I’ve just returned from the Paradisus Cancun, on my “5th Annual” Girls Getaway, with my girlfriend of over 20 years. We are very compatible travel companions (highly recommended) and look forward to our 4-night escape from the cold every year. We have visited Mexico three times and the Dominican Republic twice. Selecting the resort is our toughest task. We’ve become a bit spoiled and have fallen into the trap of “upping the ante” each year. Price is still a factor, but we also take into account the following important items:
1. The resort must be all-inclusive, preferably with an adults-only section, since we’re purposely leaving our kids at home. This is simply, the simplest way to go.
2. The reviews must be outstanding. We will spend hundreds of hours on-line reading reviews before making our final decision. This is the absolute worst part of the whole trip.
3. We must have direct flights and the resort must be fairly close to the airport. With only 4 nights, it’s essential to make the most of every minute at your destination. You don’t need to waste time in multiple airports or on long, uncomfortable shuttle bus rides.
4. We must have a room with 2 beds (this just makes things more comfortable but cannot always be confirmed when making the reservation). So far we’ve been lucky.
5. Our room must have a balcony. Sitting outside and having our coffee in the morning (or cocktails in the afternoon!), is an actual highlight of the day for us.
6. Speaking of coffee, there must be a coffee maker in the room. We do not speak before the coffee, except to talk about making the coffee. If the coffee maker is an issue (as it was on this last trip), pre-scheduled, room service delivery of the coffee is an acceptable substitution.
7. An ocean view has become a wonderful, new requirement. It definitely costs a little more, but hearing the waves and waking up to that view is so worth it. (Beware: it can also result in 800 pictures of the exact same shot taken every day because it’s just so beautiful.)
8. The food must be outstanding with a good amount of variety. We’re ok with a buffet for breakfast & lunch, but there must be at least 3-4 good a la carte restaurants for dinner. And the reservation system should be hassle-free.
9. There should be some kind of shopping nearby (this is the only time we leave the resort and it usually only happens once). I should mention that the purpose of this trip is to relax, not immerse ourselves in the culture or zip-line through the jungle. We save those for the “family” trips.
10. And the final requirements are my favorites… the sand must be white, the water must be blue and the pools better be clean.
That’s it! Pack and go… Lol. Our trips mainly consist of laying in the sun, reading, drinking cocktails, eating great food and the occasional visit to the disco (usually limited to once per trip). We also laugh. A lot. Sometimes uncontrollably… because that’s what Girls Getaways are really all about. 🙂