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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!

by on March 12, 2012 |
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Cancun, Mexico has over a dozen nightclubs and literally hundreds of bars and is considered to have some of the best evening entertainment in the world.  Cancun is most famous for their mega bars and party atmosphere but don’t forget the hundreds of small bars and clubs footsteps away from your hotel.  It doesn’t matter if your looking for a nightclub with laser lights with thousands of people or a quiet local watering hole, Cancun has a place for you.

The large nightclubs have capacity for thousands and all offer nightly entertainment. This is not the entertainment you find in your local downtown clubs.   There’s something new happening every few minutes, from fantastic circus type performances, giant video screens, the famous bikini contests,  mime artists, crazy waiters and more.  The most popular are Coco Bongo, Daddy O, The City and Bulldogs.  It is common for these clubs to carry on until 6 in the morning.  At these clubs you usually pay $25 – $40 cover and they offer an “open bar” so your drinks are included with your cover.  The “open bar” usually ends at 3 am so if your partying early into the morning you’ll have to pay for each drink after 3.   These clubs are world famous and an evening experience of a lifetime!

If you prefer a smaller club try one of Cancun’s most famous bars, Senor Frogs.  It is popular for it’s waterslides and wearable’s.  There are scores of smaller bars in Cancun such as Corona Bar, Dos Equis Bar, Terrasta, Carlos N Charlie’s, My Place, Lucky Monkey and Congo Bar that might be more to your liking.  These clubs will still have a cover and most do a pay per drink plan.  These bars most often close around 1 am but will usually have smaller crowds and shorter lines.  I recommend starting out at these smaller clubs and then finish your evening at one of the larger nightclubs.  Most of these bars are open for lunch and the crowds are smaller and not as lively.  Many of them are actually family friendly during the lunch hour and early afternoons.

If your not looking to pay big cover charges and dance till 6am with the younger crowd but would like to go out and enjoy a night on the town.  Then try Captain’s Cove and Pancho & Willy’s.  Happy Hour is from 4pm to 6pm every day at P&W’s and has one of the best sunset views in all of Cancun.  Captain’s Cove and Pancho & Willy’s is located on the shores of the lagoon opposite The Omni Hotels.  Cancun has evening entertainment for everyone.  Below are a few tips to keep in mind when partying in Cancun.

A few tip to consider when planning your night out in Cancun.

1 – Tip – tipping will improve service levels with cabs, waiters and bartenders

2 – Beware of the Shot girls.  They will charge you $2 per and you can get a little out of control if your not careful.

3 – Don’t get lost.  Some of these clubs are huge so take notice of your surroundings and locate exits and restrooms.

4 – Be careful with valuables.  Travel light, watch out where you leave your camera.  Bring a disposable camera.

5 – BE SAFE.  Use the cab service or walk.  Use common sense and go out with a partner or a buddy.

by on March 9, 2012 | 1 Comment »
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Right at the beach and close to Playa del Carmen, the elegant Riu Palace Mexico is  decorated following the traditional style of Mexico.  The hotel provides of two swimming pools of fresh water surrounded by a vast park, a Jacuzzi, a solarium-terrace, a gym and the “Renova Spa” with different kinds of treatments and massages.

The restaurants are characterized by Mexico’s big variety of recipes. It is recognized by its distinctive flavors with a lot of different spices. It mixes up tradition, Mesoamerican as well as European.

This hotel is located in a shared complex with the Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Playacar, Riu Tequila, and Riu Yucatan.  You can find numerous activities like table tennis, a gym, volleyball, golf and aquatic sports like windsurfing, catamaran, kayak, body board, snorkeling and much more. At night we suggest you to see the shows and to listen to live music or that you visit “La Piñata” disco where you can dance the night away. Your children can also participate in the Riuland children mini-club where they make handicrafts and activities with other children.

Highly rated as one of Trip Advisors’ hotels, here is a recent review.

My husband and I stayed at the Riu Palace Mexico 11/12-11/19 2011. I had always wanted to try a RIU property. We’ve stayed at some of the other chains before and been quite happy. The service here is top notch they anticipate your next need even before you do!! I chose this because of the beach and was not disappointed, it is beautiful. The food was very good, no complaints. We ate at the buffet every night but one. The place is spotless I have never seen a place cleaned daily as thoroughly as they do. The staff there is wonderful. We would definitely return here.