relax

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 Cheapcaribbean.com

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 Cheapcaribbean.com

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 Cheapcaribbean.com

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!

Doctor’s Orders: Take a Vacation and Relax

You’re busy. And you probably think there’s never a good time to take a vacation. But what if it were good for your health and wellbeing? There’s been recent research that’s discovered taking advantage of your vacation days and getting away from life can lead to good health and happiness.

Symptom One: Chronic Stress

We’re not denying that you probably have a lot on your plate. And no matter what your circumstances are, it all adds up to stress. And while it’s probably somewhat unavoidable, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need a few days in a calm, relaxing haven to get you back to square one.

The Cure:

Yes, we’re recommending a trip to Secrets The Vine in Cancun. This 5-star ultra luxury resort is brand new to the Cancun coast. Barely open a few months, Secrets the Vine gives Unlimited-Luxury® a whole new meaning. This is a standard of service and amenities you’ll have access to, which include full all-inclusive dining options, 24-hour room and concierge service, endless access to reservation-free restaurants, bars and lounges, as well as elegantly-appointed suites with world-class amenities and the finest décor.

Cancun Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Now you don't have to chose the pool scape versus the beach view. This infinity pool brings both views together.

Begin your day with a dip in the infinity pool that almost makes you feel as if you’re magically transported into the crystal clear waters of the ocean. Let the pool staff pamper you with an ice-cold signature concoction to keep your palette satisfied. Quite possibly the amenity that takes this resort to the level of ultra luxury is its spa facilities. You’ll want to schedule some time in the 12,580 square feet facility. With a full custom spa menu, including massage, body treatment, hydrotherapy therapy or facials, it’s no wonder that this is the perfect prescription to relieving chronic stress. In fact, researches from the National Institutes of Health have shown, under chronic stress our ability to think through goal-oriented decisions cease. So it’s official – you need a break to clear your mind and preserve your capacity to make good, prosperous decisions. No excuses.

Symptom Two: Exhaustion

As life doesn’t ever seem to slow down or stop, lack of sleep and the feeling of exhaustion have probably become an often occurrence, right? Well, you don’t need a doctor to tell you that that’s not good for you. As creatures of habit, avoiding a quality 7-8 hours of sleep can become the norm. But by shaking up your routine and spending a week getting the proper sleep, our bodies are able to enter a state of complete relaxation versus taking on that struggle at home.

The Cure:

Introducing Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia. This 4-star resort is the only property with the iconic view of both the Piti and Gros Piton Mountains. It sits on 600 lush tropical acres and maintains its privacy with 49 rooms that share a remotely peaceful view of either the mountains, the beach or both. If you’re not able to get your eight hours of sleep here, we’d be shocked.

St. Lucia Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Escape into this complete paradise with a view juggling a mountainscape and crystal clear ocean view.

Spend your days exploring the beach that’s merely footsteps away, snorkel and scuba dive, as well as go jungle mountainbiking and hiking. You’ll also want to find your way to forest to hear the nocturnal tree-frog chorus and the opportunity to be one with nature. After, stop for a lounge in a hammock on the 250-yard beach fully equipped with tan/gray volcanic sand resting on stone clear waters. There’s also four restaurants and three bars to pick from where dishes and drinks are prepared with herbs and produce grown in the resort’s own gardens on the former sugar and cocoa plantation of Anse Mamin. Sleep and a complete private state of relaxation are commonalities at this top-of-the-line resort . There’s no denying this is the perfect dose of medication.

Symptom Three: Temporary Insanity

It’s so incredibly easy to get tied up with the every day. Sometimes we all want to just throw in the towel and offer a plea of “insanity” in the game called life. But besides the obvious of taking an actual vacation and escaping reality for a few days, the time leading up to your vacation can prove to be really positive in the grand scheme of things. Having something to look forward to can reduce negativity and, after your return and encourage a continued feeling of positivity.

The Cure:

Make that escape to Barbados. The Tamarind Hotel, to be exact. This 4.5-star resort is the perfect way to cure any temporary stints of insanity. A blend of Mediterranean design with vibrant Caribbean décor defines Tamarind’s style. Pristine pools nestled amid red-tiled roofs are the backdrop of your relaxation. Positioned on 750 feet of premium white sand and stunning blue waters, Tamarind Hotel is the only choice when looking to relieve built up stressors and all the things we call life.

Vacations to Barbados from CheapCaribbean.com

Dive into this beautiful beach and pool view at Tamarind Hotel in Barbados.

There are three freshwater pools hidden within the hotel’s gardens offering complete tranquility and total relaxation. 104 newly renovated guestrooms offer only the most superb accommodations, as well as a full-service spa with a range of body services inspired by local Bajan sea salt and Barbadian Moscovado brown sugar. Grab a deluxe signature spa treatment before making plans in one of the three restaurants on site or take a short water taxi ride to one of their sister properties to see what else they have to offer. With a setting so ideal for eliminating the worries from home, you’ll never want to leave.

If you’re busy thinking of all the reasons why you can’t make an escape to the beach, stop. Start thinking of all the reasons why you have to. There’s no denying that after a few short days in another reality will bring you back to life feeling less stress, well-rested and prepared to tackle the next obstacle. Your well being is just as important as all the other things going on in your life, so follow the doctor’s orders, take a vacation and relax…

 

Fall in to Flip Flops: All About Holiday Travel

Mexico Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

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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.

Mexico Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

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.

Mexico Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

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.

Mexico Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

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 Cheapcaribbean.com

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.

Dominican Republic Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

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?

HOT DOGS, BURGERS AND…FAJITAS? OH MY!

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!

Jammin’ in Jamaica

As you may have guessed, my “One Love” is the Caribbean. I’m in Jamaica this week for the Caribbean Marketplace hosted by the Caribbean Hotel Association, and I must say I’m feelin’ the reggae. In light of my location, I’d like to share a little Bob Marley love with you.

The musical prophet, Bob Marley was born in Rhoden Hall to the north of Jamaica and spent most of his life in Kingston, Jamaica. Marley’s story, his music and his ideals resonate today, and his music can be heard all over Jamaica. A man of love, understanding and God-given talent, Marley may have been the most significant musical artist of the twentieth century; he had, and still has, the ability to sing any person through a rainy day. To this day his music offers a daily reminder of what he felt is most important – peace, love and music.

It’s amazing in our fast paced, internet, iphone and ipad, Pandora (I love Pandora!) world we now live, Marley’s music not only sounds refreshing and new, but connects and touches us almost more so than when the songs were written without any of the .com world around it. You know, I usually take an informal poll on every flight to see what “people are doing” as I walk down the aisle of the plane when flying around the islands. While laptops, ipods, and DVD players are being used by many, do you want to know the number one thing I still see today? Passengers reading a book, magazine, or newspaper. Almost 50 percent of the plane is using the same standards they did years ago. It means to me that some standards will never go away as time passes and changes the way we interact with each other. Listening to Bob Marley is one of those standards.

There’s a great jerk chicken place called “Scotchies” just 10 minutes from the airport. I always make this my first stop when I land in Montego Bay. The sauces, smells, and Red Stripe at this outside bar, while watching an English premiership soccer match is a slice of heaven for me. Then the Bob Marley music plays and it is totally magical. A few minutes of “Could This Be Love’” and the world is ready for Jamaica. Just as Marley used music for relief in tough times and a smile on a rainy day, you too should be jammin’. So “let’s get together” in Jamaica “and feel alright!”