Earlier this month, Michael and I had the opportunity to go on vacation to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun with non-vegans. This was my first all-inclusive vacation and I did not know what to expect.
Of course, I was worried about the food options. I wanted to share my experience and some of the lessons I learned on how to get good vegan food at an all-inclusive. I am not promoting the resort we visited or saying the options were great… just how we navigated them. With this being my first experience, I don’t know if this is normal or if it will work at most all-inclusive resorts.
I understand different resorts offer different things, but this resort had a breakfast buffet, one restaurant open for lunch, and four restaurants to choose from for dinner. The breakfast buffet was surprisingly easy and had great options. In the buffet, there was an omelet station. We asked the chef to saute just the veggies for us. There was some cross-contamination but we did not expect perfection. This was tasty even without seasoning. There was also fresh fruits and veggies. They usually had a potato option like roasted potatoes with olive oil or hash browns that were good. They had cereal and soy milk by the smoothie/juice bar. On some mornings, they had other vegan options, like roasted tomato, zucchini, and eggplant stack, or strawberry tamales.
Lunch was the hardest meal with the fewest options. They only had one restaurant regularly open for lunch and it only had one small salad and one sandwich option. This got boring. There was one day that another restaurant was opened. It was Italian themed. We had a horrible time getting this one right, but the server was very kind. First, we ordered the Arrabbiata and were going to share it. Well, it was presented with grated parmesan cheese, so it got sent back. Then it was too spicy for me. Michael got to enjoy it all to himself and I ordered a marinara dish. Glad that we weren’t paying for each plate.
Dinners were easier than I expected. They asked if anyone in our dining party had food allergies. I took this as an opportunity to tell them we were vegan. Sometimes we had to explain what that meant and sometimes the language barrier was a little challenging, but in the end, the food was great and, we have to assume, vegan.
All of the staff were more than willing to assist and go out of their way to help us (and we tipped them graciously to show our appreciation).
If you go on vacation in Mexico, be patient if their English is not the best. Remember, this is their second language and it isn’t like we learned the local language before visiting, so we could converse with them.
Do you have any all-inclusive tips that you found worked? If so, we would love to hear them in the comments!