Feel NO #MommyGuilt on an Apple Vacation!

#Mommyguilt  -  All the mommies have it, right? Well, I am on the first leg of my son’s summer break. As I was heading off to work and he was heading off to the library with Grandmom, it snuck up on me: I should be taking him to the park, pool or to a movie.

Then I remember – it’s OK!  I prepared, I planned! I have plenty of activities and trips planned for the summer, including some valuable #Familytime.

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Unlimited Luxury for All

As told by Jeff Farinosi, Senior Graphic Designer

I have a SECRET to tell you NOW (whispering): you can call me AMResorts’ #1 groupie. The past 5 trips I’ve taken were all at Secrets and NOW Resorts if that tells you something! During my travels I’ve been in relationships and have also been FREE (happily divorced) in others! Besides my relationship status changing, my love for AMResorts has not.secretsbanner

Most people would throw a label on Secrets Resorts as being mostly catered for couples and romance. That is far from the truth. They are wide open and friendly to any type of human being or group of people. Whether a Dolce & Gabbana cologne-doused metrosexual or a gun-rack-in-the-back-of-your-pick-up-truck redneck, you’ll see all sorts or personalities sharing and enjoying the public areas together, whether it’s the lobby or the swim-up bar. I ought to know since I accompanied the metrosexual, the redneck and his wife on a few of my trips! At the end of the trip, all of them wanted more with no complaints.

So when selling the Secrets brand, I say go for it and describe that the resorts cater to all and not just the ones deeply in love. There are plenty of opportunities to get romantic and the resorts are overall quiet when compared to the kid-friendly resorts. But there’s never a feeling of being a “third wheel” when staying at a Secrets Resort & Spa.

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Now Jade Riviera Cancun

My family and I recently headed to Cancun, Mexico for our summer vacation. We had a couple of close friends join us on our adventure. It was their first time traveling to Mexico, so I was really excited about showing them sugar white beaches and the crystalline blue Caribbean Sea. We stayed at the Now Jade Riviera Cancun, an upscale luxury all-inclusive resort.

When we arrived at the hotel, we were pleasantly greeted and all of us quickly had a cool beverage in hand while we waited to check in – already off to a great start. All of us needed to recharge from traveling, so we went for lunch and ate outside. The weather was perfect – sunny and blue skies. I could tell that we were all going to have a great time! The best part for me was hanging by the infinity pool in a super comfortable lounge chair. I find it incredibly relaxing laying back and looking at the ocean. Throughout our stay we tried all the different type of restaurants and checked out the evening entertainment nightly. My family and friends and I shared a lot of laughs, enjoyed delicious food, had the best service, in a sunny tropical setting – I would go back in a heartbeat. 

Have you stayed at the Now Jade Riviera Cancun? Share your thoughts and comments.

Step Up Your Stay with Apple Vacations

With so many people looking for a “price-driven” vacation in this economy, they might lose sight of the incredible in-resort upgrades available. Some people may have a price point that they have to stick to, but it is always nice to look into an upgrade if your budget allows. And, if you do a little research ahead of time, and keep your eye on sales, you can get an upgraded room, view or amenities for just little more, and it will really enhance your vacation.

Most hotels do have an upgraded section or upgraded rooms. On my last stay at Now Jade Riviera Cancun, I upgraded to the Preferred Club. At Now Jade this is what it included: upon arrival we were escorted through the main lobby and into the Preferred Club lounge. We had a private check-in, with snacks and drinks, at a comfy desk and chair versus the main lobby. From that point on, our key provided us access to this Preferred Club lounge. In the lounge, there were always plenty of drinks, sandwiches and snacks available all day and all night long. There were board games for rainy or lazy days. There were 2 computers with free internet access, and there was also a Preferred Club concierge there for any assistance we needed.  Preferred Club rooms were much larger.  Our room was a full suite with a sitting area and separate living area, 2 televisions, a huge bathroom and a jacuzzi on the balcony! There was plenty of space for a family. There were also extra amenities in the room, such as chips, candy, sodas and liquor. The best part about the Preferred Club at Now Jade is the Preferred Club adults-only pool.  It’s an amazing infinity pool with a great swim up bar and amazing views of crystal blue ocean. It was so relaxing sitting by (or in) the pool with these majestic views. On our latest trip, when our son went to the Explorer’s kids club each afternoon, my husband and I would head over to this pool to relax. Bali beds and upgraded lounge chairs surround the pool and were heavenly.

Almost every hotel offers some type of upgraded “clubs”, views, rooms and amenities. So when you make your decision, don’t forget to then look into an ocean view room, junior suite, a swim-up suite, and even a Jacuzzi room.  Any one of these options is a great way to have an even more amazing experience, and it will also make all your friends and family super – jealous when they see the pictures of your Apple Vacation :)

To see some current hotels with upgrade offers click here.

More Riviera Maya Hotel Reviews

mexico-nov-11-512More reviews from our Florida sales rep, Everton, escorting his first FAM trip to Riviera Maya.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya – This resort is located just minutes from Playa del Carmen and is the perfect location for clients looking to shop or hit the town. They have a great beach!  They offer 5 a la carte restaurants, multiple bars plus a swim-up bar surrounded by cocktail tables in the pool!  They offer liquor dispensers in the suites, which I thought was pretty cool. The buffet selection is great! They also have a perfect suite for honeymooners called a “Jacuzzi Suite” where the Jacuzzi is on the top floor of a two-floor terrace!  Very cool!!

Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya – This resort is very upscale and serene! 90 individually named ocean front suites at this intimate, boutique resort!  Resort offers complimentary private transfers, in-suite check in, 3 gourmet, a-la-carte restaurants and complimentary WIFI throughout the resort. Unlimited phone calls to the U.S. are also included.  Enter the property by passing between two authentic 16th century Balinese Dragons representing “Hope and Prosperity”.  The Resort is decorated with unique art and antiques hand picked by the owner during his travels.  The resort is only 20 minutes from the airport and located behind the 2nd largest reef in the world. This is a true hidden gem!  The resort boasts the largest wine cellar in Riviera Maya. Clients can enjoy a complimentary sunset sail 6 days a week. They also have wild birds and “Makas” on property.

NOW Sapphire Riviera Cancun – WOW! What a tropical paradise!  This property has been recently renovated and offers spacious junior suites. This resort has 6 restaurants, a massive pool with an abundance of in-pool lounge chairs, a beautiful beach and spectacular food and service! No wristbands, no dining restrictions, no dining reservations, premium liquors and American beer.  Plus, 24-hour room service, beach and pool wait service.

NOW Jade Riviera Cancun – This resort features 7 restaurants, 5 bars and 556 very spacious junior suites.  The resort offers stunning pools. In the preferred club there are hammocks right over the pool!  This resort is built in a protected Mangrove area with abundant wildlife and lush landscaping.  The hotel offers 24-hour room service and is Family of 5 Friendly!  Now Jade has very contemporary design and decor! Spice (Asian cuisine) has tables outside under the palapas, which is a really cool feature and is especially good for group dining.

Why Preferred Club?

mexico-nov-11-327People say why upgrade, what are the perks?

On my recent stay to Now Jade Riviera Cancun, I had an upgrade to the Preferred Club. So what did this mean? Most hotels do have an upgraded section or upgraded rooms.

At Now Jade, upon arrival, we went thru the main lobby and into the Preferred Club where we had a private check in the Preferred Club lounge.

From that point on, our key provided us access to the Preferred Club where there were always plenty of drinks, sandwiches and snacks. There were board games available for rainy or lazy days. There were 2 computers with free internet access. There was also a Preferred Club concierge there for any assistance we needed.

Preferred Club rooms are larger. It was a full suite with a sitting area and separate living areas.  There was plenty of room for a family. There were also extra amenities in the room such as chips, candy and liquor.

The best part about the Preferred Club is the Preferred Club adults-only pool.  It’s an amazing infinity pool with a great swim up bar. On our latest trip, when our son went to the kids club each afternoon, we would head over to this pool to relax. Bali beds and upgraded lounge chairs surround the pool.

If you can afford it, it is an upgrade, I would definitely suggest it! It is well worth it. And say hi to Fransisco at the Preferred Club pool for me!

Review: “Spice” at Now Jade Riviera Cancun

spiceFor my son’s birthday, he chose the Asian restaurant Spice for his “special dinner“. Spice opened at 5:30 and was available for immediate seating. You can sit at a regular table and order from a menu, or you can sit at a Hibatchi table (for 10 people) where they cook on the grill right in front of you. The menu at the Hibatchi table is pre-set for all who sit at the table.

I arrived at 6:00 and waited for the Hibatchi tables to fill, then I gave them my name so I could be in the next seating. They gave me a beeper to come back and said the Hibatchi would take “about” an hour.

We then got ready for dinner, and as we were walking back to Spice, the beeper went off. They sat us at a table with another family, which was nice since then there were several kids. Everyone at the table received sushi and soup. Then the chef made fried rice, and did several egg tricks, right in front of us. Then we each chose chicken, beef or fish as the main entrée we wanted. I chose “mixed” and they were all spectacular – especially the fresh fish. The chef prepared the meal right in front of us, with all of his spatula and knife tricks. He even set the table aflame a few times! All the kids at the tabled LOVED this! It was a fun show and very interesting to watch him cook our dinner on the grill right in front of us. The night was capped off with a birthday cake and fried ice cream. It was really a fun night for our group.

I highly recommend this restaurant. My tip is that if you want a Hibatchi table – then go early. The waiting list grows very fast. There was never much of a line for the other regular tables.

Check out Apple Vacations’ Facebook page for lots of pictures of our dinner at Spice.