Hola Amigos! We’re (sadly) back home from our short vacation to Mexico and already missing the sunshine, beach and afternoon naps. I can’t tell you how much all these things are just good for the soul. Especially if you’ve had a long winter of snow and -30. (Canadians, I get you). In fact, it may have just been the best money we’ve spent on a holiday all year. If you’ve stayed north all winter, here’s a bit of encouragement to get you booking that sunny holiday ASAP.
[bctt tweet=”I could do with a beach vacation right about now! #mexico #sunshine ” username=”theglobediary”]
The booking process:
Last minute or in advance?
We booked last minute on the Monday, for a flight departing early on Wednesday morning. As Craig and I were both desperately in need of sun and a hassle-free holiday, it seemed like Sunwing Vacations would be the best option. You pay one price, they organise the rest. Included in our package was an all-inclusive meal and drinks plan; return transfers to & from the airport; and our accommodation. No surprise extras, and no worrying about meals (except maybe deciding at which resort restaurant to eat at each day). We did, however, have to pay to sit next to each other on the flight by pre-booking our seats (It’s a bummer but not the end of the world).
What Are Your Must-Haves?
The website is pretty easy to use. We narrowed our search down to adult-only; 4-5 star; all-inclusive hotels leaving on the Wednesday. We didn’t have any particular preferences in terms of whereabout in Mexico we’d like to go, so we just picked from our search results. But if you wanted to be more specific, you could definitely narrow your searches down even more.
Our Hotel Choice:
To be honest, Craig ended up choosing the hotel that we ultimately ended up booking. While the cheapest option looked okay, we felt better booking a mid-range hotel and paying the additional few hundred dollars. In the end, I’m extremely grateful that Craig thought it would be worth it. I would advise everyone looking for a hotel on Sunwing to check out the hotel sites and TripAdvisor reviews before mindlessly booking. Photos aren’t everything.
How to Choose Your Hotel?
While I take all reviews with a pinch of salt, you can usually tell which hotels are going to be winners, and which aren’t. What I look for in the reviews:
- The overall star reviews
- The first 10 reviews (which are usually the most recent)
- The lowest rated reviews (to figure out whether these were genuinely bad reviews or whether the reviewer was hung up on an issue that wouldn’t affect us)
- Lastly, photos (because I do like a nice-looking hotel)
Like I said, we had booked an adult-only hotel, but unfortunately for us, that didn’t mean the flight was adult-only. Logistically, I understand why this is the case, but at the time, I really wished “adult-only” flights were a thing. We forked out to “pre-book” our seats prior to check-in to ensure that we were sitting together. However, if you aren’t concerned about where you sit, then you can save the additional 50 dollars.
Having flown 36 hour journeys (broken up into multiple flights obviously), we dismissed the 5-6 hour flight as “short” and did not come prepared. That was our first mistake. When you’re desperate to get on that beach, the flight time can feel like 5 times longer. Definitely come prepared with entertainment – the flights aren’t equipped with individual screens.
Lastly, there is food available to buy in-flight, but if you’re gluten-free like me, rather come prepared with your own snacks or buy a meal before you board. TIP: On your flight home, get a burrito bowl at the airport for the flight. But also get gum, for your onion breath. Your welcome.
Arrival in Mexico:
The airport is a bit chaotic, but the lines go quickly. Baggage collection, and exiting the airport was all relatively easy. Just after the exit you will find Sunwing reps in bright orange t-shirts – you literally cannot miss them. They will then direct you to your mini-bus transfer which will take you to your hotel. Our transfer took about an hour an luckily didn’t have multiple stops.
We booked at Eldorado Sensimar Seasides Resort & Spa. Craig said it looked more like a tropical holiday resort than some others that we were looking at – that were way more modern and almost, too white. The reviews also were a bit more positive than some other hotels.
Craig paid the extra bucks for the swim up room. If there is anything you should take from this, IT IS THIS: IT IS ALWAYS WORTH IT TO UPGRADE TO A SWIM UP ROOM! We really got our monies worth. Not one day did we have to wake up early and fight over chairs that had been booked with other guests’ towels. All we had to do was step out onto our balcony and relax in our loungers. There was also a separate pool bar off these suites. What a winner! (See Snaps from our InstaStories).
If you aren’t yet following us on Instagram, you should here! Our InstaStories can be quiet entertaining!
Caveat: We did have a guest perpetually smoking next to us which I was a bit annoyed about. No where in the room did it state that one could not smoke, so I didn’t want to fight it but it did mean that at times, I didn’t even want to use the balcony (that we had paid for). NOTE: I’ve heard that smoking can be a problem at a lot of resorts for non-smokers.
The beach was great to me, but Craig prefers waves. The sitting area is quite small but fits quite a few loungers on. We usually didn’t struggle to get loungers on the beach in the morning. There were canopies as well, but usually those were ‘booked’ by people’s towels by the time we got to the beach.
We did a walk down the beach to the next few hotels just to have a look. It’s actually quite a walk!! But it was nice to see the hotels. In fact, I found one that I might stay at in the future: Unico. It’s way more modern but it’s a beachy-chic.
The food was better than average. I dived into the seafood every chance I got and for the most part everything was incredibly fresh and healthy. They even had gluten-free stuff available!
Breakfast & Lunch:
We preferred the beach buffet for breakfast (where you can sit with sand in between your toes) or the Seaside Market, which is the best variety out of the lot. Lunchtime, we liked the Grill area where you could get burgers etc.
You have to book at the Gourmet Pub & Asian Restaurant on arrival with the concierge to ensure you get a booking for dinner. Both were outstanding but if you like a good portion of food, be sure to order starters and/or (if you’re leaving room for it) desserts. The Mexican Restaurant was fantastic! And I wish we had returned there instead of the Italian or Seafood Restaurant. You can also eat at the Seaside Market Restaurant for dinner – which we didn’t do – but heard good things.
Obviously all unlimited, the drinks weren’t my favourite. I stuck with the Mojito or vodkas and Craig opted for Coronas. On the drinking note, there wasn’t much of a big part on the weekend that we were there. In fact, most people seemed to sit and watch. I wouldn’t call this a resort you come to, to party. But that wasn’t on our agenda anyway!
The gym on the Seaside Suites side was amazing! Music along with aircon was pumping, equipment was new, and the whole speak was bright and airy so it didn’t feel like you were missing out on much outside. If you desperately missed your Starbucks fix at all, you could grab a cup of coffee at the Starbucks in the Seaside Suites too!
The Naay Spa was out of this world. We were conned big time with a ‘timeshare type sell/talk’ but we didn’t mind as we politely declined the purchase, but enjoyed the fruits of our labour (time) by taking our voucher straight to the spa to enjoy a sauna; couple’s massage + facial, with a hot tub afterwards. Sometimes, it’s worth going to those talks – just don’t get sucked in.
Watch out for:
- Smokers. It’s annoying for non-smokers to have to deal with smoke while you’re relaxing around the resort, but again, it was only a problem for me on our balcony.
- Loungers being booked up. Either wake up really really early or book a swim up room.
- Not booking Restaurants. If you don’t book the Gourmet Pub and the Asian Restaurant as soon as you arrive, you might miss out.
- The tap water. Only drink bottled water. And keep sanitising your hands. At each restaurant, they will give you hand sanitiser as you walk in.
Would We Go back?
YES. While I usually like trying new places, knowing that a hotel is going to be a winner does help to ensure you have a relaxing and stress-free holiday.
UPDATE: We recently went to Mexico with Sunwing again and stayed at the Royalton Riviera Resort. Read the latest blog post about that resort!
Let me know if you have any other questions!
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