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Dream Vacations Blog - All-Inclusive Beach Vacations

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by on February 20, 2013 | 1 Comment »
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As a travel agent, when traveling to various All Inclusive Resort locations for my own personal vacations, I find myself always comparing places I have been to before and the place I am currently staying at. Last year my wife and I had the opportunity to travel to the brand new Secrets Vallarta resort in Puerto Vallarta Mexico in October and here is my honest travel agent review.

First of all the location of the resort is ideal for anyone wanting to be able to go into downtown Puerto Vallarta for site seeing, shopping, night life etc. A taxi from the resort to the Malecon which is the board walk is only $6 each way and it takes about 10 minutes or so with traffic. Upon pulling into the drive way of the Secrets Vallarta you will immediately see the high rise luxury appeal with a modern architecture. The Secrets Vallarta is connected to a property called the NOW Amber which is also a brand new luxury resort but the NOW Amber will accommodate all ages of travelers including kids while the Secrets Vallarta is fully Adult Only.

The lobby of Secrets is very nice with a private check in provided for all guests, lobby bar with refreshments waiting and upon entering the resort you are immediately greeted by their amazing friendly staff. The resort has elevators all throughout the property so it’s very easy to navigate and get around. At night, the resort bings in local musicians for entertainment in the lobby and keep in mind that this is again two resorts side by side built as one big hotel with the NOW Amber having thier own identical lobby and entertainment as well.

The pool area is great with the main pool having a wooden deck around it that you can lay out on in a lounge chair that’s only steps away from the sand! They have swim up pool bar, pool side grill restaurant (Barefoot Grill) and they even have swim up room categories that can be purchased. The swim up rooms have a little pool off of the patio that you step right into that is shared by all ground floor rooms in the building your room is located in. Swim up rooms are little more expensive than the standard category but for my wife and I a swim up is perfect! We like to lay out by the “pool” and not have to leave the room for anything, even the wait staff will bring drinks and food right to your door step. Overall the rooms are very nice and elegant but if I had one complaint on the standard room types, the balconies on the upper floor rooms were pretty small. And again, that is my only complaint on the rooms. Very large space, very modern, jacuzzi, double sinks, awesome shower.

The beach at this resort is beautiful to look at and inviting to take pictures of amazing sunsets but, the sand in the ocean is more like a little gravel bar. Not to the extent of really needing boat shoes but not a bad idea. It’s not a long walking beach because of how close the resort is located to town, but again very beautiful. The food in the restaurants was very good, the gourmet restaurant is the nicest of all with amazing steak and fish options along with gourmet dinning from various cultures. Food is tough to give a review on because everyone is different but overall on a 1-10 scale, I give the food a 7 or 8.

Here’s the overall skinny on this resort: Location is great for being close to town. Beach is okay but not great. Rooms are amazing but small balconies. Food is very good, but adults will go to the family resort next door for some restaurants. Staff is fantastic. Nightlife pretty slow but the hotel was just opened when we traveled so the occupancy was really low (go to downtown for night life). Pool area is great and swim up rooms are well worth it. If you are looking for a great honeymoon or anniversary location in Puerto Vallarta, this is the resort I would personally recommend over almost anything else out there.

by on February 15, 2013 |
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I like a great beach but I love a great pool.  I spend most of my day pool side so I think  pools are a key factor when selecting your all inclusive hotel.  Here are a few all inclusive resorts that have really cool pools.

The Iberostar Paraiso Maya and Iberostar Paraiso Lindo in the Riviera Maya of Mexico actually share an enormous lagoon style pool.  The pool has an amazing swim up bar, ample seating and shaded lounge chairs.  The pool winds through the complex starting with a lazy river and a wave pool and ending up at the beach access.

  

Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas in Cabo San Lucas Mexico.  Look at the view !   Not the biggest or the newest pool but the view is to die for.  Sip on a cool drink as you look out to Lands End.  The Palace swim up bar has the same view of the Arch.  The Riu Santa Fe is a moderate priced hotel next door but it also boasts some amazing pool views as well.

  

The main and quiet pool at the Iberostar Grand Paraiso in the Riviera Maya of Mexico.  The Grand has an amazing inifinity pool with a swim up bar and food service one of the most photographed pools in Mexico but their quiet pool might be one of my favorite pool hangouts ever!  You usually have the entire pool and wait staff to yourself !

  

Dreams Punta Cana  located in Punta Cana,  Domimican Republic.  The Dreams showcases one of the largest free form pools anywhere.   The pool winds its way from the lobby down to the beach and is complete with waterfalls, a swim-up bar and venues throughout.  Each person seems to get their own little pool area so even though the pool is enormous it feels very private.

  

Many of our hotels have incredible pools these are just a few that I thought I would highlight.  The adult only hotels have some wonderful set ups and many of our top family friendly hotels have child waterparks, waterslides and more.  Call me and we can find the right pool for you.

by on February 11, 2013 |
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Are Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco and Ixtapa some of your favorite beach destinations?  You’re in luck, you can save even more on the Pacific coast this year!  Save up to $25 per couple on any and all resorts in these 4 destinations.  Book a Secrets, Dreams or Now resort and double your savings with up to $50 per couple off!

Call today with promocode:  PACIFIC

You’re only a phone call away from stunning beaches and sapphire waters, rugged mountains and old world charm!

Some of our Favorite Pacific Coast resorts:

Not Valid for departures in the next 30 days. Not valid on land only reservations Not valid on Square Deals, Super Savers or Coupon offers. Four night minimum stay required. Advertised savings based on adult double occupancy and varies based on the type of airfare booked. Changes made to reservations after originally booked may result in a loss of the original promo code discount

by on February 6, 2013 |
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We receive many calls throughout the year with the same question; “When is the cheapest time of the year to travel?” Answering that question can be somewhat difficult simply because prices can literally change every day but, in this blog you will be able to see an idea of average prices for the first 10 months of the year on a person price range for some of our most popular All Inclusive Resorts.

As you will see in this graph, the most expensive time of the year to travel (other than Christmas and New Years which is not listed in this graph since those prices are not yet available) would be the months of February, then March, then April and then back up a little in June. Why would those dates be the most expensive? In February, many of us are tired of being stuck in the cold for the past few months and we simply want to get out of town to a wonderful warm sunny beach as well as many travelers try to take vacation over Presidents Day to try and avoid using an extra vacation day from work or school. Thus, the third week of February fills fast and can become very expensive if booking last minute.

For the months of March and April, prices are higher each year simply because of the popularity of Spring Break Travel. Whether you are a teacher planning a romantic getaway with your spouse and you want to travel when your students are out of school or maybe you are a parent wanting to take you kids on vacation during the same time frame and not wanting them to miss school, your best bet each year is to try and book early for these popular travel dates. Easter break tends to be the most popular week of Spring Break Travel.

The rates for All Inclusive travel tend to come down between April 15th and the end of May while prices start to jump back up to Spring Break like rates on the 2nd or 3rd week of June through early August. Rates tend to start dropping like a rollercoaster ride at the end of August through the middle to first part of November. So, to answer the question “When is the cheapest time to travel?” all you have to do is think about the popularity of the travel season and then consider if you can travel when others don’t. Again dates such as mid April to late May and then late August through the first week of November are the least expensive months to travel on average.

by on January 30, 2013 |
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I thought I would put together a quick snapshot on the Adult only hotels in Cancun and The Riviera Maya of Mexico.  This is based on my travels with no regard to pricing or other review ratings.  I have not been to every hotel so some properties are not listed.  I wanted to give you a few of the highlights and a few of the opportunities.  Every hotel on this list is amazing but every hotel has a few things that you should be aware of when booking that special occasion.

1 – Secrets The Vine

The Views, Location, Food, the wine, Rooms and Beach puts the new Secrets The Vine at the top of my list ! This is a brand new hotel so they still are working through a few of the little things.

2 – Iberostar Grand Paraiso

It has been #1 for it’s entire life!  Service, The beautiful facility, food, pools and beach make the Grand a home run. Kind of a large complex compared to others on this list.  Part of a multiple hotel complex.

3 – Secrets Maroma

NO hotel has a better beach.  Maroma beach is simply wonderful. Secrets food and rooms are amazing this could easily be #1. The pool area is a little small sort of compact.

4 – Excellence Playa Mujeres

One of the hidden treasures.  The rooms are wonderful, beach is gorgeous and the food and pools are just fantastic. Holy Spa!  It is outta this world. Playa Mujeres is a little out of the way compared to the other resort areas.

5 – El Dorado Seaside Suites

There is something about the environment it is so romantic.  The swim up bar is awesome.  El Dorado has wonderful food and service. The beach sand is a little rough.  It has a lot of coral but also has wonderful snorkeling.

6 – Secrets Capri

This was the number one hotel until all the new Construction. The Capri just keeps on performing.  Smaller hotel with wonderful food and service. The beach can get a little seaweed that washes up and the rooms are not quite as fancy as some of the new hotels.

7 – The Royal in Cancun

The views from the hotel are some of the best you will find!  The Royal had a great pool area and excellent food with a very high service level. Felt sort of compact with the high rise sort of right on top of the pool and the beach was a little narrow.

8  – The Royal in Playa Del Carmen

Location, Location !  I loved being able to walk out to 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen.  This was the most fun I have ever had during the evening hours. The rooms are not quite what you see at the other hotels on this list.  Beach can be a little crowded.

9 -El Dorado Royale

The El Dorado Royale has wonderful rooms excellent food and great service. El Dorado Royale is very accessible to the airport. The Royale does not have the best beach.

10 – Excellence Riviera Cancun

The Excellence has a wonderful pool, great service and a very convenient location.  They also have great evening entertainment. Might be the oldest hotel on the list so it might not be as glamorous but probably the best value !

If you have questions about hotels that are not listed give me a call.  All of the above are wonderful options.  Call us today so we can find what is best for you!

by on January 3, 2013 |
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Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun offers adults an extra measure of romance and sensuality in an exquisite luxury setting. Immerse yourself in Unlimited-Luxury® where everything is included: Elegantly appointed rooms and suites with 24-hour concierge and room service and daily refreshed mini-bar, multiple gourmet restaurants and lounges serving top-shelf spirits, endless day and evening activities, and more, all in a spectacular setting.

Pure white sands, crystal-clear waters and warm tropical breezes promise a perfect paradise at Secrets Maroma Beach. Situated on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, this Unlimited-Luxury® haven is located on one of the most pristine beaches in Mexico. More than five hundred stunning acres of lush paradise await you at Secrets Maroma Beach, an all-suite resort boasting 412 suites surrounded by twelve smaller swimming pools and a shimmering infinity pool to cool off in while you admire spectacular ocean views.

Seven gourmet restaurants and eight fabulous bars ranging from elegant to swim-up will delight your senses and satisfy all your culinary desires. The amazing Secrets Spa by Pevonia, offering outdoor and indoor treatments, Jacuzzis, state-of-the-art fitness center, open-air theatre and premium cocktails ensure that guests are pampered and indulged. There is enough entertainment, sightseeing, sports and recreational opportunities to fill every waking hour

www.GoDreamVacations.com