I've recently returned from Mexico, after being invited to stay out in the gorgeous Rivera Maya in East Mexico with Ice Lolly ! I literally found out just a couple of days before our flight! Eeeepp!! It was so exciting. I absolutely LOVE last minute trips, and the fact I was visiting Mexico for a week had me on a proper BUZZ!
I was even able to bring Jack out to Mexico with me which was amazing, it was his first time out here which was great, he was so excited to be visiting a new country & to get behind the camera for some new shots! CHECK OUT MY TRAVEL AFTER MOVIE HERE.
We stayed at the gorgeous Occidental at Xcaret (recently taken over by Barcelo) - I just HAD to write about my experience here since it's been so fantastic! I had never stayed in an all inclusive resort before, so this type of holiday was so very new to me!
A R R I V A L
After a pretty long 24 hours (or more) of travelling, it was good to finally arrive.
Why did it take so long? Me & Jack left London the night before, to head up to Manchester (via coach) to then catch our flight early that morning- so then to grab a 10 hour flight (direct thankfully woop!) to Cancun, then a coach transfer afterwards- it's safe to say we were shattered! Although, when we arrived- our first impressions were: WOW. All of the travelling was SO worth it. This place looked absolutely insane, & we felt blessed to be staying here for a whole week. The staff were ever so friendly on arrival, they took care of our luggage for us, we checked in, and had our bags delivered to us in no time. The check in was smooth and pretty quick too.
R O O M S
We were walked to our building where our room was (there's PLENTY by the way, it's pretty huge here!) and led to our room, which was situated on the ground floor. We were really impressed with how welcome we were made to feel! The room was pretty large and fully equipped with 2 double beds, a chair, a dressing table, a flat screen TV, and 2 large wardrobes. Then there was the bathroom! It was beautifully lit, with a HUGE mirror, a walk in shower (with a seat in there too!), and then a toilet. I love how cosy the room was, there were plenty of different light options, as well as really comfortable beds! The TV was great for crashing in front of in the evenings, it had a great movie channel on there which me and Jack loved. Best bit? The mini bar is topped up every day with waters, soft drinks & beers, which is all inclusive so that was amazing! We were also welcomed with a bottle of chilled champers too.
A C C E S S I B I L I T Y
The location of the resort is about an hour away from Cancun airport, a little past Playa Del Carmen. Though, getting here took a litttttle longer! Since we had coach transfers, so this meant a stop off on the way in Playa (thankfully only one!). We were the second drop off, & after a long while sitting in Playa del Carmen's evening traffic, we reached the resort after about 2 hours. The great news about the location of this resort, is that it is exactly next to some of the biggest attractions around here, 2 being Xcaret & Xplor. Though, it is not walking distance to Playa del Carmen. You can grab a taxi from the lobby for 150 Mexican pesos (£7-8)
W H A T T O D O
I was pleasantly surprised about how much there was to actually do within the resort! Although you are next door to the eco park Xcaret, you're going to want to do some other bits and pieces throughout your stay! They have an activities board which is located near by the tennis courts. This is a schedule of planned activities you can take part in throughout the week! Such as, yoga, archery, key chain making (great for the kids), dance lessons- and LOTS more! They also have a gym & spa on site too. We didn't check out the spa, though we did start our mornings at the gym which left us feeling great to start the day. The resort also has around 4-5 pools, one of them being a sea pool by the ocean, which we loved the most since there aren't no children that are allowed to be around this pool (result!) so it was lovely and quiet. The other pools are pretty damn huge, there's lots of space for everyone which is great. They also have a man made beach too, which isn't all that big, meaning it does get packed- but regardless, it is lovely! If you're getting a little restless, head into some shaded areas, you'll be able to find a hammock to swing in and get out of the blasting sun. Or maybe you fancy a walk? There's some lovely walk ways all around the resort, some that lead into the jungle areas too- where you can spot monkeys jumping from tree to tree, as well as many other wild life creatures! There is this wonderful route down to the ocean, which is so quiet and lovely. It leads you to the rocks, which over looks the sea. This area seems to have, what looks to be, a small Mayan ruin too, so it was great to check that out. Sadly you won't be able to catch neither the sunrise or sunset on this side of Mexico, consider heading to Cancun if you want a sunrise.
S T A F F
The staff at the resort were so very friendly, & super helpful! I also loved the fact that everyone loves to stop and have a conversation with you. I say this because being British these chatty opportunities come sparse with strangers, so it was lovely to get to know some new people by indulging in multiple conversations whilst we were away! Everyone that works at the Occidental just wanted to make sure everybody was enjoying their vacation. Shout out to Daniel, Miguel, Moses & Ariel who's conversations and faces made me smile.
F O O D
The food here is so so good. Breakfast, lunch & dinner are all included meals here at this resort, as well as your unlimited drinks & alcohol! There's quite a lot of eating spots to choose from too. There's slight renovation going on here right now, it is due to be finished by the end of November I believe! There is a bigger and more formal Buffet called 'Le Buffet' & an Asian restaurant (sadly, were closed when we were there due to renovations) There is also a Mexican, Italian & a steakhouse too. These more formal restaurants require the guys to dress up a little in the evenings, so guys, make sure you have long trousers on & closed shoes if you want to head in here! You will be refused if you are not wearing the correct dress code.
My favourite spots to eat on the site here are the Mexican cuisine, & the more relaxed tacos & pizza spot located an open area upstairs! (The tacos are SO TASTY!). How could you come to Mexico and NOT indulge on unlimited guacamole & freshly baked tortilla chips huh?! Also they have 2 more buffets, one by the activity pool, and one next to the beach. I would personally recommend the pool side one, since, this isn't always as busy- and it has some other tasty options that the larger beach side one doesn't have (e.g brownies, and veggie burgers!) - the breakfast & lunches are near enough the same daily, though can slightly vary in terms of pasta, rice and pizza dishes. There could of been more option for veggies for breakfast- I was so jel watching every one have a fry up! Though, I stuck to my pancakes daily- which went down an absolute TREAT. I will say though, head to breakfast before 8:30 if you want to beat the rush- & head for lunch when it opens at 12-12:30 too. I'm not sure what this resort will be like when it's in peak season, but it got real busy for food some days!
One evening towards the end of the week, me & Jack ate SO much! We got a little carried away on the frozen Mango daiquiris, and ended up eating: 1 large veggie pizza, 1 vegan panini, 6 veggie tacos, & a MASSIVE plate of guac and chips.... We were still craving more food after it was crazy... although, the portions are a fairly big size- we were just feeling ultra greedy!
O V E R V I E W
Overall, my trip to Mexico, staying at the Occidental resort was beyond incredible.
It all seems like a beautiful dream in my mind- & I really hope to return one day!
I will definitely consider an all inclusive holiday in the future- (partly because I just LOVED the amount of food I was able to consume haha!) - the one thing I will mention is that, the WIFI is not free- it cost me 70$ (roughly £55) for the week to have unlimited wifi all around the resort. It's pretty damn pricey- but I was there to review my stay, so it was essential I had it really! I do think it's a good idea in some what way, since it will enable guests to be completely off of their phones for most of the stay. You can grab one hours limited wifi per day, in the lobby bar- but this does get swarmed with people wanting to use it, so I was glad I purchased it!
Would I stay here again? DEFINITELY. Recommend to a friend? YES!
If you haven't heard of Ice Lolly before, make sure you check them out! They're fabulous for those last minute holiday deals. You won't believe the prices, they're fantastic! Thank you Ice Lolly for the BEST trip! It's left me feeling awesome. CHECK OUT MY TRAVEL AFTER MOVIE HERE.
Thank you for reading guys! I hope you really enjoyed my post.
Will you be visiting Mexico soon?