my life as a sell-out: mexico edition

theromanticI’m sure “OH MY GUH, time is just FLYING” is up there with the weather, how tired you are, and the storyline of last night’s dream on the scale of things people enjoy talking about, but seriously…

How is it May and how are we already back from Mexico?

It feels like yesterday that we decided to sell out and book ourselves a trip for four to Excellence Playa Mujeres, and here’s how it all played out. First, the good:

There were rooms with a view. 

As soon as we walked into the lobby, we were pretty overwhelmed and in love all at once. They handed us cool washcloths and there were four glasses of champagne waiting for us while we checked in, the entire lobby smelled like lemons, and as Carlos (our new BFF for the weekend) took us on our tour, the bartender at the Martini Bar in the main lobby waved us over for a drink to take up to our rooms. Done and done.

There were toes in the sand.

Though we had one billion pools and lazy rivers to choose from, the resort sat right on the beach, which meant white sand & turquoise waves & our only activity of the weekend: a self-guided catamaran ride that did not result in our deaths, as expected!

There were palm trees. Lots and lots of palm trees.

Not much else to really say about this one. I’m just a sucker for palm trees. Can someone tell me which palm trees grow coconuts and which do not? I’m aware that I could google this but whatever, I just got back from vacation. Cut a girl some slack and just give me the answer.

There were drinks (…lots and lots of drinks).

There were Coronas of all sizes and Icebergs and frozen Mojitos and every one’s newest obsession: seltzer & Absolut Mandarin (or Citron) (or Mandarin and Citron). I’m so sunburned that there very well could be a jaundice situation happening that I will not be surprised about in the slightest once this top layer of crisp wears off.

There were walks on the beach.

They may or may not be the #1 thing I’m missing right now. Certainly not missing the overdose of Icebergs.

There was humidity so heavy that even my camera frizzed up.

This was the main reason my hair was in a bun by the end of each day–but it makes it look like a dream, no?

There were mostly sunsets, but there was a sunrise, too
(at least one that we saw).

And now that the beach porn is done with, my official stance on all-inclusives?

Not for me.

I KNOW, the pictures say otherwise, right? Yes, the resort was beautiful–it was clean and comfortable, and just because I’m officially declaring myself team DIY vacations doesn’t mean we didn’t have a ridiculously fun time.

BUT (come on, you knew it was coming)–here comes the bad:

1. Everything we loved about the resort when we first arrived ended up feeling like our own little America in the middle of Mexico after Day 1. Even that lemon fresh scent in the main lobby turned into the overwhelming smell of Lemon Pledge by Day 3. We unfortunately weren’t there long enough to warrant a full day excursion out of the resort, and since Mexico wasn’t high up on our First Time Visit list, it’s not really on our Repeat Customers list. Not saying we won’t make it back some day, and I’m positive that when we do, we’ll do it very differently, but the complete lack of Mexican culture on-site at the resort was a little confusing. And no, the Mexican theme night and Mexican restaurant (Agave) does not count.

2. I’m leery to say that the food was bad because we read so many reviews saying that Excellence has the best restaurants… but, we laughed through almost all of our meals. Our best experience? A random taco stand that was set up on the beach on Saturday. Unfortunately, it was replaced by an American themed stand on Sunday, complete with a lot of poorly painted photos of Elvis and oblong cheeseburgers.

3. The people. My GOD, the people. I’m not talking about the staff–I’m talking the guests who exclusively vacation at the exact same resort year after year after year. We’re well acquainted with these people because a pair of them latched onto us for dinner one night and would not let go. The husband kept snapping at the waiter to “BRING MORE GUAC” while the wife told us repeatedly that she “just doesn’t drink!” as we downed more Coronas.

We also managed to run into a woman no less than 35 times who was getting married, wanted us to be the only guests at her wedding, and then grabbed her husband to moon us with their matching underwear saying “I LOVE GRETA” and “I LOVE SPUNKY.” Names have been (minorly) changed to protect the innocent. By innocent, I mean straight up crazies. They also may or may not have been nudists and aggressively tried to coax us back to their hotel room on multiple occasions.

Still, after three days of sun and sand, I can’t really complain, right?

I mean, come on:


the romantic



  1. LifeTravelMex
    May 30, 2012 / 14:01

    Unfortunately the all inclusive concept has been taken over Cancun´s hotelzone, due to the high demans of travelers. Hotels that ran under the “European” concept (breakfast included only) had such low reservations that they were forced to switch to the AI concept. Sad but true! This of course has an impact on the local economy of restaurants (many people now don’t even leave their AI resort and do not want to pay outside dinners since their hotel included all meals) and worse yet, out of my own experience I would say the quality of AI food is less than good. The Secret´s chain is still one of the better options, let me tell you!!!

    • May 30, 2012 / 14:28

      it’s definitely sad, especially because the resorts don’t make it very easy to leave and explore unless you want to commit to a full day. and yeah, food was not good–interesting you say secrets is better! so glad we went but just wasn’t for me.

  2. May 30, 2012 / 15:27

    Sorry to hear about the AI experience…but good lord the photos look amazing.

    • May 30, 2012 / 16:37

      it definitely wasn’t a bad experience–i actually expected to come away feeling like it was meh. it just confirmed that that type of vaca isn’t my style! i think of it as a research project haha

      luckily it was absolutely gorgeous 🙂

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