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2013-12-08 10:09 AM

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Subject: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions
My 10 year anniversary is in May, so I'm thinking about combing that present with Christmas and surprising my wife with a stay at an all inclusive resort. We won't be able to go until the summer because she is a teacher. I'd like a resort that has more to do than lie on the beach and drink (though included drinks are a requirement. I'm thinking things like surfing, wind sailing, paddle boarding, etc. Any suggestions?


2013-12-08 11:36 AM
in reply to: jmcconne

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions
My wife and I recently went to Excellence Playa Mujares in the Cancun area. Best we have been to so far. They had paddle boards, wind surfing, hobie cats, and kayaks included. Its the first place I have been to that had the paddle boards so I was really happy about that.
2013-12-09 11:56 AM
in reply to: TriathletePT

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions

 

Sandals Jamaica. Michael Scott says it is awesome so it must be good!

2013-12-09 12:02 PM
in reply to: jmcconne

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions

What's your budget?

I did a middle-of-the-road all inclusive in Montego Bay last year (a Royal Decameron Resort) - I didn't want to spend 2x, 3x, 4x as much to go to a Sandals or Secrets - but still had a great experience. The one I went to did offer free water activities but hurricane Sandy had just rolled through so the water was too rough. I think I paid around $170 per night in October. Something to think about if your budget is limited.

2013-12-09 12:06 PM
in reply to: jmcconne

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions
Look into Couples Swept Away in Negril, Jamaica. My husband and I went there for our 10-year anniversary and were blown away. We have been LOTS of places and to a few All inclusives and this was ONE of the best. It's very reasonably priced and very romantic. It's couples ONLY so there are no spring breakers, rowdy kids, etc. No kids allowed. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids but when we do adult-only trips I'd rather not have anyones kids there. Makes me miss my own kids and makes me want more time away from kids.
The restaurants were not buffet style but rather really nice sit-down restaurants, there was a piano bar that was truly a hoot every night, a martini bar, and almost all of the alcohol was top-shelf (if you have drinks). They did not accept tips as all was figured into your stay. I believe it's right next to the Sandals in Negril so the beach is beautiful, white sand, huge seashells, and amazingly friendly staff. WE LOVED IT. I have lots of pics if you ever want to see them.

ONE OTHER PLACE-
This one is way more expensive but we just got back from here. It's the Grand Velas in Riviera Maya, Mexico. It's near Cancun
and was by far the MOST beautiful resort I have ever been to. It's 5 star with AAA and all the restaurants and 5 star plus. FINE
DINING- nothing casual about this place at all. We took our kids but would never take them back. Romantic, staff was
wonderful, immaculate, super clean, rooms were by far the nicest we've ever stayed in.
That being said, you paid for what you got. I also have pics of this resort.
I would send anyone there, but be prepared to tip a lot and spend a lot. I am not sure we can afford to go back.

Good luck. I love vacations!!!
2013-12-09 12:53 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions
Originally posted by Aarondb4

 

Sandals Jamaica. Michael Scott says it is awesome so it must be good!




Trust Michael Scott, he's never worng!

Seriously, we honeymooned there in 1990 (wow, getting OLD) and liked it a lot. All resort activiites were inlcuded, even water skiing (a hoot in the ocean!) and scuba diving and sailing. Pre SUP, so not sure about that and of course all that may have changed over the years.

We have stayed in many other all-inclusives over the years with our kids and other families and friends, and as someone said, you need to throw out a budget or expectations about the "star" rating you want to stay in so we can zero-in on suggestions that might make more sense to you.

Edited by ejshowers 2013-12-09 12:54 PM


2013-12-09 1:24 PM
in reply to: ejshowers

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions

The only thing I could caution about Negril, for Jamaica, is the very long and unsettling drive from the airport in Montego Bay.  If I went back to Jamaica, I would stay in MB.  

I've also been to Swept Away (a Couples resort in Negril) and it was really nice, but you are really trapped there on site and I hated the bus ride.

I would be far more interested in the places by Cancun.   I have had many lovely vacations in that area, and the water is more interesting with coral reef nearby for snorkeling.

2013-12-09 2:23 PM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions

If you can afford it, Sandals Antigua.  Good gravy it was awesome when we went there 7+ years ago for our 10th and they've done quite an impressive remodel since then. 

2013-12-09 2:45 PM
in reply to: crowny2

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions
I'm not really sure how the star ratings work, since when I normally travel it is just for work and location is usually key. I think I'd be good with about 50% buffet meals, and maybe one place where I have to dress nice to eat. I'd like to keep it under $2k and be able to stay at least 5 days.

Thanks for the suggestions so far. Since I don't travel for personal vacations often I'm not familiar with how I should attempt to get deals on this stuff aside from the Expedia.com commercials. Any suggestions on where I should book hotel and the resort?
2013-12-09 4:28 PM
in reply to: midwesttrimom

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions

We stayed at the Grand Velas in Riviera Maya in April, and it was amazing!  We stayed the first few nights in the 'jungle' area, and then moved ocean front.  I would suggest ocean front for the whole stay.

Going for  run is funny - they send you out with escorts!

2013-12-09 8:09 PM
in reply to: velcromom

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions
The Royal in Cancun is exceptional. I believe they also have a property in Playa Del Carmen.


2013-12-10 9:16 AM
in reply to: #4910086

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions
Two years ago we went to the Excellence Club in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The quality and service was top notch.
2013-12-10 9:25 AM
in reply to: jmcconne

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions

Cap Jaluca in Anguila.  There's some activities but as a place to go and relax this is it.  It's not completely all inclusive but there are packages available that will cover a bunch of meals and stuff.  Which I reaized after I started typing you were looking for all inclusive.  Still worth a look, amazing and service is over the top.

2013-12-10 2:23 PM
in reply to: velcromom

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions
Originally posted by velcromom

We stayed at the Grand Velas in Riviera Maya in April, and it was amazing!  We stayed the first few nights in the 'jungle' area, and then moved ocean front.  I would suggest ocean front for the whole stay.

Going for  run is funny - they send you out with escorts!




Agree! I posted on this above. It was TOP NOTCH all of the way. I wouldn't have wanted to run when we were there as it was completely
DEAD as far as people (off season). Made me feel a little odd in that regard. I ended up running on the treadmill but the fitness center
was very nice. It rained quite a bit so I had some time to spend there. IT may be above the price you want to spend.

As far as Negril versus Cancun area I would have to say I think the beaches in Negril are better, but my memory may not serve me correctly. We went off the resort while in Negril for snorkeling, to visit the cliff diving cafe (can't remember the name right now) and to do some other excursions. It is a horrible ride from the airport over- I have to agree there, but you get to see the island and also stop for a drink half way. I don't recommend it if you
get car sick, though. I was a little sick...(thanks for that reminder as it's been awhile).
Also has a full Olympic-size pool for lap swim, great off shore swimming, you can run for miles along the beach (at least when we were
there this was still safe enough during the day) and it's within budget I would think.

I have heard great things about Sandals, too. Just hasn't been one we have chosen in the past.
2013-12-10 4:35 PM
in reply to: jmcconne

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions
Any of the Sandals --- but Sandals Carlyle ( this is a very small one and the very small beach is across the street and not private. )

Have been to 5 of them and loved them all for different reasons.
Going to Sandals Whitehouse for the Christmas holiday ---- I am a teacher and one of the times I have off

2013-12-11 12:41 PM
in reply to: rick4657

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions
If you enjoy sailing, snorkeling, windsurfing, and other similar watersports, then hands down the best place we've ever been is Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda, BVI. Blew away any of the other experiences we had in Jamaica, Cozumel, Aruba, Grand Caymans, or Turks and Caicos.

www.beyc.com

The Admiral's Package gives you unlimited access to all of their daily snorkeling trips, their fleet of dingys, keelboats, windsurfers, and Hobiecats (the sunset cruises are awesome). They also have a great sailing 101 program (included in the package) to get beginning sailors started with confidence.

When you consider all you can get, it's a really good deal.

(You can get in some swim training in as well by swimming from the resort to the adjacent island and back in the morning among the schools of fish)

We've been there 3 times, and every time we made great friends: the last time, our teenage daughter cried when we left.

P.S. For a real sense of adventure I suggest taking Cape Air from San Juan, PR airport to Tortola, it's the best plane ride you'll ever take.


2013-12-13 1:54 PM
in reply to: windandsurf

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions
Check out the DREAMS PALM BEACH PUNTA CANA in the Dominican Republic. Awesome All Inclusive and it has everything included!! great food, drinks and activities for adult and kids that are planned out each day from 10am-midnight. Movies on the beach, shows, BBQ on the beach, they have their own fake money you can win while playing games to buy things around the resort, free water sports, etc.

Wife and I went there for a week 2 years ago in March when we had close to 80inches of snow on the ground down here. Was a great vacation and beautiful hotel with an amazingly friendly and helpful staff. We chose to go to Aruba for our Honeymoon just to visit somewhere else but we are saving for our next vacation and probably going to go back to Dreams Palm Beach.
2013-12-14 10:02 AM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Subject: RE: All Inclusive Resort Suggestions

Originally posted by BikerGrrrl

The only thing I could caution about Negril, for Jamaica, is the very long and unsettling drive from the airport in Montego Bay.  If I went back to Jamaica, I would stay in MB....

I think this depends on your mindset.  My wife and I have found that this ride can be fun.  We usually buy a 6 pack of Red Stripe from a stand at Sangster and enjoy the ride.  Another option is an island hopper from Sangster to Negril.

 

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