I'm trying to plan a 50th birthday/25th anniversary trip for 2/22-27/2014. Nashville isn't the easiest place to fly out of, so we've crossed Turks & Caicos, Antiqua and St. Lucia off the list; Punta Cana and Jamaica are the "most convenient" to get to. We're looking for adults only (or a resort where kids aren't rampant) that's all inclusive. I've spent a lot of time looking & every time I think I've figured it out, I read something that changes my mind.
Budget: up to $4000. Golf is good but not necessary. Calm, beautiful beach is a must. While we will drink, we won't have a cow if they have Absolute vodka and not Grey Goose. I like a swim up bar. My husband would prefer not to have to wear closed toed shoes & long pants for dinner. I'm uncomfortable with the idea of a personal butler, but would consider it. We've been to 2 AI's before (Hilton Rose Hall in Jamaica and Barcelo Riviera Maya) so we know what to expect from the general AI food vibe. We're probably not going to be up past 11pm, but don't want it to shut down at 8pm either. We'll snorkel, but not scuba. If there's paddleboarding or yoga, I'll join in, but that's probably the most active I'll be besides walking. And I'll probably use the spa once or twice.
In Punta Cana: I had it narrowed down to Majestic Elegance, Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites, Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro, and Barcelo Bavaro Beach Royal (leaning towards Iberostar Grand or Barcelo Bavaro) but then started reading about the issues with vendors on the beaches, as well as language issues/rudeness of staff across the resorts. Most of the staff in Riviera Maya spoke Spanish, but it wasn't an issue (we have some rudimentary Spanish skills) and the staff was all very friendly. I absolutely understand we'll be guests in a foreign country, so I don't expect English, but I would expect courteousness.
I liked Jamaica the two times we were there, but we wanted to try somewhere new, and we thought Punta Cana might give us more for our money. But Jamaica seems like it might be less stressful.
By last night, I was ready to throw the towel in and look at places in Sedona :) Any insights would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!