Playa AI Question

Old Apr 29th, 2003, 07:01 AM
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Playa AI Question

I have read several people asking something similar, but nothing has quite fit my needs, so here it goes.

First, my husband and I are planning a vacation. We are looking to travel in early June. Between Playa del Carmen and Cancun, I THINK that my husband would enjoy PDC better. He is used to St. Maarten on the Dutch side, which is fairly laid back. My only experience in the Caribbean was during a hurricane in SM in 1999, so I am wide open. I normally have traveled overseas in the Med.

Now, that said, my biggest concern with PDC is lack of nightlife, which I keep hearing about with various resorts (Hideaway). We are in our late 20s/early 30s, so we still want some fun. I will be honest though, we don't need to and can't hang with a major party crowd every night. We need some rest as well. (The joys of getting older . That is partially why I was thinking PDC instead of Cancun.

Can anyone suggest a place that fits what we are looking for? We want to do all inclusive. We like good food, so the restaurants are an issue. My husband golfs, but he says that isn't critical since he is vacationing with me (I stink at golf). He enjoys the ocean and white sand beaches. I want to sightsee a bit and truly relax.

Is that enough to go on?
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Old Apr 29th, 2003, 08:03 AM
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Susan:

From your post it sounds to me like you would like Cancun better. It has enough variety of night life to satisfy most everyone. And yet, you don't even have to leave the haven of your resort if you don't want to. You can relax by the pool or the beach and be pampered. You can really enjoy the best of both worlds here. The beaches are beautiful and you can sight see, shop, tour, relax, swim, snorkel, take a sunset cruise, etc. There are several resorts who have excellent food on their all inclusives, some even have golf courses right on the premises. Your husband could take in a round of golf while you get a massage or lounge by the pool. Cancun Palace, The Omni, Gran Caribe (to name a few) are beautiful resorts with great AI's.

Playa's night life is tame compared to Cancun's, but it has it's own charm as well. The Porto Real is where we always stay and they have fabulous food on their AI. We tend to stay in Playa in the fall and it's mostly a diving vacation, so nightlife isn't a must then.

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Old Apr 29th, 2003, 02:05 PM
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I do think PDC is what we are looking for. Could you give me more info on Porto Real? I can get a pretty good price on it, and I know that it is close to any "action" in PDC.
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Old Apr 29th, 2003, 04:55 PM
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The beach at Porto Real is disgusting - all eroded and full of seaweed. We walked by there and we said we were GLAD we weren't staying there! BTW - we did stay at Shangri-La Caribe and it was heaven and clearly one of the best resorts in the area. Be careful of those travel bargains - - there is usually a reason why it is so cheap - - you get what you pay for.
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Old Apr 29th, 2003, 05:55 PM
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I stayed at the RIU Palace in PDC last month and thought it was awesome. The beach was gorgeous, hotel grounds were beautiful and the food and service were definitely better than most all-inclusives.

PDC does have less of a nightlife than Cancun, but it sounds like for your needs it has enough. Cancun is a cesspool of Spring Breakers.

Another plus with the RIU Palace is that guests can use the discos at the RIU Tequila right across the street.

The Royal Hideaway is nice, but very serene (ie. no partying to be seen).
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 07:49 AM
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Susan:

Porto Real is a beautiful resort. We were just there last November. The beach is not the best but I didn't see any seaweed. The reason I say it is not the best is because there were several fishing boats tied up. Just a short walk (less than 3 minutes) from Porto you can find a better beach area.

One nice thing about Porto is it is very close to the main shopping avenue. We would walk out of the resort at night and in 2 minutes were on the main avenue where the shops and restaurants are.

Our room at the Porto was very nice, very clean. The lobby area and lounge area were also very clean and nice. The staff I thought were courteous and helpful and genuinely interested in making your stay a good one. The food was great.

People always knock Cancun because of the spring breakers and I'm sure it is a wild place then. But we purposefully do not book our trips during the spring break time. We never go before June 1 or after February 15. We've never been bothered by any rebel rousing. We tend to stay at the southern end of the hotel zone and you can have just as peaceful a vacation in Canucn as you can in PDC if you desire.

For the money though, Porto Real was definitely a great place to stay for us. I wish you a great vacation in PDC.
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 07:53 AM
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Susan: One thing I forgot to mention about Porto Real and that is the SPA! It is absolutely wonderful. The massages are extra, but use of the spa facilities, hot tub, sauna, lounge area are included with the AI. The facilities are beautiful too. I spent a lot of time there!
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 11:05 AM
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I have to agree with Mandy...yes the beach DIRECTLY in front of the Porto Real is not good, the beach only 2-3 minute walk away is fabulous!
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 02:26 PM
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I appreciate the help. My husband FINALLY decided to get involved last night though, which has wreaked havoc. After cruising once and tiring quickly of the food, he feels that the restaurants is key. Secondly he decided he just might want to golf afterall. So I narrowed the choices down to those that have 4+ restaurants. It looks like we will be going to Moon Palace, unless for some strange reason he likes the Riu Palace.

Riu lets you eat in the other Riu rsort while staying at the Palace. Wish me luck for 5 minutes of input tonight.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 01:06 PM
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The Moon Palace would be the worst choice for you .While it's a very nice resort , it's all by itself so you really have no nightlife but only the entertainments from the hotel.The beach there at the Moon Palace is also the worst - unswimable , water only come up to your knees and full of seaweed !the pool is beautiful though .(but why go the Caribbean for pools ?)
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Old May 1st, 2003, 01:22 PM
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I have to chime in again. I agree with 'me' on the Moon Palace. It's 20 minutes from Cancun and 30 minutes from PDC! And, the beach is worse that Porto Real, although it's true the pool is very nice. I hated the food at the Moon buffets, thought it was too bland, but did enjoy the Mexican restaurant. That's the only place we ate at the Moon as we drove into PDC every day!
If you don't want to go all-inclusive, still consider Purto Real. They have a non all inclusive option and there are several places to eat within 5 minutes or less walk from the hotel. Or, maybe stay at one of the other little hotels on the beach in town. El Faro is nice.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 05:57 AM
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The Riu Palace in Playa del Carmen is just great-but quiet. The lights literally went dim right after the nitely shows. Most of PDC is like that. We were there is January. But it has drop dead beautiful beaches and great food.We also stayed at the Royal Solaris in Cancun last May. Another very nice hotel but a step down from the Riu. Cancun is far more active in terms of nitelife. But the nitelife consists largely of skunk-drunk 19 years olds downing shots of tequlia. Same thing with the pool activities. While we're in our late 40's we still like nite life . We had looked forward to going to Senor Frog's because we had heard so much about it. What we mostly saw there were kids throwing up over the rails and a couple of teenage girls being carried out of the place in a stupor. And this was May-not spring break. While I'm sure there may be other more sophisticated nitelife that's mostly what you'll find in Cancun.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 06:52 AM
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Let me chime in with another idea. We just returned from ElDorado Resort and Spa at Punta Brava, just north of PDC. It is adults only, and very nice. Rooms are excellent, the food is very good. All food service is ala carte except for a breakfast buffet (ala carte breakfast is also offered). The staff is excellent, good pools and they all have swim up bars. Top shelf liqour at the bars. Excellent staff. The beach is OK, but not as good as further south. A bit rocky in places but not too bad. The resort offers daily shuttles into PDC or you can take a cab for about $15 or so. The shuttle is free. We liked this resort very much and really appreciated that is adults only, so no kids cluttering up the pools etc. There is another ElDorado south of PDC but this one has a better reputation. You might want to check it out as well. If you do decide on this one be sure to make reservations early when you get there for the speciality dining and try to get into the Italian - it is excellent.
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Old May 3rd, 2003, 11:15 AM
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Susan. The Iberostar Tucan/Quetzal is what you are looking for. The food is delicious and the speciality dining is really good at the steakhouse and the Italian. The grounds are amazing and it is only a 5 min taxi ride to PDC or the ferry. There is also a plaza shopping centre just down the road from the hotel.We are going for the 3rd time this year and just love it. There is golf just over the road too I believe.The beach is very clean and the sea is usually clear.There is plenty to do if you want it and the drinks are very good. They have 2 new lounge bars and a swim up bar this year also.
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Old May 5th, 2003, 02:25 PM
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We just returned from the Porto Real, and had a great time! The hotel was very nice, food was good (Excellent at the restaurants, good at the buffet), and yes the beach has seaweed and is eroded, but there is a beautiful beach up north (3 minutes walk) that is gorgeous. We really liked that we were staying close to downtown, we went out many nights, there is alot of nightlife...We liked that it wasn't crazy nightlife, but not dead either. Senor Frog's was fun, Blue Parrot was alot of fun as well. It was perfect (we're in our mid-twenties by the way). We were glad that we weren't at a resort far from town, we always had something to do at night because we were in town.
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