Last week was week 1 of my summer long Mexico Travel posts and I shared where I book my vacations and when we travel. You can read all about that here.
This week, I wanted to share how I research the resorts and what I look for when booking. Laine and I have found some really amazing resorts and many times, we end up going back again and again to the same resorts.
When I’m searching for new ones to try, I have a few “wants” and “must haves”. Sometimes you have to give a little and stay somewhere that may not have everything you want, but maybe has a better beach or food.
What I tend to look for are
- Ocean Front Properties with Ocean Front Rooms and good beach
- 24 Hour All Inclusive
- I prefer a Hot tub in the room
- Swim up Bars
- Resorts with Spas
- and before having Charlotte, we always wanted Adults only
I mentioned in my previous post to read reviews on Trip Advisor. The benefit here is that you can see current pictures and reviews posted by real people. Sometimes a resort looks amazing online and then I see the pictures posted by recent travelers and I realize maybe the beach is less than impressive.
One of our favorite resorts is in the process of building a coral reef. This takes time of course and makes the beach look a bit trashy in the process. We love the resort so much that we overlook that and keep going back. But, if you’re the person who wants to swim in the ocean all day while there, trip advisor will be your new best friend to scope out the beaches.
When resorts claim to be “Gourmet Inclusive”, this is a huge selling point for me. One of our all time favorite resorts is the El Dorado Royale in Playa Del Carmen. This resort is adults only but man oh man. As I type this, I find myself envious of anyone who is there right now! We’ve been to this resort 3 times already!
They have great food, great service, great drinks and the spa is AMAZING! If you’ve been, I know you’re shaking your head in agreement right now. It’s been almost 2 years since we’ve visited this resort but I am SO ready to go back!
HUGE TRAVEL TIP:
SO, El Dorado has what’s called “Casita Suites”. They are amazing upgraded rooms. You share a private swim up bar with about 6 other Casita guests and its heaven. There are many perks with this room. The kicker? It’s far from cheap. And y’all know me. I don’t spend that much that often.
Want to know a secret?
You can get it WAY cheaper than what’s listed online. They WANT to sell the higher priced rooms so, when you arrive, ask if you can upgrade for a discounted price. I’ve literally saved thousands every trip by doing this but still get to stay in amazing rooms.
Sometimes they are all sold out of these nicer rooms. So, if you are for sure wanting to stay in these rooms, pay the extra when you book. But, if you’re like me and like to gamble, wait until you arrive to upgrade.
The bottom line is you’re not in your room really while on vacation. And any room at this resort is amazing. So, if they had been sold out, it wouldn’t have mattered to me anyway.
I do book my roundtrip transport when I book my trip to and from the airport to save time and money.
Another resort we loved was the Valentin Imperial Maya. We stayed in the ocean front room and had a nice private balcony. It’s been a while since we’ve stayed there but I do remember they had natural lagoons. Which were pretty but man the mosquitos were awful! We read reviews that said to take bug spray and we did so it was ok.
The food was so good and the rooms were super nice. Very pretty and well kept resort and the staff was top notch. We also upgraded rooms once we got to this resort and saved a ton!
A few other resorts to check out if you like the reviews on the El Dorado Royale are the El Dorado Maroma, El Dorado Seaside Suites and they now have a family resort called El Dorado Generations! Totally think we may be visiting that one soon as Charlotte has never visited Mexico!
Hope these tips are helpful for you guys and thanks so much for stopping my today!