STT757 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3704 times:
I'm planning a vacation for my Wife and I in January, we're not able to take our usual Summer vacation this year as I just started a new job and have not earned the time yet. I'll have plenty for a week + by January, plus a nice amount saved up.
Since it would be January we want to go someplace warm, we just did Maui last Summer and While I would love to go back as many times as possible I'm thinking this January something not too far. Either the Caribbean or Mexico.
For the Caribbean I was thinking along the lines of an all inclusive, we've never done one of those before and I was thinking it might be a nice way to go. Pay for everything up front. I was looking at Sandal's, Beaches, Breezes etc.. Anyone have experiences or advice to share, good or bad?..
I've been looking around and this one looked nice, Sandal's Antigua.
The other possibility I was thinking of was Cabo San Lucas Mexico, we've never visited the West Coast of Mexico. And since our trip to Maui last Summer I'm all into Surfing, I heard it's pretty good down there. Any recommendations for Cabo?..
Steeler83 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3685 times:
How about Aruba? There are at least a few all-inclusive resorts there, and a couple that come to mind are the Occidental and the Renaissance Resort by Marriott. Renaissance is actually quite a bit cheaper (at least according to expedia anyway), and I believe if you go with the sexy sultry option in their adults-only complex, they have their own private island accessible by their own boat/ferry. I believe that on this island is a top-optional beach (I'm NOT joking!)
The Occidental also has all-inclusive romantic packages (complimentary champagne, special meal service, etc). The thing I like is that they each have a huge pool with a swim-up bar, oh and yeah, they're right on the beach, too!
Granted you seem more interested in Sandals, Beaches, etc, so this might not be as enticing, but I thought I'd help out. I've actually never been to Aruba, but my fiancee and I are going there for our honeymoon next year.
Steeler83 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3675 times:
Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 3): I dont know much about any all inclusives as we stayed at a time share but its a great little island.
I think that's actually what we're going to do, but I've been looking up those all-inclusive places before we heard that a family member got us a time share down there. I don't know where yet, but I'm sure it will be fun. What are they like?
EASTERN From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3657 times:
I've been to Los Cabos and Montego Bay and have stayed in Riu resorts. I've had friends stay in Cancun and other Caribbean destinations in Riu resorts. Great food, great beverages, comfy rooms, and full sized (free) liquor bottles in the rooms!
Bananaboy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3607 times:
Quoting OA260 (Reply 7): You cant go wrong with Sandals but my favourite is the St Lucia Grande. The food is great and the service is good. Alot of these All Inclusives can be touch and go but Sandals is consistant.
I disagree. If you are very "couple-y," then Sandal's is great. If you like to mix with people other than just couples, it might not be for you. It felt so strange seeing man-woman parties everywhere.. no families, no groups of friends, big or small. With just couples, I found the atmosphere unusual, and not particularly sociable. It depends what you are after. I became "turned-off" by the seemingly enforced "romance" that they try to create.
Sandals Antigua is nice, but it's by no means the best that Antigua has to offer. The beach there gets fairly crowded, and you'll get more hassle there than you would on other beaches on the island. Food and rooms were fine, but again, certainly not outstanding.
Antigua is a nice island though, but my preference was the Pineapple Beach Club. The beach is wonderful, there's a nice choice of restaurants and pools and a mix of people which meant the atmosphere was sociable without being raucous.
Riu hotels are generally fairly good. As mentioned, they offer the all-in minibar which is good, and they usually have a wide range of entertainment.
Looking back at the all-inclusives I've done over the years, the best yet was actually in the Dom Rep. Antigua, Mexico & Barbados were all nice, but I was able to afford a top room in a great hotel in Dom Rep, whereas the costs were higher in the other Caribbean islands. The other benefit of staying in the Dom Rep was that it actually felt very different from the other islands.... Spanish, not English... Salsa, not Reggae. It was different, and I liked it. If you like surfing, the North Coast of the Dom Rep (Puerto Plata airport) should suit you well. Plenty of good all-inclusives in the area, including Victoria Resort, Riu Mambo & Casa Colonial. There is a superb beach for surf called Playa Grande (Rio San Juan), about an hour from Puerto Plata. The beach is one of the best on the island, and is good for surf. There's also a great golf course if you are so - inclined. It's a quiet area, so make sure that you would be happy with that. We stayed at the Occidental Allegro Playa Grande which is on the golf course and has direct access to the beach.
(Taken on a calm day.. the surf can get pretty high!)
Without a doubt, one of the most relaxing, enjoyable holidays that I have ever had.
EasternSon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3565 times:
Along the same lines as the Aruba suggestions:
In the same island chain is Curacao, where my wife and I went on our honeymoon. We did an all-inclusive at the Marriott Beach Resort and Emerald Casino.
I would highly recommend it. The food was very, very good. The resort is beautiful, the casino is nice (we don't gamble though), and there are things to do all over the island.
We went for a plane ride over the island, went horseback riding, did two snorkeling trips, a sailing trip, and visited a cave. Plus, there are kayaks and snorkeling gear at no charge at the resort. We also treated ourselves to massages at the hotel.
We had a beachside room, where we could step out the door onto the private beach. The bartenders are incredibly friendly, as is the rest of the staff. Here is a view from right outside our door:
Max550 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3561 times:
I've always liked Iberostar. My favorite one was in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I also stayed at one in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I preferred the Dominican Republic although the Mexico trip was messed up a little by a Cat 5 hurricane. You won't have any problems with weather though going in January.