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help! over-researched and confused :(

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help! over-researched and confused :(

Hi, my mom (50 yr) and I (23 yr) are planning a trip for the second week of October. We would like to stay in the Playa del Carmen region, but have not managed to settle on a hotel despite all our researching.

We have it somewhat narrowed down to the following hotels:

Iberostar Paraiso Lindo

Shangri-La Caribe

RIU Palace Mexico

What we are looking for is something with a great beach (that has some shady areas or palapas available), not a lot of kids running around screaming, good food, and either in PDC or a free shuttle to PDC or something like that.

We have read the reviews over and over again and just can't decide! I would like to be able to try out some of the great restaurants in town as well. Something relaxing, with a great beach, nice good, great service...

Any suggestions or help in anyway would be greatly appreciated!!!

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1. Re: help! over-researched and confused :(

I've stayed at the Lindo. Great resort. It a bit of a ways from Play del Carmen, however. They had a shuttle from the Lindo that dropped you off at the Aviary, which is a short walk to Fifth Ave. I think the ride to Playa was about 30 minutes, give or take.

I find most of the kids at the AI's pretty well behaved. There are kids clubs and they keep them pretty busy.

The wave pool at the Lindo was packed with kids so we shyed away from there. Not because they were unruly, but because we wanted to get a little aggresive in the wave pool and wouldn't do it with kids there.

The beach was nice, but I DID find it rocky. Much prefer the beach at the Iberostar Tucan/Quetzal. Which is adjacent to the Rui, so I am sure that beach is equally as nice.

I am sold on Iberostars but have met alot of folks who have stayed at the Rui and they are equally sold on those properties. Either would be a good choice.

Spring Grove, IL
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2. Re: help! over-researched and confused :(

Being 23, I think that the RIU Palace would not be the right resort for you (although that is a great area). The Iberostar Paraiso Lindo would be fine, but may I suggest the Iberostar Tucan (which is located near the RIU Palace in a gated area of Playacar just 2 miles from Playa Del Carmen?). They have great food, beautiful grounds, a super pool bar, pool, and an amazing beach. The service there is wonderful by the Star Friends. I feel like an advertisement for the place, but it's one of my favorites. (Of course, you will get this service at any Iberostar property.) The Tucan is probably cheaper than the Paraiso Lindo too. I think that the Tucan is the perfect resort for all ages!

The Shangri-La Caribe is not a full all-inclusive. You will get two meals per day, so you can't fully compare it to the Iberostar or RIU.

I hope this helps you narrow the choices down. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Would love to hear where you end up.

Be sure to try Rolandi's for pizza in the new section of Playa Del Carmen (although the Iberostar resorts have great pizza too). We also like to buy coconut (already peeled) from the local vendor carts near the ferry docs in Playa Del Carmen...

Venice, Florida
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3. Re: help! over-researched and confused :(

You would be fine with either the Riu Palace Mexico or Shangri La. We've stayed at the Riu twice and the rooms and grounds are gorgeous. My daughter loved it and she's 18. You can go to the other neighbering Rius, too, if you stay at the Palace. The food is very good for an AI. You can take a taxi to downtown for $5.

Shangri La is very nice, but rooms are more smaller and not luxurious like the Palace. We stayed right behind Shangri La in a condo this summer and the beach there is also fantastic. The plus side here is that you can walk to 5th Avenue easily. If you plan on eating in town a lot, this might be the best choice.

Actually, you've narrowed it down to my 2 favorites and I did tons of research, also!

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4. Re: help! over-researched and confused :(

We stayed at the Sandos Playacar right beside the IB Tucan. It is the best beach in the area, as we walked along the strip past the RIU Palace.

We are headed to the IB Lindo in February. I did a lot of research and I know we are going to love it there. I do think that the Lindo and RIU Palace are different i.e. the "feel" of the resort. The RIU is more formal and upscale looking which appealed to my husband but I like a more casual resort. Based on your priorities, the IB Tucan sounds like a good suggestion because of the beach and closeness to town. The Tucan has a more jungly feeling than the Lindo or RUI, so take that into consideration. Also the Tucan has some ocean view rooms, the Lindo does not. I don't know anything about the Shangri-La but I don't think you can go wrong with the IBs and RUI. I guess I would weigh the pros and cons, look at the price, view the photos on tripadvisor and webshots and then choose.

p.s. The Lindo is only 20 minutes from the airport and the Tucan is about 40 minutes (although it depends on other resort stops along the way.) Going into town is about a $5 cab ribe from the Tucan.

Spring Grove, IL
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5. Re: help! over-researched and confused :(

I'd rather be closer to where the action is (e.g., Playa Del Carmen) than to the airport though. You can purchase direct transfers for just a little bit extra so you don't have to stop at other resorts. It's well worth it.

Edmonton, Canada
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6. Re: help! over-researched and confused :(


I've sort of been having the same dilema except with Iberostar Lindo and the Riu Place Riviera Maya.

I've heard great things about both, but I'm leaning more towards the Lindo for the following reasons:

The RIU properties look too manicured for my liking. The other resorts we've stayed at (Palladium Kantenah and Grand Xcaret) were both very "tropical" feeling with alot of natural jungle surrounding them. I think that would be ok for about a week, after that I'd be bored I think. I just think they may be "stuffy/snobby".

I like the freeform style of the pools better at Lindo than the Riu.

If you read some of the reports from trip advisor on the Riu Palace Mexico, there are alot complaining of " mold in the furniture" from the hurricanes in 2005.

If you stay at the Lindo, I think you can use the Ib. Beach/Del Mar/Tucan and Quetzal resorts, so you can go between there and playacar, to change up the views. If you go to Riu, they are all in the same locale.

You'd also be that much closer to Cancun if you wanted to shop there and or go to any of the nightclubs. Lindo seems like it's in the middle of Playacar and Cancun.

I'm pretty sure We'll be booking the Lindo, but that doesn't rule out Riu R.M. for a future "shorter" trip.

Good luck, let us know what you choose and why... (being to the Mayan Riviera twice before, I'm sure you'd be happy with either the RIU or the IB's, can't comment on Shangri-La, never heard of it...

Mississauga, Canada
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7. Re: help! over-researched and confused :(

I should stop reading this forum, with all the talk about the Lindo I am getting withdrawl pains. I think we are going to book again for next April. The Lindo is the nicest resort I have ever been to. I felt so comfortable and content for the week we were there. Absolutely no worries about anything. Anyone deciding whether or not to go to the Lindo just go it is truly one of a kind

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8. Re: help! over-researched and confused :(

We just got back from the Iberostar Tucan (and we are in our fifites) and absolutely loved it. We were scheduled to stay at the Riu Palace in October and after walking down to the Riu Palace, I cancelled our reservation from the Riu to the Tucan. There was absolutely no shade on the beach - no huts or no umbrellas. The sun was SO hot, you really need something. The Tucan has both huts and umbrellas and is a fabulous place to stay. Also at the Rium it was a very LONG walk to the beach.

9. Re: help! over-researched and confused :(

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