For many of us, the idea of an all-inclusive vacation conjures up memories of a week of overindulging in everything from the calorie-filled buffet and continuous snacks, to the limitless (often sugar-filled) boozy cocktails.
But an all-inclusive trip – especially a luxury, five-star one – doesn’t have to leave you at least five pounds heavier and even more mentally scattered than you were before you left. While I generally appreciate more authentic experiences in my travels than those offered within the confines of a typical all-inclusive resort, there is something to be said for an easy, breezy all-inclusive escape once in awhile – as long as you do it properly.
Instead of returning home from a trip in need of sleep and a lengthy detox, why not take the vacation as a chance to rejuvenate?
The daily grind can take a toll on the best of us city pavement-pounders, making the need for a hassle and plan-free vacation necessary in order to reset, recharge, and refocus. Wellness travel is the fastest growing trend in travel, with a growing number of wellness-focused amenities now found at hotels, an increase in wellness retreats around the world, and an emergence of active adventure travel companies. The problem for many wellness-seekers is that most retreats cost a pretty penny (or thousands). Not to mention, not everyone likes to follow a rigid schedule. That’s where the often more affordable all-inclusive resort comes in.
Rather than indulging in copious amounts of booze and unhealthy food, you can also get your all-inclusive money’s worth by taking full advantage of things like yoga and fitness classes, a top-of-the-line gym, water sports, and all the clean eating your heart desires. Feeling rundown after a particularly indulgent summer (it happens), this was my mentality when I joined Sunwing earlier this month at the Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Perla.
When it comes to relaxing, unwinding, and refreshing, the sounds of screaming children doesn’t exactly help your cause (just being honest). At Paradisus, guests have the option of an adult-only section, La Perla. For the ultimate experience, you can opt for the Royal Service Suites, where getting the all-frills-attached royal treatment works wonders for your wellness-seeking agenda. The Royal Service is complete with your own personal butler available via WhatsApp, who will do things like draw you a bubble bath on your personal terrace Jacuzzi, bring you a snack to accompany it, and spray your pillow with aromatherapy scents (and yes, it was all incredibly easy to get used to).
When I’m on vacation, hotel beds are incredibly important – more so than the view – as I make a point of getting a longer and better sleep than I do at home. Things like the resort’s reliable WiFi at no extra cost made it simple to resist the temptations of the eight bars and call it an early night, knowing that I had an entire Netflix library waiting for me in bed on my laptop. The plush, comfortable beds in the sprawling Royal Service Suites could easily result in later-than-anticipated wake-up times. Once you do pull yourself out of bed in the morning and slip into a pair of waiting slippers, you can curate a day of everything wellness.
First of all, if you’re looking to eat clean and healthy, there is no shortage of options to choose from at Paradisus. The buffet breakfast, for example, features things like an assortment of fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, and all the fruit and healthy items you could want (in addition to all the breakfast guilty pleasures for a cheat day). In addition, there are 13 restaurants to choose from on the property, so you have ample options, whether you’re craving Asian, Mediterranean, or Latin-fusion. Whether you’re gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan (or have any other dietary restriction), you definitely won’t go hungry here and eating healthy is simple.
For the ultimate peaceful escape, hit the hotel’s pristine YHI Spa. At this 19, 267-square-foot facility, guests can enjoy the water therapies for free or chose from a full menu of spa services – from pedicures to massages. Here, you’ll find a full-service beauty salon, fourteen massage cabins (including breezy outdoor options), and both wet and dry saunas. If you’re simply looking to unwind next to an intimate, tranquil pool, this is where to do so – a far cry from the rowdier main adults-only pool.
In the busier main pool, however, guests can get their fitness fix with things like a high-energy water aerobics and water volleyball. Yoga classes are held nearby in an airy bamboo gazebo.
The sleek fitness centre also offers inspiration to sweat with its state-of-the-art workout equipment (you’ll find exercise bikes, elliptical cross trainers, and treadmills) and accessories. Here, you can participate in free group fitness classes in yoga, pilates, and spinning. Guests also have the option of one-on-one wellness and personal training options for additional fees. Meditation classes are also available to get you out of your head and into that blissful state of pure vacation mode.
While one could stay at a resort like Paradisus for 5-7 days and never get bored (especially if you bring a few good books), I recommend switching up the scenery with a trip into the vibrant Playa Del Carmen (which is just a short, ten-minute drive away) or opting for a Sunwing Experience, like a morning or afternoon spent onboard a top-of-the-line catamaran.
Full disclosure: I was unable to fully make this a wellness trip (there were simply too many amazing wine pairings on the press trip) – but that doesn’t mean you can’t. As a matter of fact, consider it a challenge…
Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Perla: The cost for a Sunwing vacation package in the Royal Service section can range from $4350 (on Sept 15, 2018 for 2 adults) to $7490 (on Mar 10, 2019 for 2 adults) as of August 10, 2018.