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Talk to me about Mexico, yucatan pininsula!

(51 Posts)
ihatethecold Sat 23-Mar-13 11:19:48

I have been looking at going to Riviera Maya with my family, me dh and 2 kids 13 and 10.

It looks so lovely there but when i read some of the reviews on tripadvisor i start to get put off the accomodation/resorts.

It wont be cheap to go there and im worried i will have worked my arse off for a year to save up for it and it will be a bit pants.

The scenery looks amazing, ive no doubts about that, just the resorts.

anyone got any recommendations for families.

ihatethecold Sun 24-Mar-13 17:05:55


springlamb Sun 24-Mar-13 23:23:38

I could talk to you forever about the Riviera Maya.
The all inclusive resorts are mostly of a very high standard, 4*. (I usually stay at the Gran Bahia Principe.)
The food is plentiful and well cooked, the buffet is a good selection but you can also book to eat at one of many a la cartes.
The rooms are very nice, will you be having 2 rooms or all going into one room. If you have a junior suite, the children can have sofa beds in the lounge part of the room. On the whole, the resorts know which side their bread is buttered on, housekeeping is good, the grounds are stunning, and guest relations are keen to put right any grumbles.
We go as a party of six and have never had a tummy upset. Most of the resorts have osmosis filtration systems and bottled water is freely available.
The flights are fairly hardcore, so don't go for less than 10 days. Also, try to arrange independent transfers when you get there, it takes about 1.5hrs to get down to the RM from Cancun especially with drop-offs at other hotels. When are you thinking of going? I was last there October last year and oh god the sea temperature was divine. In the summer there are complaints that the swimming pools are too warm!
Go on, ask me anything! (Having said that, I am forsaking my beloved RM and going to Egypt for Easter!)

TheFallenMadonna Sun 24-Mar-13 23:27:40

My mum is there now envy

ihatethecold Mon 25-Mar-13 06:45:08

Thanks spring lamb,
We were thinking of August. I know it's very hot but we have to use school hols and Easter and Xmas are so expensive.
Are we mad to consider August.

I have looked at xcarat resort attached to the Eco park.
Have you heard of it?
If we go it will be for 2 weeks.
Do you think we could find somewhere with 2 bedrooms. My kids are getting too old to share a double bed.

springlamb Mon 25-Mar-13 14:56:08

I've always wanted to go in August, just so I could complain about the too hot swimming pools! It will be very hot and humid, and please don't underestimate the power of the sun there. Even last October, I upped the dc onto Factor 50 after a couple of days. But I know people who have been in August and it hasn't affected their enjoyment at all. Just sensible with your sunscreen and lots of drinking.
I used to go at Xmas/New Year but when I priced it for 12/13 it was coming out at nearly £12,000. That's why we went in October.
Xcaret is great and most of the resorts will have lobby pick-ups. Xel-Ha is also a good excursion. Playa del Carmen interesting although expect a little harassment near the shops. The ferry to Cozumel (island just off the coast) is a good trip, and there are lots of others organised by the individual hotels. There is also a lot to do around the resorts. Travelling independently to Akumal Bay and snorkelling with the turtles and stingrays is really easily organised too.
Price it up with 1 adult and 1 child in each room and ensure they are interconnecting rooms rather than just next door to each other. It won't matter who sleeps where once you're there, if you have the interconnecting door open. For example, at GBP there are 5 rooms per floor. 01 and 02 will have a door between them, as will 04 and 05, so these are especially suitable for families. To be honest, personally I wouldn't worry too much if I just had adjacent rooms, as Riviera Maya is a fairly safe area (Cancun not so much but you are far south of there), the resorts are good and secure and the people on the whole very welcoming, they realise tourism's importance. The suites I have seen have a huge superking, plus a (quite comfy) sofa bed in the lounge area and they will put another sofa bed in for the other child so no sharing.
All this is making me wonder if I shall regret Egypt.

Alibobster Mon 25-Mar-13 18:26:13

Check out reviews and pictures of Iberostar Tucan. I have been 3 times and returning this year for 4th visit. The beach is amazing and the hotel has the nicest staff I have ever encountered. Like springlamb, I too have been in October and the weather was fantastic. My only concern with August is that it would be too hot and too busy, although the tripadvisor forums are really helpful and you could ask people who've been at that time of year.

HollaAtMeBaby Mon 25-Mar-13 18:52:10

It will be TERRIBLY humid in August. I would rethink if I were you. TBH if all you want is a resort holiday, you may as well go to the Costa del Sol at that time of year. It's cheaper, closer and you won't know the difference if you're doing the resort thing. The point of a resort holiday in the Yucatan is to go in winter when it's freezing in Europe and be terribly smug about it grin

Backinthebox Mon 25-Mar-13 23:15:00

I've been twice. First time in a tent, second time we pushed the boat out and hired a cabana with a sand floor for $10 a night grin Probably not what you want with kids though. I've got no idea about the resorts, I just know it made a big enough impression on me that I can't wait till my kids are old enough for me to take them. I work in the travel industry, and have been to a fair few places, but the Yucatan Peninsula is one place I could happily go back to again and again. There is so much to see and do outside of the resorts, so don't just stay in - you can take your kids out pretending they are Indiana Jones at archaeological sites, or spotting wildlife at Xel-ha. I love the place!

sannaville Tue 26-Mar-13 21:16:52

We are going to gran Bahia principe in august smile we looked at Xcaret but didn't book it as bad reviews on the beach (its man made and meant to be quite small)

EnglishGirlApproximately Tue 26-Mar-13 21:21:07

If I was going to Riveria Maya with kids I would be booking the Azul Beach Hotel - its a fantastic hotel with great kids facilities. Definitley look into getting out and about though, there's loads to see and mexican street food is amazing.

ihatethecold Tue 26-Mar-13 21:24:41

We have to go during school hols and would want 2 weeks so can't do half terms.
Xmas is far too expensive.
Maybe Easter if I save/work like a madwoman blush
I will have a look at the recommendations you have all made. I have seen the Bahia resort. Looks nice.
We definitely want to see lots of wildlife. Not just to sit in a resort.

HollaAtMeBaby Tue 26-Mar-13 21:58:14

Definitely plan to go snorkelling at Akumal beach in that case - your DCs are old enough and you wear a lifejacket so it's v safe. The beach is stunning and we saw sea turtles! It's between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, if that helps you pick a resort.

springlamb Tue 26-Mar-13 22:03:52

Sannaville, you are thinking of the hotel (is it one of Occidentals) which is a small part of Xcaret. Your thinking was quite right - the beach is manmade and not at all attractive.
But do visit Xcaret park itself, there is loads to do and the most amazing underground river to go along, traditional Mexican shows etc, loads of sealife and wildlife, and the night show is quite renowned.
You can book the trip from the GBP, the 'crazy bus' (you'll understand why when you see it!) picks you up and drops you back.
Ihatethecold - I understand your point, Xmas holidays are very awkward, the package flights for Cancun always inconvenient, hugely expensive and it's not worth going for less than 10 days in my view. The first time I went for Xmas it cost half of last year's quote.
A couple of years ago I organised a special trip into the jungle to see a mad German woman and her Mexican husband who run a sanctuary for blackfaced spider monkeys mostly saved from the beach photographer trade. It is a private visit and you get to sit in with the monkeys, they are amazing and the lady is just such a character, even their house is brilliant. Think the place was called the Jungle Palace. Although it was costly, about 50USD per person it was a great experience.

springlamb Tue 26-Mar-13 22:04:52

Sannaville, what section of the GBP are you staying in?

ihatethecold Wed 27-Mar-13 10:20:17

so is easter the best time to go then?

sannaville Wed 03-Apr-13 17:51:37

We booked with virgin so think its Coba section we will be staying in any advise on any particular room no I should ask for?? We have got a junior suite as have got two kids. Can't wait to go!!! I know coba is furthest bit from beach but not overly bothered really, just want a room near everything really

ihatethecold Wed 03-Apr-13 18:05:23

Sannavile, can you let me know all about your resort when you get back. I will prob book with virgin and I know that resort gets good reviews.
When are you going?

sannaville Wed 03-Apr-13 19:49:32

Hi we aren't going til august 22 but happy to let you know about it on my return if you could give me a reminder!

PicaK Tue 09-Apr-13 17:00:14

Went to Bahia Principe years ago - it was fab. A truly fabulous holiday. And the beach was to die for.

suebfg Tue 09-Apr-13 20:55:34

We went last year and although we had a nice time, I felt it was not value for money. We are pretty well travelled.

The beaches are fab but I think the sea is a little rough for little ones. Our resort wasn't great although it gets good reviews on Tripadvisor (Iberostar Tucan).

The best day we had was at Akumal (snorkelling with turtles, beach side restaurant). But we had already snorkelled with turtles in Egypt in shallower water (we had to go out until it was about 10ft deep to see the turtles in Akumal).

springlamb Wed 10-Apr-13 22:48:21

Sannaville, I've not stayed at Coba but the beach is just a couple of minutes on the resort's golf-cart shuttles so it will be fine. The shuttles drop you at the Akumal section beach and that it is a lovely sheltered section of the water, fab for the kids. Interesting snorkelling out by the 'whales' too. You'll recognise the 'whales' as soon as you see them!
Remember you can eat at any of the section buffets too.
Coba has just built a kids' waterpark pool area so that will be extra fun.
We always have a junior suite too, although in the Tulum/Akumal sections.
Back from Egypt now, temperatures higher than the RM, AI deal rather different than the Caribbean but workable, smaller resort, fab beach but the water was rather cooler. Snorkelling unbelievable though!
And, no jetlag.
I shall probably go Mex later in the year though.

BellaVita Wed 10-Apr-13 23:02:38

We went to Mexico last August and are going back this August.

We were fine with the heat. My hair did not like the humidity though

springlamb Wed 10-Apr-13 23:20:06

Brazilian blow dry about a fortnight before departure BellaVita!
I am so used to my sister being the frizz-bomb on our holidays but now she has a BBD she's all sleek and glam and I look like I've been electrocuted. You do have to rinse it thoroughly after each swim though.

sannaville Thu 11-Apr-13 20:50:51

Fab thanks guys can't wait to go! Yes my bleah blonde hair doesn't cope well with surf and sun!

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