All posts filed under: Reviews

Eight Things to Do at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

I recently stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, an all-inclusive resort from the world famous brand. While it may not have been an obvious choice of resort for me personally, I have to say that I had a great time. My short stay there actually changed my mind about the brand. I’m happy to report that I would definitely stay at an all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel again given the chance. Not only is the property stunning and elegant, but it also offers a number of features you’d be hard pressed to find in other all-inclusive resorts in Cancun and Riviera Maya. If you’re looking for awesome things to do in Riviera Maya, Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya will probably have you covered for at least 3 days of your visit. That’s because the hotel offers so much  eight things you should definitely experience when staying at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya: Stay in a Deluxe Platinum Sky Terrace at Heaven If you’re not traveling with kids, Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya’s adults-only section, aptly called Heaven, is definitely the way to …

Hotel Review: The Royal Playa del Carmen, Dressed Down Yet Elegant

A tranquil courtyard, green and decorated here and there with unusual metal sculptures, led arriving guests from The Royal Playa del Carmen‘s enormous lobby to the pools and the beach beyond. Standing there, it’s quite easy to fully appreciate the resort’s allure. Six or so elegantly beautiful Mexican hacienda-style structures, painted white for a more modern flair, rise above you in their modest grandness, their doric columns and intricate iron railing balconies both intimate and inviting. Back in the courtyard, two paths on the opposite sides lead to the pool area, where two big pools sit, busy with guests enjoying their fruity cocktails and flanked with at least two hot tubs, possibly a couple hundred lounge chairs and several curtained cabanas, all arranged in a very appealing way. From here, you can hear the sounds of the waves as they kiss the beach, the famous Playa del Carmen beach, that lay just a few steps beyond. I was almost sad to leave the brilliant blue waters of Cancun behind, which was where I was until …

Hotel Review: Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Why Go: Go back in time and find out what it was like living in the 60s at Universal Resort Orlando’s family-friendly Cabana Bay Beach Resort, where the retro cool style of Mad Men meets the fun, futuristic utopia of The Jetsons. The latest onsite hotel addition to one of the most popular theme park resorts in the world is perfect for families with a penchant for bright colors and vintage design. And as Universal Orlando’s first value-to-moderate hotel, Cabana Bay Beach Resort treats guests, young and old, to pretty, candy-colored aesthetics, great kid-friendly pools, plush beddings and easy access to the theme parks at super affordable rates. Cabana Bay Beach Resort (Courtesy Universal Orlando) Getting There: Situated next to Interstate 4, Cabana Bay Beach Resort is easily accessible whether you’re driving from another city or taking the shuttle from the Orlando International Airport 20 minutes away. A complimentary shuttle is available to and from the theme parks. Getting Oriented: The retro-themed hotel sits on the Southwestern corner of the Universal Orlando complex, with Universal’s …

5 Reasons Why the Disney Dream Cruise was the Best Vacation I’ve Had

The Disney Cruise Line takes the magical feeling of a Disney park and the sense of adventure you get from a cruise. The combination of these two makes the Disney Dream one of the best vacations you’ve ever taken. Here are some of the reasons why I loved the Disney Dream Cruise. Vibe For me, the best part of the Disney Dream cruise is Vibe, the onboard teen club for ages 14 to 17. It’s the perfect place for teens like me to get away from their family and connect with other kids their age. Vibe has it’s own private deck with its own pool and lounging area, as well as deck games. The counselors are really cool and welcoming to everyone. Although our counsellors were technically our “chaperones,” it felt like they were just hanging out with us. At the coffee bar, food and drinks such as chips and smoothies are served. There are a lot of things to do from watching movies to chatting with the counselors and playing foosball with them. Every so often, we would start playing a game that involved everyone, …

Hotel Review: Club Med Punta Cana

Why Go: While many have several preconceived ideas of how a Club Med resort should be – opulent and luxurious, for example – the brand’s 4 Trident family-friendly resort, situated on the Atlantic shores of the Dominican Republic, slightly deviates from such ideas to match the island’s laid-back but active lifestyle. And it’s perfection. Not to say that it falls short of being luxurious, of course. After all, it boasts a beautiful 5 Trident space, fittingly christened Tiara, which features a private infinity pool with sweeping views of the ocean, a dedicated concierge service, nightly turndown service, and beautiful, beachside family suites that offer ample deluxe living space for a family of four. Club Med Punta Cana, however, is more than just indulging in expensive accommodations and amenities. With an ideal location – right next to the famed shallow reefs of Punta Cana and minutes from the Punta Cana International Airport, Club Med Punta Cana (the resort that introduced Punta Cana to the world) goes beyond the usual all-inclusive escape that mostly involve taking dips …

Hotel Review: Boca Raton Resort & Club

Why Go: It’s a timeless beauty that exudes elegance and grace as well as comfort and, of course, fun – the perfect resort for a Florida family vacation nestled away from the hectic hum of theme parks and cities. The Boca Raton Resort & Club is a sprawling 356-acre property in lovely Boca Raton, Florida, with a year-round tropical climate and a grand, romantic architecture that features the Spanish-Mediterranean, Moorish, Gothic and contemporary styles, that feels very much like the quintessential Southern retreat. The family-friendly Waldorf Astoria resort has certainly come a long way from its humble beginnings as the Cloister Inn, earning its place as one of the top south Florida luxury resorts today. It now features five great properties, each with its own character, modern amenities, quiet gardens, seven pools, a private beach, a luxurious, award-winning spa, 16 unique restaurants and lounges, and a plethora of land and water activities including the new FLOWRIDER wave simulator to accommodate the more active guests. Getting There: The resort is an easy 30-minute drive from the …

Turn Family Vacation Snaps Into Beautiful Photographs with instaLens

Vacationing families who fancy themselves amateur or hobby photographers can now go from merely taking hurried and clumsy snapshots of their vacation to producing beautiful travel photographs without having to lug a DSLR around. With instaLens, a phone’s simple camera can turn into a powerful and compact photography device perfect for family vacations. As humans, we have this innate need to preserve our experiences and memories in permanent mediums, whether it be through paintings and drawings, the written word, or photographs, easily accessible to share with others or whenever we get the urge to walk down memory lane. This is evident enough in the number of vacationers taking pictures and selfies virtually everywhere we go. As parents, however, we are all too familiar with how complicated things can get when we’re on vacation with the kids and we have mastered the art of finding and using ways and solutions to make our job easier – whether it’s in utilizing ingenious packing hacks to having the right toys and activity books handy to distract the little …

Taste the Flavors of the World with Try the World

Food is the flavor of travel, and one of the best things about visiting far-off lands whose culture differ from our own. But if truth be told, while grown-ups are more than happy – or at least more inclined – to sample a foreign cuisine that differ from our own, kids are the pickiest eaters and convincing them to try something new may not be easy. This means that traveling with kids to a foreign country can get tough. A simple solution to get our little travelers to have a wider taste palette and to expose them to the different tastes of the world is to start at home. That’s where Try the World comes in very handy. An ingenious way of enjoying different tastes of the world, the US-based company delivers gourmet food from all over the world right on your doorstep every 2 months with their chef-curated subscription boxes filled with goodies from wonderful destinations. Whether you are looking to try some French cuisine, sample the more exotic tastes of Marrakech or savor …

Play Without Discrimination with Woozy Moo

As travelers, we know how tedious long flights or car rides can be for our kids. Toys are an integral part of our family vacations – to our kids, they are distractions from idle moments and for when the adults need some R&R. So why not choose toys that also function as effective learning tools, instruments that can help mold our kids’ young and impressionable minds and become free thinkers in the future? Finding such toys is easier said than done, however, with big toy companies often dictating what our kids should and shouldn’t play with. And with so many prejudices in the world – whether it’s manufacturers marginalizing what our kids can play with or it’s magazines promoting unattainable so-called role models and TV shows and movies dictating our kids’ identities, we do what we can as parents to not just protect our children from them, but also to raise individuals who are not driven by such biases. It’s a good thing there are companies out there who are helping parents to create a …