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IGP versus SMB versus LB

Saint Louis...
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IGP versus SMB versus LB

Iberostar Grand versus Secrets versus Le Blanc. Looking to travel in late May of 2014. Two uears ago we went to Iberostar Grand in Punta Cana and loved it. Four yeats ago we went to Couples Swept Away and loved it.

Which Cancun destination should we go to next?

We enjoy tennis, golf, snorkiling, spa, fitness, pool, beach, drinks, and food. This trip we are also planning on going with some other couples as well.

Mid 30's married 10 years.

Thanks for your help..

Charlotte, North...
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858 posts
5 reviews
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1. Re: IGP versus SMB versus LB

Would love to go to the IGP one year but we did go to SMB (secrets) and really loved it. I am sure architecture wise the IGP blows it away but the ambiance in the open air lobby with live music, themed resort hosted event was over the top beautiful, the shows in the gorgeous theatre were awesome, coffee bar, disco while small was fun! The best part was when over 20 staff members came out poolside at lunch and served sushi, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries in the kayak itself (in maln pool) as well as liquor in real coconuts, appetizers, pastries all being served walking around. Everyone has different experiences, ours was very ++. :)

Destination Expert
for Riviera Maya
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1,928 posts
15 reviews
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2. Re: IGP versus SMB versus LB

We loved SMB and from thinking about Couples Swept Away and all of the research, only SMB will have a beach to compare.

The one thing about IB Grand that always deters me from going there is their reservation system. Why oh why would you want to make reservations before you even arrive??? and Why would they have huge grand restaurants and only accept a minimum amount of reservations for that particular night and expect you to eat at a buffet??? Not my thing.

We've never been to LeBlanc but my sister-in-law has and they loved it. Very much of the Miami vibe is what I get from her.

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592 posts
21 reviews
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3. Re: IGP versus SMB versus LB

We just returned from the IGP. Have been to SMB twice. Have not been to LB ..that to me is more of a hotel on the beach.. not a resort feeling. IGP wins hands down over SMB. The pools, rooms and service are allot better at the Grand. Food was about the same. SMB was nice but if I had my choice it would be IGP..If money is a concern and SMB is allot cheaper I would go with Secrets.. it still is a very nice resort and I'm sure you would enjoy any of them. If you want first class all the way.. take a look at Grand Velas.. we spent part of our vacation there as well as IGP. We have been to many resorts in the past 10 years and GV is by far the one that meets and exceeds our expectations. Would not recommend the Zen section.. that section is located in the jungle and by no means does it feel like you are on a beach vacation.

Any questions just PM me.. Have fun deciding..

Erie, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Playa Paraiso
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28 reviews
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4. Re: IGP versus SMB versus LB

I've never had a problem making dinner reservations at the Grand. For me personally, it's not an issue to make reservations ahead of time any more than it is at home. At my favorite restaurant at home if I want to be assured of having a reservation I call two months ahead. Spontaneity is fine for some things but not for fine dining.

Destination Expert
for Riviera Maya, Yucatan Peninsula
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4,528 posts
43 reviews
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5. Re: IGP versus SMB versus LB

Search for Spotsmom on Tripadvisor. She has been to and reviewed all three resorts.

I am also one that does not find the reservation system at the Grand a terrible thing. I would rather spend 2 minutes making a reservation than being starving and having to wait for a table because the rest of the resort decided to eat at the same restaurant at the same time. The Grand, at least in our experience, has made the reservation system quite easy. We usually make the first couple of nights ahead of time by email which takes up none of my vacation time, and then have the concierge or our butler make the rest once we arrive.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Cancun, Riviera Maya, Negril
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16,066 posts
72 reviews
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6. Re: IGP versus SMB versus LB

I am a long time fan of CSA (as a frame of reference) and have stayed 4x at LeBlanc and once at IGP. I have spent time at SMB but never stayed there.

We love LeBlanc and find the service, food and overall attention to detail very good to excellent. It is our favorite AO AI in Mexico, with El Dorado Maroma in second place. We enjoy dining where and when we please and not having to decide in advance, except when we book the French restaurant. We also love the location of LB and the clean and minimalist look of the resort as well as the fabulous spa and great fitness facility.

Grand Velas is in a class by itself, IMO and IME, but is not AO.

We prefer not to have to make reservations in advance for dinner when on vacation. If there are other ala carte options at a resort that do not require reservations (such as at CSA) then it is not as big an issue but we found the reservation system at IGB to be annoying and limiting. We also were not at all wowed by the food. IGP is not a resort we would return to.

We have considered SMB but just prefer the size, beach and personality of a smaller resort so we generally end up at EDM when booking in this area.

We are booked at The Vine in April and enjoyed past stays at other Secrets but do not expect it to compare overall to LB in areas of food, wine selection and service.

West Chester, PA
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63 reviews
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7. Re: IGP versus SMB versus LB

I agree with Cav on IBG. Also, they try really hard but I wouldn't call any meal I had at IBG fine dining (nor any other AI resort of the many I have visited). ;)

ETA: Zoetry was actually the closest I found to fine dining (Canoa restaurant) but no longer AO and heard it's not what it once was.

Edited: 11 February 2013, 16:56
8. Re: IGP versus SMB versus LB

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