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Blog Posts (59)
- Valentin Imperial
If Disney built a tropical all-inclusive resort, The Valentin Imperial would be the blueprint. The theming of the property is reminiscence of a Spanish manor: Large, wrought iron chandeliers, peaceful water-features, mosaic tile, and lush vegetation. You immediately feel as if you're the special guest of a wealthy Spanish land owner. Beautiful marble tile floors and expansive, high archway welcome you to the one the most beautiful lobbies in the Cancun area. Lobby Check-In Area The expansive, well-landscaped property contains wide, stamped concrete walkways that make you feel like your hundreds of miles from civilization, yet all the meandering walkways make everything on the property conveniently located. Wide, stamped pathways lead the way to everywhere. Night lights illuminate all the paths after sunset. Your morning and evening walks will be enjoyed with the subtle music being played through speakers that line each walkway. The Valentin Imperial has the LARGEST pool of the 10+ all-inclusive resorts we've visited in Cancun. A second, quiet pool, is just steps away from all the amenities surrounding the large pool, yet somehow maintains its peaceful and relaxing feel. Trust me, this pool may look “plain jane" or boring but that's exactly what you want at the “quiet" pool. The palapas surrounding the pool provided welcomed shade, or you can pull your chair out into the sun – either way, this is a great place for “nap time". My morning walk provided this great image of the quite pool. Before I leave the pool conversation, I want to point out the only food available at the pool is from the Pool Bum Food Truck. But it offered plenty of variety. You could choose to eat at one of many tables under the shade or grub on your food of choice lounging poolside. What about the beach? Well, well, well…Valentin has one of the best beaches! Not only does Valentin Imperial have one of the largest (and nicest pools), they have a fantastic beach! Check out the walkway to the beach…subtle, yet it builds anticipation. Early morning champagne in hand....beach time! Just before you access the beach, the Sunrise Bar greets you on the left with a fantastic view and colorful drinks. The Sunrise Bar is a great location to swing or sit at a table to enjoy a great ocean view or just to contemplate life… :quot:There:apos:s no place like...the Riviera Maya:quot: Or dare I say it….check emails! There's Tammy – always working. Always checking on her clients! We grab our drinks and head out to the beach. Wide, expansive, and plenty of palapas to choose from. Cheers! Let's visit the rooms. We were fortunate to stay in the Junior Suite Silver Superior building. When you first look at the property map you may think, “it's not close to the pool" or “it's not close to the beach" or “it's not close to the restaurants". On the contrary, this location was perfect…it may not close to any one particular area but it was super convenient to everywhere. Of course there wasn't a pool or beach view from our room but if location convenience is high on your priority list, this is a great option. Building 1 was surprisingly convenient to everything. After a short golf cart ride, we make the quick walk to our room through the lush landscape. Here we go! Time to tour some other rooms! Astrid and Tammy leading the way! Let's get to the good stuff. Welcome to the Junior Suites Emerald. Now this is a walk-in shower...with a view! Relax the day away with this view. On our way to the Golden Pool area! Walking along the Golden Pool Not to be outdone, this next room is part of the Junior Suite Golden options. All the rooms in these buildings have either a view with quick access, or swim up access to the Golden Pool. Great view of the Golden Pool This would be your view for a swim up room. And our room tour is complete! Thanks to Astrid for showing us around and answering all our questions! Astrid rocked those high heels like a pro! Food! What about the food you ask? Well, there was plenty of it…and it was ALL delicious. We ate Mediterranean (L'Olivo), Mexican (LaHacienda) , Japanese (Ginger), and Surf/Turf (Mar y Tierra Restaurant) during our stay. We did not have time to visit L'Alsace (French Cuisine) or Taman Sari (Asian). I'm just going to post these pictures below and let you delight in their presentation. Ginger - Sushi Ginger: Teriyaki Beef L:apos:Olivo: Chicken Breast stuffed with mascarpone and saffron sauce. If you have a someone in your family who just wants good 'ol fashion bacon, sausage, eggs, etc for breakfast, well, they have that too! Plus a crepe station for the more refined members of your family 😉 Oh! I almost forgot to mention our favorite after-dinner spot: Don Miguel Bar. What a beautiful, sophisticated bar. Elegantly decorated and home to several signature drinks. My fave was the Blackberry margarita. Well, that brings us to the end of another trip report. I hope you enjoyed this quick look at The Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya. Here a quick summary of our Pros/Cons of Valentin: Pros: The resort has a soul, meaning you feel like family. The roadway entrance is impressive, and the drive onto the property is very prominent and tropical. The Lobby (Majestic in all its grandeur) Service Food Truck – The Pool Bum Ginger Restaurant Ambiance Don Miguel Bar Areas for Improvement: No restaurant directional signage Lack of Beach/Pool Towels (You are provided one towel each in your room for the beach/pool) Small Fitness Facility No poolside pizza Remember, you can also follow Tammy on Tiktok @travelagenttammy or Facebook: Exclusive Travel by Tammy. We look forward to sharing more resorts with you soon! Until then – cheers! #AllInclusiveResorts #Cancun #RivieraMaya #ValentinImperial
- Secrets Maroma
Welcome to Secrets Maroma. One of our favorite All-Inclusive Resorts. Secrets Maroma ranks in the Top 3 of all the resorts we've visited. Two of their amenities, the beach and the food, rank #1 overall. Lets get some of the formalities out of the way before I over-indulge your senses with pictures of the beach and food. Below is the modest check-in area for guests. After checking in, your know you've arrived on vacation when you walk into this beautiful lobby. Here's a view from the other side of the lobby. This marble slab with falling water is the lobby's impressive centerpiece. If you are visiting as a Preferred Level Guest, this will be your check-in area. The Preferred Bar is a great place to get a drink during check-in. Sometimes we would walk over to the bar mid-day to stretch our legs and grab an adult beverage. This property has some of the best all-around views. Eddie is an early riser, and his walks around the property in the morning provide some great images. His walks always take him to the beach for sunrise. Secrets Maroma has one the best beach front properties in Cancun. Occasionally you may hear about seaweed. This can be a common problem for most beaches in Cancun. The resorts can't do anything to mitigate seaweed but most of them have seaweed removal operations. Seaweed isn't present everyday either, it all depends on the ocean's currents. Much like the beach, the pool area is large are beautiful. Wow! Now this is what a “main" pool should look like. Pools We like to get to the pool early in the morning and enjoy some quality time before it gets crowded. A lot of times it feels like we have the pool to ourselves. It:apos:s Never Too Early To Start Hydrating In the afternoon we always had time to hang out with new friends! There's also a second pool that is very long and linear just steps away from the “main" pool. Check this out! This second pool is what I would call the “activity" pool but the main pool would host water yoga a couple times a week. Cool Activites Mini-golf Day or Night Lifesize Billiards Poolside Spanish Lessons Everyone wants to see the view from the room. As you wish… Sunrise Food and Beverage I won't bore you with listing all the restaurants and names of dishes, you just want to know if the food was good, right? Yes! When reviewing these pictures, I realized we eat A LOT of food, and most of it is poolside. Guilty! Enjoy. Guilty Pleasures of Maroma Well, that about does it for this trip report. If you're interested in Secrets Maroma or any other All-Inclusive resort, you know who to contact. Tammy can help you plan any trip…anywhere. Cheers to a good time. #playamujeres #Cancun #AllInclusiveResorts #Secrets #SecretsMaroma
- Sandals Montego Bay
We consider ourselves experienced travelers to tropical locations, but there was one vacation destination we hadn't visited…until now. Jamaica! This was a last-minute trip so we settled for a long 4-day weekend. The resort's close proximity to the Montego Bay Airport made it very convenient but also produced another unexpected surprise…more on that later. Since this was our first visit to Jamaica, we decided to take advantage of Club Mobay (extra cost) to have someone guide us through the airport and customs. We were greeted by a Club Mobay rep who was super friendly and very helpful. She escorted us directly to a special customs area for Club Mobay visitors. Welcome to Jamaica! It's starting to feel like vacation! Another advantage of Club Mobay is access to their lounge (circled below) when arriving or departing the airport. But since we were vacationing with Sandals on this trip, we also had access to the Sandals Lounge. Club Mobay circled in the background We checked into the Sandals lounge and was told the wait would be 15 minutes for the shuttle, but it turned out to be a 45-minute wait. Not a big deal – we're on vacation! The lounge was very nice, well furnished, and provided a refreshment area with fountain drinks and assorted snacks. No liquor though (Mental note: Club Mobay has liquor!) Sandals Airport Lounge The drive to the airport was a quick 20 minute commute. Darkness made it difficult to enjoy the entrance “arrival" but based on the bus needing to do a 3-point turn to get into the resort, it was easy to recognize there wasn't a grand entrance worth seeing anyway. Once the bus departed the property, it was easier to see the up-lighting and landscaped entrance. Now here's where I'm going to get real with you for a minute. As I walked through the open-air lobby area, I commented to Tammy, “This must be their flagship property". Not because it impressed, but more because it under-whelmed, especially compared to newer resorts. The property is also wedged along a very narrow strip of land between the airport and Caribbean – definitely not a location any developer today would say is a great location for a resort. I later learned Montego Bay is indeed Sandal's flagship property, originally constructed in the late 1980's but had recently completed renovations in 2019. The renovations must have all been concentrated in the suites and to adding the restaurants Tokyo Joe's and Butch because the lobby still felt dated – maybe it was the paint, the low ceiling, or maybe the furniture, either way it felt nostalgic. Now, don't get me wrong, once you walked through the lobby, you could venture onto a great outdoor patio area with fabulous views of the Caribbean. We would later learn that our room would be adjacent to this beautiful patio area with views from our balcony. I caught Tammy hanging out on the balcony one morning! The convenient location of this room was it's best asset. This had to be the only set of rooms that weren't renovated in 2019. I took some pics but the rooms were so small and dark, I didn't like the finished product. Imagine a four-post wooden bed with antique furnishings. I thought at any moment Ricardo Montalban from the 1980's Fantasy Island TV show was going to walk around the corner. This was the hallway leading to our room. Once again, a little unassuming, narrow, and plain. I imagine this is what a 1950's medical ward felt like. Thankfully the room was conveniently located to almost everything on the property, so we were able to overlook the nostalgic feel of this particular building. Let's talk pools! There aren't many pools on this property. Below is the “main" pool for the property. Even if you haven't visited other all-inclusive resorts, you can tell this pool doesn't accommodate a lot of people – very small for a “main" pool. There also aren't a lot of options for lounging around the pool. But it was quiet! Most people opted for the beach or hanging out in the “activity" pool located elsewhere on the property (but it too was tiny). If we had stayed in a “swim up" room, we may not have ever visited this main pool. In the picture below you can see the main pool is surrounded by cabanas that were first-come, first-served. I'm an early riser so I noticed most of the cabanas had been “reserved" with towels, books, hats, or floats by 6:00AM. It was disappointing to see several of the cabanas that had been “reserved" so early in the morning sit empty until noon or later. There's an open area next to the main pool for basketball and corn hole. The beach offered plenty of lounge chairs but limited palapas. Here's the obligatory picture everyone posts while on vacation. My view (and yours) from the beach chaise lounge. Now, here is an area where Sandals (at least at this resort) needs to get a handle on things. I mentioned earlier that I'm an early riser, meaning I'm usually up by 5:00AM. I usually like to walk the property and then grab a chair to enjoy the sunrise, read a book, or just wait for Tammy to rise and join me. Each morning, ALL the palapas chair were reserved with floats or towels by 5:30AM, and I thought this was odd because most people on vacation aren't early risers. So, these chairs were either being saved the night before or by Sandal's Butler Service (extra cost). I don't have anything against reserving chairs, or Butler Service (I liked to be pampered sometimes too), but most of the “reserved" spaces didn't have anyone sitting in them until 10:00AM. The number of “reserved" chairs was aggravating for other beach goers who were trying to find a spot earlier in the morning. Here's what most of the reserved spaces looked like early in the mornings. Once the sun comes up, and you can't find a beach chair, you can always wade out to this cabana to enjoy the vibe. If privacy is what you're searching for, you can rent one of the over-the-water cabanas. One of the coolest places to hangout is Latitudes Bar. You feel connected to the resort and it's location over the water provides a VIP feel. Check out these cool hammocks suspended over the water at Latitudes. Guess what? Cancun isn't the only tropical location with swings! Oh! Remember how convenient I said the resort was to the airport? And remember the “unexpected surprise" I mentioned? Well, here it it. A couple of times in the morning, and again between the hours of 2-4PM, you'll be jolted awake from your nap as planes take-off from the adjoining runway. Here's a view of how close the runway is to the resort. Busiest Time for Take-Offs: 1PM-4PM Let's talk restaurants. Cucina is the Italian restaurant with awesome 2nd floor views of the beach, water, and sunset! Caution: Being an open-air, elevated restaurant, the temperature was a tad warm with very little breeze during our visit. Our favorite menu item was the lasagna. Cucina is also a good breakfast spot too. Tokyo Joe's, added during the 2019 renovations, was a favorite spot for us. Think Hibachi-style grill. The restaurant is snuggled up against the resort, sitting atop pylons, hovering over the water. The food at Tokyo Joe's was fresh and delicious. Better than anything we've eaten at a Unico, Secrets, or Excellence resorts. The spicy tuna sushi and spring rolls were perfect appetizers. I didn't get a picture of the food (I was too busy shoveling it in my mouth), but I did get a picture of my date! Check out this hottie. One of favorite after-dinner spots each evening were these fire pits adjacent to Tokyo Joes. Another favorite restaurant of ours was Butch's Steakhouse. The addition of this restaurant was also part of the 2019 renovations. There is a really cool outdoor bar area for your pre-dinner drinks. The interior design at Butch's provides a much better high-end feel than other areas on the resort. And the food didn't disappoint. It was delicious. The Grilled Black Pepper Bacon and Crab Scallop Balls were some of the best appetizers we've ever eaten. Well, our time has come to an end. In all, we enjoyed our first trip to Jamaica. “Island time" is a real thing here, but once you come to terms with the fact that the service and pace is slightly slower than other all-inclusive resorts, you'll enjoy the stay even more. We will definitely visit Jamaica again but more than likely will try another resort brand or other Sandals property. Stay tuned! Until next time! And always remember, Never Regret Fun!
Other Pages (9)
- Your Personal Travel Advisor | Travel by Tammy
Exclusive Travel by Tammy Helping you plan for travel and create an unforgettable experience! With my dedication to customer satisfaction and expertise in finding the best deals, I can help you plan your dream vacation, whether it's a local getaway or a global adventure. Total customer happiness is my number one goal. BOOK TRAVEL LEARN MORE Your Personal Travel Advisor Stress Free Travel Planning I became a Travel Agent on the premise that making travel plans should be easy. I specialize in providing each customer with a wide array of travel packages and services. I’m committed to service and excellence, taking care of all the details so you can start relaxing long before your next trip. Get in touch to learn more. I always strive for complete customer satisfaction. As a passionate and professional travel agent specializing in finding the best deals. Whether planning a destination vacation or a trip around the world, I’ve covered it all. Whatever your travel needs are, I’m here to help. VIEW DESTINATIONS Hello More About Your Travel Agent Tammy Read more Hello! I'm excited you’re here. Life is hard enough without the challenges of travel planning. I would love the opportunity to help you remove those challenges so you can focus on the memories you’re about to create. I am a travel agent with Exclusive Travel Partners, LLC. My travel planning specialties are All-Inclusive Resorts (Destination Weddings, Honeymoons, Group Trips, Family Trips, etc.), Disney Destinations, All Major Cruise Lines, Universal & other theme parks, Hawaii and Europe. I love traveling and planning, so you’ve found the right person! But first, to help you get comfortable with who I am, here are some things you might like to know about me… I live in North Carolina, but I have clients from Maine to Colorado, and internationally in Canada. My husband is a veteran with a heart for public service and shares my passion for travel. We’re a blended family with 4 children ranging in ages from 13 to 22. Before becoming a travel agent seven years ago, I spent most of my career as a Corporate Executive Assistant / Travel Planner. Those combined roles provided me with experience in all aspects of the travel industry, domestic and international. I do not charge a fee for my services, which means no extra cost to you. Much like a realtor, my compensation comes on the backend from the destination you choose. The cost of travel agent services are rolled into venue and resort pricing whether you use me or not, so why not benefit from my experience! To get started, please complete the quote form. How I Can Help Come Explore the World With Us No matter what type of travel plan you’re looking for, I’m here to guide you every step of the way. Take a look below to learn more about the services I offer to each of my clients. Get in touch today with any questions. All Inclusive Vacations Destination Weddings Major Cruise Lines Disney Destinations Hawaii Travel Europe All Inclusive Vacations Destination Weddings Major Cruise Lines Disney Destinations Hawaii Travel Europe All Inclusive Vacations Destination Weddings Major Cruise Lines Disney Destinations Hawaii Travel Europe All Inclusive Vacations Destination Weddings Major Cruise Lines Disney Destinations Hawaii Travel Europe All Inclusive Vacations Destination Weddings Major Cruise Lines Disney Destinations Hawaii Travel Europe CONTACT US TODAY Looking for something more? Words From Our Previous Clients Testimonials quotation mark "Hi Tammy! We had the best week at the resort and are excited to head to Unico today! We had such a great time on the excursion you recommended on Isla Mujeres. It was such a personalized tour! Here are some pictures from our wedding and this week so far." Lets Keep in Touch Subscribe Join our mailing list to get new trip reports, reviews, and news straight to your inbox. Enter your email here Sign Up Thanks for submitting!
- Find Me On Social Media| Exclusive Travel by Tammy
Find Me on Social Media VIEW RECENT POSTS Best Travel Products My Favorite Travel Products Beach Hat Read more Beach Hat PURCHASE ITEM Poo-Pourri Read more Toilet Spray PURCHASE ITEM Motion Sickness Bands for Cruises or Simulated Rides Read more Motion Sickness Bands PURCHASE ITEM Liquid IV Read more Hydration Powder Packets PURCHASE ITEM Pool Floats Read more Compact Pool Floats for your All-Inclusive Vacation PURCHASE ITEM Lockable Beach Bag Read more Locking Anti-Theft Travel Tote With Insulated Cooler Compartment PURCHASE ITEM Pirate Outfits Read more Pirate Apparel for your Disney Cruise PURCHASE ITEM Sound Machine Read more White Noise Sound Machine PURCHASE ITEM How I Enjoyed Top Attractions Trip Reviews & Reports Take a look at some of my most up-to-date trip reports and reviews for various traveled destinations. Jul 14, 2022 All-Inclusive Resorts Valentin Imperial If Disney built a tropical all-inclusive resort, The Valentin Imperial would be the blueprint. The theming of the property is... 6 0 Post not marked as liked Jan 23, 2022 All-Inclusive Resorts Secrets Maroma Welcome to Secrets Maroma. One of our favorite All-Inclusive Resorts. Secrets Maroma ranks in the Top 3 of all the resorts we've visited.... 7 0 Post not marked as liked Jan 22, 2022 All-Inclusive Resorts Sandals Montego Bay We consider ourselves experienced travelers to tropical locations, but there was one vacation destination we hadn't visited…until now.... 4 0 Post not marked as liked Words From Our Previous Clients Testimonials quotation mark "Hi Tammy! We had the best week at the resort and are excited to head to Unico today! We had such a great time on the excursion you recommended on Isla Mujeres. It was such a personalized tour! Here are some pictures from our wedding and this week so far." Ready to Travel? Begin Your Next Vacation Today We would love to hear about the vision you have for a perfect vacation and share how we can help. REQUEST A MEETING
- Contact | Exclusive Travel by Tammy
Lets Plan Your Next Vacation GET IN TOUCH REQUEST YOUR QUOTE Let's Connect Contact Us Today to Get Started With Your Travel Your Personal Travel Professional Exclusive Travel by Tammy Contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org For general inquiries, feel free to reach out to me via email or by completing the form below. Ready to request your free quote for travel? Send us your request here . Find me on social media. Request Your Free Quote Below Once submitted we will be in touch to unpack more details about the vision you have for a memorable vacation. First Name Phone Last Name Departure Date Email Return Date Please list the # of guests and add ages of all children Where are you wanting to travel? Disney World Universal Studios Jamaica St Lucia Mexico Dominican Republic Aruba Disneyland Adventures by Disney Other Cruise Line (Royal, Carnival, Norwegian, etc) Disney Cruise Hawaii Other What is your budget? Submit Request Received! Frequently Asked Questions