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Fun Adults Only trip coming up - your opinions requested

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posts: 28
Fun Adults Only trip coming up - your opinions requested

We are planning another trip to the area this fall and would appreciate some others opinions. We will be traveling with at least one more couple. We are all in our late 30’s, very well traveled, are accustomed to nicer hotels, restaurants, etc and therefore need the top level resorts - especially in Mexico. I absolutely understand that 5* in Mexico is nowhere near a true 5* resort in the US or elsewhere but we enjoy these trips very much for what they are. We like to have fun and are lively but not obnoxious. When traveling as just a couple we enjoy the more quiet, chilled out vibe, but with friends it is good to have a mix of both.

We have been to the area many, many times and always stay adults only. These trips are without our young kids and as such I am not interested in squealing children or cannonballs by the pool. There will be a time for that when we travel with our children but this is a chance to peel away and leave the kids with grandparents.

I am open to Cancun, South of Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, etc and also Playa Mujeres (never been there but I am sure it is similar). We are going with at least one more couple - could be others as well - and as such are looking for something upper end, top shelf liquor, quality food and fun. An on-site night club type place is good so that we can party in the evenings if desired – although this is not necessarily a must have as long as we can entertain ourselves. We are not crazy party people but do like to have fun and could take or leave the theatre type shows.

We have stayed both AI and not and like both. While maybe not the most economical, I do appreciate not having to deal with checks especially when traveling with other friends so we will likely be looking at Adults Only AI again. We have stayed at quite a few over the years including these - I know I am missing some:

Excellence Riviera Cancun - we were there with a large group and overall enjoyed ourselves. The service and quality was quite good for an AI (we don’t expect The Four Seasons while in Mexico) and we liked that it had lots of choices and a nightclub for something to day late night when desired.

LIVE AQUA - We really enjoyed it here although I worry that they may be lowering the standard as the rates are quite low now. It was very chill but definitely classy and the food was quite good for an AI. My concern here this time is that this is great when traveling alone as a couple but there is not much action if you want to have fun with your friends. The upside is that it is in Cancun and you can always go out if desired I suppose. Curious if anyone has been recently and can compare it to a couple of years back.

Secrets Maroma - Just did this last year with the same couple so not likely to repeat this year but we did like it. Probably not the best one I've ever been to but we were happy as I recall. Food was ok and it had a lively vibe and even a nightclub when desired. Looking back it may have been less bang for the buck when compared to others we have been too. Probably similar to the Excellence but I believe it is a little more expensive.

Aventura Spa Palace - This was a while back and I can't say much. I recall it being fine though. Nothing outstanding but we had fun and it was nice to take the shuttle to other properties for variety. I think this may be closed now anyway.

El Dorado Seaside Suites - This was fantastic but probably 10 years ago at least. I hear it has changed dramatically and is not the quaint piece of paradise it used to be. That is too bad as it used to be great - although pretty laid back so maybe best for just a single couple instead of a small group of friends.

Elsewhere we have stayed at a RIU Palace (whatever their nicer one is called - in Nuevo Vallarta) and did not care for it relative to others. Too "fake Vegas" like and seemed sort of cheap even though highly polished. More surface glitz than actual quality if you know what I mean. The room was very nice but the common areas, food, drinks, service, etc all lacked something even though they tried to fluff them up and make them appear better than it was.

So that is a long story of background but look forward to hearing from others about thoughts and ideas.

Here are some we are thinking of but please feel free to add others!

Excellence Playa Mujeres


The Royal Playa Del Carmen

Ibersotar Grand Paraiso

oakville, ON
Destination Expert
for Oakville
posts: 3,885
reviews: 68
1. Re: Fun Adults Only trip coming up - your opinions requested

Excellenc ePlaya Mujeres is lovely... Hits all your wants... Especially since you liked ERC. Just beware that Playa Mujeres is NOT like the other areas you mentioned... It is quite secluded and there is really nothing off resort close by, so that may or may not be a concern. There is a night club, but highly depends upon the crowd as to whether or not it will be hopping. Rooms and everything else more modern and sleek than at ERC.

Springboro, Ohio
posts: 384
reviews: 2
2. Re: Fun Adults Only trip coming up - your opinions requested

To add on to what kerlyranoakville said The rooms at Excellence Playa Mujeres are as nice as any 5* I have been to in the U.S. and much more living space than most places I've been. They are very nice for sure.

Live Aqua is one I'd like to try but have never been to. Last I heard was the Iberostar Grand was looking a little dated but I must admit the reviews are pretty good. Best of luck with your pick.

Fort Worth, Texas
Destination Expert
for Cancun
posts: 3,676
reviews: 1
3. Re: Fun Adults Only trip coming up - your opinions requested

Sounds as if I we outta be asking you where to go. Go with your gut, it's got you to all the right places so far. Good luck with what ever you choose.

Oh yes, got some friends that love Royal Hideaway. This was 8 or so yrs ago, though.. A lot can change in that amount of time

Edited: 6:21 pm, July 12, 2013
Fort Worth, Texas
Destination Expert
for Cancun
posts: 3,676
reviews: 1
4. Re: Fun Adults Only trip coming up - your opinions requested

"Oh yes"

Oh Yea,

posts: 28
5. Re: Fun Adults Only trip coming up - your opinions requested

Thanks so much for the intel thus far. I tried to share a bit in my initial post because while this was my request for info I thought perhaps my experience could be helpful to another.

Your comment about time changing things is always true but seems even more so in Mexico. That's one of the main reasons I try to get updates.

Interesting to hear that Iberostar Grand may be showing some wear as I've not been there and know absolutely nothing about it - other than it is adults only and supposed to be higher end. That obviously means different things to different people though...

Fort Worth, Texas
Destination Expert
for Cancun
posts: 3,676
reviews: 1
6. Re: Fun Adults Only trip coming up - your opinions requested

There is a lady that has stayed at all the high end adult resort. She had lots of pix of all of them.

Their Last trip was at 3or 4 resorts on one vaca. I do not remember her ta name. When i can get off the phone and on the computer I will Try to find her thread. She detailed all of them. I will go look in a few minutes.

Edited: 7:15 pm, July 12, 2013
Chicago, Illinois
posts: 48
reviews: 7
7. Re: Fun Adults Only trip coming up - your opinions requested

I just booked Live Aqua for the first week of November. We preferred to stay at either Excellence property, but the prices just didn't come down enough for us to justify it. Live Aqua looks good to us, just doesn't have as nice of a room as Excellence. As for the evening entertainment or lack there of at Aqua Live, there are only so many Michael Jackson, Madonna and "Heritage Shows" that we need to see. Aqua Live we can just hang at the bars and have a good time or go back to bed and enjoy ourselves.

posts: 2,000
reviews: 37
8. Re: Fun Adults Only trip coming up - your opinions requested

Stayed in May for the third time and I found the Iberostar Grand to be immaculate and very well maintained it is a beautiful resort and has everything you seem to be looking for,

Also we did a bar crawl through the other four resorts one night with other couples we met and as much as we enjoyed that it was lovely to get back to the adult only Grand.

Most reviews on the Grand say how wonderful the resort is and that is what we found when we visited.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Cancun, Riviera Maya, Negril
posts: 15,759
reviews: 67
9. Re: Fun Adults Only trip coming up - your opinions requested

< Live Aqua looks good to us, just doesn't have as nice of a room as Excellence>

We preferred the rooms at Aqua to those at Excellence. Much better views even in cheaper rooms, much more luxurious beds and bedding, nicer bathroom with privacy. We also preferred the gorgeous beach and pool at Aqua, the food, the spa, the gym, the location.

We did not care at all for Excellence Playa Mujeres when we stayed there several years ago. Poor beach with lots of sea grass, mediocre food, hard beds with scratchy sheets, no views to speak of even in Excellence Club and a loud atmosphere by the main pool. MUCH preferred the upscale and zen vibe of Aqua.

We enjoyed both of our stays at Aqua but would not return to EPM.

Re The Grand, IMO it was definitely better all the way around than EPM but also not a resort we would return to due to food, service, annoying dinner reservation policy.

10. Re: Fun Adults Only trip coming up - your opinions requested

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