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Completely stumped over AI in Punta Cana and elsewhere

Which Punta Cana hotels are on sale?
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Mishawaka, Indiana
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Completely stumped over AI in Punta Cana and elsewhere

My wife and I would like to take a trip to the Caribbean OR Mexico OR somewhere else warm that we can reach fairly easily from Chicago in early March.

We are a relatively laid back mid 50's couple who appreciate good service, nice rooms, and good food. We are excellent cooks, and I guess consider ourselves "foodies". We have lived in Singapore and Bangkok, and have traveled quite a bit in Europe and Asia, but have never been on a "Tropical" vacation....neither to the Caribbean, Mexico or elsewhere, so, we're newbies to this.

I would say we have an approximate $6K budget for a one week trip, including airfare. (Hopefully less)

I am research crazed, so yes, I have been reading extensively about all of the resorts including zillions of reviews, and get it that AI food is (for the most part) not for foodies....

I have to say that given that food is so subjective, I am finding it virtually impossible to make a choice given the reviews that are all over the place....We are pretty adventurous, but realistically, I don't want to go somewhere and have lousy food taint our first trip, even if the place does have beautiful grounds, friendly staff and a fabulous beach.

We would like a nice beach (pretty much a lock in Punta Cana/Bavaro), a nice quiet pool, good quality, non watered down beverages/wine, and not be overrun with kids and teenagers....

Am I asking too much? Should we consider another location? I realize it's getting late....Thanks for any help.

Recommendations would be very welcome!!

Edited: 04 February 2014, 16:13
Tucson, Arizona
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1. Re: Completely stumped over AI in Punta Cana and elsewhere

you might try the Royal- 5 star adults only- in Playa del carmen.Right in town...

Canada
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2. Re: Completely stumped over AI in Punta Cana and elsewhere

I am sure there are some great spots in DR that you would love and other people with more experience will share their thoughts with you on those.

Some of the places that came to mind for you to check out were Valentin Imperial Maya in Riveria Maya and Couples Swept Away in Negril Jamaica. I quickly checked the prices and they both look like they are in your price range.

Cleveland, Ohio
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3. Re: Completely stumped over AI in Punta Cana and elsewhere

These are some adult only suggestions:

Excellence

Riu Palace Macao

Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Royal Suites Turquesa

Iberostar Grand

Give these a look see how you might like them.

I have stayed at the Catalonia Royal and returning in April, i stayed at the Riu Macao last April. Both properties are nice great beach and food.

Toronto, Canada
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for Punta Cana
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4. Re: Completely stumped over AI in Punta Cana and elsewhere

It appears that the Royal in Playa Del Carmen is sold out in early March.

There will be lots of kids and teenagers in March, so something adult only, or close to it would be best. Resorts in the Mayan Riviera tend to be more expensive than in Punta Cana. Within your budget, Excellence Riviera Cancun, Excellence Playa Mujeres, and The Royal Hideaway Playacar come to mind. You might be disappointed with the beach at Secrets Silversands. I've heard some good things about Valentin Imperial Maya.

In Punta Cana, Excellence appears to be sold out, and so is Iberostar Grand Bavaro. Both would be good choices if you can get them. Secrets Royal Beach is in your budget. Paradisus Palma Real (Royal Service) is an adult only section of the resort. Most of the restaurants, bars, etc. are shared. They have a restaurant called Passion, by a 7 Michelin star rated chef. It costs extra. From either Secrets or Paradisus, you can walk down the beach to the Jellyfish Restaurant, right on the beach. Zoetry Agua is not adult only, but you won't find many kids there, if any. It's a small, boutique hotel. Very tropical and quiet. Not much in the way of a nightlife there, but you can take a taxi down to Breathless or Dreams Punta Cana.

Mark

Pennsylvania
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5. Re: Completely stumped over AI in Punta Cana and elsewhere

I much prefer the food in Mexico over the food in the Punta Cana. Also, there are many Adult Only / All inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya so no need to worry about children running around. You can get it all!

Here is one to look at: grandvelas.com/our-hotels/grand-velas-rivier…

Post this question on the Mexico forums, perhaps in the Cancun forum for starters

Edited: 04 February 2014, 16:59
Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Completely stumped over AI in Punta Cana and elsewhere

I agree with Nicole. With a $6K budget for a week, I'd be booking Grand Velas for sure.

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Completely stumped over AI in Punta Cana and elsewhere

Grand Velas does look nice.

Mark

romford
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8. Re: Completely stumped over AI in Punta Cana and elsewhere

Hi vinoman,

We have stayed at the El Dorado Seaside Suites and Secrets Maroma Beach in Mexico. Although enoyed both holidays, EDSS is my preference due to being a smaller resort. Both resorts are adult only, and no need to book the a la cartes.

Have booked the Excellence in Punta Cana (first time to the Dom Rep) but TBH, having read various trip reports, am not really expecting food to be on par with that of hotels in Mexico.

Regards,

Pat

Cleveland, Ohio
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9. Re: Completely stumped over AI in Punta Cana and elsewhere

Valentin Imperial Maya in Mexico is an excellent choice for foodies they have excellent food i stayed there in 2010. It's a great place. Huge pool and a quiet lazy river kinda but not really a lazy river pool. If you decide on this one pick a room close to the lobby/ restaurant area it's a big place.

Cleveland, Ohio
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10. Re: Completely stumped over AI in Punta Cana and elsewhere

http://youtu.be/f529VstHVRk

Valentin Imperial Maya