Expectations vs. Reality: All-Inclusive Resort Edition

About a month ago, my sister told me she wanted to stay in an all-inclusive resort on our upcoming trip to Mexico. I have to admit I was skeptical. I’ve been on cruises before and have not been impressed. The quality of food, drinks, and service, it just seems like a rip off to me. For this reason, I have avoided resorts all together.  


This was a last minute trip, so our accommodation options were limited. We briefly searched Booking.com before deciding on Pueblo Bonita’s Pacifica Resort & Spa. To be clear, I was not skeptical about this specific resort. I knew very little about it. I was skeptical the all-inclusive package wasn’t worth the money. Again, I was wrong.

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From the time we were picked up at the San Jose Del Cabo International Airport to the time we departed we were completely taken care of by the Pueblo Bonita staff. I was pleasantly surprised every step of the way at the quality, value, and superior level of service the all-inclusive resort provided. I know I am not the only skeptic out there about all-inclusive resorts, so I wanted to share my experience to encourage you to take a chance the next time you are looking for a place to unwind.

Expectation: Low quality food

Reality: Fresh, healthy food that came straight from their on-site garden.

I must admit this was the biggest surprise. I love food. It is my favorite part of travel, and nothing disappoints me more than bad food. The food at the resort was delicious, fresh, and filling. Each morning for breakfast we ordered a hearty bowl of oatmeal made with almond milk and fresh fruit. Lunch was usually served pool-side and included fresh fish and chicken tacos, quesadillas, or nachos. Dinner varied from a creamy bowl of clam chowder to the grilled daily catch with sautéed vegetables. It was wonderful and by far the best surprise.

Expectation: Limited activities

Reality: More activities than time to try them all


Mixology lessons, ceviche cooking classes, day excursions, full-service spa and free access to all Pueblo Bonita Resorts in Cabo San Lucas kept us busy for our long weekend getaway. This was in addition to the two pools and beach at the Pacifica resort. We were looking for a relaxing girls weekend, and that we had. The mixology and cooking classes were free and on-site making it the perfect afternoon activity. Most of our days were spent laying by the pool and beach, sipping frozen margaritas, and chatting, but it was wonderful to know we had the option to do other things if we wanted to.

Expectation: Overpriced upcharges

Reality: Appropriately priced quality services


Anyone who has stayed in an all-inclusive resort knows…there are upcharges. This is a common part of the all-inclusive experience and something I was not looking forward to. However, Pueblo Bonita’s prices were beyond fair and reasonable. I ordered a glass of sparkling wine with dinner one night for $10. We spent a day at the spa, and while it was a bit pricey, it was no more expensive than any other spa in the United States, an the quality was fantastic. The spa treatments and amenities were wonderful and left us feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. We also chose to rent a beach bed several days during our stay. The beds were $40 per day, which averaged to about $5/hour. It included a personal butler (Thanks Juan) and beach-side service (aka you get to eat tacos in bed while lying on the beach). My point: the upcharges were worth every penny.

The Pueblo Bonita Pacifica Resort completely changed my outlook on all-inclusive resorts. I went into the trip thinking we would have a great time but it would be a one-time thing. I can honestly say, I am excited to not only return to Mexico, but a Pueblo Bonita Resort very soon!

Thanks for reading,