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Experienced Hawaii Traveler Looking For Help With Mexico

rmb

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This is a new experience for me... basically, for the past 10 years, my wife and I have been timeshare vacationers on all of the islands of Hawaii. You can't beat it, but it's time to 'explore' other locales. Mexico is numero uno on the list.

Advice needed:

Question 1 - if you had your 'druthers', would you prefer to spend a week in Cabo San Lucas or Cancun. I realize there are differences... Cancun more 'beach oriented' than Cabo, but to you experienced Mexico travelers, please advise. I'm a bit more clear on the activity list at Cancun... less clear regarding Cabo.

* Cancun
- The Royal Sands and the Royal Haciendas (Playa del Carmen) are the two requests we currently have on II for next mid-July to mid-August. We were called yesterday by II with a 3 br available at the Club Internacional (it's only my wife and I), but we declined. I checked the many reviews on TUG on this particular resort, and the decision was made to hold off.

Dilemma: Do we place the other Royal resorts, specifically Islander, Mayan, and Carribean on the exchange request list? Even though they are highly rated on TUG reviews, for some reason... they don't seem to be up to par with the Sands or the Haciendas.

If you think the Sands or Haciendas might be a problem getting with the exchange and we should place the others just to give more of an opportunity to get Cancun... please advise and in what order?

Question 2 - Cabo San Lucas
* The Villa del Arco and the Villa del Palmar... I think it's clear that the del Arco is a better resort and probably fits our taste better in regards to less kids, a bit more upscale because it's newer, and possibly a little quieter as the del Palmar seems to be geared for families with kids.

Right now, the del Arco is on the exchange request list... do you think we should also include the del Palmar just to give that extra opportunity to get the exchange? Will the del Arco be too difficult to get through II for that time of the year (mid-July to mid-August)? Please advise... and muchas gracias!
 

pjrose

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* Cancun
- The Royal Sands and the Royal Haciendas (Playa del Carmen) are the two requests we currently have on II for next mid-July to mid-August. We were called yesterday by II with a 3 br available at the Club Internacional (it's only my wife and I), but we declined. I checked the many reviews on TUG on this particular resort, and the decision was made to hold off.

Dilemma: Do we place the other Royal resorts, specifically Islander, Mayan, and Carribean on the exchange request list? Even though they are highly rated on TUG reviews, for some reason... they don't seem to be up to par with the Sands or the Haciendas.

If you think the Sands or Haciendas might be a problem getting with the exchange and we should place the others just to give more of an opportunity to get Cancun... please advise and in what order?

Whether the Tri-Royals (Mayan, Islander, and Caribbean) are on a par with the Sands or Haciendas depends on what's important to you.

First, all of the Royals have the same layout, with decor as the primary difference. The interiors of the Sands and Haciendas are a bit more upscale- e.g. the colors at the Sands and Haciendas are darker - more sophisticated? There's formica in the kitchens at the Tris, and granite in the Haciendas. The Haciendas' kitchen has a smoothtop stove and the microwave above, at the Tris it's a regular electric stove and the microwave on the counter. If those types of things are important, you might want to go to royalresorts.com, choose each resort at the left, and then look at the photos. (Note that some of the pics are not up to date - all the Royals now have a large wall unit in the living room, so if you see a small shelving unit with a TV, that's the old one.)

The Haciendas does have the jacuzzi on the terrace and wifi throughout.

There are more substantial (to me) differences in the beaches, pools, restaurants, and overall "feel".

Haciendas - shallow quiet water, the plus is snorkeling right as you walk in, the minus (to me) is that there is little, if any, water with a plain sandy bottom - you've got the shallow reef (the water is about 2' deep) just about everywhere.

Haciendas and Sands: Lap pool and straight-sided pool. Lap pool is nice; I prefer the curvy pools of the Tris over the big straight-sided pool - it's a little hard to explain, but the big straight-sided pools with the chairs all lined up seems like a cruise ship. With the curvy pools, there are many areas to sit and relax, have more private conversations....as I said, hard to explain, but it does make a difference, especially if you are pool people. At the Haciendas you might end up further from your villa to the pool and beach, because the layout is "longer". This would matter if you want the flexibility of going back and forth for a quick lunch or snack or if you have bad knees.

At the Haciendas you are farther out - Playa del Carmen is nice, but there aren't as many restaurants, clubs, etc as in Cancun.

The Spa at the Sands is lovely. It's only a 10 minute shuttle ride from the Tris' but if you want to spend a lot of time at the spa, that could make a difference. If you're just looking for a massage or two, the Spa has set up cabanas on the sundecks of the Tris, overlooking the ocean, and the open-air massages there are less expensive than at the Spa. I believe with a massage at the Tris you also get a day's access to the hot tub, sauna, gym, and so forth at the Spa.

Restaurants - at the Tris there are five restaurants, each with a somewhat different feel, ranging from the open-air Palapa to the sophisticated Conquistador. Lots of variety, all good, all reasonably priced. The restaurants at the others are also good and reasonable, but there's less variety. Of course that doesn't matter if you are planning to go into town and try out the many good restaurants in Cancun.

"Feel" - the Tris have been around longer, and there is a friendly feel to them because of the people who have been going for many years. Of course there are friendly people everywhere, but someone on TUG described the Sands feel as "sterile" and I agree with that.

If you decide to add the Tris to your request, it doesn't really matter which one. They are interconnected with walkways and you can easily choose different pool areas, different pool bars, and different restaurants. I might hesitate about the Mayan because it's possible that you could end up with one of the few "lagoon view" units - nice sunsets, but no ocean. There also is a building with a "garden view" - again, nice but no ocean. The other Mayan locations are super, with wonderful views. If you were renting, you'd be able to control your location, but with exchanging you can't. With the Caribbean and Islander, there are no units with a lagoon or garden view.

If you decide on Cancun rather than Cabo, feel free to PM me for any more info on the Royals. I can also look for links for several lengthy threads about differences between the various Tris.

PJ
 

rmb

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Thanks, PJ... based on your information, I feel we will add the Caribbean and the Islander to the request list. Consideration is being given to removing the Haciendas... the location 'away from Cancun' sounds like it could be an issue.

Any thread you might have regarding the Tris to help me with my information prior to adding the request would be helpful. Thanks again.
 

Kenrabs

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Hi, we stayed at both Del Palmar and Del Arco a couple weeks ago. I would hold out for Del Arco since it is much nicer. Also add Casa Dorado on Medano Beach. I would add all the royal resorts to your list. We stayed at the Mayan and the grounds of the 3 tri royals are great. We prefer Cancun over Cabo but both are great.
 

Karen G

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Being that you live in California, it will be a shorter plane trip to Cabo. Plus, if you are planning to go mid-July to mid-August, I think you'll like the drier climate in Cabo as opposed to the humidity of Cancun.

We go to Cabo every year the second week of August and have done so for the last ten years. We've been to Cancun and stayed at the Royal Caribbean. Any of the Royal Resorts would be good--you can use the facilities at all of them when you stay at one of them.

Cabo is a smaller town than Cancun and there aren't the historical sites to see that Cancun offers. But if you're looking for a place to just kick back, relax, enjoy the pool & beach, maybe play golf or go deep sea fishing, walk into town for dinner, then Cabo is your place. VDP and del Arco are on a swimmable beach (Medano), but it's a bit calmer wave action the more you go toward the marina.
 

funtime

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II vs. RCI

RCI has a lot more choices in CABO than II does including the Pueblo Bonitos. We lob Pueblo Bonito Sunset in Cabo. Funtime
 

Carol C

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I agree with Karen. I wouldn't go to Cancun in Jul/Aug due to heat, humidity and the possibility of tropical storms if not a hurricane. I'd pick Cabo of the two.
 

ladycody

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I'd pick Cabo...but if ruins are on your agenda...then Cancun (or that area) is a must.

With regards to the Cabo area...I actually prefer San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas (quiet town...love the locals...but still has easy bus access to San lucas). If I were to stay in San Lucas...I'd pick one of the Pueblo Bonitos. If you're planning to have a car...or dont mind working the bus system (requires some walking for most of the corridor properties)...there are some beautiful properties on the corridor too.
 

rmb

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Karen... do you think the Villa del Palmar will be too crowded, full of kids, etc. at the time we would like to vacation next year (mid-july to mid-august)? I realize it is not as nice as the del Arco, but would you recommend it considering it is only my wife and I with no children accompanying us?

Your description of Cabo is what we would like... but a pool full of kids - such as the Marriot Maui in the summer - is not what we would prefer. I don't see any other resorts on II for Cabo that I would request unless someone out there has first-hand experience and would recommend another resort as one of our exchange requests.
 

Karen G

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Karen... do you think the Villa del Palmar will be too crowded, full of kids, etc. at the time we would like to vacation next year (mid-july to mid-august)?
I have never stayed at VDP, just took a look around the new Arco one day. If their pool area is anything like the PB Rose, there's a section where it's more shallow where the little kids mainly hang out and the other end is where it's mostly adults. It works okay.

I hope someone who has actually stayed at VDP can answer your questions. We see people in town of all ages in August--families with kids, singles, older people, teenagers--there are activities for all age groups. I highly recommend Cabo.
 

Karen G

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Someone above suggested adding Casa Dorado on Medano Beach to your list and I think that's an excellent suggestion. It's brand new--I don't know for sure if it's open but it should be soon. It has a great location on the best swimmable beach and it's very close to town.
 

californiagirl

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We traded through II for the Club Casa Dorado Spa and Golf Resort in Cabo. It is a very nice property adjacent to the Hilton. It is on the corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

I also live in Orange Co. and have been to Cancun twice and Cabo once. Cancun is more tropical and Caribbean, Cabo is like Phoenix on the beach. Both are beautiful in their own way. It is stunning to see the desert next to the beautiful blue ocean. The plane ride to Cancun from LAX (nonstop) is about 5 hours...same as if you were flying to Hawaii. From LAX to Cabo is about 1.5-2 hours.

One thing that is has not been discussed is that I felt like Cabo was very expensive and overpriced. By that I mean everything...food, transportation, activities. We were suprised and toward the end of the trip felt ripped-off. We kept thinking and saying to eachother: this is more than Hawaii! (Hawaii being the benchmark for overpriced. LOL!) If employees were paid what they are in the States we would not have thought twice about it, but labor is much cheaper in Mexico (unfortunately) and prices were still very high.

Have a great time where ever you choose to go.
 

pjrose

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Karen... do you think the Villa del Palmar will be too crowded, full of kids, etc. at the time we would like to vacation next year (mid-july to mid-august)? I realize it is not as nice as the del Arco, but would you recommend it considering it is only my wife and I with no children accompanying us?

Your description of Cabo is what we would like... but a pool full of kids - such as the Marriot Maui in the summer - is not what we would prefer. I don't see any other resorts on II for Cabo that I would request unless someone out there has first-hand experience and would recommend another resort as one of our exchange requests.

I can't address Cabo....but if Cancun and PdC are still on your list, the Haciendas would have fewer kids than the other Royals. That's partly because it's more expensive to buy and may be less affordable for families with small kids, and also because the kiddie pools are quite separate from the adult pools.

While there are plenty of kids at the other Royals, they tend to congegrate, often in or near the kiddie pools, and there are plenty of other pool areas that don't have a bunch of kids.
 

Kenrabs

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VDP is very crowded and has a mixed bag of people. Lots of kids of various ages. The pools are a lot smaller at VDP than VDA.
 

rmb

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The possibility of a tropical storm/hurricane was mentioned in relation to our window of travel... mid-July to mid-August, 2009... would that cause any of you to remove the Cancun resorts from our II request?
 

Kenrabs

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The possibility of a tropical storm/hurricane was mentioned in relation to our window of travel... mid-July to mid-August, 2009... would that cause any of you to remove the Cancun resorts from our II request?

While less of a chance Cabo can be hit by tropical storms also. In 06 a hurricane rolled through a week before we arrived at the end of July and during our stay this year there was a big storm off the coast that caused it to rain 1 day and we had huge waves for 3 days that tore the beach up. When planning Cancun I try to do early mid July as this is early in the hurricane season and I hope lessons the chance. It's all luck so you just have to plan and have faith.
 

Deer Path

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Cabo san Lucas (not in the corridor) is our favorite place. We love Playa Grande Resort (RCI) with its many pools and hot tubs, spa and walking distance to the Marina,town and the Mall. We own a week near the beach in November and a week in January on The Ridge overlooking Cabo & the Marina.

Last year was our first time to stay at Cabo Villas Beach Resort (II) which is the newest part of the resort. The RCI part is the older part. We own a one bedroom Executive with a jacuzzi on the balcony and really love it. It overlooks Mendeno beach and also walking distance to the Mall, Marina and town. Besides the regular swimming pool and hot tub they have what is sort of a lap pool up on the 2nd floor. About 10 AM they turn on the jets and it is like a big jacuzzi. It was right around the corner from our room and even had its own bar. We used it every morning to swim laps. They also have the Sunset Grill restaurant on top overlooking Cabo and another one on the beach (Baja Cantina)and one near the pool. They put up a big screen some nights and have Monday Night football and other things.
Check out their website....www.cabovillasbeachresort.com
They just opened their new Spa. They also have built another building which I think is fractional ownership(Bayview Suites)

We also stayed at the Royal Mayan last January and even though it was very nice we still prefer Cabo and Cozumel.

Whatever you choose I am sure you will love Mexico as much as we do. Being from the Midwest even though we own 2 Hawaiian timeshares we go to Mexico because of the flight time and the cost of flights. We can't wait to head to Cabo on Nov. 1 for one week at each resort.:)

Good luck on your searches.

Judy
 

pianodinosaur

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Cabo and the Cancun area are both fabulous destinations. You may wish to consider the Grand Mayan Riviera Maya if you want peace and luxury near Playa del Carmen. The Fiesta Americana in Cabo should be seriously considered if you want a nice place midway between San Jose Del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas.
 

maja651

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The possibility of a tropical storm/hurricane was mentioned in relation to our window of travel... mid-July to mid-August, 2009... would that cause any of you to remove the Cancun resorts from our II request?

Actually, a hurricane or tropical storm could hit the Cabo area at that time as well, so if you are set on that time frame, that should not affect your decision in regards to Cancun or Cabo.

We have been to Cancun many times in August (late August) and have never had any issues. We know we could, but we have never even dealt with a tropical storm. It is all on what mother nature wants to do that year.

I do agree though, Cancun is VERY HOT and HUMID in the summer. If you are planning on hanging at the beach or pool, and not doing a lot of excursions away from the ocean breeze, not a big deal. However, if your plan is to see the ruins and trek into the jungle, I would not recommend it during the summer, just too hot (especially if you are from CA and not used to the humidity). We are from Arizona and the humidity is almost too much for us to handle! That being said, I would take the Haciendas off of your list for a summer trade. Playa is much more "open air" than Cancun. Most of the restaurants do NOT have A/C, so if you want to venture into Playa for dinner, you will most likely have to deal with the heat and humidity. While I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Haciendas, I would not go there in the summer.

I have never been to Cabo (really not very interested, as we live in the desert already and prefer more tropical settings when on vacation) so I have no advice for Cabo!

Good luck on a trade and making the decision!

Michelle
 

Karen G

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Last year was our first time to stay at Cabo Villas Beach Resort (II) which is the newest part of the resort. The RCI part is the older part. We own a one bedroom Executive with a jacuzzi on the balcony and really love it. It overlooks Mendeno beach and also walking distance to the Mall, Marina and town. Judy
I didn't realize Cabo Villas traded with both II and RCI. OP should definitely put it on the list of II trades because of its great location.

By the way, the safe, swimmable beach is MEDANO. See this for more information. Don't worry about the second picture of the crowds at a beach volleyball game--it's not normally this packed with people, but it is the place to go for safe beach swimming and lots of activities.
 

Liz Wolf-Spada

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Welk is building a Cabo resort to add to its collection in the platinum points program. We've never been to Mexico (except Rosarita), so we'll probably see if we can get reservations when that opens up.
Liz
 

Deer Path

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I didn't realize Cabo Villas traded with both II and RCI. OP should definitely put it on the list of II trades because of its great location.

By the way, the safe, swimmable beach is MEDANO. See this for more information. Don't worry about the second picture of the crowds at a beach volleyball game--it's not normally this packed with people, but it is the place to go for safe beach swimming and lots of activities.

I just remembered a website I have watched a live cam in the past...nearly forgot about it. The webcam is overlooking the beach sitting on top of the Mango Deck. It is next to The Office which is a well known beach bar/grill.
Next to the Office is CVBR and the Baja Cantina.
www.allaboutcabo.com
It is interesting to look at the web cam at different times of the day and even different times of the year. Fun to see the weather changes etc.

Judy
 

talkamotta

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The possibility of a tropical storm/hurricane was mentioned in relation to our window of travel... mid-July to mid-August, 2009... would that cause any of you to remove the Cancun resorts from our II request?

Is that the only timeframe you have? If it is, then I would not go to Cancun during that time, it would be too hot and humid for me. Even a tropical storm could ruin 3 or 4 days of your week.

Cancun and the Royals are fairly easy to trade into in November and December. If not this time, you should try to get into Cancun sometime in the future if only for Chichen Itza. The Islands have so much history of King Kamahameha; Chichen Itza is just as impressive of the Mayan culture.
 

easyrider

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We like the VDP and really like the Arco. The Arco is very quiet compared to the VDP. Both share a shopping center called the Palmilla. We like the parties at the VDP but we love the newness of the Arco.

The Pueblo Bonitos on Medano Beach are very nice resorts.

The Arco has very nice comfortable beds and newer furniture as its only been open for less than 2 years.

We love Cabo and that entire end of the Baja Peninsula.
www.myuvc.com
 
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