Post # 1
We recently were invited to my cousin’s wedding in Canada. All my family are making the trip and I am wanting to take all the Aunty’s and Uncle’s (elders in our culture) to Mexico to unthaw after a few weeks in a Canadian winter. The trip time is end of January 2018 and my husband and I are paying (because most wouldn’t be able to afford it especially after the expense of attending the wedding) so we want an AI so all costs are included.
Now my husband and I loathe AI’s mostly because of the food (bland, same same and usually not vegan/vegetarian friendly) and hate the insular feel of AI’s. So our bias is making it really hard to plan this surprise.
Also who do you book with? The prices from travel agents here for a week including airfares from either LAX or Dallas (we are flying Qantas from Australia and those are the two places direct flights fly into) and AI accommodation is ridiculous. We have been looking at adult only sections based on the quotes we recieved, the AO results came back ridiculously high (like $4-6k pp) and as much as I love them dropping that much money is out of the question. We are thinking about $1500US pp as a budget, cheaper is better.
So what are your favourites and how much does it usually cost you?
Post # 2
Look into the Occidental Xcaret in Riviera Maya. It is BY FAR the best AI I’ve ever stayed at, and is within your budget. It is spectacular and you won’t regret it 😊
Post # 3
We loved the Secrets Silversands! It is adults only though, but I’m assuming based on what you said that your guestlist fits that bill. The food was fantastic, however I’ll be honest that I’m not vegtarian, so I can’t assure you those options ill be what you want.
I usually book my trips when I fly out of the US through Hotwire or Orbitz (Orbitz usually has coupon codes).
Post # 4
j_jaye : Hi there! My FI and I have been to 12 resorts in the Cancun/RM area and we are actually getting married down there, so I hope I can be of some help!
First, January is actually considered peak season so it may be more expensive overall. However, there are a bunch of budget friendly resorts to help offset the cost. I will say, with regards to your comments about food and feeling of all inclusives, you get what you pay for for the most part. Adults only resorts WILL be more expensive, but they also tend to be the nicer places too.
I would recommend the Valentin Imperial Maya for an Adults only place. We’ve found the price to be reasonable and it’s been one of our favorite resorts. It’s very nice!
If you would like to consider family options, Akumal Bay Beach Wellness and Resort is a budget friendly resort. It is a very small resort, but the beach there is amazing. It is known to be able to go out and snorkle with all of the sea turtles. This place is a very quiet resort that would do best with a group who just wants to relax the whole time. This resort can only be booked through Apple vacations.
Secrets Silversand is another great one to look at. Secrets is a phenomenal company who is known for their luxury resorts. However, we’ve notices that Silversand tends to be on the cheaper side than the other ones. It certainly doesn’t lack though and is a great adults only choice! It was the original resort we chose for our wedding, but had to switch.
I hope this has helped some! Feel free to message or comment back with any more questions you may have.
Post # 5
We’ve stayed at Hard Rock Riviera Maya twice now. Once in the adults only section and once in the family section. I highly recommend them, the food is good, the atmosphere is great. I won’t stay anywhere else!
Post # 6
HIGHLY recommend the El Dorado Maroma…we went for our honeymoon and it was fantastic! It’s a smaller adult-only AI, so it’s never crowded around the pools or the beach. the food was phenomenal and the drinks kept coming! not sure on the price though, we got a super great deal so I don’t know what the average rate is.
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
Secrets Maroma in Riviera Maya. 100% adult only so no sections or kids. Gorgeous resort, beautiful views and excellent service. Food was pretty good for AI. I don’t use travel agents bc the couple times I’ve inquired their prices were far higher than what I could find and it seemed pointless to pay more. I usually compare rates from Orbitz, Hotwire, American Express Travel and Expedia. Cheapcaribbean is mentioned on WB often but its never come up with the best rates for me or even close so I stopped bothering. Orbitz is often the winner. Not exactly sure what dates you need so did a random search. 5 nights, Jan 24th-29th, leaving from LAX was $1764 pp, Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Perla (also adult only) was $1258 pp so idk where or how the travel agents are getting those insane figures. Have not stayed at any Paradisus resorts but heard nice things about them. Excellence is another chain that seems worth looking into based on reviews. Good luck
Post # 8
DH and I honeymooned at an El Dorado Resort (it’s since been rebranded), and it had pretty good food with ample vegetarian options. I’d look into their line of hotels. If you’re open to a kid friendly resort, that same company (Karisma) has a ton of resorts at a variety of price points.
We’ve also been to Finest, which is owned by Excellence. It’s not adult-only, but the Excellene Resorts are. We didn’t love the food as much there as at El Dorado, but we loved the atmosphere more — it has a great, quiet beach but with plenty of activities if you’ve got folks who want things to do. No idea how it’ll price out in January, but it’s definitely worth looking into.
Post # 9
We stayed at the royalton hideaway (the hideaway is the adults only section) & we really enjoyed it. There were several options for food & they didn’t skimp on alcohol!
Post # 10
I would look at packages from LAX rather than booking separate. For some reason the package can be $1500 USD pp for flight and AI hotel, but when you try to book just the hotel its like $3000. Makes 0 sense to me.
macpartyoftwo : I was going to suggest Occidental Xcaret too 🙂 The hotel is attached to basically a nature theme park, so if you get tired of being on resort you can check that out. Its also close to Playa Del Carmen, which although not a huge town is VERY fun.
Post # 11
j_jaye : Whenever I’ve done an AI in Mexico it’s been direct from Canada and the total cost (including flights) has been well under $2000 pp Canadian. It usually seems cheaper to do the round trip through Canada. Is that an option for you?
Post # 12
macpartyoftwo : jellybellynelly : Unfortunately both my husband and I have vetoed the occidental due to their direct connection with the dolphinarium. We are a vegan household and just can’t support animal tourism like captive dolphins. It is a shame because it is a perfect fit otherwise.
cbgg : Thanks for that tip, I will look into it. I just though since we have to stop in either Dallas or LAX in order to get home that being some what closer to Cancun that it would be cheaper.
heavenlyflower : Thanks for doing some work for me lol. The date are around right, we have a little bit of flexibility since they are all retirees. Yeah down here in Australia we rotinuely get ripped off on travel compared to the USA and to some extent the UK. We like to cruise and it is painful to hear what someone from the USA on the same cruise in the same cabin type pays compared to us. It used to be easier but a lot of cruise companies won’t let you book unless you do it on their AU portal. We tend to stick to carnival due to the fact that they are one of the last ones that let you use the US site.
Everyone else, thank you so much for your advice. I am off to trawl orbitz and hotwire for prices on some of the suggested hotels.
Post # 13
When you book from Canada, you usually book a package that’s been pre-set by an airline and stay in their hotel block – which might make it cheaper. You can book directly from the airline – WestJet, Air Canada, Air Transat and Sunwing or through a travel consolidator site like sell off vacations and flight centre. What city or region is the wedding in? My only concern with booking through Expedia is if you have connections. Typically, Expedia flights get booked as their own legs, so if you miss a connection or a flight it’s harder/more difficult to rectify. For the Mayan side of Mexico, you’ll want to decide if you want to stay in Cancun, just outside of Cancun or down the coast. If down the coast, you’ll want to consider how long of a drive you’re willing to have as some of the hotels can be about 1.5-2 hours away from th airport if I recall correctly.
Post # 14
j_jaye : I’ve been 4 times staying at 5 different resorts. We’ve paid anything from £1400-1900 pp for 14-17 nights, with flights from London UK and private transfers, staying at adult only all inc resorts.
Is that budget just for accommodation or does it include airfare? If you share your budget for accommodation (plus your dates) I’m happy to take a look; otherwise it’s difficult to make recommendations. Also, other that vegan/vegetarian food options, what other criteria do you have? Eg is the beach super important? As they vary dramatically in the RM. Etc.