Le Blanc Spa Resort, Cancun (adults only)
'Five star all-inclusive' worries me. Can you really achieve a five-star experience on an all-inclusive basis? I instantly think of The Solana; love the programme, not sure I could cope with staying there. Thankfully as we drive along The Cancun Strip it echoes of South Beach rather than Benidorm. It's surprisingly glamorous. At the top, lodged between a beautiful lagoon and the ocean, is a pristine shiny white building, it's Le Blanc Spa Resort.
As we walk through the door an aroma of eucalyptus hits. I'm handed a glass of fresh coconut milk, a white lily and a warm aromatherapy neck cushion. "If you'd like to take a seat your butler will be along shortly". I breath a sigh of relief. This is going to be good, I thought. I was wrong, the next 3 days bordered on perfection, the experience really was five star... with bells on.
The Room: Honeymoon Suite, 609. Large, contemporary white room (everything is blanc in this hotel, even the trunks of the palm trees), with a king-size bed and small step out balcony with stunning ocean views. Multi-jet shower room with Bvgalri products. All-inclusive mini bar, with soft drinks, snacks, and a spirits dispenser. Double jacuzzi with aromatherapy menu. Gourmet coffee maker, free wi-fi, iPod docking station, DVD player and butler service in all rooms.
The Spa: Le Blanc Spa spans the basement of the hotel. Latern-lit corridors of Indonesian inspired relaxation areas with water falls and day beds, lead to two separate thalassotherapy rooms, with hot and cold plunge pools, hot tubs, jet pools, a Romanesque stone foot spa and steam and sauna suites. Ambient music and aromatic burners set the mood. Other facilities include a manicure suite, fish pedicure suite, Kerastase hair salon, state-of-the-art gym, yoga pagoda and 10 treatment rooms.
The Treatment: Serenity Massage. Warm blankets are used to relax the muscles, then a 'pulling' of the arms and legs to stretch. A deep lavender inhalation to relax, is followed by a shiatsu pressure point massage using a house blend of warm citrus oils. Hot stones and warm oils are used to complete the treatment, with a second inhalation of citrus oils to awaken the senses. Payment by Resort Credit.
Other treatments include: Aloe Wrap. A hydrating and calming treatment for excessive sun exposure, using a soothing aloe body mask to reduce discomfort and help repair the skin.
To Eat: Five restaurants, three fine dining, (dress code applies) Italian, French and Asian (as good as any Michelin star restaurant I've had the pleasure to dine in). An informal buffet breakfast, and lunch restaurant, poolside snack bar and pizzaria with ocean views.
Don't Miss: A lazy day in one of the beach cabanas with lunch and drinks included. (booking essential)
Moon Palace Golf Resort and Spa, Riviera Maya (family friendly)
A 30 minute drive down the coast takes us to the top of the Rivera Maya. Moon Palace was one of the first all-inclusive golf resorts to appear in the area. With over 7000 rooms, it's HUGE, and split in to 3 sections, Sunrise, Nizuk and Grand. Golf carts ferry guests between each, it feels a little bit sci-fi, maybe this is what resorts on the actual Moon will be like in years to come...
Sunrise and Nizuk have huge, decadent reception buildings, with cafés, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and shops dotted around the check-in areas , they have the feel of a child-friendly Vegas...
We're whisked to the Moon Grand section, which is the smallest and quietist section of the resort. An outdoor reception area, with a calming water feature awaits. I'm glad. Feeling super chilled from the serenity of Le Blanc, I'm really not in the mood for Vegas. Thankfully, Moon Grand doesn't disappoint.
The Room: 1805, a large, luxurious, traditional style room with king-size bed, marble bathroom with walk in shower. A balcony, with a double day bed overlooking the lagoon and gardens. All-inclusive mini bar with soft drinks, wine and spirits dispenser. Double Jacuzzi, L'Occitane products, free wi-fi and iPod docking station in all rooms.
The Spa: The Moon Palace Spa is housed in the Clubhouse of the award winning Jack Nicklaus Golf Course, a short buggy ride from the Moon Grand section. A sweeping staircase leads up to a bustling reception area. This spa is busy, but then with the amount of rooms I guess it would be. A candle-lit spa room sits to the side with a small plunge pool, Jacuzzi, foot spa, steam and sauna rooms. A cosy relaxation area leads on to the treatment rooms. Other facilities include manicure stations and 16 treatment rooms. Each section of the Moon Palace has its own gym.
The Treatment: Inhibit Facial. A green tea and chamomile cleanse and tone is followed by a Glyco peel to remove dead skin cells. A Collagen based concentrate is then painted on to specific areas to plump and reduce fine lines. Seaweed is used to detoxify the skin then a second cleanse, tone and intense SPF moisturiser to finish the treatment. Payment by Resort Credit.
Other treatments include: Aromatherapeutic Massage. A revitalising massage that combines techniques to improve circulation, with a choice of relaxing or revitalising aromatic oils.
To Eat: There are 14 restaurants and bars, with a choice of buffet and al la carte, including Italian, French, Mexican and Caribbean. Two fine dining restaurants in the Moon Golf section (booking required).
Don't Miss: A golf lesson on the award winning golf course. A trip in to Tulum to visit the Mayan ruins.
N.B Some renovation works are ongoing at Moon Palace, due to complete early 2013.
The Deal: Seven nights in Mexico with Virgin Holidays, including scheduled flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick direct to Cancun, accommodation at 5V Le Blanc Spa Resort on an all inclusive basis with transfers included starts from £1,599. Seven nights at 5V Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort on an all inclusive basis with transfers included starts from £1,159. Price is based on 2 adults travelling and sharing a standard room, price includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. Prices are based on departures on 4th Dec 2012.