By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor
PLAYA DEL CARMEN – From solicitous butlers to speed boats and free phone calls, Caribbean all-inclusive resorts are upping the ante when it comes to perks and inclusions.
The latest to catch our attention: Sandos Playacar in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, where a behind-the-scenes tour of the resort’s main kitchen is offered three times a week at no extra charge.
Guests don complimentary toques and aprons for the 45-minute experience, which takes a maximum of 20 curious foodies through each section of the kitchen where a total of 160 chefs and line cooks work in three daily shifts. A visit to the cold prep room, where carved pumpkins and watermelons are displayed, yields an unexpected bit of knowledge: the art of fruit and vegetable carving is called mukimono. Who knew?!
Participants also visit the room service department, which, at busy times, may receive two orders every minute and has a maximum of only 40 minutes to prepare and deliver meals to any of the 819 rooms on the 49-acre beachfront property. They learn about the formulas used to determine exactly how much food is required to satisfy vacationers appetites while simultaneously minimizing waste, and find out how exactly how much guacamole gets prepped at the Mexican-Caribbean resort each day (for the record, 573 pounds.)
Come hungry, because along the way there are generous samples, everything from spicy tostadas to petit fours and sparkling mocktails. And leave grateful. Because you won’t have to do any of the 20,000 dishes that get washed here every day.