by Dream Vacations on September 11, 2012

I just returned from a trip to the new Secrets The Vine in Cancun, Mexico. This is a brand new adult only all inclusive hotel in the heart of Cancun’s hotel zone. This is Secrets first hotel in Cancun and they have set the standard. I have been to most of the top rated adult only hotels and to many of the Secrets and this was my favorite. Keep in mind this hotel has only been open for two weeks so I was not expecting everything to be perfect, but it was!

The minute you walk in to this hotel you realize you are in for a treat. The Lobby features Cancun’s first fireplace. They actually call it the living room not the Lobby. It is a gorgeous modern looking hotel with an enormous glassed in wine cellar. Check in was a breeze. We stayed in the Preferred club rooms so our butler came down to greet us, collect our bags and bring us to our room. The rooms at the Vine are the best ! They are very modern and HUGE. When you open the door the lights turn on and the lighting is all programmed for relax mode or reading etc. all controlled digitally with panels in each part of the room. The first thing you notice is the huge glass shower with dual shower heads. The room has enough closet space to stay for a month. The sliding glass doors are huge and they lead to an enormous furnished balcony with the best views in Cancun. You actually have an ocean view from the bed ! The linens are super nice and the bed was so comfortable. The best part of the room is NO marble floors!  Most hotels have marble floors so you often need a pair of ice skates to get around your room. These floors are some sort of wood/pergo flooring. They are beautiful and SAFE. I know people say they do not care about the room but when you are doing an adult only hotel the quality of the room should be at the top of the list and the Secrets The Vine rooms are simply incredible.

Time to Eat ! Secrets has the best dining plan in the industry. All ala carte dining with NO reservations required. You are not on any agenda and you do not have to deal with certain seating times for dinner or some silly coupon that shows you have a reservation. The food is superior to ANY all inclusive hotel chain in the world!  We ate at the Grill, the Peruvian restaurant and the Caribbean restaurant. It’s all gourmet and they start each meal with a nice refreshing pallet cleanser. The food is wonderful and the service is even better. Every restaurant also has an outside dining option. I have never seen this at any hotel. Indoor and outdoor seating at every restaurant. The Caribbean restaurant is only outside dining but it is a roof top restaurant with stunning sunset views. The hotel also has 24 hour room service and when they deliver they bring in a table complete with a white table cloth for you to eat on. It is like having your own little dining room and when your done they come get the table and you have your huge room back.  During the day at the pool area the Chefs come out all at once with plates of appetizers and bring them to all the guests. We were in the pool and all of a sudden about 15 chefs come running out to the pool area with piles of tasty treats. I also thought it was very neat how accessible the Chefs were. At many of the restaurants the Chef actually delivers your entree and they come out to check on you at the end of your meal.  If you are into Wine then the Vine is your hotel. They have wine tasting in the lobby area everyday and they offer the most impressive wine list I have ever seen. They also have a sommelier on site that runs the wine tasting and at dinner will help you with your wine pairing. I thought the house wines were excellent but they have any type of wine or champagne you would need. They do not try to sell you the more expensive wines and you are always welcome to sample before you purchase a bottle.

The beach is a huge with white fluffy sand and beach waiter service. The hotel has 3 pools in the main area and the private preferred club pool. The new Secrets does not have a swim up bar. This was a nice change compared to nearly all other hotels. No need for a swim up with the waiter service at the pool. It also made the pool area more enjoyable and clean ! The service around the pools and the common areas was magnificent.  The Secrets is a high rise hotel so it is so easy to get around.  From the Lobby you have five bars within a 2 minute walk.  The elevators are fast and we never waited for more then a minute or two.

Currently we are running some great specials on this hotel so I would call today to take advantage of these special rates.  This hotel is going to rocket to the top of all the review boards so call and book today !

by Dream Vacations on August 20, 2012

On August 19, 2012, Secrets The Vine celebrated its Grand Opening and welcomed its first guests to the newest of their luxury adult-only hotels located only 9 miles from Cancun International Airport in Cancun‘s popular Hotel Zone. This wine-inspired masterpiece resort was designed by the award-winning Rockwell Group and consists of 495 chic guest rooms designed as a personal retreat with signature design elements including: Private balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea and Laguna Nichupte, Italian porcelain floors polished to mimic wood, custom covered headboards and teak wood furnishings, luxury linens and Rockwell Group-designed APF mirrors and white glass wrapped bathrooms. Each guest room is a warm and inviting sanctuary that draws you in and surrounds you with comfort and state-of-the-art conveniences. The Secrets The Vine offers three infinity pools and a Preferred Club pool that provide breathtaking views stretching to the horizon. The magnificent pool area displays layers of platforms and water intersecting on its way down to the ocean. Six gourmet à la carte restaurants plus a fine dining buffet are sure to intrigue the most discerning palate.

The sparkling bold elegant entry to Secrets The Vine boasts Mayan culture and Yucatan Peninsula design influences such as the concierge area, envisioned as a smoking room, that mixes traditional hacienda and contemporary style furniture.

The Secrets The Vine’s signature design also celebrates fine wine, starting with its lobby which houses The Vine Bar, a designated wine tasting area for guests, featuring a wine wall with nearly 3,000 varieties. There, guests can enjoy sommelier-led tastings hosted at the locally handcrafted wood table with seating for up to 14 guests. A Vine Bazaar completes the wine-centric experience. This area of the resort offers a variety of relaxing spaces including The Vine Café, The Vine Bar & The Lounge, Terrace, and The Library, which was designed to recall the ancient Mexican tradition of storytelling.

Local cenote formations influenced the design, treatment selection and hydrotherapy circuit at the 12,580 square-feet Secrets Spa by Pevonia. The spa’s main lounge or Cenote Room, recreates the effect of natural cenotes with a three feet deep plunge pool forming the floor with backlit nooks throughout to emulate the beams of sunlight peeking through rock formations. The spa also features a Jacuzzi, steam room, glass pool, and fitness center with ocean views.

As with all Secrets, guests will enjoy the benefits of Secrets Resorts & Spas’ signature Unlimited-Luxury® vacation concept which offers 24-hour room and concierge services, daily refreshed mini-bars, limitless access to gourmet dining and premium beverage brands across the resort’s seven distinctive restaurants and seven bar and lounge areas and countless daytime and nighttime activities and entertainment.

A new and unique feature that Secrets The Vine will also offer is Unlimited Connectivity across the resort with the Secrets Resorts app, which is accessible for mobile download to iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android and Blackberry phones. The free app allows guests to stay connected and communicate with family and friends back home using the app-to-app calls feature to call local and international (U.S. and Canada) phones and send messages over the hotel’s Wi-Fi network without incurring any international cell phone roaming charges. Guests also can create user profiles using their email, Facebook or Twitter accounts to contact staff directly, tailor personal deal preferences, book spa appointments, reserve excursions and much more. Users can register the app with their room number to instantly view their folio and request hotel services.

by Dream Vacations on August 8, 2012

Riu has done it again but this time in Costa Rica,  in the past few months Riu has opened a new palace hotel in Punta Cana and in Cancun.  The latest grand opening will be the Riu Palace Costa Rica. The  5-star resort,  is located in Guanacaste, Costa Rica on the edge of the beach of Matapalo.  This hotel will have the same fresh new look as the hotel in Punta Cana and Cancun.  The hotel is scheduled to open in November 2012 and we have already made several bookings.

The new Riu Palace’s have 4 ala carte restaurants and 24 hour room service.  The rooms have fully stocked mini bars and of course the signature Riu liquor dispensers.  Guests staying at the Riu Palace will also have access to the Riu Guanacaste.    I just returned from the new Riu Palace Peninsula in Cancun and the food was wonderful.  The new palace buffets are excellent and the service is second to none.

The new Riu Palace will have 4 pools and a swim up bar.   The rooms are wonderful and this hotel is offering the 2 room family suites for families traveling with children and need the adjoining room category.  The new Riu rooms are very vibrant and c0lorful a huge change in decor versus the older Riu Palace’s.  If you have been waiting to visit Costa Rica now is the time and this is the hotel.  Call us today to get the Grand Opening rates.

by Dream Vacations on August 7, 2012

I just returned from Riu hotels new Palace in Cancun, The Riu Palace Peninsula.  The hotel towers over the other hotels in this part of Cancun.  It is a stunning structure and you see it the minute your transfer hits the hotel zone.  Once you enter the Lobby you realize this is not like the other Riu Palace’s.  The Lobby is amazing with new color schemes and a real open floor plan with plenty of areas to relax while you are checking in or out.

Our rooms were very nice with a jetted tub and a rain head walk in shower.  I thought the beds were very comfortable and the room had flat screen TV’s.  I am sure they worked but I never turned the TV on.  The Riu trademark liquor dispensers were full as was our fully stocked min bar.  The view was very nice and I especially enjoy the morning view.  The view is of Isla Mujeres so you get to see the fishing charters, ferry boats and many of the other marine related activities head out for the day.  We stayed in the Junior Suites in the main part of the hotel.  The Villa Section looked extra special.  This is the room category for adults who want a little privacy and some specialized services.

The main pools were great and we never had any issues finding a chair.  They had a gradual edge entry so it was very safe for the younger kids and at the far end some real nice built in lounge chairs.  The main activity pool was lively and I enjoyed some water aerobics, a scuba clinic and a little volleyball.  The view from the infinity pool was just gorgeous and this was my preferred place to be while in the pool.  The swim up bar was huge and set in a separate area between the other main pools with plenty of seating in and around it.

The Riu has a nice sandy pocket of  beach  but the main shore line does have some rocks.   I actually prefer this type of beach.  Sand where you need it, under your feet but a lot more to look at along the shoreline.  The snorkeling was very good and we actually seen an eel in some of the rocks.  One of the hotel employees ran him off with a stick so we went on to body surfing.  The hotel offered a lot of activities during the day but the evening shows were the highlight.  Each night the hotel had a new show and they were excellent productions.  The Theatre is open air so grab a seat outside and you will stay cool while you enjoy some wonderful entertainment.

I really enjoyed the Steakhouse.  We all had the surf and turf and it was the only time I can remember my wife giving me her extra Lobster tail!  We especially enjoyed our waiter Victor.  Victor is simply wonderful and we went to his area to eat lunch and dinner every day of our trip.  I also enjoyed the Italian restaurant it does not require reservations and is conveniently located in the Lobby of the hotel.  I know a lot of people do not like buffets but the Riu buffet’s are not like most.  I thought everything I tried from the Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets was wonderful.  My family preferred it over all the dining options.   The Riu is truly 24 hour all inclusive.  They have a very cool sports bar that is open 24/7.  They only offer burgers, hot dogs and nachos but isn’t that what you really want at 2 am.  The hotel also offers 24 hour room service.

I had such a great trip to the Riu Palace Peninsula that I am going back at the end of August.  This hotel is very similar to the new Riu Palace Bavaro in Punta Cana.  so if your thinking of traveling to the Dominican you can still experience a new Riu Palace.  If your considering Cancun or the Rivera Maya you must take a close look at Riu’s newest and I think their best Palace hotel, The Riu Palace Peninsula.

by Dream Vacations on August 2, 2012

Aruba is home to some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world.  Powdery white sand and beautiful turquoise seas combined with a warm tropical breeze makes Aruba one of the top destinations in all of the Caribbean.  The weather is perfect year-round with temperatures averaging about 82 degrees.  Aruba attracts more than 800,000 international travelers annually and has the highest return rate in the Caribbean. More than 90% of the travelers hail from the United States. The southern coast of the Island is home to over 20 dive sites and 11 diver friendly wrecks.  Shoppers can find a huge selection of name brand products and prices that are 10-35% lower than in the United States.

Aruba has no language barrier and no currency exchange so it is very U.S. traveler friendly. The island is very small with flat cab fares so it easy to explore and affordable to get around.  The food is amazing with restaurants ranging from typical franchise food to Gourmet dining.  Aruba also features world class nightclubs and wonderful Casinos.  Most of the hotel casinos will close around 2 am but the Casino’s downtown are open 24 hours a day.  Aruba has a wonderful combination of great beaches.

Aruba has two main hotel areas.  The high rise hotels and the low rise hotels.  The High Rise hotels like the Riu Palace Aruba and the Occidental Grand are located on beautiful Palm Beach. The low rise hotels like the Divi and Tamarijn are located on Eagle Beach.  Both areas are excellent but the top rated hotels will be in the High Rise section or on Palm Beach.  Aruba also has many hotels that are not all inclusive so if you prefer a more familiar brand you can stay at The Hyatt, Renaissance, Marriott or The Westin.  The all inclusive hotels tend to be a better value but Aruba gives you the option for either style of hotel accommodations.

It is time to experience something different then the typical Mexico or Caribbean vacation.  Call today and let us send you to Aruba, “One Happy Island.”

by Emily Kupersmith on July 16, 2012

Opening Aug 2012 the brand new Secrets The Vine will give the AM resort brand their first adults only luxury all inclusive in the Cancun hotel zone! Newly built the property features 495 luxurious guest rooms, all with ocean views, private balconies, Italian porcelain floors, and teak wood furnishings.

All guests will enjoy the Secrets brand of all inclusive, which offers unlimited access to gourmet a la carte dining and premium beverage brands, 24-hour room and concierge services, countless daytime activities, live evening entertainment, and more.

Featuring seven restaurants and three bars with additional amenities such as movies on the beach, dance classes, and more this is a new resort not to be missed!