My bestie Karli and I just returned from six days at Ocean Coral and Turquesa – an unforgettable Caribbean vacation and an awesome Girls Trip. Everything about this trip was a dream, leaving us feeling blessed beyond belief.
We found Ocean Coral and Turquesa to be a clean, well-appointed location. It was our first time at the resort – my third in Cancun and her first. We both can’t wait to return (in fact, she started planning another visit, this time with her family, as soon as she got home)!
Ocean Coral and Turquesa goes above and beyond in providing a relaxing atmosphere where you really feel able to shed the world and lean in to self care. We opted for the upgraded options, known at Ocean Coral and Turquesa as “Privilege.”
The beach was incredible. Yes, there is seaweed, but that’s life. The turtles need it, it’s natural, and the resort staff works hard to maintain it at a reasonable level. Here is how Karli put it:
“I see a fair amount of people complaining about the seaweed on the beach. This is pure ignorance. This seaweed is called Sargassum seaweed and is a huge benefit to many types of marine life (including baby sea turtles) and healthy for the beach in general. As it washes up on shore it isn’t very pretty, but that’s a small price to pay for healthy animals and healthy beaches!”
There was a good number of thatched umbrellas sprinkled over the beach to provide shade for those who wanted it. Plus the cabanas (no need to reserve) on the Privilege side and by the pool were pure heaven. We did manage to fall asleep in one the second day we were there and fry our heads after the sun moved, but I would do it all over again!
I loved the wide variety of pools, too. We stuck to the Adults-Only Pool and what was affectionately known as the “Party Pool,” but there was also a Family Pool and a Kids Pool/Splash Pad available. They were spaced enough distance apart to maintain separation between the groups of people who gravitated to each, as well as to cover the resort nicely.
The Party Pool featured a swim-up bar (major cool factor) and had music playing from morning to night.
Our favorite bar, though, was the one in the lobby. Juan made killer French Martinis, and was just sweet as can be. Angel and Paolo also provided top-notch service. In the evenings there was music, including this piano/violin duo we really enjoyed.
Our room was beautiful, with crisp linens and a good amount of space to stretch out and be comfortable. It had a bit of an open feel, including a curtain instead of a door on the bathroom (the toilet area has a door), but it suited us well.
We had two double beds and a couch – a king size bed is also an option. (More on the beds in the section on the Privilege upgrade.) There was just the right amount of covers and pillows, but for those who are pickier, a pillow menu was available.
The mini bar is well stocked and included in your all-inclusive package. It was nice to have cold juice or water available whenever we chose, but there was also beer, spirits, and soda.
The rooms are kept nice and cool with the air conditioning, but I have never loved a ceiling fan as much as I did the one above my bed at Ocean Coral and Turquesa! It was a really nice touch and made afternoon naps absolutely blissful.
We loved the table on the balcony, it was a lovely spot to sit and listen to the birds and the waves. On our last day I even sat and watched the sun rise, which was pretty spectacular. The shower and tub on the balcony (also Privilege suite features) were super novel and cool, but we didn’t end up using them.
The staff at Ocean Coral and Turquesa is so good, this probably should have been the first subheading. From the moment we arrived, we were pampered and cared for by a team that went the extra mile at every turn. As soon as we pulled up, a very courteous bellhop (I wish I had caught his name, but it happened fast) helped us out of the van, took our bags and put a cold Pina Colada in our hand. What more could you want, really?
I love this comment from Karli’s review of the resort about her favorite things so much I had to share — “…the fact that they all tolerated (and encouraged) my attempts at Spanish even though they all speak English perfectly well…”
Yes! I love that, too, and know it isn’t always the norm. Luis in the Privilege Lounge even spent time helping us to learn new words and discussed conjugating verbs with us. That was a really special touch.
Any time we had a question or anything even approaching a need, someone helpful and knowledgeable was there to help.
With more than ten restaurants, there is something for everyone, and way more than we could explore in the six days we had at Ocean Coral and Turquesa. I feel like we could do an entire blog post just on the food, in part because all-inclusive resorts are not typically known as culinary destinations.
The first thing I would point out is how hard they worked to be allergy-friendly. My hubby is Celiac and Karli’s daughter has food allergies, so we are very sensitive to options. The first question asked when making a reservation and being seated at a restaurant was if anyone in the party had food allergies. Much appreciated! In addition, there were choices everywhere which recognized a variety of allergies.
Luis was a really delightful server, we enjoyed not only his service but his company. Breakfast on the patio overlooking the ocean was a great way to start the day, but the real feature here is the tapas at lunchtime. I spent three months last year in Spain, and these were some very authentic choices!
We enjoyed dinner in the lounge on our final night and were sad to not see Luis, but the food and service were fantastic. The lobster dinner was delightful, but the appetizers were the real stars. Karli had a pumpkin soup and I had a bone marrow that had me questioning my life choices. So, so good. We also splurged on a bottle of wine and had fun sending the guys a photo of the bill for $900 — it was actually 900 pesos, but you have to have a little fun in life.
La Petite Creperie
We had read about the crepe spot next to the Adult Pool before we arrived, so it was the first place we tried. Their dessert crepes are to die for, and there tons of yummy savory options, too.
The sushi and teppanyaki restaurant, Sensai, was the only one which requires a reservation. Seatings happen all together several times a night. It was a lot of fun, and we met a nice couple from Minnesota there. The food was really good (especially the sushi), though certainly not the best Japanese I’ve ever had. It was well worth the time, though, and a great show.
Another highlight was the lovely French restaurant, Blue Moon. The service was delightful (I have to be better at remembering the names of our servers, but he had two first names, I believe), and the food was stellar. We both had the duck, which was yum, and shared appetizers and desserts. Karli really enjoyed the escargot, and it was a nice touch to add fresh fruit to our water. The portions were a nice size, and we left feeling happy and satiated.
There are two buffets on the property, one by the Kids Pool and one sort of centrally located called Casa Del Mar. Casa Del Mar was a great spot for breakfast, with tons of choices including local and international fare. The number of options was pretty overwhelming at first, but we loved that there was fresh squeezed juices, a variety of breads, and so much more. And the omelet station was fantastic!
Room Service was pretty standard for an all-inclusive, I think. The choices were somewhat limited, but sometimes it is really nice to just have a leisurely morning and enjoy some eggs and toast in the comfort of your room. We had to wait 45 minutes for it, but it was well worth sitting on our sunny balcony with some delicious food.
We loved the small touches throughout the resort, and poolside snacks was definitely one place where they went out of their way. Several days someone cooked poolside, with offerings like paella and rotisserie chicken, which were delicious. Other times there was a cart going around offering treats like fresh fruit on a stick or Mexican corn.
We loved the upgrade program, which they call Privilege (if there was one thing I could change about the Ocean Coral and Turquesa, it would be this name!). Despite the name having some uncomfortable connotations to the American crowd, the Privilege staff made us feel like royalty.
The question is always whether you would upgrade again, and I believe I would for two main reasons — the delightful cabanas on the beach, and access to the Privilege Lounge.
In addition, there were a few other perks that were nice features. Butler service was included, so the Privilege Butler met us at the lobby once we were checked in and showed us to our room, giving a little mini tour on the way and carrying our bags. He also had a variety of other services, as well, such as pressing your clothes and filling the hot tub.
Speaking of hot tubs, each Privilege room had a shower and hot tub on the balcony, which was very romantic and lovely.
The beds were nicer in the Privilege rooms — we went to check out the room of a new friend we met along the way so we could compare rooms. Ours were taller (not sure why?), had thicker mattresses and nicer linens. If you’re a bed person, this could be the deciding factor for you.
The upgrade also gave us 24 hour room service and we had wanted to order some post-club food in the middle of the night (mostly just on principle), but never did, so can’t really speak to that piece of the service.
I’ll try not to gush too overly much, but we loved the spa. I had Rayna with the magic hands and Karli had Iliana — both were really good at their jobs and had us wanting to spend the entire trip in the spa.
Alfredo found us by the pool and gave us a deal on our first package, and it was all heavenly relaxation from there. We also appreciated Liz, who hooked us up with the second visit and took such good care of us at the front desk each time. (Yes, we went more than twice. I said it was a Girls Trip, didn’t I?)
The entertainment at Ocean Coral and Turquesa was pretty typical for an all-inclusive resort, and a lot of fun. The poolside staff kept people entertained during the day, but wasn’t pushy about taking over your chill.
We especially loved the evening entertainment, with a different stage show each night followed by a DJ by the Party Pool. Our first night was the Mexican Culture Show, which we enjoyed a lot, and we also really enjoyed the Carnival night. There are some really talented singers and dancers on this crew!
There are also a lot of activities we did not take advantage of, like the non-motorized water sports, which are great for those looking to keep busier during the day. For those traveling with families, there is a Kids Club from 9 to 5 and also a Teen Club.
The photographers were super fun, and if you are into birds and animals, you’ll want to seek them out. They walk around the resort with a monkey or a bird or some other surprise and encourage people to take photos with it. Karli loved this endlessly, and the pure joy on her face was worth chasing them around!
I think there was a wedding on the resort every day we were there. It added this romantic and fun aspect to the day that brought a smile. We event got invited to crash one day!
Sunscreen. Let’s just say we didn’t do a great job of managing our sunscreen, so consider this a warning! We decided to do carry-on only, so bought sunscreen onsite, which worked out better than we thought it would. For $30 we got a bottle of sunscreen and a bottle of after sun. The issue came in when we chose to go with an SPF of 8. That first day, we probably should have been slathering on some 30, because we had come from North Dakota (where there is no sun, as the activity staff pointed out), and were white as the driven snow.
In closing, a big thanks to the guys in our life who sent us on this amazing Girls Trip. It is fantastic to have supportive partners who understand the value of filling your cup.