“Over there,” she said, pointing toward the parking lot, which lay right beyond the open and airy reception area.
“Wait over there. A tram will take you to your room.”
I suppose when an all-inclusive resort spreads over a whopping 50 acres, the most logical way to direct guests to their rooms is to drive them where they need to go. It’s a good thing I caught the tram, too, because my room was in the very last building on the property. The driver wound around the roads, which were open to resort vehicles only, so they were also friendly for anyone who preferred the walk.
I arrived at Las Brisas after dark, and the king-sized bed was a welcome relief after a day of traveling. The room was large and spacious, with a couple of chairs, table, sofa and desk. I flipped on the television, watched a magic show in Spanish (who knew magic was a universal language?) and admired the room. Almost everything was white, including the cool floor, the slippers in the closet and the bathrobe hanging in the bathroom. A towel folded into a bird sat on the counter. I didn’t want to ruin the art, so I washed and dried my face with another towel instead.
Before going to bed, I pulled open the curtains and unlatched the door to my balcony. A wave of humidity lifted off the ocean. It smelled warm and salty. As a relatively new resort community with a well-thought out development plan, there is still a lot of clean, natural space in Huatulco. As such, there were a few twinkling lights from neighboring resorts, but no neon spray of signs or pumping party music from the beaches below. I sat in one of the chairs on the balcony and looked at the stars.
This is the life.
The next morning, I got up early to explore the grounds of Las Brisas on my own terms. As I suspected, I had a great view of the ocean from my room, though a large tree prevented me from watching the sunrise. After a warm shower and a nod to the towel bird, I headed out for a walk back to reception. Instead of following the tram’s road, I discovered a footpath that wound through the resort’s property.
Countless brilliantly colored tropical flowers lined the path, and I found a small, private sand beach (from where I finally did watch the sunrise before leaving the resort). Huatulco is in a strangely dry, tropical region, and despite the humidity and ocean, there are cacti next to the flowers on the beach. A strange, beautiful paradox.
On my morning walk, I passed the thatched hut that served for a spa on the beach, several pools, a handful of restaurants and several people caring for the flora on the property. Enigma played from the speakers as a couple employees cleaned the pool. The sun was warm and if I hadn’t been on a tight schedule, I would have gone back to my room and traded in my camera and notebook for a swimsuit and a morning on the beach.
- There are 484 suites.
- Guests enjoy meals at four restaurants.
- Located on Tangolunda Bay, it is the only property in the world with four private beaches, including the hidden one I’d found on my morning walk.
- Guest have access to three swimming pools, a soccer field, volleyball court, basketball court, 12 tennis courts and three squash courts. They can also access equipment for kayaking, windsurfing and snorkeling.
- Though Las Brisas is an all-inclusive resort, there are different levels of inclusiveness, which vary in price.
- Once a Club Med, the resort became Las Brisas in 2002.
And, my favorite fact: Las Brisas Huatulco was the first hotel in Oaxaca to receive the Certificate of Environmental Quality by PROFEPA, Mexico’s environmental enforcement agency. The certification is given to properties for properly managing the quality and quantity of its water usage, efficiently using electricity and managing chemical usage on the property.
I enjoyed the freshly squeezed juice over breakfast, but the buffet itself wasn’t anything to write home about. The hot food was sort of tepid and though the fresh fruit section was expansive, it was messy and in dire need of a makeover. I just couldn’t get as excited about it like I did with other Huatulco food experiences I had while visiting the area.
I’ve never been an all-inclusive person myself, and I don’t know if I can picture myself making the conscious choice to spend all day every day on a resort property, but there was no shortage of things to see and do. A huge calendar with the day’s activities was updated every morning and consisted of everything from crafts to variety shows. I got up early one morning to go on a guided bird watching walk (since I didn’t have time to make it to the on-site botanical garden), and though we never made it past the parking lot, I still learned a lot about the local birds.
On my last morning in Las Brisas, I zipped up my bag and looked around the pristine room one last time. The cool air conditioning felt good on my skin, especially because I knew I’d be walking into the clammy morning, even though the sun had barely risen. I gave a final nod to the towel bird and said good-bye to a gecko who had taken up residence on my wall the night before.
Then I opened the curtains one final time and let the sun in.
My stay in Huatulco, Mexico, was paid for by the Mexico Tourism Board but all opinions are my own.