We visited the Sandos Playacar Beach Resort in Mexico in June 2014. We were there for two weeks, and were with our friends and their daughter, who is about a year older than James.
We had a really fab time. We enjoyed lots of swimming, the other adults (not me – I was pregnant with Noah) went diving, and we went on bike rides and some long walks.
James enjoyed playing with Patricia; he really liked to push her along in her stroller, and they would both pile in to the stroller together! We occasionally stayed up to watch the evening entertainment and the kids were dancing together, and they’d sometimes get presents like very, very long balloons or a lolly after dancing.
You can see from the photo that James is a bit red in the face – he had an allergic reaction to citrus while we were in Mexico, as did I. I got huge blisters on my pregnant bump and also on my shoulder blade. We both had to be seen at the medical centre and then transferred to the local hospital. The care in both was fantastic, and the only downside was hanging around inside waiting for our insurance company to pay the bill.
The hotel complex was long and thin, with the beach along one edge and the main lobby and accommodations at the other. The complex has obviously been expanded, and the old main entrance is now the middle of the resort. To get around, you can walk easily, or for speed there are regular golf carts.
James loved the golf carts! We waited on a bench outside our hotel room block for the golf cart. Sometimes we missed it, and we saw it go by, and then we would catch the next one. Sometimes the driver would let James ride in the front seat with them, and he got to know them. They greeted him like an old friend as he climbed on, and he would wave to them as he got off.
Sometimes there wasn’t a golf cart when we needed one, and then we would walk and see the donkeys, cats, and the lizards. Once or twice we saw monkeys during our walks between the room block and the restaurants and beach.
There are also bikes for hire, and several have child seats. We hired a bike a couple of days and cycled into Playacar town for a look around and for reasonably-priced souvenirs from Walmart.
The beach was sandy and wide. There were sections of sunbeds for each hotel along the strip, as well as huts which the water sports operated from. The sand was perfect for sandcastles, as well as burying my legs, as James delightedly discovered! One of James’ favourite afternoon activities was going with Rob to feed the fish in the sea some bread. He often told us that the fish said the bread was “mmm, delicious!”.
The waves were really strong and bigger than at Waves in Whitley Bay, and he liked it when I jumped with him in the waves, but sometimes they were too big and swooshed his hat off! At these times I had to pass him to Rob – there are definite advantages to being 6’4” instead of 5’7” when the waves are enormous!
There were four swimming pools to choose from, though two pools were right next to each other, and there was also an adult only pool for the platinum members. We only played in the main pools. Each pool was close to bars and the smaller of the pools had a lunch time only buffet, which was really handy for snacks as it was just outside of our room complex.
James really enjoyed going swimming most days on holiday. He loved to splash in the water, sing songs, and play row-row-row the boat. One of the phrases of the holiday was “you don’t wear shoes when you go swimming!” said in a chortling voice by James. I don’t know why but he felt the need to remind us quite regularly about that rule!
Sometimes we played with a ball in the pool, and he really enjoyed that. For future holidays we really need to remember to take one with us, because we were borrowing other holiday makers’ balls while they were resting!
There were several buffet restaurants open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The main restaurant was a really good size, although not air conditioned, so it wasn’t the most pleasant of eating experiences. The variety of food was great – there were ‘specials’ on every night, and a theme, such as Asian, Italian, and so on, with the whole restaurant decorated to match the theme and the food. However, due to the air conditioning issue (it’s not broken, they just don’t have it in the restaurants) we often ordered room service, which is included as part of the all inclusive package.
James enjoyed most of his meals on holiday, even the new foods he’d never eaten before like chicken tacos and quesadillas. He has always loved strawberries, especially in ice cream or yoghurt and they were in plentiful supply there! James’ favourite fruit is watermelon, and he could almost eat a whole one if we let him, so Mexico was fab for this particular fruit addict.
While we were there, James was learning to chop his food with a knife, and he also tried eating with chopsticks.
We tried most of the a la carte restaurants, and found them all to be an interesting change to the buffet.
There is a kids’ club at Sandos Beach resort in Playacar; Patricia visited a few times and she had a seemed to enjoy it. James was too young due to their age restrictions, so he didn’t experience it. You can use the kids’ club facilities even if you don’t want to leave your son or daughter there, so painty fun can still be had while you’re on holiday! There’s also a playground in the kid’s club area, as well as a very shaded splash pool. We spotted monkeys in the trees overhead while we were in the playground on the swings, which was an added bonus!
We did enjoy our holiday at the Sandos Beach Resort in Playacar, Mexico. The kids had a great time too.