Security checkpoints aren’t exactly the norm at most hotels we stay in, but this turned out to be just one of many eye-opening experiences we had at Moon Palace Golf Resort & Spa.
We first got an inkling of the resort’s sheer size during the long drive from the front gate to the first of three lobbies. Even the bellhops were reluctant to let us take our own bags to the room “Are you sure? It could be really, really far away.”
|Yes, that is all Moon Palace. They've even got a new development going...|
The first thing we were hit with when we walked in was the jacuzzi, sitting nonchalantly beside the bed, as if it were perfectly normal.
Funnily enough, apart from fiddling with the tequila tap once to see how it worked (push the plastic prongs up and viola, instant shot), we didn’t even have any of it. After all, why have straight tequila when you can grab a free margarita every hundred paces?
Even though I had made the booking myself and carefully read much of the fine print, I never ceased to be surprised by just how inclusive the ‘all inclusive’ part of the resort was. Whether it's a wedding or a corporate function, a 'free' bar usually entails basic beer and wine only. Well, no such restriction here. In fact, what with the mandatory wristband all guests have to wear as some form of identification, it felt like some sort of continuous dance party, except you don't need to pay for drinks.
As soon as we sat down at dinner for the first time, our waiter started rattling off the drinks which were on offer. Being in Mexico, we opted for margaritas. They arrived promptly and tasted better than any overpriced cocktail I’d had in New Zealand - no skimping on tequila or lime juice here! Once our glasses got low, more drinks would magically appear to replace them, each stronger than the last.
While attentive service is something most good restaurants strive for, at Moon Palace it could all be a bit much, despite the fact that gratuities are also waived as part of the all-inclusive deal. It might sound amazing to be waited on hand and foot, but when staff grab your plate out of your hands as soon as you've finished piling it with food, apparently to lighten your load during the short walk back to your table, it's a bit weird.
It wasn't all bad though - when we asked for some hot sauce, they gave us a giant gravy boat full of delicious chipotle sauce, and when I couldn't find guacamole at the condiments bar, they served up an extremely fresh tasting bowl of the stuff, complete with tortilla chips for dipping.
By the time we’d given up on the buffet and tried in vain to decline yet another cocktail, the waiter had delivered two final drinks, this time in plastic cups. “To go!” he said. Incredulous, I made James double check whether we were really able to walk off with them, like some sort of Burger King soft drink. “Sure!” So off we went, carrying our ‘to go’ margaritas. At any moment I thought someone would tell us off, but of course, they didn’t. It seemed especially inappropriate after we took a sip – they tasted like straight tequila, with a dash of lime and syrup, served over ice. It’s as if the staff had purposely maxed the strength to see whether they could really make us pass out right there in the restaurant.
|Takeaway cocktails on another day (in front of our private hammock)|
|One of the swim-up bars|
Lazing in a sun lounger by the pool is the reason most people go to a resort, but Moon Palace does it one better by letting you lie on a sun lounger IN the pool.
|Too hot? Just roll right into the water!|
Sun Palace (couples only) and Beach Palace (family oriented). The latter is directly opposite two big shopping malls, handy for rainy days, but both seem positively tiny compare to the mothership (Moon Palace).
|Infinity pool at Sun Palace|
[Full Flickr set here]