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Riviera Maya Honeymoon: Ceiba Del Mar or Aventura Spa

Riviera Maya Honeymoon: Ceiba Del Mar or Aventura Spa

Old Feb 24th, 2005, 07:44 PM
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Riviera Maya Honeymoon: Ceiba Del Mar or Aventura Spa

Hi:

I'm planning a Nov. 2005 honeymoon and am considering both of the above resorts. My travel agent recommended them and I think we could get a pretty good deal. I thought I'd post this question as I have recently received great suggestions from the Fodors board members.

As this will be a honeymoon trip, we don't want to be in a Sandals type of environment. There is nothing wrong with that, but it's just not what we're looking for on our honeymoon. This is the reason that I have some reservations about the Aventura Palace. I know people that have been there and rave about it, but I'm just scared it's going to be too much an adult day camp scene.

As for Ceiba Del Mar, it looks gorgeous. Unfortunately, it does not have the included Mayan ruin tours that Aventura has free of charge. More importantly, if we stay at Ceiba Del Mar I feel that we will be confined there, while at Aventura they have free shuttles to other Palace properties located on the nice beaches in Cancun (which would be the best of both worlds; use the great beaches but come back to a seemingly more quiet Aventura). I'm wondering if it is easy to set up excursions through the Ceiba Del Mar concierge, or rather, if once you're at the resort you feel like you don't want to leave because it is so beautiful.

Some helpful information about us:

-We are 25 years old, but we have a little bit older interests because we've been in school non-stop. We will be attorneys at the time of our honeymoon and our jobs will be stressful, thus the need for relaxation (and the reason for my qualms about Aventura).

-We don't want to eat generic buffet food. I am somewhat of a food snob and have a deep aversion to buffets. I've read favorable reviews re the food at both resorts so I think this may be a toss up.

-We don't want to deal with crying babies on our honeymoon. I know that the Aventura is adults only, but I am unsure if the Ceiba Del Mar has a similar policy.

Basically, we want the more upscale property that also a good selection of amenities. I've found rates in which the Ceiba Del Mar is roughly $200-300 more than Aventura, however, that is not enough of a price difference to play a major role in our decision making process.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

mah1980 is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2005, 08:14 PM
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For a honeymoon - I would look at a more intimate property like Maroma, Ikal del Mar, Al Cielo, (what is that great one in Puerto Aventuras, frankie?).

It sounds to me as though you might be disappointed in the larger hotels in regard to food and all the action.



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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 07:04 AM
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Although I have never been to Maroma I have to agree. I would consider this hotel as it rates very high for what you are seeking. You might want to ask your agent about this establishment. I am not saying anything negative about his/her thoughts but sometimes they do get kickbacks from the ones they suggest. Just a thought. Also check out tripadvisors.com for recent comments/reviews.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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We would love to go To Maroma, however, I cannot find any rate that we can afford.

I have eliminated Aventura based on the fact that the hotel has 1200 rooms! That's way too big. Also, there will be a convention there doing the dates we are intending to honeymoon.

If anyone has any other suggetions, or better yet, a way to get a good rate for Maroma I would appreciate it.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 08:09 AM
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Hi, Pepper! Not sure which one in Puerto Aventuras! !

I'd definitely go for Ceiba del Mar, no question. I'd bet Aventura would be kind of a Sandals environment.

Contact the concierge directly at Ceiba del Mar with your questions, bet they can help.

It's also really easy to rent a car at the airport, and do tours yourself. It would be very hard to get lost in this area, there are only a few main roads, and in our experience, it's been safe and easy and fun if one of you likes to drive.

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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 08:11 AM
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oh, maybe you were thinking of Casa del Agua, Pepper? Looks pretty nice !
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 08:18 AM
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Yeah...frankie...that's it! It looks wonderful!! Not sure how many $$$, though.



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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 08:35 AM
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Thanks Frankie and Pepper for the suggestion on Casa del Agua. It looks great! I just went on Trip Advisor and read very favorable reviews for the hotel. I also went on their website, and I like the fact that their are only 4 rooms (with really cool outdoor bathrooms).

What do you think about staying 4 nights at Ceiba del Mar and 3 nights at Casa del Agua? Would it be a hassle to change hotels in the course of a week? Looking at the affordable rates for Casa del Agua we could probably extend our honeymoon to 8 nights, splitting equal time at both properties.

As for Casa del Agua, do you think it's easily accessible to good restaurants? It doesn't have a regular restaurant but the rate does include breakfast each day.

Finally, do you have any experiences with tours in the area? We'll probably want to go on two during our stay: the Xcaret eco park and the Tulum ruins. I've heard that it's better to go to Tulum than the ruins that begin with the letter "C" b/c the latter takes too long to get to with questionable A/C in the van.

Please give me feedback re both the Ceiba del Mar/Casa del Agua split, as well as the tours we're considering.

Thanks again. You are all providing such helpful information!
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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If you could extend your holiday, I think I'd do it!!! ! Not sure, but they should be a fairly easy ride apart.

We have only gone to Tulum on our own, so can't help with tours...but there are some well regarded tours on playadelcarmeninfo.com.

Let us know how you end up deciding! Good luck!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 11:14 AM
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I know that alot of the decisions have been made, and the Aventura has been ruled out, but just for future reference, my husband and I went there in June 2003 and loved every minute of it! It was absolutely perfect. We were also young attorneys just finishing school and we found it the absolute perfect place to enjoy lots of R&R after the wedding process, school, etc. Although the resort is big, it's actually not that big (can walk from one end to the other along the beach in 5 minutes) and the size actually allows it to never feel crowded (we were there in peak honeymoon season in June and always felt like we had our own private, personal space), which would also answer the question about whether it felt like day camp - not at all, the adults-only was great, and there weren't many activities unless you sought them out, we found it a very romantic place! The food was amazing (better than any other resort I've ever been to), the rooms were fantastic (well, the jacuzzi in particular) and the resort basically offered anything we could have ever wanted. All in all, if planning a honeymoon or special occasion, I would definitely recommend the Aventura.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 11:50 AM
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alwaysafrica:

Thanks for your reply. We ended up moving our wedding up and went on our honeymoon to Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean.

We're planning on taking a five night trip to Mexico for next summer and I've started doing research again for that trip.

How did you find the beach at Aventura?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 02:07 PM
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even though this is the L.American board, how did you like Turks and Caicos? The Mayan Riviera is the only part of the Carribean I've been to (I live on the west coast, so it's a long trip), and I wonder which island is the best to go to in the future.
And when you get to Mexico compare the places for us ! Thanks!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 06:36 PM
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Frankie:

We really enjoyed Turks and Caicos. It's one of the closest Caribbean islands to the US, and the beaches are great. The water is super calm, and the sand is white and soft. It's a flat island so it doesn't have the lushness of St. Lucia or St. John; it's described as most resembling Anguilla.

The restaurants are excellent, and everything is extremely safe and clean. However, it's not Americanized like Aruba, Bahamas, etc. No fast food places, which we like. The currency is the USD, which is convenient, and most people speak English as their first language. You don't have to worry about people trying to sell you stuff on the beaches like you would on Jamaica. All in all, it's a perfect destination for people that love beaches. It has little night life, or at least it did when we went last month. But we like that so it was fine by us.

We stayed at the Sands at Grace Bay and we really liked it. You can find excellent deals for hotels in Turks during the summer off season. We got a deal w/the 6th and 7th night free.

Let me know if you'd like any additional info.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 06:43 PM
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Frankie:

You should look on the Caribbean board for travel ideas. I know that it's a lot closer for you to go to Mexico, but the Caribbean is great.

I'm honestly torn between going to Anguilla and Mexico next summer. What concerns me about going to Mexico is the flashbacks I occassionally have to my junior year of college cruise. It stopped at Cozumel and I absolutely hated it. But of course, we were only concerned about partying and we didn't go beyond the usual areas. What I didn't like was the endless solicitations on the streets. Do you think a stay at a place like Le Meridien would be like that?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 09:51 PM
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thanks so much! Turks and Caicos sounds just wonderful. Hope I get there someday.
I haven't been to Cozumel, but I feel pretty safe to say you won't be hassled at LeMeridien. Vendors will walk by on occasion at the beach (not pool), but are very low key, and won't approach unless you look at them and appear interested. No timeshare hassle worries at the LeMeridien.
There will be timeshare people at the airport, but easily ignored. Downtown and in Playa del Carmen there are vendors, but I've never found them very pushy, like I have in Tiajuana or the like.
However, a lot of people just don't like Cancun, no matter how lovely the beaches (and the locals, in general), so I don't want to push it too hard!
Thanks again for your mini review!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 10:50 PM
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Frankie:

I think we'll probably give it a try in Mexico because I want to expand my horizons. A lot of discriminating, well-traveled people here in Louisiana like to go to the higher end places in Cancun like Le Meridien for a short beach vacation. That's why I started thinking about it. Anguilla will be a lot longer flight for just five nights.

How do you usually book your trips to Mexico?
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Old Jun 24th, 2005, 08:24 AM
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hi again,
I usually start w/ Orbitz or Expedia, but almost always find dealing directly w/ the hotel or airline website gets me the best deals. And sometimes, calling a hotel is good, because you deal with a real person who is more likely to get you the room you want and tell you about the hotel.
If it's last minute, check out site59.com. Or even priceline.
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Old Jul 4th, 2005, 05:47 PM
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mah1980- Were there a lot of kids at the Sands in T and C when you went there and what month did you go? Was the beach and pool extremely crowded? We are thinking of going there in the fall. I know they have 116 suites but some are 2-3 bedrooms which can make the number of people there add up quickly.
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Old Jul 4th, 2005, 06:25 PM
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travelenthusiast:

There were not too many people at the Sands when we went almost two months ago (May 17-24; click on my screen name for the trip report). It seems to be somewhat popular w/families although it was never annoying. We went when most school aged children were still in school so the majority of the children were infants. If you go in the fall it will probably be like that as well.
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