A Travel Agents Perspective: Destination Weddings & Honeymoons in Mexico with Apple Vacations

When clients are looking to plan their wedding or honeymoon, the first question on their mind is, “where should I go?” I will tell you right now, Mexico is the perfect location for not just weddings and honeymoons, but for families as well.

I was fortunate enough to be invited by Apple Vacations to attend a familiarization trip to Mexico. This was my first time to Mexico, and I didn’t really know what to expect. From the moment I landed in Cancun, I immediately fell in love with the lush Caribbean scenery and the turquoise waters surrounding the city. Being from Michigan and having to endure grueling winters, it’s refreshing to be surrounded by the palm trees and soak in all of that Vitamin C.

From the food to the hospitality, the Mexican culture exceeded all of my expectations. Their excellent service also sparkles when guests have booked their weddings or honeymoons, which was the whole goal of this trip, so that travel agents can recommend the best properties and which one will provide the best experience. Our group was lucky enough to see how each property set up for weddings and the food & drink that is provided.

Secrets The Vine

As soon as you arrive, guests are greeted by staff with “Welcome Home”. At Secrets the Vine you truly do feel right at home, and this would be our group’s home for the next 4 days.

Only 15 minutes from the Cancun airport this adult’s only resort has 18 floors of ocean view rooms. This resort has a total of 497 guestrooms and suites complete with Italian porcelain floors, teakwood furnishings, and a sleek private terrace or balcony. The theme of this property is centered around wine, hence the name. Wine tastings with a professional sommelier are offered 3 times daily at 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm. The first two available times are included in your stay, but the 5pm tasting is an additional cost.

When staying at any Secrets property, they have what’s called the Preferred Club. Guests receive private concierge reception, butler service, wardrobe pressing, complimentary hydrotherapy privileges at the spa, and access to the private infinity pool on the 12th floor.

A great vacation is about great food and beverages, and this resort offers exquisite dining options that provide guests with a unique collection of gourmet a la carte restaurants. There are a total of restaurants 8 on property which include Italian, Asian, seafood, Mediterranean, and a steakhouse. On the lobby level the Market Café is where the daily breakfast buffet is located, and for dinner guests can enjoy authentic Mexican gourmet.

After a long day in the sun or touring, I would highly recommend visiting the lovely Renova Spa where you are able to book massages, manicures, pedicures, or body wraps, with spa products made from wine. I had a long day myself of walking and touring, and I wanted to have a chance to test out their services, so I booked a 50 minute aromatherapy massage. My masseuse was absolutely wonderful, and made me feel like a completely different person.

Weddings:

  • 1 Wedding Per Day: (small or large)
  • Venues:
    • Beach
    • Gazebo
    • Honeymoon Suite (extra cost)
    • Vine Lounge
    • Boardwalk
    • Pool Terrace
    • Ballroom
  • Wedding Packages:
    • Paradise Wedding Package (10 people)
    • Secrets  of Love Wedding Package (20-30 people)
    • Beyond Memorable Wedding Package (50-100 people)


Click on the link below for complete Wedding Guide:

Secrets the Vine Wedding Guide

Preferred Club Ocean View Junior Suite 

Preferred Club Rooftop Infinity Pool

Prestige Club Standard Junior Suite 

IBEROSTAR Selection Cancun

Located in the middle of the hotel zone of Cancun is the all-inclusive, oceanfront, IBEROSTAR Selection Cancun. This 426 room resort caters is an upscale, all inclusive, chain hotel set in a pyramid shaped building, and only 15 minutes from the Cancun airport.

This IBEROSTAR property does not have a party vibe that many of the other Cancun hotels do, but attracts mostly families, couples, and large groups for either conventions or weddings. Guest rooms and suites are both bright and spacious, and offer modern décor with a Mexican-Caribbean edge. Some of the rooms also have luxurious extras, such as private hot tubs on the balconies or direct access to the stunning infinity pool. This property also offers extensive dining options from French cuisine to Japanese.

There is also an adult’s only section, called the Tower Section with a total of 156 suites all of which boast ocean views. Guests staying in this section have access to 24 hour room service, a private beach club with beach side service, and an adult’s only pool.

For guests staying in the villa room categories, for an extra cost they can add access to the Star Prestige Club. Exclusive amenities include:

  • Private check in/out
  • Complimentary access to SPA Sensations
  • Special discounts at IBEROSTAR Selection Cancun Golf Club
  • Access to Beach Club & Star Prestige Lounge

Weddings:

Honeymoon Suite 

Reflect Cancun Resort & Spa 

Reflect Cancun Resort & Spa is ideally located on a stretch of white-sand beach offering breathtaking views of the Caribbean and just 25 minutes from Cancun International Airport. The heart of downtown Cancun is merely 15 minutes away and offers vibrant nightlife, restaurants, and shopping. Guests are treated to the inclusions of Unlimited Luxury® where all vacation needs are taken care of.

This property caters to mostly families who are looking for plenty of activities for the kids, but still maintain a budget. Delectable meals and treats are available at three à la carte dining options, a buffet, a ceviche bar and a deli café with no required reservations. Five bars and lounges serve a wide array of cocktails and unlimited top-shelf spirits. Supervised fun for kids 3-12 is available at the Explorer’s Club allowing adults to sneak away and enjoy pampering at the spa

Two stunning towers, one specifically for Altitude Club guests, host 395 elegantly appointed rooms and suites offering views of the magnificent Caribbean Sea and Nichupte Lagoon. Each room is equipped with a king-size or two double beds, spacious bathroom with luxury amenities, and 24-hour room service. Rooms and suites in the Altitude Club tower offer additional amenities including a private lounge, and exclusive access to an adults-only infinity pool.

UNLIMITED-LUXURY® INCLUSIONS

Endless Food and Beverage Options:

  • Limitless access to gourmet à la carte dining options without reservations required
  • Unlimited international and domestic top-shelf spirits and non-alcoholic beverages

Engaging Experiences:

  • • Culturally themed daytime activities and locally inspired nightly entertainment
  • • Theme parties, oceanfront bars and entertainment venues
  • • Fully equipped fitness centers and fitness classes
  • • Explorer’s Club for Kids ages 3 to 12 with supervised activity programs daily

Elevated Service Levels

  • • 24-hour room and concierge services
  • • Daily maid and turn-down service
  • • Daily refreshed mini-bar
  • • Attentive pool and beach wait service

Weddings:

  • Venues:
    • Gazebo
    • Ballroom
    • Beach
    • Ocean Front Central Garden
  • Wedding Packages:
    • Reflect Wedding Package
      • This package is complimentary when booking a minimum of 7 nights in the Honeymoon Suite Ocean Front or higher, or if 5 rooms are reserved for a minimum of 3 nights at any room category.
    • Eternity Wedding Package
    • Reflect Ultimate Wedding Package

Click on the link below for complete Wedding Guide:

Reflect Cancun Wedding Guide

RIU Palace Peninsula

Also in the heart of Cancun is the RIU Palace Peninsula, this Spanish owned 562 room resort is the youngest out of all Riu’s Cancun properties. Décor is contemporary with a slightly sexy, upscale Carnival theme. The resort is very social and fun with lots of activities, but not a crazy party scene.

The pools are definitely the centerpiece of the resort. Separate, but close together, the hotel's three main public pools -- infinity, sports, and swimming -- are all located just before the beachfront and surrounded by neatly landscaped grounds.

This property is fairly large, but it did not feel overwhelming, and even though there are a lot of people around it did not feel chaotic or loud. When staying at any RIU Palace property, guests are able to go to other surrounding RIU properties to enjoy the beaches or restaurants, and no reservations are required.

The rooms are both chic & contemporary, with mostly purple and pink colors. All rooms have ocean views so that guests are able to wake up to the turquoise glittering waters every morning through the floor to ceiling sliding glass doors. There is an adults only section, but only in the villa room categories.

There are nine restaurants: two buffets; an adult-only restaurant (only for those staying in the Villas); and five specialty restaurants with fantastic decor and impressive menus (Mexican, Japanese, gourmet fusion, a steakhouse, and Italian). The buffet restaurants (Las Olas, and Isla Mujeres, which turns into the steakhouse at night) have a wide variety of food and can cater to special diets. Venecia is also open for lunch and features a small Italian-themed lunch buffet.

There's no lack of bars at the Riu. From the classy ocean-view lobby bar with nightly piano player, to the 24-hour Sports Bar, to the swim-up pool bar, you will always have a drink in your hand. Outdoor watering holes include Trinidad, the swim-up pool bar that also has a covered landlocked section with seating, and Tobago, the beach bar. At night Tobago transforms into a romantic beach side lounge spot with soft lighting, cabanas, and lounge areas.

Weddings:

  • Venue:
    • Garden (maximum 100 guests)
  • Wedding Packages:
    • Free Package
    • Classic Package
    • Royal Package
    • Indulgence Package
    • Caprice Package

Click on the link below to view wedding package inclusions:

RIU Palace Peninsula Wedding Guide

Ocean Front Jacuzzi Suite

Live Aqua

Before this trip, I was not even aware of this brand. The Live Aqua is an adult’s only resort that offers both modern bliss and sophisticated relaxation. Live Aqua is located 20 minutes from the airport and across the street from La Isla Shopping Center and Luxury Avenue where some of the best designers display their creations. Even though this property is adults only, they do not focus on partying but relaxation and finding your inner silence.

All premium rooms incorporate modern warm elements that evoke health and wellness. Before guests arrival you can even create your own personalized ambiance by choosing from an aromatherapy menu, music, and lighting intensity. Each room boasts fine furniture and decorative accents in ochre colors, offering a king size bed or two double beds, balcony or terrace, new smart bedside consoles that control curtains and three different lighting ambiances. 

Luxury Amenities included:

  • Nightly turndown services
  • Aromatherapy menu
  • Minibar with premium beverages
  • Espresso capsule machine
  • iHome dock with Bluetooth connection
  •  Beach Bag
  • High-Speed Wi-Fi and wired connections
  • Etc.

Guests also have the option of booking rooms to have access to the Aqua Club. Live Aqua Club is located on the 5th floor and open from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM offering the following services:

  • Private concierge / Check In-Check Out
  • Access to great variety of Top Brand drinks
  • Continental Breakfast
  • Coffee & Beverages
  • Appetizers
  • Tea Time

Weddings:

  • Venues:
    • Beach
    • Garden
    • Azur Pool
    • Pool Club
  • Wedding Packages:
    • Serenata (2 people)
    • Beso (Up to 20 people)
    • Abrazo (Up to 30 people)
    • Corazon (50-100 people)

Click on the link below for wedding package inclusions:

Live Aqua Cancun Wedding Guide

Presidential Suite 

Hard Rock Cancun

The Hard Rock Cancun screams “all-inclusive megaresort!” All rooms feature contemporary décor and a rock n roll style theme, and is one of the best resorts on the Hotel Zone to let loose and have some fun in the sun, making this more of a “Party Zone.”

This resort is very popular for couples and groups, but is actually very family-friendly offering a ton of amenities and activities for kids of all ages, such as kids/teen clubs, kid-friendly menus, family rooms, and kiddy pools.

The Hard Rock features 598 contemporary rooms with attractive and bright colors. For families there are Deluxe Family rooms available to book, which are two Deluxe Gold Rooms connected through an in-room door. These rooms feature a ton of kid-friendly perks, including Xbox 360s, L’Oreal kids’ toiletries, beach kits, and games.  Every room has a rock inspired twist, and guests can borrow one of the hotels Fender guitars and learn the basics with one of the video lessons that can be ordered to be delivered to your room at no extra cost.

The hotel offers a stunning free-form infinity pool overlooking the beach, with tons of loungers, bar service, whirlpools, and two swim-up bars. The pool is the busiest area in the hotel during the day, but only one side of it has loud music and entertainment. Those who want to relax, I would recommend just grabbing a lounger and bring it over to the southern side of the pool, which also features a swim-up bar.

For dining choices, the Hard Rock offers a buffet that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner but also offer specialty restaurants including, Italian, Mexican, Asian, and Brazilian. Of course there is 24 hour room service for those folks who get the munchies late at night.

Weddings:

Generations Riviera Maya

About 30 minutes from the Cancun airport is the beautiful family-friendly Generations Riviera Maya by Karisma. With 144 large suites, this resort offers the best of both worlds for large families and couples—a fun beach vacation with enough entertainment for the kids, and a little bit of added romance for the adults. 

The greatest feature at Generations has to be its massive pool. Spanning the entire length of the hotel, the pool is a mega-sized water wonderland for both adults and kids. The oasis of blue mosaic tile is home to swim-up bar, has multiple ledges for sun loungers, and sports its own volleyball net.

In the swim-up suites category, guests can literally swim from their balcony into the hotel’s main pool. Infinity Suites, located on the upper floors, have direct, private access from the balcony into an upper-level infinity pool. These pools are smaller and quieter than the main pool.

There are a total of 5 restaurants on property, including the classic all-inclusive buffet, Mediterranean and Asian a la carte options, and a wine bar. The buffet -- which successfully resembles a neighborhood market, with its brick and wood finishes, picnic tables, and chalkboard signs -- is a lively spot with endless options.

The Eko Kids Club is for kids age’s four to 12, where they can attend supervised activities from morning until night. The room is painted in bright colors with a large ball pit, bean bag chairs, a Lego station, and tables for arts and crafts. Eko tries to teach kids about environmentally-friendly practices by way of organized games and art projects. Kids under the age of four can join the fun, but require parent supervision. Family evening entertainment includes movies by the pool and nightly performances of fire dancers and dance shows. There are also babysitters for hire if parents want take advantage of the adult-only restaurants and pools next door at the El Dorado Royale by Karisma.

Weddings:

Luxury Junior Suite Swim Out

Now Jade Riviera Cancun

The Now Jade Riviera Cancun is a 550-room megaresort that manages to be both family-friendly and romantic. Located in the former fishing village of Puerto Morelos, this resort is relatively secluded but serves as a perfect compromise for anyone looking for Cancun's stunning beaches without the hordes of tourists.

Guests will also enjoy the Unlimited-Luxury experience, including: Limitless access to gourmet à la carte dining options without reservations required, unlimited international and domestic top-shelf spirits, unlimited natural fruit juices and soft drinks, 24-hour room and concierge services, Pool and beach wait service, endless daytime activities and live nightly entertainment, and so much more.

All of their units are suites with plenty of space and unique décor. The colors used in each suite is inspired by the turquoise sea and beautiful Cancun sunsets.

Guests may choose from 6 premier specialty themed restaurants, as well as a buffet and a café, all without reservations, including Italian, Mediterranean (Adults Only), French, Asian, and authentic Mexican. For the guests who get the late night munchies there is also a 24 hour dining option at Coco Café offering premium coffee & deli snacks.

Weddings:

  • Venues:
    • Terrace – up to 40 guests
    • Beach – up to 150 guests
    • Seaside – 10-120 guests
    • Pergola – 10-80 guests
  • Wedding Packages:
    • Your Moment
    • Now to Eternity
    • Divine
    • Beyond Memorable
    • Shaadi

Click on the link below to view wedding package inclusions:

NOW Jade Complete Wedding Guide


Junior Suite Tropical View 

Preferred Club Ocean View 

Preferred Club Ocean Front Honeymoon Suite

Preferred Club Ocean Front Master Suite

Dreams Riviera Cancun

Out of all the resorts we toured on this trip, the Dreams Riviera Cancun was by far my most favorite property. An AAA Four Diamond resort since 2014, reflects the charm of the Mexican Caribbean with its glistening pools, lush tropical gardens and a palm-studded beach. 486 luxury rooms, nine gourmet restaurants without reservations, six bars ranging from elegant to swim-up and the world-class Dreams Spa by Pevonia® provide guests with a host of amenities.

Guests staying here will get a healthy dose of fresh air and ocean views, thanks to several of their open-air buildings and outdoor seating options. From my experience, the resort did not feel overly stylish or dates, but had an elegant colonial touch with a lot of warm earthy tones. There is also something for everyone here, whether you’re travelling with kids or on your honeymoon. The Explorer Club organizes activities for kid’s ages 3 to 12 and features Red Cross-certified staff members, a small rock wall, theater, and crafts. Parents are given a pager and cannot leave the property. This is also the only AMResort to have a dedicated, though unsupervised, baby play area for parents.

This resort has 486 octagon-shaped rooms with a modern colonial look featuring creams, oak wood accents, and woven wicker fan blades. Premium Deluxe-level rooms have either second- and third-floor garden vistas, ocean views, or semi-private, dual-level plunge pools on the ground floor. Upgrades to Preferred rooms come with better ocean views, upgraded bath and minibar products, and Nespresso machines.

Weddings:

  • Venues:
    • Ceremony:
      • Gazebo – max 100 guests
      • Grand Lobby Staircase -  max 250 guests
      • Beach – max 250 guests
      • Mayan Tree – max 60 guests
    • Reception:
      • Pool Terrace – max 250 guests
      • Deck – max 180 guests
      • Ballroom – max 250 guests
      • El Patio – max 80 guests
      • Oceana Restaurant – max 75 guests
  • Wedding Packages:
    • Paradise Package
    • Dreams of Love
    • Ultimate Wedding
    • Beyond Memorable

Click on the link below to view wedding package inclusions:

Dreams Riviera Cancun Complete Wedding Guide


Riu Palace Costa Mujeres

The Hotel Riu Palace Costa Mujeres is an upscale all-inclusive resort in Play Mujeres, about 45 minutes from Cancun. This massive 600-room property offers  five swimming pools, swim-up bars, six restaurants, spa and fitness center.

Opened in 2018, this RIU property is a great choice for couples but most especially for families with kids, where they can enjoy the kids club but also the waterpark next door at the Riu Dunamar. There are also plenty of acitivities for adults, such as nightly shows on their open-air state and free entranace to the Pacha nightclub next door.

Guests can also enjoy the Renova Spa, which offers a variety of treatments like facials and massages, plus a beauty salon with hair services. The thermal area of the spa includes saunas, steam baths, and relaxation baths. All treatments are at an additional cost.

All of the rooms are very spacious and inviting, with stylish contemporary decor and abstract art to add more liveliness. They also open onto private, furnished balconies that have either sea or partial sea views (or overlook the grounds).

Rooms are well equipped in terms of amenities, with fully stocked minibars, tea/coffee-making facilities, and even premium liquor dispensers (can include brands like Smirnoff, Bacardi, and Jose Cuervo). Other standard amenities include flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, safes, and free Wi-Fi.

Weddings:

  • Venues:
    • Beach – 100 max guests
    • Terraza – 100 max guests
  • Wedding Packages:
    • Free Package
    • Classic Package
    • Royal Package
    • Indulgence Package
    • Caprice Package

Click on the link below to view wedding package inclusions:

RIU Palace Costa Mujeres Wedding Guide


Ocean Front Suite 

Dreams Playa Mujeres

Opened in 2016, the Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort is a family-friendly property that draws travelers wanting all-inclusive packages outside of the busy Hotel Zone. This resort is pretty secluded and there is very little within walking distance, but fortunately there are a lot of activities and facilities on site including: multiple pools, water park, lazy river, and an array of dining and drinking options. Although there is a spa, golf course and romantic rooms for couples, most of the guests are families with kids. If parents are wanting a night off, another plus is that the Secrets Playa Mujeres is right night next door where adults are allowed to have dinner or enjoy the nightly entertainment.

The rooms are spacious, contemporary, and well-outfitted with modern amenities. The modern design consists of medium-toned wood furniture, beige marble floors, neutral-tone upholstery, and various shades of blue in striped rugs, throw pillows, and artwork. Excellent amenities include furnished terrace, some with sea views, and two-person whirlpools either outdoors or inside, as well as flat-screen TVs, AC, minibars, Nespresso machines, MP3 docking stations, laptop-sized safes, and electronic tablets to order room service and make reservations.

Weddings: 

  • Venues:
    • Beach Gazebo - max 200 guests
    • Beach - max 250 guests
    • Presidential Suite - max 80 guests 
    • Paramount Suite - max 80 guests
    • Platform in Central Garden - max 250 guests 
    • Central Garden - max 350 guests
    • Cove Terrace - max 40 guests 
    • Mermaid Terrace - max 70 guests
    • Pool Terrace - max 70 guests
    • Azure Veranda - max 100 guests
    • Ballroom - max 250 guests  
  • Wedding Packages:
    • Paradise Package 
    • Dreams of Love Package 
    • Dreams Ultimate Wedding Package
    • Dreams Paramount Package

Click on the link below to view wedding package inclusions: 

Dreams Playa Mujeres Wedding Guide 

Preferred Club Junior Suite

Paramount Suite 

Thank you so much to Apple Vacations for inviting me on this wonderful adventure to Mexico! Also, a big thanks to all of the resorts for the tours, food, gifts, and just the overall warm welcome. I will never forget this experience! 

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