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Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center Food & Activities Introduction
The Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center was so big that I had to split this review up into two parts. Last time I talked about the resort’s property and amenities, this time I will talk about the food, activities, and overall service of the resort.
Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center Food
The resort had a lot of dining options as most all-inclusive resorts usually do. You can see the entire list on the hotel’s page, but there were tons of places to dine so you should never go hungry, even if you’re not staying on an all-inclusive package. The main restaurant where the massive buffets were for every meal was La Villita which was a massive hut which protected from the scorching sun and rain when it came. There was also a patio for those who wanted to be out from under cover. As a Marriott Titanium Elite member, we were entitled to breakfast as our property amenity gift. Usually this only applies to the basic continental menu, but since we couldn’t have lounge access for breakfast, because kids aren’t allowed, the manager allowed us the full buffet at breakfast at La Villita which was extremely generous and we took full advantage.
I won’t bore you with the little details of the buffet because all of the usual suspects were there, but I did want to point out a few unique options that they had at breakfast.
There was a smoothie station with bowls of fresh fruits and veggies. You could simply grab a blender cup, fill it with whatever you wanted and then the smoothie attendant would offer you your choice of juice or milk to blend with. Each morning I had an excellent smoothie at breakfast which was such a nice way to start the day.
Right beside the smoothie station was the crepe station. The crepes were made fresh in front of you and you could fill it with whatever fruit or sauce you wanted. The classic strawberry, banana, and Nutella was a favourite of ours.
Of course, they also had a make your own omelette station which I visited each morning.
One entire section of the buffet was dedicated to fresh fruit, pastries, yogurts, etc. This was where I went for my breakfast appetizer. The rice pudding, channeling my inner old person, was amongst the best I’ve ever had and I am not ashamed to admit I had one each morning. Our sons loved that there was endless yogurt for them to eat and we always ended breakfast with a donut, because we could - vacation rules, right?
The “green juice” was a favourite of my wife’s even though we never really found out what it was but we were pretty sure ginger and spinach/kale were involved. Either way, I actually didn’t hate it, which surprised me.
For lunch it was a free for all. Bonvoy Elite members get 10% off on all restaurants at the resort so that helped make what was already very reasonable even cheaper. Most of the time we didn’t eat lunch since we had a big breakfast and then we would go out for an early dinner, but the kids needed to eat lunch and some days we also got hungry. Alfresco Trattoria was our go to for lunch. The pizza was delicious and depending on which pizza you ordered they ranged in price from $12-19. We ordered several different pizzas during our stay but the Meat Lover was our favourite. This was a really reasonable lunch considering each pizza fed our family. We didn’t eat anywhere else for lunch at the resort as the pizza was delicious, cheap, and convenient. One weird thing, they served ketchup packets with each pizza, I’m not sure what kind of animal would put ketchup on their pizza but that was weird.
Drinks were also extremely cheap. We ended up getting tons of free drinks as a result of participating in and winning several of the poolside activities (more on that later) but even paying cash was reasonable as drinks were 80 MXN ($5 CAD), but we only ever ordered during 2-for-1 Happy Hour from 12-1pm. It was even better because the drinks weren’t your typical watered down, low quality alcohol, all-inclusive-type drinks, they were actually quality. The Bonvoy Elite discount did not apply during Happy Hour.
Lastly, any day you deferred housekeeping you got a $5 USD food and beverage credit to be used at any hotel restaurant or bar. This was another way to saved on our food and drinks. You could only defer a maximum of 3 days in a row though. So housekeeping does have to come on the 4th day then you can continue deferring for another 3 days and so on. These vouchers also did not apply to Happy Hour.
Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center Fiesta Night
My parents were pestered from day 1 to go to a timeshare presentation. They weren’t necessarily opposed to it because there is always some sort of incentive, but anyone who has done something like this knows that the offer gets better the longer you wait. Finally on Day 4 the offer was enough for them to commit to going to the presentation. They also did it because the lady offering the presentation to them got a $120 USD commission for them just going to the presentation and it was an easy way to give this woman some income. The final offer was 4 adult tickets to the Fiesta Night and 50% off to the Michael Jackson Show night, both included entertainment, food, and drinks for the night. In the end, the offer worked out to about $100 CAD in incentives which was a fair offer to spend a couple hours and then say “No”. Of course we could have gone down the street and eaten for much less but this Fiesta Night was worth it.
Fiesta Night is the once weekly night that the resort puts on a big show and does a big Mexican fiesta with all the typical Mexican foods. There was absolutely no way you could go hungry here. There was so much food that I needed 2 plates just to sample everything that I wanted to try. And that was before I even got to the taco station. All of the food was excellent from the appies to the cooked-to-order grilled meats to the hand crafted tacos and desserts. I may have eaten over 10 tacos and several churros for dessert, don’t judge me. Drinks were included, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic and they were unlimited. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking.
The entertainment was great as they had a mariachi band, guest participation games, balloon artist, and singing performances. All of the entertainment was excellent and didn’t feel “cheap” at all which I’ve definitely experienced in the past. This was my favourite night at the resort by far.
Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center Activities
Each day there was a list of hourly activities posted by the pool and you could decide what you wanted to go participate in. All activities were free unless they specifically mentioned a fee, but all the ones we did were completely free. Pool Games and Mexican Bingo were our favourite, but for any sort of competition game we were there. Prizes varied between tequila bottles ( we won 4), food vouchers (we won $20 USD), and drink tickets (we had won 12 by the end of the week). If nothing else, these games were a way to earn free food and drink. After we maxed out our tequila winnings since we could only bring back 4 bottles without paying duty, we started requesting drink tickets and usually the Entertainment Team was compliant.
The Entertainment Team were the highlight of the whole week for us. They were so funny, kind, welcoming, and entertaining that we couldn’t help but spend time with them as much as possible. Special shoutouts to Milton, Daniel, Fernando, and Abimael who were the best at making every activity lots of fun and including our kids too. Milton knew everyone’s name in our group by the second day, that’s 7 names total. We got to know him so well that we still keep in touch with him to this day.
Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center Sheraton Club
The Sheraton Club at the resort was totally acceptable. By no means was it the best lounge I’ve ever been in but it for sure wasn’t the worst either. There were couches centred around a TV and lots of tables to sit around for a meal or a drink.
Access was only to the status holder and one guest per room which meant only my wife and I were allowed in from our group. There are no kids allowed at any time of the day.
The lounge was open daily from breakfast til after dinner but meals were only served during breakfast and dinner. The breakfast had all the standard options that you would find in a typical North American breakfast, though I was definitely happy we had the buffet instead as the options there were vastly more than in the lounge.
During the lunch hours some days they put out meats, cheeses, and buns for you to make your own sandwiches which we did on a few days where we were hungry for lunch. This was accompanied by some candies and nuts.
The lounge always had a fridge stocked full of cold water which we often visited the lounge for. Each room got 2 bottles each day but it didn’t take long to go through those we having access to the lounge for cold bottled water alone was worth it. I wish there was a way to use our own water bottles and not waste so much plastic but that was simple not possible at this resort.
No food was allowed to be taken from the lounge, said the rules. This was enforced based on which lounge attendants were there. Some days we would be allowed to bring a cup of chips and salsa out and some days we didn’t even bother asking because we knew the answer, especially if Vanessi was there. Those who read Part 1 of this review know who I’m talking about.
The dinner at the lounge was definitely enough food to replace your meal if you decided to do so. The first night was the best night for us. the hot offerings were seafood paella, stuffed red peppers, and hot wings. It was a very random selection of foods but I love all of them so it was perfect for me. The seafood paella was the best hot food I had in the lounge all week but unfortunately it never came back after that first night. There were always 3 hot items to choose from for dinner. Your choice of red or white wine was also on offer for dinnertime only and there was no beer.
Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center Kids Club
We didn’t use the Kids Club at the resort since the kids loved the pool so much and we had my parents there to help us out watching them, but there was a Kids Club and it looked sufficient if you needed a break from the little ones.
As far as I could tell there was no additional cost associated with leaving your kids there, which makes it an even easier decision to leave your kids there for a few hours. Pooty-trained kids were welcome to be left at the Kids Club on their own, but non potty-trained kids needed to have a parent there, which kind of defeats the purpose of getting a break from the kids but I could see this being nice if it’s really hot outside and the kids need a break from the heat as the Kids Club was air conditioned.
Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center Bottom Line
Our weeklong stay at the resort was pleasant. While I try to avoid the mega resorts as they don’t always offer the most authentic stay, as the kids get older I definitely see the draw to them for the convenience. The food and activities at this resort were plentiful and quality. The Entertainment Team are fantastic and if you find yourself bored at this resort, that’s your own fault because there is literally something to do every hour of the day and then plenty of special events throughout the week.
While I don’t like staying at the same place twice because I like to experience variety as much as possible, I would have no issue coming back to this resort for another weeklong stay. The location is great, the staff are mostly excellent, and the Club Lounge is sufficient to get you through the day if you are wanting to save money on food. My family and I had a great stay at Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center and would not hesitate to return.
Featured photo courtesy of Sunwing