Loc: Westchester County
Back in late June of 2001 we stayed at the Gala All-Inclusive resort. While it's listed in Playa del Carmen, about an hour south of Cancun the Gala Resort is really in the town of Playacar. We had gorgeous sunny weather although it was pretty humid most days but nothing that a cool drink or dip in the ocean/pool wouldn't cure.
This was our first try at an all-inclusive and since then we have only tried one other in Antigua, and I can say after staying at both that the food is just OK as are the accommodations BUT... what Gala lacked in food it made up for with a beautiful beach, friendly staff, great pools, and the freedom and safety our daughter felt who was 10 at the time experienced. She truly enjoyed herself.
The Gala resort has two pools, one for adults-only and there are guards who walk around and made sure it's adults only. The other pool is much larger but the adult only is big enough.
There were two open Ėair buffet dining areas which serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast and lunch were usually better than dinner in taste and variety, but they also have two indoor air-conditioned restaurants. One is Italian, and the other is Mexican. (Wasn't every buffet night Mexican night??) Anyway both are very cool and in late June you need cool. The food was very good at the restaurants. I don't know if the policy has changed but when we went you could only dine at the sit down restaurants once each during your 7-day stay so you certainly don't get spoiled.
Each night at 9:30 the young adults who are part of the kids club crew, activity directors, etc also put on a show. I swear I don't know where some of them still had the energy after a full days work out in the sun and heat. Some nights the shows were very entertaining, one or two nights not very good. Once a week they bring in a professional dancing troupe that is excellent. Lots of costumes, fire eating, and unbelievable dancing.
Another fun activity was the nightly disco. Disco was opened up to families a few times during the week but only until 8:00 PM. Again the kidís club directors had all sorts of fun stuff for the kids to do and the parents just hung out. It was very air conditioned so I didnít mind. I did not make it any evenings to the ďadultĒ portion of disco night but hubby did and said it was pretty good.
Drinks were a little watered down but once we started to tip the bartenders the drinks got better at all the bars and there were plenty of them around the resort. In fact every evening it would get packed for the show so getting a drink from the waitress could have been difficult but after we tipped her the first night she returned every night without us having to wait and flag her down, it was worth the tipped not to have to wait and also not to have to get up and go to the bar.
Service was good, no complaints but it would have been helpful to know a little Spanish as some of the maintenance people did not speak English and getting some minor problems fixed in our room took several phones calls, walks back to reception over a two day period to get resolved. If I recall one of the issues was with the safety box, and the other was with the mini refrigerator.
The cost of this trip was very reasonable and what made it the most worthwhile was that many days our daughter went to the kids club from morning until night. They would do all types of activities from water sports, land, table games, movies, video games. Kids were broken up into age groups and the older children like my daughter had the most activities. If there was something she didn't want to do she'd take a break and come spend some time with us. Each evening she'd join us for dinner and then would go back to the kids club and then the directors would take them each night to the Show for front row seats. The cost of the kids club was zero! When we looked into kids clubs at some of the other resorts they cost as much as $100 a day. I think we tipped about $80 by the end of the week and they were all very grateful as policy is no tips and most people did not tip. We did tipped because they worked so hard and really deserved the extra gesture.
Our room was very sparse and beds weren't very comfortable but like I said it was very affordable. Each room had a mini refrigerator and it would get filled up each day with several soda's and beverages but if you wanted bottled water it was extra.
Except for a one-day excursion to Xcaret we didn't venture off the property. My hubbie and I had been to Cancun several years before and because it was our first all -inclusive I didn't want to do much outside that would cost us money. Xcaret was a very expensive day. We crammed everything into one day and at the time my husband was on crutches so it was my responsibility to go horseback riding, and snorkeling in the caverns with our daughter. Between the humidity and activities it was an exhausting day.
Off hand I can't remember much more but if anyone has any questions you can PM me and I'll try to remember as it was almost 5 years ago.