Every year we see a growing number of new all-inclusive resorts becoming available. With each new property there is increased standards of better food, better service and more luxury. And with all the excitement and hype going on around a new resort opening we need to stop and evaluate if we should jump on the band wagon and book the resort within the first few months of opening.
Yes it is exciting to experience a brand new resort and I'm not saying that you shouldn't however there are both pros and cons to being at a brand new resort. And like with any resort choice I want you to be well informed and prepared before you make your decision.
Your vacation is always a big investment not only in money but in time. You work hard all year and your vacation allows you to unwind, relax, spend quality time with those you love and experience new things. No one ever wants to have a bad vacation experience.
So let's start with some of the pros of choosing a brand new resort.
Many resorts will offer introductory pricing before the opening of a new resort and sometimes this will even be extended within the first few months after opening. This can be a significant savings and it may be one of the few times that you will ever see this kind of savings.
Shiny & New:
Depending on when you step foot in a new resort you will know that there have not been hundreds of thousands of people before you, it's more like a few hundred or a few thousand. This means everything is still new and shiny with no signs of standard wear and tear. It's kinda like b
buying a brand new house and stepping foot in it for the first time.
Social Bragging Rights:
So you were able to visit a brand new resort within months of opening, how cool is that to share with family and friends? It's always exciting to be the first to have experienced something as grand as this, maybe it's even a check on your bucket list. Okay so you don't really have to brag if you don't want to, you can just be super excited that you visited such and such resort when it first opened.
So now on to the con's of a brand new resort.
Many times a resorts official opening date will be pushed back because they are not ready to open and even when they open you can expect there to still be construction going on in some areas of the resort. This may include restaurants, rooms and the spa.
With a new resort comes growing pains. Staff may have not worked together before and are learning to communicate with each other as well as guests. Until these kinks are worked out there can be wait times at check in, wait times at restaurants and so on.
This may seem obvious but if you vacation yearly at an all-inclusive more than likely you will be used to resort grounds that are well established, lush and tropical. However with a new resort this will usually not be the case as they have to start from scratch with planting flowers and trees.
Although resorts do their best to be ready for opening day, it's important to remember there will always be a trade off between a new resort being 100% ready and price.
So there you have it, the good and not so good when choosing a brand new all-inclusive resort. Still not sure if a new resort is the right choice for you? Let's chat and I can help you determine if a new resort will be the perfect fit or if it will be a vacation nightmare for you.
The first time I can across the sargassum (also known as seaweed) was on a trip to Punta Cana in 2014. It wasn't extreme at this time but the locals were definitely talking about how there was an increase. On a trip to Riviera Maya in 2015 the sargassum had started to make it's appearance in this area. And although some seaweed is normal it was causing concern as resorts along the Cancun/Riviera Maya coast were seeing amounts that exceeded normal and there were hopes it would soon stop coming. Fast forward to today and much of the Caribbean has been effected by this unsolved mystery.
From the Dominican Republic to Mexico to Barbados, countries across the Caribbean are struggling to deal with the unusually large amounts of sargassum seaweed that is being washed up on many beaches. Some destinations are experiencing very little while other destinations are overwhelmed by it.
Although the strong-smelling rotting seaweed arrives most years in many countries, the volume this year – reportedly up to three to four feet high in some locations – is so great that normal efforts to clean beaches are proving ineffective on many coastlines. the clean up of the sargassum is a never ending battle.
Where does it come from and what causes it?
As the name implies, the sargassum seaweed comes from the Sargasso Sea. This is an ecologically important warm water area located in the mid-Atlantic where traditionally masses of seaweed have been encountered. Much less clear is why the quantity has been so bad and so widespread this year and exactly what can be done to deal with it.
There has been exploration on whether there are nutritional uses for the seaweed if processed, as well as issues related to the danger of ecological damage to beaches if heavy mechanical equipment is used to remove it, but there are no easy or rapid answers. To complicate matters the seaweed may have ecological advantages for beaches and its removal can damage wildlife habitats. There are also issues of cost and who pays for any clean up.
The unusual increase in sargassum has been noticed since 2014 and continues to steadily increase, leaving many beach areas covered with the sulfur-stink of the decaying biomass. The seaweed is not all bad as it provides food to certain fish species, turtles and even birds. It’s actually an important habitat for marine life: “Floating rafts of sargassum can stretch for miles across the ocean". This floating habitat provides food, refuge, and breeding grounds for an array of critters such as fishes, sea turtles, marine birds, crabs, shrimp, and more.
However, when the sargassum production becomes out of control it can become a danger to marine species. Besides depriving species of oxygen, turtle nests and hatchlings become affected by the seaweed. Larger fish such as sharks and rays have difficulty in mobilizing due to the thick sections of the sargassum. All in all, the waters become toxic, causing the demise of native marine species that cannot survive in the hydrogen sulfide and sulfur producing habitat.
While it can vary from year-to-year, in some cases it will last a few weeks or even months and there really is no set sargassum season or accurate forecast to notify people about its migration in the same way hurricanes are tracked.
Many experts say the warmer water ocean temperatures along with nitrogen fertilizer and sewage waste run offs are making the seaweed flourish. With the gradual yearly increase in the presence of sargassum leads experts to believe this may be the new norm.
Here is a list of the places that are having problems with sargassum seaweed:
What you can do?
1. Make the best of it.
2) Go somewhere else: While there are pros and cons to changing your plans, it might be a good opportunity to try a different destination. The west coast of Mexico (Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita, Manzanillo, etc.) and Costa Rica don’t have the seaweed problem.
3) Be prepared: Have a look at beach cams, read through TripAdvisor forums and local news, and Google the destination you plan on visiting to stay up to date. While there is no way to predict how much seaweed there will be and where exactly, it helps to know there is a risk. This is something that is out of anyone's control and it is very important to manage your expectations accordingly.
Have you experienced sargassum seaweed? Did it ruin your vacation? Will you be making travel plans to visit a destination with the sargassum problem?
This resort is located just over an hour from the Punta Cana airport. The highway to the resort is relatively new allowing for a comfortable and scenic look at the Dominican countryside. The resort is great for families and couples and also offers accommodations in an adult only section for just a little more privacy.
Located on the Dominican Republic’s southern coast along the Caribbean Sea, waters are calmer and clearer than Punta Cana or Puerto Plata, which are located on the island’s northern, Atlantic coast. The beach at Dreams is dotted with palm trees and has soft white sand and clear blue water. Because of the water’s pool-like calmness, the hotel can offer fun ocean activities such as a water trampoline and ocean zumba classes. The beach has plenty of lounge chairs, activities on the beach, and its very own fresh pineapple stand. There is also a wooden pier that extends out into the water that allows guests to access the coral reef that sits along one side of the property.
The resort has a very laid-back Caribbean feel and often does not feel overcrowded even when at capacity. This resort is great for a relaxing quieter vacation as it's location is a bit remote leaving little to do outside the resort other than some day trip excursions as it is unlike it's neighbor Punta Cana, which is built up with shops, restaurants, and bars. There is a small onsite casino and one other nice perk if it matters to you - they have Catholic mass on the grounds on Sunday mornings.
Some highlights of this resort:
Check out the resort tour below and when you are ready to book, email me.
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Cabo San Lucas…the first word that comes to mind is Wow! This destination is amazing and I cannot wait to go back. Where else can you find the desert, the mountains and the ocean? What did I love most about this destination? The weather for starters- Cabo has 350 days of sunshine and very little humidity. Very little bugs - because it is a desert there are few bugs.
While I was in Cabo I stayed at Secrets Puerto Los Cabos. This resort is amazing! It is adults only so if you are looking to get away for some “grown up” time I would highly recommend this resort. The beach is not swimmable due to the undertow but I loved sitting on my balcony in the morning and listening to the waves crashing before starting a day of resort training. Because I have children at home I loved the unlimited connectivity feature of this hotel. All of my calls home were free of charge as was the Wi-Fi in my hotel room.
My room was amazing with a spectacular view from my balcony, ocean view and I could hear the waves crashing against the shore.
Because I toured a few different hotels while in Cabo I wasn’t able to try out all of the restaurants at the resort, one I did eat at was Himitsu. This is an Asian restaurant with Teppanyaki tables available upon request and the food was great. The chef puts on a nice little show while preparing your dinner, all with a smile on their face.
This large property is not located in the traditional resort area of San Jose del Cabo but rather across the estuary on the east side of town (past the Puerto Los Cabos marina) where development is more recent. Getting here means taking roads less traveled and following signs down some pathways and turnarounds. It feels far less touristy, with extra space and fewer crowds. There's not a souvenir shop in sight -- only beautiful vistas of the sea, grounds with cacti and palms, a section of the area's golf course, and mountains in the distance.
Guests can either take a taxi or rent a car to get to the property. Many take advantage of the all-inclusive benefits and will not leave the property much (if at all), while others will want to get out and explore the region. There is virtually nothing within walking distance except a JW Marriott Resort and the Puerto Los Cabos marina, but a 15-minute drive leads to downtown San Jose del Cabo for shopping and dining. The quaint, historic section with its charming restaurants, bars, and art galleries is definitely worth a visit -- especially near the Town Square. Those who want a taste of Cabo San Lucas nightlife will find the trip takes about 40 minutes -- but be forewarned, taxi fares from the hotel can be high.
Overall impression of this resort- clean, comfortable and relaxing with very friendly staff.
Contact me and let's find out if this resort is the perfect fit for you, click the link below to get started.
If you're looking for a few more great options for adult only luxury all-inclusive resorts throughout Mexico click on the image below and get my free guide.
Many travelers have heard of Puerto Vallarta, but some are are often not familiar its neighboring Nuevo Vallarta. A bridge and about a 25-minute drive (depending on traffic) separate the two cities, which lie in two different states, Puerto Vallarta being in the state of Jalisco and Nuevo Vallarta in the state of Nayarit.
Nuevo Vallarta can seem worlds away from Puerto Vallarta's more metropolitan destination. Set into a quiet, lushly landscaped neighborhood nestled on the Pacific Ocean's deep blue waters, Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta is a hidden treasure for all-inclusive resort seekers who also want to avoid crowds of vacationers.
This resort is a smaller property consisting of 230 rooms so you won't have that feeling like your vacationing in a small city and need to take a trolley everywhere you go. Because of it's location this is a great option if you are looking for a more layed back vacation with minimal activities and outings away from the resort.
The resort is designed a little different than you'd normally see which gives it more of a unique feel and not so cookie cutter. Upon arrival you will pass through the gates and climb a small hill to reach the entrance of the resort. Once here you will find the resort is actually split in two with one part of the resort to your right and the other to your left. On the right side you will find the main lobby where you will check in and be greeted with a cool washcloth and refreshing drink, the majority of the resort is also located on this side. On the left you will find the resort shops, the gym, the spa, the signature coffee shop Coco Cafe and as well the tropical view rooms are also located here.
There are a number of great dining options available that do not require you to make reservations. I have to say that my group and I were treated to lunch at the resort and it was fantastic, one of my favorite meals during the trip (I posted a few pics below). Also there are four bars/lounges on property including a stunning rooftop terrace and sushi lounge with amazing views, this is where my group was treated to lunch.
The rooms are very fresh and modern with a jacuzzi on the terrace. There are three pools to enjoy and a outdoor whirlpool for adults only.
And for an added bonus there is a complimentary bicycle tour to Nuevo Vallarta • Enjoy free Wi-Fi and free international calling to the US, Canada and local landlines with Unlimited Connectivity. The mobile app also allows guests to view the schedules of all events, activities and restaurants at the resort, plus to learn about local destinations, excursions, and much more!
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