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Trip to either Aruba or Riviera Maya - with 2 young adult "children"

Trip to either Aruba or Riviera Maya - with 2 young adult "children"

Old Jul 8th, 2010, 10:15 AM
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Trip to either Aruba or Riviera Maya - with 2 young adult "children"

Hello, I am a woman in my 50s and planning a trip around Thanksgiving with my 2 adult children, daughter is 24 and son is 19. My travel agent has suggested a few places, either Aruba or Riviera Maya. Any thoughts on either? We want a place that there are things to do for all of us, some nightlife, a little shopping, but mainly good beaches/pools and good restaurants. I am not opposed to all-inclusive. we do like a few cocktails (at least my daughter and I do) when we are on vacation, so I think it would help the alcohol costs but want to make sure that the food choices are good if we go that route. This is a special occasion so I can spend a bit of money as long as its worth it!

I was at Moon Palace several years ago for a few days with my late husband and we ventured out once or twice to Cancun to the hotel zone for dinner. It was an award trip and everything was pre-arranged and on the company I used to work for. I didnt realize Moon Palace was so close to the Riviera Maya and I remember the beach at the Moon Palace wasnt the best although I did enjoy just about everything else there.

Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

ps..another idea was the Atlantis on Nassau but I heard its super expensive..any thoughts on that would be awesome as well.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 11:38 AM
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Aruba and the Riviera Maya are so totally different.
Aruba is very Americanized. It's a dessert island so there is no lush greenery, etc.
Riviera Maya offers more in the way of culture and exploration if you choose. There are SO many all inclusive resort in the RM that it's hard to make a choice.
Look into the Iberostar Paraiso complex. It will offer activities all day for you and your son and daughter or you can choose to relax on their huge beach. There is a disco to entertain everyone at night. Drinking age is 18 so your son can partake.
You may also want to look into the Barcelo Maya resort.
Atlantis is fun, but the weather may not be warm enough for swimming there at the end of November.
You don't say where you live, but Mexico is usually a shorter flight from anyplace in the US than Aruba is.
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Old Jul 11th, 2010, 08:40 AM
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Thanks..I have kind of narrowed it down to 2 hotels in the Riviera Maya..Iberostar Paraiso Lindo and the Iberostar Maya. Do you know both of them and is there a significant difference? Maya is a bit more expensive..not sure it is worth the difference. Can you advise? Thanks so much.
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Old Jul 11th, 2010, 02:46 PM
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The IB Lindo and Maya are part of the same complex (the IB Paraiso complex). The Lindo and Maya share ALL facilities except for two restaurants that are for Maya guests only. They are the gourmet and the Japanese restaurants. However, the Lindo has its own gourmet restaurant and you can use the Japanese restaurant at the IB Beach right next door. The Masya rooms are a bit bigger and the Maya buldings have elevators. Those are the only differences. Both give you ala carte dinnners every night of your stay and a concierge to make the dinner reservations for you.
You have the use of the same pools, bars, lobbies, etc. You can also use all the facilities at the IB Beach and IB Del Mar right next door.
Maya guests also have free use of the "wet" area of the spa.
Depending on the price difference, the Lindo usually gives you the most bang for your buck since you have use of the same acitivities and facilities.
There are activities all day long or you can sit and relax. There are nightly shows and a disco.
Make sure you take advantage of the extra eateries at the Commercial Center (also included) across from the Lindo lobby.
Here is a link to a map of the entire IB Paraiso complex:
http://www.iberostar-board.com/ib_complex.jpg
Here's one with the Maya/Lindo Beach/Del Mar--the four resorts are right next to each other and easily walked"
http://www.iberostar-board.com/ib_complex.jpg
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Old Jul 12th, 2010, 09:12 AM
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I would back Rivera Maya as it has beautiful beaches, a different culture, nightlife based on the hotel you stay in.
Aruba , I enjoyed but I found it americanized & didnt feel the change in culture but they have casinos.I wouldnt go back to Aruba.If budget allows look at Secrets Capri in Rivera Maya, if you can stay there your vacation is made.Its a piece of luxury on earth!In Aruba we stayed at a more reasonable & less upscale property- Manchebo Beach resort - one of the best beaches I have seen but windy.Enjoy
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Old Jul 12th, 2010, 04:36 PM
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Thanks so much..But do you think Secrets Capri is a good place for me and my 2 adult children? Or is it mostly couples?
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Old Jul 13th, 2010, 02:49 AM
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NO to Secrets Capri. It's more for couples. And it's 20 minutes from town which the adult kids would enjoy.

I would also recommend renting a condo. Food is so good and cheap there and everything is walkable.

Have you checked out playa . info ? It's a board dedicated just to visiting playa del carmen.

There are great day trips from Playa also. Ruins, snorkeling cenotes, old towns.

Enjoy!
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Old Jul 13th, 2010, 05:57 AM
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I'm going to throw in there the Royal Playa del Carmen. It's adults only, but not couples only and a 5 minute walk to 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen. Across the street is their sister property the Gran Porto Real.

For non-AI look at the Mahakel Beach Resort, Playa Maya, or Petite Lafitte. All much closer to shopping and entertainment than the huge AI resorts in the Maroma area.

We really enjoyed Aruba and want to go back. There are so many shops, bars and restuarants, you and your adult children would find plenty to do. There is also water sport stations on Palm Beach and a really neat bar hopping tour on the Kukoo Kunuku Party Bus. Aruba will be more expensive than Mexico. Mexico does have more things to see and do off property, but both are great destinations.
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