No matter where my adventures take me, food tends to become a central part of the trip. Culinary travel has grown rapidly in popularity in recent years and I’ve jumped wholeheartedly on the bandwagon.
According to venngage.com , 88.2% of people consider food a defining element of choosing where they travel. And I’m not talking all you can eat buffets of just mass-produced food. We’re talking gastronomy, world renowned, Michelin rated, local celebrity type of chefs that are getting noticed by travelers and inspiring them to visit.
Eating utilizes all five senses. Not only do we taste our food, we also touch it, smell it, devour it with our eyes and listen to silence that often follows the first bite when everyone is savoring a dish.
We’re in a heightened state of being whenever we interact with food, so it stands to reason that intentionally experiencing food while you’re traveling will increase the intensity of the memories you build.
Some trips have fallen short when it comes to food, but after all of those less than stellar experiences, my most recent trip to Unico not only made up, but far exceeded every one of those.
This resort quite possibly fulfilled every vacation expectation, but what stands out the most on this first visit is the food. I was consistently wow’d over and over again at how local, authentic, fresh and unique each dish was crafted and presented. From each restaurant, to the poolside food, to the room service I ordered from morning till the middle of the night, I was offered local specialties and some of the most fresh and tasty offerings I have found at any other all-inclusive resort.
So how does this resort do this so differently? Well, each restaurant has their own unique chef, kitchen, theme, and inspiration. In addition to that, if you’re a repeat visitor, every year the chefs are changed up, allowing you to be surprised again and again.
Here are some pictures I took from each restaurant I got to taste and savor:
- Mi Carissa – the most elegant, fine dining experience on property that focuses on coastal Italian cuisine
- Cueva Siete – Named for the seven origin caves of Mayan mythos, Cueva Siete, or Cave Seven, derives its inspiration from all that is Yucatecan. This regionally focused restaurant serves dishes deeply rooted in Mexican flavors and traditions.
- Mura House – draws flavors and techniques from throughout Asia, with a concentration on Japan, its cuisine is guided by three principles: the harmony of flavor, precision through preparation, and quality of ingredients.
- UNICO 20°N 87°W Grill – classic grill , serving up choice cuts of steak and fish. Freshly prepared and some of the best desserts of the property can be found here.
- Inez Café – The perfect quick stop for juices, coffee, tea and baked goods in the morning and then stop back for sandwiches, paninis and meal-sized salads for lunch and dinner.
- Poolside Service – from ceviche, to pizza, salads and sandwiches, order up from your Unico app for delivery straight to your chair.
- Palmera Lounge – This Cuban inspired lounge has expertly crafted cocktails that go perfectly with the cigar bar and lively entertainment
- Bar Balam – this day through night cocktail bar, radiating warmth, while calling to mind the mystique of hidden-door cocktail presents a thoughtful menu of craft cocktails that have a Mexican take on classic cocktail tradition.
- Gin Time – tea-based cocktails, which combine natural tea infusions with Gin – so fresh and unique
- In Room Dining – 24 hour service that you can order from phone or Unico app – so many choices, you have a hard time choosing!
And to top all of that, add in Summer Superbia – have you heard of it? 6 weeks, 6 chefs, 8 michelin stars – the ultimate journey of the senses. During these 6 weeks the resort has a chef and mixologist takeovers for a once a year experience that can’t be duplicated anywhere else.
I happened to get ever so lucky to be at Unico the week chef Noah Sandoval, from Oriole restaurant in Chicago, IL, who has many accolades including Food & Wine’s 2017 Best New Chefs and Best Chef 2019 by James Beard Foundation.
In addition to a fabulous multi-course meal, paired with some of the best wines to accompany each dish, I was able to watch in action Executive Mixologist, Luis Vallejo, and writer for Tales of the Cocktail and Ambassador for Campari group and Grand Mariner, Lorena Seligson mix up two of the most unique cocktails during their bar takeover one evening.
Check out the pictures below of my entire Superbia meal from start to finish, and the amazing wine pairing!
With each meal I found myself more and more panicked as my stay came to a close because I wanted more time to enjoy and indulge. I was incredibly lucky to eat at every single restaurant at least once during my stay, room service for breakfast, lunch and late night and sampled multiple dishes with each different spot on property.
There’s a world full of incredible foods beckoning to be eaten, but some destinations and resorts do it better than others. And even if you’re not a foodie, you still have to eat, right? So why not eat a little, learn a little and bring home another whole set of memories. These memories start at Unico and will have you planning your next trip at the time of your last meal during your stay.