RIU All Inclusive Resorts

RIU Reggae Montego Bay Jamaica

RIU Reggae Montego Bay Jamaica

RIU Reggae Montego Bay Jamaica

RIU Reggae Montego Bay Jamaica

Some quick facts about RIU resorts:

RIU does not sell time shares–you will not be hassled to go to a presentation or buy a timeshare or membership
RIU does not require reservations for specialty restaurants
Some property updates:
RIU Palace Las Americans Cancun is the only RIU adults only property in Mexico; great central location in Cancun
Bahamas: RIU Palace Paradise Island (adults only) was recently renovated
Punta Cana: RIU Republica–adults only, large resort, 1500 rooms, adults only water park on property (no extra charge), one mile of walkable beach
Jamaica: RIU Reggae–adults only, close to airport, only 10 minutes from Montego Bay airport, great for quick getaway
Cancun: NEW RIU Dunamar–north of Cancun, totally new build resort, not a renovation, oceanfront, waterpark on site, family property

Also see: Trip Report RIU Palace Macao Punta Cana
Also see: Photos RIU Palace Macao Punta Cana

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Trip Report: Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana, adults only, all inclusive resort

Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana beach view  Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana  Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana main building
Just back from six nights at the Riu Palace Macao in Punta Cana.

Pros:

  • Absolutely beautiful resort, well maintained, spotlessly clean, with excellent food and service
  • Room: our room, a second floor suite, was very large, clean and insect free, a mini bar + liquor, coffee maker, Jacuzzi tub, robes, large walk in shower, safe, two balconies, two flat screen TVs, bidet, great air conditioning. I did miss having Fox News; had to settle for CNN.
  • Beach: one of the best I’ve ever been to. Very clean, with no rocks, no seaweed, no sharp seashells, plenty of chairs, palm trees everywhere. Great walking beach if you like that.
  • Pool temperature; cool enough to be refreshing, yet not so cold that it shocks you going in
  • Pool chairs: plenty to go around, including many in the shade; so many chairs in fact, they are pretty close together in spots, but as per usual, there are those guests who insist on getting out there at 6am, claiming their perfect spot, only to never be seen again for the rest of the day. One of these days, I hope to find a resort that doesn’t allow guests to put a towel down and leave for the day. Having said that, we always found chairs available when we got to the pool after breakfast about 10:30 am.
  • Massage on the beach, including champagne, was amazing, best massage we’ve had in our travels
  • Food: RIU resorts have great buffets, and this one was no exception. We tried the steakhouse, the Japanese restaurant, the Italian restaurant, and the Krystal fusion restaurant, and while they were all fine, we liked the buffet the best. It had different themes each night. The meals in the ala carte restaurants were carefully prepared and beautifully presented.
  • Service/tipping: the service was prompt, efficient, and friendly, and while I believe the bartenders and servers very much appreciated tips, I did not at all get the impression that the level of service depended on tipping. Special shout-out to pool bartender Juan and server Yasdenys! Regardless, do not go to any tropical all inclusive resort without taking at least $50 US in one dollar bills and another $50 in five dollar bills; you will thank me for this “tip”.
  • Vacation Express: this point is not related to the resort, but Vacation Express was a great tour company to work with. Everything went smoothly, including the check in, the flight, and the transfers. We were not expecting the free alcoholic beverages on the flight, e.g. Presidente beer, mixed drinks!

Cons:

  • Having to wear wristbands, make restaurant reservations (also see below), and worry about towel cards: once you have been to a Secrets resort, you will appreciate what I’m saying about these three items
  • Poor Wi-Fi: yes, it is free, but you have to be in certain spots in the lobby to get good service. Do not go here specifically for the offer of free Wi-Fi, you will be disappointed; it rarely worked for us anywhere except the main lobby
  • Loud drunks at the pool with the swim up bar: contrary to other trip reports, these were not just Americans. We saw many loud groups of drunks from all over, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and USA. It’s almost as if they’ve never had a few drinks before. Especially annoying was when they pull out their own Bluetooth-connected speakers and blare their iTunes music, assuming that everyone at the pool that day wants to hear their choice of music. We were never sure which pool was supposed to be the “quiet” pool. The larger pool is where all the dancing and animation activities occur, while the smaller pool with the swim-up bar has too many loud, obnoxious drunks and personal stereo speakers. Forget trying to read a book. This is why I always listen to audio books with my earbuds.
  • Restaurant (ala carte) reservations must be made in person (at the Japanese restaurant) from 7:30 am until 10:00 am, and you can make them only for that evening and the next three evenings. We were offered only two seating choices: 6:30 pm or 9:00 pm.
  • Poor shopping options: the free shopping trip takes you to one store (one owner) divided into three rooms: a jewelry store, cigar store, and very small disappointing souvenir shop. In summary, this is a beautiful, spotless resort, with excellent food and service, but after having been to a Secrets Resort, an Excellence Resort, the Jewel Dunn’s River, one Sandals resort, and three of the four Couples Resorts in Jamaica, I think we’ve now been “spoiled” as far as adults only all-inclusive resorts. The Riu Palace Macao is a great choice for those on a budget but still wanting an adults-only property.

Feel free to email me with any questions.

Related: Riu Palace Macao Punta Cana 2015
Related: Hotel guests Rate Free Wi-Fi at Top of Amenity List

Opening of New Sandals La Source Grenada

Sandals La Source Grenada

Tahiti Village Main Pool

Sandals La Source Grenada

Oceanview Grande Luxe Bi-level One Bedroom Suite (Italian Village)

Sandals La Source Grenada

Oceanview Skypool One Bedroom Suite (Italian Village)

Sandals La Source Grenada

Renovated Bathrooms (Pink Gin Village)

Sandals La Source Grenada

Italian Village

Sandals La Source Grenada

Infinity Edge Pool (Pink Gin Village)

Sandals La Source Grenada

Beach

This resort will be opening for arrivals on December 12, 2013; bookings commence on March 23, 2013.  This will be the penultimate resort in the Sandals Resorts collection, with rooms and suites never seen before!

A few of the highlights:

  • 231 rooms and suites
  • 3 villages: Pink Gin Village, Tahiti Village, and Italian Village
  • just minutes from the airport
  • 9 restaurants including a world class steakhouse restaurant – Butch’s Chophouse
  • 3 pools plus 2 river pools
  • state of the art fitness center and spa
  • meeting facilities
  • 75 butler suites including millionaires suites, rondovals and skypool suites
  • romantic soaking tubs in all rooms and suites in the Tahiti and Italian villages

Sandals La Source Grenada Overview

  • Location: Pin Gin Beach, just minutes from the airport, St. George’s Grenada, W.I.
  • Accommodations: 231 rooms and suites, 21 categories

Villages

  • Pink Gin Village: the renovated existing rooms in two blocks by the ocean
  • Italian Village: new 5-story room block with river pool and 12 skypool one-bedroom suites
  • Tahiti Village: new addition on the bluff including rondovals, plunge pool suites, jr. suites, and rooms

Restaurants (9)

  • Soy: serving sushi
  • Spices:breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Le Jardinière: French cuisine
  • Neptune’s: Mediterranean cuisine
  • Cucina Romano: Italian cuisine
  • Kimono’s: Teppanyaki
  • Dino’s Pizzeria
  • Butch’s Chophouse: a world-class steakhouse
  • Café de Paris: fresh pastries, gourmet espresso beverages, soft serve ice cream and more

Bars (4) 

Land sports

  • day & night tennis – 2 courts
  • shuffleboard
  • giant outdoor chess
  • board games
  • basketball
  • table tennis
  • billiard tables
  • beach & pool volleyball

Water sports               

  • canoeing
  • glass bottom boat
  • kayaking
  • wakeboarding
  • snorkeling
  • Hobie-cat sailing
  • kneeboarding
  • windsurfing
  • paddleboarding              
  • scuba diving (unlimited diving for certified scuba divers, Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) for beginners and PADI International Dive Certification are available at an additional cost)
  • tubing

Pools

  • 3 pools, 2 river pools, large watersports pool, and a myriad of smaller plunge pools

Fitness Center

  • fully equipped, state of the art air-conditioned fitness center

Spa

  • 9 treatment rooms. Spa services are available at an additional cost
  • steam room, sauna

Accommodations

Pink Gin Village

Honeymoon Orchid Beachfront Suite

A large suite consisting of a living area with a sofa, chairs, cocktail table, and bar. The bedroom boasts a king size bed, ivory patika marble floors and flat screen TV. The bathroom has a water closet enclosed in frosted glass, extra-large basin with backlit mirror, Carrera marble vanity, and walk in shower with white subway tile and glass accents. There is an overhead shower and wall-mounted dual controls. The bathroom is further enhanced with pebble accented walls and Italian porcelain plank floor. There is also a window looking into the bedroom. Concierge service included.

View: Beach & Oceanfront

Location: Floors 1-3 of the Pink Gin Block

Bougainvillea Water’s Edge Oceanfront Suite

A large suite consisting of a living area with a sofa, chairs, cocktail table, and bar. The bedroom boasts a king size bed, marble floors and flat screen TV. The bathroom has a water closet enclosed in frosted glass, extra-large basin with backlit mirror, Carrera marble vanity, and walk in shower with white subway tile and glass accents. There is an overhead shower and wall-mounted dual controls. The bathroom is further enhanced with pebble accented walls and Italian porcelain plank floor. There is also a window looking into the bedroom. Concierge service included.

View: Oceanfront

Location: Floors 4 and 5 of the Pink Gin Block

Pink Gin Beach Walkout Beachfront Room

Located directly on the beach, you can walk out of the room and onto the beach. The bedroom features a custom mahogany king-size bed, flat screen TV and ivory patika marble floors and dining table. The bathroom boasts a walk in shower with subway tile and glass accents, an overhead showerhead and wall-mounted dual control. There is a window looking into the bedroom. The walls are pebble accented and the floor is Italian porcelain plank with an extra-large basin, backlit mirror, and Carrera marble vanity. Concierge service included.

View: Beach and oceanfront

Location: First floor of the Pink Gin Block

Hibiscus Honeymoon Penthouse Oceanfront

Perched atop the Pink Gin Block, these oversized rooms boast a vaulted ceiling, king size four-poster bed, marble floors and flat screen TV’s with an in-room dining table. The bathroom features porcelain plank floors, walk in shower in white subway tiles with glass accents, an overhead shower, and wall-mounted dual control. There is also a window opening up into the bedroom. The water closet is enclosed in frosted glass, an extra-large basin with backlit mirror, and Carrera marble vanity. Concierge service included.

View: Panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea.

Location: Sixth floor of the Pink Gin Block

St. George Oceanview Suite

A large suite consisting of a living area with a sofa, chairs, cocktail table, and bar. The bedroom features a king size, custom mahogany bed, Turkish ivory patika marble floors, and flat screen TV. The bathroom includes a private water closet enclosed in frosted glass, extra-large basin with lit mirror, Carrera marble vanity, and walk-in shower with white subway tile and glass accents. The walls are pebble accented along with Italian porcelain plank floors. Concierge service included.

View: Oceanview

Location: Floors 1-3 of the Grenadines Block

Grande Anse Beachfront Room

The bedroom boasts a custom mahogany king size bed, Turkish ivory patika marble floors, flat screen TV and in room dining table. The bathroom includes a private water closet enclosed in frosted glass, extra-large basin with backlit mirror, and a Carrera marble vanity. There is a walk-in shower with white subway tiles with glass accents, an overhead showerhead and wall mounted dual control. There is a window looking into the bedroom. The walls of the bathroom are pebble accented and the floors are porcelain plank. Some rooms feature a vaulted ceiling.

View: Beach & Oceanview

Location: Floors 2-4 in the Pink Gin Block

Hummingbird Honeymoon Water’s Edge Oceanfront

The bedroom boasts a custom mahogany king size bed, Turkish ivory patika marble floors, flat screen TV and in room dining table. The bathroom includes a private water closet enclosed in frosted glass, extra-large basin with backlit mirror, and a Carrera marble vanity. There is a walk-in shower with white subway tiles with glass accents, an overhead showerhead and wall mounted dual control. There is a window looking into the bedroom. The walls of the bathroom are pebble accented and the floors are Italian porcelain plank.

View: Stunning views of the Caribbean Sea

Location: Floors 3-5 in the Pink Gin Block

Seabreeze Penthouse Oceanview

Room includes a four-poster king bed, Turkish ivory patika marble floors, flat screen TV and table for in-room dining. Some have vaulted ceilings. The bathroom features a water closet enclosed in frosted glass, extra-large basin with lit mirror, Carrera marble vanity, and walk-in shower with white subway tile with glass accents. There is a window looking into the bedroom and the walls are pebble accented with porcelain plank floors. The room opens up to an oversized patio.

View: Panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea

Location: Fourth floor of the Grenadines Block

Oleander Oceanview with Patio

Room includes a four-poster king bed, Turkish ivory patika marble floors, flat screen TV and table for in-room dining. Some have vaulted ceilings. The bathroom features a water closet enclosed in frosted glass, extra-large basin with lit mirror, Carrera marble vanity, and walk-in shower with white subway tile with glass accents. There is a window looking into the bedroom and the walls are pebble accented with Italian porcelain plank floors. The room opens up to an oversized patio with a soaking tub.

View: Oceanview

Location: Second floor of the Grenadines Block & second and fourth floor of the Pink Gin Block

Indigo Luxury Oceanview

Room includes a custom mahogany king bed, Turkish ivory patika marble floors, flat screen TV and table for in-room dining. Some have vaulted ceilings. The bathroom features a water closet enclosed in frosted glass, extra-large basin with lit mirror, Carrera marble vanity, and walk-in shower with white subway tile with glass accents. There is a window looking into the bedroom and the walls are pebble accented with Italian porcelain plank floors.

View: Oceanview

Location: Second and third floor of the Grenadines Block

Nutmeg Deluxe

Room includes a custom mahogany king bed, Turkish ivory patika marble floors, flat screen TV and table for in-room dining. Some have vaulted ceilings. The bathroom features a water closet enclosed in frosted glass, extra-large basin with lit mirror, Carrera marble vanity, and walk-in shower with white subway tile with glass accents. There is a window looking into the bedroom and the walls are pebble accented with Italian porcelain plank floors.

View: Partial Oceanview

Location: First floor of the Grenadines Block

Italian Village

Oceanview Penthouse One Bedroom Skypool Suite

Perched atop the Italian Village, these magnificent oversized suites feature a full living room with butler pantry, wet bar, indoor dining table, plush sofa and chairs, and flat screen TV. There is also a desk with wireless internet and USB ports. The double doors open to a luxurious bedroom which boats a king size bed, large flat screen TV and convenience outlets for 110 and 240 volts. The bathroom includes two Carrera marble vanities with backlit mirrors, Kohler claw footed tub, separate frosted glass shower and a frosted glass water closet. The bedroom opens for access to a cantilevered private plunge pool with an infinity edge. The flooring is made of Turkish ivory patika travertine natural stone with accents of pebbles and porcelain planks from Italy. This suite also has an oversized balcony with double lounge chairs, dining table and soaking tub. Butler service included.

View: Incredible vista of the Caribbean Sea

Location: Top floor of the Italian Village

Oceanview One Bedroom Skypool Suite

On the fourth floor of the Italian village, these magnificent oversized suites feature a full living room with butler pantry, wet bar, indoor dining table, plush sofa and chairs, and flat screen TV. There is also a desk with wireless internet and USB ports. The double doors open to a luxurious bedroom which boats a king size bed, large flat screen TV and convenience outlets for 110 and 240 volts. The bathroom includes two Carrera marble vanities with backlit mirrors, Kohler claw footed tub, separate frosted glass shower and a frosted glass water closet. The bedroom opens for access to a cantilevered private plunge pool with an infinity edge. The flooring is made of Turkish ivory patika travertine natural stone with accents of pebbles and porcelain planks from Italy. This suite also has an oversized balcony with lounge chairs, dining table, and soaking tub. Butler service included.

View: Oceanview

Location: Fourth floor of the Italian Village

Walkout Swimup Bi-level One Bredroom Suite Extraordinaire

This large junior suite includes a stepdown parlor area with an oversized sofa, wet bar and flat screen TV. There is a large bedroom with a king size bed and flat screen TV. It also features a writing desk with USB outlets along with convenience outlets for 110 and 240 volts. The bathroom features a walk-in shower, soaking tub, vanity and dressing unit. Walk-in closets are adjacent to the bathroom. The parlor area opens to an entrance to the river pool. Butler service included

View: River pool and garden

Location: First floor of the Italian Village

Oceanview Grande Luxe Bi-level One Bedroom Suite

This large junior suite includes a stepdown parlor area with an oversized sectional sofa, wet bar and flat screen TV. There is a large bedroom with a king size bed and flat screen TV. It also features a writing desk with USB outlets along with convenience outlets for 110 and 240 volts. The bathroom features a walk-in shower, freestanding soaking tub, and vanity and dressing unit. Walk-in closets are adjacent to the bathroom. The parlor area opens to a large balcony with soaking tub, oversized day bed, and dining table. Butler service included.

View: River pool and garden

Location: Floors 2-3 of the Italian Village

Tahiti Village

Tahiti Millionaire One Bedroom Suite with Plunge Pool

Entering the suite through the porte cochere, you will find a full living room with a wet bar and dining table. The living room opens up to a trellised verandah with soaking tub, double chaise lounges, and exterior dining. The luxurious bedroom boasts a king size bed, large flat screen TV and convenience outlets in 110 and 240 volts. The bathroom includes two Carrera marble vanities with backlit mirrors, freestanding soaking tub carved out of solid stone, frosted glass shower, and water closet. It also opens up to a private grotto carved out of the mountains with an outdoor shower. The flooring is Turkish ivory patika travertine natural stone with accents of pebble and porcelain planks from Italy. The bedroom opens up to a private plunge pool with an infinity edge. Butler service included.

View: Hillside view of the grounds

Location: Villas throughout the Tahitian Village

Tahiti Rondoval Elite with Plunge Pool

Villas in the round. The living area includes a large flat screen TV, indoor dining and full wet bar. The bedroom features a king size bed, flat screen TV and convenience outlets for 110 and 240 volts. The flooring is a mixture of ivory patika and porcelain planks with pebble and coral stone accents. The bathroom boasts a large soaking tub carved out of solid stone with waterfall, his and hers vanities with backlit mirrors. The large patio has a Jacuzzi with waterfall, plunge pool with infinity edge and wet lounging area. You can access the pool from the bedroom. Butler service included.

View: Pool and gardens

Location: Round villas on the ground floor of the Tahitian Village

Fiji One Bedroom Suite with Plunge Pool

Tahitian style suites include a separate living area with sofa, in room dining, flat screen TV, wet bar, and a desk with USB ports. The bedroom features a king size bed, flat screen TV and convenience outlets in 110 and 240 volts. The bathroom includes a freestanding soaking tub, frosted glass enclosed water closet, and his & hers vanities with backlit mirrors. The flooring is a mixture of ivory patika and porcelain planks with pebble and coral stone accents. The outdoor sundeck is accessible by either the living room or bedroom and features a waterfall that spills into a plunge pool with private whirlpool. Butler service included.

View: Pools and garden

Location: Villas throughout the Tahitian Village

Polynesian Grande Luxe Walkout Junior Suite

You enter this large room through your patio. The bedroom includes a king size bed, flat screen TV, indoor dining and convenience outlets in 110 and 240 volts. The bathroom features a tub, walk in shower, freestanding vanity with backlit mirror, water closet enclosed in frosted glass and a walk in closet. The patio features a free standing soaking tub and two chaise lounges. The room walks out to either a pool or river pool.

View: Pool

Location: First floor of the Villas in the Tahitian Village

Flamingo Flower Grande Luxe Junior Suite

Enter this large bedroom from a covered vestibule. The bedroom features a king size bed, flat screen TV, indoor dining and convenience outlets in 110 and 240 volts. The bathroom boats a large walk in shower, vanity, and water closet enclosed with frosted glass. Walk out onto your balcony, which has a free standing soaking tub and two chaise lounges.

View: Pools and garden

Location: Second floor of the Villas of the Tahitian Village

Outrigger Premium

A nicely appointed bedroom featuring a king size beds, flat screen TV, indoor dining and convenience outlets for 110 and 240 volts. The bathroom includes a walk in shower, vanity, and separate water closet enclosed in frosted glass. All rooms have a patio or balcony.

View: Garden

Location: Floors 1-2 in the Tahitian Village

Related: Sandals Carlyle Montego Bay (adults only all inclusive)
Related: Sandals Royal Bahamian $17 Million Upgrade (Photos)
Related: Sandals La Toc St. Lucia Photos

The ‘Bachelor’ Heads to the Buccaneer Resort in St. Croix

The Buccaneer Resort St. Croix US Virgin Islands

The Buccaneer Resort St. Croix US Virgin IslandsThis week’s episode of The Bachelor will find Sean Lowe and his remaining potential fiances heading to the tropical paradise St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Founded in the 17th century and family-run for generations, The Buccaneer blends Old World charm with warm hospitality. Completely self-contained, elegant accommodations are placed throughout the property with expansive terraces and impressive views. Situated on 300 tropical acres, this beach resort is less than a five-minute drive to shopping, dining, and sightseeing in the historic town of Christiansted. 138 air-conditioned rooms.

The luxurious country club setting on more than 300 lush tropical acres features 3 picture-perfect beaches, an 18-hole golf course and pro shop, 8 tennis courts (two lit for night play) and pro shop,a health spa, fitness center, and watersports center.

Apple Vacations is offering a special air credit deal that includes The Buccaneer Resort, where some of The Bachelor scenes were filmed.

  • Receive a $300 Air Credit – Book an air-inclusive Apple Vacation of 6 consecutive nights to St. Croix valid for bookings from Dec 15, 2012-Mar 31, 2013 travel Jan 27-May 31, 2013
  • Participating hotels include: The Buccaneer, Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort & Casino, Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa, Caravelle Hotel, The Buccaneer (Buccaneer blackout dates Feb 15-18, 2013). Travel must be completed by May 31, 2013

For more information, contact Island Time Travel.

Windjammer Cruises…Are You Confused?

Island Windjammers Diamant

Island Windjammers Diamant
Photo Credit: Island Windjammers

Many cruisers continue to be confused by the different sailing ship options with “windjammer” in the title.  Hope this summary helps:

Cruise Line: Island Windjammers

Ships: Diamant, Sagitta

Itinerary (Diamant): Grenada and Windward Islands (Tobago Cays, Mayreau, Bequia, Union Island, Carriacou)
Itinerary (Sagitta): St. Maarten and the Leeward Islands (St. Barts, Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Eustatius, Anguilla)

Island Windjammers Diamant

Photo Credit: Island Windjammers

Cruise Line: The Maine Windjammer Association

Ships:

    • American Eagle (Rockland, Maine)
    • Victory Chimes (Rockland, Maine)
    • Mary Day (Camden, Maine)
    • Heritage (Rockland, Maine)
    • Stephen Taber (Rockland, Maine)
    • Lewis R. French (Camden, Maine)
    • Nathaniel Bowditch (Rockland, Maine)
    • Angelique (Camden, Maine)
    • Issac H. Evans (Rockland, Maine)
    • Timberwind (Rockport, Maine)

Itineraries: Maine Coast

Cruise Line: Liberty Windjammer Cruises

Ships: Liberty Clipper (Homeport in Summer: Boston), Liberty Star (Homeport: St. Thomas)

Itineraries: Liberty Clipper: Bahamas; Liberty Star: Virgin Islands
Summer Itineraries: Boston, New York City,Great Chesapeake Bay

Cruise Line: Windstar Cruises

Ships: Wind Spirit, Wind Star, Wind Surf

Itineraries: Vary (Destinations include Italy, Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Panama Canal, Northern Europe, Transatlantic)

Related: Cruising to the Caribbean?  Get a day pass to an all-inclusive resort!
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Related: The Importance of Travel Insurance