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  • Writer's pictureDean Nelson, (he/him) CTC, LLD

Vacaya Unico All-Inclusive October 2020

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

It's Time For #MoreGoodNews - Unico Riviera Maya ready for Safer LGBTQ Travel

Sorry this trip has sailed. Join us on another LGBTQ trip → click here

Join our friends this October 4-10, 2020 as Vacaya takes over the luxury all-inclusive Unico resort Riviera Maya (Cancun) for an exclusive LGBTQ getaway.

The Mexican resort, Unico 20°87° Riviera Maya has reopened with 5-star safety protocols and rave guest reviews in June and this past week brought even more encouraging news to the region: 

  • The US State Department lifted its blanket Level 4 International Travel Advisory

  • VACAYA announced event-specific safety protocols

  • Airfares are at historic lows

While we recognize not everyone is ready to travel, for those who are starting to feel those urges again, we've got a well-timed solution for you: VACAYA's full-resort takeover of UNICO 20˚87˚ Oct 4-10, 2020. And knowing you'll need a world-class escape after this world-confining isolation, you cannot beat UNICO's top-shelf drinks, award-winning food, WiFi, spa, salon, and excursions - ALL INCLUDED.* Top that off with 13 pools (including one that's clothing optional) and there's never been a better all-inclusive LGBTQ resort option for our community. Click here to book now.



CHECK IN Smiles, Everyone, Smiles! Welcome to UNICO 20°87°! The Vacayans will welcome you as you arrive at the resort for a breezy check in. We’re easy to spot in our colorful “I AM VACAYA” T-shirts and we’re eager to make your vacation dreams come true. An amazing lunch awaits, followed by a casual walk around the resort. Is a dip in one of the 13 unique pools what you crave for the afternoon? Or maybe you’re ready to take in your first included spa treatment at our holistic spa and wellness center? A 5-star dinner at one of the resort’s award-winning restaurants and a welcome party are on tap for your first evening, so get ready to flash your smile and say hello to all your new friends!


THE ADVENTURE BEGINS The choices for today abound! Will you take advantage of one of the included excursions and head off to Tulum to explore the ancient beachside ruins? Or will you explore the crystal clear waters of The Grand Cenote? Looking for something a little more relaxing? If the pool’s your choice, be sure to download UNICO 20°87°’s web app so you can have complimentary drinks and food delivered directly to your pool-side chair. Oh yes, that’s a real thing. Our first V-Dance of the week takes place this afternoon, but it’s not like any you’ve seen before. Expect the unexpected!


THE ESENCIA SPA CALLS The Riviera Maya sun shines brightly today as everyone settles in to the luxury of UNICO 20°87° powered by VACAYA. Is today the day you finally experience one of Esencia Spa’s included treatments? Or are you looking to expand your friend circle through one of our planned social mixers? Here, you literally can have it all!


RELAX. REFRESH. REJUVENATE. We’ve reached the midpoint of our time here in Mexico. Where does the time go? UNICO 20°87°’s nearly unlimited inclusions, adventure, rejuvenation, and connections are waiting to be discovered around every corner. Are you traveling with a best friend or have you made a new one this week? Come to our “Besties Sunset Social” later this afternoon, and share this special VACAYA moment with your closest friend(s).


SUN'S OUT! BUNS OUT! Feeling adventurous?? Want to avoid tan lines and a sand-filled swimsuit? Why not go au natural at our clothing optional pool, hot tub, swim-up bar, and grill? If being naked isn’t your definition of utopia (and we totally understand if it’s not), maybe try a little pool volleyball at the 20.87 pool. Or how about a Mexican cuisine cooking class at Cueva Siete? No matter your “state of dress” preference for the afternoon, we’ve got something to “suit” just about everyone! After a sumptuous dinner at one of the fine dining restaurants, don’t miss the chance to dance poolside as we celebrate the night away!


HOW DO YOU SPELL U-T-O-P-I-A? You’ve made so many friends at this point… how will you spend the day together? Pool volleyball? A couples massage? Drinks at the swim-up bar? No matter your choice, you’ve entered UTOPIA and it’ll be hard to say goodbye… guaranteed. Our last V-Dance of the week takes place this afternoon and we can’t wait to see you there!


CHECK OUT Parting is such sweet sorrow. If you’re not extending your stay here in Riviera Maya, we wish you the safest of journeys home today. We know we’re going to miss you, but with any luck we’ll see you again on another vacaya soon!

Click here to book now.

VACAYA Announced Event-Specific Safety Protocols The Vacayans worked through each and every detail with our partners on the ground at UNICO. We've come up with a solid plan to mitigate risks and maximize enjoyment. Of course many things look different than they did pre-Covid, but we've approached each challenge with verve and ingenuity to ensure you have a fantastic time.


UNICO 20°87° is ready and excited to welcome us back. With over 30 years of hotel operations, the resort’s parent company has always administered internationally recognized regulations and standards of guest and employee sanitation. In doing so, UNICO has mastered one of the most important bedrock criterion in earning its 5-star status. And make no mistake about it… there is a distinct difference between 5-star protocols and those which don’t measure up.

UNICO 20°87° is taking extraordinary measures to make your experience at the resort feel as “normal” as humanly possible. There’s no better metaphor to describe all that’s going on than the proverbial duck: above the surface, UNICO is smiling and gliding along smoothly, but below the surface, they’re kicking like hell to get the job done. What makes the UNICO experience 5-stars is that you never ever see the kicking. It’s done effortlessly on the surface to maintain a sense of normalcy, while extraordinary measures are taking place behind-the-scenes.

As the resort returned to service in June, the guest experience was strengthened even further with strictly enforced precautionary hygiene protocols directed by local health organizations and government authorities, which were layered on top of their already 5-star standards. UNICO is closely monitoring government policy changes, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, government mandates, and public health advancements. As science provides more and more actionable information, they will continue to fine tune their protocols and procedures. So please note that what we outline here is subject to change at any time. VACAYA Resort Director Danny will provide any updates on our first night together.

We’re happy to report UNICO has not experienced any guests or employees testing positive for Covid-19. Their protocols, combined with guests’ adherence to those protocols, have proven successful.

Click here to review the UNICO Riviera Maya's enhanced Health and Safety Protocols

And in no way contradicting those standards, we also believe in individuals’ personal liberties.

So to blend those two concepts, VACAYA will institute the following measures to enhance safety, minimize risks, and create an environment where we can all have a great time together. As a community, we have a shared responsibility to each other as we embark on this new path. We’re confident each of you will follow the protocols we outline here for the safety and well-being of your fellow travelers.


With the health and safety of guests and team members of paramount importance, The Vacayans (which are your dedicated team of paid VACAYA staffers) will follow the same protocols as UNICO employees to ensure a pristine and relaxing environment for our guests, including:

  • Pre-trip Covid-19 Test

  • Pre-trip isolation to avoid unnecessary contact

  • Rigorous temperature checks throughout the week

  • Face coverings when servicing guests

  • Personal hygiene regiment, including hand sanitization

  • Training on protocols, reporting, and guest support for anyone displaying symptoms


With only a few minor exceptions, all VACAYA events will occur outside. Based on all the available science, it is abundantly clear that outdoor events are markedly safer than large indoor events in ensuring everyone’s well-being.

After your temperature scan at check-in (please note that for everyone’s peace of mind, we’ll be conducting random temperature checks throughout your stay at the resort. Temperature checks are only ONE of the tools in our arsenal.), you’ll receive a colored waterproof lanyard to hold your room key. You will have two choices – RED or GREEN. These colors reflect your preferences as they relate to your own personal social distancing protocols (they do not represent being taken or single).

Choose RED and you’ll be wearing a visible sign letting all other guests know you’d appreciate 6 feet of social distancing at all times.

Choose GREEN and this lets other guests know you have a more relaxed stance on how close they may get to you.

The goal of these visual cues is to remove the burden of having to repeatedly say, “Please stay 6 feet back” for those who choose RED or “come on in” for those who choose GREEN. There is no stigma whatsoever in your choice of RED or GREEN, and we ask all guests to respect the choices of their fellow guests without judgment, interference, or attitude.

We have set up the central pool area into zones. All chaise loungers have been spread apart by the resort to allow everyone to maintain proper distance around all pools. The interior of the pools themselves (meaning in the water) will be designated RED ZONES and GREEN ZONES.

La Unica Pool will be the designated RED ZONE, where 6-foot social distancing will remain in place at all times while in the water. If you and your travel partner(s) are wearing RED, you are of course welcome to hang out in close proximity to each other in this pool. However, you are required to remain 6 feet away from others who are not traveling with you.

The 2087 Pool (where the pool volleyball is located) and La Escondido Pool (our clothing optional pool) will be designated GREEN ZONES, where guests who’ve elected to wear GREEN are free to move in these pools unencumbered.

Those wearing RED lanyards are certainly welcome to use the 2087 Pool and La Escondida Pool, but should know that their 6-foot safety zone may be difficult to maintain as GREEN lanyard wearers move freely about. We ask GREEN lanyard wearers to please be kind if and when you see a RED lanyard wearer among the GREENS and do your best to maintain your distance.

Conversely, GREEN lanyard wearers are certainly welcome to use La Unica Pool, but strict adherence to the 6-foot rule will apply at all times.

The area around La Unica Pool is where all of our entertainment and parties will be held. At these events, there will obviously be a mix of RED and GREEN lanyard wearers, so we will abide by the 6-foot social distancing rules at all times for these events. We will have circles on the floor in this area, which will help everyone maintain the 6-foot distance. For parties, there will be satellite bars set up around the perimeter to help eliminate queues. If a line does form, we ask that you please stay 6 feet behind the person in front of you.

For our shows, we will have chairs available at the three entrances to the outdoor venue. You are free to set up your chairs as your group’s needs dictate – to a maximum of 6 side-by-side chairs. By having you set up your own chairs (The Vacayans and UNICO staff members will always be nearby to help), you’ll have the ability to distance yourself from the next closest guest(s) using the circles on the floor as your guide. This will give us a bit more freedom to utilize the space based on the number of attendees at each show (as opposed to setting it up beforehand and requiring you to make yourself or your group fit into a pre-determined space). Following each show, the chairs will be fully wiped down with the resort’s Ecolab cleaning products.

We will have 2 main stage shows most nights – at 7:45pm and 9:45pm. With evening dining open from 6pm-11pm (5pm-11pm at Mura House), you will be able to eat early and see the later show, or see the early show and eat later. Our goal for the shows is to ultimately split everyone 50/50 to be able to maximize the area for seating and keep everyone relatively close to the stage.

There is not a single compulsory event at the resort at any time over the course of our week there. You are free to choose exactly which events you feel comfortable attending. And if you choose not to come to a single party or show because you’re using this time with us to be outside (at a safe distance from others) and simply breathe in all the fresh ocean air after being cooped up for so long, that is a-ok. We completely respect your decision.

We have lots of fun in store for you and we’re confident a great time will be had by all. But it’s incumbent upon all of us to understand the new social contract we’re writing with each other. It can be summed up in 4 easy-to-remember phrases:

  1. Wear a mask/shield (when required)

  2. Meet outside

  3. Give space

  4. Don’t be a jerk


Masks/shields are required in the following circumstances:

  • Inside all airports and on all flights to Cancun (cloth mask covering mouth and nose)

  • In transfer vehicles from the airport to/from the resort

  • When moving around the resort from Point A to Point B (for example, when going from your room to a restaurant), but once you’re settled, feel free to remove it if you’d like

  • At our parties when moving around the area. Mask/shield not required when socially distant and stationary.

  • At all times in the Salon while receiving salon services (haircut, manicure, etc.)

  • In the fitness center

  • In all excursion vehicles

At all other times, masks/shields are not required. However, they are highly recommended.


VACAYA will provide all guests who wish to have one a clear face shield upon check-in. They’re incredibly comfortable, but more importantly will help overall communication between guests – especially between our hearing and Deaf guests. Deaf people have had an incredibly challenging time through the pandemic as their ability to read lips has been limited by masks. Our clear face shields remove this specific challenge for our Deaf guests. If you’re wearing a mask and find yourself in a conversation with any of our Deaf guests, we ask that you be super conscious of those inherent communication difficulties. Obviously, talking louder through your mask is not effective. So please do your best to facilitate easier communication as the situations warrant.


  • Be mindful and eliminate generalized touching of random surfaces

  • Wash/sanitize your hands throughout the day for at least 20 seconds

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth at all times

  • Be aware of your surroundings and your proximity to others at all times

  • Physically distance from people not in your travel group when possible

  • Wear your mask and/or face shield when required or when physical distancing can’t be achieved

  • Isolate as much as possible before traveling

  • Don’t travel if experiencing any symptoms

  • Get tested before and after traveling to ensure you’re safe to travel

  • Follow outlined protocols at the airport, on the plane, in the transfer vehicles, and at the resort

  • Monitor your health daily and participate in random temperature checks

  • Avoid sharing personal items (drinks, dishes, eating utensils, or towels)

  • If feeling ill, report immediately to the resort medical center and follow their guidance. A doctor is available 24/7.

  • Be kind and courteous to fellow travelers and staff through and through

Click here to book now.


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