What’s the deal with a “Square Deal?”

We have had several questions lately on “Square Deals”. As they grow even more popular, I thought I’d explain them again.  Apple Vacations offers what we call “Square Deals”.  They are amazing offers where YOU pick the departure date, destination and Apple rating and WE pick the hotel.

Since we do not advertise a hotel name, we can offer some amazing rates without associating the name of a high – end hotel with such a low rate. Why would Apple or a hotel do this? An empty hotel room is lost revenue to the hotel, just as an empty seat on an airplane is to us. There may be a window where a group canceled, or there happens to be some open inventory.  When this opportunity arises, we work together to come up with some GREAT offers that would never be available, if you booked the hotel as an advertised name brand.

“Square Deals” offer great value to Apple Vacationers looking for an unbeatable value. When you book, you must understand the potential hotels. If you would be happy with any of the possibilities, then a “Square Deal” is good for you.  For example, if you book a “5 Apple Square Deal” you will be placed in a “5 Apple Square Deal” rated resort OR ABOVE. So you could get a 5 Golden Apple or even a 6 Apple resort.

I had someone ask where they would wind up if they booked a 6 Apple Square Deal to Cancun. I can’t tell you exactly, but I can say that Dreams Cancun, Le Blanc, Palace Resorts and Gran Melia are 6 Apple luxury hotels in Cancun. I’d be happy with any of them. If you would, then book it!

We had a recent Facebook fan who booked the  “4+ Square Deal” to Cancun, and he received just that. He wrote to me last week, that it was a GREAT trip. His pictures are featured on this blog (Thanks Will!).

You should not book Square Deals if you need a specific resort, need the hotel information ahead of time or have special dietary or rooming restrictions. Also, do not book a “Riviera Maya Square Deal” if you want to stay in Cancun. Understanding the potential hotels, is very, very important. Do not book if there is a hotel or hotels on the list that you will not stay at. A few weeks back, we had a vacationer that booked a “5 Apple Square Deal”. When she was placed at a 6 Golden Apple resort she was not happy.  And keep in mind, since these rates are extremely negotiated, if you want to move the rates may be a huge difference in price.

Here are some FAQ’s on “Square Deals”.

Q – When do I find out my hotel?
A –  At the airport upon check in.

Q – What if I get there and do not like the hotel?
A – Most people are more than happy with the hotel for the price they paid. If you are unhappy, the Apple Representative in resort can provide options for moving. Keep in mind, since the “Square Deal” was sold at such a negotiated discounted rate, to move to a hotel with an equal Apple rating may be substantially more expensive.

Q – Can I request a specific hotel?
A – No, hotel requests and specific room requests cannot be made for “Square Deals”.

Q – Are “Square Deals” ever to a specific Hotel Chain versus an Apple rating?
A – Yes, at times a chain, such as Dreams Resorts & Spas or Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, will offer a “Square Deal”. They can offer this for any hotel in their chain in a specific vacation destination or by any hotel in their chain at a specific Apple rating.

So if you are just a little bit flexible and want a great deal on your next Apple Vacation, book a “Square Deal!”

44 thoughts on “What’s the deal with a “Square Deal?”

  1. Last Nov. we selected an Apple NOW (resorts) Square Deal. This was our first Square Deal we had booked. We were very happy with the price. Upon arrival we found that the resort was in the midst of a complete renovation. We were assigned a room on the second floor of a building which at that time was being renovated in the first floor rooms – they had NOT renovated the second floor rooms yet! Our room had several things missing and/or not working – including the air conditioning!! We complained to the front desk and the person there said we got that room because we had selected the Square Deal! Sounded like if you come with a Square Deal booking you get assigned the “bottom of the barrel” room. He wouldn’t do much of anything to help us. It took much more complaining to the consierge and managers before we were given a better room where everything worked. Very, very leery now about booking another Apple Square Deal.

  2. Hi Jim. I am sorry to hear that. I was actually at Now Jade and Now Sapphire last November. I know both hotels the week I was there were at 100% occupancy. I hope you sent the details to our Consumer Care team.

  3. What exactly do you mean by you shouldn’t do a square deal if you have a dietary restriction? I do have a wheat allergy, but when I have taken an apple vacation before (Secrets Silversands, loved it!) I didn’t tell them anything about it. I just ordered responsibly at the restaurants and had no problems (my allergy is not a severe one). Should I be in communication with the resort ahead of time about this and therefore not do a square deal?

  4. A dietary restriction as far as if the hotel HAS to order something for you in advance… or make special meals… such as a gluten free or a Kosher meal. But if you can eat gluten free or “kosher style” and make due with what is on the buffet or in the restaurants, then you are fine.

  5. Hi, Ellen. After a couple days a manager did change our room to a much better room and all worked out fine. It was just the statement by the desk clerk who do much because after all we were there on a “Square Deal.” Did write to both Apple and the NOW Sapphire when we got home. Never heard anything from NOW Sapphire. Apple was going to investigate the problem and then did get back to us and sent us some vacation certificates which we are now using on a trip to the Riviera Maya, but a different resort. Thanks.

  6. My husband and I did the Apple Square Riveria Maya in February and August of 2011. Both times we were very pleased with the resorts and of course the great value we received! We know the Riveria Maya well and have come to believe that all the 5 apple and above resorts work just fine for us. We would like to know if there is a limit to how many people you can book on one reservation number for a square deal. Thanks

  7. He Lori,

    For a Square Deal, you can book upto 9 people to be guaranteed the same resort. They all have to be booked at the same time and be under 1 reservation. So glad to hear you love Square Deals!

  8. Is it true that you can pay an added fee to Apple for a single opportunity to refuse the initial selection? I heard it was $50


  9. We have booked several 5 apple square deals and we have never been diappointed. In PV, Mexico we ended up at Dreams and were just blown away by the food and the resort. I am leaving in a few days for another 5 apple square deal in the Riviera Maya. How can you be disappointed in Mexico? There are always several resorts I would love to return to, but it’s nice trying someplace new. We have found that each resort has some things a little different that we enjoyed. My advice-roll the dice and have a great time.

  10. My husband and I are looking at booking a 6 apple adults only square deal. We were looking at the possible resorts and there is one resort Gran Bahia Principle Sian Ka’an that is not on the beach. We are worried that we would get this resort. My whole purpose of a vacation is to be on the beach. What are odds of getting that resort? Any ideas?

  11. a friend and I just booked a five apple square deal for end of April to Mexico-Riviera Maya – this is our first time going to Mexico or anywhere requiring a passport! Hope this was the right thing to do and that we get a nice resort that we love filled with fun things to do and have a great time.

  12. 11 friends booked a apples 5 square deal for 9/20/2013 and was promise the same resort. after reading the question about only 9 are quarnteed should my friends and i back out before it becomes to late

  13. Hello! I read every post 🙂 Me and my husband on going on apple square deal , 5 red apples on May 6 – May 15. I am pretty excited. I never choose square deal before. The price was really good. I can’t wait to find out what resort we will end up. As far as I see I like everyone 5 red apple resort in Punta Cana, they all seems to be fun. I never went to red apples before, always gold. I hope we are going to have a good time.

  14. These sound like great deals indeed! But some all-inclusives are “adults-only”. I am planning on bringing my daughter – does the Apple Square deal have to state if the resort is adults-only?

  15. We just did a square deal for a six-apple swimout and it was incredibly disappointing. Not only was the rating inflated, the room wasn’t a swimout at all but rather a ground floor with a patio door… that led out to twenty feet of grass and a 15-inch pool ledge we had to hop over with our muddied, grass-covered feet. The patio door didn’t even have a card-swipe so we had to either leave it unlocked or go out the front door instead.

    It was a Dreams resort (Dreams Punta Cana) and unsurprisingly we discovered Dreams has the same parent company as… you guessed it… Apple Vacations! We won’t be booking any more vacations through Apple.

  16. We did an apple deal last yeare end ended up at he Secrets Capri. Beautiful! But we had a room and a view of the jungle, we had to pay $300 to move. As we were celebrating our 29TH Anniversary, and my 50th b-day. THEY were not accomadating at all, we evern mentioned to the travel agent we wanted a nice view. Apple savers get the worst rooms. I am worried because we are booking a 6 apple squared deal to Punta Cana, end of March, which I said I would not do again. But I am willing to give them another chance. We pay a lot of money saver or not, Be accomidating to your guest, and respect them. We did 4 other vacations not APPLE. And had FABULOUS SERVICE

  17. we are going a apple 5 square deal 2015 summer were do you think we will stay what hotels do they use ??

  18. We booked a 5 apple square deal all inclusive to negril for nov 1st-8th. Since we booked it apple has changed the ratings on the 5 apple hotels. They are now 4+. My question is, will we be put in a couples resort? They are the only one that shows to be available that week even though they are 5 golden apples. The riu palace is not being shown as available. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  19. Hey Paula! It’s difficult to say what resort will be selected for you. It could be any 5 Apple resort or higher. Unfortunately, with square deals we are limited with what information we can provide, as the resort is not disclosed until closer to travel or the day of depending on the type of flight booked.

  20. I am doing the 5 golden apple square deal and going to Punta Cana this December. I am a little worried because I have heard both good and bad things. Hope everything goes smoothly for us. I am wondering if we can request double beds instead of one king, and if not, will they accommodate to this once we get there?

  21. Do we find out which hotel at departure airport or at destination airport?

  22. Thinking of booking our first square deal. Are you able to upgrade to a better room upon arrival and how much more should I budget for the upgraded room?

  23. could you give me idea of what the 6 apple square deals resorts could be for Riviera Maya?

  24. I’ve already emailed and made a post an FB. I did not get straight answer. Also I open a discussion on Tripadvisors to find out other people opinion. In 2013, almost all year several resorts had specials for more than 7 days. They was a choice for 8, 9 or 10. In square deal too. The pricing was very good. Why I do not see it anymore. I understand we as US have much less vacation days than Europe but I bet you there is still a lot of people who would go for 2 weeks if the price did not go horribely high. I put 14 days, and the price is more than double the initial amount (for a week), should this be a better price since I am flying there twice only, not… four. I think we should be having more choice, not everyone wants to go there for 3 days…

  25. lowest price for a week at the iberostar lindo/or maya paraiso in mexico.for the week of april 16 8 adults 3 kids 12,10 and 7 plus twins 3 yrs old and 2 kids 1yr and a half.

  26. We just booked a 5 Apple square deals for Punta Cana DR in July 2016. Was wondering what property’s vacations have been placed ? And how was your experience 😉

  27. Don’t do square deals cause you will get the worst resort on the list , like we di Grand Oasis. And they will not even help you to move to another resort, you are screwed.

  28. Leaving in one week, six apple adults only. The suspense is killing me. We don’t mind wherever we end up

  29. My husband and I are going to do the 6 Apple square deal for our 25 year anniversary. I’m very excited and looking forward to some time away from the extreme stress of our jobs and hoping to take time for a couple of couple massages while we are there!!!

  30. We booked a Apple Vacations Golden 6 Adults only for Punta Cana in the DR for MAR 2017
    I called Apple to request a list of which of the properties would be on the options as far as where we COULD end up at, the rep said is this the for a Square Deal and I said yes, she said she could not tell me? I was not asking her which one we are going to, rather which ones are where we may end up

  31. We are doing our 2nd Square Deal. 1st time was 5 apple Riviera Maya and we were placed at Dreams Tulum. Huge savings and a beautiful resort. This time we have booked 5 apple in Puerto Vallarta. Anyone know what resort they are sending people to?

  32. We are doing a 5 Apple Square Deal to Punta Cana, DR in July 2017. Any experiences with a 5 Apple in the DR??

  33. We did 5 Apple Square Deal to Punta Cana, DR in 2012…got Dreams Punta Cana 6 GOLDEN Apple Resort.

  34. We’re doing a 5 apple square deal to pureta Vallarta in Aug, has anyone does a square deal to Pureta Vallarta lately? If so what resorts did you get!

  35. Has anyone done the 5 Apple deal in Puerta Vallarta in the last couple months. We’re going on Aug 5th wanted to get an idea of the resorts people are placed at. Thank you in advance

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