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by on March 30, 2012 |
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The Fairmont Orchid is located on the Kohala Coast, on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The hotel has a  white sand beach and a great snorkeling lagoon.  My wife and I stayed in the corner oceanview room.  It had a great view with a marble bathroom.  The service is what you would expect from a Fairmont Hotel, top notch!  The check in was a breeze and our bags actually made it to our room before we did.

The pool was huge and the hotel had a beautiful Jacuzzi area.  The Jacuzzi was big and was surrounded my mature landscaping.  In the evening the pools were busy and the hot tubs were full.

The beach is great and the lagoon has excellent snorkeling.  The beach side bar was a lot of fun and the bartender was super.  BEWARE of the coral on the outside edge of the lagoon.  We seen a fella come up from the beach all tore up from falling on the coral when the waves came in.  If you stay where you are supposed to be you will not have to worry about this.

The food was amazing at the hotel but it was a bit expensive.  We ate breakfast and lunch at the hotel but went out for most of our dinners.  The concierge offered some amazing tips on local restaurants and other area attractions.

The highlight of the big island was the fishing trip.  The hotel concierge booked us a 1/2 day deep sea fishing trip.  We left in the morning and the fish were really biting.  No trophies but we had a lot of action.  The sea was a little rough on the way in but we had a wonderful time.

Our stay at the Fairmont was amazing.  These are special hotels and the Big Island of Hawaii is one of a kind.  If your looking for  luxury accommodations on the Big Island come and see The Fairmont Orchid!

by on March 28, 2012 |
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The Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, a great Punta Cana all inclusive resort which opened in 2010, features a lush, tranquil ambiance surrounded by palm trees within a luxuriant tropical garden located in Punta Cana.  Within this tropical wonderworld you will find 1,991 junior suites.  This property does offer family junior suites that will accomodate a family of six.

Also like most resorts, you will find that you have access to the Barcelo Bavaro Beach, Barcelo Punta Cana, and the Barcelo Dominican Beach.  Since this is another mega resort, hotel staff does provide complimentary transportation in a trolly around the complex.

Among all of the fine dining at the 15 restraunts and plentiful beverages at the 12 bars, you will find something unique about the Barcelo properties unilke all others.  You will find classes on circus trapeze, a rock climbing wall, casino, disco, on site golf course and waterpark all wrapped up in one!

According to Trip Advisor this property gets a 4 out of 5 rating overall.  Here is what one guest had to say about her stay:

”A group of 4 of us stayed at this resort from September 18-25, 2011. I have stayed in a Barcelo resort before in Punta Cana, but the Palace delux was far superior.  This resort is HUGE! We took a golf cart to our room. First impression of the room was absolutely incredible. Our room was VERY clean and extremely modern. The decor is up to date and the balcony is massive. Every room at this resort has a jacuzzi on the balcony with a shade that pulls down for privacy – It’s perfect if you want to have a romantic evening or just a relaxing time in the jacuzzi and not worry about people looking up at you.  The room is open concept, including the bathroom. His and her sinks, a massive shower and a toilet area with a door. Everyday they stock the fridge and also leave chips and peanuts for snacks – Definitely a good thing when you’ve been taking advantage of the all inclusive alchohol.  The grounds of the resort are immaculate and you can tell they take great pride in that. They are constantly working hard to ensure the property looks nice.  The beach is great – Clean, nice sand with amazing water. The pools are very clean and they have many of them! Since the 4 of us are in our twentys and have no kids, we hung out mostly at the adult pool. Very relaxing for those who want to get away from the “family” pools. Don’t fear though, they have a kids pool, all ages pool and also a sports pool where you can participate in the daily events. We played water polo one day and it was absolutely hilarious and so much fun!  We made reservations every night for the different restaurants and left the buffet for breakfast and lunch only.  The sports bar is a great place to grab a burger if you want, they taste great. My favorite restaurant was the japanese and spanish – definitely check them out!”

So make sure to find your way to the Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, located a short 20 min. trip from the airport.

by on March 26, 2012 |
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My wife and I had a chance to take her parents to The Royal in Cancun and The Royal Playa Del Carmen.  We stayed 3 nights at each hotel and it was awesome.

We started at the Royal in Playa Del Carmen right off 5th avenue, in Playa Del Carmen. Location, Location, Location !  We could walk to all the shopping and clubs located on  famous 5th Avenue.  The rooms were very nice, maybe not quite as new or fresh as some of the new adult only hotels but they were very nice!  The pool was huge and seemed to have a real buzz about it.  Their was a lot more activity and a bit more of a party feel with people coming and going from 5th avenue.  The beach was great and it was lined with beach cabanas but it was right next door to a road that lead down to the beach so it did have a lot of foot traffic from 5th avenue.  It is not as private as some may like and if your not in the Royal Service suites it is a little tough to find one.  The royal service suites have reserved beach cabanas.

My favorite restaurant was Asiana because of the location outside of the resort but every restaurant was very good!  This hotel is the best in Playa Del Carmen so if you want an adult only located on 5th Avenue you have to stay at the Royal Playa Del Carmen.

After 3 nights in Playa it was off the the The Royal in Cancun.  We stayed on the famed 10th floor in the Royal Service suites.  It is said to have the best view in Cancun and I would agree.  The rooms were much nicer and the view, WOW!  The pool had a huge swim up bar and it was really hopping!  The beach was super and you could see almost the entire skyline of Cancun.  The food was excellent at all of the restaurants and the room service menu seemed to have more options then the Royal in Playa.

I did prefer The Royal Cancun vs. the Royal in Playa Del Carmen.  The rooms were nicer and the views at the Royal Cancun are marvelous but the location of the Royal in Playa Del Carmen is just perfect for partying on 5th avenue.   This was one of my favorite trips and I will be returning to both of these properties.

by on March 19, 2012 |
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A few years back I was fortunate to travel to the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua in Maui. My wife and I were looking to play some golf and soak up the sun.  The Ritz is a golfers paradise with two championship golf courses right on property.

The hotel also features an Environmental Program that teaches guests about Hawaiian culture and the native environment through fun-filled excursions led by expert naturalists.  The spa is world class or if your into a more active vacation take on a high-octane hike or water adventure at the Kapalua Adventure Center and Mountain Outpost.

We had a standard room with a pool view.  The 1 bedroom suites are amazing and feature a full kitchen.  The accommodations were immaculate and the service was even better.  They have three huge tiered swimming pools and had plenty of chairs.

The drinks and food were a little expensive but the food was unbelievable and the drinks were all top shelf.  The Lobby Bar, Alaloa Lounge-features  a new onyx bar with carved wood details, hand-blown glass pendants and a black lava stone wall to form the back-bar.  It was named Best Lobby Lounge on the island by the readers of Maui No Ka Oi Magazine.  They offer evening entertainment and breathtaking views.  Get there early and stay late!  The Banyan Tree is the hotel’s signature restaurant and features a bar and lounge with beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and Moloka’i.  The menu showcases Hawaii’s abundant fruits and fresh catches for lunch and dinner.

The beach is incredible!  It is just a short walk from the pool.  The beach is private with sort of a  crescent shape and has soft, fluffy sand.  It was never crowded and most often you were sharing maybe  a few other couples or families.   The waves do come in with some force so do not turn your back on it.

I have stayed in over a dozen Ritz Carlton’s around the world and this was my favorite!  If your looking for a high end golf/Hawaiian vacation the Ritz Kapalua is truly special.

by on March 16, 2012 |
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Brand new and opening April 2012 the long awaited Secrets Vallarta is sure please. Adults only all inclusive 6 start luxury at it’s finest, the Secrets Vallarta Bay is situated on the finest golden sand beaches of the Pacific.  271 suites offer ocean views, modern decor, 24 hour rooms service, fully stocked minibars, and turn down service just to name a few. Choose from any of the 5 reservation free gourmet all inclusive restaurants and 3 bars with top shelf local and international beer and alcohol all included in your all inclusive stay.  When it’s time for a swim refresh yourself in the stunning pools overlooking the Pacific or head to the ocean for a swim or enjoy one of the complementary watersports like kayaking or snorkeling.  For the perfect anniversary, honeymoon or getaway with your friend, leave the kids with Grandma and Grandpa and book your trip to the Secrets Vallarta Bay today.

by on March 14, 2012 |
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Personally, when I travel I like to stay in the nicest accommodations with one of the hotel’s best rooms.  Unfortunately, you may feel that the budget will not allow an upgraded room category.

Well I am here to show you that this misconception can prevent you from having one of the most memorable vacations of your life!

Lets start with the most common room categories.  Most hotels offer standard rooms, junior suites, suites, and even larger rooms.  Along with these rooms come with different views such as garden view, partial ocean view, ocean view, and ocean front.

One of my favorite hotel’s is the Dreams Cancun!  You really need to check this place out!  They are within walking distance to shopping and the bars downtown and they also have their own dolphinarium!  They offer so many room categories it is unbelievable!  Here are some examples:  1BR Master Suite, 1BR Honeymoon Suite, Club Level Junior Suite w/ Jacuzzi, Deluxe Club Ocean Front, Deluxe Dolphin Front Ocean View, Deluxe Dolphin Front, and Pyramid Presidential Suite!  What options!

If you book well in advance you can get some pretty awesome rates!  Upgrades at this resort begin around $50 per person.  What would make your children happier than to wake up every morning to dolphins swimming outside of your room?  Or even relaxing every evening on your balcony watching the waves splash into the sand?

Sometime spending a few extra hundred dollars can make all the difference in the world.  So trust me on this one.  Call Dream Vacations today and check into an upgraded room category.  I promise you won’t be disappointed!