My ideal nightmare

This doesn't feel much like Mexico. I've been to Mexico before and there's nothing here I recognise.

In Mexico they get around in clapped out taxis, or old pick-up trucks that have made their lumbering way from north of the border. Here the main mode of transport seems to be private jet.

You can see the planes there on the tarmac when you land, rows and rows of these gleaming white totems to the anonymous celebrities they've ferried here. From north of the border, of course.

In Mexico they spend pesos, their national currency. Here everything is quoted in US dollars and if you're not packing greenbacks you're always able to stock up from the hotel's ATM.

In Mexico they speak Spanish. Here, you never concern yourself with the language barrier. Everyone can habla Ingles.

In Mexico they eat tacos from street stands. They eat them from flimsy plates that have been wrapped in plastic bags in a vain attempt at sanitation. And they taste amazing.

Here, there's a choice of five restaurants and none of them seem distinctly Mexican.

There's a Japanese place, an Italian joint and then a couple of grills that make concessions to their surroundings with the odd fajita or marlin quesadilla.

It doesn't feel much like Mexico, but it is.

I'm staying at Dreams Resort, which up until a few days ago I was convinced would be a nightmare.

It's an all-inclusive hotel on the tip of the Baja Peninsula, a 20-minute drive away from every Hollywood star's favourite winter getaway, Cabo San Lucas.

It's easy to forget that you're really in Mexico once you step into the resort's cloistered surrounds. All the guests are American, save for the odd Canadian. They all talk about "here" like they've never left the States. ("You've gotta go to a football game while you're here," one says.)

The place is huge, one of those beachside monstrosities you could spend a few weeks at and never cross the fence line into territories unknown. Which, I suppose, is the idea. The food is all included. The drinks are all included. The activities are all included. Why would you possibly want to venture anywhere else?

Every few days Dreams hosts a theme party called "Mexican night". You might automatically assume that every night in Mexico would be Mexican night, but you'd be wrong.

So, bring in the mariachi band. Don your sombreros. It's time for some culture.

There's only one beer on tap and it's Corona. Once you've spent a couple of weeks in Mexico you realise having a resort that stocks Corona is like having an Australian resort that serves only Fosters. It's playing to the stereotype, sticking to what's expected.

Like I said, my ideal nightmare. Everyone is entitled to travel the way they like, but for me all-inclusive beach resorts in exotic locales sound about as much fun as being on the wrong end of a matador's sword.

Where's the sense of adventure in sitting around a pool all day getting burnt? Where's the joy of discovery when you've travelled halfway around the world to mingle with a bunch of fenced-in Americans?

But I'm here for the wedding of two friends, so I didn't have much of a choice. There's a group of 30 of us making this trek to almost-Mexico, so Dreams Resort it is. Swimming pool here I come. It's all so wrong for me ... Which makes it even stranger when it all starts to feel so right.

This doesn't feel much like Mexico, but gee you get over that quickly when you're floating in an infinity pool with a bunch of friends knocking back cocktails called "Miami Vices" and enjoying a sunshine that doesn't seem to burn right through your skin like it does back home.

This doesn't feel much like Mexico, but that really becomes insignificant when you're sitting around a bonfire on the beach at night, ordering another round of "Cabo Dreams" cocktails and singing along as the groom strums his guitar in the warm night air.

The food isn't Mexican, obviously, but it tastes pretty good when you've got a table of 30 people to enjoy it with. The Mexican theme night is all a bit silly, but if you embrace the silliness (and a few more Miami Vices), you're suddenly having the time of your life.

And it turns out there's nothing boring about just doing nothing when all of your friends - some old, some new - are there to do nothing with you.

This doesn't feel like Mexico, but it doesn't matter anymore. It's fun.

That either goes to show that with the right group of people you can enjoy yourself anywhere in the world, or that I've become the sort of person who likes all-inclusive beach resorts. I think I'd prefer to go with the former.

What do you think of all-inclusive resorts? Have you stayed in one? Did you enjoy it? Post a comment below.