By Ken Hegan for MSN Travel
Planning any fun winter vacations?
I’m excited about an upcoming trip to Mexico. My superfine girlfriend (SG) wrote a travel story that won her a trip-for-2 to an all-inclusive resort in Huatulco. And instead of taking her boss, a family member, or some secret Craigslist lover, she’s invited me to come along.
I’d never heard of Huatulco (pronounced wah-tool-co) before but the Internet assures me it’s a real place. Huatulco is a new 5-star resort destination located in the state of Oaxaca (whah-ha-ka) on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, about 500 kilometers southeast of Acapulco and 900 km northwest of Guatemala City. Huatulco gets 330 days of sunshine a year and pretty much hovers at 30 degrees Celsius each day.
The travel writing contest was held by Wanderlust and Lipstick, “Your destination for women’s travel,” which features travel stories written exclusively by women. The editor, Beth Whitman, is certainly a veteran traveller. She’s been threatened by Nicaraguan motorcycle cops and had a hand grenade pulled on her in Cambodia.
Meanwhile my SG’s travel story — on how she ran in a wine-tasting marathon near Bordeaux — beat 250 other entrants to win Wanderlust and Lipstick’s first prize of a 1-week stay at Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa. Great prize, hey?
But I’ve got mixed feelings on the resort. On one hand, I’m happy to enjoy such a cool prize and thrilled to escape this freezing winter. On the other hand, I’m wary of the hardbodies who’ll be sunbathing around us. Secrets is an adults-only property that, judging by the slick bronzed bodies on their website, looks like it’s crawling with swingers. Even my mom thinks so. Check these people out:
Nothing but hot young couples who can barely keep their mitts off each other, you, me, and my SG. There’s even a swinging bed on the beach!
Granted, Secrets’ guests probably don’t all look like the people on their website. As my friend Jim says, “It’s too bad that by the time most people can afford to go to a place like this, they no longer look like the models on the website.”
A week at Secrets costs anywhere from $1,771.77 USD ($1,746.79 CDN) for a Junior Suite with a double jacuzzi, to $12,402.60 USD ($12,227.72 CDN) for a week in their Preferred Two-Level Presidential Suite Swim-Out. Those are July prices, by the way. Expect to pay another $200-300 in January, February, or March.
Our roundtrip flight from Vancouver to Huatulco (which wasn’t included in the prize) cost $625 each, taxes included. Not bad, given that Mexico is one of the most gorgeous destinations on Earth and Huatulco is a relatively new resort destination. It’s not commonplace and played out like, say, Acapulco or Cancun. Most roundtrip flights from Canada cost $1,000 or more, not including a $30 taxi ride from the airport to the resort.
Ah, but according to the website, it’s all worth it when you set foot on their sparkly shoreline.
“As though carved into the foothills of the coastline where it hugs the glistening shores of the Conejos Bay, there sits a place where even doing nothing is amazing,” coos the Secrets website.
“With its golden sand, beautiful rock formations and sapphire waters, Conejos Bay welcomes the adults-only Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa. Here, the exceptional amenities and services of Unlimited-Luxury® await, beginning with unlimited food and top-shelf spirits from eight reservation-free, gourmet restaurants and four stylish bars and lounges.” There will be “nightly theme parties”, pool and beach wait service, and “24-hour room and concierge service. All of it without wristbands.”
In other words: it’s a bacchanalian orgy without any screaming kids, and all the Grey Goose and Patrón tequila you can pour past your decadent, sunburned lips. And if that somehow gets dull, there’s a Canadian-owned sports bar in town called (wait for it) Señor Pucks.
How do you feel about adults-only resorts? If you won a week at Secrets Huatulco, how would you enjoy your stay? Would you mix & mingle (hint hint) or would you steer clear of everyone but bartenders and your spouse as you sit uncomfortably together on a boulder?
— Ken Hegan
Read more of Ken’s MSN travel stories here
Follow Ken on Twitter: @KenHegan
Photos supplied by Secrets Huatulco