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Recipes Make Magic 08-25-2019 10:44 PM

Thinking of sun, sand & sea for your next vacation this winter ?
 
My SO and I love to travel and have do so each year, at least once every year, for quite some time now.

Now that we're getting on in years & prefer sticking fairly close to home
( & flying direct, non-stop if we can), we've gravitated to the convenience and moderate cost of all-inclusive, adults only resorts, mainly in Mexico, where we love to vacation.

We've tried quite a number of different venues over the past few years, and have gotten a little fussy about location, size of resorts, ambience, food & service, and places to see/things to do.
We want to make sure the cost is well value-justified .


So, if any of you are inclined to enjoy vacationing somewhat along these lines, but not sure where to go, I'd be our pleasure to recommend a couple of superb resorts we've had the pleasure to find & go to, along with 2 new resorts we've booked for the near future, this assuming the forum's rules allow this type of vacationing recommendations.

CWS4322 08-25-2019 11:31 PM

Not that I get to escape MN winters, my favourite US place is Catalina Island. It is not what you want, but it is sooooooo relaxing and quiet. My other favourite places are Aruba and US Virgin Islands. And in the summer, Juist.

bbqcoder 08-26-2019 08:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Recipes Make Magic (Post 1602815)
I'd be our pleasure to recommend a couple of superb resorts we've had the pleasure to find & go to, along with 2 new resorts we've booked for the near future, this assuming the forum's rules allow this type of vacationing recommendations.

Sure, please do share your recommendations and your experiences at these resorts. I would love to hear it!

Recipes Make Magic 08-26-2019 11:11 AM

OK, here's the first one:


Grand Fiesta Americana, a 173 room adults only, all inclusive resort just 15 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta (about 30-35 minutes from the airport).
Fairly new - not more than 3 or 4 years old, clean and well-maintained.
It's said to be 5 stars, but there's no such thing in actuality - at least as far as we're concerned. This one is rated 4.7


Right on a nice sandy beach - 3 attached buildings of approx. 11-12 floors each, with all rooms facing the beach, pool areas and the ocean.


If memory serves, it has 5 restaurants - one buffet, and 4 ala carte - all with excellent dishes, well-prepared and presented, particularly at the Asian & Italian venues. Food taste & quality is of utmost importance to us in all-inclusive resorts, where the average resort is often hit & miss when it comes to food, and lacking in quality, and the drinks watered down.


Not sure about prices there today in USD's, but cost for 2 all-in- (accommodation, food, and flights) is estimated to run about $3,000. for lower rooms, up to around $4,000. or so for rooms from floors 6 to top of bldgs.


The higher floors which contain the more pricey rooms include unlimited use of a private, large lounge area, where breakfast and lunch buffet is served daily, and which includes inside & outside balcony dining, as well as a good-sized sunning/sitting area outside. It was great - we used this facility every day - hardly anyone there most days.


Overall, one of the best we've been to over the past 5 years - and we go to mexico every year, at times twice a year.


We highly recommend - well worth it. Apologies if my estimated pricing is currently off the mark - check it out from your location.

Recipes Make Magic 08-26-2019 12:13 PM

Here's # 2 Resort & Spa:


Breathless Resort and Spa, Cabo SanLucas, Baja.


Another adults only- all-inclusive--- 169 'suites' (large rooms) offering a stunning marina or ocean view (andthe arch at the tip of Baja, adjacent to the town of Cabo San Lucas). Again,fairly newish and 5 star - critically rated @ 4.5 or better.


6 gourmet eateries I believe, 2infinity pools, and an award winning rooftop lounge and open air lobby - modern& beautiful, clean & well-kept throughout.


This resort is more spread out thanGrand Fiesta Americana, so a bit of walking to the restaurants, but with greatbeach & ocean views - where themeals are pretty much on a par with theprevious resort, well presented dishes & of very good quality & taste -no disappointments here. Excellent knowledgeable staff and great service.


Lots of fun activities to be involvedin daily, and a BBQ night around the pool one night of the week we were there wasoutstanding - a highlight where we made a lot of new friends !


All-in cost including flights isestimated to be around $3,500. USD per couple for lower floor rooms, orslightly higher than GFA, and $4,500. to say $5,000. for x-hale club suiteswhich offer club lounge exclusivity & other perks.


Check it out - the photos say it all !

Are you interested in ourreviewing 2 more Mexican adults only,all inclusive resorts ?


Apologies, I neglected to mention that estimated cost at both resorts are for a one week stay for 2.

GotGarlic 08-26-2019 01:02 PM

Anyone going to the Maya Riviera this year might want to check on the status of the seaweed invasion from the south. It sounds pretty nasty, especially if you want to do any snorkeling or scuba-diving or hang out on the beach.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt...s-get-creative

Btw, when we went to that area 20 or so years ago, we picked a place that included a couple of excursions. So we were able to visit Chichen Itza and the fort at Tulum while we were there. It was a great trip.

Recipes Make Magic 08-26-2019 01:52 PM

Thanks for the info GG,
Both resorts I've reviewed though, are on the west coast side of the continent - on the Pacific Ocean, while the Maya Riviera you mentioned is of course on the east coast, from Cancun on down to Tulum.


Not that there isn't seaweed problems on the pacific side as well, on or near the Nayarit Riviera, which extends from Nuevo Vallarta north to Punta Mita. Troublesome seaweed accumulations are known to occur occasionally in this area too.

GotGarlic 08-26-2019 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Recipes Make Magic (Post 1602871)
Thanks for the info GG,
Both resorts I've reviewed though, are on the west coast side of the continent - on the Pacific Ocean, while the Maya Riviera you mentioned is of course on the east coast, from Cancun on down to Tulum.


Not that there isn't seaweed problems on the pacific side as well, on or near the Nayarit Riviera, which extends from Nuevo Vallarta north to Punta Mita. Troublesome seaweed accumulations are known to occur occasionally in this area too.

Gotcha. I just reread your first post - you didn't mention where in Mexico you were talking about, so I guess I assumed you meant the east coast, since that's where I've been :wink:

Did you read the article, though? This is apparently much worse than has happened before to the point of covering the beaches and killing sea life by blocking the sun over large areas. I imagine that as the oceans continue to warm, this will become a worse problem throughout the tropics.

Recipes Make Magic 08-26-2019 03:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GotGarlic (Post 1602872)
Gotcha. I just reread your first post - you didn't mention where in Mexico you were talking about, so I guess I assumed you meant the east coast, since that's where I've been :wink:

Did you read the article, though? This is apparently much worse than has happened before to the point of covering the beaches and killing sea life by blocking the sun over large areas. I imagine that as the oceans continue to warm, this will become a worse problem throughout the tropics.

Yes, you're quite right, GG - my bad.

You've have needed to go to my 2 reviews to see that they were for resorts in Puerto Vallarta & Cabo San Lucas on the Pacific side.

And yes, the seaweed invasions are very serious problems, which I have read also extend to the Dominican Republic, where there's even worse problems in some of the tourist areas - murders in the street - drug gang wars that innocent people get caught up in - and even child/young person abductions for the sex trade. So stay away from there for vacationing.

Recipes Make Magic 08-26-2019 03:13 PM

Thought I'd proceed with reporting on #'s 3 and 4 resorts, and hope you enjoy reading through them:



Report on # 3 - all-inclusive, adults only resort - PuertoVallarta. Mx.


We're booked for this one - 8 nights in late October next.

Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel &spa.

- Only 80 rooms on 7 floors - allocean view, on best beach in P.V. town - reported as having an ambiance ofprivacy & exclusivity, with first class service

- Ranked #7 of 130 resorts in P.V.,and #1 best small resort - fully renovated in 2017 - & rated @ 4.6 stars


- 10 minutes from P.V. airport, andonly 10 minutes walk to the Malecon, the well-known boardwalk in downtown P.V.,where many classy restaurants and boutiques await your attendance &inspection


- 3 fine eateries, 2 pools - one withswim-up seating bar, and the other an infinity pool nearly on the beach.Majority of reviews rate the staff service & attention as being asexcellent as it gets, and all the foodofferings truly outstanding - high praise indeed


Cost for 7 nights for 2 persons is estimated at a low of $3,000. USD, up to$3,500. or so for top floor spa suite oceanfront ( 850 sq. ft.) - and dependingon where you're flying from, you may also be able to include business classflight seating for around $4,000. total all-in



Sounds superb - we're looking forwardto it - can't wait !

Recipes Make Magic 08-26-2019 03:17 PM

#4 Adults Only All-Inclusive Resort -Cabo San Lucas


Le Blanc Spa Resort:


I always save the best for last !


This is a large 375 room,newly-built, 5 star state of the art, opulent resort - a sister to it's 2 or 3year old resort in Cancun on the east coast.


I'd never seen or heard of any A.I-A.O. as magnificent as this one, and my wife and I couldn't pass it up - we'vebooked it for a week for March next spring.


Both this resort and it's sister havereceived unbelievable rave reviews from the outset - this one in Los Cabos


-approx. 30 minutes from the airport, boasts 8 world class restaurants where itis said you'll have unique and sensational culinary experiences prepared by topmexican chefs.


There are 6 bars and 4 poolswell-located on the lush grounds. 95% of reviews to date report that theaccommodations, food and service are absolutely second to none.


Several reviewers have actually ratedthis 5 star resort as being 6 stars !


Of course, this obviously superb,one-of-a-kind new resort comes at a price. A middle of the road Royal DeluxeOceanview room will price out this 7 nights for 2 all-inclusive with flights,likely into the $ 6,000. to $ 7,000. USD range.


But I'll comment no more, and let the125 photos of this place say it all !


Hopefully this link will produce themfor you. If it doesn't, simply google a link for 'Le Blanc Spa Resort - LosCabos - Expedia'


https://www.expedia.ca/Los-Cabos-Hot...el-Information



BTW, I've concentrated on west coastresorts mainly because we're in Vancouver and can readily fly direct non-stopto these locations in under 4 hours. It should appeal mostly to you folksliving on or near the west coast, since your lower flight costs should lessen the $$$burden.

Recipes Make Magic 08-26-2019 07:19 PM

Over 125 views to date, but there doesn't seem to be much interest, with the possible exceptions of bbqcoder and GG -


August too early to be in a vacation frame of mind, or the venues not appealing, I suppose ?

Andy M. 08-26-2019 07:59 PM

Sorry, just not interested in a Mexico vacation. Your resort reports appear to be comprehensive.

Cheryl J 08-26-2019 08:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Recipes Make Magic (Post 1602893)
Over 125 views to date, but there doesn't seem to be much interest, with the possible exceptions of bbqcoder and GG -


August too early to be in a vacation frame of mind, or the venues not appealing, I suppose ?


Hi, Paul. You've gotten a lot of views on your posts, and the venues do sound very appealing! Would love to go there. There are several of us here who have home issues at the moment and can't just drop everything to plan a trip. Thank you so much for sharing!

Recipes Make Magic 08-26-2019 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy M. (Post 1602894)
Sorry, just not interested in a Mexico vacation. Your resort reports appear to be comprehensive.

Thanks for expressing your view Andy - it's a fair comment - many people have no interest in Mexico for vacationing.

I'm curious though - may I ask what type of vacation you find appealing ?

Over the years, my wife and I have undertaken a lot of different types of vacationing - from month long car tours of European countries - (loved France & Italy for this )- to visits to a number of Asian hot spots like Bali, Singapore & Hong Kong - to renting oceanfront villas cost-shared with friends in several Caribbean islands - some more than once - to building and enjoying our own an oceanfront villa in Provo, in the Turks & Caicos, as a shared investment, rented out for 5 years, before selling when it got to be a lot of work.

But of course as we've aged, we've moved on to easier vacationing approaches, to be closer to home, have less 'getting there' hassles, and of course at less cost - and found that all-inclusive mexican resorts in excellent climate & weather have fit the bill recently.

Recipes Make Magic 08-26-2019 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheryl J (Post 1602896)
Hi, Paul. You've gotten a lot of views on your posts, and the venues do sound very appealing! Would love to go there. There are several of us here who have home issues at the moment and can't just drop everything to plan a trip. Thank you so much for sharing!

Many thanks Cheryl - your positive comments are most appreciated.
If, as and when you get the opportunity to plan a vacation trip, please don't hesitate to PM me if you feel I can be of any help in selecting.

Everyone needs a vacation every once in a while, don't they ?

bbqcoder 08-26-2019 09:34 PM

Thanks for the reviews, Paul. It's good to have some feedback for when we plan a trip to take next year.

Do these places have the option of going not-all-inclusive? I try to not eat/drink a lot on vacation to maintain my health/fitness. With all-inclusive, one might eat/drink more to get a return on their "investment" but in reality, you're punishing your body.

Cheryl J 08-26-2019 09:34 PM

Wondering if you two are travel agents, RMM and BBQ...?

Recipes Make Magic 08-26-2019 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bbqcoder (Post 1602901)
Thanks for the reviews, Paul. It's good to have some feedback for when we plan a trip to take next year.

Do these places have the option of going not-all-inclusive? I try to not eat/drink a lot on vacation to maintain my health/fitness. With all-inclusive, one might eat/drink more to get a return on their "investment" but in reality, you're punishing your body.

Absolutely - we usually book through Air Canada Vacations where you can either select all-inclusive (for all meals), or no meals at all, or European plan - breakfast only.

If you're in the U.S., I'm certain you could book through Expedia, or whoever, and get similar options with corresponding pricing.

Recipes Make Magic 08-26-2019 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheryl J (Post 1602902)
Wondering if you two are travel agents, RMM and BBQ...?

No way, Cheryl, we're just regular vacationers, but retired quite some time ago, and through experience of booking & doing, we've gained a lot of knowledge of what to look for and expect.


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