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Choosing a AI resort for the family

AZ
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57 posts
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Choosing a AI resort for the family

I've been driving myself batty trying to figure out which AI would be best, balancing features and value.

Here are some of the things we're looking for:

--stuff for my boys to do (age 9 and 14) besides cheesy stuff designed to babysit little kids. Fun pool stuff would be nice - wave pool, slides, lazy river, etc.

-- decent beach for the whole family - calm, clear water, decent sand

-- connecting rooms available. Ideal would be a king room connected to a room with 2 doubles.

-- snorkeling available on site that is suitable for children

-- would really like the option of taking a resort scuba course

-- reasonable proximity to organize a fishing excursion and a scuba/snorkel excursion

-- we're not food snobs, but want decent food. we don't necessarily need a la carte every night, but want to be able to get in when we want to. And want snacks available for the kids as needed.

-- some places mention in-room fridge that's stocked with water/soda/beer. That would be a nice feature as well -- not sure if it's fairly standard or if some places charge.

-- available internet or wi-fi is also desireable

I'd specifically like some input on the Barcelo, Sandos, Catalonia, and Riu resorts. And I'm open to other suggestions as well. Barcelo and Iberostar seem to be quite a bit pricier than the others -- are they worth it?

Thanks!!

Portsmouth, Ohio
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for Playa del Carmen
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1. Re: Choosing a AI resort for the family

The Riu resorts would be an excellent choice. Be advised however that they are not all beachfront. The Riu Tequila and Riu Lupita are the ones that are not located on the beach. You can go to the riubambu.com websited for information and pictures of all the Riu resorts.

These resorts will have all the things you mentioned. Internet access is available for a charge, but I don't believe that wi-fi is available. If you go the riu.com website and signup for the riu class card (for no charge), you can get a reduced rate for internet access as well as a 15% discount on spa services.

Northern US
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for Playa Paraiso
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2. Re: Choosing a AI resort for the family

I was unaware that any of the Riu resorts had a lazy river or a wave pool. I also don't think the beaches in the Playacar area offer good snorkling right from the resort.

You may want to check the Barcelo as from what I've read they do have a water park for the kids as well as a nice beach and snorkeling right from shore.

The Iberostar Lindo/Maya has the lazy river and the wave pool but the water is often rough and red flagged on the beach.

Most of all the bigger resorts have a room fridge and internet available so that shouldn't be a big issue for you.

Safe travels

Portsmouth, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Playa del Carmen
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3. Re: Choosing a AI resort for the family

You are correct, the Riu resorts do not have a lazy river, I didn't notice that was a requirement when I replied.

long island, ny
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4. Re: Choosing a AI resort for the family

We stayed at the Barcelo Maya Palace last year...boys were 6 and 8. The water slides are for little kids. They won't let anyone over 12 use them. It is like a park playground in the water. My kids loved the Barcy kids club, again for little ones. The room was very nice. The beach was beautiful. You also have access to the other Barcelo hotels, although they aren't as nice.

The main pool is huge. Then there was a smaller pool with basketball hoops. We saw many activities over there. There is pool and air hockey by it too.

We had a great family vacation there, but my kids are younger.

AZ
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57 posts
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5. Re: Choosing a AI resort for the family

Lazy river isn't a requirement -- it was just an idea of something kids might enjoy.

Thanks all for your input so far. A trip like this is an indulgence for us, so I'm maybe a bit nervous about trying to make the perfect choice. It's not like we'll just try another place in a few months.

Thanks!

cleveland
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6. Re: Choosing a AI resort for the family

Hi there have been to the Barcelo,Iberostar Pallidum and the Catalonia.rule out the Cat they dont have frigs in the rooms at least when I was there in 2003 maybe it has changed.The Iberostar has the lazy river and wave pool but you cant snorkel there the water is rough.The Barcelo and Pallidum have calm water beautiful beaches both have snorkling.The Pallidum has lots of wildlife to look at for the kids and is more tropical.The Barcelo has a great kids water park nice pools but is a huge resort no wildlife.Yes the iberostar is nice these other two are just as nice and cheaper!Hope this helps.

7. Re: Choosing a AI resort for the family

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