All Inclusive recommendations

Feb 4th, 2013, 10:26 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 169
All Inclusive recommendations

Looking for recommendations for AI's - this would be for several couples in their 30's. They want nice, swimmable beach; nice pool; evening entertainment. Also, they want to be on an island or in a town where they are safe to leave the resort & do some sightseeing, explore restaurants & evening entertainment in town.

I'm actually doing this for a friend. She seemed particularly interested in Dominican Rep & Mexico, but didn't want to do Cancun again or Cabo.
However, they are open to suggestions.

jojoblais is offline  
Feb 4th, 2013, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,504
You'd fly into Cancun, but you could go on to Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, Akumal, Tulum, or Cozumel on the Mayan Riviera (Caribbean coast of Mexico).

In the DR most of the all-inclusives are in Punta Cana (which is nothing that's ever impressed me, as it's one of those "built" tourist environments where people mostly stick to their resort properties only.
suze is offline  
Feb 4th, 2013, 11:44 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,077
Check out the Playa del Carmen area of Mexico. The Royal Playa del Carmen is an adult's only AI within a 5 minute walk to 5th Avenue where you'll find tons of restuarants, bars, shopping and entertainment.

I agree with the above comment regarding the DR. There are way more things to see and do in Mexico.

Have ya'll been to Cabo? We've been to the Playa/Cancun/Cozumel area for years and ventured over to CVabo this past December. It was wonderful. We will find it difficult going back to Playa.
KVR is offline  
Feb 4th, 2013, 12:09 PM
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I also was wondering why Cabo was excluded. Have they been before? Doesn't sound like it.
suze is offline  
Feb 5th, 2013, 06:12 AM
Original Poster
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Posts: 169
I think that one couple in the party has been to Cabo & said it was too many young spring-breaker types.

I have heard good things about Playa del Carmen.
Any other suggestions in the Caribbean?
jojoblais is offline  
Feb 5th, 2013, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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hmmm... interesting, definitely not my experience in Cabo.

well I love Negril, Jamaica. There are AI's on the gorgeous 7-mile beach there. But many people aren't comfortable and don't feel "safe" in Jamaica, but again not my experience, I loved it.
suze is offline  
Feb 5th, 2013, 01:43 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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With this criteria and AI:

"they want to be on an island or in a town where they are safe to leave the resort & do some sightseeing, explore restaurants & evening entertainment in town."

You'll be hard pressed to find else that will meet that statement except Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo. This is just one of the main reasons we keep returning to Mexico almost every year.

We have been to several Caribbean Islands also and have yet to find anything that meets that criteria, a decent price and is all inclusive.

If you want to skip the AI, look at Aruba. Safe Island, tons of resturants, bars, shopping and entertainment. The hotels on Palm Beach are within walking distance to most everything and public transportation is very good. There are a few AI hotels there, but not worth the extra expense nor the same quality as what we have found in Mexico.

I really think it depends on what time of year you go to Cabo. During my research for our trip in December, I read several posts and trip reports that indicate Cabo is very active during Spring Break time. Going the first week of December, we didn't experience any of that. Most places were not crowded and contained people more of our age; 40 to 50. We found the food there better than any other Mexico destination we've been to. We are not really beach people and prefer the pools, so we didn't have any issues staying at the Marina and being within walking distance to most everything. We did go AI there, but spent time outside of our hotel also for food and drinks. I have a detailed trip report with picture link posted here.
KVR is offline  
Feb 5th, 2013, 01:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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My theory about spring break is it depends the kind of resort/hotel you choose to stay at. I was there during the time period but stayed at a normal local-style Mexico hotel downtown. I saw some people partying at the bars on Medano and in the nightclubs downtown at night, but they definitely weren't at my hotel. I assume they wouldn't stay at the more high-end places either. It's the mid-level AIs that seems to draw that crowd (regardless of time of year).
suze is offline  
Feb 13th, 2013, 05:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1
The Dominican Republic is gorgeous but less developed outside the resorts so sometimes you feel stuck inside the resort. Taxis are expensive if you are going in to towm and renting a car there is not advisable. Great country, amazing people but much less to do outside the compound.

If you are looking for a top shelf all inclusive experience,
I would highly suggest the following AI's in the Riviera Maya region - Paradisus, El Dorado Resorts or Grand Velas. These are all in the vicinity of Playa del Carmen.

These 3 are different than the rest in that they offer a really gourmet experience while still having amazing beaches and lots to do nearby.

If you are looking for a totally different option that's not all inclusive, there's a 3 suite boutique hotel in Tulum called Gardenias Inn Tulum that would make for your own private place while you discover the many restaurants, great beaches and nightlife in the small town of Tulum.

Good luck !
luxetraveler2222 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2013, 07:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,936
Someone on another thread just booked the all-inclusive option at one of the Sonestas on the Dutch side of St. Martin. I think this area of SXM has everything they are looking for.
sharona is offline  
Feb 13th, 2013, 08:36 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,687
Isn't the Sonesta on the beach that is very close to the airport runway?
Odin is offline  
Feb 13th, 2013, 08:54 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 72
Sonesta Maho is close to the planes landing though many people who stay there say it isn't a bother and there is a lot of activity there in the evening. There's the Sonesta Great Bay, which I stayed at on my own, it was good but nothing going on at night at the resort or in Phillipsburgh.

But since the traveller didn't mention the Caribbean,
Playa would fit the bill. Tulum is on my list of where to stay next time I head to Mexico.

Cabarete and Soshua in DR are good destination with lots of bars, restaurants. Cabarete is where the windsurfing is so i'm not sure when the surf is 'less rough' Check out tripadvisor forums for both.
Sunfish2017 is offline  
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