And so onto Luce’s S Word
S ~ Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling:
Now this category proved to be quite difficult, as I am a notorious skinflint who likes travelling cheap, to make the best of whatever cash I have. However the thing I have recently discovered with a passion is the all-inclusive luxury holiday. Now some folks decry the all-inclusive gig as not really travelling. I think that sort of attitude is just a kind of snobbery. Sure if you just hang about the resort it’s a waste of fuel miles getting there, but on the limited number of all-inc deals I have done the hotel complex has provided a safe and very comfortable environment to explore the local area, with the added advantage of not having to carry huge amounts of cash or face enormous credit card bills on my return.
The first time we did an all-inc was to the Mayan Riviera in Yucatan Mexico. We stayed at the Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa. The resort architects had been careful to integrate the hotel infrastructure into the rainforest and mangrove swamp environment, with covered walkways between the hotel lobbies, restaurants and our palatial villa block. If we were feeling lazy there was always the land train, golf buggies or a boat to get us about.
Our suite was enormous with a mini-bar that was refilled daily so there was always a chilled beer for relaxing in the whirlpool bath. Only a short walk through the mangroves was a long sandy beach with plenty of sun beds. It was just the place for a mescal and a beer as the sun set over the Caribbean. Wherever there was an open space we’d find iguanas basking in the sunshine, while frigate birds and black vultures soared effortlessly on the thermals overhead.
The restaurants were great, with a choice fo Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, Italian and Rodizio, a Brazilian where they spit-roasted virtually every creature you could imagine running around a farm-yard. However all that luxury did not prevent us from exploring the Mayan sites at Tulum and Chichen Itza or the wildlife Park at Xel-ha, where we spotted some Coati frolicking in the jungle.
Since our Mexican adventure we have done all-inclusive deals to Cuba and the Cape Verde Islands.
Sure the upfront price was expensive, but once I factored the minimal spending money we needed in, I don’t think it made the experience any more expensive than a package deal to Europe. Each holiday was certainly cheaper than our trip to the Neapolitan Riviera. Mind you, I don’t think I’d choose to do all-inclusive somewhere like Spain or the Greek Islands where local restaurants and bars are part of the attraction (I don’t even like half-board in Europe, it’s rarely good quality for the price you pay), but that’s a different kind of holiday