine and lifestyle – I love what I do so I’m not one of those living for the weekend (if you do, your job is not right).
Yet, the only way for me to really relax is do nothing. On a beach. Far away.
The year we kissed goodbye was full of travelling – and also allowed me to unlock 3 holidays destinations that I loved (Dubai, Santorini, Bali). The new year just started and we have already started unlocking new levels in the game of globetrotting: we are now back from Mexico. And for the first time, we:
– really booked one day for the other *the control freak in me cringes*
– went to a place I master the language of
– tried an all-inclusive solution.
Before I dive in: I know what you’re thinking. “You’re just back from Bali and onto another expensive holiday!”
You are right, but as I’ll be more tied to the UK in the next months for university commitments and work, we opted for a sudden trip because we may not go on a proper holiday well until the summer. *doh*
The all-inclusive vacation
I always thought the all-inclusive vacation was not for me:
– we do not stuff our faces with food, normally
– we only drink wine / sparkling (prosecco or champagne) and very much in moderation
– we don’t like fixed deals or situations
– we are not happy pre-paying for something we can’t be sure of.
So it was a leap of faith – and a forced decision: the Caribbean and esp. the Riviera Maya are pretty much ALL using an all-inclusive formula! For historical reasons perhaps because mainly these holidays were crafted to cater the US market and people are more inclined towards not having to stress about food or planning.
The hotel was on sale on Expedia – initially out of my intended budget, on 30th Dec we sat down and searched once again to see if we could make a last minute escape and Paradisus La Perla popped up.
Playa del Carmen, massive adults-only resort offering 6 nights, all-inclusive full board, in a suite with jacuzzi + garden. Oh, and direct flights from London.
We were sold.
– extra nice service: a typical feature of these places, staff try very hard to please and assist you. The Guest Relation Manager personally helped us book two private excursions and he even rang to check all was going fine.
– food was amazing
– room was m-a-s-s-i-v-e
– Jacuzzi in your patio: win win win.
– Nespresso in the room
– pillow menu: for those who are wondering, you can order from a menu the thickness and hardness of the pillow for your room – we went for foam.
– concierge, dedicated 24 hrs. This package did not have a butler service, but the Royal Service does and it’s amazing. A person there for you anytime you wish, even equipped with a mobile for you to call.
– private beach: windy but adults-only, I loved the huts and the swings on the beach. The entire beach was actually public but Paradisus had a special section for guests.
– varied choice of restaurants: we love Asian food, esp. Japanese and Thai and one of the best we’ve tried was at the resort. So much sashimi that I’m now a tuna steak.
– lovely spa (not included in the fee): a tad pricey, but as one of the few non-included services of the resort, it’s only to be expected. The spa included hot and cold twin jacuzzi and water therapy pools.
– location: the local area is currently in development. 20 years ago, Playa did not exist – now it’s competing with Cancun for a place in the sun, and it’s gaining ground. From here, we drove to 2 hrs to Chichen Itza and 1 to Tulum, both unmissable.
– perfect weather: 30° and 24ish at night is the ideal temperature. Ventilated and humid but not unbearable – much hotter in Bali.
– I was at ease as I speak Spanish: it may sound stupid but both me and the people I spoke to treated me with more confidence and kindness once they realised I could speak the same language. I loved it.
Cons – chill, not major deal-breakers:
– you run the risk of stuffing your face and drinking too much!
– air con is dangerous: Day 2 and we had both a cold
– very big place, so forgetting something in the room was a pain… firstworldproblems
– too short a trip! I suggest always 10 days incl. travelling.
What’s on your list? we are already dreaming about Dominican Republic or Thailand or Cuba…