Single with kids, no problem at Real Resorts

Program beginning Aug. 15. Single guests at the family friendly all-inclusive Gran Caribe Cancun and Gran Porto Real Playa del Carmen can now pay a single guest suite rate and bring along one child, 12 and under, for free. Additional children (up to four) can share the guest suite with an adult at a special rate of US$59 per child per day.

Single occupancy rates start at US$149 per night, all-inclusive, at the Gran Caribe Real in Cancun for an ocean view suite (valid through Dec. 23) and US$159 per night at the Gran Porto Real in Playa del Carmen, for an oceanfront suite (valid through Oct. 31).

The new program also includes many resort extras, such as complimentary kids’ membership in the Oki Kids Club, special discounted rates of US$10 per hour for private babysitting service, and family activities such as a special opportunity to dine with other single parents and kids.

Single with Kids Program complements the resorts’ existing Kids Stay Free Program, which offers all-inclusive family vacation packages in its Family Suites, Gran Master and Presidential Suites

Contact Us at to Book Real Resorts

Cuba to require visitors to carry medical insurance

Starting May 1st, 2010, a new Cuban government measure will require all foreigners, and Cubans living abroad, to possess travel insurance with medical cover in order to enter the country.

Cuba’s Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers published the new law in the nations Official Gazette, stating that tourists, and Cuban emigrants must have health insurance before being allowed in the country. Foreign citizens who have temporary residence in Cuba must have medical insurance that covers them for the duration of their stay.

The measure states that only foreign insurance companies that are recognized by Cuba will be allowed to issue the approved insurance plans. Also, there will be sales points at every point of entry into Cuba where travelers can buy insurance from local Cuban insurance entities.

In the published measure, diplomats and members of accredited international organizations will be exempt from this rule, although the measure does not reveal the cost of the mandatory insurance.

The Havana Times has an English translation of the published measure, available here:

Best Affordable All-Inclusives

11 all-inclusive beach resorts that deliver surprising luxury, service, and cuisine at an affordable (and predictable) price.
From February 2009
By Ann Shields | Travel + Leisure

With a little shopping around, the convenience and perks of an all-inclusive vacation can be had at a great price (from as low as $120 per person per night at Azul Beach Resort on the Riviera Maya). So grab your sunglasses—but leave your wallet behind.

One of the biggest changes at all-inclusives is the restaurants. As recently as the 1990s, the cuisine at many all-inclusive resorts had all the flair of a Holiday Inn buffet, with a few slices of pineapple to signify location. Sure, you’ll still find buffets at some resorts, but more and more are recognizing the importance of fresh ingredients and local cuisine in luring customers like Nevares, a self-described “food snob.”

But now some spots boast enticing menus by award-winning chefs. Azul Beach Resort, for one, calls itself “gourmet-inclusive”: The small, 95-room hotel operates three full-service restaurants, several snack bars, and a lounge dedicated to tequila, just to keep foodies coming back.

Gone, too, is the desperately perky social director organizing a poolside conga line. Today’s ever-expanding roster of available diversions may surprise you: golf, tennis, zip lines, kids’ clubs, snorkeling trips, beachfront climbing walls, kayaking, and trapeze instruction. Even lazing on the beach has received an upgrade: you’ll find hand-carved Balinese beach beds under palapas at Melia Caribe Tropical.

And while exploring outside a resort’s gates used to be discouraged or nigh impossible, most spots now offer activities designed to see the surrounding world. CocoBay, a small all-inclusive in Antigua, encourages guests to check out the nearby national park and local museums to get a taste of the rich culture and indigenous flora and fauna that can’t be experienced from a hammock.

Accommodations have grown up, too—say aloha to the cinderblock dorms that used to pass for all-inclusive hotels. Club Med, for example, hired interior architects to transform their Ixtapa property into a bougainvillea-tinted showcase of modern convenience with traditional Mexican touches. And the well-manicured and lavish gardens of Melia Caribe Tropical feature faux Greek ruins, multiple fountains, flamingo-studded waterways, and wandering peacocks, creating a glamorous illusion of paradise.

There’s no lolling around for resort staffs, either: all-inclusives must now provide notable service to battle stiff competition from à la carte hotels and cruise ships (that other fixed-price vacation option). To stay in the game, they’ve created innovative spas; hired butlers, concierges, and sommeliers; professionally trained nannies and kids’ club counselors; and started offering services like 24-hour room service, a in-room candlelit dinners, and breakfast in bed. Real, grown-up hotel service has officially arrived.

You may be able to find great food, thoughtful service, a wealth of activities and amenities elsewhere on the beach, but this selection of 11 affordable all-inclusive resorts offer vacations where, for a few nights, you can also count on economic stability. Treat yourself to one of these trips as a kind of stimulus package for your budget—and your peace of mind.

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