Oasis Sens – Gays Up Cancun & Moves Past Spring Break
Forget what comes to mind right away when you think about this coastal Mexicana retreat off the Caribbean Sea. For years MTV—back when shows did not focus on teenage pregnancies and music video ruled the tube—portrayed Cancun as party central 24/7, showcasing the flocks of spring breakers. While that ‘party like there’s no tomorrow’ mindset does exist at the end of February and March during peak season of college visitors, they are not everywhere.
My recent journey to the tropical destination proved that the spring break scene only exists if you go looking for it. If you’re partying leans toward that of the gay variety, you’re in the clear, as the gay downtown scene was filled with locals and various traveling gays who are were not as rambunctious as your typical college boys and girls.
While downtown Cancun has most of the gay clubs, many come for fun in the sun at oceanfront stays. Leading a new gay hotel revolution of the sorts is the freshly renovated and rebranded Oasis Sens from the Oasis Hotels family, a chain of ten hotels and resorts in Cancun.
Dubbed ‘The Pleasure’ resort of the family, Sens is both an adults-only and an LGBT friendly retreat. But it is not your typical “LGBT friendly” stay, as it makes the community a core and integral part of all it has to offer. I watched as both gay and non gay visitors enjoyed the sun, drinks, and events throughout the hotel, with several mingling. The staff was welcoming, attentive to, and very friendly with same sex couples, and the best part, no college spring breakers in sight, but there were several gay Canadian 20-somethings on holiday—with some that I got to enjoy time with.
Located in the southern part of Zona Hotelera, Sens offers all-inclusive packages for all visitors; which grants access to two beach facing pools, several bars and restaurants (drink and meals included), nightly theatrical shows, and countless activities while at the resort. An added bonus to the Oasis brand, is a fleet of SMART cars available to all guests for a small insurance fee—which is great for those who want to drive themselves through all of Cancun and further south to ruins of Tulum in Playa del Carmen, or west to Chitzen Itza.
If you have the luxury to do so, go VIP for the deluxe suites with a private deck and mini pool. You’ll get access to a couple exclusive bars and eateries, including two food experiences of Mexican fusion cuisine worth traveling alone for, and also get access to a quiet large pool area facing the mainland. You will also have access to the Oasis brand’s private beaches in Tulum on the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve.
Sens is working on a full list amenities specifically cater to LGBT individuals, which when completed, will include entertainment options such as a new LGBT nightclub and parties, excursions, and specially designed intimacy packages, among others. During my stay, just before heading to watch an aerial ballet performance, there was a wedding ceremony for two Latino men being held, while a beautiful sunset smiled in the background.
Same-sex marriage in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo (which includes Cancun, Cozumel, and other resort like areas) became legal in 2012, and is one of two states of Mexico where you can legally wed—civil unions are available in other parts, and same-sex marriages are recognized throughout the entire country.
Oasis Sens is not the only new aspect of gay Cancun, recently and over the years there’s been developments in shopping, added attractions, more hotel options and renovations, and more bars and clubs to enjoy—both gay and non-gay. Read more detail about the Oasis Sens and what’s new in Cancun in my upcoming article in Passport magazine this fall, and check back here for my city guide.