BY CANDY PARKER
Summer is still scorching much of the country, but Sweet is already looking ahead to September when the lesbian travel company will be bringing its unique brand of debauchery and do-goodery to Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
“Hundreds of Sweeties will be taking over the Playacar Palace resort from September 21st – 28th,” explained Sweet Founder and CEO Shannon Wentworth. “We’ll be featuring an amazing group of comedic and musical performers, theme parties and, of course, our trendsetting and very rewarding community service projects.”
For those looking for a relaxing late summer getaway, Sweet’s Playacar resort vacation may be the perfect combination of leisure and indulgence. Located on the spectacular Riviera Maya on the beach in the town of Playa del Carmen, the five-star Playacar Palace hotel is just steps away from Mexico’s legendary 5th Avenue shops. The resort features ocean-view rooms that overlook the crystalline waters of the Caribbean, a swim-up bar, Jacuzzi tubs in every room, 24-hour room service and a host of other amenities which are guaranteed to leave even the most finicky guest feeling pampered.
Beyond the daily Sweet-sponsored excursions, guests can tour the gateway to Mayan civilization, visiting the ruins at Tulum, Coba and the legendary Chichen Itza, or spend an afternoon frolicking with dolphins, windsurfing or getting sand in all sorts of unmentionable places while diving around on the beach volleyball court.
Sweet’s entertainment line-up for Playacar includes Jackie Monahan, a bi-coastal comedian and actress featured on Showtime’s “Pride Comedy Jam;” Rakefet Abergel, an accomplished actress and outspoken stand-up comedian; Cathy DeBuono, out and proud lesbian actress, LA Talk Radio host, therapist and empath; seasoned actress and comedian Erin Foley; singer/songwriters Hannah Thomas and Sarah Smith; television and film star Traci Dinwiddie, perhaps best known for her role as Peyton Lombard in “Elena Undone;” and comedians Jennie McNulty and Shann Carr, veteran Sweet performers and perennial traveler favorites.
“Sweet trips are such an incredible experience,” shared McNulty. “I know for some of the women it’s a chance for them to truly be themselves, perhaps for the only time all year. But that’s only part of what makes the atmosphere so special. We visit beautiful places, stay in gorgeous locations and experience all the debauchery that goes along with these types of trips, but with Sweet, there’s another level of consciousness that permeates the atmosphere, too. There’s the feeling that you’re part of something special – giving back, helping people.”
In addition to the endless sand, sun, shopping and sight-seeing available on the gorgeous Riviera Maya, Sweet will offer a variety of community service projects in which their guests are invited to participate. Projects may involve anything from spending an afternoon at an animal shelter bathing, walking and cuddling with the residents to organizing a library for local youth to raising funds for the local community via participation in a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament hosted by DeBuono.
“Playacar will be my third Sweet trip,” DeBuono offered, “And I’m looking forward to spending more than a few hours around the poker table getting to know some really wonderful women – and raising money for whatever good causes we can.”
DeBuono’s previous “shuffle up and deal” efforts raised thousands of dollars used to support women’s, children’s and animal support organizations in the communities fortunate enough to host the Sweet group.
Actress and animal rights enthusiast Natalie Garcia organizes Sweet’s four-legged focused projects. “For the September trip we’re planning to work with Coco’s cat rescue, take a daytrip to Cozumel where we’ll rent dune buggies, explore the island and visit the local animal shelter,” Garcia detailed. “I am so grateful to be able to travel with such inspiring women while saving animals and raising awareness about animal rights.”
Many agree that there is something special about the essence of the Sweet travelers, collectively known as Sweeties.
Recent first-time Sweetie Erin Lee described her vacation with Sweet in Puerto Vallarta as life-changing. “I experienced instant connections with an exceptional group of women,” said Lee who ventured out as a solo. “I felt it was a time where we could be our most true selves and left with new life-long friendships. And I loved the excursions and the entertainment. It was definitely more than a vacation.”
Another Sweet newbie and solo traveler, Heather Price, described her recent experience, “As a shy, somewhat introverted person, new people in a new environment can be a little intimidating, but that only lasted about an hour into my time with Sweet. There just aren’t words for the friendliness and kindness I was shown. I danced until my feet ached and laughed until tears were streaming down my face. “Solo” is a misnomer; you’re actualy traveling with friends you just hadn’t met yet.”
For more information on Sweet and fantastic last-minute Playacar resort deals, including low down payments and interest/fee-free payment plans, click here or call 877-793-3830. Be sure to ask about the $1,500/room resort credit!
She magazine is the longest running magazine for LGBT women in Florida.