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Spring break isn’t just for hordes of rowdy college kids and fun-loving families anymore. Increasingly, outfitters are upping the ante – and, often, slashing prices – with warm-weather tours and off-the-beaten-path offerings that target 20-, 30-, and 40-something sojourners who are, more often than not, looking for a trip that leans toward adventurous instead of ordinary.
Here, a roundup of some of the most enticing deals and destinations to boost you from the last vestiges of winter. Read more
Explore the Mayan ruins and white sand beaches of Tulum this summer for only $52 a night. Stay at the Papaya Playa, a beachfront eco-hotel, comprised of 85 cabanas, which offers a savings of 20 percent on competitor sites. Papaya Playa is part of DesignHotels, an independent hotel group with over 200 properties in more than 40 different countries across the globe. This deal is available for any seven-night stay through September 15, 2012.
Tulum is located just an hour from Playa del Carmen and just under two hours from Cancun. Enjoy the old stone buildings and historic landmarks of the city, or take a short hike to El Castillo, Tulum’s largest and most impressive Mayan temple. The rustic yet luxurious charm of this Yucatan paradise, cushioned by the jungle on the Caribbean coast, is the perfect escape for every budget.
The property features a restaurant, which overlooks the crystal clear Caribbean waters. Here guests can feast on freshly baked goods – straight from the clay oven – and local specialties, prepared on the open-air grill. The Beach Club, located directly on the resort’s private beach, allows guests to enjoy drinks and snacks while relaxing under the Mexican sun. The wooden oceanfront cabanas feature a double bed, terrace, shared bathroom, hardwood floors, and an unbeatable beach view. The indoor-outdoor on-site spa offers massage and beauty treatments, in addition to yoga, tai chi, meditation, and fresh juices and smoothies.
Select the 7for5 Promotion when booking. To book, visit the DesignHotels website. For more information, call 800-337-4685.
So, the world didn’t end when the Mayans said it would. But that doesn’t mean that the popular Mayan ruins in Riviera Maya, Mexico, Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and Cobá, aren’t still worth a visit. The Mundo Maya, which also include the countries of Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala, saw tourism numbers rise during 2012, and now that things have calmed down a bit, you’ll want to check out these unique sites. After a long day of exploring, a refreshing dip in a cenote, or natural well – the Riviera Maya is full of them, is the perfect way to cool off. And, aside from the ruins, the Riviera Maya is becoming a popular adventure travel destination, with an array of opportunities for hiking, diving, and cave exploration. One word of advice: If you’re thinking about a visit in 2013, book now. Read more
When you book a trip to the recently opened Paradisus Resort in Playa del Carmen, be sure to visit the YHI Spa and Health Club, a 20,000-square-foot luxury oasis. The spa boasts 14 massage cabins, two outside cabins, and a Whirlpool bath for water treatments.
As you enter the YHI Spa, you are greeted by a warm staff of spa professionals and personal trainers. Enjoy a luxurious treatment, then relax in the complimentary Whirlpools, dry and wet saunas, and steam rooms. You can also purchase massage oils, makeup, incense, and other essentials at the Spa Boutique.
The YHI Spa offers both couple and individual massages and personal outdoor showers. My favorite features at YHI were the array of burning incense that created a different ambiance in every room. The spa also offers a great full-service salon for hair, makeup, manicures, and pedicures, which is perfect for guests who are getting married at the resort or simply want to look special for an evening out.
For general trip-planning information, see our Playa del Carmen Travel Guide.
Tired of reading about the typical all-inclusive Mexico resort? Take a second look at the Paradisus Playa del Carmen, one of the finest all-inclusive properties in the country with a unique concept. This brand new resort is really two resorts in one – a family resort, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralada, and one for adults only, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla, with communal restaurants located in between the two.
Just minutes from the Cancun International Airport, the Paradisus is a hidden gem situated on the Caribbean with views of the island of Cozumel in the distance. The resort boasts 14 restaurants, 10 bars, complimentary life-enriching classes (including sessions on Mexican wines and tequilas), and a 20,000-square-foot spa and health club.
Step away from your daily routine and into Playa del Carmen, Mexico, a city offering sugar-sand beaches, Mayan ruins, snorkeling, scuba diving, and chic shopping. Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen is currently offering an exclusive 25 percent off rack rates for ShermanTravel.com readers as well as free daily breakfast! This exclusive brings rates down to as little as $135 per night during the low season! Choose from one of their four, 4-star hotels, all nestled in the city and directly on the beach. While you relax, enjoy amenities like a full-service spa, heated pools, and beach yoga, as well as a beach club that offers waiter service, beach beds, and umbrellas. Travel is valid May 1 through December 17, 2011.
THE VALUE: This exclusive can save well over $50 a night during the high season, when starting prices begin at $215 per night!
THE CATCH: Dates are subject to availability.
THE DETAILS: To get this exclusive, visit www.condohotelsplayadelcarmen.com and enter the dates you want to reserve and click “Check Availability.” After choosing a room, click “Reserve Now.” Enter shermanstravel as the promotional code and click “Apply Promo.” You will now see the promotion applied to your reservation.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find great rates on flights to Playa del Carmen!
Check out our Playa del Carmen Travel Guide to see all that this eclectic beach community has to offer.
Touristy parts of Mexico have long operated on an unofficial two-currency system, with many merchants accepting U.S. dollars as readily as the country’s own peso. But a new law designed to stifle drug trade money laundering is changing that, reports USA Today.
On September 14, several states in Mexico – including Quintana Roo, which governs the popular resort towns of Cancun, Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen – adopted a measure that forbids businesses from accepting more than $100 in cash per transaction. The policy also limits the amount of money banks and exchange bureaus can change to $1,500 per person monthly.
Spas are in the health and wellness business, not just in the pampering business. So I find it super irritating when they overlook something as crucial as sun protection. I’m not talking poolside umbrellas, although those are vital. I’m referring to sunscreen.
The risk of skin cancer is enormous: 1 in 4 Americans will get it, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. So I’m making some recommendations for when and how sunscreen might be better doled out and slathered on at spas.
First one? Make sure to pack plenty of it! A 3.5 ounce bottle is good for about one day by the pool, considering you have to reapply it every 90 minutes. Come prepared.
The Luxury Set in Playa del Carmen, Mexico on a stretch of palm-fringed, sugar-white shoreline in Nuevo Vallarta and surrounded by 215 acres of protected mangrove jungle, the Grand Velas Riviera Maya has 491 suites that are 1,000 square feet or larger, with private terraces and walk-in rain showers. All-
inclusive rates cover the services of a private concierge, yoga classes, and first-rate cuisine.
When I arrived in Playa del Carmen last week, a stretch of sugar white shoreline nestled along Mexico’s famed Riviera Maya, I expected to find, well, the expected: a barrage of all-inclusive mega-resorts and pop-up American franchises interspersed with a cultural hotspot or two. Such is what Playa’s cousin, Cancun (a 45 minute drive north), has become known for. What I didn’t expect to find was an exciting new crop of oceanfront resorts not just embracing an eco-chic mantra, but successfully combining a seemingly incompatible ménage a trois of sustainability, luxury, and all-inclusivity. Blasting the belief that eco-luxury is a myth, these posh properties are not your average all-inclusives – providing Ritz-defying quality and green initiatives that go well beyond watered-down margaritas and suggested towel reuse. Read more
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