• Shawna Mitchell

My Birthday Getaway!

As you may or may not know, my birthday is on the 6th of January. At the start of the new year, right in the middle of winter and at the end of the Christmas/New Year holiday period.

Since I've been working as a nurse, I've always had my birthday week booked off WITH pay and I'll explain how I do that.

This time around, I wanted a vacation that was more relaxed than anything else. I feel like whenever I travel, I'm always doing different activities and keeping myself busy throughout the trip. For my birthday, I just wanted to relaxx and be able to reflect on the great year that I had while enjoying the sun at a luxury resort (simple right?).

In this blog, I will be answering the following questions:

1) How did you get time off while working full-time as a nurse?

2) Why did you keep it a secret?

3) Where did you go (country/hotel)?

4) How much did you pay?

5) Was the vacation all-inclusive?

6) My final thoughts (conclusion)


How did you get the time off?

I did what most people hate to do, which is work on holidays. Since my very first job, when I was 16 years old and working as dietary aide at a retirement home, I have always worked Christmas, Boxing day and New Years. This pattern has followed me into my nursing career.

In order to get my birthday week off, I used my STATS - these are paid statutory holidays. Usually, my workplace would give me either the week of Christmas OR New Years off, but I work both weeks and request to be off the week of my birthday.

1) This works out for me because I can travel and enjoy myself during my Birthday week - while being paid.

2) This works out for my employer because the holiday period is a busy time and we already have shortage in nurses, which makes it even more difficult for them to find a relief for me.

Why did you keep it a secret?

I kept my birthday trip a secret because I didn't want to have anyone weighing in their opinions. Usually when you go around telling people, "Hey, I'm travelling to _______". Naturally, they will begin to tell you about their experience (good or bad) and/or personal opinions, which I didn't really care for this time around.

I wanted to experience this country without any biases - I did that successfully by keeping this trip a secret and having an open-mind during my experience

I only had 6 days to use towards my birthday trip, so when I was planning it - I knew that I couldn't go anywhere tooo far because the flight alone might take up a whole day. So, I instead opted for a destination that was only a 4 hr 10m flight from Toronto - MEXICOO!

Choosing the country is one thing but I thought to myself, "it's for my birthday and I want to go all out". This is where choosing the right hotel came into play.

The name of the resort that I chose was Atelier Playa Mujeres

40 minutes away from CUN airport*

Atelier is beautiful but another reason why I chose this hotel was because it was NEW* and I was really interested in reviewing it.

The resort is huge - 650 beds! There are actually two resorts in one (Atelier is the adults only side and E-studios are for families) but you can go to either side to enjoy the meals and live entertainment!

How much did you pay?

For the swim-out room that I had, it was 1989.00 CAD/pp for 5 nights, 6 days through Air Transat. There are cheaper rooms as well but it really doesn’t get any cheaper than 1800.00 CAD/pp.

However, Atelier is ALL-INCLUSIVE and I can tell you that the resort AND the food are amazingggg! Like, imagine your favourite restaurant in a 5* hotel - I was eating a lot more than I showed on Instagram loool (there are 8 restaurants that are included in the all-inclusive package).

I had access to 8 restaurants PLUS 24-hour room service!

The steak house and the sushi spot were my favorite restaurants - I will share pictures, so don't worry ;)

Now, if you're unfamiliar with all-inclusive vacations - they usually* include:

1) Return flight

2) Ground Transportation from the airport to your resort

3) Unlimited food

4) Beverages (Including alcoholic beverages)

activities and blah blah blah.. I'm sure you get it.

My Birthday

The staff at the resort were very helpful and everything was done to perfection! Especially, the flowers on the bed the first night, which I WAS NOT expecting by the way lol (caught me off guard).

Now, the flower bath was actually funny to me, because I don't see many people (if any) having flower baths in Mexico lmao but ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!

My final thoughts (conclusion)

This was only my second time doing an all-inclusive trip and the resort really had everything that I needed and more!!

The check-in process was fast, the room was clean and mini bar was always re-stocked! The staff were friendly and helpful. The food was the best I ever had while away (like gourmet meals), so many fine dining restaurants to choose from. EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT!!!

The hotel was officially opened in November 2019. Atelier is DEFINITELY a luxury resort, I got more than what I paid for and I don't think I could have chosen a better place to celebrate my birthday while in Mexico!

Thanks for reading!