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Pls help pick all incl. on Maya Riviera & Gen Questions :)

Pls help pick all incl. on Maya Riviera & Gen Questions :)

Jan 9th, 2009, 08:34 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 11
Pls help pick all incl. on Maya Riviera & Gen Questions :)

Hi Adventurers!
My husband and I are an older couple (58 and 55). We aren't disabled but do have some problems - I am recuperating from a frozen shoulder and tend toward motion sickness, He has a bad back which limits his time walking/standing (but he can do both)

We want to stay in a nice all inclusive probably somewhere near Puerto Aventuras or maybe even as far as Tulum? Or maybe you could suggest another area that isn't too crowded...We're don't want to be in the crowd of Cozumel or Cancun and would like an all adult resort (not looking for anything riske, but just don't want little kids running around and being noisy)

We want an all inclusive because we've never done this sort of vacation before and want to experience the luxury. We usually camp or have a cabin in a park.

We do want to visit some ruins and are interested in snorkeling - I've seen some info on the ceynotes but not sure about how you get in and out of them - If I could do that with my shoulder.

My husband is interested in Bone fishing and I saw that you're taken by boat to "the shallows".. where is that and is the water rough getting there? (my motion sickness - I wouldn't want any rough waters)

How about shelling? Are there shells to find on the beaches or is there a good place to find them?

We're thinking of going in Dec or Jan next year (for our 10th anniversary which is really in September but we don't want to go in Hurricane season!) Is that a good time of year to go? Is everything still open and going? Is the water too cold? (I definitely want to swim!) We'd probably like it a little cooler than summer temps, but still want to use the beach and swim.

What's your view on swim up rooms? My daughter had one in St Lucia for her honeymoon and says not to miss it.

Thanks so much for any help/info you can offer!!
Meenie is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,070
Meenie I think you will like that area a lot. My wife and I go often and we are in your same age range, but with no physical limitations. Up to this time our favorite resort of the many we have used is Secrets Capri. If is adults only but by no means a wild party kind of place. There are lots of honeymooners and couples celebrating anniversaries. However, the age range is nice, from early 20s up into the late 60s or more. Wonderful food, wonderful rooms, and excellent service. Big plus is the pool (only one large one) is heated and if you go in December that may be important. We were there last December (08) at Secrets Silversands (which we did not like as well as Capri) and the pools were not heated, and due to cool days we were hardly able to make use of the pools.

From Secrets Capri it is a short ride to Playa del Carmen and you can book excursions to ruins like Tulum or Chichen Itza. Either one would be time well spent (figure all day for Chichen Itza).

As far as activities, the cenotes are fun to snorkle in, but the water can be chilly. Access should not be a problem since usually there is a wooden deck or steps for entry. We were with friends a year ago and she has severe arthritis but was able to do the cenotes and cave snorkeling with no problem. Water sports are also available at Secrets like hobie cats, etc. I do not know about the bone fishing and am not sure if is even something that is available. I thought that tended to be further south like in Belize.

Other all inclusive resorts that are adult only include the El Dorado brand, at least one of the Iberostars, and Excellence. Of course there are more but these come to mind. Your budget will dictate the resort and all of these, including Secrets, are at the upper end of the price scale but well worth it.

Good luck and have fun.
Reisender is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 10:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 11
Thanks Reisender,
Secrets was one of the ones we were looking at, but we don't really know anything about any of them so were having a hard time choosing.

If December is chilly there, when is a good time to go to miss the big crowd but still be able to enjoy the water and all?
Meenie is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,070
Meenie we have been in late June early July and it hot then so water feels really good. Also have been several times in September and it has always been ideal, hot enough to make the water enjoyable but not so hot as to be uncomfortable. Of course keep in mind that the summer and fall months are also hurricane season, but (knock on wood) we have never been hit by one.
Reisender is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,070
One added thing: what we like about Secrets is the dining is all ala carte, no reservations. You go to your desired dining venue (there are several) and put down your name and are given a pager. You can then go have a cocktail and wait till the buzzer goes off. Of course you do not always have to wait sometimes you can get right in. There is one buffet that can be used if you do not want to wait at all. There is also a dress code for the evening dining but not too dressy - long pants, closed toe shoes and collared shirt for men, equivalent for ladies. We found at Secrets the guests were real good about following the dress guidelines.

Other Secrets are Secrets Maroma and Secrets Silversands. We have stayed at Silversands (Dec 08) and did not like it as well as Capri. Nothing to do with the service or food just did not like the very contemporary style as much as the more traditional Mexican style of Capri. Have not been to Maroma but it appears to be more traditional in style.

Reisender is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,368
Secrets Maroma is on a great stretch of beach. Better than the beach at Secrets Capri. Great service and good food and as mentioned, no need for dinner reservations.
The Iberostar Paraiso Grand is also wonderful. You need to make dinner reservaitons there, but you have a concierge and a butler to do that for you!
schmerl is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 455
We stayed at Secrets Capri in 2007 and loved it but was not crazy about the ocean there. The bottom of the ocean was "sticky". Then we stayed at Iberostar Paraiso Grand in 2008 and liked it better than Secrets Capri. We found the ocean more to our liking. That being said, this year we are going to try Secrets Maroma. I have read many very good reviews so far - it opened August 2008. They do have swim-out rooms. All three are adults-only. Too many children if it's not adults-only. Most people arrive with two or three or more children in tow.
shirleyk is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
hi meenie, i've only been to the tulum ruins. the area is flat and not difficult to walk around. it takes an hour or two to see. there are some fun shops at the entrance.
i would like to suggest you try coba ruins though. it is in the jungle not on the coast, but they have something akin to a rikshaw/tricycle for you to tour in. someone else does the peddling and will serve as a guide too. this might make the adventure more pleasant for your husband.

bone-fishing: i assume this would be in the sian kaan biosphere. this is a large area like our national parks with no power. this area starts a bit south of tulum. i think you could probably drive south on the punta allen road to get on a fishing tour. once in the biosphere the water should be calm.

snorkeling: cenotes will be fun. look at hidden worlds, aktun chen or dos ojos.
(fyi - there is no above ground water or lakes/rivers in this area. the ground is made up of ?limestone and all water seeps into the ground & collects in interconnected underground rivers. cenotes are places where the limestone collapsed and pools were formed. mayans thought these were access to the gods and left offerings in them). the water is extremely clear but does not have the kinds of fish you'll see in the ocean.
other easy access snorkeling is in akumal at yal-ku lagoon or on akumal beach (access through lol-ha restaurant) and at xel-ha eco-marine park just north of tulum. yal-ku and xel-ha have stairways with railings for water entry.

weather: air temp range for dec or jan would be 80-90. i'm not sure if the water temp remains consistent or not. perhaps some folks who have been in winter can say. (we went in nov)

fyi: carib resort prices go up a bunch just before thanksgiving. they drop again in mid april.

look at www.locogringo.com for lots of very well/clearly presented info on the maya riviera area. you can look up and down the coast with aerial pics. click the double arrows at the top of the screen to move south. http://www.locogringo.com/maps/tour/177a-t.html

virginia is offline  
Jan 10th, 2009, 02:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,077
I agree with either Secrets Maroma, Secrets Silversands or the Iberostar Parasio Grande based on reviews.

We usally go around the second week of November. Crowds are lower, prices are still low and hurricane season it usually done. Otherwise, the first 2 weeks of December. If you go after that your looking at high season and holiday rates which can be very expensive.

We did a tour to Tulum and 2 cenotes through www.play.info. They also have other tours to Chichen Itza and Coba. The tours are small and personalized. You can also just book tours at the tour desk of your hotel, but those are designed for the masses.

Not really any good shelling. Turks and Caicos would be a better destination for that.

Personally, I think swim-up rooms are overated and not worth the extra money. We've stayed at Sandals in St. Lucia also. Check and be sure that the room has it's own private swimming area and not just attached to the main pool. Otherwise, it will be really noisy and not very private.
KVR is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 07:01 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 28
Secrets Maroma should be your choice according to my son & future daughter-in-law. They have planned their wedding for this resort, as it's the newest (2008) of the Secrets line up. They visited another resort in 2007 and loved the beaches in that area. Secrets will ensure that you're picked up at & delivered to the airport, a great no-worries feature.
39N105W7800Ft is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 110
I disagree with the others, we love Barcelo Maya Palace. The Colonial/Tripical part of the Barcelo complex is also very nice. The pools there cannot be beaten. They are simply amazing and the beach is loverly as well. At Barcelo, you are a $5 cab ride away from Puerto Aven. and a $20 cab ride from Tulum. We have been at least 6 times and have never had a bad vacation there. Look at them all on Trip Advisor and make your decision based on others reviews and the pictures.
cdw is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 110
Forgot to mention that Barcelo goes all out on Christmas decorations/lights and we love going in November or December. The adults only area at Barcelo is really nice and no toplessness is allowed at any of the pools. You might see some on the beach but not many.
cdw is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 04:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,368
Yes...the Barcelo is a very nice resort. However, when traveling as a couple many people prefer an adults only resort.
schmerl is offline  

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