Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dec 2012 - Beach Palace

Hotel Stay Details
Hotel: Cancun Beach Palace Resort
Dates: December 19-24, 2012
Rate Paid: $436 / night (including taxes)
Points Earned: 0

As I mentioned before, we were going back to our family's tradition of taking a Christmas vacation somewhere warm with my grandparents and aunt, so for 2012, we picked Cancun, Mexico.

I'm too young for Senior Frogs and Coco Bongo, but I've been told that Cancun is most famous for college spring break debauchery. But it's also great for families, because it's a great winter destination since the weather is 85 degrees, the sand/water are amazing, only a 3 hour flight from NYC, and you can self-select away from the hotels/restaurants that price themselves to the college student crowd.

Le Blanc
Before I was born and graced the lives of my parents, they wanted to take a final couples getaway trip called a Babymoon.  They got an AMAZING 45% off deal on Jetsetter.com (Gilt.com's last minute flash sale for travel site) to a place called Le Blanc for $350/night.  Le Blanc was the high end sister property in the Palace Resorts collection (100% all inclusive).  Aside from being a very trendy all-inclusive hotel (unlimited top shelf liquor and NYC restaurant quality food) and having truly exceptional amazing levels of service (ranked #1 in TripAdvisor), Le Blanc was an adults-only resort targeting couples.  My parents loved their July 4th weekend trip so much, they wanted to come back with my grandparents for Christmas.

Beach Palace
But since I was tagging along this year, we had to pick a place that was kid-friendly.  Staying within the Palace Resort hotels in the Cancun area, my parents went with the Beach Palace located down the strip from Le Blanc.

Now while $436 / night (for 2 people) is definitely pricey, remember that it includes unlimited food and drink.  It also included $1500 of resort credits (for a 5 day stay) that you could use during your stay for Spa treatments (up to $300 credits), excursions and gift shopping (up to $200 credits).

Even excluding the resort credits, if you assume you'll conservatively spend $20 per person per meal, that's $120 per day in food alone (assuming you only eat 3 meals a day). Then add my father's bar tab and that's another $200 per day.  So right there, you're getting $320 of food and drink, implying $216/night for the room itself.  Not a bad deal especially for ravenous people like my father.  As my father says, "Whenever I hear all-inclusive food and drink, I respond with 'Challenge accepted'."

The other key detail I want my 2 blog-readers to know is that Beach Palace is exceptionally suited for families with children.  So much so that, if you're a childless couple in your 20's (or 30's - no judgement), I would not recommend you staying there unless you have a weird obsession for high chairs, swimming floaties and strollers.

The food at Beach Palace wasn't as good as Le Blanc (regular price $650-700/ night) and the service was a slight notch below (many more guests at Beach than at Le Blanc), but you get what you pay for.

Overall, my family and I had a great time.

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