All inclusive resort chain

Jan 15th, 2010, 06:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 40
All inclusive resort chain

Not sure if this is in the right spot but my husband and I have stayed at Iberostar and Riu resorts before and have been very pleased with the food, drinks and ameniities especially for the money. Which other chains would you compare to Iberostar and Riu in terms of premium beverages, decent food and guest rooms? Location for this trip is not as important so if it's any of the Caribbean Islands or South America (Mexico, Costa RIca, Belize etc) we are ok with that. We are literally going to sit on a beach with a cocktail and relax for 7 days so area sightseeing and other activities is low on our list of priorities.
fossbomb is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Although I have not stayed there (we tend to avoid large resorts) I know several people who have stayed at Secrets resorts and been pleased. They are adults only resorts and there are locations on the Riviera Maya in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
eileen is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 06:39 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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For the Islands that you tagged, their is RIU and Occidential in Aruba. No other resort chains, but their are other hotels that offer an AI plan.

There are no resort AI chains in Grand Cayman or the US Virgin Islands.

In Jamaica there are 7 Sandals resorts and 4 Couples Resorts.

The Secrets Resorts are quite popular in the Riviera Maya of Mexico. They are currently building a Secrects resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica and rumored one in Aruba.

Most of the resort AI chains will be in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. If you just want to sit at an AI resort/beach and not do much to any sightseeing, the DR would be a good destination for that. The Barcelos and Occidentials as well as the Iberostars and RIUs are available.

There is a Barcelo, RIU and Occidental in Costa Rica.
KVR is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 07:43 AM
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Couples and Secrets come to mind. I have stayed at several Couples resorts and one Secrets - Capri.

IMO, the food at both is much better than at RIU, the resorts are less crowded and have more of a local island appeal. IMO the RIUs and Iberostars are not so as they are both large Spanish chains so I find them less personal.

Couples has more top shelf than Secrets but the new Secrets resorts are more glitzy than Couples.

We also tend to avoid large resorts as well as resorts that allow kids or on large compounds like Iberostar. We look for a more intimate scale in our resorts, a great beach, good quality fresh food well prepared and a low key island vibe.

Couples Swept Away and Secrets Capri both are resorts we have stayed at more than once and while CSA is our favorite, Capri is a quiet and pretty resort that we would return to again.

On contrast, we would not return to the Iberostar Grand as marble and glitz do not a great vacation make - for us. And we have zero interest in RIU after visiting four of their resorts.

Barcelo resorts (we stayed at the Palace in MX) are pretty but huge and family friendly so we would not return.

For a wonderful beach resort without glitz and glitter I choose Couples Swept Away - very romantic and quite a special place.
kfusto is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 89
I hate to start out with the comment "I've never stayed there before" because it makes me question the reply. However, this is the case with my answer. I can only say that several people suggested Galley Bay in Antigua to me when I asked for travel help. I believe if swimming in the ocean, meaning a guarantee of calm water isn't something you care about, you might look at this resort. It's small, quaint, and sounds like something you may be looking for. However, I found it to be a bit pricey. For other reasons than the cost it wasn't the resort I was looking for; mainly because we are avid snorkelers and calm, clear water is an absolute must for us. Might be worth checking out for you.
LUVvacation is offline  
Jan 19th, 2010, 06:37 AM
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Posts: 40
this is great info, I will check out some of these! Appreciate the help!
fossbomb is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 04:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Club Med Columbus Isle (San Salvador Isle, Bahamas). Great location, awesome beach and scuba. However, the weather and surf can vary a lot during the year. Much quieter than most Club Med's; it is not a party place and there will be few children.
MartiniSteve is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 08:14 AM
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Take a look at Secrets Resorts. We have stayed at Secrets Capri and Secrets Maroma. Both are Adults only.
shirleyk is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 212
I wasn't thrilled with Iberostar in Puerto Plata. I went with my kids and while it is beatiful, the food was just ok, getting drinks was far from the beach and the pool closed early. My other complaint and I'm not sure if this is typical in the Dominican Republic or was exclusive to the resort was that going to dinner every night we had to pass very aggressive people selling wares. They lined the only passage from our room to the dining area. They did not take no for an answer and when my daughter cried because a man with a monkey wanted to charge for a picture scared her, the man continued to push. I complained to the management but they did not seem to care.
writealiving is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 12:31 PM
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There are new Secrets resorts opening in Montego Bay March 20th. These resorts will be amazing. We stayed at a Dreams resort in it's opening days and had the best experience ever. There are some good intro deals to these resorts. The Secrets chain are beautiful, food is great and drinks are very good. The new ones are Secrets Wild Orchid and Secrets St. James. Secrets Maroma is on one of the best beaches in the world. It all depends what you want. If you want pure relaxations and not many people and like a bohemian feel. The Caves in Jamaica is one of the most amazing places I have ever stayed...very romantic.
beachbum2 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 07:41 AM
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anyone know anything about the Grand Pineapple Beach resorts in Negril and Antigua? Specifically the quality of food and drinks?
fossbomb is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 10:19 AM
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I believe they are an owned property of the Sandals chain. I would check Trip Advisor for detailed info.
KVR is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 12:52 PM
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thanks, I did that, a lot of the reviews are just ok but it sounds like Sandals is spending some money on renovations, maybe by this time next year it will be a more improved place
fossbomb is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,077
Personally, I do not like Sandals properties. Overpriced for what they provide. I did break down and booked Sandals Dunn River in Ocho Rios for July. It was by default, because I truly didn't like any other hotel in Ocho Rios and at least with Sandals I knew what I was getting into. With that said, they decided to close the hotel down within 3 weeks of our scheduled arrival. Decided I'm not going to pay those prices for iffy services, food, etc.

There are better resorts to choose from in those two destinations.
KVR is offline  
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