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AI decision

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Okie
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3,092 posts
9 reviews
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AI decision

Would appreciate some opinions from Playa veterans on whether my wife and I should do AI. Both late 20's and we would likely hit the bars/clubs at least 5 of the 7 nights so I am trying to decide if just drinking by the pool during the days, breakfast and some lunches would be worth it. Hate to spend the dough on AI and end up spending a lot more eating dinner and going out in Playa at night. We are budgeting $5,000 for the week trip in April and we would mainly be drinking beer during the day. Also would appreciate likely prices on beer,drinks lunch etc at any non AI places you have stayed at in Playa. Thanks for you help!!

Chicago, IL
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3,536 posts
118 reviews
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1. Re: AI decision

Not sure how package vacations work from OK, but from Chicago it was actually cheaper for use to do a midrange AI than it was to book airfare and a non AI hotel separately (Apple, FunJet and Expedia all have packages). Part of that was because of Wilma, a lot of flights were canceled and part was due to the fact that our resort was just reopened.

This is just my opinion but I find resort food, except breakfast, to be very disappointing, esp. when staying in PDC where there are excellent restaurants in all price ranges. We actually ate outside the resort 1/2 the time and the other 1/2 we wished we were! And the evening entertainment, at least at the Viva Maya, was not something I would have enjoyed in my 20s or even now for that matter.

What I would do in your situation is look for a mid range all inclusive in the Playacar area (about 30 minutes on foot, just a few minutes by taxi) or one of the two in PDC (Gran Porto and the one next door, Royal something), maybe via a vacation package from one of Apple or FunJet's major gateways that you can fly cheaply to? That way you are close to town and if it's cheaper than booking components separately, you won't feel bad about skipping meals :-)

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Chicago
Chicago
Illinois
Okie
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3,092 posts
9 reviews
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2. Re: AI decision

Thanks Chicago. We will likely fly out of Dallas since I can snag a non stop from there. Makes sense to do a mid AI close to town that way we have a lot of options at night.

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Chicago
Chicago
Illinois
Dallas
Dallas
Texas
Charleston, South...
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13,275 posts
53 reviews
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3. Re: AI decision

I completely agree. We have done non-AI, condo and AI. AI is the way to go, especially

if you like to have a few drinks. Even non-alcoholic drinks are expensive. Check out an AI close to town or in Playacar which is only a five minute taxi ride into town. Lots to choose from. Combining AI with fun in Playa you can have a great vacation within your budget.

Iowa
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437 posts
4 reviews
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4. Re: AI decision

I've done the AI thing and have always gotten a pretty good bang for the buck. This year though we have decided to stay at the Playa Maya, a small beach front hotel in Playa del Carmen. Includes continental breakast and can upgrade to a full breakfast for a few dollars more. Beers are 20 pesos each. Bucket of beers and Nachos special is 110 pesos. Last AI we had tap beer. I prefer bottle beer. Also looking forward to walking up and down beaches of Playa hitting different beach bars and not being restricted to resort. We might spend a little more than we would at the AI, but I think having bottled beer over tap beer and better quality food plus freedom to eat and go where we please is worth the extra cost. Playa Maya has refrigerators in room, so we'll probably save a few bucks by having a bottle and mix some drinks for enjoyment on our balcony or terrace before heading out for the evening.

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Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen
Riviera Maya, Mexico