Never been to Mexico-need help

Sep 17th, 2004, 08:43 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Never been to Mexico-need help

My husband and I will be celebrating our 25th ann. in Dec. We have been to Hawaii a couple of times so we thought we would try mexico. We love to play golf, lay on the beach and relax, shop, eat great food. We would like some night life for fun, romantic place not overrun with kids. We have not tried an AI yet either. Everyone we talk to tells us to go to different places, so your suggestions would be great.
wyomun is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 09:36 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 160
Congratulations on your anniversary. Hilton Cancun Beach and Golf Resort is a good choice to fit your criteria. Moon Palace also has a new golf course on the property but it is a distance from Cancun and is not serviced by public transportation. You would have to take a taxi into town.

The Gran Melia (I think) or Grand Oasis in Cancun, I can't remember which, has a par 3 golf course. I'm not a golfer so not too familiar with the courses. Several very nice hotels on beautiful beaches in Cancun and there are 2 public golf courses. I think you can play at the courses located on hotel properties even if you are not a guest of the hotel - green fees are pretty high though, about 90-125 U.S. dollars, but that includes the cart.

There are a couple of nice golf courses in Playa del Carmen as well.
1Mandy1 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 11:03 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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The Hilton Cancun Beach Resort would be a good choice. It is located away from the area where the younger set like to party, but if you feel like partying it is only a short cab ride away. It has a great beach and pools. You also have access to Cozumel and Playa del Carmen.
Polecat is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 12:09 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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You may want to check out hotels in Playacar and Puerto Aventuras south of Cancun.
pepper131 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 01:28 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Well.. let me start by saying I am fairly well travelled and enjoy a variety of different experiences. I just returned from what turned into a nine night trip to the Cancun/Rivera Maya area. My friend and I stayed at the Bahia Principe Akumal resort in Rivera Maya which is about 1 hr south of Cancun. In general I highly recommend this area. The beaches are gorgeous, the water beautiful shades of green and blue. Basically all that is there is jungle and beach and resorts. No touristy shops, no hard rock cafes, no traffic jams. It is about 1/2 hr from the town of playa del carmen so you can go there for shopping if you should so desire. The particular resort we were at was an AI and was rated as a 5 apple (on the 1-6 apple scale). The resort was huge and was beautiful. Here was my overall comments.
Pluses: -Great customer service, even with language difficulties at times
-Beautiful rooms, clean
-Pools and beach gorgeous and clean
-No problems with water... all water safe to drink at resort
-Great excursions planners
Minuses: Food not great.. edible of course just not really fine dining
-open air restaurants (aka no central air)

The entire trip was worth it because of one day spent at a place called Xel-Ha (pronounced shell-ha) It is a natural occuring freshwater lagoon that runs directly into the ocean. It is actually where the movie Blue Lagoon was filmed. The snorkeling was unreal.. there were parrot fish, stingrays, all kinds of different tropical fish. We saw fish that were four foot long! it was nuts!! There was also some caves you could swim thru, a river you could tube down, several restuarants and bars. We did the all inclusive package which included admission to the park, snorkeling equipment, lockers, lunch, drinks, and towels. It was about five minutes from our resort.

At the end of our stay at the Bahia Principe we packed up and headed for the airport and en route we found out the airport was closed due to Hurricane Ivan. We ended up stuck three nights in Cancun. I wished I would have returned to Rivera Maya b/c i didn't like Cancun at all. It was just touristy and to me just like going to a Florida beach town. We stayed at the Sheraton on the beach and the hotel was very nice and clean but the beach was nothing to scream about. Of course everyone has different opinions..

From what you are describing.. why not try a cruise?? If you go on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity they have excellent food, great entertainment, a variety of different ports to choose from. St. Thomas would be a good choice also for what you are describing. Rivera Maya does have some golf resorts and some adult only resorts. You could also consider a Sandals resort which are for couples only and they have some that have golf packages included. Whatever you do, enjoy your anniversary and have fun!!!
jodiebug95 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2004, 08:53 AM
  #6  
 
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Puerto Vallarta on the west coast!! is my favorite to return to again and again. Don't know the details but there are golf courses for sure. The restaurants and shopping in PV are outstanding. The Old Town (El Centro) downtown area is charming and an authentic mix of locals and tourists.

In PV I would not take an AI because there are soooo many excellent places to eat, in all price ranges. For what you describe, I would recommend a hotel in The Marina vs. Nuevo Vallarta.

Nuevo is where you will find most of the newer high-end resorts; it is north of town and a good 1/2 hour drive from PV... so if you are interested in nightlife, all the restaurants, shopping, you'd enjoy your stay more closer to town. Choose a place in Nuevo if you just want to stay at a resort and relax only. I mention this because often people on their first trip book a resort in Nuevo Vallarta for the nice looks of a place, and then are unhappily surprised to realize they are far out from PV itself.
suze is online now  
Sep 24th, 2004, 11:30 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 125
If you are still checking this I would have to agree with Suze - was just in PV again after 3+ years (lived there '95 to '97 then visited in '00)... Thought it was even better than before... so much to do, great golf courses and more being built - if you are not on a tight budget the Four Seasons and their exclusive Jack Nicholas course at Punta Mita would be a definite treat for a 25th ann.
But the Marina has a semi-private course and there's two other course out behind the town in the foothills...
Some of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at in the world... now up to 45 odd countries over 17 years and I used to write the restaurant reviews in PV for 2 years - what a horrible job that was...
And lastly, PV is Mexico, Cancun is a Miami Beach clone...
Hope this helps,
Andrew
AndrewGW is offline  
Sep 25th, 2004, 08:52 AM
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Andrew, 2 years writing restaurant reviews in Puerto Vallarta? ... you are one lucky man!! Susan
suze is online now  
Sep 27th, 2004, 07:58 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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My wife and I were at the Gran Melia in Cancun over the labor day holiday. We had a fantastic time. The hotel atrium has an enormous hanging garden. The beach and pools were beautiful. Service was excellent. Day trips to Isla Mujeres, Isla Contoy, Chichen Itza, and Cozumel are easily arranged. The Gran Melia overlooks a lovely golf course. They pester you a bit trying to sell time shares and it does not take much to venture off to see third world conditions once you get away from the hotel zone in Cancun. I would certainly recommend the Gran Melia.
Bill2222 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 01:23 PM
  #10  
 
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I don't think you can go wrong with either place
PV has beautiful sunsets and atmosphere, and Cancun's beaches are wonderfully beautiful...
If you can afford it, the Four Seasons in the PV area sounds wonderful. The Quinta Real also looks very nice.
But if someone offered me a free trip to either place, I think I'd have to choose Cancun...and stay at the JW Marriott.
Little_Man is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 05:09 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Hey I have a timeshare in Cancun and can't use it this year since I am going to the Bahamas (yeah should have stayed in Cancun) Anyway. if you guys need a place to stay email me
tonic67 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 08:23 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Another vote for Cancun and The Hilton Beach & Golf Resort. I stayed there in July and everything about that hotel was perfect. I highly recommend upgrading to a Junior Suite (living room, bedroom, large bath, huge balcony with jacuzzi).

JODIEBUG95: Not all the beaches in Cancun are created equal. If I remember correctly, the Sheraton is right smack in the middle of the "springbreakers' Cancun" (might even be next door to the mall). From the Hilton to the Melia Cancun, I found it to be less congested and touristy.
ErinS is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 11:09 AM
  #13  
 
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I'm not familiar with the west coast, but on the Yucitan side, I'd choose PLaya Del Carmen area over Cancun. Cancun is very miami beach, high rise hotels, and malls. Playa Del Carmen is getting more and more resorts all the time, but no high rises, and a more mexican feel in the town. You're also closer to some of the ruins and other highlights of the area. Many on this board rave about the Royal Hideaway which is an adult only resort. I've only stayed at the more family oriented places with my family. There is also a new Riu resort (I think Riu Palace) in the Playacar that is primarily for adults also (it may allow children over 16 or something like that). I know people who have been there and couldn say enough good things.
MFNYC is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 12:23 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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The RIU Playacar has a childrens program from the ages of 4 to 12. Are there any RIU's in Mexico or the Caribbean that are adult only?
GVal is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 12:29 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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We celebrated our 25th ann. at the Royal Hideaway last May. I wanted something really special and memorable. My only complaint was that is was so fabulous I want to go back every year. It is an adults only AI. Adults only there means 13 and over. I saw 1 or 2 young teens while we were there. But it is really geared towards couples (of all ages). The is not a lot of night life and for some people this is a problem. They have a bar where they have something going on each night, but we preferred to just go back to our room. They have a dinner show two nights a week, we went Sunday and enjoyed that. There is good shopping across the street at a little outdoor mall and lots of shopping on 5th Ave (a short cab ride away). The food was great and the beach was very nice. What sets this place apart though is the service. It will knock your socks off. Oh, and although it's an AI, it's the only one where you do not have to wear those tacky wristbands.
actran is offline  
Oct 14th, 2004, 02:19 PM
  #16  
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Thanks to everyone for responding, Now we have decided that golf isn't necessary since we will be playing in Phoenix before and after Mexico. So we can narrow the search a bit. Beautiful beaches (less crowded-kids), some night life, romantic a must, maybe even fishing . Keep sending the great advice, I really need all the help i can get. Jodibug, loved the Blue Lagoon idea, sounds very picturesque.
wyomun is offline  
Oct 14th, 2004, 02:37 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 270
Huatulco, Oaxaca on the Pacific Coast is just beautiful and still very unexplores. There are some beautiful resorts on the beach. There is a good nighlife without those big crowds of Cancun. You can still go to a beach in the Huatulco area where you will be the only one there. Definitely Huatulco.
PONCHOTJ is offline  

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