09 May

Written by Kristin on May 9, 2012

I was lucky enough to attend my best friend’s wedding in Mexico last week, and as it was my first experience at an all-inclusive resort, I really wasn’t quite sure what to expect. We stayed at Excellence Riviera Cancun, a lovely resort about 15 minutes drive from the Cancun International Airport, and overall the holiday was a fantastic time!

My first sight at the Cancun airport was a giant tower with “Corona” on the side, and our driver even offered us beer from a cooler next to him! They are most definitely serious about their cerveza in Mexico. After our driver dropped us round the front of the resort, someone gave us a cool face towel straight away as they sorted our bags and the check-in, then we were led inside where someone was waiting by the door with glasses of champagne – fantastic. I was definitely impressed by the service … until we tried to find our room and the staff member we asked for directions told us the wrong way! The resort is a sprawling property and rooms are situated in different numbered buildings, so it can be quite difficult to figure out where you’re going at times.

As for the scenery, there are fountains, flowers and statues everywhere, along with the requisite palm trees. The sea is a fantastic turquoise colour, and the white sand beach is pristine with lounge chairs and tiki hut-style umbrellas, which are called palapas. We had some difficulty locating a palapa most days, as people tend to turn up at the beach ridiculously early and put their things under one, even if they aren’t using it. Same with the pool, so remember the early bird gets the worm (or the lounger). When it’s time for food, there are eight restaurants from which to choose, including Mexican, Indian, French, Italian, Asian and seafood. They don’t take reservations, but you’ll get a buzzer and can go have a drink whilst you wait. We found the food to (mostly) be very good, and since everything is included, you can order whatever you want! Two desserts? Why not?  Same goes for drinks of course, and during the day the main pool with swim-up bar tends to be a booze fest extraordinaire.

The wedding itself took place on Friday and was brilliant. They had the ceremony on the beach under a billowy white tent, and we headed over to the pier for cocktail hour with a mariachi band for entertainment. Next up was the reception, held at the Lobster House restaurant which is a sort of indoor/outdoor place as it has a thatched roof but is open round the sides and sits over the pool. We all had some fun times dancing to the DJ and the food was “excelente” as they like to say. There were about 60 guests, which is massive for a destination wedding, and the resort handled everything really smoothly.

If you’re considering having a wedding abroad, I would highly recommend heading to Mexico or any other beachy locale, as long as you keep in mind that some people will be unable to attend. It was great to spend time on holiday with so many friends and if you consider the costs, having a destination wedding makes financial sense as well (at least for the bride and groom!) The wedding package included everything from the flowers to the food and hair styling, along with some extras for my friends, such as their room with a rooftop pool and a couples massage.

All in all, I’m a city break type of traveller and whilst laying on the beach all day isn’t my thing, it was nice to say I’ve been to Mexico and tick that off my travel list.

 

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