Going to The Mayan Riviera and the Yucatan Peninsula
Who's on this trip?
We're planning a winter vacation for my grandfather's 90th birthday, and he understandably wants to escape the frigid Chicago winter for warm sand and surf. Given his age, however, there are a few requirements. It has to be a place with a direct flight from Chicago (no layovers). He'd like an upscale resort on the water. Some decent hospital should be near by just to be safe, so nothing too isolated. Any resort/hotel suggestions that fit that description somewhere in Mexico or the Caribbean?
Trip Plan Details
- Barcelo Maya PalaceCarretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km 266.3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexicorecommended Barcelo Maya PalaceStayed there in 2012, nice place and beautiful beaches. About an hours ride from Cancun airport. No matter where you stay, make sure the restaurants and theaters are air conditioned, otherwise you ... read morewon't enjoy your meals nor the shows due to very high humidity and lots of mosquitoes.Recommended for:.Comment.6 months ago. Report
- The Royal Playa del CarmenConstituyentes Avenue #2, Playa del Carmen 77780, Mexicorecommended The Royal Playa del CarmenIt's all about the location and amenities at this luxurious adult only all-inclusive. The resort is ideally located just a hop, skip and a jump away from vibrant downtown Playa del Carmen, so you can ... read morefill the times when you're not basking in the sun on their beautiful semi-private beach with shopping and dining along 5th Ave. Upgrade to one of their palatial suites in the new tower if you haven't already reserved one. The suite is the size of a 1 bedroom apartment and is fully stocked with liquor, snacks, a Wii, full sized fridge, deep jacuzzi tub, steam shower, 2 flatscreen tvs and more! The new tower has its own pool area, which is pleasantly not full of people. You also get your own designated cabana on the beach. There are 7 restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines at the resort, and you also have access to 8 more located at their sister property across the street, the Gran Porto Real. You do not need to make reservations at any of them, except for the Chef's Table, which is a rather impressive attempt at molecular gastronomy. Other favorites of mine include Maria Marie, Asiana and Il Pescatore and Maria at the Gran Porto Real. 24 hour room service is a huge plus. Beware of their seemingly nice tactics to set up a "meeting" with you - they are indeed a "vacation club," aka timeshare. DO NOT agree to meet with them - it is a huge time suck, and you are there to be on vacation!
recommended BelizeSleepy yet energising, wild yet tame, gorgeous Caribbean destination for families, couples and singles. Something for everyone. Especially if you like snorkelling!D'Maris Coffman
This is a thought in terms of safety, convenience and luxury but you'd probably have to change plans in Houston.
- Azul Fives by KarismaPredio El Limonar Fraccion 2 | Xcalacoco, Municipio de Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen, Mexicorecommended Azul Fives by KarismaMy husband and I stayed at Azul Fives for a week in February 2012. The resort is family oriented – there were many families with children but it didn’t bother us most of the time, there wasn’t much ... read morenoise or screaming kids, as you may typically encounter at family resorts. We spent most of our pool/sun time by the pool next to our building. The layout of this resort is pretty interesting. It’s a fairly large property with a narrow access to the beach. The smart thing about the layout is that all 14 buildings (3 stories high, with penthouses on top of each building) are located along two long curving pools with little islands and palm trees everywhere – the rooms on the first floors have direct access to the pool. Each pool has a couple swim-up bars and a sit-down place to eat. It’s pretty quiet around these pools (unless some guests with loud voices get too much to drink at the bar).The third pool (infinity pool) is located next to the beach and that area is very crowded with loud music playing and activities happening around there. We preferred our low-key pool. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and well maintained. It’s lovely to walk around. Sometimes you get to see monkeys in the trees or a huge iguana. There are interesting and colorful birds to look for in the trees. This resort has deluxe rooms, 1 and 2-bedroom suites, some with a penthouse. All rooms/suites have a balcony or a patio. We stayed in a deluxe room which was big and nice, with modern furniture and comfortable bed. From glancing at the apartment style accommodations through the open doors on the first floor you could see very spacious living room with nice furniture and open style kitchen with breakfast bar. There is Wi-Fi everywhere on the property, including pool and beach area. They charge $50 per week or $10 a day. The gym is pretty small but it’s only crowded for a couple of hours in the morning. There is Health Bar next to the gym – you can get delicious fruit and veggie drinks and smoothies there (my favorite was Green Power – orange juice, spinach, celery and parsley). There was some kind of entertainment every night - tequila tasting, Mexican folk show (we really liked it - 4 men and 4 women in beautiful costumes, changing with every dance, gave an impressive performance), Michael Jackson show, Fire show on the beach... There are several restaurants and pool-side grills. The Italian restaurant (Arezzo) was our favorite. Breakfast is served buffet-style in a restaurant with huge windows (covering the whole curving wall) overlooking jungle-like woods. All restaurants and public areas have interesting architecture and beautiful decorations. The staff everywhere on the resort is very attentive and helpful, always smiling. Before I write about the best thing about this resort, let me mention a couple of negatives: • The beach is pretty nice but it’s almost impossible to go into the water – the bottom has rocks and seaweed • We wanted to re-use our bath towels for a couple of times before getting a clean one but there were no hooks in the bathroom area (except for one) or bars to hang then on to dry • The food wasn’t always gourmet, as being advertised The best part of this resort is their incredible spa. I have been to many spas but this one really stands out – it’s so beautiful and inviting inside, very clean, has spacious but cozy rooms where they do various treatments, including services for couples. I did their signature 80 minutes “Vitamin C” facial. Before any treatment, you get to experience “water journey” – going in sequence trough sauna, steam room with eucalyptus, massaging shower, hot and cold jaccuzzi. It helps you relax and prepare your body and mind for the treatment. Then, while you relax a bit before your treatment in a relaxation room, drinking cucumber and lemon drink, they put warm “pillow” on your shoulders (you get the same after the treatment). You are so pampered and relaxed that you never want to leave this place.Recommended for:Family Travelers
- The Westin Lagunamar Ocean ResortKM. 12.5 Blvd Kukulcan | Zona Hotelera, PO Box 834 Apdo., Cancun 77500, Mexicorecommended The Westin Lagunamar Ocean ResortWe stayed at Lagunamar Resort as part of the timeshare exchange. We had two lock-off units for 4 people, so the accommodations were very comfortable. The larger villa had a big living room with dining ... read morearea to accommodate 6-8 people, fully equipped kitchen (the smaller villa had a kitchenette). The day after we arrived we took a taxi ($20 round trip – it waited for us while we shopped) to a big supermarket and bought bunch of food that we used for breakfast and sometimes lunch. This was a cheaper option than to eat every meal at a restaurant, plus, it was convenient. We went outside of the resort for dinner every night. The resort is conveniently located across Isla Mall and within walking distance to many good restaurants. The pool area is very nice, with options to accommodate various tastes. The infinity pool is fantastic, with beautiful views of the ocean. We really enjoyed our stay.