Picture this: it’s a warm day, you’re laying back, eyes closed, cocktail in hand, and a cool breeze is blowing across your face as the sound of the ocean soothes you into a deep state of relaxation. Perfection.
Now imagine you’re slipping and sliding down a waterslide, surrounded by music, laughter, dancing, and games! To your right, you hear, “Tequila!” as a game of tequila volleyball is livening up the activities pool. To your left, giggles are ringing out from the kiddie area. You pull yourself out of the water – the smell of lunch on the grill is filling the air – and head over to your lounge chair just as a waiter walks up with the nachos you ordered. Awesome!
Are you ready to wind back down? Maybe your little ones are ready for a nap, or grandma is needing a break from all the loud music. So you grab your beach bag and head over to the quiet pool, swapping your wet towels out for a fresh, warm set on the way. You snag the perfect spot right near the pool with just enough shade to give your tan lines a chance to breathe. You park the stroller in full recline. Baby conked out on the short walk over. Grandma walks down the steps to wade in the water while grandpa relaxes in the shade with the little one.
The family is all taken care of and now it’s happy hour, so you decide it’s time for another margarita. You can’t beat two-for-one cocktails! The drinks come quickly enough, and you – as classy as possible 😉 – double fist your way over to the jacuzzi. This is the life.
Where is Paradise Village?
Paradise Village is a resort in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Our parents have been members for the last ten years or so, but this was sadly our very last visit (time for a new adventure). The up-side is, after ten years of vacationing to the same place, I know it like the back of my hand! So get ready, because I’m about to drop some knowledge. 😉
inclusive is an option!
First and foremost, Paradise Village DOES have an All-Inclusive option. If you’re planning a trip for just you and your honey, or you’ve got a large vacation budget, this would be a great choice for you – because who wants to cook and clean on vacation?! There are multiple restaurants on site ranging from café/bars to finer dining, along with beach and poolside service. So if you’re looking for a “stay-cation” in Paradise, there’s really no need to leave the resort.
If you’re more like us and you’ve got the whole family along, there are definitely ways to save money and still enjoy the many dining experiences. The rooms are all equipped with a full kitchen, so you can either grocery shop at the nearby market, or take a taxi to Walmart and stock up so you don’t have to eat out for every meal. We typically buy breakfast and lunch items, then go out for dinner.
Dining at Paradise Village
As I mentioned, there are a variety of dining options to choose from on-site, and most are delicious!
Tikal Cafe and Deli
This sweet little spot is located right inside the hotel lobby and overlooks the main pool. This is where you’ll go to get your “welcome cocktail” and is a great place to get some air conditioning on a hot day. The menu is identical to the one you’ll find when ordering at the pool or beach. Simple, mostly snacks and of course… drinks!
Kaybal Grill & Beach Club
This past trip, the Kaybal Grill was our go-to spot. We had an incredible server named Hector who created the “Hector Margarita.” Delicious! Needless to say, we frequented his section. The menu has great lunch items like a burger and fries, a tuna sandwich, (my favorite) shrimp tacos, and more. It overlooks the ocean and is right next to the beach volleyball court. Harley and I had a great time cheering dad on from our table.
This restaurant also “transforms” from a poolside grill to a beachfront restaurant for dinner. Though the one night we ate here, the food came out cold and the orders a little jumbled. Maybe an off night? We didn’t go back to find out.
El Faro de Tulum Restaurant
This restaurant is a little hit and miss. From my experience, ordering off the menu tends to be tasty, but I highly recommend walking the buffet line before you grab some salad and realize you’re committed to the buffet price. While the buffet changes between different international cuisine, it typically looks dried out and unappetizing. The seafood fettuccini on the menu was BOMB though! 😉
Mayapan happened to be the only dinner restaurant we dined at twice during our most recent stay. This is their Mexican-style restaurant. The food was delicious (I had the salmon and the red snapper) and the service was wonderful. Make sure you order a Flaming Coffee for dessert! Not only is it a tasty after-dinner treat, but it’s quite the show!
Il Pescatore Ristorante
With a peaceful view of the marina and the perfect live music to set the mood, Il
El Tigre Club House Restaurant
Because you have to take a shuttle to the golf course, this past trip was my very first time dining at the El Tigre Club House. And man… do I regret that now! The Sunday Brunch on the golf course was one of the highlights of my entire trip! The food was spectacular and the mimosas kept coming. The Sunday Brunch was buffet style with various stations mixed in. Now, I’ve seen an omelet bar before… but a fresh sushi bar?! And tacos?! And more desert than you’d even know what to do with… Seriously. I was in heaven.
The final dining option you have at Paradise Village is a theme night, and some even include entertainment. Hands down, my favorite theme night is the Mexican Fiesta. Held around the activities pool (inside if it’s raining), the Mexican fiesta is truly an experience. You are greeted with a shot glass that hangs around your neck and, along with the event being an open bar, servers walk around with tequila – sometimes they’ll even skip the glass and just tell you to tip your head back and open up. HA! There are multiple performers, games, and of course a DELICIOUS buffet. At $32 a person, the Mexican Fiesta is 100% worth it!
Before we jump into the available activities, I want to mention that there IS a Kid’s Club onsite. Mom and Dad can take a break while the kiddos enjoy a little vacation of their own. There’s an awesome activities schedule just for them so you can drop them off and take some time to unwind.
At Paradise Village, the fun never stops. Seriously. There’s always something going on for you to jump into. Your hub for activities will be the main pool. When you check in, you’ll be given a schedule that looks something like this. We like to go through and highlight everything that looks like fun so we don’t miss out.
Activities include things like:
- Beach & Pool Volleyball
- Bocce Ball
- Water Aerobics
- Jet Skis
And so much more!
You can also purchase day passes to golf, use the gym, or enjoy the hydrotherapy area in the spa. Which leads me right in to one of my personal favorites…
The Palenque Spa
The Palenque Spa is a wonderfully tranquil environment. You can take a rain shower, sit in the whirlpool jacuzzi, sweat out toxins in the sauna, or cleanse your pores in the aromatherapy steam room. As a new momma, this was a perfect addition to my vacation. I was able to leave Harley with Ryan and disappear for an hour or two here and there, then come back refreshed and ready to love on my 6-month-old all over again.
While your relaxation can be achieved in this room alone, the Palenque Spa does offer a variety of spa treatments and services. To plan ahead, you can find their full list of services on their website.
With such amazing prices, my hubby and I both got the Aroma Therapeutic Massage, and I added the Peppermint Sea Twist Anti-Cellulite body treatment. If you’ve ever used tea tree shampoo and felt that amazing tingly feeling on your scalp, imagine that over your entire body. Bliss.
I hope this helps make your next Mexico vacation magical (and easy)! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below. I’m happy to help.
Enjoy your stay at Paradise Village, and tell them Sarah sent you. 🙂 (Not really though.. they won’t have a clue what you’re talking about out.)