Checking into an all-inclusive property like Cancun's The Pyramid at Grand Oasis is a bit overwhelming considering they have 21 restaurants and 22 bars. And while this is a good (and delicious) problem to have when you're on vacation, a few strategies can streamline the process. Here's how to work the system to your advantage.
Many restaurants at The Pyramid at Grand Oasis require reservations, but under strict guidelines: within a 24-hour window and calling during certain hours. If you're at the beach or the pool or on an excursion, this could seriously cramp your style. But instead, ask a concierge to make reservations for you--it's they're job after all, and they're darn good at it. Along with restaurant reservations, you can also use a concierge to book half- and full-day excursions off property, ranging from museums to water sports and tours. No request is too small, including “Where can I get the best margarita in town?”
By skimming a resort’s website, you’ll note the array of culinary options, but probably aren’t prepped to outline a meal itinerary. It’s worth the time to click on menus, however -- visit TripAdvisor.com for reviews, or even call the property to determine your top three restaurants. If there’s a restaurant you’re dying to check out, it can be disappointing to discover upon arrival that it’s closed a night or two during your stay.
For dinner, consider picking a restaurant for wine and small plates, sitting down around happy hour, and moving to a new restaurant for the main course at around 8-8:30 p.m. Remember, you’re not paying extra for the stops, so take advantage of the culinary options. For example, at Pyramid at Grand Oasis, small plates with wine at Sevilla Wine & Tapas could be followed by a multi-course meal (tiny portions, thankfully) at White Box.
At many all-inclusive resorts, room service is not a luxury or added price -- instead, it’s included in the overnight fee. Experience what it’s like to live like royalty when a wheeled cart is brought into your room and beneath silver domes are plates of fresh fruit, egg dishes and meats, along with a basket of croissants, and a pot of hot coffee. Enjoying sunrise with your scrambled eggs oftentimes makes a beachfront room worth the splurge.
At many all-inclusive hotels (The Pyramid at Grand Oasis included), guests can upgrade their reservation to VIP status, allowing for perks like free premium spirits, wine, beer, and upgraded snacks. A similar upgrade is at Barcelo Bavaro Palace in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, with a Club Premium reservation, granting access to the lounge 24/7. Because these all-inclusive resorts book hundreds, if not thousands, of guests per night, it’s good to escape the commotion for a quiet, more sophisticated venue for breakfast (with a-la-carte options on a small, but still sizeable, buffet; and table service for drinks and hot-dish items) than a breakfast buffet in a large, packed dining room.