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Banana ?

Connecticut
Level Contributor
48 posts
Banana ?

Now that we have returned from our Atlantis trip I am already thinking of our next vacation. Where was it in Mexico that you went that your daughter loved? How is Mexico in August? It has been years since we have been and I can't recall the on and off seasons. Thanks in advance!! Ct

Wellesley, Ma
Level Contributor
796 posts
37 reviews
1. Re: Banana ?

CT - we went to Dreams Tulum - wonderful resort for kids - the best kids club we have ever experienced and it runs from 9 am until 10 pm, including taking them to dinner. The kids can come and go (with parental permission) and the staff is very flexible - some nights our daughter would do dinner with them; sometimes with us. It is an all-inclusive resort but the food is excellent - way better than Atlantis. If you do a search for Dreams Tulum, you will find it here with my review. If you want more photos, go to my web site:

http://www.photosbysharon.com

Click on Galleries, then Tulum 2007.

It is about 1.5 hours south of Cancun; longer if you don't do a private transfer. I recommend the newer Dreams category rooms - stunning. Snorkeling is pretty good off the beach - go south to the guard shack or north to the next resort but I also highly recommend the on-site dive shop - $30 US per person for a 2.5 hour snorkeling tour and great guides. Tulum mayan ruins are nearby - short cab ride or you can take a bike tour there. Xel-Ha, a snorkeling water park (think mostly natural with added conveniences) is also very close and offers good snorkeling.

August is hurricane season but you will get good rates. Not really hotter than earlier in the year but you do risk the hurricanes. In 2005, they got hit with 2 horrible hurricanes that did more damage to them than New Orleans got from Katrina - Emily and Wilma. They have recovered from both and are in better shape than before. In 2006, I don't think any hurricanes hit that area of Mexico.

We've gone to Dreams Tulum in February for 2 years in a row. We probably won't go back next February only because I would prefer to try something different with different experiences. Mexico is definitely cheaper than the Bahamas and we do love it there - the people are so helpful and caring; work hard to learn our language; and will do anything to please their guests.

The peak season (ie., most expensive) for the Mayan Riviera is from Christmas through mid-April. It is very popular for February vacation week around Boston and is a huge Canadian destination. The prime location is around Akumal Bay but the resorts there don't offer nearly as much as Dreams Tulum does. Akumal Bay has awesome snorkeling (but is starting to get over crowded with groups coming in) and is only about 15 minutes north of Dreams Tulum. If you want more info, feel free to pm me.

Texas
Level Contributor
2,762 posts
21 reviews
2. Re: Banana ?

Unfortunately, we were hit by emily in the Mayan Riviera and that was mid-july, actually quite unusual.

You should also look in to the palace resorts (especially moon palace). It's between cancun and tulum.

We stayed at bahia-principe in Akumal. Loved it, stayed there in the canary Islands too.

These hotels are both AI's.

Connecticut
Level Contributor
48 posts
3. Re: Banana ?

Thank you for the wonderful detailed review. It is a great help. The pictures of the resort are beautiful. Looks like a place I can see myself vacationing in!!

TX- How bad was the hurricane when you were there? What did the guests at the resort do during the storm? Hopefully it was not so bad that it ruined your trip.

Wellesley, Ma
Level Contributor
796 posts
37 reviews
4. Re: Banana ?

CT - it is a very different type of experience than Atlantis - much calmer though there is plenty to do. The spa there is quite nice; pricey but about what other places in MX charge. You can usually get a discount. I just can't say enough good stuff about the kid's club - it will make the trip perfect.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
46 posts
1 review
5. Re: Banana ?

Just want to chime in...you all have been so helpful in planning my August trip to Harborside..

We stayed at Iberostar Beach in Playa del Carmen in August 2006. We booked through Funjet vacations. It was very reasonable and we had a great time. The resort/pool/beach were beautiful, restaurants were very good and buffets were good as well. Our school starts after Labor day so we went at the end of August, the rate was very good. it was hot but not unbearable, plus you're in the water most of the time. My DS8 learned to snorkle at Xel-Ha and it was wonderful. We did Tulum and that was hot, hot, hot. with hurrican season in mind, we purchased travel insurance.

Sue

Texas
Level Contributor
2,762 posts
21 reviews
6. Re: Banana ?

I don't want to focus on the hurricane. I would personally not travel right now in Hurricane season as we went through a hurricane 5 there and litterally took apart our entire house as a hurricane 5 was passing through our neighborhood a month after we got hit with Emily. Luckily it's path changed at the last minute and our texas neighborhood was spared! When I was growing up and years ago with my husband we had two vacations disrupted by hurricanes (we didn't live through them, just screwed up trip plans!) but much later in the year such as September and October. Didn't even realize the hurricane season starts in June until our mid-July vacation was effected.

Lots of people travel in August--just do the trip insurance. We have personal experiences with it, so we just plan our vacations around those hurricane months if we are travelling where they are known to hit. But, I wouldn't warn all people to stay away from June 1 to November 30th!

Wellesley, Ma
Level Contributor
796 posts
37 reviews
7. Re: Banana ?

Just make sure your insurance covers natural disasters such as hurricanes. Many resorts now allow for no cost changes due to hurricanes. I should add that the Dreams Tulum resort was one of the few that was far enough south to not get the worst of it - during the second storm that year, which devastated Cancun and Cozumel, Dreams Tulum managed to stay open and took many guests from other places. It got tons of sand and some water but its interior rooms were a safe haven for many. Within a week after the storm, it had shoveled most of the sand back to the sea (the pool and oceanfront rooms were full of sand) but even in February 2006, you could see the affect on the beach - so much coral washed up. I was very happy to see how much better things were in February 2007 - the reef is much healthier and the beach is once again sand.

Texas
Level Contributor
2,762 posts
21 reviews
8. Re: Banana ?

I'm sure after the hurricane hit you would be allowed to reschedule your trip for free. Thats what happened to us in 1988. It was just a few weeks before, but we got a full refund as the hotel wouldn't be in proper order by then. The problem is if you are stuck there and have to or want to leave early. Also, watch who you book with! Even the people that tried to leave one or two days earlier to avoid the storms had major problems with their travel agents. Most of them just ate the balance of their trip and rescheduled on their own. Some did get credits to use at a later date. We were not so lucky vacation wise. But we were all fine which is what is important!

You can see my hotel review under Bahia Principe Akumal and JW Marriott Cancun for July, 2005.

Connecticut
Level Contributor
48 posts
9. Re: Banana ?

What months are 'season' and what months are 'off season' ? Also, how long is the flight from the New England, New York area?

Texas
Level Contributor
2,762 posts
21 reviews
10. Re: Banana ?

Do you mean price wise in Mexico or Hurricane? Actually it is not as high in the summer in Mexico, Bahamas, etc. because it is hot there in the winter. So the winter months are their high season!

Hurricane season is June 1 to November 30.

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