Recently we traveled to Cancun and had the most spectacular time. I wanted to create a post to share this trip with you and also provide a few tips that we used that made our trip super easy and convenient.
To begin, this was Christopher Marley's first trip that required a passport, and I am super proud of him for getting one! We were stuck choosing between the Dominican and Mexico. Because we had never experienced an all-inclusive resort, we knew we wanted to try one and take full advantage of what it had to offer. I noticed that resorts in the Dominican tended to be a bit less expensive, but flights to the Dominican were nearly double flights to Cancun. I know prices vary depending on dates, but because of this we chose Cancun. Our flight from RDU to CLT to CUN was a little over $400 a person. I will say the layover and delays (not weather related) were very annoying and would make me consider the $800 a person direct flight from CLT to CUN.
Airport photo. I always travel with a scarf. It is easier to carry than a sweater if I am cold, converts to a decent pillow, and works as a germ/stink mask if necessary.
A friend of mine recommend me to Melia Resorts. She said they tended to be a bit less expensive than Sandals or Princess Resorts, but still offered excellent service. I stumbled upon Paradisus Cancun which is a Melia Resort while researching resorts and fell in love. Paradisus Cancun was only 20 minutes from the airport. Many of the other resorts I researched were 40 to 60 minutes away. The resort was beautiful in photos, but absolutely stunning in person. Click here to view their site.
This photo is from the Melia website.
This display was created with fresh flowers and was the first thing we saw when walking into the Paradisus Cancun lobby.
We opted to do the "Royal Service" which, in my opinion, was totally worth it. The Royal Service puts you in a separate tower of the resort that is very serine and adult-only. This tower has a lobby that is identical to an indoor Japanese garden, complete with coy pond. In this lobby, they serve breakfast, small bites, and drinks. The The Royal Service also gives you access to a private, adult-only pool, beach area and outdoor restaurant. The Royal Service entrusted us with our personal butler, George, who was amazing. George kept our mini-fridge stocked with our favorite drinks and snacks and made sure we had Bali bed and dinner reservations. Royal Service gives you free access to the spa area with pools and massage tubs, free Bali bed rentals, and free room service. When booking, I was stuck between staying four night in the regular resort area or staying three nights with the Royal Service. Faced with this decision again, I would still choose to give up a night to stay in this special section.
The Royal Service sends you an email prior to your arrival and asks about preferences and celebrations. I replied that Christopher and I were celebrating our love for each other and my belated birthday. We arrived to balloons, streamers, chocolate dipped strawberries, cakes, and champagne.
The Bali beds were definitely a highlight of this trip. We had one beside the pool the first day and beside the beach the second day. They make the harsh sun enjoyable, allow for full relaxation, and saved us some sunscreen.
Sofia, the local iguana, joined us beside our Bali bed.
Before leaving for this trip, Christopher and I discussed our intentions for this trip. We planned for this trip to be solely for relaxation. Also, we intended to take full advantage of what this resort had to offer. Because of this, we planned to stay at the resort the entire time and not to adventure out on any excursions.
When we got to the resort, I paid an additional $100 to upgrade to an oceanfront room which was so worth it. This is the view from our balcony.
Another view from our balcony.
When packing for this trip, I prepped Christopher to pack with carry-on only bags which worked really well especially since we only stayed three days. However, I can usually comfortably pack for week-long excursion with just a carry-on, as well. So, we stocked up on some travel-sized toiletries. I read many blogs about what to pack for an all-inclusive in Mexico.
Items I definitely suggest packing:
sunscreen - I picked up two containers (less than 3.4 oz) at the local Dollar General ("Gen-tral" - If you haven't seen Hannah and Kaylee's Youtube Channel, you are missing out.) that worked just fine. We only used half of one.
a metal drink tumbler - I got a stemless wine glass tumbler with lid at Wal-Mart for $5. It worked perfectly. The flimsy paper cups that the resort's drinks come in are not conducive to hot temperatures.
bug spray - If you are venturing out of the resort.
Items that we used that were included in our resort:
slippers - Our resort had tile floors.
Items that I packed that I did not use:
wand (hair curler) - I am such a fan of my wand. It has never failed me until now. I have extra-straight hair, but my wand always gives me beachy curls that hold...until now. I thought we knew hot and humid in the Carolina...we don't. I ended up scrunching my hair with hairspray most days.
a lot of dressy clothing - I packed quite a few dressy dresses. I ended up wearing a few flowy dresses, but mostly shorts and a cute top. I did make Christopher pack one pair of khakis. There was one restaurant in the resort that was not part of the all-inclusive that required formal-wear, but we did not eat there.
Paradisus did not offer transportation from the airport to the resort, so we were forced to use an outside service. I do recommend setting up transport before arriving. After reading many reviews and recommendations, I chose Canada Transfers. They were amazing and very professional, even though we were three hours late for our pick up (thanks to our delayed plane). They met us with chilled towels and cold water and quickly got us to the resort. The transfer round-trip was around $50. They give you the option to pay in cash the first time you are dropped off, which is what we did. I am not going to lie, I was slightly concerned that they could not show up to transport us back to the airport, but they were there early, chilled towels in hand.
A few things:
The resort was hot and humid on the inside. It was nice and chilly in our room, but hooottt everywhere else, including the restaurants. I am not sure that if this was just our resort, but Christopher and I talked about how difficult it must be to aircondition such an expansive space. All of the atriums did have beautiful plants and resembled a rain forest, so that may have something to do with it.
Our photo infront of the main atrium.
I called a few days ahead to discuss reserving Bali beds and restaurants. Many of the reviews online said that they arrived at the resort and were not able to get reservations at any of the restaurants included in the all-inclusive which resulted in the reviewer eating from the buffet everyday. I felt that this would be unacceptable for the price we were paying and made sure we had reservations to where ever we wanted. I may have been a tiny bit over-ambitious about this, but it is better to be prepared. George was very helpful with confirming our reservations.
We enjoyed all the restaurants we tried: Bana (sushi), La Palapa (adult-only, breakfast and lunch), Market Grill (lots of meats), Vento (tapas, small-plates), Blue Agave (tacos). The last day we enjoyed breakfast room service. I do suggest researching restaurants ahead of time, especially if you are traveling with a picky eater. I always like to have dinner plans for every evening when we travel.
Christopher and I agreed that this has been the first vacation that we truly did not want to go home. We were both very sad to leave our personal little paradise at Paradisus Cancun.