Hacienda Tres Rios Review September 2009

Lydia Linton Pontius

I am not a fan of all-inclusives. I find I feel like I am lost in the masses, and they usually lack the real feel of where ever you might be. If you've been to one you have been to them all was my sense. Then I read about an eco-friendly all-inclusive. At first I thought isn't that an oxymoron. I researched and saw that Hacienda Tres Rios had indeed been awarded and recognized for their commitment to sustainability. This peaked my interest and I had to learn more about this place.

Many readers may know exactly where they are - on the property that was once the eco-park Tres Rios. The park was closed and and owners conducted several years of studies to determine the best and right way to proceed with development. They went to great lengths to do the right thing in every aspect of building and maintaining the property, to assure the least amount of impact on this slice of paradise.

When you first approach the resort you are very aware of the environment around you and how the owner's sought to protect it. The roads wind through the jungle so you can't help but start to feel one with the nature around you. The hustle and bustle leaves and you start to unwind, maybe roll down the window to soak in the smells and the sounds.

As you arrive you are greeted with warmth and professionalism. As you walk through the door you realize this is not just another all-inclusive mega resort. The entryway is reminiscent of a colonial hacienda with wrought iron balconies and high center ceiling. What I found intriguing is that this resort is 100% Mexican. It is not owned by international investors. It is staffed with Mexicans and built entirely from materials grown, mined or manufactured in Mexico. They took and continue to take sustainability very seriously.

The seating area in the main lobby is luscious, with overstuffed wicker seating areas and pleasant music playing from a white grand piano. It sets the tone for the entire property. Check in was a breeze, with pleasant and efficient staff such as David and Carmen. From the check in I met the concierge, Hector, who could not have been more attentive. He not only set me up for a kayak tour, but walked with me to the Mexican Restaurant and discussed the menu making personal suggestions.

Roccio, who works with Group Sales was so delightful, she gave me a personal tour of the property and pointed out some of the highlights, such as the lounge with wifi for guests to enjoy after they have checked out of there rooms and before they must leave for the airport. Next door is a lovely cafe area where they serve tea in the afternoons.

The pool area has an adult pool separate from the children's pool, two restaurants, a deli-type and a stone fired pizza place. The beach has a lovely long pier that you can walk out and get a great view. On the beach are great big, comfortable beds for lounging.

There is dining all day and evening inside at the buffet. This is not your typical buffet, with the big steel chafing dishes. Instead the food is presented in a much more appealing manner, with serving platters refilled on a more regular bases. You will more than likely see the head chef wandering the property checking on each and every food and beverage venue.

At night you have two additional choices, an Asian restaurant on the first floor or the authentic Mexican Restaurant on the second floor. I chose the latter. Thanks to Hector's suggestion, I knew there would be a full moon that evening and it would light up the sky and ocean through the large windows, making for a perfect setting for dinner. My waiter Manuel was wonderful. He helped me with selections of food and wine and each course just got better. I felt like I had the opportunity to tour all of Mexico though my meal.

But I get ahead of myself. Before dinner I spent time in the pool, walked the beach, and took a tour, which included a visit to the gardens, a swim in a cenote and kayaking through the mangroves all the way to the beach and back. The tour was conducted by Sergio and Rudolfo and they made it entertaining, educational and a whole lot of fun.

After a full day I relaxed at the Martini Bar, which serves a wide variety of Martini's each evening at Happy Hour. Following Dinner I stopped in the Sports Bar which was getting ready for Karaoke. This is not your typical wild and crazy Cancun-type bar. Instead it feels more like your local Cheers. But if that is not how you want to spend your evening, then grab an after dinner drink and sit outdoors, or take it back to your room and enjoy your balcony.

Every room has a private patio or balcony and all have spectacular views of the ocean. I have heard people who have stayed at the large all-inclusives say they never even got to the beach. Their rooms were situated far back on the property they used the pools instead. Well that is not the case here.

The next morning I started my day with a great visit to the spa. With the help of the staff I chose a re-hydrating treatment and pedicure. The re-hydrating treatment was a combination of a massage and refreshing cool aloe treatment, perfect considering I had been on the road for two weeks exposed to the sun and many mosquitoes. I followed the treatment with probably the most thorough precise pedicure I have ever had.

The only thing missing at Hacienda Tres Rios was my husband. It is truly a sensual, romantic place. I would recommend it for any special occasion and hope to return again soon, but not alone! Imagine an intimate, luxury, all-inclusive resort with its own private eco-park, doesn't that sound like heaven on earth.

To learn more visit their website.

Hacienda Tres Rios Balconies

Hacienda Tres Rios Property

hacienda Tres Rios Lobby

Hacienda Tres Rios View

Hacienda Tres Rios Outside Seating Area and Martini Bar at Happy Hour

Hacienda Tres Rios Mexican Restaurant

hacienda Tres Rios Buffett

hacienda tres rios

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