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Looking 4 advice from u who have taken all-incl beach vacays

Canada
posts: 8
reviews: 1
Looking 4 advice from u who have taken all-incl beach vacays

Looking for some help from those of you who have taken all-inclusive beach trips before. We are looking to take a beach trip for our anniversary. First started looking into Cuba. Now I'm starting to look into Mexico and Jamaica. We have never been to any of these countries so we'd really like some advice from some of you seasoned travelers. The only things we are really looking for in a destination is a beautiful sandy beach and a resort that is not too, too much of a party resort. Thank you for any expertise you can offer!

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
posts: 10,473
reviews: 182
1. Re: Looking 4 advice from u who have taken all-incl beach vacays

A budget would be helpful, and whether you intend to look at a "package" deal - both airfare and resort, or book each separately? Also, time of year, since some locations can get a bit cool later in the year. Offhand, you can hop over to the Jamaica forum board and take a look at their last few pages of posts. Many posts like yours over there. For Mexico, focus on Cancun or Riviera Maya - maybe Tulum or Isla Mujeres - and I'm sure you'll find what you need. So many resorts there, without more information, it's hard to answer.

Pennsylvania
Destination Expert
for Playa Paraiso
posts: 5,968
reviews: 49
2. Re: Looking 4 advice from u who have taken all-incl beach vacays

We have been to all inclusive resorts in Mexico's Riviera Maya, Punta Cana, DR, and Jamaica. We prefer the Riviera Maya area. There are SO many resorts though. We need more info as to what you are looking for.

Do you want adults only, activities at the resort, night life, things to do off the resort grounds, etc.??????

Canada
posts: 8
reviews: 1
3. Re: Looking 4 advice from u who have taken all-incl beach vacays

Yes, sorry not enough info. We are looking at going w/in the next couple of months and have definitely been looking at the more mid to low priced all inclusives w/ air. I'd say a grand or under pperson would be a budget for the ones we've been eyeing. So far, we've researched Hotel Playa Coco and Brisas Guardalavaca in Cuba and The Grand Sirenis Mayan Beach Resort in Mexico. Was just about to start looking in Jamaica. Really our only main concern is to get away from our busy life of three kids and owning a business to spend time alone on a beautiful beach in a resort that is not overcrowded. That's it, that's all. Don't care about night life, getting off of the resort or activities much at all. Thank you again for any and all advice!

Marietta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Beach Vacations, Bonaire
posts: 3,028
reviews: 18
4. Re: Looking 4 advice from u who have taken all-incl beach vacays

With that budget, I think I'd cross off Jamaica. I wouldn't want to stay at a Jamaican resort at that price point.

I haven't been to Cuba, althought I'd love to, but I think it is a definite possibility.

So, between Punta Cana and Rivera Maya... I think the prices of PC and RM will be similar, or colse enough to discard that as a deciding factor. Punta Cana tends to have very large "grand" resorts. RM also has some large ones, but also quite few smaller, more personal resorts. I realize it may not be important to you, but RM has more interesting "off-resort" excursion possibilities: if you have never toured some Mayan ruins, you really should, although in the middle of summer they will be very HOT. I think PC has a longer continuous beach and practically every resort has good beach while some PC resorts have a limited or rocky beach.

Both PC and RM (and Cuba) have active and helpful forums here on TA, so I suggest you post what you are looking for to those forums and see what the local experts suggest.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 1
reviews: 12
5. Re: Looking 4 advice from u who have taken all-incl beach vacays

Have been going to Puerto Vallarta past 8 years; half to the Riu Jalisco. We love it! Right on miles of sandy beach! Great food. Friendly staff. Brother in law goes further down the beach to Paradise Village (pricier). Both nice places to stay.

Hagerstown, Maryland
Destination Expert
for Beach Vacations
posts: 2,507
reviews: 57
6. Re: Looking 4 advice from u who have taken all-incl beach vacays

If at all possible, look for adult only resorts, or go late August or later, when most kids are getting back to school. I stayed at the Grand Sirenis that time of year and was happy, but recent reviews don't look as good. I'm not sure if you can find it from Canada, but try the Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an too. While it is on the golf course, the easy shuttle to the beach club, top shelf drinks, gourmet meals, and adult only property makes it a very good choice. The Riu Palace properties are also very good, if you don't mind standing in line in the morning to make your dinner reservations every day. They offer use of the other Riu properties during the day. Hope that helps!

Canada
posts: 8
reviews: 1
7. Re: Looking 4 advice from u who have taken all-incl beach vacays

Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone!

oakville, ON
Destination Expert
for Oakville
posts: 3,780
reviews: 62
8. Re: Looking 4 advice from u who have taken all-incl beach vacays

I would cross Cuba off your list... The food is terrible!!! Jamaica is expensive. I would look at Isla mujeres as well. They have the all inclusive Palace which is AO, and Privilidges Auluxe, which is right on the most beautiful beach ( playa Norte). They have an AI option which sometimes goes for as low as $20 pp per day.

We also love the Excellence resorts at Playa Mujeres and they have one in RM and Punta Cana as well. PC prices out cheaper than t two Mexico resorts.

Dallas, Texas...
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 10,506
reviews: 13
9. Re: Looking 4 advice from u who have taken all-incl beach vacays

Is that really your max budget? Or did you come up with that budget after looking at various promotional ads? Are you sure they were for a 7 day trip and not a 4-5 day trip?

I've done lots of AI vacations, including some really cheap ones in my younger (and cheaper) years. The really cheap ones can be miserable -- especially the food. You may be pricing yourselves out of having a good time. If it's truly essential that you not pay more, consider a shorter trip.

It's possible you may find some great sales during off-peak summertime, especially last minute sales. Just use TA reviews to help you decide whether to take the risk, and be sure to look at reviews from guests who stayed during the same time period. Sometimes quality can be different during off peak times when the resort is well below capacity.

Sheffield
posts: 358
reviews: 24
10. Re: Looking 4 advice from u who have taken all-incl beach vacays

I have to disagree about Cuban food being rubbish...it just depends what types of food you are used to! Our first holiday was to Cuba, we got 2 weeks at Blau Varadero for about £900 each and it was still one of the best holidays we ever had. We've also been to Holguin in Cuba and that was great too.

If you really want to escape, check out Cape Verde. We had 2 weeks at the Riu Touareg and it was so blissfully quiet, maybe too quiet! The Touareg was more expensive but the Riu Karamboa was a bit cheaper and just as good!

Also don't be afraid to barter with the travel agents to try and save a bit of money!