Blog Archives

Tag Archives: Puerto Rico

Beach Foodie Favorites & Top Resort Chefs

Vacations are meant to be a time where you can indulge and live the good life. This often means hours spent hanging poolside, swimming in the ocean, relaxing at the resort spa and of course, eating. Your dining options often times are a deciding factor when planning your perfect getaway, especially if you’re considering an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean or Mexico. So we’ll make it easy for you – here’s a handful of top-of-the-line resorts that are known to have it all, including fabulous, well-known dining options.

Paradisus Playa Del Carmen, La Perla 

Playa del Carmen is known for having some of the clearest waters and softest sands in Mexico. And the 5-star Paradisus Playa del Carmen, La Perla is the perfect accessory to this incredible Mexico destination. Located near Playa del Carmen’s famous 5th Avenue, this adults-only resort offers a total of 11 restaurants and nine bars, including the full access you have at its sister resort, Paradisus La Esmeralda - so your options are limitless.

Playa del Carmen Vacations from CheapCaribbean.com

In addition to the four swimming pools and beachfront location with a beautiful, swimmable beach, Paradisus La Perla has been made famous by Spanish, 7-Michelin-star winner, Martin Berasategui’s restaurant, Passion. With a touch of retro accompanied by elegant signature cuisine and dramatically decadent desserts, Passion is Berasategui’s interpretation of the perfect romantic evening for you and your special someone.

After a dinner you could only dream of, head over to the chic M Bar, with its stellar wine selection and martini menu. And end the night in your Royal Service Suite with an in-room aromatherapy treatment or a soak in your Jacuzzi. Don’t worry - your personal butler is on hand, should you need anything at all.

Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza, Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, you can expect to find a lot of luxury resorts with an array of dining options and featured chefs. One of our top picks can be found at Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza. This resort straddles the Condado Peninsula giving you a view of both the Atlantic and Condado Lagoon, as well as boasting a saltwater pool, freshwater pool, lap pool and two spa Jacuzzis. You’ll have no problem soaking up the rays at any of these water options or at the swim-up bar.

Conrad San Juan Puerto Rico Vacation from CheapCaribbean.com

And when the sun sinks behind the Puerto Rican horizon, slip into something a little more elegant and prepare yourself for a meal that can be described as “a fusion of exotic ingredients” from Puerto Rico, Africa and East Europe at Pikayo. Owned by true Puerto Rican chef, Wilo Benet this fine dining restaurant has been in business for 22 years and received honors from publications like Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Conde Nast Traveler, Caribbean Travel & Life, Miami Herald, and the New York Times. With a menu that often changes with the tastes of the season, sample things like Alaskan king salmon or truffle-cheese empanadillas. Finish out the night by trying your chance with lucky lady in the 24-hour casino on the premises.

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, Oranjestad

Perfectly placed in the center of downtown Oranjestad, Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino is an absolute paradise. A stay here comes equipped with access to Renaissance Island, a 40-acre island boasting two private beaches, Dive Center and Marina offering snorkeling and scuba diving adventures, two casinos, 24-hour entertainment and a long list of activities to keep your itineraries full of fun and excitement.

Renaissance Aruba by CheapCaribbean.com

But now onto why it’s one of our foodie favorites. Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino offers eight restaurants including a signature tapas menu at Blue’s and L.G. Smith’s Steak and Chop House featuring Chef Edward Zievinger. Named after the late L.G. Smith, Vice President of Lago and the man responsible for turning a “useless” island by the Spainards into one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, this steak house offers juicy cuts of aged, USDA Inspected Certified Angus Beef among delectable appetizers and extensive list of signature desserts. Their boundless wine list is also a 2012 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence recipient, so no need to worry about what you’ll drink with dinner. The award-winning staff will be sure to provide you with the dinner of your dreams.

So if you're mouth is watering and begging you for a taste,  it's time to plan that much-needed and well-deserved Caribbean or Mexico escape. With these being just a few of our fabulous foodie favorites, you can check out more of our favorites here. And if you've got a favorite of your own, be sure to share with us below.

Perfect Your Swing: The Best Caribbean & Mexico Golf Resorts

Do you live for putting greens and perfecting your golf swing? Are you busy trying for your next ace? Whether you’re a self-proclaimed or nationally acclaimed golf pro, what’s better than top-notch golf courses and even better rated beaches, all in one. In honor of Golfer’s Day on April 10th, here are a few of our top picks for Caribbean & Mexico golf courses.

Puerto Rico is known for more than just its stunning beach views and Latin vibe. Golf courses in Puerto Rico come highly recommended and that couldn’t be truer for Trump International Golf Club at Gran Melia Golf Resort.

Guests at Gran Melia Golf Resort can tee off at one of two 18-hole championship courses, designed by PGA winner Tom Kite. With putting greens to the left and iconic views of the Atlantic Ocean and El Yunque to the right, this course and resort is an avid golfer’s dream.

Gran Melia Golf Resort in Puerto Rico by CheapCaribbean.com

With views so beautiful on this course, it'll be hard to focus on your golf game.

After a long day on the course, go for a dip in the 335-ft, oceanfront, lagoon-style pool, fully equipped with a swim up bar serving ice cold cocktails to help you celebrate your below par game. When it’s time to eat, choose from Italian, sushi or Puerto Rican fare at any of the five restaurants on-site. Mentally prepare yourself for next day’s golf game with a nightcap at The Avenue Bar, one of the many happening nighttime spots at Gran Melia Golf Resort.

The next of our favorite golf resorts comes from La Romana in the Dominican Republic. Caribbean Travel + Life has named the three Pete-Dye-designed golf courses here, “Top Caribbean Golf Courses”. In addition, Casa de Campo La Romana is a 7000-acre resort located on a quarter-mile of beach dotted with lush greens and palm trees.

Casa de Campo Golf Resort in the Dominican Republic from CheapCaribbean.com

The three golf courses found at Casa de Campo are just as beautiful as they are well-known for the course themselves.

Often called a “mini-country” unto itself, Caso de Campo La Romana includes one of Latin America’s only principal polo complexes, three golf courses, a shooting club, an equestrian center, a marina village and a replication of a 16-century Italian village above a river gorge. Schedule a round of golf at Dye Fore, Teeth of the Dog or Links – the three legendary courses here, designed by Pete Dye himself.

After spending the day in a golfer’s paradise, make sure to take advantage of another feature here – upper and lower deck pools with swim up bars, as well as fourteen other pools scattered around the resort. End your day with an authentic meal prepared with local ingredients from one of several resort restaurants. Your Dominican Republic vacation can’t be beat with a stay at Casa de Campo La Romana.

If you’re looking for a resort that not only offers superb golf courses, but also promises a vacation the whole family will enjoy look no further than Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa. The Cinnamon Hill Golf Course that’s home to this resort has been listed as a top course in Jamaica by Golf Digest. 

Hilton Rose Hall Golf Resort in Jamaica by CheapCaribbean.com

Please the entire family with this Jamaican resort with something for everyone.

Not only will the adults enjoy a round at Cinnamon Hill, the kids will get a kick out of the new Sugar Mills Water Park, or Kidz Club and Teen Zone if the parents need a few hours on their own. There’s even an all-inclusive package that includes snorkeling, kayaking, windsailing and 1,000 feet of beach, perfect for all members of the family. As mealtime approaches, chose from one of four resort restaurants with menu items sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. There’s no denying that your next family vacay would be a win for everyone if spent at Hilton’s Rose Hall Resort & Spa.

So now that you’re in the know on where to go for the best golf vacations in the Caribbean & Mexico, it may not be a bad idea to perfect your back swing before you jet away. If you’ve got a favorite golf resort of your own, be sure to comment and let us know!

 

Ride These Top Rated Surfing Spots

Does the thought of catching a monster wave on a Caribbean beach sound like a dream? There’s no doubt that the Caribbean & Mexico are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but there’s even a few that are home to waves perfect for any surfing enthusiast.  Whether you’re an avid surfer or simply contemplating a few waves on your next beach vacation, here are a few recommendations of top-notch surf spots.

Start Your Surf Adventure Off Right

Barbados is one the Caribbean’s most ideal places to go on a surfing adventure for lots of reasons. First, it’s known for its consistent climate and weather, making any time of year an optimal time to visit. Because of the ideal weather, it leaves surfing conditions consistent year-round. The waves on the southern coast range from about two to six feet high – perfect for the beginning surfer.

Barbados Surf Spots and Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Stop by Zed's Surf School for a quick lesson before you hit these beautiful waves.

For those of you looking to take some lessons or learn the basics, word on the street is Zed’s Surfing Adventure is the place to go. They offer group and private lessons and provide board rentals as well. This past weekend the Barbados Independence Pro took place and brought some fierce surfing competitors who went head-to-head for the title. Congratulations to Cody Thompson on winning the 2012 Men’s Hyundai Independence Pro Challenge.

Copyright Mark Harris

Congratulations to Cody Thompson, winner of the 2012 Barbados Independence Pro.

For a resort that compliments your surfing adventure, we’d suggest Almond Casuarina All Inclusive Beach Resort. This resort does a great job of blending elegance with the relaxation and casual element most people seek on vacation. There are 289 newly refurbished, apartment style rooms, four different restaurants and two bars to satisfy the foodie in you. It’s also located right on Dover beach, where you’ll find beautiful views and possible a wave or two you can test out the water with. The Almond Casuarina Beach Resort is almost a no-brainer for all the want-to-be surfers out there.

Barbados Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

Enjoy some downtown at this beautiful Barbados resort in the heart of the surfing region.

Consider Yourself a Surfista? Get Here Now.

Naming Puerto Rico as one of our top surfing destinations might surprise you, but Puerto Rico is home to an area called Rincón. This spot is known for its minimum 10-foot waves and huge breaks making it a surfing dream. Rincón is the Caribbean’s answer to other surf destinations outside of the Caribbean.

But the good news is Puerto Rico isn’t just built only for experts, there’s places along the Rincón coast that offer clean, small waves which are good for any level. If you’re looking for a solid place to take a lesson, check out Rincón’s Surf School, where there are lessons for all levels and time frames.

Puerto Rico Rincon Resort from Cheapcaribbean.com

Rincon Beach Resort is a perfect place to spend your off time when you're not busy killing the monster waves here.

When choosing where you’ll spend the time you’re not out on the waves, we’d suggest Rincón Beach Resort. This boutique hotel is tucked outside of San Juan and home to a sandy beachfront that compliments those looking to catch some R&R. Spend some time in the infinity pool with a swim up bar that can mix up a refreshing cocktail or two to reward yourself after a day on the waves. The stretch of beach that calls this resort home is calm and perfect for a paddleboat or just an afternoon spent lounging. With dining and drink options that are fit for a king, this resort is the only option for some secluded downtime after the waves.

Calling All Expert Surfers

The Bahamas are often timed named for their stunning beaches and blue waters. History also lends itself to the inhabitants being primarily pirates hundreds of years ago. But did you know that the Bahamas can also be named for the multiple beaches that are great for surfing. One of our favorites is the small area of Abaco in the Bahamas. The Abaco Islands are a set of small islands that is home to one of the best cays for surfing, called Elbow Cay.

Elbow Cay offers the best waves during the months of September and March. There are a total of four different areas in Elbow Cay that are good surf spots. These areas are also known to be fairly advanced and are often packed with lots of locals, as well as tourists. You won’t find a ton of surf lessons or schools in these parts, but if you’re looking to surf some gnarly waves and consider yourself an advanced skill set, a trip here might be a requirement.

Treasure Cay Hotel Resort & Marina in the Bahamas from Cheapcaribbean.com

This hidden treasure of a resort is perfectly located to some great surfing spots, and equipped with plenty of amenities that make your trip unforgettable.

In terms of where you should stay, we’d suggest living a local and giving Treasure Cay Hotel Resort & Marina a try. This resort is part of a quaint Bahamian Village known as Treasure Cay. It’s a low key and tranquil spot that attracts travelers looking to relax on their downtime from exploring these waters. Possibly one of the best features is the fine dining options that overlooks the marina or Coco Beach Bar, located directly on the white sands for a beach bite during the day. You’ll have the luxury of living a Bahamian life while you’re there…an option that sounds like a true surfer’s paradise.

No matter which category you fall into, there’s not denying that the time spent on a surfboard, just you and wave can be some of the most exhilarating, therapeutic time. That’s why we suggest giving a surf trip or lesson a shot. With some of these great surfing destinations and recommendations, the last piece of advice we’ll offer you is…surf’s up!

 

We’re Ready for Black Friday, Are You?

Black Friday is known for its deals – deals on pretty much anything and everything. And we’re no exception. But we’d like to do you a favor...instead of requiring you to wake up early, stand in line for hours and possibly risk the chance of what you want being sold out; we’ll bring you the best beach deals right to the comfort of your own home. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the things we have lined up for Friday:

Grand Bahama Island: 3 nights, all-inclusive with air, starting at $399

Yep, you read that right. The Bahamas are calling…you better answer. When the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 23rd, you can book your perfect beach vacay for under $400.

Viva Wyndham Fortuna on Grand Bahama Island is as grand as the island it calls home. With 276 rooms, 3 restaurants, 3 bars and a full calendar of activities, your vacation will be anything but dull. Each night catch a show by the Viva Circus, equipped with daring acrobatics. You can also channel your inner circus act with the free trapeze lessons or juggling workshops.

Cheapcaribbean.com Bahamas Vacation at Viva Wyndham Fortuna

This resort is packed full of fun, sun and beach. Get it before it's gone!

See more of the resort with this video: Viva Wyndham Fortuna Video Tour

If you’re more of a beach bum and just want some quality time with the silky sand and crystal clear water, there’s plenty of beach loungers and a beach bar for when your appetite calls. Water sports are also big here, so chose from boogie boarding, wind surfing, jet skiing, among plenty of other activities. With all the amenities and everything this Grand Bahama Island resorts features, you’ll want to grab this deal before it disappears as Black Friday ends.

Puerto Vallarta: 3 nights, all-inclusive with air, starting at $599

If you’re looking for a destination that’s effortlessly placed on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Riviera Nayarit is a great choice. This area of Puerto Vallarta will bring lush, green hills and a picturesque beach. Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta is a luxury, 4-star resort that’s the perfect place to stay when visiting the Pacific Coast.

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

Give the gift of 4-stars and luxury this holiday season.

Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta rests on the beaches of Nuevo Vallarta, where the supple sands lie awash with the warm azure waves of the Pacific. There are plenty of activities for the kids, as well as an adult only pool for those looking for a few minutes of pure relaxation. Don’t worry, there are great dining options with 3 restaurants and 3 bars and two 18-hole, par 72 golf courses close by if you’re looking for a friendly golf match.

AND you’re in luck. Come Friday, we want to help you out by giving you the best deal around. Live in the lap of luxury for less with this great Black Friday deal. With prices starting at $599 for 3 nights, all-inclusive and including airfare, you’ll want to act quick. This exclusive deal won’t make it past midnight on Friday.

Puerto Rico: 3 nights, with air, starting at $399

Puerto Rico is a great travel destination because of the way it harmonizes unique culture with beautiful seascapes and ultimate relaxation. Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa is the epitome of this philosophy.

This 4-star resort comes equipped with 600 spacious guests rooms, rainforest or ocean view (your choice). Spend a few days at this resort and we can almost guarantee your days will be spent in utter paradise. Wyndham Rio Mar is located between the El Yunque Rainforest and Fajardo’s bioluminescent bay. There’s also The Ocean Course, a golf course designed by Tom and George Fazio with elevated greens, multiple bunkers and even iguanas at the signature 16th hole. Don’t forget that there’s two pools – one for adults and one for the kiddos and a 20,000-sq-ft sun deck.

Puerto Rico Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Puerto Rico might just make someone you know very happy this holiday season. Get the deal now!

As the evening approaches spend your time in the casino or have dinner at Shimas Sushi Bar and then head out to the vivid nightlight that calls Puerto Rico home. This is another of our deals that won’t last long…24 hours, in fact. And with a price so cheap, it’s almost impossible to turn it down. Unleash the jetsetter in you and get amped for this deal that goes live in just a few short hours.

Super Sneak Peek: A Cancun deal so good, we can’t tell you all the deets just yet.

And just because we love to keep you on the edge of your seats…here’s a teeny, tiny sneak preview of what’s the come as soon as Black Friday hits. You can expect a new, 4-star resort located right on the beautiful beaches of Mexico.

This resort is packed full of all sort of fun for the entire family. The kids can hang out at the customized kid’s club and adults can grab a drink at the beach bar, or even take on an introductory scuba diving lesson. There’s a full schedule of evening entertainment and even a brand new Renova Spa, which offers signature spa treatments that will take anyone to paradise.

Cancun, Mexico Beach Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Be sure to check out our site on Friday to find out this secret deal!

While we can’t tell you the resort or how amazing the price will be – all you need to know is it’ll be nearly unbelievable and it will go fast. You’ve got 24 solid hours to get this sizzling deal before the lights go out on it.

So your holiday shopping list may include lots of different things, but we challenge you think beach. What could be better than unwrapping a surprise getaway from a loved one, or even yourself? If you move quickly this Black Friday, you can book that much needed getaway at a much smaller price. Don’t miss out! Happy shopping!

It’s National Taco Day…All Hail Tacos

Book a Mexico Vacation with Cheapcaribbean.com

Read more...

October 4th marks the day of the year set aside to celebrate all things tacos. That means it’s time to get out some tortillas, pick out your favorite ingredients and start celebrating. Of course our opinion is that you can easily head to the beach and let someone else do the celebratory cooking. Here are a few fun taco recipes and our recommendations of some of the best foodie resorts to get you in the spirit.

Traditional Tacos Make for Great Mexico Vacations

It’s probably not a shocker to learn that tacos originated from Mexico right around the time the Europeans made their arrival. And traditionally, it was a maize tortilla filled with meat or vegetables and then folded around the food. Throughout history people have put all kinds of ingredients in their tacos so there’s no standard fillings or ingredients.

A trip to Mexico to taste some of authentic cuisine and spend some R&R on the beach sounds like the perfect way to pay respects to this iconic dish. Excellence Playa Mujeres is a 4-star, adults only, all-inclusive beach haven that offers a generous amount of dining options, each with a specially crafted menu by an executive chef, making your celebration of Mexican cuisine worth while. Stop in at one of the nine restaurants or 11 bars and truly taste why this resort is a “foodie’s paradise.” Agave is the Mexican restaurant that offers high-end authentic cuisine, including tacos. Taste more of the Spanish flavors at Barcelona, the Mediterranean tapas bar. If you’re looking to sample any other genre, you can dine at Chez Isabelle, a French restaurant, pan-Asian Spice or Toscana Restaurant for Italian flavors.

Riviera Maya Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

Enjoy a delicious meal while mulling over the beautiful views.

When you’re not busy perusing over one of the many menus, spend time at one of seven outdoor pools or one of the four independent, hot-water Jacuzzis. Don’t forget that five of the pools have integrated whirlpools to help transport you to a complete state of rest and relaxation. And if you’re on the hunt for a delicious taco snack and signature cocktail, swim up to the pool bar and let the staff cater to your every need. For those seeking ultimate luxury, upgrade your stay to the Excellence Club for private check-in and private checkout and access to private pools and lounges. Unlock a world of luxury, amenities and fine cuisine at Excellence Playa Mujeres.

A Latin Spin on Tradition Never Hurt Anyone

San Juan Marriott and Stellaris Casino is the perfect choice to celebrate National Taco Day with a unique twist. Located on Condado Beach, it embraces the true Puerto Rican culture that's apparent in the Latin cuisine flavors you’ll taste here. Not only do you have the opportunity to dine in one of the four restaurants ran by an executive team of culinary artists, but it’s location in Old San Juan gives you access to the historic part of the city that celebrates all things Puerto Rican culture.

Chose from options like La Vista Latin Grill that highlights Latin flavors and classics, ­­­in addition to Ristorante Tuscany, where Executive chef Celso Pinto cultivates a fusion of rustic northern Italian cuisine with a mix of slow-cooking techniques of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

Relax by the pool while deciding on your next meal.

After you've embraced your inner food snob, bring the kids to the 90-ft., spiral water slide and two level pool to entertain everyone. Ready for a cold one? Let the kids navigate to the children’s pool, while you swim-up to La Isla Grill and Pool Bar equipped with a staff that’s ready to shake a signature cocktail or prepare you a Latin inspired snack. After a long day of fun and food, have a nightcap in the Stellaris Casino or one of the happening hot spots in Old San Juan. San Juan Marriott and Stellaris Casino is exactly what we have in mind when we think “unconventional ways to celebrate National Taco Day.” Wouldn’t you agree?

Staycation or Vacation? Tacos Need Love Also

Book a Mexico Vacation with Cheapcaribbean.com

Enjoy your favorite type of taco on October 4th for National Taco Day!

While it’s not mandatory that you celebrate this nationally celebrated day of tacos by planning your beach vacay, we’d strongly suggest it. Even though we’re not fans of a staycation, if this option is in your future doesn’t mean you’re should feel all left out. Here’s a fun margarita taco recipe that’s perfect for snacking on while you book your next beach vacation or decide to stay home and celebrate with friends and family.

Courtesy of Rachael Ray: Margarita Fish Soft Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 (6 to 8-ounce) portions mahi mahi or halibut fillets
  • 1 small to medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 to 10 tomatillos, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 generous tablespoon honey
  • 1 small ripe avocado, halved, seeded and flesh removed
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 soft flour tortillas
  • 1/2 small white or red cabbage, shredded

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine the tequila with the lime zest and juice, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, seafood seasoning, and chili powder. Coat the fish in the dressing.

Heat medium skillet with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, japaleno and garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes or until the mixture begins to soften, then add the coarsely chopped tomatillos. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir in the cumin. Cook until the tomatillos soften, about 6 to 7 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Carefully add the sauce to a food processor with the lemon zest and juice, honey and avocado. Process until it becomes a thick salsa. Transfer to a bowl and reserve.

Heat an outdoor grill or skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add the fish and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Char the soft tacos over an open flame on a stove burner or grill to soften and char. Serve the fish with tortillas alongside and top the fish with cabbage and salsa as you eat.

So now that you're equipped with a plan to have the best food-inspired vacation ever and a recipe that's sure to fill your stomach at home, there's no excuse not to celebrate this beloved holiday. It's Thursday, October 4th and as it quickly approaches it's safe to say...who doesn't love tacos?