As you may recall, this past winter I went to Mexico with Aubrey and Oscar to the Paradisus La Esmerlada, and had an AMAZING time. It was THE best resort I had ever been too (with the exception of our Honeymoon travel, but that’s a whole other story). In terms of All Inclusive vacations, the La Esmeralda whisked me off my feet and won me over within an hour of arriving. I was smitten.
Around the same time I was in Mexico with my family, my girlfriend, Elizabeth, was travelling to Cuba with her family. We tried to co-ordinate travel together for the two families, but budgets and timing never matched up and we ended travelling separately to two different areas. Unfortunately she came home with a completely different experience than we did. (And needless to say she really didn’t feel like she had experienced a vacation.)
When we started talking about the two trips – mine to Mexico and hers to Cuba, the cost of our vacation to Mexico wasn’t astronomically more expensive than hers – but the experiences were on two different levels. As a side note – this is why I really put so much time into these posts on travel, because when you’re travelling somewhere sight unseen, especially with kids, it pays to have had someone you know give you a recommendation. So I want to tell you these things, in hopes that they will help ease your mind. It’s also why I shout from the rooftops that if you’re looking for an amazing family vacation, to read this review and book.
Anyhow, this brings me our girls trip. You see, when we returned – Elizabeth and I started talking about taking a girls-only vacation. She didn’t feel as though she had experienced one (two kids, not an awesome resort etc) and also, that’s what happens when you travel. You get the travel bug. For me, I had never “vacationed” without Aubrey or Oscar, so the idea started to float around about us going away together. We checked our budgets, our availability and Katharine, my travel agent, helped us find pricing on resorts. (Tip. Have a price range with your travel partners about what price is the MAXIMUM amount they want to spend). Money talks are always awkward to have, but it’s important to do and to be honest with one another. We wanted to spend $1,000 per person, but quickly realized that the resorts we were getting back for that price, weren’t really all that, um, luxurious. Elizabeth kept saying that she wanted to experience what I had, when we went as a family to Mexico. Here’s the thing – the property of La Esmeralda is actually divided into two – One side of the property is La Esmerlada, which has a Family Concierce (SO AMAZING) and on the opposite side of the property is La Perla, which is an Adults Only Resort. So, to have the same experience as we had in the Winter as a family, but this time without kids, we chose La Perla. It was around $1,500 which is not inexpensive by any means, but for what you get, it was TOTALLY WORTH IT. And it was, obviously, amazing.
In terms of pricing, we tried waiting for last minute deals, but the resort, not surprisingly, was getting fully booked. One week there were no rooms available. Even in June it was booking fast. So when we saw a room available, we jumped the gun and just booked.
Because I seriously loved the resort so much I reached out to Paradisus, and they invited me to take over their Instagram account for one day – which you can see by popping over to Instagram with our Hashtag / #girlstriptolaperla.