This blog post details my trip to Sandos Playacar, an all-inclusive resort in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. What I liked, what I didn’t like, and if I would go back!
Hello friends! It’s been a minute since I have chatted with you via blog post. I’ve missed you! I have been in sunny Mexico the past weekend, and I wanted to hit you with a quick recap of my trip.
This trip came up very suddenly as a bachelorette party for one of my best friends getting married, so I could not miss it. Through another bridesmaid, we stayed at a Royal Hacienda at Sandos Playacar, which is located in Playa Del Carmen, about an hour away from Cancun. This was my first trip out of the country and to Mexico, so needless to say I was excited.
Since it was my first time going out of the country, I had to get my passport! Crazy, I know. I ended up going to the downtown OKC post office one Friday afternoon and getting it all squared away. I was one of the only people there, so my wait was about 20 minutes. I ordered my passport book and had it expedited, and the total came out to around $220. A small price to pay for another 10 years of travels! (Dad, if you are reading this, we should all go to Italy).
I booked my flights along with the rest of the girls on Southwest. I have become sort of a Southwest snob, since we use them constantly for work. I love the fact there are no assigned seats so you can look for the most normal person to sit next to, and just their company philosophies, branding and efficiency. I actually got a chance to visit the Southwest headquarters in Dallas Love Field for a work meeting, and explore a little bit. They have a really cool company culture and definitely strong values. I’ve been a fan!
We had some early flights to Cancun. We left OKC around 6 am and arrived in Cancun around 11:00 with a connecting in Houston. Everything went really smoothly and we booked a van from the Cancun Airport to Playcar. We couldn’t wait to get there!
We arrived at Sandos Playacar and were directed towards the Royal Elite Check-In, since we were staying in the Royal Elite Haciendas. We ended up waiting in the small room for about an hour waiting to check in, which is not really what you want when you have been traveling all morning. We survived off pecans and sitting in front of the cool air conditioning unit. When they finally checked us in, they gave us black wristbands so we could experience all of the Royal Elite Bars and Pool Area.
We went off to our room the settle in. We had two rooms (and three bathrooms, perfect for 7 girls) connected by a living room and a private pool that we shared with the guests upstairs in the hacienda. There were also large daybeds which I spent weekend sleeping on. Waiting for us was a bottle of red wine, some beer, and some coated peanuts that I snacked on the entire trip. One of the housekeepers asked me if I wanted anything and I ordered 6 bottles of tequila *facepalm*. He only brought one and a couple of chilled bottles of champagne. After a small mishalf with the safe (that would repeat itself two or three times), we got dressed for the beach.
The Royal Hacienda Pool and the shaded beach areas were a highlight of the trip. It was really nice to relax in a shady spot, and our girl Jessie kept the drinks coming. The weather was honestly not my favorite, since I tend to gravitate towards cooler temperatures and not as much humidity. The view of the Gulf was beautiful, even though we were in seaweed season. The trek out to the waves was a short walk that we would take often to play around and splash. One of the best times I had was just sitting on the beach playing in the sand since it’s so fine.
We were there for such a short time that just laying on the beach and playing in the pool was our priority. I ended up going back to the room one afternoon and napping since it was so hot and my stomach was feeling slightly off. The one activity we did was hit up the Disco Saturday night. The disco was giving off some serious Groovy’s vibes and was approximately one million degrees. More tequila shots were had and we had a really fun time dancing, and since we are all edging towards our 30’s, we left early and went night swimming at the hacienda and ordered ham and cheese croissants, a favorite of the trip.
THE FOOD & DRINK
This is the part I have been kind of dreading writing. I have obviously been a food snob for the past couple years, and I have to say the food at the all-inclusive was eh. We ate a good mix of the giant buffet (and when I say it was giant, it was like literally anything you wanted to eat was there) and the nicer restaurants every night. The buffett was novel at first, since there was so much to choose from, but I ended up gravitating toward the Mexican food since it was prepared the best. I ate a ton of guacamole and plantains. Everyone really loved the ice cream, but there was some serious cream lacking it’s part. The desserts were really good in a way that they were not too sweet.
The nicer restaurants were also eh. I think I enjoyed the Mexican restaurant the best, since they had tableside guacamole and all of the courses were really good. They ended the night with a tequila shot and we all had a really pleasant time. All in all, I knew I wasn’t going on a foodie trip, (like I am in November to DC!) so I wasn’t super disappointed. The beach and the drinks were enough for me. (also the chicken nuggets by the pool that never seemed to run out).
The drinks were AWESOME. That was one huge perk of being Royal Elite, we had access to top-shelf liquor. Our girl Jessie hooked us up on Sunday with a Paloma, which was basically Don Julio tequila, lime juice and Squirt soda (Fresca is the diet version of this). I think I drank 100 of these. I was real sad that we discovered them on Sunday instead of Friday, when we got there. I had my fair share of Pina Coladas, Mojitos, and Tequila shots, but the Palomas won my heart over. Another really great Royal Elite perk was a tiny bar on the way to the beach that made us lattes with Frangelico. Praise.
It was awesome to travel to Mexico with a group of really fun girls and just relax for a few days. It was crazy different than what I am used to by traveling, which is exploring cities and basing my whole trip around food (typical). I think that my vacation and travel style has come from my parents. I love a trip where I log more than 20K+ steps, and see tons of different people and things. It was kind of hard for me to relax but that’s definitely a practice I need to work on. As for all inclusives – eh. I would have to find one renowned for food to be satisfied I think.
That being said, do you have a favorite resort that has great food? Have you ever taken an all-inclusive vacation? Where did you stay? Leave me a comment below, I would love to check your favorite places out.