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Mexico All-Inclusive in early April - Looking for advice

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  • Jan 10th, 2011 8:07 am
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 25, 2010
2 posts
Edmonton, AB

Mexico All-Inclusive in early April - Looking for advice

Hi everyone,

I'm a fairly inexperienced vacationer, and I'm looking to book an early April all-inclusive for a group of about 10 guys in their mid-to-late 20s. I think we'd be okay spending up to around $1400-$1500, but I've heard that we can get a pretty nice all-inclusive for much, much less. I thought I'd turn to RFD to get some advice on how to approach it!

I have a few questions:
Specific to my situation
1.) Since there are ten of us, would we qualify for a group rate? We are leaving from different gateways (5 Edmonton/3 Toronto/1 Calgary/1 Vancouver), if that makes a difference.
2.) Is there any way to book and ensure that the rooms are close to each other, even if we're leaving from different cities?

Specific to travel in Mexico
3.) We are leaning towards somewhere along the Mayan Riviera and close to Playa del Carmen. We are also considering Cabo San Lucas. Has anybody been to both of these locations? Any recommendations/considerations we should keep in mind? We would like to be in a fairly busy and fun area (hence Cabo) but also really would like some nice beaches (hence the Riviera). We are not married to any one location, except that a subset of our group recently went to Cancun so I think that eliminates that option.
4.) Does anyone have a specific resort recommendations? The idea of a swim-up room really, really appeals to us, but it may be out of our price range.
5.) How busy is early April? Are we better off putting the trip off until May (which is possible for us)?


All-inclusives in general
6.) Is it smarter to book through an operator directly? Or should we be going through a travel agent? Or just trying to book it ourselves through websites like Expedia or Travelocity?
7.) Should we be waiting until closer to the date of travel to book, and see if prices drop? Or are we better off booking immediately to ensure availability?

Phew, okay, i think that's all. Sorry for all the questions! :lol:
Any help or advice would be much appreciated!
14 replies
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Nov 21, 2009
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I have not been to Cabo but many times to Mayan Riviera. for early April there are good deals for Bahia Principe Tulum/Coba or Grand Sunset Princess right now. I went to Grand Riviera Princess (same resort as Sunset). the food is very good and you can get a swim up room. Bahia Principe is also a great resort

if you are 10 people you can consider renting a villa and hire a cook. anyway, the site below will point you to many attractions in the area
http://www.locogringo.com/dynamic/lodgi ... type=Villa

you should try checking prices every day on the web site. I usually go to www.selloffvacations.com or www.traveldiscounters.ca and book if I find a good price for something I like.
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[OP]
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Aug 25, 2010
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Edmonton, AB
Thanks for the suggestions, Vero95.

I think we are looking forward to the social aspect of an all-inclusive resort, so I doubt we'd go with the villa option.

I was checking selloffvacations.com, but didn't have any experience with traveldiscounters.ca. I'll look into that site.
My only concern with booking online is that we might not be able to book all the rooms in close proximity to each other, but I don't know if going through an agent would necessarily make that any more or less likely.

Has anyone had any experience with the Blue Bay Grand Esmerelda? Or any of the Barcelo resorts?
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Jan 2, 2009
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Keep checking Itravel2000, or Flight centre or any other travel site , when you get closer to your travel date then there might be some good deals to be had.
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Feb 15, 2005
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DuRuffio wrote: Hi everyone,

I'm a fairly inexperienced vacationer, and I'm looking to book an early April all-inclusive for a group of about 10 guys in their mid-to-late 20s. I think we'd be okay spending up to around $1400-$1500, but I've heard that we can get a pretty nice all-inclusive for much, much less. I thought I'd turn to RFD to get some advice on how to approach it!

I have a few questions:
Specific to my situation
1.) Since there are ten of us, would we qualify for a group rate? We are leaving from different gateways (5 Edmonton/3 Toronto/1 Calgary/1 Vancouver), if that makes a difference.
2.) Is there any way to book and ensure that the rooms are close to each other, even if we're leaving from different cities?
Generally, a group is 10 or more while some providers start at 6. Prices are MUCH cheaper from Toronto, so the group cost for the Edmonton people will be the same as the everyday cost out of Toronto. Generally, you should have PAIRS out of each city to avoid single supplements. It's possible to have different people in different cities share a room but it's a big hassle. I would confirm the date and jump on any WJ/AC specials to Edmonton for the dates you choose. AC/WJ just had a 72 hour sale for $95 to/from Vancouver.

Example trip:
4/6 to 13 /11 YYZ-CUN at the Occidental Grand Xcaret (4.5*): $978/person including tax. Book this as a triple for $955.
YEG-CUN, same as above. $1187/person double occupancy. You leave at midnight (00h10) and catch the same 8am flight as your buddies in Toronto.

You can REQUEST rooms close to each other, but these requests are frequently ignored by the hotels. A few $$ at the reception may help increase your odds. Adjoining rooms can't be guaranteed.
4.) Does anyone have a specific resort recommendations? The idea of a swim-up room really, really appeals to us, but it may be out of our price range.
5.) How busy is early April? Are we better off putting the trip off until May (which is possible for us)?
Prices are reasonably stable (+/- $150) to October.
Swim up/out rooms or plunge pools from YEG, per person double occupancy, above dates:
Zoetry Paraiso: $6123, Secrets Maroma: $5075, Secrets Silversands: $5085, Eldorado Casitas (Infinity pool casita suite): $3805, etc, etc. Swanky 2-bedroom presidential suites can be had for around $4000 quad occupancy.
All-inclusives in general
6.) Is it smarter to book through an operator directly? Or should we be going through a travel agent? Or just trying to book it ourselves through websites like Expedia or Travelocity?
7.) Should we be waiting until closer to the date of travel to book, and see if prices drop? Or are we better off booking immediately to ensure availability?

Phew, okay, i think that's all. Sorry for all the questions! :lol:
Any help or advice would be much appreciated!
It's all in whatever you feel comfortable with. You can book book direct, through an agent, whatever. If you really want to go, book immediately, otherwise prices are best at 1 & 3 weeks. Of course, there's no guarantee there will be space. With smallish groups, it's probably best to wait until the 1 or 3 week period since someone's going to flake out 3 months in advance... Just remember, there's no refunds when you book the trip. "Don't feel like it" and "No cash" are not valid cancellation reasons for cancellation insurance.
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DuRuffio wrote: Thanks for the suggestions, Vero95.

I think we are looking forward to the social aspect of an all-inclusive resort, so I doubt we'd go with the villa option.

I was checking selloffvacations.com, but didn't have any experience with traveldiscounters.ca. I'll look into that site.
My only concern with booking online is that we might not be able to book all the rooms in close proximity to each other, but I don't know if going through an agent would necessarily make that any more or less likely.

Has anyone had any experience with the Blue Bay Grand Esmerelda? Or any of the Barcelo resorts?

Barcelo is very good. blue bay grand esmeralda I would avoid. same with grand xcaret which often offers a free pass to the eco park but has a man made beach

I never book online. I only look up the prices and then call. I usually deal with one guy from travel discounters who gives me an additional discount and also is able to provide some advice. they should be able to tell you what would be the best for you

try tripadvisor.com to get more feedback
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May 17, 2007
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For a group of single guys, Puerto Vallarta is probably a good bet. Everything is close by, there are some good resorts, and the weather is hot in April. I love the beaches there: they might not be as white sand as the Mayan side, but most people spend their sunning time at the pool anyway. Cancun might be good for you too, but it's really expensive to go clubbing.

Never been to Cabo, so can't comment on that, but i vote for PV :)
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Jan 6, 2009
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We have stayed at the Iberostar Tucan in the Mayan Riviera and it was GREAT!!!!! Now we are headed to the Grand Sunset Princess for a Wedding begining of March.
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Jun 11, 2005
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DuRuffio wrote: Hi everyone,

I'm a fairly inexperienced vacationer, and I'm looking to book an early April all-inclusive for a group of about 10 guys in their mid-to-late 20s. I think we'd be okay spending up to around $1400-$1500, but I've heard that we can get a pretty nice all-inclusive for much, much less. I thought I'd turn to RFD to get some advice on how to approach it!

I have a few questions:
Specific to my situation
1.) Since there are ten of us, would we qualify for a group rate? We are leaving from different gateways (5 Edmonton/3 Toronto/1 Calgary/1 Vancouver), if that makes a difference.

Booking through a travel agent should get you a better deal on 5 rooms.
2.) Is there any way to book and ensure that the rooms are close to each other, even if we're leaving from different cities?

Your best bet to get rooms together is after you book the resort e-mail or phone the resort directly. Its still a fifty fifty shot if you get rooms together.

Specific to travel in Mexico
3.) We are leaning towards somewhere along the Mayan Riviera and close to Playa del Carmen. We are also considering Cabo San Lucas. Has anybody been to both of these locations? Any recommendations/considerations we should keep in mind? We would like to be in a fairly busy and fun area (hence Cabo) but also really would like some nice beaches (hence the Riviera). We are not married to any one location, except that a subset of our group recently went to Cancun so I think that eliminates that option.

I have been to both Cabo San Lucas and the Mayan Riviera. If i was arranging a trip for ten friends i would choose the Playa del Carmen area.
1) beaches are much nicer.
2) can swim in the ocean.
3) Playa del Carmen is a great party town.
4) Coco Bongo must see.
5) Cozumel a short ferry ride from Playa del Carmen.
6) shorter flight times.


4.) Does anyone have a specific resort recommendations? The idea of a swim-up room really, really appeals to us, but it may be out of our price range.

I personally love the Riu Chain. 5 Stars always great rooms, great service at the resort, good entertainment and usually top shelf liquor.
5.) How busy is early April? Are we better off putting the trip off until May (which is possible for us)?


All-inclusive in general
6.) Is it smarter to book through an operator directly? Or should we be going through a travel agent? Or just trying to book it ourselves through websites like Expedia or Travelocity?

I always use itravel2000 and selloff vacations for my research and then book through my own travel agent. She usually saves me between $50.00 to $100.00 per person over the best internet rate even last minute.

7.) Should we be waiting until closer to the date of travel to book, and see if prices drop? Or are we better off booking immediately to ensure availability?

The only problem with waiting is you wait too long you might not get 5 rooms. The problem with booking early you can almost guarantee the price will drop. Thats one of advantages of using a travel agent she can advise on busy times of year and when you should book.
Phew, okay, i think that's all. Sorry for all the questions! :lol:
Any help or advice would be much appreciated!

I hope this helps.
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Sep 24, 2006
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I agree with the Riu chain. If you go to Cabo stay at the Riu there.

If you go to Cancun, the Riu Cancun was amazing. 5 Star with great food, drinks & tons of women. Riu Caribe was the same but more family than singles (I actually preferred that one a bit more because I like to relax on a vacation). The Riu Palace is good too but that's a little bit more expensive & more boring.

Here's my advice for booking:


Build a relationship from now with a travel agent (a privately owned one instead of flight 2000 is better, if you want the number to a couple send me a private message i have friends who own travel agencies) and tell them when you plan on going and what your budget is. They will keep an eye out & contact you when good prices come in.

The key is to make sure that everyone who is going, IS 100%. That way when cheap deals come up (which they will) you can book no questions asked.

Last time I went to Mexico We know who was in 100%, and for a month i checked selloffvacations.com everyday for a cheaper price. One day I saw a package for 11 days that cost me $1300 after taxes. I called up my travel agent, showed her the link & she beat it by about $70. So I got 11 days for about $1200. Later on that evening the price sky rocketed back up to $2200.
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Jan 27, 2007
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Check out Bahia Principe - Mayan Riviera.
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dutchca wrote: Check out Bahia Principe - Mayan Riviera.

Stayed at the Bahia in Punta Cana a few years ago.. the stupid theme song was stuck in my head for a month afterwards, lol
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Kris81 wrote: Stayed at the Bahia in Punta Cana a few years ago.. the stupid theme song was stuck in my head for a month afterwards, lol

bahia in mexico is better than the one in punta cana. my colleague from work went to both
bahia in MR is a very good resort for that price range

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