The Grand Moon Palace – Cancun, Mexico

Mexico is one of my favorite destinations for the all-inclusive experience. In fact, it might be my favorite. The people, food, culture, history, and opportunity for outdoor adventure, continue to amaze me with each trip.

I’ve had my eye on the Grand Moon Palace for awhile. I’ve sent many clients to this resort and was excited to finally have the opportunity to experience it for myself (well, with my husband and children in tow). Would it live up to its #2 ranking on TripAdvisor and the rave reviews from my clients? Let’s find out…

After a painless 15 minute transfer from the airport, it felt as though vacation had started in no time.  Upon check-in, we were provided with our resort bracelets, which doubled as a room key; a detail which I learned to appreciate immensely, never having to search for a separate key card. Our room was located on the ground floor in building 88, a great location close to the lobby building and all of its amenities.

(The Lobby)

We spent the first 3 days checking out the resorts amenities and I’m not sure we even made it to half of the property in that time. The Grand Moon Palace is immense in size with 16 restaurants, 9 bars, 9 pools, a waterpark, spa, bowling alley, and much more. At any given time there were at least a dozen options to keep busy or relax.

(Building 88 – all of the buildings feature this same design)

One of my absolute favorite features of the resort was the SPA which was beyond amazing! Seriously, without question, one of the best resort spa’s I’ve ever experienced. I was able to enjoy both a facial and massage during the week (both thanks to the $1500 in resort credits that we received as part of our package). In addition, I took full advantage of the spa’s awesome hydrotherapy circuit and pool area.

(Spa pool with hot and cold plunge pools)

Where did my kids want to spend most of their time? The Kids Club, of course, with its arcade, mini-golf course, bumper cars, ropes course, laser games, two-story play structure, and on-demand snacks. The best part is that parents can drop their children ages 4-7 at a supervised playroom any time from 9am until 10pm at night.  My husband and I were able to enjoy glorious child-free meals multiple times during the week.

(Ropes course at the Kids Club)

And what about the food!? I would rate the food as very good to excellent. We appreciated the variety of restaurants (our favorite was the Lebanese) and our only disappointment was not being able to try them all. I also thought the child-size buffet section in the Grand Buffet Restaurant was a nice touch for pint size travelers and my kids definitely enjoyed getting their own food.

Ultimately, I would rate the Grand Moon Palace as an excellent choice for a range of travelers from couples to multi-generational families. The variety of activities is sure to please and the service was top-notch. I’m not one to travel back to the same hotel twice, but I am looking forward to my next trip to this hotel.

St. Lucia – One Destination with Limitless Inspiration

St. Lucia has an alluring mystique. A top destination for both couples and families, this incredibly lush island is home to the majestic UNESCO world heritage site Pitons, rainforest dotted by waterfalls, and beautiful palm-fringed beaches.

Located in the Lesser Antilles between Martinique and St. Vincent, St. Lucia remains one of the most active geothermal islands in the Caribbean. Travelers can even experience Sulphur Springs which is essentially part of a collapsed volcano crater (coined a “drive-in volcano”) in which visitors can relax in hot springs and thermal mud pools.

During our visit to St. Lucia we had the pleasure of exploring the southwest portion of the island which is home to the town of Soufriere, the Pitons, and a handful of luxury boutique resorts including Ladera, Sugar Beach, Anse Chastanet, and Jade Mountain.

Our first stop of the day should have been for a leisurely hike on the popular Tet Paul Nature Trail which is a 45 minute loop with great views of the Pitons, but unfortunately, mother nature had other plans for us. Our trip coincided with the tail end of St. Lucia’s rainy season and it poured for a good 1-2 hours that morning.

After a quick change in plans we made our way to the adults-only Ladera Resort which is located approximately 30-40 minutes from the island’s Hewanorra International Airport (UVF). Perched on a volcanic ridge 1000 sq. ft above the Caribbean Sea and on 15 acres of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ladera is home to 37 open-air rooms and suites all with private plunge pools overlooking the Pitons.

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Saint Kitts and Nevis – A Warm and Welcoming Two-Island Nation

Saint Kitts and Nevis (officially the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis) are two mountainous islands located in the Lesser Antilles of the Eastern Caribbean. These two islands, separated by a 2 mile wide channel called “The Narrows,” are both of volcanic origin with the highest peaks of Mount Liamuiga located on Saint Kitts standing at 3,792 feet and Nevis Peak on Nevis standing at 3,232 feet.

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The White Barn Inn – Kennebunk, Maine

The White Barn Inn has been a beloved local landmark in the Kennebunkport area for over 150 years and it’s no surprise why. Part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, this legendary Inn boasts an award-winning farm-to-table restaurant (YES, it’s that amazing!), meticulously designed rooms with luxurious amenities and thoughtful touches (the mini-whoopie pies were a divine welcome!), a serene pool area, and a top-rated spa! Let’s not forget the perfect location halfway between town and the beach which are both within walking distance or a quick bike ride via the Inn’s complimentary bikes.

My husband and I enjoyed an amazing getaway to this historic and charming Inn. Here are a handful of pictures from our stay…

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