If you’re looking for the ultimate Spring Break party trip, but don’t want to break your budget, then you’ll probably be joining the flocks of young, wild, sun-seekers and heading south of the border to Mexico. I was recently invited by Oasis Resort Hotels to check out the party scene, and their newly renovated resort hotels in Cancun, Mexico firsthand. I hadn’t been to Cancun in 10 years, so I jumped at the chance to see if this old party standard was still rocking.
I stayed at the Grand Oasis Cancun – which is really much more than just a hotel. The main, central building is a massive pyramid, reminiscent of the Temple of Kukulkan at the nearby Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. But The Grand Oasis pyramid is anything but ruinous, especially since the multi-million dollar renovations. This place has the luxury and flair of Vegas’ Luxor. They have nightly entertainment (a la Vegas, as well), featuring talented and sexy dancers and singers, a Cirque du Soleil style areal show, and fun mini-performances all over the resort. The fire performers put on an incredible show that rivaled some of my favorite Burning Man fire performances!
The resort is really a network of hotels, with four buildings surrounding the central pyramid and lots of communal space in between, featuring pools aplenty, bars, lounges, and of course, lots of sunny, oceanfront awesomeness. The water is as warm and as crystal blue as you always imagined, and the sand is pure white powder. A beach-lounger’s tropical paradise, to be sure. Most of the restaurants are included in the all-inclusive options (it depends what level you choose), and the food is top notch. Grab some Mexican Gormet at Careyes, or some of the best tempura I’ve ever had at Akeru Asia Lounge. Seriously – Amazing tempura in Mexico? Only in Cancun!
If you feel like going off the compound for the night, you might be surprised by how upscale Cancun’s tourist zone has become. Blvd Kukulcánis the epicenter of all things eat and drink. You’ll find a Ruth’s Chris steak house, fancy bistros and café’s and even a Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. Of course, if you’re after a
Margarita, or an all inclusive booze-fest, Cancun still gets the real party rocking. The old standards, Señor Frog’s, Dady’o, and Coco Bongo are still there and still pouring strong drinks and encouraging college coeds to make questionable decisions. We’ve all been there, amigos – party hard and party safe, hombres!
Back at the Oasis, you can always find a good party going on at the Coyote Bar, with DJs and live bands nightly, and if you’re up for getting down, head to aptly (and strangely) named Up and Down Club for their weekly foam party, where things are guaranteed to get slippery. (Wink.)
All in all, I’d say that even after 10 years of honing my party skills, Cancun still gave me a run for my money. And speaking of money – All inclusive is the way to go. The rooms at the Oasis are perfect for budget luxury travelers.