December 10, 2018 | By Vacation Couple |
Our favourite way to travel is by enjoying the natural surroundings and local culture, which we don’t often get to experience at resorts. Last month, we visited Hotel Xcaret Mexico with Air Canada Vacations and had an amazing taco-fuelled experience. It honestly changed the way we look at vacations as it has both of our favourite travel qualities and more. It immerses you in a world of adventure, Mexican culture, and all-inclusive fun!
Looking back, we wish someone had told us these tips before visiting, which is why we’re sharing them with you! The following are suggestions on things you can do, see, and eat around the hotel. This is what you need to know before you visit Hotel Xcaret Mexico.
Take Time to Explore the Property (Pick up a Map)
The property is truly a park in itself with jungles, a winding river with coves and inlets, and tropical surprises around every corner. To maximize your time, it’s best to plan so you can cover the highlights during your stay. Our favourites included sunrise at the Catholic chapel, kayaking the river, discovering waterslides, and walking along the jungle paths.
For an authentic beach experience, take the far-east suspension bridge from the chapel, over the lagoon, on your way to the beach hammocks. Unlike the other side of the beach, which can be rocky, this side is semi-private, quiet, and gorgeous!
Ask for a map once you arrive at the hotel, you’ll find it helpful to reference later during your trip. I found the map most useful for finding where each photo station was around the property.
The Magical Wristband
From the moment we got our wristbands, we knew we were going to love them! They allow you to take pictures of yourself at photo stations around the hotel and all parks. You can find each “Xelfie” photo station by using the hotel map.
You’ll get optimal camera angles without the hassle of carrying around bulky cameras or having to attempt your best photography skills. Simply tap your wristband on the photo circle, look towards the colourful “Xcaret Eye,” and say CHEESE! You can purchase the digital photo packages at the end of your visit for a reasonable price (starting at $58.99 for all photos of 2 people at both the hotel and 1 park).
Stop digging through your pockets and beach bag looking for your dreaded room key. That won’t happen at Hotel Xcaret Mexico as your wristband serves multiple purposes, including being your room key.
It’s also waterproof and has an adjustable strap, which allows you to take it off when you need to. I appreciated this feature while I showered and slept, much more comfortable if you ask me!
What is All-Fun Inclusive®? Not only are your accommodations, drinks, and food included, but so are your excursions! Hotel Xcaret Mexico goes beyond the traditional all-inclusive resort and includes all 9 of their parks and tours in your stay. That means you could visit a different park a day for a week and still not have visited them all!
This also includes your shuttles to and from all parks, with rides leaving every 20 minutes from the hotel lobby. Walk a few hundred metres east from the lobby and keep your eye out for the big pink Xcaret bus.
We visited the emblematic Xcaret Park which has over 50 different attractions to choose from. It’s a park that renews the spirit of Mexican culture and folklore through food, exhibitions, and celebration.
Grab an Xcaret passport to keep track of where you’ve visited and try to explore them all! There are 37 different “Xelfie” stations here and we hardly got through them during our visit. Remember to use the coloured lines on the pavement to guide you through each area.
Prepare to have your senses come alive as the Xenses Park is filled with optical illusions and fantastic Instagram opportunities. This is the only half-day park available and you can’t miss it!
Thoughtfully designed, you immediately enter into the pinwheel room that’s a sensory celebration of rainbow colours. There are two circuits of activity from here and over 50 mind-blowing attractions, games, and sensory scenarios to cover. Our favourites included the town where you didn’t know up from down, and the Xitric garden where you could drink lemonade directly from a tree!
Hotel Xcaret Mexico is a one-stop shop for a complete vacation experience. When you book with Air Canada Vacations, it includes your flight, hotel accommodation, all transfers and 1 free checked bag per person. Your package even includes your meals at each park, plus a beer at Xcaret Park, and both tequila and beer at Xoximilco Park.
The All-Fun Inclusive® perks don’t end at the parks, as you’ll also enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, 24-hour room service, tennis, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkelling, and access to the kids & family club during your stay.
The Food at Hotel Xcaret Mexico
There are ten restaurants, eight bars, and a room service menu that we didn’t even scratch the surface of. We’ve become passionate lovers of local foods since visiting Mexico several times over the past few years. So it’s no surprise that we loved the authentic flavours of the Mexican buffet, Mercado de la Merced. Most mornings, you’d find us here filling our plates with salsa verde, succulent chicken and beef tacos, and sipping on rich Mexican coffee.
For lunch, we loved the carefree vibe of Las Playas, near the main pool and directly in front of the lagoon. There are beautiful swings to sip your cocktail on and tables in the sand so you can sink your toes in and truly relax. Each dish we enjoyed here was an elevated version of a classic and we enjoyed it so much that we came back every day to try something new on the menu.
The only problem we had during our stay was trying to choose what to eat for dinner. Our most noteworthy meals were the Teppanyaki table at Xin-Gao, the dinner and show in the theatre, and a special dinner at Ha’ restaurant.
Shadi was elated to discover the taco stand that was set-up in front of the main buffet each evening. You’d often see a line-up in front of this famous cart, which also included fresh cilantro and lime. There are no frills here, just authentic, generous flavours. We had a second dinner at this stand on the regular, they were addictive!
Another great find was the fruit stand that’s set up in the archway in front of the main pool. With so many fresh options at my convenience, I made it my goal to try a new fruit here each day.
We walked by Cantina Los Faroles a few times but never had the chance to try their menu. We did, however, return after 11 p.m. to enjoy the nightlife and lantern light show around the bar.
Needless to say, we think you should add these restaurants to your culinary bucket list at Hotel Xcaret Mexico.
Sustainability & Mexican Culture
Everything at Hotel Xcaret Mexico is made with sustainability and the preservation of Mexican culture in mind. All elements of the resort are acquired through fair trade and are locally sourced. Many of the items around the hotel are also handmade, such as the handcrafted pillows, tiles, and hammocks.
The Rooms at Hotel Xcaret Mexico
As sustainability is a focus of the hotel, many things in the hotel are made from sustainable materials, such as the pillows, duvets, and coffee pods. The coffee pods are biodegradable and actually made of corn! My favourite feature of our room was that all of the amenities were eco-friendly. The materials are locally sourced AND good for the environment. The grape lotion smelled and felt amazing and I want to buy it by the tub!
From the hotel’s eco-integrative design to their contributions to the local economy, Hotel Xcaret Mexico constantly demonstrates its promise to practice sustainable tourism.
Bonus! Book with Air Canada Vacations
As Air Canada Vacations ambassadors, we travel with them often. What we love the most about booking our vacations with them is that we literally don’t have to stress about any travel details. Air Canada Vacations takes care of everything from the flights, hotel, and even transfers at destination.
They’ve been around for over 35 years, so you’ve got peace of mind. You also don’t have to pay for your first checked bag when you book a package with Air Canada Vacations (which we really appreciate). Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge fly to more than 40 destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, which is more than any other Canadian tour operator (which is amazing!).
The only thing left to do is decide when you’ll be going. With flights leaving daily to Cancún from Toronto on Air Canada Rouge, and twice daily during winter, the time is now to pack your bags and escape the Canadian cold.
This blog post was written by The Vacation Couple, ambassadors for Air Canada Vacations. See what the Vacation Couple has been up to.