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Ooh La Luxe, Luxury Resort Deals You Can’t Pass Up

When we are shopping for vacations we’re often looking for the package that’s going to give us the most for our money. No surprise there. In fact, all our favorite vacation packages this week highlight luxury but are still slim on your budget. Take a peek and see what you think.

Boutique Luxury on a Budget

Los Cabos is an area that’s packed full of high-end, luxury resorts, including this Condé Nast Traveler pick as one of the “Top Ten Mexico Hotels.” Pueblo Bonito Pacifica is a boutique spa resort that is the perfect spot for the adult only vacation you’re planning. This trendy hotel offers tranquil views and ultimate relaxation. Couples and singles both enjoy the all-inclusive beachfront luxe life here.

Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Hotel in Los Cabos from

Pueblo Bonito Pacifica serves up beautiful Pacific Ocean views as well as pure relaxation and tranquility.

Spend your days lounging on a Bali bed on the beach or making friends with the bartender at the swim up bar at one of the two beachfront pools. You’ll also want to check out the daily scheduled activities, such as wine or tequila tastings, which make for a great way to give some new drinks a try. Don’t forget to schedule a customized spa treatment at Armonia Spa. We recommend the couples spa day with massages in the private couples suite, equipped with champagne and strawberries.

As the evening approaches, you’ll have to decide between one of the four signature restaurants home to this 5-star resort. Fresh local ingredients fill the menu at Siempre where chocolate fettuccine with lobster and salmon ravioli leave guests raving. There are also five bars, all with a different atmosphere, perfect for any mood you’re in. End the night by heading off to your Ocean View Suite, which comes equipped with your own butler and will prepare your room so you’ll have no trouble drifting off after a jam packed day. The best part of this whole vacation is the exclusive rates you’ll find for this winter and spring. With three night deals starting at $769 and even a $50 spa credit, this is an ultimate luxury getaway you won’t want to pass up.

Luxury Comes Alive

Cancun is home to tons of resorts and no matter what your occasion is, you can usually find a top-notch resort perfect for you. The occasion for this vacation is luxury, luxury and more luxury. And that’s just what you’ll find at Live Aqua Cancun. This resort was named “The Best Resort in Mexico” by Caribbean Travel + Life and is a beach enthusiast’s dream. Perfectly placed in Cancun’s hotel zone, all the hotel rooms at this resort have a patio that offers an ocean and pool view. Meaning you’ll wake up to crystal clear waters and beautiful Cancun sun that reminds you paradise really does exist. Not to mention, Live Aqua’s 371 rooms all offer Egyptian-cotton sheets and aromatherapy kits that might even make it hard to open the shades and get out of the beach.

Best Luxury Resort Live Aqua Cancun from

Live Aqua Cancun is a luxe paradise that offers endless amenities to leave you feeling spoiled rotten.

Start your day off by reserving a private cabana and ordering a cocktail from the pool concierge and staff. You can bounce between the gorgeous infinity pools or the private swim up bar pool. Also, make sure to take advantage of the full staff and service on the beach. When it comes to dining options, choose from one of the four restaurants including MB, where celebrity chef, Guillermo Gomez prepares Latin-inspired dishes that are sure to leave you satisfied. End your evening with a stop at Ergos Bar where a DJ spins late into the night and cocktails are always flowing. And one final detail we’re sure not to leave out…for a short time only, Live Aqua Cancun four night deals start at just $879.

Jamaican Luxury, Come One, Come All

Jamaica is the epitome of the ideal Caribbean destination. Perfectly placed on a Caribbean shore with warm sun and an even warmer culture, this is a vacation that you can’t turn down. Don’t worry, Jamaica isn’t slacking on high-end, luxury resorts that fulfill your Caribbean vacation dreams either. Jewel Dunn’s River is a great luxury option that will send you home feeling pampered and relaxed, two necessities when returning from vacation.

During the day, spend some quality time on the resort’s private beach on Mammee Bay, fully equipped with lounge chairs and cabanas. Or wander back to the Jewel Dunn’s River Resort to take advantage of the Sunken Treasure swim-up bar and pool concierge service. Yep, that’s right someone will greet you at your poolside lounger to offer fresh fruit, ice-cold face towels or a mist of cool water. If a poolside concierge service doesn’t spell out luxury, then we don’t know what does.

Best Luxury Resorts in Jamaica, Jewel Dunn's River from

Jewel Dunn's River is Jamaica's top pick for an adult only vacation that won't sacrifice budget or luxury.

When it comes to food, try one of the six outstanding dining options. We're big fans of the  Mediterranean fare at Moonstone by Dominic or the teppanyaki-style options at Jade Samurai, just to name a few. Jewel Dunn's River also has six different bars to sample all the local Jamaican drinks from. And the actual resort is located right in the heart of adventure with daily tours to Ocho Rios and quick cab rides to Montego Bay for some nightlife options. And of course, the best part of this vacation is three night deals start at $659, all-inclusive. Sounds a steal you can't pass up, right? That's what we thought too.

This year do your vacation right. Since budget won't a problem with these spectacular deals, it's easy to get everything you were hoping for on your getaway. You work hard and you deserve to have it all. But you'll want to grab one of the deals quick...who knows how long they'll stick around. Happy Vacation Planning!

Fall in to Flip Flops: All About Holiday Travel

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Saturday marked the first day of fall. We’re on the horizon of changing leaves and cooling temperatures. That means that it’s time to start thinking about your winter or holiday vacation. The next few months will be full of big holidays and busy schedules, which is all the more reason to sail away to a quiet, sandy beach.

Private Luxury Meets Family Fun: Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun & Dreams Puerto Aventura Resort & Spa

Riviera Maya is the perfect destination to jet away to, when looking for a getaway that’s secluded but offers something for everyone. Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun is the perfect illustration of this mentality. This 4 ½ star resort is a Mexican paradise. Nestled on 5,000 feet of the whitest sands and bluest waters in the Caribbean, Now Sapphire offers Unlimited-Luxury®, which takes your private oasis to the next level.

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Truly escape reality with the luxury that comes standard at Now Sapphire.

With Unlimited-Luxury®, guests can indulge at one of the seven five-star gourmet restaurants or lounge on a beachside Bali bed or thatched-roof palapa. Kids can have a vacation of their own at the resort’s on-site kids and teen clubs. There are also four glittering pools, with an adults-only option where mom and dad can swim right up to the bar and order their favorite concoctions. This Unlimited-Luxury® comes standard to all hotel guests, in an effort to really take you away from the hustle and bustle that is the holiday season.

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Spend your days juggling luxury and fun at Now Sapphire.

If you’re looking to kick your vacation up a notch to the utmost level of service and luxury, you’ll want to take advantage of Now Sapphire’s Preferred Club option, which adds some additional amenities. As a Preferred Club member, you’ll have personalized check-in and checkout with concierge services and access to the Preferred Club lounge and pool, among other things. Make sure to take advantage of the pillow menu that comes with this option.

Don’t Settle at Dreams Puerto Aventura Resort & Spa

Another of Riviera Maya, Mexico’s finest resorts, Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa, is a fine option when looking for a vacation with a little bit of everything. Offering the same Unlimited-Luxury® option, there’s no denying that Dreams Puerto Aventura won’t disappoint either.

Looking for a little ocean adventure? Dreams Puerto Aventuras is home to the world’s leading scuba-diving training organization. The Dreams Puerto Aventuras PADI dive center is the perfect place to learn to dive or take a dive into the world’s second-largest coral reef, if you’re more experienced. Also, spend a little time sprawling on the ocean trampoline or fall freely from the Euro bungee. This Dreams resort is the perfect water enthusiast’s getaway.

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Add a miraculous dive into the depths of the crystal clear waters to your vacation itinerary at Dreams Puerto Aventura.

After you’ve submersed yourself in the Caribbean Sea life, spend a day lounging on a comfy beach chair or take a dip in the pool. Be sure to stop by the swim-up bar for a premium concoction that’s impossible to resist. And, adults can stop by the adults-only 30-person Jacuzzi for a relaxing soak. The kids have access to the Explorer’s Club. It’s packed full of fun, engaging activities for all ages. After these fun-filled days, you’ll want to grab the family and stop by one of seven restaurants or four lounges. This Riviera Maya private oasis is the perfect combination of Unlimited-Luxury® and adventure.

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These crystal clear waters are calling your name. Answer that call.

The Dominican Republic Welcomes Your Majesty

The Majestic Colonial Punta Cana is exactly what it’s name says – majestic. This 4-star resort is located on Bavaro Beach and is home to powder white sand and sparkling blue Caribbean seas and packed full of activity for the whole family.

Dominican Republic Vacations from

The Majestic Colonial got it’s all-inclusive title from all the amenities, food and activities that come standard.

For the adults, grab some free snorkel gear and head out to shallow waters to explore what’s on the ocean floor. Be sure to take advantage of the free introductory scuba class for those interested. With access to kayaks, water-polo and a full 18-hole golf course just 200m from the resort, you can see how Majestic Colonial earned it’s name.

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Caribbean waters and their complimentary sports and activities should be included in your prescription for a perfect vacation.

When you’re looking to just chill out pool or beach side, slide into the free-form, lagoon-style pool that twists and turns throughout the entire property. The beach is also home to comfy loungers for your enjoyment. Finish up the day by perusing one of the seven gourmet restaurants or catching some live entertainment at one of the 10 bars or lounges. The Majestic Colonial Punta Cana is the ideal compliment to winter blues and your pocketbook, so there’s almost no reason to say no. So say yes.

Holiday and winter travel doesn’t just have to mean extended weekend trips to relatives. Why not take the whole gang and head to the sunny, warm beaches of the Caribbean? There’s no doubt you work hard for your family and it’s about time it paid off. A Caribbean vacation at a great deal is really the only option. Why not reward yourself this season?


Make Your Memorial Day Sizzle by Adding a Mexican Favorite to the Grill

Men (and women) across America rejoice. Warmer weather doesn’t just mean it’s time for shorts, sunscreen and drinks on the patio – it means it is time to take off the grill covers, grab some charcoal and start grilling. Since we can’t be on the island all the time, we’ve mastered a few techniques and recipes to give our grilling a bit of Mexican and Caribbean flair to help us pass the time before our next beach vacation.

While our neighbors get excited about hot dogs and hamburgers, we’re always hard at work to master one of our favorite vacation dishes – fajitas! By following just a few easy steps, you can impress your family, spice up your cookout and make your neighbors jealous – all in one dish.

No matter what you’re going to serve, the first step is to create the right marinade. We start by mixing ½ cup olive oil, ½ cup of distilled white vinegar, ½ cup of lime juice and 2 packages of dry Italian-style salad dressing mix in a large bowl. The fun part is then picking your ingredients. Most folks stick with the basics of chicken and steak, but shrimp, sausage, pork and even Mahi Mahi cut into strips all make great fajitas. Most fajitas include onions and bell peppers, but more adventurous eaters have added everything from strips of portabella mushrooms to spicy poblano peppers. Once you have your ingredients picked out, add them to the marinade mix and let them all…well…marinate for 1-2 hours.

Fajitas [Photo: Joshua Bousel]

During this time, preheat your grill to medium high heat. Once the marinating process is over, toss your protein(s) and veggies into a 13x9 inch disposable foil roasting pan, poke holes in the foil and place it on the grill. Plan for about 20 minutes for heavier meats while only about six for fish, but be sure to keep an eye on the ingredients and stir everything occasionally to keep the flavors even. Once everything is cooked, take the ingredients of the grill and loudly declare “I am the grill master!”

We like to serve these with traditional Mexican fixings like flour or corn tortillas, shredded cheese, black or refried beans, guacamole, sour cream…and of course a margarita or two!

Of course, in you’re in the mood for fajitas on the beach without any of the prep work, why not enjoy the real deal this summer at one of our awesome properties in Riviera Maya or Cancun?

The Ocean Coral & Turquesa in Riviera Maya knows just how to embrace its Mexican roots. The chefs at the onsite Hacienda Los Girasoles are known for fajita creations like arrachera skirt steak or chicken smothered in mole poblano sauce. Plus, the hotel features stunning views and a chance to observe the fish, urchins, anemone and other sea critters that Mexico has to offer in nearby waters.

Ocean Coral & Turquesa

If you’re looking for another taste bud-changing meal, try the fajitas at Tio Pepe at The Riu Palace Las Americas in Cancun. This all-inclusive dining heaven offers 24-hour snacks, beverages and spectacular room service options. If you need a break from fajitas, Tio Pepe is also known for its Spanish style tapas known for their distinctive and sophisticated flavors with a lot of different spices. The luxurious beachfront property also features views of pristine white sand and the Caribbean sea, and has some of the most elegant facilities and excellent service that we’ve ever experienced.

Riu Palace Las Americas

Whether you leave the grilling to the professionals or get adventurous in your own backyard, we hope all of you have a chance to experience a taste of the bolds flavors of Mexico this summer!

Don’t Let Gas Prices Keep You Grounded! Get Going, Going, Gone This Summer

I can see it now – you pack up the car and throw the kids in the backseat for the same ole’-same ole’ close-to-home summer vacation. You make it five minutes down the road when Sally starts throwing crayons at Sam and Sam is whining the four worst words parents hear on vacation, “are we there yet?” Two ketchup stains and countless tears later you arrive at your destination to hear the kids say, “Why don’t we ever get to go on an airplane?”

Well, I’ve got the perfect medicine for this case of summer vacation blahs – no more Staycation! It is possible to get off the highway and onto an island paradise at the same price or lower than you’d spend driving somewhere close to home. If you book early, you can avoid the surging fuel prices, get out of the backyard and change your family’s summer view. A trip to Riu Montego Bay in Jamaica beats the usual theme park or close-to-home resort, don’t you think?

Caribbean Jim’s Summer Travel Tips:

•    Be flexible on travel dates – Save $100 or more per person just by moving travel dates by a day or two.
•    Save money with all-inclusive properties – All-inclusive packages often offer a better value than super-low hotel nightly rates once you factor in meals, drinks, tips and activities.
•    Traveling with the kids? – Look for kids stay and eat free deals that can save you hundreds and are sure to cater to both you and your children.
•    Book now, travel later – Lock in best-value prices now before there are more fuel-cost increases.
•    No passports needed – We can direct you to destinations that don’t require passports.  Applying and waiting for passports to arrive can take weeks and prevent you from visiting an island paradise before summer is over.

Need Trip Ideas? Looking for:

•    Swimming at Atlantis? The Comfort Suites Paradise Island, Bahamas gives you full access to the benefits of the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, including the lazy river, aquaventure and waterslides, without the price tag. Four nights at the Comfort Suites Paradise Island, Bahamas starts at just $449*.
•    Scuba diving? Head to the Ocean Coral & Turquesa, Riviera Maya with five nights at just $549*.
•    Golf & spa? Spend four nights at the Riu Montego Bay in Jamaica with pricing starting at $549*.
* Plus applicable taxes and fees

Check out more summer deals here, and start packing!