Recently I had the opportunity to leave the snow, slush and frigid temperatures behind and jet off to the sunshine and glorious heat of Mexico. My task? Spend a sun filled week in Cancun Mexico with a group of 8 teenagers who were looking to make some memories on their Spring Break. How do you choose a hotel for a party of 10? Very…very carefully.
Travelling with teens requires flexibility, patience and of course a family friendly hotel. Travelling with 8 teens on Spring Break requires planning, a little luck and a hotel that will meet a wild number of expectations. What we were seeking:
- At least a 4 Star Resort
- Less than 30 minutes from the Airport
- Modern clean rooms that could comfortably sleep up to 4 per room.
- Grounds gorgeous enough to keep this travel snob happy.
- A variety of activities to keep the teens entertained.
- Enough restaurants to please all those palates.
- A medium sized hotel. Big enough so we could spread out, but not too big. We didn’t want anyone getting lost in the shuffle
- A price the teens could afford. We set a budget and stuck to it.
Our final selection, The Fiesta Americana Condesa in Cancun, here’s how it stacked up.
The Grounds: Beautiful. The hotel was neatly divided into two main pools and a children’s area. The ‘upper” pool with a view down to the ocean was a little quieter than the other, boasted ample sun chairs and umbrellas and had incredible pool side service. The lower pool boasted the swim up bar, volleyball net, and was where you wanted to be if you were seeking action and daily pool games.
Off to the end of lower pool, and closest to the beach, is where you can find the children’s area complete with mini-water park with an adorable pirate theme. It features three slides, three water cannons and tons of fun for the little ones. It includes a shaded area perfect for parking strollers or just to sit among the swaying palm tress.
No matter which area you choose to make your home for the day, there were always plenty of beach chairs and oversized towels. So refreshing.
Our party was located in the Sea Tower. One of the towers that had been newly renovated. Complete with crisp fresh linens, new beds and contemporary decor, each room was equipped with a flat screen television and a mini-fridge stocked with drinks. There was ample drawer and closet space, as well as a personal safe for your use.
The room was large in size and very comfortable, perfect for a couple. The shower boasted a luxe rain-shower, incredible water pressure and a never ending supply of hot water. The bathroom/toilet situation was a little odd. The only thing that separated the toilet area itself from the bedroom was a glass door that didn’t go all the way to the floor. This did not afford much privacy.
The Food: 10 restaurants, 4 bars and a deli. Between our group we managed to try all the restaurants – some of them multiple times. Breakfast was a choice of two buffets serving very similar fare. Fresh fruits, pastries, pancakes, waffles, hash browns, french toast, sausages, bacon, made to order eggs. etc. Hot coffee and drinks were served table side by smiling servers.
We quickly found our favourite places for lunch. The PIZZERIA whipping up wood oven pizzas while you waited. The GRILL offering items such as hamburgers, hotdogs and fries, and of course La CEVICHERÍA where you had to have the fish and shrimp tacos, ocean side.
Dinner offered even more options for dining. Some of our favourites;
- SAN TELMO. Reservations required and worth the effort. A steak house with incredible service and an intimate atmosphere.
- CANTINA ~ serving Mexican appetizers and perfect for a quick bite.
- EL ROSATO ~ Italian food! No reservation required, but there is a dress code. This one is not to be missed.
- KALMIA ~ The Asian inspired restaurant with a view of the ocean. Don’t miss the deep friend ice-cream!
- TRATTORIA. The only restaurant we didn’t particularly enjoy. We found service to be extremely slow, food to be over cooked and just not to our liking.
We all agreed the food was quite good with the exception of the Mexican restaurant. I even managed to put weight ON while on this trip. This never happens to me while on vacation in Mexico!
The Service: Top notch. Even the teens, when by themselves by the pool etc, received incredible service both with or without tipping.
- Room Service is included!
- There is a restaurant that only serves Fondu! Magic. Don’t miss it.
- The Magic Show is worth a watch. The performers pour their heart and soul into the performance and it’s a lovely family friendly show.
- Don’t miss the DELI tucked away at the back of the gift shop. Serving coffee, latte’s, frozen cappuccinos, ice creams, pastries, sandwiches and mini-fruit trays, it’t the perfect stop before you head to your room for the evening.
- Love sushi? At Sushi Corner you’ll find more than 15 sushi and nigiri dishes, all made to order.
- The smoothie bar! Located pool side – creating made to order fresh fruit drinks.
- Considering an upgrade to an ocean front room? DO IT! You will never regret waking up to this view…
In summary: This hotel was a perfect choice for our “Party of 10”. The location was on a gorgeous stretch of beach, and you could walk for miles in either direction. A ride into town to go shopping was but a $10 dollar cab ride away. It was a quiet oasis from the storm of hard party seekers located at many other hotels, but had just enough action to keep the teens occupied. When they needed something a little louder, or even wanted to take in a concert or foam party, they could have easily purchased a day pass from the louder, rowdier hotel next door. This hotel was calm and serene at the beginning of the week and when we were joined by 460 Spring Breakers at the end of the week, the partiers were well managed without disturbing things too much.
The service was outstanding, the food fabulous, the rooms, restaurants and grounds exceptionally clean.
I would recommend this hotel and hope to return one day soon.