Hit Pause, Reset, and Recharge
Guest Blog Contribution from Dream Vacations’ John Walker
Travel is not only our livelihood, it’s our passion. Over the past 22 years, my husband and I have been making memories traveling the world. And the past fourteen years, we’ve been sharing our passion with our customers by turning Dreams into Vacations. 2020 started off looking like it would be one for the books, but then came COVID-19. Each of us has our own story on how our lives have been affected by this virus. The toll has been staggering. It’s been beyond stressful and at times overwhelming with no end in sight. The Travel and Hospitality Industries were thrown into a downward spiral with no sign of hitting bottom. Who would have ever thought we’d be where we are today? I’ll be first to admit that spending countless days isolated in our home, living in an endless loop of Groundhog Day, my sanity was taking a beating. One day in June, I received an email that UNICO 2087 in Tulum was reopening for business. Finally, a tiny sign of hope that life may be returning to a glimmer of normality.
UNICO 2087 is known by travel agents everywhere to be the BEST of the BEST and just so happens to be the winner of the 2020 TRAVVY Travel Agent Award for BEST All-Inclusive in Mexico. With Mexico reopening to tourism, we felt it was important for us to experience traveling during the age of COVID-19. Not only did we want to see how the resorts are handling everything, but most importantly my husband and I deserved a much-needed break from the current state of the world. We wanted an escape from reality so we could reset and recharge.
Our trip started at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. While it’s strange to see the busiest airport in the world so empty, we made record time through TSA and ended up at the Delta Skyline Lounge drinking mimosas. We actually started to believe that this vacation was going to happen after being on pins and needles that something would happen to cause this trip to be cancelled, as well. Delta has mastered air travel during the pandemic. Our plane was exceptionally clean, everyone provided with hand sanitizer was in their seats with masks on, and we took off 30 minutes early.
A little over two hours later, we landed at Cancun International Airport. The Mexican tourist industry has really taken everything seriously and have established well-planned protocols to keep both tourists and locals safe and healthy. Face masks are required by law in the airport and all public places. It was refreshing to be in an environment where everyone cared and respected each other. Typically, it can take up to an hour to get through Customs in Cancun, but 15 minutes later, we were having our passports stamped by a customs agent welcoming us to Mexico. Every single customs agent window was open to help guest flow and to stay 6 feet apart. Passengers are scanned via thermal camera while walking to baggage claim. All drivers are required to be Certified Sanitized in order to transport guests. The drivers sanitized each suitcase and handed each guest a Purell towel and masks were required. Arrival at UNICO is where the cleanliness standards went next level. When our driver pulled up to the entrance gate, the entire vehicle was sprayed with industrial sanitizer. Once complete, the gate opened for us to enter paradise. When we arrived at the front door, we were greeted with a hot towel with cleaner and aromatherapy. Our luggage was sprayed again with disinfectant. We were also asked to walk through a foot bath to sanitize our shoes. Our temperatures were taken and then we proceeded to check in. All of these steps help you realize that everyone had to get through all these protocols, so it puts your mind at ease so you can enjoy your vacation. UNICO is a 5-star resort and they are setting the standard on every aspect of sanitation and government health guidelines. I have never seen a cleaner facility in my life. UNICO also retrained their entire team on the “new normal” service standards and actually made our experience more personable.
UNICO is special in many ways, but the location is what makes it such a winner. If you need a complete escape and a total break from the world’s negative energy, then set your coordinates to 20°N 87°W. I swear the healing energy of the location comes from this location’s remoteness, which is close to Mayan ruins, underground cenotes, and sprawling jungles. There are no other hotels in sight and the secluded beach goes on for days. It was so peaceful and serene, we felt as if we were the last people left on earth. Take that environment and add non-stop gourmet dining, incredible craft cocktails, and warm personalized service to complete your relaxed luxury experience. The 2087 Grille serves two of my favorite staples during my stay: waffle flights for breakfast and the best Tandori Chicken I’ve ever had for lunch. Pool service is UNICO’s specialty, with the greatest pool attendants and waiters. You are guaranteed your favorite spot by the pool and never an empty glass. Too relaxed to get up for lunch? No worries, your pool waiter will be happy to bring lunch to you. Make sure to try the pizza, tempura onion rings, and broccoli tacos. Your Butler (Local Host) is literally available at your fingertips via WhatsApp. Order that lobster for dinner or have fresh churros delivered to your room as you lounge in your balcony jacuzzi. INDULGE.
UNICO 2087 is truly one of the only ALL-INCLUSIVE resorts. What other resort includes spa and salon treatments and exciting excursions in your fare? We really pampered ourselves and scheduled a spa treatment each day. Try the 130-minute body treatment; it will change your life. When you only have to pay the 25% gratuity, why not? You deserve it! Immerse yourself in the local landscape with a visit to the magical Mayan ruins or the breathtaking underwater world of the cenotes and even zipline through the jungle. PRICELESS.
We know COVID-19 is going to be around until there’s a vaccine. Until then, each of us needs to decide how we’ll deal with our new reality. For us, life is too short to live locked up in our home. We have decided to live a socially responsible life by wearing our masks and socially distancing while we continue to make memories. We have chosen not to change what we do, but how we do it. Who knew this investigative trip into our new “temporary” normal would turn out to be one our top vacations?
EXCELLENT artiCle! We aRe even more excited about returning to unico again this year.
Thank you fOr sharing.