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by on December 15, 2011 |

The NEW Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta will officially open in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on December 15th, 2011 following an extensive renovation and rebranding.  The hotel, previously known as the Allegro Nuevo Vallarta, will now reopen as a brand new, Occidental Grand resort offering a plentiful amount of amenities and superior service.  I have had the pleasure of staying at a few of the Occidental Grand hotels and they are wonderful. This hotel is located on beautiful, Banderas Bay, in Puerto Vallarta and it is only 30 minutes from the airport.  This is a fairly small hotel with only 270 completely renovated rooms.  The hotel does offer a Royal Club with Mini bar daily replenishing, Private check-in and check-out, Personal Concierge Service, Pillow menu, Nightly turndown service, Preferred seating at a la carte restaurants and Complimentary high speed Internet.  All the rooms have been renovated and look wonderful. The Occidental Grand is a family friendly hotel and has a highly regarded kids club.  The kids club offers a selection of games and recreation carefully organized by a team of experts.  They also have a Fun Club to help keep everyone active. Duriong the day, select from water sports, horseback riding, snorkeling, volleyball, tennis, or diving.  At night, enjoy sports bars, discos, live stage entertainment, or head to downtown Puerto Vallarta for world class nightlife.  Come and enjoy a great vacation at the New Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta.

by on December 13, 2011 |

A visit to the all inclusive Iberostar Paraiso Beach resort in the beautiful Riviera Maya, Mexico is a must for families of all ages. The sparkling white sand beach is the perfect place to jump start your vacation upon arrival. Head over to the watersports desk and grab some snorkel gear, a kayak or a catamaran for free and head out in the ocean to enjoy the refreshing turquoise Caribbean waters. The Star Friends team is sure to keep you entertained from sun up to sun down with endless activities like volleyball, basketball, salsa dancing or Spanish lessons and with nightly shows and entertainment you can keep the action going all day long! For the traveler looking for a little more relaxation, grab a lounge on the beach or pool and relax while you soak up those rays. Organized daily activities at Lucy’s club are perfect for your little ones while Mom and Dad relax and enjoy some together time but family fun abounds at this resort. 7 restaurants offer plenty of dining options and with daily room service for free you don’t even need to leave the room and with all of your meals and drinks for free, yes even Margaritas, you can’t beat this value. All inclusive family fun at it’s best the Iberostar Paraiso Beach resort is the perfect family vacation spot!

by on December 8, 2011 |

My wife and I got to experience the adult only Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  We had already stayed twice at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso in Mexico so we had really high expectations.  It only took about 15 minutes for us to realize we were in for another amazing trip with Iberostar.   The check in process was fast and the staff was eager to give us a quick tour and then our butler showed us around our suite.

The Lobby and the grounds were gorgeous.  The pool area has plenty of lounge chairs and the swim up bar is super.  The common area is fairly small so it easy to get around.  Everything was in one area so no long walks and of course no waiting in lines.

We were in an amazing Oceanfront Suite and the view of the white sand on Rose Hall Beach was beautiful.  We spent early mornings and late evenings enjoying our view on our huge balcony complete with outdoor furniture.  Next door is the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach and the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites.  You can use the facilities at these hotels as well.  They are both family friendly and are wonderful properties.

As with all the Grand Paraiso hotels the food was superb!  We ate surf and turf poolside for lunch each day.  The beach and pool waiters would actually go over to one of the ala cate restaurants and bring us whatever we wanted.   Our favorite restaurant was the Japanese but they were all delicious.

The event staff seemed a little eager to get us all playing games during the day and at times were a bit annoying  but once they realized we were at the pool to relax they were fine.  The evening shows were excellent and they had a bunch of activities going on throughout the day.

The hotel was very convenient to the “hip strip” in downtown Montego Bay and it only took us about 20 minutes to get to the hotel from the airport.  Iberostar has done it again but this time in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  Come experience something truly amazing and book your next trip at the adult only Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall.

by on December 6, 2011 |

A fabulous brand new hotel, the Riu Palace Bavaro, opened December 2nd in Punta Cana, DR and is the newest addition to the Riu Resorts’ complex that currently has the Riu Palace Punta Cana, Riu Palace Macao, Riu Bambu, and Riu Naiboa.  This luxurious resort offers 610 Junior Suites and Suites including some with spectacular Oceanview and Oceanfront Suites as well as the Riu Resorts’ signature Jacuzzi Suites, with an exciting two person hot tub on the private balcony or terrace.  All guests enjoy unlimited food & drinks throughout five restaurants and six bars, 24 hour in room dining service, four swimming pools, and exchange privileges to the adjacent Riu Resorts. Reservations are available for arrivals up to the middle of next year (2012), so call or email today to inquire about your next dream vacation.

by on November 30, 2011 |

American Airlines, the nation’s third-largest carrier, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, seeking the same route out of high debt and costs that many of its major rivals have taken in the past decade.

The airline will be operating normal flight schedules and honoring all tickets and it’s frequent flier program will not be affected.   They expect normal operating procedures during this reorganization.

Most of AA’s rivals – among them Delta, Northwest, United and US Airways –  have filed for bankruptcy reorganization over the past decade to address issues with debt and costs, especially labor and fuel costs.  American is the only major airline that still must fund its workers’ pensions.

Last month, the airline reported a third-quarter loss of $162 million, or 48 cents a share, due to higher jet fuel prices. Reuters said AMR listed assets of about $24.72 billion and liabilities of $29.55 billion. The company said it has $4.1 billion in cash.

This news will not impact any traveler holding a purchased AA airline ticket.  Day to day business will resume and your flight is still confirmed on an AA flight.  I am sure that the company will be working to cut costs but this will not impact any current travel plans.

Information obtained from

by on November 29, 2011 |

The Riu Palace Riviera Maya is one of the best value all-inclusive resorts in all of Mexico and the Caribbean and is one of our most highly recommend in all of Cancun and Riviera Maya. The resort is located within the Playacar resort community surrounding the city of Playa del Carmen and is the crown jewel of the half-dozen Riu Resorts in Riviera Maya. The resort is located within walking distance of the Riu Palace Mexico, Riu Playacar, Riu Yucatan, and the Riu Tequila, all of which guests of the Riu Palace Riviera Maya get exchange privileges at. The Playacar beachfront is legendary, with powdery sugar-white sandy beaches and crystal clear turquoise Caribbean water. The Riu Palace Riviera Maya provides affordable all-inclusive luxury featuring spacious Jr. Suites, unlimited a-la-carte dining, 24 hour room service, breathtaking grounds, architecture, and décor, and so much more.