Take a look at:
Azul Fives (Playa del Carmen)
The Beloved Hotel (Playa Mujeres)
Dreams Puerto Aventuras (Puerto Aventuras)
Iberostar Paraiso Maya or Lindo, excellent accommodations, great service, plenty of dining options, huge beach, multiple pools, wave pool, lazy river, daytime activities and evening entertainment.
Azul Beach, Iberostar or Barcelo would be my pics! However, with that being said...Azul Beach is our fav, but my kids are older and the biggest reason we love it is for its small size. I would say Barcleo for you with kids 10/13 and I'd like it over Ibero. Here's why: HUGE pool, kids water park, GREAT snorkeling right off the beach, lots of pool/beach activities and the pool is right next to beach so you can hop back and forth. Ibero is nice, but pool is too far from beach for me, no snorkeling and water is rougher. Also, Barcelo Palace is newer than Ibero lindo and Maya. My dos pesos!!
Have browsed the reviews of those mentioned and they all look like possibilities. Thank you guys for taking the time. Is there one major airport there? I am clueless at this point about the layout. I think I'm just going to book our airfare/itinerary first and then book a place. Would suck if I booked a place first and could not get a good flight itinerary. Don't laugh when I ask this but is playa del Carmen near cancun? Or near the other hotels suggested? I'm hoping there is one airport that I should be looking at that has access to all of these resorts.Edited: 06 February 2013, 01:52
(Coming from the west coast with a short window for vacation time....flights are about as important as accommodation on this particular family getaway)
The airport you would fly into would be Cancun (CUN). From there, we take a pre-arranged shuttle/van to the resort. We've visited the area twice and have opted for a private transfer both times, just for its convenience and time savings. There are a few transfer companies that are recommended on this forum (USA, Cancun Transfers, Lomas etc.). We've used Olympus (arranged through our TA) and have been happy with their services.
Most resorts mentioned so far will be within 20-60 minutes from the airport. I believe the resorts in PDC are about 30-40 minutes.
Helpful info Chloe and thanks.
I am surprised that you are looking at the booking separately flights and resorts coming from Vancouver? The most cost effective way is to book a package - the same way you do flying to IB Varadero:(
If you need the length different from 7/14 nights look at the WestJet or Sunwings packages they have variety.
Escapes at their page
gives you a tool to find a best price for the needed destination/length. Your destination is Riviera Maya. The beach is much better at the Barcelo and their higher end part there is Barcelo Palace. There is a snorkeling avail. at some of the resorts in Riviera Maya right off the resort's beach but the beaches there are mixed - sand/coral. There is a good snorkeling off the Grand Palladium beach.
The beaches in Riviera maya are very different from the Varadero. Most of the high end new resorts are located on a very mediocre beaches as the area was developed very long time ago and most of the good beaches are already taken so the new resorts are built where the space is avail., sometimes they are trying to make up for the beach by the better pools/food so you will have to make an informed choice.
Hi Olga..,thanks .good info. I don't think the packages will work for me this trip due to our days. I have an endless amount of travel points with various carriers and will look to see what works best. Interested in your comment about the newer developments and the beaches. My perfect trip is ocean that looks like swimming pool water and a large pool and clean accommodations. Food? I don't expect great food from an AI though I heard the food at AI's tends to be better in Mexico than Cuba or the DR.
I'd for sure stay at an older resort that was on a better stretch of beach.
My vote would be for Barcelo Palace. March will be windy with waves You can forget about the ocean that looks like a swimming pool in march. When we were taking kids during easter break they loved the waves. The windy conditions you will experence at any resort you choose during this time of year.. Boogie boarding is very popular. At Barcelo you can walk a mile on the beach and still be on there property. Out of all the resorts we've taken them to in Mexico and the Caribbean they both liked the Barcelo the best