For many couples shopping for the perfect honeymoon resort, all-inclusive (AI)properties are attractive, popular choices. After planning a wedding, the last thing a couple wants to do is worry about costs on their honeymoon. Not all AIs are created equal. While all-inclusive resorts offer peace of mind, more often than not the level of food and service doesn’t include good food or good service. Unfortunately, the reality away from slick web sites and glossy brochures is lots of mediocre to downright bad buffets with long self-service lines and watered-down, well cocktails in plastic cups.
So, we were intrigued to learn more about the Hacienda Tres Rios (HTR) situated on 300 acres on the Yucatan Peninsula, about a 45-minute drive from Cancun. This all-inclusive recently opened and appears to making a serious effort to deliver a luxury, high-end level of all-inclusive hospitality. We were impressed to spot a Trip Advisor review that commented that “the food was good, but honestly a little too gourmet for our liking. I guess the “gringo” in us came out as we anticipated tacos, burritos, and fajitas. But if you wanted something not on the menu, all you had to do was ask.” Gourmet cuisine, and no gringo fajitas, unless requested? Excellent! That convinced us this new all-inclusive property might just be doing a lot more than their competitors to elevate the all-inclusive experience. We will share more with you shortly as we will be staying at this property while attending the 2009 World Travel Awards next week. Stand by for a full review, but in the meantime, here’s a rundown on some of the highlights we are aware of.
Location: In a pristine 326-acre nature park, the nearest town is Playa Del Carmen about 20 minutes away with Tulum and world-renowned Mayan ruins about 40 minutes away.
Accommodations: 273 suites, most with beach or pool views. No charge for Wi-Fi in the suites. We knew were liking the sound of this property, all-inclusive indeed. Don’t you resent it when you (or your clients) are socked with anywhere from $10 to $20 per 24-hour period for Internet access? We believe this has got to be one of the biggest rip-offs in the hospitality business. We find it downright inhospitable to charge like a wounded bull for an item that should be included in the room rate. Happily, at the Hacienda Tres Rios All-Inclusive, they seem to take the all-inclusive moniker seriously.
Food+Beverage: This is where we suspect HTR comes into its own with their own special brand of dining choices that will set them apart from their all-inclusive competitors, both in Mexico and beyond.
Destination weddings, check; there are excellent options for couples wanting to customize their nuptials rather than buy an off-the-shelf wedding. Honeymoons, check; while also catering to families, it appears they take romance to heart at HTR. Downside? We have heard about time share sales tours being offered to guests rather persistently. Just say no is our advice. Repeat if necessary.
Some guest reviews we have seen lament the lack of white sand beach/crystal clear water; we will let you know more about this in our full review, coming shortly. For now, we have spotted some very good rates available directly from the hotel, if you have clients searching for an all inclusive honeymoon, babymoon, or romantic trip for two with style, this could well be the best bet in Mexico.