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BeachKitten
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Joined: 11/01/09
Posts: 1448
Loc: Maryland/DC Metro
Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :(
      #1747391 - 09/23/17 06:40 PM (96.231.206.165)

It appears other Caribbean islands and the Keys are out this year. Too much hurricane damage.

Mexico has never particularly appealed to us, though perhaps I should give it another look. I just don't want over commercialized and overbuilt like Cancun. Cheap or spring break type vibe is out as well.

Is there anyplace on either coast (must be a beach) that has a chill perhaps upscale vibe? Not looking for cheap (possibly tainted according to the news) alcohol. I like beach chair service, and GOOD FOOD. Activities and perhaps a tour or two nearby. Shopping is ALWAYS a plus. ;)

Is there a locale in Mexico that fits this bill? I explored Costa Rico, but RCI didn't have anything near the beach. Closest was a 2 hour drive.

Thank you!

--------------------
"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" ;)



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pat
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Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1747399 - 09/23/17 10:18 PM (75.133.113.202)

Leona,

We stayed for a week at the Club Regina in Puerto Vallarta a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. We had an upper unit overlooking the beach with our own hot tub on the balcony. Did not rent a car and used the local taxi services. Booked a few tours through the hotel concierge desk and they were all fun. Did one day if shopping in town which was way too much for me. It was a fun week but nothing that we would rate over St. Maarten, unless SXM wasn't available.

--------------------
Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."


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SMC_Irish_68
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Joined: 09/27/02
Posts: 943
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Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1747410 - 09/24/17 09:29 AM (76.123.42.199)


I recommend staying on Isla Mujeres which is just off of Cancun. Here's some reasons why:
- Safe!
- It's easy to reach via air-conditioned ferry. We book a private airport to ferry transport online (very reasonable price).
- Lodging options are excellent: condos right on North Beach; luxury resorts; casas that can be rented from homeaway.com or vrbo.com; small boutique hotel like Casa de los Suenos, etc.
- No rental cars: visitors use the inexpensive taxis or rent golf carts by the day or the week (we rented by the week)
- Restaurants and shopping: Excellent!
- Day trips: You can book day trips for snorkeling, diving, etc.

There are also numerous large resorts all along the Maya Riviera which extends from Cancun to Tulum if you prefer the resort atmosphere. If you did decide to stay at one, I recommend booking a day trip to one of the Mayan ruins and also to a cenote.

Karen


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cruzer
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Joined: 05/26/08
Posts: 342
Loc: Central Coast, CA
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1747431 - 09/24/17 04:37 PM (99.108.167.12)

Having gone through what you're trying to do, I settled on Isla Holbox, off the northern Yucatan Peninsula, about a 2 1/2 hour ride away from CUN, and also requiring a ferry crossing, and golf cart taxi to your hotel. Ironically, it'll take us as long to get from the left coast to either here or SXM, because of the 3rd leg via car service.

This place seems really laid back, and any activity off the island is a good 2 hours away by car. Looks to have many fine restaurants, and rooms run the gamut from $20 well over $500. Plenty of nice accommodations. Seems most people go for the few activities--especially whale shark trips, but the season is now over--reading, swimming, sunning, eating, and drinking

No building is over 3 stories tall, and the roads are hard packed sand. If you really want to kick back, this just might be the place.

I did have to spend many hours a day for 3 days to finally convince myself I really wanted this island as my SXM alternative.


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BeachKitten
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Joined: 11/01/09
Posts: 1448
Loc: Maryland/DC Metro
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: pat]
      #1748264 - 09/30/17 03:37 PM (96.231.206.165)

Thanks for the suggestions!

We are ending up going to Mazatlan. Spectacular sunsets, and supposedly good food choices. The "Pearl of the Pacific" and looking forward to exploring the Golden Zone.

I did NOT want all-inclusive, so where we are staying has a kitchen and the option of AI. Now hope we can find a grocery store!

--------------------
"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" ;)



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bugambilias
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Joined: 07/24/10
Posts: 412
Loc: Playa del Carmen, MX
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1752325 - 11/25/17 12:07 PM (187.153.113.58)

I can tell you that is sure crowded here in Playa del Carmen and the rates are way up too!
It's not even High Season yet.

--------------------
check out my blog


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BeachKitten
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Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: bugambilias]
      #1752327 - 11/25/17 12:30 PM (96.231.206.165)

We had a wonderful time in Mazatlan! Sunsets were gorgeous, food was good. Everything was so inexpensive!

Dia de los Muertos parade was FUN! We were in the middle of it all, getting ice cold beer served down to us and the other revelers.

The resorts gardens were spectacular. Swans and flamingos. Fountains, floral arrangements. Three swimming pools, one of which was adults only....yay, no screaming kids! Golf cart shuttles as the property was so large. Free bus to their sister resort, and complete access to their amenities as well. 24 hour room service if we got too lazy to cook or get dressed! lol

Beaches and shopping very different than SXM, but it's a place we would go back to. Awesome staff, and made friends with one of our pulmonia drivers. Spent a great day with him in the countryside. Dancing horses, tequila farm, leather shop, authentic meal.

If Photo Bucket hadn't gone all $$ on us, I would have loved to share the pictures. :(

--------------------
"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" ;)



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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1752333 - 11/25/17 03:02 PM (107.77.253.1)

Would love to see those pictures too! Again, you can upload pictures here to the SXM or General photo forum. Or talk to Beerman or TomB about other options..

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BeachKitten
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Joined: 11/01/09
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Loc: Maryland/DC Metro
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1752343 - 11/25/17 07:48 PM (96.231.206.165)

I do have this Carol!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTr3aXQBP2U

--------------------
"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" ;)



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kneafseym
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Joined: 10/31/00
Posts: 3112
Loc: Somewhere out there
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: bugambilias]
      #1752344 - 11/25/17 09:12 PM (99.12.86.214)

Bug... interesting that rates are up. We head to CUN Dec 8 at Ocean Coral and turquesa at $135/night with $300 air fare from Tulsa. We go to a different place every year and have yet to be disappointed, the Mexican's understand customer service. So much better than DR or Cuba. You don't get the awesome beaches, but after working in the Caribbean for years I just want a cheap place to chill. On Dec 23rd the rate goes to $474/night.

--------------------
Mike


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1752352 - 11/26/17 08:28 AM (107.77.253.1)

Says 'video not available'.

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BeachKitten
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Joined: 11/01/09
Posts: 1448
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Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1752358 - 11/26/17 11:42 AM (96.231.206.165)

Quote:

Carol_Hill said:
Says 'video not available'.




Drat, I had it set to Private I think. Try this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTr3aXQBP2U

--------------------
"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" ;)



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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1752359 - 11/26/17 12:00 PM (107.77.253.1)

Paso Fino horses? Really lovely.

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BeachKitten
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Joined: 11/01/09
Posts: 1448
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Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1752361 - 11/26/17 12:29 PM (96.231.206.165)



Yay!! I think I have figured out how to get pictures into posts! Stay tuned as I pull things together!
This is the Mazatlan Airport. Was very old-timey.

They had dogs inspecting passengers and luggage upon arrival. We had eaten chicken wraps and carrots on the plane, and had a few bones and carrots left. The dog followed us at the luggage carousel! lol
They Mexican government takes protecting their agriculture and crops VERY seriously. You cannot enter with fruits, veggies, etc.



--------------------
"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" ;)



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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1752362 - 11/26/17 01:09 PM (107.77.253.1)

Great! Looking forward to seeing more!

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BeachKitten
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Posts: 1448
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Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1752373 - 11/26/17 04:50 PM (96.231.206.165)

Quote:

Carol_Hill said:
Paso Fino horses? Really lovely.




And Friesians.


This one is owned by a singer, and he rides it in parades.

--------------------
"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" ;)



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BeachKitten
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Joined: 11/01/09
Posts: 1448
Loc: Maryland/DC Metro
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1752374 - 11/26/17 05:01 PM (96.231.206.165)

First afternoon at the pool. Time for a snack of quesadillas and ceviche!



Every night there is a themed buffet in addition to an ala carte menu. The dessert display is amazing.



Funky beach side restaurant for breakfast. Looney Beans


Delicious huevos divorciados! (but not as good as Ernest & Fidels)



Another day of lunch by the pool. Burger and shrimp cocktail



Sunset


--------------------
"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" ;)



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BeachKitten
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Joined: 11/01/09
Posts: 1448
Loc: Maryland/DC Metro
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1752377 - 11/26/17 05:12 PM (96.231.206.165)

Swim up pool bar at the sister resort



Birthday lunch. Filet mignon, seafood linguine (shrimp, scallops, calamari)



Surprise from the waiters!



The grounds and gardens were beautiful!









towel swan at the towel exchange station



--------------------
"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" ;)



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BeachKitten
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Joined: 11/01/09
Posts: 1448
Loc: Maryland/DC Metro
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1752378 - 11/26/17 05:31 PM (96.231.206.165)

Breakfast buffet was TO DIE FOR! (and if I ate like this daily it WOULD kill me! Lol) Everything you could possible think of. Omelet station, quesadilla station, pancakes, waffles, cereals, etc. All of that, all you can eat, for the dollar equivalent of $6.25 per person.







So many fresh juices!


My favorite!


Fruits and salads



Yogurt and oatmeal toppings






The coconut marmelade….I thought I’d gone to heaven!





--------------------
"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" ;)



Edited by BeachKitten (11/26/17 05:52 PM)


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1752380 - 11/26/17 06:34 PM (107.77.253.1)

Thanks for the pics! Great stuff!

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BeachKitten
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Joined: 11/01/09
Posts: 1448
Loc: Maryland/DC Metro
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1752384 - 11/26/17 07:45 PM (96.231.206.165)

Thank you! More to come. It takes a bit of time with this new method I've figured out. Maybe I can go back and do a July report of SXM now...very sad though.

Next up....Parade of Dia de los Muertos, FOOD porn. More pics. ;)

--------------------
"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" ;)



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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1752385 - 11/26/17 07:51 PM (107.77.253.1)

Regardless would appreciate seeing 'pre' pictures of SXM...

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BeachKitten
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Joined: 11/01/09
Posts: 1448
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Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1752428 - 11/27/17 05:00 PM (96.231.206.165)

I should just email the rest of this Mazatlan trips pics to you Carol, I think you’re the only one who cares! Lol

Otherwise, it’s too much work if there’s no interest.

--------------------
"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" ;)



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TomB
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Joined: 04/02/02
Posts: 2475
Loc: Virginia wishing STJ
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1753401 - 12/15/17 11:48 PM (74.214.39.192)

I care!
Thanks for the PM heads up - I honestly missed them.

When I get a second I will shoot you a PM on how to size within the blog so they all come out the same size when you post them on TTOL.

Now it is midnight and I am hungry from looking at some of those shots.



--------------------
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” - Emerson


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