Totem Travel (425) 821-4100   (800) 321-7907

The Best All Inclusive Family Resort In Riviera Maya


The best all inclusive family vacation at the best value in Mexico is the Iberostar Quetzal.  This resort offers beautiful white sand beaches, good food and drink, nice and clean accommodations and a fun environment at a affordable price.  This charming all inclusive resort has character and from the friendly staff to the unique jungle pathways, you will find yourself having a great time!

I work with wholesale pricing on all inclusive resorts in Mexico everyday and have stayed at many resorts in Mexico both at the high end and in the moderate range.  The Iberostar Quetzal is by far the best all inclusive family resort and the best value for its moderate price.

Seven nights at the Iberostar Quetzal All Inclusive starts at around $800 per person depending on what time of year you plan on traveling and kids are usually half the cost of an adult so a family of four can travel and stay seven nights starting at around $2600!

The resort is conveniently located just five to ten minutes from the charming town of Playa Del Carmen and offers great dining options both buffet and a la carte.  The main swimming pool is gorgeous and there is a separate pool with swim up bar for adults.  Activities range from beach and water volleyball, to arts and crafts for the kids in addition to nightly shows on the stage where the resort hosts get the guests involved.  It’s fun for the entire family without spending a fortune.

I am happy to help plan your next family getaway to the Iberostar Quetzal.  So give me a call at 1-800-321-7907 and I’ll help you get your toes in the sand at a great price!  Or if you wish, you can book this resort directly online.

The Best Adults-Only Vacation In Riviera Maya Awaits You At El Dorado Seaside Suites



Click here for Slideshow

If you are looking for the best “adult only” all inclusive vacation in Riviera Maya, look no further than the El Dorado Seaside Suites Resort.  The El Dorado Seaside Suites is one of the best all inclusive vacation values in Riviera Maya and happens to be a favorite destination of many of our clients.

El Dorado Seaside Suites is conveniently located only fifteen minutes south of the fun town of Playa Del Carmen and yet the resort is close to several interesting and worthwhile off resort excursions. While El Dorado Seaside Suites is a five star, luxurious and gourmet “all inclusive” resort yet it is quite affordable and at certain times a year rooms start at as little as under $300 per night!  Whether you are looking for the most romantic place to honeymoon or the best place to celebrate an anniversary or just looking to get away with other couples, the El Dorado Seaside Suites is a fantastic choice.  Here is what some of our clients are saying about the resort:

Patty,

    Just wanted to thank you again for making all of our travel arrangements. The resort was FANTASTIC! So beautiful and everyone was so friendly. They absolutely bent over backwards to be sure we were taken care of.  We are already scheming to find a way to get back there again soon. We met so many wonderful people and plan to continue to stay in touch. We even discussed getting together there again next year. The whole experience was better than I dreamed it would be.

Thanks again, Barb and Joe Sandegren

These are the sort of comments we receive when our clients return from this beautiful resort.  So if you are looking to plan that special trip, we would be happy to help you see what everyone is raving about.  Best of all, you have four El Dorado Resorts in Riviera Maya to choose from.  Give us a call at 1-800-321-7907 or you can book this beautiful resort directly on line. Get personalized help at no extra cost!

Garza Blanca Preserve, Puerto Vallarta’s new Luxury Oceanfront Resort and Spa



Click for a slideshow of the Garza Blanca Preserve

I recently had the pleasure to tour the Garza Blanca Preserve on the south shore of Banderas Bay, outside Puerto Vallarta. This resort is absolutely beautiful, brand new, and in a fantastic tropical jungle setting, on a private beach.

Garza Blanca Preserve is a contemporary hotel set amid the lush hills and mountains of a nature preserve.  Walking paths lead guests to the private, secluded beach below.  Garza Blanca Preserve is designed to complement its surroundings, with a relaxed atmosphere for families and couples seeking that stress-free Puerto Vallarta vacation.

With only 82 guestrooms and suites, Garza Blanca Preserve Resort is not a mega resort, but more quiet and intimate.  Guestrooms feature furnished balconies, marble bathrooms with separate tubs and showers, plush bathrobes.  Suites, 1 to 3 bedrooms, have full kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, and laundry facilities.  The suite terraces are huge, with a wet bar, and are the perfect setting for family get-togethers, even a small wedding reception!

Within the Garza Blanca Preserve Resort are 2 swimming pools, one just for kids, a poolside bar, with snacks and beverages, as well as the gourmet restaurant Blanca Blue.  Baby sitting service is also available, so mom and dad can have that romantic private candlelit dinner on the beach!

If luxurious, beachfront, accommodations, in a peaceful setting, are on your wish-list, Garza Blanca Preserve Resort, in Puerto Vallarta is the place for you.  Whether for a family vacation, a wedding, honeymoon,  or a couples retreat, Garza Blanca Preserve Resort offers something for everyone!

Please give me a call, Sandi, 425-821-4100, or send me an email to start the ball rolling on your luxury vacation!

At Totem Travel you will get personalized help from a travel expert, at no extra cost!

Dreams Cancun: An All-Inclusive Family Resort



Click for Slideshow of Dreams Cancun

I have just returned from a wonderful familiarization trip to Cancun and Riviera Maya.  While in Cancun, we were lucky enough to stay at the Dreams Cancun Resort.

Dreams, an all-inclusive family resort,

is on the north end of the Cancun hotel strip.  It was recently renovated and a new “Preferred Club” tower has been added.   Many of the suites in the Preferred Club offer Jacuzzis, 2 bedrooms (great for families) access to the Tower pool, and private concierge service.  The Presidential Suite (which is where I stayed….NOT!!) has a 360 degree view of the property and the Caribbean Sea, a private elevator, and meeting space for up to 12 people.

Dreams is a great destination for families.  A supervised children’s program is available for the young ones, where they will participate in age appropriate activities: crafts, games & water sports.  The smaller children have their own pool, too!  Of course, mom and dad will want to relax and enjoy the Spa facilities, including aromatherapy massages……I admit I did have to indulge myself!

A state of the art work out facility is available for those die-hard fitness fanatics.  Spinning classes, free-weights, treadmills and elliptical machines are all available at no extra charge.  Of course, a sauna, also at no extra charge, is a great way to end that work out.

For those who prefer a little more of the group participation sports, there’s always a volleyball game on the beach, a little kayaking or a game of tennis at the lighted courts.

At Dreams you can swim with the dolphins! The swim with the dolphins program is at an extra charge, but the 6 dolphins which are always willing to give you a little show when they are not “working”.  You can hear them chirping at each other throughout the day and they love chasing and playing with each other.  I was able to have quite a show right from my room terrace!  What a treat.

The restaurants at Dreams are quite good.  My favorite was the Oceana which serves freshly, caught today, seafood and the best steaks!  The apple tart was pretty good too!  Many will love the Asian cuisine served at Himitsu….a great variety of sushi, as well as salmon and other seafood options.  Seaside Grill is also a great choice for surf and turf, served right on the beach.  World Café serves buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner…..great food!  One of the great things about the restaurants at Dreams:  no reservations required!  We didn’t wait long for seating at any of the venues.

Oh, and shopping!!  Within walking distance of Dreams…….upscale shops and local flea markets and local night clubs…it’s all there.

Please call me to book your vacation at Dreams.  Sandi Moore, 425-821-4100 or 1-800-321-7907

Garza Blanca Preserve, Puerto Vallarta’s new Luxury Oceanfront Resort and Spa



Click for Slideshow of the Garza Blanca Preserve

I recently had the pleasure of tour the Garza Blanca Preserve on the south shore of Banderas Bay, outside Puerto Vallarta.  This resort is absolutely beautiful, brand new, and in a fantastic tropical jungle setting, on a private beach.

Garza Blanca Preserve is a contemporary hotel set amid the lush hills and mountains of a nature preserve.  Walking paths lead guests to the private, secluded beach below.  Garza Blanca Preserve is designed to complement its surroundings, with a relaxed atmosphere for families and couples seeking that stress-free Puerto Vallarta vacation.

With only 82 guestrooms and suites, Garza Blanca Preserve Resort is not a mega resort, but more quiet and intimate.  Guestrooms feature furnished balconies, marble bathrooms with separate tubs and showers, plush bathrobes.  Suites, 1 to 3 bedrooms, have full kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, and laundry facilities.  The suite terraces are huge, with a wet bar, and are the perfect setting for family get-togethers, even a small wedding reception!

Within the Garza Blanca Preserve Resort are 2 swimming pools, one just for kids, a poolside bar, with snacks and beverages, as well as the gourmet restaurant Blanca Blue.  Baby sitting service is also available, so mom and dad can have that romantic private candlelit dinner on the beach!

If luxurious, beachfront, accommodations, in a peaceful setting, are on your wish-list, Garza Blanca Preserve Resort, in Puerto Vallarta is the place for you.  Whether for a family vacation, a wedding, honeymoon, or a couples retreat, Garza Blanca Preserve Resort offers something for everyone!

Please give me a call, Sandi, 425-821-4100, or send me an email to start the ball rolling on your luxury vacation!

At Totem Travel you will get personalized help from a travel expert, at no extra cost!

Excellence Riviera Maya, adults’ only, all-inclusive beach resort



Click for a slideshow of the Excellence Riviera Maya

Riviera Maya is one of the most beautiful areas of Mexico and is fast becoming THE vacation destination of Mexico.  Along with great beaches, beautiful resorts, and fun shopping experiences at the 5th Avenue shops in Playa Del Carmen, many activities are readily available, too.  Para sailing, jet skiing, swim with dolphins, swimming the cenotes (underground rivers) and deep sea fishing are just a few of the options.

One of the many resorts in Riviera Maya is the Excellence Riviera Maya, located Puerto Morelos area, about 20-30 minutes from Cancun Airport.  Excellence Riviera Maya is an adults’ only, all-inclusive beach resort, which caters to couples, so an excellent choice for a wedding and/or honeymoon.  Excellence features 8 restaurants, which require no reservations, and 10 bars, 6 swimming pools and 5 outdoor Jacuzzis.

If that’s not enough, non-motorized waters ports are included in your resort package:  windsurfing, sailing, sea kayaking, water aerobic and water polo!   If land activities are more your cup of tea, don’t worry, there are plenty of those too.  Yoga, basketball, bicycling, billiards and a fully equipped fitness center are available to keep you in shape.  After those 8 restaurants you may need it!!

A full-service, world class spa is, at an extra charge, is available to assist you in attaining complete relaxation and to massage away all those achy muscles.  Isn’t that what a vacation is for?

Wedding packages, which include an on-site wedding coordinator who will take care of all of the details for you, are available.  Whether you are planning an elaborate ceremony, with a large reception, or a small private affair, with just a few close friends and family, Excellence can accommodate you and your bridal party.

Accommodations at Excellence Riviera Maya are all Jr. Suites, and include marble bathrooms with jetted tubs, a stocked mini bar, a 4 poster bed, robes and slippers, and a Secret Box for room service.  The Secret Box is a small opening in your wall, which has a door on both sides.  This allows your room service waiter to slip your drinks and/or food into the box without disturbing you.  The waiter just rings the bell to let you know your order has been delivered!  This is, obviously, one of my favorite features!

If a wedding, honeymoon, or a couples retreat is on your travel agenda, please send me an email, or give me a call at (425) 821-4100 or (800) 321-7907 and we’ll get the ball rolling!

-Sandi

An affordable family vacation or honeymoon on the beach in Puerto Vallarta Mexico



Click here for Sheraton Buganvilias slideshow

I’m always looking for an affordable vacation on the beach so one of the resorts I was dying to see in Puerto Vallarta Mexico was the Sheraton Buganvilias.  The Sheraton was closed for 2 years for renovation and remodeling and the mostly new beachfront resort is beautiful with vacation packages to fit any budget!

Sheraton is a on a good beach and has wonderful views of Banderas Bay. Because it’s close to town, only 5 blocks to downtown Puerto Vallarta, Sheraton is a popular family vacation resort and a wonderful choice for an affordable honeymoon

You can easily stretch your vacation budget by walking from the Sheraton into town where you’ll find excellent restaurants ranging from authentic Mexican to seafood, steak, international cuisine and chain restaurants.  You can shop in old town, enjoy free entertainment along the malecon or stay for the late night scene where clubs and bars are open until the wee hours.  A cab back is only about $5.00 so not a bad idea late at night!

Popular activities in Puerto Vallarta include parasailing, swim with the dolphins, jet skis, sunset and dinner cruises, golf, shopping, tequila and tortilla factory tours and more.

At Sheraton Buganvilias you will be able to keep up with your exercise regiment with 2 gyms, tennis courts, and 2 swimming pools!  The supervised children’s program is free of charge and available for children ages 5-12, from 9am-5pm.  Kids will work on arts and crafts, play games at the beach and pool, and learn about the cultural and artistic elements of Mexico.  This means mom and dad will have time for that special couples’ massage, or a couple rounds of golf at a near-by golf course!

Restaurants at the Sheraton include La Villita where you can enjoy a great breakfast buffet or a la carte with beautiful oceanviews with the dolphins and whales playing in the bay!  Gaviotas Restaurant is a warm and welcoming venue for wonderful Mexican cuisine!  The Lobby Bar is a great place to relax and to enjoy evening live entertainment!  Embarcadaro is the perfect place to spend the afternoon:  good music, Cuban, Jazz, Salsa, Raggae and Rock; a varied menu of special international dishes; and over 50 different brands for Tequila lovers!

All of the rooms at the Sheraton include the Sheraton’s Sweet Sleeper beds.  These beds are so comfortable, I’m not sure you will want to leave!  Each room has a safe, air-conditioning, hair dryers, stocked mini-bar or small refrigerator.  The Club Rooms are a great value since they include a continental breakfast and afternoon hors d’oeuvres & wine, served in the VIP lounge.  All of the Club rooms are on the top two floors of the main building and have fantastic views.

I know that you will enjoy Sheraton Buganvilias as much as I did.  So call or email sandi@totemtravel.com to book your family vacation, honeymoon, or couples’ get-a-way!!

Puerto Vallarta’s all-inclusive, adult’s only resorts are intimate and romantic!



Click for Slideshow

During my recent visit to Puerto Vallarta, I had the opportunity to visit many resorts.  Among those were the Casa Velas and the Villa Premiere.  Both resorts are adults only, all-inclusive. Villa Premiere also has an EP (no meals or beverages included) option, as well.  Both are small resorts with 80 rooms or so.  This contributes to the intimate ambiance!  No kids contribute to the romantic feel of the resort!!

Casa Velas, although not on the beach, has a wonderful Beach Club just a short distance away.  Transportation is provided to the beach club which has its own pool, lovely beach, terrace & indoor lounging area. If you are planning a small wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Casa Velas Beach Club is the ideal venue. Very small, very private!  Catering can be arranged through the hotel, as well, for a lovely sunset reception!

All of the rooms at Casa Velas are suites, with 24 hour room service and a fully stocked (and re-stocked daily) mini-bar.  Some of the suites do offer a plunge pool or a Jacuzzi.  One of the suites, a 4 bedroom suite, actually has its own swimming pool, along with sleeping accommodations for 8 people!  Great for that extended family vacation.  Each of the bedrooms has a private bath, along with a powder room off the living room.

There are 2 ala carte restaurants available, which do require dinner reservations.  No worries, though, the resort is small, so you should have no trouble securing a table!

For those who just can’t leave the office at home, the Casa Velas offers a business center and WIFI throughout the property.  However, if relaxing is more your way of vacationing, the pool is beautiful with lots of lounge chairs, a great spa is available for that couples massage, and discounts for the nearby golf course are available.  To keep in shape, lighted tennis courts and a gym are waiting!

Villa Premiere is a lovely small, beach resort, not far from the town of Puerto Vallarta.  For that reason, some guests prefer to do the EP and skip the inclusive meals and beverages.  They feel there are just too many great restaurants in Puerto Vallarta to be missed.  Others love the all-inclusive program and not having to worry about the cost of meals and drinks.  It’s totally a personal choice.   The all-inclusive program does offer 24 hour rooms service and a fully stocked mini bar.  The mini bar is still available to EP guests, but a charge applies for each item consumed.  The same with room service, it is available for EP but with a charge.

Again the Villa Premiere is a small, adults’ only resort, with a great beach.  Each room, except for the entry level, has a Jacuzzi tub!  In the Spa Rooms, which are near the Spa (obviously), you will receive a free pedicure or a complimentary massage.  How great is that?  The Master Suite has the most amazing wrap around terrace!  The view is spectacular and great for a small dinner party or family gathering.

Three ala carte restaurants are available for your dining pleasure.  And pleasure it is!  They have the most amazing dinner rolls….with cream cheese centers!  The food and service at Villa Premiere is fantastic.

Think Puerto Vallarta for your wedding, honeymoon, or romantic get-a-way!  You will not be sorry.  Please call or email me when you are ready to start the planning process!  sandi@totemtravel.com or 425 821-4100.

Get personalized help from a travel expert at no extra cost!

Fun in the Sun for Less at El Dorado Hotels


Do you like surprises? Who doesn’t? Especially good ones, right?  Right now, there are some great price-breaks for the El Dorado Hotels.  What’s the catch?  The resort will be the surprise.

You could be staying at the beautiful El Dorado Royale with its 11 gourmet restaurants and bars.  El Dorado Royale has the most beautiful grounds with lovely flowers & stone bridges everywhere.

Or maybe the El Dorado Seasides,  with the beautiful beach with all the beach beds, and the unique bars and restaurants.  El Dorado Seasides is only 10 minutes from the eco-park Xel-Ha and 20 minutes from the Mayan ruins of Tulum.

Perhaps you would be staying at the smallest and most intimate El Dorado Maroma. Maroma has the distinction of having cool sand; that’s right cool sand, which for some reason stays cool even in the direct sunlight.  Your toes will love that!  Maroma’s beach is serviced by beach butlers who will bring you drinks, magazines or even a light snack, so you never have to leave!!

Pricing will, of course, depend upon your dates and availability, but I have priced a 7 day vacation from Seattle, which would include airfare.  The “surprise”  price is $2879 for 2 people.  For comparison, if you were fortunate enough to get a room at the Maroma, you would save over $1200; at the Seasides you would save $1000, and at the Royale $300.  So surprises can certainly save you money and be fun, as well.  Taking a chance is really not a big gamble since all the rooms at any of the El Dorado Resorts include 24 hour room service and lovely furnishings.

If a surprise vacation is in your travel plans, please email me at sandi@totemtravel.com or give me a call at (425) 821-4100.  I look forward to helping you plan the perfect get-a-way, honeymoon, or couples vacation!

All-Inclusive Resorts in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit



Click for Slideshow.

I was recently invited to participate in a Familiarization trip to Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, formerly known as Nuevo Vallarta. Since I hadn’t been to Puerto Vallarta in some time, it was the perfect opportunity to see new properties, refurbished properties, and the changes in Puerto Vallarta in the last few years.

First and foremost our mission was to visit many resorts, to look at them as you, our clients, would see them, and to be able to assist you in choosing the best destination for your family vacation or reunion, or for your wedding and/or honeymoon.  And to determine which resorts are the best for families, couples, and singles.

RIU Palace Pacifico was opened in 2008, in Riviera Nayarit, as an all-inclusive, family resort.  It is a moderately sized resort with 445 rooms; not so big you can’t easily navigate, but not so small that you are constantly bumping into people!  This resort has just about anything you could need:  large pool, children’s pool, swim-up bars, a gym, a great children’s program, and 5 restaurants.

Rooms at the RIU Palace Pacifico are all Jr. Suites, same in size and amenities, and differ on by view, except the Jacuzzi Jr. Suite!  This suite is amazing!  In addition to the wrap around terrace, which would be perfect for a small wedding reception, there are 2 bathrooms, a Jacuzzi in one bathroom, and one on the terrace!  The view, of course, is of the water!

Grand Velas Vallarta is also in Riviera Nayarit, also all-inclusive, but a much smaller resort, very romantic resort.  Grand Velas is a member of the prestigious “Leading Hotels of the World” and offers first class accommodations and a world-class spa!  This is a family resort, but as you can tell, it caters to honeymooners, couples, and wedding parties!  Their ballrooms are perfect for large wedding receptions.  There is also a small gazebo which is perfect for a wedding!

All of the accommodations at Grand Velas are suites, with goose down comforters and pillows, a separate living area with a sofa, private balcony or terrace AND Oceanview!  A fully stocked mini-bar which is replenished daily and 24 hour room service add to the luxuriousness of this beautiful property.

With 4 restaurants and a snack bar, you will certainly not go hungry! Five open kitchens at the all-day casual restaurant Azul, ensure a very diverse menu.  Chinese, Mexican, Italian, and Japanese, as well as grilled specials are all available.  Azul is located in a Palapa overlooking Banderas Bay.    As if 4 international cuisines were not enough Piaf Restaurant offers gourmet French dining.  Reservations are required at this adult’s only (18 and over) restaurant. Samples of the menu offerings include Foi Gras Terrine with caramelized pears and port wine glaze, Snails Bourguignon style, Truffle Chicken, & Crème Brule.

Paradise Village has always been one of my favorite family resorts.  Paradise Village is on one of the most beautiful and accessible beaches in the area.  Kids and adults will love boogie boarding and body surfing off this beach.  Para-sailing is available from a nearby vendor, and is lots of fun.  The smaller kids can ride tandem with mom or dad.

Paradise Village is both all-inclusive, and EP (European Plan….no meals or beverages).  Because it is about 20 minutes from Puerto Vallarta, and does require a $20 cab ride, (each way) I recommend purchasing the all-inclusive program.  The food is great, and there are 5 restaurants from which to choose.

A children’s program operates from 9am-3pm, and has crafts and games for kids ages 4 to 12.  They will love meeting and making friends with kids of different cultures.  Maybe they can work on their Spanish, a little!  Adults will enjoy a little time to enjoy a Spa treatment, or a tennis match.

Totem Travel has several all inclusive specialists on staff to help you choose the family vacation in Mexico.  Please give me a call or send an email to sandi@totemtravel.com when you are planning your all-inclusive family vacation!

Get personalized help from a travel expert at no extra cost!

Totem Travel 12305 120th Ave NE Kirkland, WA 98034
Copyright © 2021 All Rights Reserved.