40th bday where do we go?

Old Aug 11th, 2013, 06:31 PM
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40th bday where do we go?

My Best friend and I are planning a trip to somewhere in the Caribbean to celebrate our 40th birthdays and our 20 year friendship. She has been to many places as she goes on yearly cruises but has only been to one AI Resort. I have only ever been to one AI resort for my honeymoon 3 years ago...no cruises no other vacations so this one has to count as I probably won't get away anytime soon! lol
On my one trip, I went to Dreams Puerto Aventuras in Mexico. Loved it. She would prefer not to go to Mexico because I have already been there, but is open to anything. I think she would prefer Jamaica. We have looked at Jamaica, DR and Mexico. Obviously reading reviews can be very helpful and very overwhelming.
Here is what we are looking for: beautiful beach, safe resort, AI, relaxation, option to do excursions, great food, clean rooms, adult only would be preferable although a resort which has an adult only area would be an option. We want to be able to check out local merchants without travelling too far, we would like to have nightly entertainment at the resort, we are turning 40 remember so we would like to celebrate with some dancing and fruity drinks but we don't want a large party all night place every night...I should mention we are happily married women, so don't want a "hook up resort". The difficult part is we would like to stick to a budget of 1500-2000, airfare included (from Canada)and we can only travel in first or second week of July
I am looking forward to your feedback. Thanks in advance
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Old Aug 12th, 2013, 10:28 AM
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I love both Jamaica and Mexico. Not a fan of the DR.

For Jamaica look at Negril, on the 7-mile beach there are a few All-Inclusives, or the Cliffs for non-AI alternatives.

For Mexico look at Puerto Vallarta or Playa del Carmen (just because you have been on time to one place, I sure wouldn't cross off the entire country!). Plus your money goes a lot further in Mexico than any Caribbean island.
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Old Aug 12th, 2013, 02:19 PM
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The only issue would be that resorts that cater to adults only are usually couples only also. Look at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall in Montego Bay or the Grand Lido Negril Resort & Spa.

To us, Jamaica is not like Mexico. We did not feel comfortable walking off a property in Jamaica and doing things on our own. Stick with the resorts guided tours or hire a private driver to take you sightseeing or shopping to keep the overly aggressive vendors at bay.

If you change your mind about Mexico, the Royal Playa del Carmen is perfect. Adults only and a 5 minute walk to 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen.

I spent my 40th in Cancun a few years back and had the best time. Though the hotel we chose was on the iffy side. The location was great.
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Old Aug 12th, 2013, 05:34 PM
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I have to 2nd the Royal Playa del Carmen and would suggest a look at the Grand Palladium. The Palladium is not adults only but has adults only areas. Also, the grounds are lovely and there is so much to do in and around the resort. You could shop in Playa Del Carmen, visit the ruins in Tulum, and rent a golf cart and explore Akumal and snorkel with the turtles. Ok, I convinced myself that I want to go back to the Palladium! Avoid the Riviera section though because the buildings are way too far away from the beach and main areas. Happy Travels!
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Old Aug 14th, 2013, 05:39 PM
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Thank you for your advice I really appreciate it We will keep searching. We did like the Royal Playa and the Palladium. Also she was just looking at the Iberostar in Jamaica before I read these comments so we may be on the right track.
Thank you for the information re: safety...We def don't want to spend our time fighting off the aggressive vendors or worrying we won't get back home to our families. We will keep looking.
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Old Aug 14th, 2013, 05:56 PM
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If you stick with the resorts guided tours or hire a private driver you shouldn't have any issues. Don't give up on Jamaica just because of that, you'll be missing a really nice destination.

Same with the DR, but in the DR there is not as much to see and do off the resorts, which is why many of their AI resorts are self contained.

Have you looked at Cabo? There are a few AI's there. The beaches are not that great on that side of Mexico, but there are some really nice restaurants and bars. We went December, 2012 and had a great time. No issues walking around the marina or downtown area even at night. We stayed on the Marina at the Marina Fiesta. Great pool. We didn't care about being on the beach or not. However, Medano Beach was a 5 minute walk down the road. There are a few AI's on medano Beach is have to be on the beach. It's a great place to celebrate a 40th birthday.
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