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by on September 19, 2013 |

Secrets Resorts is opening it’s newest resort in Los Cabos on 12/15/2013.

The new Secrets Puerto Los Cabos will be Cabo’s newest all suite “adult only” resort. Secrets Puerto Los Cabos will be just 30 minutes from Los Cabos International Airport, and a short 10 minute drive from San Jose del Cabos.  Guests will enjoy an array of gourmet dining options, plenty of chic bars and lounges, a wealth of daytime activities, live nightly entertainment and so much more. The hotel has 500 spacious suites, each suite will offer magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean.   The hotel will have 8 gourmet restaurants and 24 hour room service as well as a fully stocked mini bar in each room.  No reservations required for dinner at the Secrets so dine where you want, when you want !  The hotel has 2 pools and a swim up bar along with pool and beach waiter service.  Secrets serves all top shelf liquors and many imported beers.

This is brand new construction and the Secrets has some of the finest hotels in the industry.  Secrets hotels are known for great food, great rooms and even better service !  Come to Cabo San Lucas and experience the new Secrets Puerto Los Cabos and you you will enjoy a magnificent getaway in a world of pure serenity.

by on September 10, 2013 |

The Riu Palace Peninsula is one of the newest hotels in Cancun. Located on the northern stretch of the Hotel Zone, this towering resort is the most visible structure from air, land, and sea. Upon entering the expansive modern lobby dressed in purple and gold, I wondered if I had stepped into a Prince video. I was greeted with a warm inviting smile by Alex, the bellman. He took my luggage and set it to the side to be delivered to my room. Check-in was a breeze, even though it was 2:00, which is normally a busy time of day. I received a silver VIP bracelet indicating I was staying in the Villa Section.

A short walk down the hall and through the open-air theater led us to a path with a sign reading “VIP, Adults Only Villas”. The small 3-story white Villas contrasted the giant modern structure that towered over them. They had a peaceful feel that seemed almost removed from the flurry of activity in the lobby. My request for a upper level room was honored and I made my way up the three flights of stairs. There are no elevators in the Villas, so if you have difficulty with stairs be sure to request a lower level room. One observation was that the marble stairs can get quite slick when wet or if you have sand on your feet.

My room was what they consider a Villa Garden View Junior Suite. The interior of the room is identical to the standard Junior Suites in the main building. The vibrant theme of white and purple is carried over from the lobby. The bed, which in the past was a common complaint of the Riu’s, was very comfortable. Just off the bed was a large Jacuzzi tub, which is standard in every room as well as a large Jacuzzi on the balcony that can easily fit up to 4 adults. On the other side was an inexpensive looking love seat that appeared to be constructed of plywood. It served the purpose, though, and was actually rather comfortable. There was a dining table and two chairs across form the loveseat which came in handy for those late night room service calls. The flat screen television appeared to be about 32” and the Jacuzzi Suite rooms have a 40” that rotates between the bed and the living room. The bathroom consisted of two sinks and a purple-hued glass block wall separating the large shower which had a removable shower head and an alternate rainforest shower head. There was also a separate toilet area with a privacy door. The refrigerator was stocked with beer, soda, water, and snack bars. I prefer my beverages very cold and it did not suite my taste, so I pulled the fridge out and turned the dial, which was set on 50%, to 100%. That setting resolved any concerns and actually froze some of the sodas on the top shelf. On the wall above the fridge and coffee pot was a liquor dispenser with a fifth of four common liquors: Jose Cuervo, Smirnoff, Bacardi, and Presedente Brandy. The Jacuzzi Suites are about 30% larger, most of that space being a living room area.

One of the most common guest objections with Riu’s is the difficulty making reservations for the gourmet restaurants. This objection was validated when I was unable to make reservations for the Steak House or the Japanese restaurants for any of the three nights of my stay. Fortunately for me, staying in the Villas allowed access to the exclusive gourmet Caribbean restaurant, Kulinarium. The 5-course menu there was limited in choices but certainly not in taste! I had the filet and it was phenomenal. Although there was availability there each night, I chose to dine at the buffet the other two nights. I understand that being unable to eat at the restaurants of your choice at an all-inclusive that advertises fine dining can be frustrating, but the Riu Palace Peninsula more than makes up for that deficiency with some of the best buffet food I’ve eaten, including lamb and Caribbean lobster. For lunch, the Italian restaurant does not require reservations and has a nice a la carte menu as well as a wonderful Italian buffet. The 24 hour room service menu was also limited and took about an hour to be delivered, but the freshness and quality was on par.

Without a doubt, one of the best features of the Villas is the private pool. The ambiance there just could not be matched at the other main pools. The long private infinity pool was the perfect place to relax and enjoy the views of the gorgeous turquoise Caribbean waters merely steps away. It was never a problem getting a pool chair or even a bally bed and the towel cards that most all-inclusives are known for were not necessary in the Villa Section. And the pool waiter, Fernando, would never let me get to the bottom of my drink. Although the private Villa pool is top-optional, I did not notice anyone sans top throughout my stay.

All in all, the Riu Palace Peninsula exceeded my expectations in most every category. I was disappointed that I could not make reservations at the restaurants I desired, but that actually made very little difference to the overall quality of my experience. I enjoyed my stay and look forward to my next opportunity to return.

by on August 27, 2013 |

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by on August 15, 2013 |

Come experience one of Cancun’s hidden treasures. The adult only, Live Aqua Cancun. This exclusive hotel concept opens the doors to all your senses.  The Live Aqua offers 371 deluxe rooms and including 36 suites.  Sweeping views inspire you to discover the ocean from every possible corner. Upscale amenities pamper you with all the luxurious details that sate your senses. Select from five different fragrances for aromatherapy in your room daily and enjoy the SPA AQUA, a place where oriental and Mayan traditions meet.

The Live Aqua is located beachfront in the Cancun hotel zone and is convenient to shopping, nightclubs and all of Cancun’s attractions.  The hotel has four restaurants and 24 hour room service.  Each room has a balcony, flat screen TV, WiFi, aromatherapyand they offer ocean view and ocean front rooms.  The fully stocked mini bar is replenished daily and guests have access to a state of the art fitness facility.

This brand is world renowned for top customer service and you will be pampered at The Live Aqua.  The hotel has a much better price point in comparison to hotels like it so not only is it a wonderful vacation but the Live Aqua is also a much better value then most other adult only 5 star hotels.  If you have never experienced an adult only vacation or maybe it is time to go again.  Call us today and learn more about the Live Aqua Cancun!

 

by on July 10, 2013 |

I recently had the fortune of traveling to the beautiful destination of Huatulco Mexico. Huatulco (pronounced Wa-Tool-Co) is located about 200 miles South of Acapulco on the Pacific Coast in the state of Oaxaca (Wa-Hawk-Uh). I have been to many Secrets Resorts Adult Only properties in various locations in Mexico and the Caribbean so I just had to try this new luxury resort Secrets Huatulco. Now I can’t wait to go back!

Secrets Huatulco sits on it’s own private bay, one of 4 bays in the area that have hotels or condos for vacationers. The resort is built on a hillside with the lobby being at the top and then the room areas separated with 3 buildings on the left (buildings 1,3,5) and 3 more buildings on the right side (buildings 2,4,6). I stayed in a standard room which is a junior suite with ocean view and I was in building 4. The lobby is open air with check in on the right side as you walk in and the concierges and Apple Vacations rep to book tours on the left side of the lobby. Just past the lobby area you will find the “CoCo Cafe” coffee shop as well as the open air theatre for shows at night both on the top floor. On the bottom floor is where you will find almost all of the resorts restaurants and sports bar “Desires.”

Once you get to your room you will walk in to find a spacious junior suite with double sink bathroom, shower area including a two person jacuzzi, flat screen TV, very comfortable bed and past the sitting area in the room you will walk out to your beautiful ocean view balcony. Even from the top floor (three stories per building) you can hear the waves crashing into the rocks in the distance and at night, the wildlife come alive and sounds as if you were in the jungle. The vies from the rooms are amazing and the Secrets Huatulco does offer rooms that have little jacuzzi’s on the balconies as well as swim out rooms. For added services, you could consider upgrading to the Preferred Club.

The pool is massive, all in all they have 4 separate pools. The pool on the left side (if you were looking down from your room to the pool/beach) is where you will find the daily activities such as water volley ball, bingo, Spanish lessons etc as well as the swim up pool bar. The pool on the ride of the property is more of the quiet pool and in between the two pools you will find the “Barefoot Grill” that serves burgers, chips and salsa, hot dogs and more for lunch.

The Spa is amazing! Located on the top of a cliff over looking the entire bay. My wife and I did enjoy our spa day on the last full day of our trip. We took advantage of a 30% off sale as well as a free water circuit treatment that was well worth doing before our 80 minute massage. The Spa is also located by the Oceana Restaurant so after the spa, we headed over for a great lunch again over the looking the bay.

The ocean in Huatulco is much like being in Cabo, a bit of an undertow with mange large rocks out in the distance that you see waves crash into. You can swim from some areas on the beach but on most days the red flags were out so no ocean activities such as snorkeling, kayaks or catamarans.

All in all, the service from the resort was a little slower than most Secrets based on the hotel being a little understaffed. The language barrier is also a little more difficult than your normal vacation to Mexico which again causes a little lack in service. However, for the value of this adult only resort and the location being somewhere many of us have never been, I do recommend the Secrets Huatulco for your next adult only vacation.

by on June 27, 2013 |

Many people don’t think about adding extra’s when booking an All Inclusive Vacation, so I would like to share one add-on that you might want to consider. When booking an All Inclusive trip with Apple Vacations or any other vendor, your transportation is normally included to and from your resort/hotel, but be sure to ask how far the resort is from the airport. Some resort/hotels could be 1 to 2 hours from your arrival airport and you could stop numerous times before arriving at your hotel which is really the last thing most people want to do when just stepping off a 4 or 5 hour flight.

One option I would like to recommend if flying into Cancun and staying in the Riviera Maya area would be adding non-stop transfers for only $30.00 per person. Non-stop transfer includes your transportation to and from the airport with no stops on the way but may also have other families that have also added the non-stop transfer to the same hotel/resort.

If you would like a little more privacy, then I would recommend upgrading to a Private non-stop transfer for $50.00 per person which includes the same service but would just be the two of you or your entire family. When adding one of these options to your trip you can be for sure that you will arrive at your hotel a lot sooner than expected. This is a great service to consider when traveling on a special occassion like a honeymoon or anniversary trip or maybe if you have young children and just need to get them from point A to point B as quickly as possible.

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