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All inclusive or not?

Old Nov 16th, 2006, 09:21 AM
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All inclusive or not?

We are a family of 4 going to the Maya Riviera in March. We don't want to be stuck to one place all week and aren't really fond of buffet food. Does anyone of an AI with great food? We also want a place with a good beach and snorkelling. Can anyone recommend a mid size non-AI hotel on the water?
Thanks
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 09:47 AM
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You should look into condo/villa rentals. There are many in playacar/PDC. For good snorkelling right off the beach, you may want to check out Akumel. The beaches are great in PDC but the snorkelling is nothing special in most areas.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 12:07 PM
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I stayed at Dreams Resorts in Puerto Vallart for the first time last May. It is an all-inclusive hotel. The food was fantastic!! We were all surprised. I'm not much of a buffet person myself but I gotta tell you everything they served was fresh and delish! They also have a Dreams Resort in Tulum, which is in the Maya Riviera. Go to www.dreamsresorts.com

Have a great trip!!
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 03:34 PM
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I say NO!! to an al! There are many great choices non allinclusive.

Check out the new Fairmont Mayakoba.
Or for less money, check out some wonderful looking new condos on locogringo.com. Great for a family of 4.
Also check out Ceiba Del Mar in Puerto Moreles.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 04:21 PM
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I say no to AI also. There's just too many good places to eat. You could rent a house/condo right by Yal Ku lagoon and snorkel to your hearts content.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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Although I haven't been to Mexico myself, I've had numerous friends who stayed at "less expensive" places than a 4 or 5 star AI(Secrets, Dreams etc.) and I can't believe how many of them got sick from something they ate or drank. Although I'm sure it happens, I haven't read many posts saying that the food at a "better" AI made someone sick. In fact, a co-worker just got back from her honeymoon, and the 2nd night ate something that made her so sick she could only drink 7up & eat toast the rest of the honeymoon. Seeing her the past couple of weeks so emotional about what happened on her honeymoon scares the heck out of me.
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 03:28 AM
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I guess if you saw some of the places I've eaten you'd run the other way. I've stayed AI and non-AI and never been sick at all. A couple of things I try and do...I have my yogurt every morning, don't eat anything that's been out sitting on a buffet for a long period of time, and try not to stuff myself with all kinds of different foods/drink that I'm not used to having at one sitting. I follow the same rules at home.
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 05:40 AM
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Thank-you everyone for your input. I think I'd like to try the non-AI route. My only concern is that there will be enough excitement for my 14 year-old twin girls.
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 07:30 AM
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Who's to say that an AI would have the excitement for jaded teenage girls?

I love taking my 13 yr old son to Mexico where we stay in alternate energy cabanas - he has to refocus his attention onto newly discovered experiences:
*Snorkling - in July we snorkled with whale sharks. There are cenotes, reefs, etc.
*Ruins - when you put things into the perspective of human sacrifice for teens...they really perk up!!
*Donations - we always make a donation of some sort, usually books in Spanish to a school or library.
*Fishing - who doesn't excited when they catch a barracuda???
*Ziplining - enough said.
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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I'm convinced. Can anyone recommend a condo/villa/hotel on the beach with a good choice of restaurants in or around the PDC/Akumal area?
Thanks.
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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I can't give a personal rec yet, because we're going during the December holidays, but we chose Xaman Ha condos in PDC. My criteria was breachfront, with pool, and short walk into town for meals, etc. I also wanted a complex instead of a standalone villa, because I was hoping there'd be other teens around (my kids are 15 & 17).

Althoug, my kids tend to stick togther on vacations, and don't really hang around with other kids. I just thought it increases the possibility of a pick up soccer game on the beach, or volleyball in the pool kind of thing. We've done the AI thing. Only when they were very young and did the day camps, they would 'make friends'.

I'm hoping, since I also have 2, that they will be able to go into town toegther for lunch or snacks. That's why I wanted something close to the main town.

Supposedly, Xaman Ha is a 5 minute walk to the main drag (5th Av) of PDC. I think there's also some kind of a mall with stores and fast food even closer. The condo pool also has some kind of a swim-up bar for drinks and basic snacks.
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 02:26 PM
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Shangri La Caribe (partial AI), Las Palapas, Natz Ti Ha Condos (just off the beach), Royal Palms Condos, Villas Sacbe, Playa Maya hotel, Fusion Hotel all in PDC.
So many choices. Xaman Ha is at the south end of town. Most of the others I've mentioned are spread from north to south PDC. Xaman Ha is a short walk to PDC on the sidewalk. It does have a small beach for the most part unless things have changed which sometimes they do. You can see the beach at Shangri La by looking at the beach cam at www.playadelcarmeninfo.com and click on the multi-media tab at the top.
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Old Nov 17th, 2006, 04:42 PM
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The Royal Palms condos look very nice, and the brand new Luna encantada condos look very pretty, too. A lot of them are on vrbo.com, and look quite luxurious.
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