Now Sapphire Resort | Riviera Cancun

We booked our honeymoon through Barrhead travel and went in knowing we wanted to go to San Francisco and Mexico but we were open to suggestions on areas and hotels. For San Francisco the hotel was just a place to rest our heads but we wanted Mexico to be the all out, luxurious, proper honeymoon hotel. It didn't take long for the travel agent to suggest Now Sapphire Resort in Riviera Cancun. We booked a week in the Now Resort and opted to go for the Preferred Club to boost their Unlimited Luxury approach to All Inclusive even further.

Inside and Around the Hotel
One of the perks of the Preferred Club was a large room within a short distance of the main hotel buildings. We were in block 3 and were 30 seconds from the beach, 1 minute from a pool and around 3 minutes from the lobby bar so it was definitely a perk when the thunderstorms came late at night and we were heading back to our room. The bed was huge, the bathroom was big, the mini bar was well stocked every day and the room was kept very clean. The air conditioning worked really well and offered a very welcome return every time we came back to our room. Our balcony got the sun in the late afternoon but the tropical view was of trees which is a little disappointing. If we had upgraded to an Ocean Front Suite we would have had a whirlpool on our balcony but reflecting on it afterwards I think the smell of the seaweed would have stopped us using it that much,

Each building is only 3 stories high, which is good when there's no lifts, and the rooms are spread across 14 blocks. As you can imagine some of the blocks must be a long walk away from the hustle and bustle of the main buildings. The main buildings had roofs for sheltering against the torrential rain but were all open at the sides which added to the tropical feel. Next to all of the restaurants was the reception and concierge service but Preferred Club also had it's own check-in counters in the private lounge.


Food and Drink
The food and drink selection at Now Sapphire is without a doubt one of the best we've ever experienced at an All Inclusive hotel. There's a buffet restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner then 5 gourmet a la carte restaurants which serve dinner without reservations, a poolside snack bar and a 24 hour cafe - man I miss my afternoon frozen Baileys. As for drinks there are 5 bars including a lobby bar, two poolside bars, a beach bar and a night club. So much to choose from! 

During our week stay we managed to eat at all of the restaurants apart from one, and enjoyed the different themed food. The one restaurant we didn't try was Paramour, the French restaurant. This was an adults only restaurant with strict dress code and with the heat and humidity we avoided having my husband wearing long trousers. We did hear good things about this restaurant but they were a bit pushier with the wine to purchase. The Lemongrass restaurant served Asian cuisine and also offered a Teppanyaki experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the sushi and with Asian food being one of my favourites I would have happily gone back. The Bluewater Grill served lunch and dinner with a selection of steaks and seafood. We went for lunch and enjoyed calamari and steak sandwiches, then a night had steaks. A fantastic restaurant and being outside by the beach was lovely. Cibu served Mediterranean food and I made the rookie error of ordering pasta instead of steak and still regret it after trying Mark's. Last but not least, and the one was dined at twice, Fresco the Mexican restaurant. You can't go to Mexico and not eat fajitas, tacos and enchiladas! Speaking of Mexican food, you can have Nachos in nearly every restaurant, at every meal. I've eaten enough nachos for the rest of the year. 



As for the drinks, the choice of cocktails can make or break whether an All Inclusive resort is worth it. Let's just say you can't get much better than Now Sapphire. Right from our first night I was loving the different frozen cocktails and fruity flavours. I started off with waiting and bar staff recommendations, then checked out the menu and quickly learnt that you could have any cocktail that you wanted... literally. I was very partial to a Mimosa throughout the day, a strawberry daiquiri from my sunbed, a mojito with my meals and a cosmopolitan at night. 

All of the staff, at all of the restaurants and bars, really were amazing. Nothing was too much to ask, they were friendly and attentive, they are a credit to the hotel. We never had to wait long at any of the bars or many of the restaurants. Obviously some of the restaurants get busier at popular times and if you're looking for a bigger table you might have to be more patient. The only wait we had was at Cibu, which was quite a small restaurant, but they gave us a buzzer and we headed off for a drink then returned when the table was ready. The beach bar had extremely instagrammable swing seats and the main pool bar was a swim up bar.

Entertainment
Unfortunately the entertainment let Now Sapphire down and though it might suit some people it wasn't our cup of tea. Each evening a newsletter style itinerary was left at our room to let us know about the next days activities. During the day most of the entertainment was by the main pool including music and different games. I have to admit I didn't see a single game being organised or played. Then at night time there was a variety of shows but they were very much start-stop, hard to predict and on at a time when we'd usually have dinner on holiday.

We watched a Mr and Mrs show which was hilarious, a rope show which was interesting, a juggling show which was repetitive, a fire show which was brief and a rock music show which was chaotic! There were a few music duos that played before and after the shows, they were good but nothing spectacular. All the entertainment was done by 10/10.30pm leaving just the Eclipse nightclub disco to entertain everyone. We went a couple of times and genuinely felt as though I was back at a primary school disco. 


Facilities
Now Sapphire has three pools - the main pool, the kids club pool and the Preferred Club adults only pool. We were so glad to be part of the Preferred Club as we were able to book our sunbeds for each day and enjoy the peace and quiet of the private pool. The staff at this pool were brilliant for ensuring we always had a drink and finding us a bed or cabana wherever we wanted (like in the shade the day after we got a little burnt!). The main pool was absolutely massive, with loads of sunbeds but we had major Spring Break vibes at this pool. By the afternoon there was lots of screaming, shouting, chanting and cheering definitely helped along by Tequila. So among children playing, adults partying and the 30minute towel rule we definitely didn't feel as chilled out at the main pool.

Although the hotel is right on the edge of a beautiful beach, unfortunately it can't be enjoyed to it's full potential all of the time. While we were there there was an unreal amount of seaweed all along the waters edge. In fact to the extent that there was a digger and group of men picking up the seaweed every day. This did mean the beach smelt bad and you couldn't get to the water to swim. That's obviously not Now Sapphire's fault. 

The hotel has a large spa and gym, with whirlpools, sauna and steam room. There's a wide range of water sport on offer like kayaking and snorkelling - some with an additional cost - but these weren't pushed so if it's your cup of tea it's worth asking about it. There was a tennis court and table tennis then aerobics, yoga, beach football and volleyball offered in the activities... apparently. The kids club and teenagers zone seemed really well run and was open from 9am to 10pm, even showing movies at night by the poolside. Definitely a family friendly resort. The hotel has wifi which worked everywhere from our room to the lobby bar. This was particularly good for keeping us occupied during the hour long rain and thunderstorm as well as allowing us to download movies on Netflix for the flights home. 

We saw a wedding at the hotel every night, in fact some nights there were more than one. They didn't impact on the rest of the guests at all, but if you ate at the Mexican restaurant you couldn't avoid having a little dance to all the wedding music being played by the DJ. As for Honeymoon perks we had a banner on our door, had fruit and sparkling wine on arrival, breakfast in bed on one morning and a discount on treatments. 


So overall we had an absolutely amazing honeymoon. Now Sapphire was a beautiful resort with the most amazing food and drink, giving us the opportunity to do exactly what we wanted - relax. The lack of night time entertainment was definitely a shame, perhaps it was based more on what Americans enjoy as they are the dominant clientele for the hotel. Maybe pack a packet of cards, though I have to admit we were quite happy trying out as many cocktails as we could think of and reminiscing on our wedding day. I would recommend going for the Preferred Club at a Now Resort if for nothing else other than a guaranteed sun bed or cabana next to the pool without having to get up ridiculously early and fighting the crowds. Now that we're home I'm just counting down the days to our next holiday. A city break to London in October and spending New Year in Krakow will surely keep the holidays blues away.
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