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Published: September 30th 2017
Geo: 22.88, -109.9
Eat. Drink. Suntan. Swim. Repeat. And then keep on repeating until you either pass out drunk, burst your pants from overeating, turn red as a lobster, or your seven days in paradise are up. It's the mission statement of anyone that goes to an all-inclusive resort - those seeking adventure or originality need not apply! The appeal and luxury of the all-inclusive is undeniable - so easy and so simple, you don't need to have a single worry on your entire trip. What it lacks in originality, it definitely makes up for in convenience and uniformity - you know exactly what you're going to get, each and every time.
But what's a positive for most is a negative for me - all-inclusives can be generic, all following the same formula. You could be in Mexico, Cuba, or any Caribbean island, without knowing exactly where you were - there's no distinguishing characteristic in these resorts, no sense of local culture, except for the odd "authentic" theme night. So why would we come to an all-inclusive resort? For one simple reason - I'm a cheap bastard with the frugal gene that is found in all Chinese people!
$120 CAD/night for three squares
The Joy of Eating in a Tropical Country ...
... some damn fine fruit, with some fairly fancy presentation with the honeydew and cantaloupe thinly-sliced like a delicate fan of delectable goodness. Great papaya, too.
a day, drinks, and accommodations for both of us COMBINED. You can't beat that for value, and it's been scientifically proven that the biological imperative of every Chinese person is to seek out value! This biological imperative is so strong that it even made me forsake a previous vow avoiding all-inclusives at any cost, at least until I was too old and busted to carry around a backpack - so let the over consumption begin!
Of course, in Cabo, before you can start the eat/drink/suntan cycle, there's an added step that must be completed ... 9:30 AM - the phone rings. Who could it be? Someone from home, checking on ? Perhaps it's Carlos Slim, offering me an executive position at Telmex? Or maybe the President of Mexico, calling to give us a personal welcome to this beautiful country, offering to make us a home-cooked meal of Mexican specialties? Of course not! This is Cabo, so it was a timeshare pitch - now, having not picked up the phone, I can't be 100% certain about that, but the number one complaint about the resort on all the Expedia reviews was the morning calls to convince you to attend a timeshare
Machaca Nortena con Salsa Molcajateada ...
.. scrambled eggs with a shredded meat, and what was described as a mortas sauce. I have no idea what mortas are, but I have a suspicion that it's Spanish for "Damn tasty".
Shortly after ignoring the call, we thought we heard a knock at the door - paralyzed with fear, we lay perfectly still in bed, afraid to even take a breath, for fear of being discovered by the Mexican timeshare equivalent of the secret police. Horrible visions flashed through my mind, disjointed scenes of us being dragged off to a room and interrogated for hours, even tortured, in an attempt to get us to sign over our lives and our souls - how far would they go to get us to buy a timeshare? Would they beat us? Subject us to the Chinese Water Torture? Threaten the lives of our families and friends? Shove jalapenos up our noses? Oh, the horror!!!
Though it seemed like hours, the knocking eventually subsided after a few minutes of sheer terror and bed wetting. But success - we had dodged the timeshare tout, and could now begin stuffing our faces! Perhaps the adrenalin rush of escaping a terrible fate influenced our taste buds, making us appreciate every breath, every drop of liquid, every crumb of food - but maybe it's just that the restaurant here is pretty damn good!
It never ceases to amaze me -
Puntas de Res a la Mexicana con Frijolitos ...
... Mexican-style tenderloin tips with guacamole and beans. The chefs at the resort are masters at grilling meat, so tender and juicy. And the guacamole ... OMG!!! I love guacamole, but I'm not a huge fan of avocado - but the quality of avocados here is stunning, without a doubt THE best avocados I've ever eaten.
the fact that people travel so far and pay so much money to vacation in a tropical paradise, only to spend all their time at a generic pool. There's nothing wrong with pool time, but with a gorgeous beach just steps away, it seems sacrilegious to not even spend a few hours lounging on that postcard-perfect stretch of sand. Granted, Playa Solmar is on the Pacific-side of the Baja Peninsula and as such, is exposed to powerful waves crashing down on its shores. Swimming is definitely out of the question - the riptides are incredibly strong, and several people have died over the years trying to swim at Playa Solmar.
Being unable to swim on this beautiful stretch of sand is a definite shame, but that also means that it is wonderfully uncrowded - how often can you find a beach with only a handful of people around, in a mega-resort town like Cabo? How can you not take advantage of it, especially when the pool is literally ten feet from the sand? And it's not like the pool is anything special - the Solmar is fairly old and is a far cry from the over-the-top blinged-out resorts that are
popular nowadays, making the beach a far more appealing option.
But of course, being from an older era means it's a simple cozy little resort, making the Solmar more charming and intimate than its big, brash siblings around town. Last night, we wandered over to the sister resort, Playa Grande - no more than a few years old, it's more what you would expect of an all-inclusive resort, with its marble floors, massive pool, and more than likely, an episode of Cribs being shot nearby ...
Playa Grande is definitely a beautiful resort, but I'd probably be the only one that would prefer the Solmar. Sometimes simple is good, especially when combined with a stunning location like Playa Solmar, which is nestled amongst cliffs and some truly stunning and unique rock formations. It's fitting that the tip of land the Solmar is located on is called Finisterre, literally meaning "End of the World". Because the End of the World must be near, since I'm about the utter words I never thought I would - I'm actually enjoying staying at an all-inclusive resort. Oh, the horror!!!
Tot: 3.652s; Tpl: 0.052s; cc: 6; qc: 45; dbt: 0.0737s; 3; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb