Advice from a Fitness Pro: Top Workouts in Mexico & the Caribbean

As owner of Fit Bodies Inc., which places fitness, yoga and sports professionals as guest instructors at luxury resort properties throughout Mexico & the Caribbean, fitness pro Suzelle Snowden has toured hundreds of resorts. We asked her for her favorite places for a good workout, and here’s what she had to say:

  1. The spin studio at Secrets the Vine Cancun has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the pools and the sea. It’s the perfect view to fuel you through your workout.


  1. Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa has a great gym and indoor studio for spin and fitness classes, but the real standout here is the outdoor yoga classes held in the wedding gazebo.


  1. Negril’s Couples Swept Away has an amazing 10 acre sports & fitness complex that includes lit tennis courts, two squash courts, two racquetball courts, a fully equipped gym, 25-meter lap pool, aerobics, yoga, an outdoor jogging track, steam rooms, saunas, Jacuzzi and a basketball court. Fit Bodies Inc. sends two professional instructors there each week – one for yoga and one for fitness.


  1. Head out to the pier at Secrets Silversands Riveria Cancun for yoga classes. But you have to get there early – classes at this dreamy location fill up quickly!


  1. With a well-stocked gym, Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa would be a great choice for any fitness fanatic, but what makes this resort stand out is the early morning powerwalk through Cinnamon Hill Golf Course to the famous Rose Hall Great House at the top of the hill.


  1. While Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica has a beautiful spa and fitness center, the pro tip here is that every single member of the resort’s entertainment team is a professional dancer – guaranteed to get that heart rate pumping during poolside dance lessons or water aerobics!


  1. Secrets St. James Montego Bay and Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay share a fitness facility that overlooks manicured tropical gardens. Fit Bodies Inc. offers a yoga teacher and a fitness teacher there each week. SEMB_Aerial3_1

Fitcations – 10 Healthy Travel Tips

Don’t miss out on the 2013 Fitcation featuring Zumba by Apple Vacations this year at Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. HURRY, book by April 30, 2013!!!

Here are 10 Healthy Travel Tips from Apple Vacations own April Wickey.

10 Healthy Travel Tips

  1. Have a light breakfast before you leave for the airport, and carry a water bottle to fill up while you wait. You can’t bring food and drink past security.
  2. Bring sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply often! Bring a travel size sunscreen, big sunglasses and bathing suit in your carry-on in case your room isn’t ready when you arrive.
  3. Take an early morning walk or run on the beach, or hit the fitness center before breakfast. That way, you’re burning stored fat instead of readily available carbs.
  4. Join in on the activities by the pool and beach. Water aerobics, volleyball,yoga…you’ll have so much fun, it won’t even feel like a workout!
  5. With tropical fruit, veggies and fresh seafood readily available, you can fill up on the tasty and healthy stuff before you’re tempted by heavy meats and fat-packed entrees on the buffet.
  6. Those fancy tropical drinks are packed with sugar, and even though you don’t taste the alcohol, don’t be fooled! Drink plenty of water and limit alcoholic beverages, especially the kind made in a blender.
  7. Don’t have dinner too late, as you won’t be able to burn off those calories as readily. After dinner, hit the disco for more fun and aerobic activity.
  8. Limit dessert to a cup of decaf cappuccino and a bite of dark chocolate. You’ll thank yourself later and won’t have trouble zipping your jeans.
  9. Get pampered at the spa with a relaxing massage, facial or seaweed wrap for your skin. Stress is the #1 cause of illness.
  10. If you over-indulge, it’s OK. After all, you’re on vacation! Just don’t over-do it at every meal.
Here’s whats included:
  • Round-trip Non-stop flights from Chicago O’Hare and Dallas Ft Worth or direct flights from Minneapolis to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • All-Inclusive hotel accommodations at Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta
  • $200 Resort Coupons per room included (restrictions apply)
  • All meals, snacks, unlimited drinks, non-motorized watersports and more
  • FREE non-stop transfers to and from hotel
  • Sunset welcome cocktail party June 8, 2013 and farewell dinner party June 14, 2013
  • Daily fitness activities including Zumba Fitness classes with licensed Zumba instructors

HURRY, book by April 30, 2013!!!


Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort

Located directly on the beach in the heart of the Hotel Zone, this resort is bordered by the Nichupte Lagoon to one side and the Caribbean Sea to the other.

Congratulations to Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort, a recent winner of an Apple Vacations Golden Apple award for superior staff and service. I had the pleasure to visit this luxury resort on my recent trip to Cancun and I was very impressed.


Sandos Cancun is a boutique resort just 10 minutes from the Cancun airport. When you walk in the resort there is understated elegance. Note – If you are looking for an all – inclusive with a kids club, huge buffet restaurant and miles of a meandering pool and crazy games, in my opinion this is NOT the place for you.


If you are looking for a sleek, luxury, intimate resort (just 214 rooms) with several a la cart restaurants offering a fine dining experience and an AMAZING Spa, then this IS the place for you.


Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort - Lobby

The lobby is smaller with a nice relaxing modern lobby bar –  Bar One , small gift shop and two a la carte restaurants to the right  off the main lobby. I dined at Zango and my lunch was delicious.  I always think it is nice to have an a la cart dining option in resort for lunch, it’s nice to get out of the sun and have a good, relaxing meal.  There is another A an a la cart Seasons which is open for dinner and is beautiful and offers stunning views of the Caribbean sea.



Sandos Cancun Room

The rooms at Sandos Cancun were exquisite with more than ample space. All of the rooms are ocean view with stocked mini bars, marble bathrooms, robes, slippers and even a safe that is wide enough for a lap top. The décor os neutral tones and made for a relaxing feel to the rooms.




Outside there were three pools that cascade one into another.  There were ample lounge chairs, bali beds and lounge beds on swings. The swinging beds were my favorite! There was a pool  – side restaurant of drinks and meals outside.  I have to say this was one of the nicest pool areas I have seen in Cancun, all the chairs were really nice, there was ample space between them for privacy and there were plenty of them.

I highly recommend this resort for a romantic vacation, girls getaway or spa getaway. It is also a perfect spot for a destination wedding.

Check out the pictures of Sandos Cancun and please leave comments if you have any questions.


Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort - View of Pools


Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort bali beds on beach



Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort View of Caribbean Sea



Looking for a Spa Getaway? Try Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort

Photo Credit: Eileen Herncane Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort - Spa del Mar

Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort is perfect for a relaxing Spa Getaway for so many reasons.  When I visited Sandos,  I was amazed at how big the Spa was and the variety of treatment options available.  Sandos Cancun is a luxury resort so you feel pampered the moment you step in the resort. It is also a smaller resort – a boutique resort  – with a quite feel. Sandos Cancun is a perfect resort to relax, enjoy gourmet dining and tropical drinks.

Sandos Cancun offers a 15,000 square foot European spa with 14 individual treatment rooms for a full range of spa services, including seaweed applications, Swiss showers, massages, hydrotherapy, Celtic Showers, facials and more.  They have indoor and outdoor sections of the spa including Jacuzzis, saunas and relaxation rooms.  The spa is easy access right off the main lobby / by the pool of the resort.

If you need some R & R, or are looking for a perfect place for a spa getaway, Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort is a really great option.

Check out our gallery of pictures to get an up close look at the Spa:

A Much ‘Kneaded’ Vacation

There are very few indulgences in this world I love more than a good massage. When my husband and I went away for our summer vacation this year to Secrets Silversands in Mexico’s beautiful Riviera Maya, I knew we needed to take advantage of their state-of-the-art Spa.

Secrets Silversands Spa by Pevonia - The expansive 12,000 square foot Secrets Spa by Pevonia at this all-suite, Unlimited-Luxury® resort offers an atmosphere of pure indulgence with a combination of hydrotherapy and indigenous treatments. Spa packages available.

Not to sound too dramatic, but spa treatments, in my opinion, are amazing; they’re reinvigorating, a wonderful exercise to reduce stress and most importantly they revitalize your body. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying everything from European facials, to saunas, to a variety of different massage techniques.  Now add a tropical setting to all that – Whoa! I knew my cares would float away into the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea.

Secrets Silversands Spa by Pevonia - Spa hotels can turn any vacation stay into a luxurious experience.

So, on our second day, I stopped by the spa after breakfast to schedule our “couples” massages. An added bonus was that, even though our treatments weren’t until later that afternoon, we had the opportunity to enjoy all the Spa facilities for the entire day. (That included: the private pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, light therapy room, and meditation room). My usband and I arrived early, changed into our robes and slippers, waited in the lobby for our masseuses and enjoyed a refreshing detoxifying iced tea beforehand. We were happily greeted and taken to our beautiful massage room, where we settled in for the next 90 minutes. My husband had spent a little too much time in the sun that day and the day before, so he opted for a special water lily treatment to help alleviate the sting from sun burn. I loved my Swedish massage and I know my husband enjoyed his massage as well. It was the perfect time to relax and enjoy our surroundings. We both needed that time to unwind from our hectic everyday schedules. After our massages we again rested in the meditation room, with warm neck pillows and blankets. I felt so refreshed! My muscles were limber, my neck, shoulders and back were no longer stiff. It was such a relaxing day.

Secrets Silversands Spa by Pevonia

I highly recommend trying the Spa while you’re on vacation if your resort offers this. It’s the perfect way to add to any tropical paradise vacation.


Secrets Silversands Spa - Meditation Room

Here is all that we enjoyed…

Step into our spa and step into supreme indulgence. At Secrets Spa by Pevonia, enjoy a wide selection of invigorating and revitalizing treatments, no matter what your pleasure.

The expansive spa offers a sublime atmosphere of pure indulgence combining hydrotherapy and indigenous treatments creating a refreshing and peaceful experience. The various treatments at the spa will nurture your mind and body and leave you relaxed, refreshed, and revitalized.

Let the stress of everyday life fall away as you experience a massage or facial in one of our fourteen luxury treatment rooms. Or slip away during soothing therapeutic body treatment for your mind and your body. The spa also offers a full-service beauty salon featuring hair treatments, manicures and pedicures. Think you’re brave enough to try our ice bath or a sensation shower?

The spa consists of 19 massage rooms with showers, suitable for private or couples massages, body therapy room, facial rooms, a fully equipped gym as well as a hydrotherapy area with sauna, steam rooms, whirlpool and spa showers.

Try our relaxing outdoor Swedish massage overlooking the ocean. Perhaps a European facial is more your style; indulge as you sip a cup of tea at our state-of-the-art spa. And don’t forget to take home a memento from our spa gift shop, maybe some aromatherapy candles to remind you of your luxuriating spa experience.

Living the Life at Secrets Silversands

My husband and I needed a vacation, badly. Choosing to go to Mexico was a no brainer, mostly because last year we went to Punta Cana. But if you haven’t noticed, Mexico’s a big place and there are a lot of destinations to choose from! There’s Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Cozumel, and Cancun to name a few.  So, we live on the east coast, and wanted a direct, non-stop flight, something close (only a 3 day, 4 night jaunt) so we chose the beautiful beaches of Cancun, specifically Riviera Maya. The next few decisions were easier. We wanted adults-only, gorgeous beach/pools, and spa. ONE word – Secrets. Plus there are 3 of them in the Cancun vicinity. We went with Secrets Silversands, and it was the perfect choice!

Secrets Silversands brings a brilliantly contemporary atmosphere to Cancun's famed Riviera Maya. Surrounded by warm crystal waters, this all-suite Unlimited Luxury ® resort features 433 sumptuous suites, everyone is a showcase of modern luxury and elegant appointments.

Preferred Perks PLUS - Frontier Airlines Introductory Rate $39

Let me jump to the vacation…

We packed our bags, and were ready to go! It was a little exciting for our first Frontier plane ride. I’d like to add that we opted for the Preferred Perks, and in my opinion it’s totally worth it. I watched a couple shows on Bravo, (YES – Frontier has direct TV) and bam, we were there, in gorgeous, sunny, Cancun Mexico. We hopped in our non-stop transfer, arrived at Secrets Silversands in 20 minutes, stepped out of the car and were greeted “Welcome, home”.

The next few days were nothing less than lying by the pool, (there are 8 to choose from, I might mention), relaxing under a palapa on the

Savor Mexican a la caret cuisine in a traditional authentic ambience.

beach, eating fresh avocados or guacamole with every meal, and sipping delicious tropical libations. I have to say that the food at Secrets Silversands is better than you can imagine. They have 9 restaurants, which are beautifully styled, have excellent customer service, and extremely scrumptious fare. Secrets Silversands has an extremely active entertainment program. You can do Yoga on the beach in the morning, join a game of beach or pool volleyball during the day, and there’s always something fun going on at night like a band playing or dance show.

My husband and I decided to go for a couples massage at their elegant SPA by Pevonia. WOW! We had access to the spa’s private pool, Jacuzzi, and sauna for the entire day and couldn’t wait for our late afternoon Swedish Massages. We had the most relaxing time, and afterwards we lay in the meditation room to continue the relaxation. It was completely dreamy and all my stresses easily drifted away.

Over the course of the 4 days we swam, we slept, we ate, we drank, and we relaxed. The vacation went by quickly, as they always do. But it was really a great time and I highly recommend it!

Secrets Silversands is nestled on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and lies a mere 15 miles south Cancun and about 20 minutes from the Cancun Inernational Airport. This all-suite haven is surrounded by coral reefs and adventurous attractions

Oceana Seafood Grille Situated directly under a giant palapa with a beautiful view of the ocean, serving a la carte seafood specialties in a quiet romantic and seaside setting.


Here are a few tips

  • If you like seafood try Oceana, delicious shrimp tacos and ceviche. There are 9 Restaurants, 8 bars and 24/7 room service.
  • The expansive 12,000 square foot Secrets Spa by Pevonia is Amazing! I highly recommend it!
  • Rooms are spotless and ultra-chic – amenities in each room include Sitting area with sofa, Bathroom with jacuzzi for 2, satellite TV, CD/DVD player, MP3 docking station, Internet dataport ($), Minibar, hair dryer, iron, telephone, room safe.







Win an Apple Vacation to Tropical Paradise!


Secrets Are Meant to be shared Sweepstakes

 Apple Vacations just started “Secrets Are Meant to be Shared Sweepstakes” on facebook!  Take advantage of your chance to win a much needed vacation to tropical paradise.

Here’s the scoop, “Like” us on Facebook to enter Apple Vacations’ Secrets Are Meant to be Shared Sweepstakes.  Wait, there’s more, we’re giving away 2 Apple Vacations! Tell us who you tell your secrets to and enter to Win Two Apple Vacations; one for you (and your guest) and one for the person you share your secrets with (and their guest) to the brand new Secrets The Vine Cancun! The first Secrets Resort & Spa in Cancun.

Imagine spending 5 days, 4 nights in Cancun?! The world-famous destination is known for incredible white sandy beaches, amazing turquoise blue Caribbean Sea and exciting nightlife. You can share more than your secrets, you can share a luxurious secret adventure provided by Apple Vacations and Secrets The Vine Cancun.

Secrets The Vine Cancun

Vacations Include: roundtrip airfare to Cancun, luxurious accommodations at Secrets The Vine Cancun for 4 nights, tips and resort transfers. This brand new adults-only resort is situated along a powder-white beach with crystal-clear views of the Caribbean Sea. Offering an adults-only Unlimited-Luxury® experience with gourmet dining options, premium brand beverages, daily activities, nightly performances, elite services and superior amenities such as including Italian porcelain floors and the finest luxury linens. Secrets The Vine features a massive Secrets Spa by Pevonia inspired by the natural cenotes of the area. All of this and more is within reach and only 10 minutes from Cancun’s International Airport.

Let’s face it, if you’re questioning if you should really use those vacations days this summer ask yourself these questions….

  1. Are you hallucinating tropical fish in the company water cooler?
  2. Do you spend all your off time in your kids’ pool dreaming of the Caribbean?
  3. Do you find yourself thinking of reasons why you need a vacation?
  4. Have you made your kids’ primary chore to wear Hawaiian outfits and keep you supplied with Margaritas?
  5. Were you relieved to find a Workaholics Anonymous group that meets in your building?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, YOU NEED A VACATION! So go ahead and enter the Sweepstakes! What’s there to lose? (beside vacation days).

If you can’t wait to win, check out amazing Summer Deals on