Back in March I went to my first all inclusive resort, and wow what an experience. I went with some of my family members, and their friends to the Generations Resort in Riviera Maya. One of the others ladies in my group was actually our travel agent and that made everything run so smoothly. If you need a travel agent check her out at TravelTK. I am very thankful for her and her communication with the resort over my dietary needs.
So I’m going to start with the food situation, because that is a big thing for anyone traveling gluten free.
First Day: Buffet
The first day we arrived and checked in. Our first stop after check in was the buffet. Our rooms weren’t quite ready, which was fine because we were all hungry anyways. Buffets obviously can be scary for people with food restrictions. The hostess checked us in and asked if any of us had any food allergies. I said yes, obviously it’s not an allergy, but it makes it easier for people to understand. I told her it was to gluten. Tricia mentioned that we were supposed to be meeting with the chef to discuss my food needs.
I found some fruit on the buffet and helped myself while I waited for the chef to come out. Next thing I know all of the head chefs from the whole resort came to meet me. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but also made me feel a little more at ease. They all introduced themselves to me, we shook hands and discussed that I have Celiac Disease. The chef of the buffet then asked me what I would like to eat. There was no menu or anything, so he gave some suggestions and I asked for grilled chicken. A little while later he came back with grilled chicken and steamed vegetables. Grilled chicken is not really anything special, but it was nice having something familiar and safe.
We went to the buffet multiple times after this. It was one of the easiest and quickest options, and what worked best for the youngsters in our group. They do not have it open at all times though. They keep it open until about 4pm I believe.
We did all of our breakfasts at the buffet, and I was extremely happy with that. Every time we checked in they asked the allergy question. I would say yes, and tell them it was gluten. They would ask what I wanted. One morning I had pancakes and another I had french toast. If you have not already figured out I am kind of a gluten free pancake connoisseur. Fortunately the pancakes did not make me sick, unfortunately they were not the best gluten free pancakes I have ever eaten.
But let me tell you about this french toast. I normally never eat french toast. It just does not do the trick for me, but this french toast was the best. Honestly I do not even know if what they gave me would be considered french toast. It was more like cinnamon sugar toast that they called french toast. They served it topped with fruit and I ate almost every bite it was so good.
I went to the buffet again one more time for lunch and ordered grilled chicken.
One really awesome thing about the buffet is they did have a gluten free station. It had a gluten free toaster, but I opted not to try it in case someone had accidentally put their gluten bread in there. It was labeled, but not that well. At the station they had some prepackaged gluten free products, such as bread, and cookies. As well as some other not packaged goodies. I tried some of both the prepackaged, and not packaged products and had no problems. I went into the buffet at least twice to just get some snacks from the station.
Palms was a sit down restaurant that opened up to a nice beach view. We visited this restaurant the first evening. The normal menu had the menu items labeled if they were gluten free and if they could be made gluten free. I ordered grilled chicken again. Everyone was worried I was only going to be able to eat grilled chicken the whole trip. There were a couple other gluten free options on their menu. They just did not sound great to me at the time.
Palms is open for lunch hours and during the afternoon. We went to dinner there, but found out later that they only open for dinner one or two nights a week. The good thing is all the restaurants have their hours posted outside of them. The hours are also listed on some paperwork given during check in.
The night we went to the Wine Kitchen the kids were fed and sent to the Kids Club. And the adults had a chance to have a nice sit down dinner. The Wine Kitchen had a very nice chic set up. We did have to wait a bit for a seat, but we were able to wait in the bar next door. They gave us a buzzer to signify when our table was ready. At that time people were singing karaoke and we just hung out, enjoyed a drink and the karaoke.
It did not take too long to get seated, which was great. Again the menu had labels on which dishes were gluten free or could be made gluten free.
I ordered wine, because it only felt right at the Wine Kitchen. For my meal I had a zucchini risotto. I had never eaten risotto before I went to Italy in November, but now anytime I see a risotto I order it. I never realized rice could taste so good. This risotto was not as good as the one I experienced in Italy, but it was still very good. I finished the whole thing. The food took a while, but the servers were super attentive and it gave us time to have good conversation. Before going on the trip I had met the others, but did not know them very well.
Two of the desserts were gluten free and I could not decide, so I got both. The one was a panna cotta and the other was a pear with mouse. Honestly I was not too impressed with either. The panna cotta was too jello-y for me, and the flavor was not my favorite. For the pear, I did not realize it was a legitimate pear with mouse inside. I am not the biggest pear fan, I prefer other fruit. The mouse inside the pear was pretty good though, so I just ate that.
If you chose this resort I definitely think this is a great option for an adults dinner.
Jade is the Asian Bistro in the resort. I went to this one alone, while everyone else were with the kids. I was a bit tired, and just needed some time alone. My original plan was to go to my own room and order room service. I could not find my room service menu, or who I was to call for room service. So I just decided I would go to one of the restaurants.
Between the two restaurants that were open that I had not eaten at yet I chose Jade. They had more gluten free options. As always when asked I told them I was gluten free. I was a bit worried, since soy sauce is not normally gluten free. Despite this I ordered a sushi roll because it was labeled gluten free on the menu. I also ordered fried rice prepared gluten free. The waitress asked if I wanted soy sauce, she was going to give it to me in a separate dish. I said no thank you and reminded her I am gluten free. She did not offer gluten free soy sauce, which was a bit disappointing. With them being so good about accommodating I imagined it was something they would have.
The roll came out first and it was a bit small. It was enough food for a starter. I scarfed it down real quick because of how hungry I was. The sushi itself was pretty good. It seemed a bit more traditional than most of the sushi I have experienced so that was nice. The fried rice came out a bit later. It tasted good, but not great. It filled me up, which was what really matter at the time.
The servers here were not as attentive as some of the other restaurants. My waitress served me my food and never came back. Since there was no bill to take care of I just ended up leaving. That was a bit awkward for me, the fact that she did not at least come and ask if I enjoyed my meal. Of the places I tried this was probably my least favorite.
Other Food Options I Did Not Try
As mentioned before there were some other options for food I did not have a chance to try. There is an Indian restaurant called Haab. When I looked at the menu they did not have many gluten free options. That was the reason I did not choose to eat there. When I had a chance to look at a room service menu they did not have any gluten free options listed. I do not know if I could have requested a gluten free option or not. I could not find the phone number to call in my room and it felt like more of a hassle to figure that out then to go to one of the sit down restaurants. This is why I would have liked the buffet to be open all day, but unfortunately that is not the case.
All Inclusive Experience
The all inclusive experience was so fun. This was the first time I had done it, and imagine it won’t be the last. Although I do like traveling and being able to go experience less vacation-like places as well.
As soon as we went to check in the first day we were greeted with champagne. It made a fun first impression. I’ve never gone anywhere and just been greeted with a drink. Except maybe the Bier Stube in Columbus. But that is probably more because my friends and I were regulars there our last few years of college. They got us all checked in and took us to our hotel. The company runs three hotels on the same property. One was adults only and the other two are family friendly.
They had servers that were continually walking around on the pool deck as well as on the beach. They were happy to help and get any sort of drink alcoholic, or not for you whenever it was desired. It was interesting for me seeing who wanted to serve me alcohol and who did not. The drinking age in Mexico is 18, and multiple people wanted to see my ID. I was like I’m not bringing my passport to the beach. I mean I know it is to save themselves from getting in trouble, but the way people perceive my age is so weird. Some people think I’m under 18, some think that when I’m running around with the kids I nanny that they belong to me. So odd. Anyways, the service was great. I cannot think of a time where I waited too long for anything.
At the resort they have a kids club. In the kids club they have video games, and they do different activities with the kids. There was a ball pit and play gym like apparatus. The kids in our group loved going to kids club. They got to play games they do not have at home and hang out. It was a good option when they needed a break from the sun, or the evening the adults needed a night off, because parents and nannies get to vacation too. I personally did not go all the way in, but it seemed quite nice. And there is a check in and out procedure so everyone is safely returned to the correct caregivers.
I absolutely love the ocean, so getting to go to the beach is always wonderful. I appreciated the beach and the resort a bit more because the beach was not packed. Most of times I have visited a beach it has been a public beach. Public beaches are great don’t get me wrong, but can get pretty packed. The resort was not too busy, so the beach had people, but not too many people. Out on the beach they had some hammocks, Bali beds, as well as the typical beach chairs and umbrellas.
The last couple of days we got a couple of the big Bali beds. These were so nice. They had cover on the top and flaps on the side. I definitely fell asleep a couple of times on them they were so comfortable. They were big enough for multiple people to chill out on them and get out of the sun, while still enjoying the view of the ocean. Our friend the travel agent set these up for us, but I think you just talk to your concierge to reserve them. Definitely worth it in my opinion.
The beach itself had lots of seaweed, but there was a crew continuously working to keep it clean. The beach looked drastically different when no seaweed was present compared to when it was.
In the water they had barriers out a little ways. I heard a couple different reasons about this. The narrative I heard most suggested that it keeps the guests safe. There was a lifeguard that was on the beach, so if you go just follow the lifeguard’s instructions like you would at any other beach or pool/waterpark.
The beach was beautiful and the water was some of the clearest I have ever seen. It was fantastic.
The pool was also amazing. I am a Capricorn, so not a water sign, but I would definitely consider myself a water child. Growing up we spent so many days at the pool. I swam on swim team for a couple years, lifeguarded for a bit, and overall just love being in the water.
Despite this the pool was a bit cold for me. I got in and enjoyed it, but especially when the sun was starting to set I sat out more than other times. The pool had many different things going on. There was a swim up bar, volleyball nets, seats and tables in the water, and an inflatable obstacle course. It also had multiple different depths which was nice. In the mornings the lawn chairs were all lined up nicely on the edge inside the pool. It was a couple of inches deep there. There were also swim up rooms, which one of the families in our group had. The kids really enjoyed that.
In the pool they had different toys and pool floats. Pretty much anything you could think of to play with in a pool could be found.
During the week the resort has a handful of activities that they host. There is a schedule that you get when you check in. Some of these include kayaking, snorkeling, green house tours and more. My hope was to join the kayaking excursion, but the morning of the excursion I was super sick. So I did not personally participate in any of the scheduled activities. You can also use some of the equipment like the kayaks at other times outside of the scheduled times.
One of the families on our trip attended the green house tour and they enjoyed themselves. Supposedly they grow a majority of the food for both guests and staff onsite at the greenhouse. I think that is amazing with how many people I encountered during our stay.
We also got to experience a foam party in the pool. At first I was a bit iffy on this. I thought it would be super sticky and weird, but the foam did not have a weird feel on my skin at all. I do want to say if you have a latex allergy, do not go to the foam party. They had balloons flying everywhere, and they were all in the pool. They also kept popping and that was very annoying. During the foam party a DJ was playing all kinds of fun party music. It was like a somewhat kid friendly rave thing. I floated around the pool in a float and just tried to take everything in.
They also had different shows and demonstrations. The first night we watched a fire baton twirling show. I am sure there is a more proper name for this, I just cannot think of one in this moment. It was amazing to watch them do their thing. I had never before seen something of the sorts, other than in movies.
The hotel rooms were ginormous. Like so large, you could fit so many people in a single room. If they did not charge per person it would be great for like a college spring break. I saw multiple types of rooms because of the others I was with. They were all nice and well laid out. Oh and everything was ocean view. I think that is pretty awesome because most of the time I do not get to see the ocean.
My room was plenty big for myself. It had a king sized bed. There was a sliding divider between the living area and the bedroom area. In the living area there were couches and a coffee table. Things I honestly did not use during my stay.
The bathroom was probably one of my favorite parts of the room. There was a huge jacuzzi soaking tub and a rain shower. The rain shower impressed me immensely. It is something I have always wanted to have since seeing them in the movies. There was also a double sink, which I guess would be nice if you had to share the room. All of it was just so not what I am used to that I appreciated it maybe more than it should be appreciated.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the resort. I had no problems with gluten. Unfortunately I still got sick, but I think that was from too much sun exposure. Something that can happen when you go to the beach for vacation. There was always something to do. The service was good. For the most part the servers were around pretty frequently to help the guests with any needs. You could tell the hotel needed some maintenance here and there, but nothing big enough to deter me from suggesting it to others.
I personally am trying to go to places I have not been before as I continue to travel. My family always went to the same places, which is good in some respects, and not so fun in others. Because of that I do not think I will go back to this resort. I was happy enough with my experience that I would suggest it to others trying to go to Mexico. I would especially suggest it for anyone living a gluten free lifestyle, or with kids. So if you fall in one of those categories and are planning a vacation, definitely keep this in mind.