Looking for a five day resort trip with interesting things to do nearby
March 28, 2014 11:40 AM   Subscribe

Hello, My partner and I would like to get away in May for 5 days. We differ a bit in what we like. He'd prefer an all-inclusive relaxing beach and I'd prefer some sort of adventure.

We've compromised in the past with Riviera Maya and really enjoyed it but I feel like we've done most of what's there. Best was Zoetry + Chichen Itza. We live on the East Coast, so a short flight is preferable. I've exhausted myself looking through Apple Vacations, Trip Advisor, and Expedia. Possible places of interest are Caribbean or other nearby islands, Iceland, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua although I'm open to anything. We've considered Cuba but the tours are so controlled that I feel like he'll suffer as an introvert and not get that "chill" time he needs. We've not enjoyed Secrets Silversands, Mexico or Secrets Montego Bay, Jamaica. I wish I could move the Zoetry in Mexico to somewhere else that has something exciting nearby for a day trip. Thanks! Budget is variable but ($4000) is about my limit.
posted by Raichle to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Not sure if this is helpful at all but I'm a Gold Status member with Hilton if anybody knows of any great Hilton locations.
posted by Raichle at 11:42 AM on March 28, 2014

Best answer: I'd do the Hilton Papagayo in Costa Rica where it's luxurious and all inclusive and there are cool wildlife hikes and surfing lessons nearby.
posted by rmless at 11:55 AM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Hilton Lake Las Vegas with side trip to Zion, Grand Canyon, or Death Valley?
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:29 PM on March 28, 2014

Best answer: This might not be exotic/foreign enough for you but have you considered Hawaii? Some beautiful and seriously relaxing beachy properties on almost all of the islands, and there's lots to do: hiking, exploring volcanoes/black sand beaches, snorkeling, diving, etc.

I'd also second Costa Rica.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 12:29 PM on March 28, 2014

Best answer: I'm thinking Puerto Rico. Easy flight from the east coast, neat culture and history. No passport required.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:55 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: rmless, I looked at that one but it got some terrible reviews. Have you been there?

I'd love to go to Hawaii but it's too long of a flight for a 5 day trip.

Thanks, all!
posted by Raichle at 1:17 PM on March 28, 2014

Best answer: I'd third Costa Rica, but I'd go to Arenas Del Mar. It is literally exactly what both of you want -- a luxurious, welcoming hotel with a stunning private beach plonked down (ever so gently) in the middle of a rainforest. As much or as little adventure (hiking, ziplining, diving, etc.) as you want is there for the taking or leaving. If you don't properly close the "monkey door" monkeys will come into your room and take your breakfast cereal. (Why yes, that did happen to us, why do you ask?)

I never recommend anything on MeFi (or anywhere on the Internet) but Arenas Del Mar is the best resort I've ever been to. Feel free to MeMail me if you want more gushing details.
posted by The Bellman at 1:23 PM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Try the Hilton Ponce Golf and Casino Resort in Ponce, Puerto Rico. It's across the island from San Juan, about 1.5 hours. You can rent a car, and do some exploring from there.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:41 PM on March 28, 2014

Best answer: We went to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Spent a few days on the beach; a few days up in the rainforest swimming under waterfalls; a little time in Old City carousing; and one great night kayaking through bioluminescence. Easy flight. No passports. Eazy peazy.
posted by lpsguy at 1:46 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I agree with Ipsguy, although we didn't time things well enough to make the bioluminescent bay trip. But basically you can stay in San Juan at any one of the large hotels if that's your companion's thing (feels more "all inclusive") -- that's what we did -- stayed at one of the Marriots -- and then we took taxis (there are city buses too but harder to coordinate the schedule) to Old San Juan for sightseeing (El Morro, old fortress, and other interesting sightseeing), more interesting restaurants, the old cemetery,etc.. and then you can sign up at your hotel for the El Yunque rain forest trip, a bioluminescent bay trip, and other trips for more physical-type activities (a van will pick you up right at your hotel for these trips).

And, yes, it was a very easy I think 4-hour direct flight (we took Jet Blue), no passport, no need to change money, but you feel as if you're in another country (because, really, you are, despite the politics).

I went with my grown-ish son for 4 days and it worked out very well. Something for everyone!

(Another possibility that I'm curious about (haven't been) is Cartagena, Colombia. I hav(e a feeling that Puerto Rico is an easier place in which to get that diversity in a few days, though. )
posted by DMelanogaster at 2:42 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I think Costa Rica is the clear winner here although I really appreciate all of your input. Will post a follow-up (assuming that's allowed) when we get back.
posted by Raichle at 11:17 AM on April 1, 2014

Response by poster: So, we stayed at the Hilton Papagayo and took a lovely Nicaraguan tour with Jacamar Tours. It was pretty perfect and I can highly recommend both! Thanks for the advice!
posted by Raichle at 3:08 PM on May 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

« Older 20 attendee weekend event / Non-Profit Membership...   |   But those who never win and never quit are idiots. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.