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Resort advice: very specific criteria include AI adults-only

Asheville, North...
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Resort advice: very specific criteria include AI adults-only

I want to treat my partner to a relaxing trip in early December when we both finish a huge project. I have done much research but would appreciate the wisdom of the crowds:

- All inclusive

- Adults-only

- calm, swimmable beach

- above average to excellent healthy food (seafood, smoothies, veggies)

My partner had a near-drowning experience and being able to relax in calm, clear, warm water is essential.

Some additional info that isn't a deal-breaker either way:

- We prefer smaller over larger

- We are not going to party-hearty although I'm sure we will definitely throw back some drinks.

- We typically like to do physical activities but on this trip we will try to relax so as long as there is snorkeling I think we are good

- Our style preference is more modern and luxe vs "beachy" and bright

- nude sunning options a plus!

Thanks so much community!

Calgary
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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1. Re: Resort advice: very specific criteria include AI adults-only

On site snorkelling is very hard to find; the opportunity to sunbathe nude is even more tricky. The only resorts I know that offer on site snorkelling would be the Barcelo Maya, the Grand Palladium and the Grand Sirenis. None of these are adult only. I know for sure that the Grand Sirenis specifically does NOT allow topless sunbathing around their pools. I don't know about the official policy at the other resorts but given that they're both family resorts, it is unlikely that your whipping the girls out around the pool would be appreciated. That said, the Grand Palladium does have an adult only pool.

For nude sunbathing your only options are Hidden Resort in Playacar, Desires and Desires Pearl. Hidden Resort is a nudist resort; the Desires are "lifestyle" (e.g. wife-swapping) but it's my understanding that quite a few people go there strictly for the nudist aspect and participation in the other activities isn't mandatory (!).

OK, so now we've established that there's nothing out there that ticks all your boxes, here are the resorts I'd recommend you look at that meet most of your criteria (all of these are adult only):

- Royal Hideaway - great beach, really good food - probably some of the best you'll find at an AI, close to Playa del Carmen so if you want a bit more action in the way of nightlife, you're nice and close;

- Secrets Maroma Beach - fab beach, good food, if you walk southwards on the beach a bit away from the resorts you'll find an area where you may be able to do a bit of au naturel sunbathing (watch out for passing walking traffic though);

- El Dorado Maroma - same fab beach as SMB, small size, highly rated by caviargal, a regular poster on these forums who knows luxury/high end when she experiences it!

- Valentin Imperial Maya - good beach, good food, MUCH kinder to the wallet that the foregoing resorts without compromising a whole lot on quality.

With respect to your partner's issues regarding calm water - this is another tricky thing to accommodate. On my last trip to the area, I saw the ocean be everything from six foot waves that I wouldn't even go ankle deep in to completely calm and millpond smooth (as in, the calmest I have ever seen ANY ocean). I would add that these two extremes of huge waves versus calm occurred within three days of each other.

One beach that is great for very, VERY calm waters (it's very shallow for about 50 feet or more) would be Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres. IM is not a place that I would typically recommend going all-inclusive as there are so many great restaurants within easy access, it seems almost a waste. However, Privilege Aluxes may fit the bill. It's not adult only but it's my understanding that it doesn't attract a lot of kids. All inclusive is optional - and many people say it's priced such that it's worth having even if you only use it for breakfast, lunch and drinks.

I gues it looks like you've still got lot more research to do - good luck!

Stowe, Vermont
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2. Re: Resort advice: very specific criteria include AI adults-only

The Barcelo Palace is super calm, with excellent on-site snorkeling and sea turtles. But it not super luxe, not adult only.

El Dorado Maroma might be a great bet. It is calm because they have sand bag barriers in place. The resort is small and intimate.

Asheville, North...
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3. Re: Resort advice: very specific criteria include AI adults-only

Thanks so much! I've been to Playa Norte and almost considered it for this because the food on IM is so tasty. But I am a beach walker and I simply ran out of beach to walk on. Great point on no guarantees that the water will be calm on any given day.

The au natural thing is a nice-to-have so I certainly don't want to limit our options based on that.

I will look at what you recommend - I also had Catalonia Royal Tulum recommended if anyone has experience there.

Stowe, Vermont
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4. Re: Resort advice: very specific criteria include AI adults-only

CRT is open ocean, I believe. I think the water can be rough.

America, The...
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5. Re: Resort advice: very specific criteria include AI adults-only

Helloaud,

I know you are asking on the RM forums, and I do love the RM. However, a few of your criteria made me think of another of my favorite destinations and destination resorts. It sounds like you have already done a lot of research, so you may not be interested. We love Couples resorts in Negril. They have 2 properties there are beautiful, calm, clear beaches--nicer than any we have been to in the RM, which also has SOME great beaches. They have excellent health food and smoothie options, particularly at Couples Swept Away, which has both Sea Grapes cafe for helath food and a smoothie bar near its outstanding sports complex. However, their other resort, Couples Negril, has an au natural beach which it also sounds like you are looking for. The food is great. The inclusions--snorkeling, tennis, catamaran cruises, Scuba, waterskiing--and many more cannot be beat. We also like a smaller resort, and neither of these feel crowded, though CSA is very spread out. You can do a Trading Places day at the other resort once during your trip. We've been 4 times to CSA (as well as many places in the RM). The only place where these resorts doesn't fit with your criteria is with regard to the rooms, which indeed are beachy, casual, though they are in the process of updating them right now.

If you decide to stick with RM, El Dorado Maroma is lovely, and always has calm waters. It is a boutique AI--about 100 rooms. Royal Hideaway has great food choices on a beautiful beach. Rooms are British Colonial in decor. It is a peaceful resort as well, though larger than EDM. Those would be my top two recommendations for you. If you are thinking about Negril at all and Couples, feel free to pm me with any questions.

Edited: 07 September 2013, 20:08
WV
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6. Re: Resort advice: very specific criteria include AI adults-only

CRT ticks many of our boxes, but it is not modern luxe and there are times when the ocean is a bit rippley. There is a place to the south that is more of a cove (just north of Hidden Beach Resort, I think) that has some decent snorkeling. The food is upscale/typical AI, but the beach is lovely. It is a trek by taxi to almost anywhere from CRT, so your goal of relaxing will be easy. It is set in a jungle and the vegetation is thick and lush.

Danbury, Connecticut
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7. Re: Resort advice: very specific criteria include AI adults-only

A couple of things about CRT. I have been there when it has been dead flat calm and have also seen 4+ footers coming in. The beach that CRT is on, has been used for some of the Corona Beer Commercials. We were there when one was shot up the beach. It is about 10 minutes to Akumal and 25 minutes to PDC via taxi or collectivo. Topless sun bathing on the beach is no problem but no A N. There are no other "large"resorts on this stretch of beach. There are some small resorts such as Al Celio, Essences and a couple of villas and that's it.

Where ever you go I hope you find what you are looking for.

Polloman

Edited: 07 September 2013, 21:31
Ontario, Canada
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8. Re: Resort advice: very specific criteria include AI adults-only

I would suggest the El Dorado Seaside Suites. very good food, pretty good beach and you can walk to the south for a long ways, the south end of their beach is in a little bit of cove and the water is calm inside of the barriers , less than 400 rooms, adults only, all ala carte dining. karismahotels.com/HotelsResorts/ForAdultsOnl…

On the same property to the north is the Hidden Beach Au Naturel Resort which is also owned by Karisma resorts, so you might be able to arrange to visit their beach.

www.hiddenbeachresort.com

Edited: 07 September 2013, 22:08
Richmond, BC
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9. Re: Resort advice: very specific criteria include AI adults-only

You might not find calm, clear, warm water in early December anywhere in Riviera Maya. The water is warm now but it starts to get colder as the winter gets closer - Mexico is located in the same hemisphere after all. I would consider the sea water warm in May - Nov but less so in December. Also it is almost never completely calm. CTR, Barcelo Palace, Grand Palladium beaches are more sheltered so probability of catching it calm is higher there. Playacar (where the Royal Hideaway is located) is almost never calm - nice med. waves to play! We have also seen it calm at the Maroma beach and the slope is very gradual there with some excellent walking opportunities there - so Secrets Maroma might be good choice for you. The slope at the CRT is also gradual so even if it is not that calm the swimming is easy there. CRT or SMB would be my choice, with food (and price) is better at SMB.

re. EDSS - the beach is not good for swimming at all there, very rocky.

Some resorts offer accommodation types that allow you to sunbathe nude in your patio when it is sheltered like the huge open balconies with the double jacuzzi at the Royal suites Yucatan at the Grand Palladium (adult only part inside of the huge family resort).

WV
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10. Re: Resort advice: very specific criteria include AI adults-only

I guess I was wrong about the resort around the southern point. Anyone know what is there?