Review-Now Jade Resort & Spa
The Now Jade resort is located just 25 minutes south of the Cancun airport, close to the little town of Puerto Morales. To the north of the resort is a marina and the El Cid Resort. There is a walking path to the El Cid and beyond that you can walk into town. To the south of the resort the land has been cleared and fenced off. The three people I asked at the resort did not know what was being built there. Although I found this strange I did remember that I was in Mexico.
The beach is wide, beautiful and uncrowded plus you can walk quite a distance in both directions. The sand is a fine powder and the water is very clear but tends to get a little rocky on the Preferred Club side (north side) of the resort.
The 550 guest rooms at the Now Jade are located in blocks of buildings that are 4 stories; all are Junior suites. Bedding choices are either king or two doubles. Each suite has a balcony or terrace and large sitting area. The bathrooms have double sinks, jetted tub and walk-in shower. Room service is 24 hours.
Our room was in the far back corner of the resort but it was only a 2-3 minute walk to the beach, lobby or restaurants. The view isnʼt the best, mostly vegetation, but the resort does offer ocean view and ocean front rooms. It was very quiet back in our little corner and I think I took the best nap of my life in that room. The Preferred Club section has its own pool and access to another restaurant for breakfast. More details on Preferred Club services and amenities can be found on the website.
The service at the resort was amazing and the grounds were kept very clean. The resort offer both beach and pool wait service. One brave waiter even traversed the edge of the infinity pool to take our order. The breakfast and lunch buffets offered lots of choices that were changed daily. You could either sit inside or on the terrace overlooking the ocean. The poolside restaurant is open for lunch and afternoon snacks. For dinner you can choose between 5 speciality restaurants plus most nights a themed outdoor buffet was also set up followed by a show or musical entertainment.
I think our favorite spot was the Coco Cafe where you could order smoothies, specialty coffees and dessert. Guests can use the 3 computers in the cafe ($4 for 15 minutes).
The resort caters to guests of all ages and the activity staff did a great job in providing entertainment around the pool and beach. The resort had a limited number of rafts you could use in the pool. We enjoyed watching beach volleyball from the infinity pool and taking a yoga class in the poolside gazebo.
The spa offered daily specials and packages so we had to try it out. The service was very good and the ambiance of the spa was very peaceful.
Some of the things that set this resort apart from other chains: no wristband or dinner reservations required, no restriction on how many pool towels you can use at one time and unlimited bottled water.
All in all it was a very relaxing resort with plenty to do for those that wanted activity but also plenty of space to plop in a lounge chair for those that wanted to chill out.
Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort
This quaint resort is located one hour south of the Cancun airport in the gated community of the Puerto Aventuras Marina. Itʼs the smallest of the three Dreams Resorts in the Riviera Maya with 305 rooms. The resort is one building with 7 floors. The marina is on one side and the ocean on the other. Both sides offer an expansive view, especially if you are on a higher floor. The first floor rooms are categorized as garden view and have a terrace. The garden view on the ocean side are very close to the main pool. For those seeking quiet, consider upgrading to a Marina View category.
The main pool is just steps from the rooms with the beach just beyond it making it very easy to sit at the pool and keep track of kids on the beach. The beach area sits on a small cove and the water breaks out a bit making the waves fairly calm by the time they reach sand. On the marina side of the resort is an adult-only pool with bar service.
The rooms are spacious with either a king or two double beds, balcony or terrance and bathroom with walk in shower. The floor in the bathroom can get very slippery when wet so I recommend always wearing the slippers the hotel provides when walking around the room.
Dining choices are many with buffets, speciality restaurants, poolside snacks and a terrace restaurant situated between the beach and pool. Wait service is also available at the pool and beach. We ate dinner at two of the four speciality restaurants and the food and service were outstanding. 24 hour room service is also offered.
The hotel does have two computers for guests to use. The cost is $15 for one hour with free internet on Fridays. Although its a smaller resort there is no lack of activities being offered. Everyday a board of scheduled events was posted by the pool.
We walked to the marina area one afternoon (10-15 minutes with sidewalks the whole way) to see the dolphins and do a little shopping. We took a little siesta at Cafe Ole to enjoy some guacamole and chips. You can also rent a golf cart to explore the area.
Some of the things that set this resort apart from other chains: no wristbands or dinner reservations required, no restriction on how many pool towels you can use at one time and unlimited bottled water.
Dreams Puerto Aventuras is the perfect for those seeking out a smaller resort where service is the main focus.
Every time I visit the Riviera Maya I try a different excursion. This trip is was to Xcaret. Its heavily advertised and I always wondered if it would be a little too touristy. I was pleasantly surprised by what it had to offer. The list of activities is too long to mention here but some of the things we really enjoyed were swimming in the underground rivers (cenotes). The water is clear and pristine. There are three rivers and I recommend you try them all because they all have unique things throughout. We also enjoyed a visit to the aviary where you could see newly hatched birds, the sea turtle pools and the aquarium. We purchased Plus tickets which included locker rental, towel and lunch. Transportation from all the major resorts is available. Itʼs a great place to experience the culture of the area.