Anthony Borton isn’t going to like this review. You see a couple of weeks ago, while all us Microsofties were at our semi-annual conference, Anthony was working on the Hand on Labs. He even brought his wife over for the experience. So when Jeff Alexander and I caught up with him, he was lamenting to us about how his wife wanted to go to Mexico and he wanted to go up north somewhere. He brought her along to our after conference drinks where I proceeded to tell her all about this holiday I was going on with my wife…you guessed it….to Mexico!

Honestly this was probably the best holiday my wife and I have ever been on.

imageImagine this. $2200 for two people to go to Playa del Carmen, just south of Cancun, staying at an all- inclusive hotel with flights included. What’s that you say? An all-inclusive hotel? Yes! That means nothing more to pay. You don’t pay for any meals, any drinks, any alcohol…nothing. There’s even four bottles of liquor in your room. ALL INCLUDED!

We stayed at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. Riu actually has a bunch of hotels that do this concept across Mexico and the Bahamas too I believe.

 

 

Here’s what happens in simple baby steps:

1. You arrive.

2. You check-in with no credit card required (you’ve paid already remember)

3. You drop your stuff in your room.image

4. You head to one of five restaurants for dinner.

5. You eat, you drink

6. You leave.

7. You swim and drink some more at the pool bar or by the beach

8. Repeat processes 4 to 7, several days in a row, only interrupted by the requirement to sleep

We spent 5 days sitting in the pool, by the beach and eating – even swimming in the warm ocean at 1:30am. It was probably the laziest and easiest stress free holiday I’ve ever been on. And for those of you thinking the food was crap, think again. It was great.image

The 5 restaurants had a selection of Asian, Mexican, Brazilian, Steakhouse and generic buffet style choices. We tried them all and all were fantastic.

Why is this so cool? Let’s remember your last big holiday. You paid for the hotel and flights and then every time it came to eat and drink the costs were astronomical. You budgeted for $1000 in entertainment but suddenly the budget got blown.

You start to question the value and it wrecked your holiday:

Is the rip-off $40 breakfast worthwhile?

“Do we really need lunch honey?”

and the worst one…

“I think were done drinking for the night”

If you don’t want to be having those kinds of questions, or thinking about your holiday budget every 5 seconds, then this is the style of holiday for you. It certainly was for us.

They also offer a number of paid activities like Snorkel Diving for $35 p/p where they take you out to a coral reef and fish are in abundance (we did this one – awesome) or even a day long scuba diving package for $99 p/p. For those not into water sports there are the Mayan Ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza (we went and saw Tulum – amazing!) and a bunch of adventure parks all at fairly reasonable prices. They even have all day long kid programs for those that want to bring their kids (which we didn’t J)

Check it out. It was well worthwhile!