Family Vacation to Now Resorts & Spas

Now Jade Resort & Spa

Now Jade Resort & Spa

Many families are in the process of booking their summer getaways and are deciding where to go. Over the next few weeks we will feature some of our favorite family vacation resorts, to help you make your decision.

One of my favorite resorts my family visits over and over is Now Jade Riviera Cancun (if you read the blog often, you may already know this). My family loves Mexico for the white sandy beaches, turquoise blue waters, history, culture and charm. I am a creature of habit and we tend to go back to Mexico often.

As I write this, I’m dreaming of sitting under a palapa with my toes in the sand.

Here are my top 5 reasons why Now Jade Riviera Cancun makes a great family vacation (which you can’t necessarily find in a brochure or on a website):

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Phancation Logo


I cannot count the number of times I have been on an Apple Vacation. Each one has been unique and memorable. I can’t wait to add my trip to Riviera Maya this January to the list.  I will be on an Apple Vacation to Now Sapphire Rivera Cancun for the Phancation!

If you have never been to Cancun, here are my top 10 tips to have a successful trip.

1 – Get to the airport early.  For international flights, you should be there at least 2 hours prior to departure. I am always one of the first people to check-in.  You are never sorry you arrived early, but you could be sorry if you arrive late and miss the flight!

2 – Don’t forget your VALID passport.  Also, it must be valid for 6 months from the date of travel.  You will be denied boarding if you do not present this at check-in.

3 – Don’t forget the sunscreen. This is not the Jersey shore and the sun is STRONG! Apply frequently.  Missing a day of vacation because you are stuck in the room nursing sunburn is just not fun!

4 – Pack wisely.   Don’t pack too much and make sure you pack a carry on or easily accessible bag so you can hit the ground running and start your vacation! Most hotels have a check-in time of 3:00PM. However, flights usually arrive in the morning.  Expect that your room will NOT be ready when you arrive. Have a bag ready with a swimsuit or something to change into, so you can start your vacation right away.  Changing-rooms will be available and the bell man will hold your bags. Also, restaurants will be open for lunch. Resort maps will be available so you can explore and enjoy the property.

5 – Pack valuables such as jewelry, electronics and important medications in your carry on.   Then, leave them in the in-room safe when you arrive in resort.

6 – U.S. currency is widely accepted in Mexico. I, however, always do bring small bills in the form of $1’s and $5’s. This is beneficial when you make a purchase so you are not receiving too much change in pesos. Also, when you want to tip, you have small bills available. Tipping is included in the package price, but if I receive exceptional service, I tend to tip the waiters or drivers when appropriate.

7 – Don’t eat anything on vacation that would make you sick at home.  Whenever and wherever you travel, your system may react to new foods or drinks introduced.  To prevent any problems, I tend to be pro-active rather than re-active. I eat yogurt (Activia) the week before I travel.  I also make sure I have any over the counter medications with me in case I need them.

8 – Stay hydrated. Bottled water is readily available at the resort and included.

9 – Wear appropriate footwear. Hotels in Mexico & The Caribbean do not have carpet. Because of the climate, they are marble and tiled.  Be careful when near the pool or in the lobby or your room especially if there has been rain!

10 – Turn your Smart phone data off (to airplane mode) and make sure you check with your carrier on any charges you could incur if you use your phone in Mexico. Texting is usually very expensive.  My carrier has a minimal charge to use my iPhone in resort, but I have to sign up for it before I leave (and turn it off when I get back).  When I am in resort, I tend to use my iPad and communicate with family via the computer for FREE.

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.


Phillies Baseball Phans, are you ready for an All-Inclusive Phancation?

philliesLogoApple Vacations, a proud sponsor of the Philadelphia Phillies, invites you on an all-inclusive Phancation to Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun hosted by Scott Palmer, the Phillie Phanatic and some of your favorite Phillies VIPs and players this Winter. Take off with Apple Vacations and the Philadelphia Phillies for some – Phun in the Sun – in Cancun’s Riviera Maya. Spend a week enjoying the sunshine, sugar-white sand beaches and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

With Apple Vacations Phun in the Sun Phancation, It’s ALL included!

Prices start at $1499 per person for a full week including:

– Non- stop, round-trip flight on the Phillies Express to Cancun
– Deluxe unlimited luxury hotel accommodations at Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun
– ALL meals, drinks, tips and transfers in resort.
– Phancation group photo, gift, private beach parties and games with the Phillies players and VIPs and more!

That’s right, for one affordable price – it’s all included on Apple Vacations’ Phancation!

What could be more fun than a week in the sun in the winter with your favorite Phillies players?

For more details, log on to Space is limited!

*Based on double occupancy, includes gov’t taxes & fees. Price is per person from Philadelphia International on Frontier Airlines. 7 nights depart January 5, 2014. Price will vary for other departure cities. Phillies Players and VIP’s are subject to change.

Magic 100.1 returns from their All-Inclusive Apple Vacation!

Magic 100.1 from New Jersey just got back from a week at Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun in Riviera Maya Mexico.

Glenn Kalina, who has been a radio fixture in the tri – state region for many years, travelled with The Magic Morning Show with Diane De Oliviera down to Riviera Maya.

They broadcasted live each morning from the lobby of Now Sapphire. They also got to experience a true Apple Vacation at Now Sapphire by enjoying the amazing pool, great beach, spectacular restaurants and relaxing spa services. The Magic Morning show were even treated to the Tulum Xtreme Tour where they zip-lined and visited the ruins courtesy of our friends at Amstar Resorts. 

If you are in the area make sure to tune in to the station, over the next few months they will be giving away trips to Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun so that some lucky listeners will be able to have the same great experience.

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.

Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun

mexico-nov-11-510I visited Now Sapphire in Riviera Maya this month. I was there in June and wanted to go back and check it out. The hotel since June has had a lot of “soft” renovations such as new beach and pool chairs and new bedding. It looks GREAT!

Now Sapphire has a fabulous open-air lobby, which is great for sitting, reading or having a drink. The lobby is the center of the theatre, lobby bar and all of the dining.

The biggest attraction of this hotel is the amazing pool!  It is huge. It has quiet sections for lounging and of course the swim up bar “fun” section. Now Sapphire also has a very long white sand beach — completely picturesque.

They also have an activities pool. When I visited, they were having scuba diving lessons. How fun!

They have a great Explorer’s Kids Club, which I know my son would love. With their own kid size chairs and playground. It is fenced in and just adorable.

You can also upgrade to the Preferred Club for upgraded amenities and the Preferred Club also has a private adults only / quiet pool complete with Bali beds! If you are traveling without the kids, or plan on using the Explorer’s Kids Club, this is a great option to consider.

The hotel is very walk-able. It is big but not one of the mega-resorts of Riviera Maya.  Overall the hotel has a very Aztec/ Spanish influence unlike Now Jade, which is more of a modern feel. When you step into this hotel, you know you are in Mexico.

It is less than a 30-minute drive from the airport and just north of Puerto Morelos, a cute little fishing village / town with a few shops, Catholic church and beautiful beach.

At Now Sapphire, there are no dining reservations, no towel cards and no wristbands, which is an overall vacation convenience.  The food and service were also excellent.

Check out Apple Vacations Facebook Photo album for photos of Now Sapphire.