May 30, 2009
I booked our honeymoon to Mexico (Cancun and Riviera Maya) in mid-late February. The wedding is May 30th. We wanted to be gone 11 nights, but had a budget for more like 7 nights. Here was my strategy: stay a half the time in all-inclusive, for the luxury experience, and stay half the time at a small boutique hotel in less touristy (than Cancun) Playa del Carmen. This will be our time to do more exploring of the area since we won't be missing free meals to do so. Here's the itinerary:
1st leg - 3 nights at the Valentin Imperial Maya all inclusive in Playa Secreto/Maroma
Purpose: relaxation and romance
Booked through expedia.com. I got a GREAT deal on the flight and hotel together. Expedia is the only site (that I know of) that will let you have different flight dates from your check in/out dates. This let me get the flight discount and still stay at different hotels. For three nights and roundtrip airfare for two, the total was: $1796. If you count the rate of the room as the one the hotel advertises (actually a pretty good price) its like getting the flight for $133 a person!! AND we are getting the best room there - the ocean front suite - for less than the price of booking the cheapest room and flight separately!!
2nd leg - 4 nights at La Tortuga Hotel in Playa del Carmen downtown
Purpose - exploring Playa del Carmen and other tourist destinations in the Yucatan. I've never been there, but they say Playa del Carmen is a "hip" town that's not as touristy as Cancun. Save some $ so we can stay at nice all inclusives the rest of the time
Booked straight through the hotels website www.hotellatortuga.com. Best deal I could find. We're in the basic rooms which are about $115 a night including taxes and a discount for staying at least 4 days. You get an included breakfast and a discount on meals at a nearby restaurant which has excellent reviews on tripadvisor.com.
Pics - the rooms are not extremely pretty, but reviews on tripadvisor.com say that the rooms are clean and comfortable. The pool here is really cool.
3rd and final leg - 4 nights at Riu Palace las Americas, all inclusive in Cancun
purpose - relax again, romance, nightlife?, a little bit of exploration
Booked with a local travel agent. Acutally got a better deal than expedia or the hotel website. Total was $1040 for 4 nights. We got the basic room, but I hear free upgrades (or for the price of a tip at the front desk) are common.
Total cost of flights, hotel, room, and all meals except while at the Tortuga: about $3300. We plan to spend about $700 more on food and excursions.
I can't belive I'm getting more excited about the honeymoon than I am the wedding!
Tips - I love tripadvisor.com almost as much as I love project wedding. They have a TON of great review on lots of hotels. It was indispensible for planning this trip. cancun.com has some really great rates for hotels in Mexico. Especially if you want to stay at the same hotel the whole time you can get great flight + room deals.