¡Viva México! – New Year’s Getaway

Happy New Year, all! Hope you’re all enjoying the beginning of 2020 with fun, family, friends, and relaxation.

What am I doing? I’m in Mexico! I’ve actually been here for a few days (and am going home tomorrow – booooo!) with Scott and three of our friends, but as was the case with my previous trips here in 2014 and 2015, I just haven’t been making time for blog updates when I’m lounging around a pool all day. Also, there’s not much to say other than that – eat, pool, drinks, pool, eat, pool, drinks, etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with such things, but it’s hard to turn them into interesting blog fodder. 🙂

Now that we’ve be here the whole week (we arrived Monday afternoon), I can share some info about how the trip has been going and what the resort is like. As with my previous two Mexico trips, we’re at an all-inclusive resort, the Unico 20°87°Hotel Riviera Maya. Right off the bat, it was clear this resort would be really nice compared to the last two, thus continuing the theme of going to progressively nicer resorts on each trip (we didn’t necessarily plan it that way, but hey, it worked out). I had already felt kind of spoiled going from the Oasis Sens in 2014 to the GR Solaris in 2015, but Unico is a big step above both of them. While those first two were all-inclusive with an asterisk because there were certain exclusions or restaurants that you had to pay for, Unico is totally all-inclusive, whether that means the breakfast buffet, room service, the swim-up bars, and all the restaurants (which there are five of). Truly all are included! And while you can tip if you’d like to, for really good service or food (or both!), you don’t have to because all the tips are included as well. And there are other things like manicures, pedicures, massages, excursions, etc. that aren’t fully included, but are very discounted. I’m not big into the spa stuff myself, but Scott and one of our friends got massages earlier this week and said they were great and well worth the (discounted) price. And yesterday, me and two of our friends went on an amazing excursion to Tulum, which I’ll write about in detail in an upcoming post.

As I did with the other two resorts, I’m planning on doing a more detailed review of Unico, but for now, I can sum it up by saying that this has been the best resort so far, by a long shot. The service is top-notch across the board. If you’re at the pool and the staff sees you starting to open your pool umbrella, they rush over and do it for you. The servers regularly circulate around the pool to make sure you have everything you need and bringing drinks and food whenever you want them. The staff in the restaurants do an excellent job of checking back often and bringing orders out quickly. And there’s even a great app that allows to do everything from order room service to request pillows and more, so you don’t even have to talk to a person if you don’t want to! The rooms are nice, the AC works, the decor is nice, and we really love the pool we’ve set up camp at for the week. All in all, it’s been really great!

Check out some of the photos from around the resort (and getting to it) below.


Me, Scott, and Nicole at the airport for our flight.


We treated ourselves to first class and we got this tasty breakfast on the plane.


The lobby space is huge!


Since we’re here over New Year’s, there are still Christmas decorations up.


This is the more crowded pool. We haven’t used it at all. 🙂


As you can see, the crowded pool has things like water volleyball, which is why it’s not the quiet pool.


This is the quieter pool kind of at the back of the resort, which we’ve been using all week. It’s been great!


Feet in the pool, which is actually pretty warm.


Sunset on the beach (literally steps from the resort) on the day we arrived.


A sunny day at the beach later in the week.


Putting my feet in the ocean is always a must-do when I’m near a beach.


This little guy has been out sunning himself by the pool most mornings.


And there are at least a few of these guys around to take care of any potential creepy-crawlies.

As for our room (Scott and I are in a room with our friend Nicole, hence the two beds), it’s nice! Check it out below.


Nicely appointed and pretty comfortable.


If you thought you saw a piñata in that last picture, you were right! Three of us are celebrating recent/upcoming birthdays, so the hotel left this treat for us.


A nice bathroom, too.


The shower is nice and big, though it unfortunately doesn’t drain very quickly. It’s a common problem in Mexico and not really a big deal for us.


Awesome sunrise as seen from our balcony one morning.

I haven’t taken a ton of food (or food-adjacent) photos (heartbreaking, I know), but here are a few highlights. The food has all been really tasty so far!


Onion soup. On the side is a large crouton covered in cheese, which I promptly dropped into the soup. It wasn’t quite as rich as French onion soup, but I still enjoyed it.


This penne arrabbiata was really delish! And had some really nice spice to it.


This restaurant had an ice cream truck on the dessert menu, so obviously we had to order it.


We just took our first group pic at last night’s teppanyaki dinner.


The chef was super talented!

Wait, am I still writing this? When there’s sun to be laid in?! It’s Friday today, which means it’s our last full day before we fly home tomorrow afternoon. I gotta get out to the pool! Look for at least a couple more posts about this trip though, including details on yesterday’s excellent day trip.

See you in the sun!

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About thejeffelston

Based in St. Paul, MN and love to blog about travel. Comment, follow, and join me on my journey!