Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review: Dreams VillaMagna Vallarta

Laura and her family were looking for a fun place to get away in Mexico. We settled on Dreams VillaMagna Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico because its kids' program, great price point, and beautiful campus. Here's what Laura said when she returned: 

Okay, Angie, all I have to say is BEST TRIP EVER!!!!!!!  Thanks so much!  The plane and transfers were great and we could not have asked for a better resort.  The people were amazing and made you feel welcome, special and at home.  I thought we were getting a tropical room but they ended up giving us partial ocean.  We had a jacuzzi on the balcony that we put cold water in and used a couple of times.  The pools are magnificent--especially the infinity one!  Julia (the 3 year old)  preferred the "Big Girl Standing Julia Pool"  for reasons you might guess.  The entertainment was unbelievable as well.  Likewise, the food was healthy and fabulous!  I would recommend this to anyone.  It was a fabulous value for the money! The only complaint was the sun.  Probably a bad time of the year to choose to go, but that is nobody's fault!  I am going to attach some pix for you.

Explorer's club was wonderful.  We only used it for a couple of hours, but the kids had fun.  They printed a schedule of activities each day which also included the kids club activities.  The kids chose to do a spa hour and pinata breaking.

Fernando, one of the bell boys pictured below did a great Donald Duck imitation for the girls--almost daily.  Other activity directors helped us learn jewelry, making crafts, etc.

We took a side trip to Las Caletas and swam with the seals, held monkeys, snorkeled, etc.  Great place.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review: Iberostar Cancun

Ellen and her extended family were looking for a great vacation for 8 adults and 6 kids ranging in age from one to eleven. The  resort needed to be close to an airport and have kids' programming. We selected Iberostar Cancun. Here's what Ellen said when she returned: 

The trip was fantastic.  We could not have asked for more with the resort.  I don't think anyone ran across a crabby employee.  They were all friendly and courteous.  There were many families with children of all ages, so having someone as young as Nolan wasn't out of the norm.  

The pool, grounds, and children's water park were clean and well cared for.  I think the rooms could use a fresh coat of paint, but that is minor compared to the service we received.  We typically went out before breakfast to leave some towels under an umbrella or two, otherwise it would be tough to find a spot with some shade.  We are early birds, so that wasn't an issue!  We all kept an eye on the two youngest while the four oldest (8 - 11 y o) moved from pool to pool.  The beach was a lot of fun for the boys as well.  The water was rough, but an adult was always with them.  We went out 3 different nights to look for sea turtles and finally saw three on the last evening when some of us went out around midnight!  One pool had a volleyball net, polo nets, and basketball hoops.  The kids visited that each day for awhile.  There were also ping pong tables set up outside that we enjoyed.

We dined at all of the restaurants.  This was the best food, even on the buffets, that I have enjoyed at an all-inclusive resort.  My sister and her husband, both well traveled, agreed.  They felt like this was the best all inclusive resort they had visited.  At the gourmet restaurant, our server mentioned he could arrange for hamburgers or chicken nuggets for the kids if they would rather eat that (instead of lamb or duck).  Pretty sure my kids never wanted to leave.  

I wasn't sure how my go-go-go kids would do with this type of vacation but they ranked it as the best we've had so far.  The resort had different activities scheduled throughout the day.  My kids shot airsoft guns, did archery, did a scuba dive demo in the pool, and played soccer on the beach.  There were many many other activities offered as well.  No one participated in any of the kids club activities.  I also can't speak to the night time shows.  We never attended any but I know they had a kids show scheduled daily at 8pm and a show for adults scheduled daily around 9:30pm.

We scheduled 2 off site activities.  We snorkeled one morning at Puerto Morelos.  It was REALLY enjoyable and I'm not one to love swimming with fish.  It was about a 30 minute ride from our resort and included lunch.  The other activity was a day trip to Xel-Ha.  This was Adam's highlight and another fun day.

El Rey ruins is a short 1 mile walk from the resort.  My family didn't end up going but my brother's family did.  They were gone for about 2 hours, including walking there and back.  My mom went with them and it ended up costing around $10 total for that outing.  They really enjoyed it.  

Negatives (MINOR minor minor!!):  
We were unable to get rooms side by side for all of us.  We ended up 2 side by side on one floor and 2 side by side on another floor.  That worked out just fine - we would have contacted you if it was really an issue.  I think we wanted rooms side by side IF we ended up going out after kids were all asleep - throw my dad in with the older kids, my mom with the younger two.  We still could have done that but we were all so exhausted it didn't matter :).

There are 3 elevators for the resort and it feels like there could be 1-2 more.  1 was out of order at some point during each day.  This was an inconvenience, but certainly didn't ruin our trip.

Again, EVERYONE was pleased with your communication with us and the package that you put together.  It was such a wonderful time.  Thank you for all of your help!

Lucky for you - Iberostar is offering a Kids Stay Free promotion for travel August 16, 2015 - December 23, 2015.  At Iberostar Cancun, one child stays free for two adults.