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aaabalboa Jun 19th, 2005 12:18 PM

Riviera Maya...All inclusive...scared!!!
Hello all,
this is my second post and i am so thankful for all the responses to my first post. Booking an all-inclusive is creating some fear, fear of future regrets. I am about to book 4 nights at ceiba del mar in puerto morelos, riviera maya. first, i am nervous. i have read a lot about the beach being very poor, and the rooms and food somewhat mundane/boring. this will be the only all-inclusive spot my fiancee and i will be staying for our 11 night honeymoon.
i am having those booking jitters and need some feedback. the royal hideaway seems about $150 more per night. El dorado royale also has some real negative reviews. i have not read about any all-inclusives that have a nice beach. the riu seems to be nice, but overly crowded. anyone have some insight that will make me feel better about the ceiba del mar or other suggestions? I am willing to stay in any part of the riviera maya, but would like to experience the all-inclusive at least for these four nights.
we are very excited about our trip, just need a little help.
thank you so much.

aaabalboa Jun 19th, 2005 12:21 PM

Also...the other nights we are in the Riviera Maya, we are staying 2 nights at JW Marriott Cancun, 3 nights Azulik Tulum, 2 nights Ikal del Mar PDC, and the last 4 nights to be determined at the all inclusive.
thanks so much again.

owa Jun 19th, 2005 02:19 PM

aaabalboa, My family of 10 stayed at Barcelo in the Riviera Maya Christmas 2003. It is a huge resort, was full at Christmas, and yet we never had trouble finding beach chairs at any time of the day. None of the going out at 6AM to save chairs. We thought the beach was vey nice and great for long walks but not as nice as a Cancun beach , There is fairly good snorkeling off their dock if it isn't too windy. We thought the food was better than at most of the other all inclusives we have stayed at as a family (the kids love all AI). The rates depend, of course, on time of year. No AI for us this Christmas--we are going to a small family run resort in Jamaica. Owa

pepper131 Jun 19th, 2005 02:33 PM

I would take your 4 AI nights and put them to better use at Ikal (for extra spa treatments) or Azulik (you won't want to leave the beach).

Little_Man Jun 19th, 2005 06:35 PM

love your choices of JW and Ikal (would love to see a future review of both of those!). I've stayed at the JW and would love to go to Ikal.
If I were to go All inclusive, I think I'd choose Ceiba del Mar because it has always looked really nice to me, the beach being the big drawback! But I can't imagine it being as nice as your other 2 choices. (The Iberostars look nice but just so BIG!!). One of the Secrets resorts looks very nice too, the one closer to Playa, look at tripadvisor under Playa del Carmen.
In the end, not quite sure why you want an AI? I think the food at any all inclusive will not be super high quality.

summer04 Jun 19th, 2005 08:56 PM

Try the Riu Palace, Secrets, Palladium, Iberostar Paraiso Maya or Lindo for nice AI's. Also, go to for research. That site deals exclusively with Playa del Carmen and the Mayan Riviera. You can get good info on the AI's there, also.

eileen Jun 20th, 2005 05:31 AM

If you don't mind me asking, is there a reason you are moving around so much? Four locations for 11 nights, in my opinion, is too much packing and unpacking and moving around. You want to relax on your honeymoon! I recommend you choose one location in PDC. If it were me, I would do 3 nights Cancun, 3 nights Tulum, 5 in PDC. We loved Royal Hideaway and there are a number of restaurants so you don't get bored. The food was gourmet. It's also close to PDC in case you want nightlife. I think there are not enough food options at Ceiba Del Mar and you will be bored. FYI Royal Hideaway is featured in this week's Life & Style weekly, someone famous (can't remember who) just stayed there.

CozAnnie Jun 20th, 2005 10:09 AM

Personally, I don't know why you seem to be set on Ceiba del Mar. I used to work in Puerto Morelos and we would go there for lunch sometimes, I was NOT impressed with the place. The beach was not very nice and the whole place was nothing compared to some of the other places on your list. Plus PM is not the most exciting place to be, especially in the summer. It has become mostly a retirement community for ex-pat Americans and Canadians. But many of them close up shop and go home in the summer, some of the best restaurants and shops there aren't even open until October. It is the most boring place I have ever been in the summertime. I think you would enjoy something closer to Playa del Carmen. And I agree with the previous poster, that you are moving around way too much.

aaabalboa Jun 21st, 2005 07:35 PM

thanks so much for all of your information. it is so great that i can ask a question and get so many different options.
and yeah i am moving around a lot but this is the way it happened to work out. we love to experience different places. my fiancee and i wanted to experience more of the party scene the first two nights in cancun at JW. then the next two places seem very romantic. i would love to stay at ikal del mar the whole time but not in the budget. we want to do all-inclusive the last four nights so we don't have to move around anymore and just lounge. initially we were hoping to stay at all-inclusive Mi Hotelito in Maroma, but won't be open yet (smaller and more intimate than the other AI's).
well thanks again for the feedback, as i am still wondering about ceiba del mar compared to the other AI's in Riviera Maya. i will definitely check with locogrinco too. thanks!!

Little_Man Jun 21st, 2005 09:04 PM

let us know how it all works out, and tell us what your favorites ended up being!

fsleeps Jun 22nd, 2005 12:08 PM

Have you considered the Pardisus - check out the royal service. There are great reviews about this resort on tripadvisor.

RBCal Jun 22nd, 2005 02:57 PM

This will sound a bit rude but "scared"? If you are worried about it don't go to an AI but a regular hotel. Then you can go to different restaurants/bars every day. This is also more interesting in my opinion.

rsidhu Jun 22nd, 2005 04:23 PM

I stayed a week at the Aventura Spa Palace for my honeymoon in September 2003. It was everything that I hoped for and more. There is a 2 person jaccuzi at the side of the bed that over looks the ocean. The food was really good and they have about 5 a la carte restaurants.

Italiano Jun 23rd, 2005 01:45 AM

Just returned from my honeymoon at the El Dorado Royale Just fantastic check out trip for the reviews some are right others I dont't know what resort they where at or what they expected but the EDR was great to me

aaabalboa Jun 24th, 2005 01:59 PM

thanks once again for the feedback. it really nelps to make a decision and i don't feel that i will be disappointed. for those that said we were jumping around too much, i have narrowed it down to three stops instead of four. we will now be doing JW Marriott first 2 nights, Azulik next 3 nights, and finally Hotel Esencia last six nights. i know this is a big change. when i was booking Ikal del mar for the 2 nights, the bill was at $1525 for the cheapest rooms with taxes. At Esencia owned by the same people as Ikal del Mar, I booked the five night package for $1799. Hmmm, comparable properties, 5 nights vs. two nights, i couldn't help but change my mind. after reading over all the posts, i talked myself out of the all-inclusive stay. well thanks again for all the great info, it really helped. i'll just have to stay at an all-inclusive some other vacation. and for anyone who has stayed at the Esencia property, please let me know how you liked it, good and bad. thanks again everyone.

Little_Man Jun 24th, 2005 02:33 PM

Escencia looks great. Sounds like a great trip, I think you have made great choices! don't forget the trip report!

aaabalboa Jun 24th, 2005 11:03 PM

I will definitely post when i get back, in 6 months, when the trip is over. thanks again everyone.

aaabalboa Jun 26th, 2005 12:39 AM

hello, i wanted one more time to ask anyone how their experience has been with Esencia. If you have any information about your stay here, i would greatly appreciate the info. thanks again for all the help!!!

pepper131 Jun 26th, 2005 06:05 AM

Have you looked at tripadvisor? There are a couple of reviews.

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