Vacation Destination #3 - Riviera Maya

I had not previously considered Riviera Maya at all.  In my mind, it was basically Cancun, and Cancun is sort of spring-breaker-trashy, which I wasn't interested in.  However, we went and spoke with a travel agent yesterday (well, actually we wanted to just pick up some brochures, but ended up having to spend almost 45 minutes there while she tried to sell us a trip), and I've decided to include Riviera Maya into my list of possible destinations, since long flights and high prices were making some of the Caribbean islands that I was looking into less desirable.

We told the agent some of things that were looking for as well as our budget.  She listed the Dreams chain of resorts as a possible option because they do not require reservations for their restaurants and because the Dreams resorts are usually 4 or 5 star hotels.  However, the prices that she was quoting us were around $1700 per person, which seemed like a little much, especially when you consider that the Dreams resorts do not include  tips at the bars and restaurants within the resort, which can add substantial cost.

However, I went to since that's one of the main sites that I use to read reviews, and the prices were substantially lower.  Now, I do know that the Apple vacations prices includes transportation from the airport and that the Orbitz prices do not, but from what I read on reviews, it's very economical to just rent a car and that way you can drive to the various excursions as well without having to pay the exorbitant "excursion" prices.  And even if you want to add the roundtrip airport transportation through Orbitz, it's still relatively affordable.

Dreams Tulum ( is located south of the main section of Riviera Maya, but close to Tulum, which houses a set of popular Mayan ruins.  Dreams does not require you to make reservations at any of their fine dining restaurants - you basically just show up to be seated and sometimes you may have to wait a few minutes, but it's basically like going to an American restaurant.  Most reviewers actually commented that they never had to wait at all to be seated.  Other reviewers also commented on how there were always a lot of beach chairs available and that they never had to "reserve" one - a clear plus for me.

In general, most reviewers gave the resort 4 or 5 stars, except for one person who was displeased with not receiving a honeymoon package.  Tips are not included at this resort, and most reviewers did mentiont that it is important to make sure that you leave tips, but some also mentioned things like "$50 in tips for a week goes a long way," and to me, that seems very reasonable.  It's also child-friendly, has a designated children's area where they are supervised during the day, and reviewers commented that the children were never in the way. 

I priced Dreams Tulum on both Orbitz and Apple Vacations.  Orbitz prices definitely won out, with the total package price adding up to about $2850 for two people, which included an upgraded room (from a standard room to a suite) and shuttle transportation from the airport.  Apple's price was $3100 for two, but did not include their trip insurance, which they really pressure you to buy (the travel agent also pressured us to purchase this - I'm not sure that I see the value considering it adds almost $200 to the overall price.)

So, Riviera Maya is definitely in the mix now, and I will continue to look into other resorts in this area to see if there are any others to add.  Swine flu and the Mexico drug violence is something to consider before going to Mexico, but none of the recent reviewers mentioned anything about either.

I know that Riviera Maya is a popular destination - have you ever been there before?  Where did you stay? What did you think?


NineWagner said...


Rent a Car in Riviera Maya place is a hidden treasure with beautiful natural beauty.People come to this place for an exotic holiday. Get in touch with all the attractions and enjoy. Thank you......

adventurecarrental said...


This is very nice post! Renta de Autos en Riviera Maya is a great service tourists love rental cars for a peaceful journey. The white sand beaches are the most attractive spots.

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