When I travel, I like to move around, explore cities or nature, and generally not be confined to one area. With that in mind, I never really had the desire to visit the all-inclusive resort scene of the Caribbean. The only time I had stayed at a resort was 10 years ago with my parents in Mexico and I don’t recall loving the resort scene.
As the years progressed and I continued traveling on my own, the idea of going to an all-inclusive resort didn’t tickle my fancy, mostly because I had a lot of pre-supposed ideas about what a stay at an all-inclusive resort meant for me as a traveler. However, I recently visited Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort in Cancun, Mexico, on a press trip and I must say — they debunked so many myths and false ideas that I had about all-inclusive resorts.
My stay there has changed how I view myself as a traveler and the resort scene of the Caribbean. So if you’re the type of traveler who isn’t too enthused by the idea of resort vacations, continue reading below to see just how Sandos Cancun changed my mind.
1. MYTH: All resorts have bad food.
One of the ways that I make a living is to write hotel features, and that process involves me reading a lot of Tripadvisor reviews. When I write all-inclusive resort features I’m often faced with the same complaint over and over and over — the food is bad. As you can guess, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by the food quality at Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort, but surprise — I was!
During my stay, I ate at Zango’s, the buffet, Gaijin, the Japanese restaurant, and Frattini’s, the Italian Restaurant and every single meal was fantastic, especially the buffet selection. Let’s be honest, no matter where a buffet is provided whether it be a hotel or restaurant in your hometown, the quality can generally be lacking as it’s a way to provide lots of food to large numbers of people. But the buffet at Sandos Cancun was always tasty and I had to continually stop myself from going back for thirds (yes, I got seconds!).
I was Instagramming my food so much that a friend from San Diego messaged me to tell me that she had stayed at the same resort and she was so blown away by the food quality. So, see, it’s just not me!
Now, I will admit that the food of St. Trop, the pool restaurant and bar, wasn’t anything spectacular as I had a salad and nachos and it’s kind of hard to mess up of those orders. I will also admit that though Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort has fantastic food, not all all-inclusive resorts will have good food. But that just tells you — find the ones that do and book a stay there!
2. MYTH: Resorts are too crowded.
Like most people,, I hate crowded areas and when I’m on vacation, I shouldn’t have to be fighting for a sun lounger or a spot in the pool. Let’s be honest, I don’t want to be shoulder-to-shoulder with people in the ocean or on the beach either. Any time I thought of an all-inclusive resort, I pictured the crowds and it really turned me off to the idea. But just like the food, Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort proved to me that a resort vacation doesn’t have to come with the crowds.
Despite it’s location in the Hotel Zone of Cancun, Sandos Cancun is not very crowded, and that’s because it only has 213 rooms. Many resorts come with a minimum of 500 rooms, so Sandos is pretty small compared to others, which I loved. It wasn’t crowded, I never had to look for a lounger, I didn’t have to wait in long buffet lines, and I had so much space to swim and move around on the beach. It was perfect.
3. MYTH: Resort service is poor.
As mentioned above, Sandos Cancun proved that not all resorts offer a crowded vacation experience. And it’s because of it’s non-crowded vibe that I’m convinced that Sandos Cancun was able to provide such better service. The hotel was clearly full-staffed and every employee was able to do their job well because they weren’t overworked with too many customers. Then again, maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with the number of customers present — maybe Sandos Cancun has just figured out the great secret to great service. Whatever it is — I loved it.
I was welcomed in every area of the hotel by kind smiles, great conversation, and a fun crew. The service was top-notch and relaxed, as many of the people who worked at Sandos Cancun joked with me or asked me about myself and that just made for the personal and intimate service that I appreciate in a hotel.
4. MYTH: Staying on a resort will get boring.
During my trip to Cancun, I didn’t stay on the resort the entire time. Sandos Cancun hooked me up with some fun off-site adventures, but there was quite a bit of time that I found myself at the hotel. Before going to Sandos Cancun, I really thought that I’d get bored hanging out at a resort all day. I mean, you can only do so much at a resort, right? I’m glad to say that I never got bored at Sandos Cancun.
The infinity pools were relaxing, the gym was well stocked, and the spa treatments I received were fantastic. Yes, there was downtime but I actually took that downtime to read and relax and to soak up the ray’s of the sun — things I am usually unable to do with my busy work life. So I get it now — resort vacations equals time to just stop and relax.
5. MYTH: Resorts are filled with annoying entertainment or loud kids.
Most resorts offer daily and nightly entertainment. The entertainment can sometimes be loud, last late into the night, and sometimes, it can be a little lacking in “adult fun” if it’s catered to families who bring their over-active children on vacation. I never was drawn to resorts because I thought I would be annoyed by the entertainment or by kids running around and being loud (I know they’re just being kids, but loud noises is not always conducive to relaxing).
However, I didn’t find that at Sandos. Sandos wasn’t an adults-only property, but as they don’t provide any children’s amenities, it’s pretty clear that families aren’t the hotel’s top priority ,and therefore, they don’t often book stays there. I didn’t see or hear too many kids during my visit. I loved the adult-vibe of the resort — that’s my vibe and it was fun. The entertainment, I was glad to find, wasn’t overwhelming either. It didn’t go late into the night and it wasn’t a constant thing that guests were bombarded with. It went on for a few hours during the middle of the day and it was the right kind of energy to get you to dinner.
Now, I know that my hotel likes and dislikes aren’t the same as everyone’s. Some people like going to family-friendly hotels or do enjoy mega resorts and the crazy, busy atmosphere that they offer. But that’s not for me. I’m so glad that I found Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort and was able to experience a resort in a way that catered to my likes and needs as a traveler. If you have similar ideas or feelings about hotels and travel, I highly suggest you consider Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort.