Testimonials from our clients

What a place! We got what we wanted!

Cara, Strathroy - (trip to Mazatlán Sin. Mexico)

The RUI Emerald Bay in Mazatlan was amazing!!! What a place. We got what we wanted. Secluded and quiet, more north of the city, not in the thick of it.  Fabulous beach, nice walks every day. 

We did only one small excursion, a city tour on our last day.  We took only casual clothes and didn't even go to any a la cartes.  We ate away from the resort 2x, just short walk up the beach to a small plaza.  Also, several days we walked up to the plaza for coffee in the morning at The Looney Bean....much better coffee, specialty types and baked goods. The buffet restaurant at the resort was great food and great selection.

The resort is wonderful, in the fact that all rooms are ocean view (upper floors, above the trees), the beach is stunning. The staff were also exceptional, always cleaning and the resort was spotless. The Riu is the last resort to the north, so very very quiet. Even with the elevator work going on, it was zero bother. 

I would return here any time. We met one couple who were on their 4th trip to the Riu. The ocean was rough, but it was the time of year, their winter and high tide 2x a day. This doesn't bother us, as we are pool people anyways. Thank you, Monica, as always, and would love a return here for sure.

Our trip to Mexico was a welcome relief and a great family vacation. You are great at what you do!

Gar and Gail, Strathroy, ON - (trip to Huatulco Mexico)

The trip to Las Brisas Huatulco, Mexico, was great. The resort was big but well spread out and you did not feel overwhelmed, rolling topography at the resort with lots of walking or carts to take you from point A to Point B. 

Breakfasts were great, lunches were terrible (we did not go after day 2 of the same...) and suppers were OK (after Azores or Algarve or even Bermuda the al a carte choices were OK, but the atmosphere was try to get them in and get them out...food was good at some and just Ok at others.).

We went into town for two suppers and they were very relaxing and great food, reasonably priced, so very nice.  Service and staff were excellent, except last day transfer the bus did not come to get us and they had to scramble to get alternate transport to airport, ourselves and another couple with two young kids were waiting for almost 1 hour at the hotel and were close to taking a cab and then finally it came.  WestJet was great, shorter than I had thought, 5 hours there and 4.5 hours back.

There were 3 beaches at resort, one nearest us had a coral reef you could snorkel around and we saw tons of fish. Gail saw a sea turtle one morning, and a couple of eels.  We went on two boat tours: first day we were deep sea fishing (nothing caught) and saw several turtles, rays, and dolphins, but second day the captain (Juan Moreno) found this pod of dolphins that was beyond words, we would say well over 2,000 dolphins, some babies, some full breach with spinning (called spinning dolphins as per captain) several times, it was magical!  Then we went on to the national park up the coast and walked on secluded beaches and next beach Taylor, Gail and I snorkeled while Joclyn was resting on beach, when I heard Taylor through his snorkel say “ sea turtle” and I turned and looked down and just about 5-6 feet under me a 24-20” diameter sea turtle went right under me

Then we stopped at Sainte Augustine (shanty town at end of park) and had the kids appreciate what they have and possibly the best lunch we have had in a long time! Weather was perfect and water was perfect. 

Thanks, Monica, you are great at what you do!!!!!

Thank you so much for your work in planning/ booking our recent vacation to Mexico.

Carol and family, Stratford ON - (trip to Cancun Mexico)

All the instructions, travel arrangements, flights, transfers etc. to the Ocean Turquesa, Mexico, went very smoothly.   The resort was beautiful and well kept.  We were taken aback when we returned to our room mid morning (one of the first mornings) to  find them spraying a very strong smelling insecticide inside our room.  The smell seemed to have lessoned by evening when we returned, but this was still unsettling and concerning considering that was where we were sleeping for the next week.  In hindsight we should have asked to change rooms but would have had no way of knowing that the alternate room was not similarly treated. We had previously been told when our rooms were not all on the same floor that the resort was full.....the assigned rooms were fine.

The first half of our stay was quite cool so we welcomed the beautiful warmth and sunshine of the last half of the stay with only a short shower of rainfall one morning.  As we know the weather is always an unknown with no guarantees.   

We enjoyed taking part in the yoga, water aerobics and Zumba/Salsa  sessions.  Also there  were always fun, noisy, interactive games/activities going  on at the one large pools  while the other pool and beach was quieter which gave you the choice which was great.  We enjoyed long, daily walks on the beach and all the resorts seemed to be doing their best to daily remove the constant   inflow of seaweed onto the beach. 

The food seemed to be the weakest link at this resort.  The temperature of most of the hot food at the buffet was cool  and the hard ice cream was runny.   We did enjoy the food at the Italian and Japanese restaurants.  We also got  to love the small coffee and dessert shop where you could get a hot coffee after your lunch as the large snack bar close to the beach and pool offered no coffee.  They went to a lot of work to put on a Medieval Feast outdoors one evening.  Lots of costumes and decorations.   We laughed as it wasn't until someone came along with the light on their cell phone that we could actually see the  food we were putting on our plates and we ate at 7:30 so not terribly late.  The fruit was always plentiful and delicious. 

We cannot comment too much on the nightly entertainment.  We did attend the karaoke night and their production of Grease.  Both were entertaining and the Grease performance was superior to a lot of resort entertainment we have experienced in the past.  

We did have a very relaxing, enjoyable week with family.  My above feedback is only designed to provide information to you regarding our experience at the Ocean Turquesa resort.  It is not meant to be negative, but an honest picture of how we experienced things there.

Thank-you again, Agnes, for your travel assistance.

The personal and helpfulness of our agent Shelley Moore was outstanding

Jim and Faye, Listowel, ON - (trip to Jamaica)

What a wonderful trip to Jamaica. We stayed at the Grand Bahai Principe in Runaway Bay. From the room, to the staff, food pool and entertainment it was 5 star all the way!

I cannot say enough good about the resort. We flew with West Jet out of Toronto to Montego Bay and had great service.

The Jamaican people really know how to treat their guests. I would highly recommend a trip here.

The personal and helpfulness of out travel agent Shelley Moore was outstanding from helping to pick plane seats to the final details. It really made this a very special trip for us.

The Sunquest representative at the resort was helpful and informed about the side trips. It was suggested that we use the Mobay Clubroom at the airport for an extra cost (minimal) prior to departure. A very smart and comfortable spot to spend the last few hours of our time on the island, as the Sunquest rep told us the general waiting area was cramped and busy. It was a great way to finish a fantastic holiday.

Thanks to everyone for their part in planning our vacation.

Thank you for the recommendation to the Blue Bay Esmerelda in Mexico

Deb, Strathroy, ON - (trip to Riviera Maya)

We had a great trip. The flights ran smoothly, the transfers to and from the airport were straightforward.

The resort however is getting a little tired but clean and well maintained. The beach was nice, facilities and food were very good, staff were very respectful and helpful. We did end up getting adjoining rooms with the bed selections we requested – which was awesome.

The a la carte restaurants were very good for the most part and the buffets were very good also.

The Air Transat staff on site at the resort were always available and helpful.

The excursion to Chitzen Itza was a long day but the staff were very good. On the day we arrived, we also signed up for another excursion that was two stops – a cenote and snorkeling with the sea turtles – the day we left on that excursion, there was some problem with the sea turtle portion but we were rebooked the next day at no charge, then it was the same problem so they booked us on the Friday before we left.  We needed to repeat the full excursion but it did actually happen.  So Transat and the excursion company were very helpful to rebook at no charge for us to see it all.

The only part we did not appreciate was the certain hotel staff that were trying to get us to join them for a meeting to hear about their time share like options – they seemed to hover and constantly be bugging us until we basically had to be rude and walk away.  We don’t like doing that but those particular staff would not back away.

It was a good venue for us as a couple and having the older kids with us – we all enjoyed it. Thanks, Monica, for the recommendation!!

Honeymooners Loved the Villa Sol in Costa Rica

Lindsay, London ON - (trip to Costa Rica)

Villas Sol was a lovely honeymoon vacation – our requests for a higher floor and king bed were accommodated without question and the room was absolutely lovely. Transportation was no issue to the resort (we did wait for over two hours for the shuttle to leave the airport as I believe they were waiting for a family who never showed). So, we missed our first sunset at the resort but we were not bothered.

We found the food to be excellent, even for two vegetarians! There were plenty of options for us and everything was very fresh everyday. Neither of us had any issues with sickness or feeling ill (other than being too full from all the great food) 

The view from the resort and especially our room was absolutely stunning! You definitely work for the view as it was a strenuous uphill walk to get back to the resort from the beach. However we are very active and enjoyed the exercise. Plus the shuttles ran frequently which was helpful in the middle of the day.

We booked one full day tour at the national park (the name escapes me) with a river tour and lunch. It was underwhelming all around and over-priced. The lunch was delicious but the bus driver drove uncomfortably fast and we saw next to no wildlife on the boat. Our river guide was fabulous which made up for it a little. The drive was longer than we expected and we had wished we chose another activity (we found out we are expecting our first baby before our trip so were limited in the adventure activities we could do).

However, a few days later we booked a 2-3 hour snorkel tour just off our beach at the small tour centre and it was wonderful. For $20 each we saw lots of great marine life and stopped to swim at a gorgeous beach nearby. That was a highlight.

We enjoyed both pools on site at the resort – because we were there during the New Year holiday, the main pool was extremely busy and loud most days. The sun was too hot to lay out for very long so we would only go to the pool if we could find shaded lounge chairs. The music and many families were noisy but it was nice to see so many locals enjoying their holiday. We felt very comfortable and welcomed at the beach and the pools and loved that we didn’t feel like obnoxious tourists.

Ultimately the service was excellent, the staff were friendly and helpful, the hotel was great and it was an excellent value for the quality you received. Since we’ll have a family in the near future we would likely choose a place on the beach next time but were very happy with Villas Sol for our honeymoon. We loved our trip and left talking about the next time we would be back in Costa Rica!

Darlene was our Transat contest winner and this is her testimonial of the Windjammer Landing Villa in St. Lucia

Darlene, London ON - (trip to Saint Lucia)

The trip to St. Lucia was AMAZING!!!! We’d go back in a heartbeat. 

Fantastic food, 100% a la carte if you chose, or they had a buffet breakfast each morning.  It was very peaceful (no activities/music in the afternoon). Our room was upgraded free of charge to the Hibiscus 1 bedroom with a gorgeous ocean view room. There were lots of little pools around the resort, with the main pool that was close to a bar.

We had a great experience and would recommend it to anyone. 

The only challenge would be for those who had a hard time walking, the resort was on a hill (you could take a shuttle)

While we were in St. Lucia, we took the land/sea tour, when into Castries shopping and ate at a local restaurant recommended by the Darryl at the front desk in Rodney Bay before experiencing their Friday night street party. (on top of the water skiing, snorkeling and banana boating at the resort that we enjoyed)

Thanks again for the recommendation, Zeri!

(Photos are on our photos page)

Resort in Varadero, Cuba was Excellent

Dwayne and Sue and family, London - (trip to Varadero Cuba)

We had a fantastic time on our vacation at the Iberostar Laguna Azul!  The resort was excellent, we were a little scared about the comments we were seeing before we went – but had no concerns at all once there

The room setup was so perfect for us, it was great to have a setup that gave our family the space we needed.  On the first day, after we got settled and went to the beach, we returned to find that they had put a cot in each of our rooms without us even asking!

The food was good, it was as we would expect for Cuba, everyone had their favourites and plenty to eat.  The beach was fabulous, so wide and we never had to search for a lounge chair.  That was a first for us, to have access to space on the beach so easily – and made Dwayne and I super happy as we are beach people when we travel.

We did an excursion that we just bought off the beach, where we spent a half day and went snorkeling at a beach about 30 minutes away.  It was really well organized and such a beautiful couple hours, they did video and pictures for us for 25 canadian and we were thrilled with that.

Tthe shows were actually really excellent, they brought in a lot of the talent, the circus night was fantastic with excellent stunts and performers.  And my favourite night was the Rockband night with live musician and excellent rock music that everyone knew.

We would recommend this resort to others going to Cuba, and thanks so much Jennifer for your quick help to us getting this trip planned!!

Sue and Dwayne

Our amazing time at the Royalton in Cancun!

Cathy, Strathroy - (trip to Cancun)

Hi Monica,
Just wanted to send a quick email to let you know about our amazing time at the Royalton!
 
1.  Valet Parking is SWEEEET!
2.  For the short flight, same time zone and 15 minutes to/from the airport...the travelling time was great!
3.  Food was AWESOME!  The nine a la carte restaurants (Japanese and Steakhouse were my absolute favourites) and the buffet...top notch
We found out by day three that for the buffet, they had a separate room for Hideaway guests to dine  in away from the Royalton guests with kids:)
4.  Service...top notch EVERYWHERE!  We were treated like gold!
5.  Entertainment....best I've seen at any all-inclusive I've stayed at.  The costumes, stage, lighting, music and performers were amazing!
6.  Adults Only....why haven't we done this before!  Loved it, loved it, loved it!  Our drinks (which were made with top shelf liquors) were served right to us every day.  Check out the coconut drinks...filled with some kind of tequila goodness....so much fun!
We stayed by the pool most of the week (with one beach day) and in the afternoons were treated to synchronized swimmers, a electric violin player, four piece band with singer, and a crazy, soap sud party in the pool with rocking music!  There was always a lunch buffet set up with fish, ribs, steak, chicken, salad, vegetables etc...so delicious.  Pool area was lovely, and we enjoyed the hot tub as well!
7.  Beach was beautiful and so close to the resort...sand was white and soft....yes seaweed washed up everyday...but they were always busy cleaning it up.  The water was nice...not clear and bright blue like other Caribbean destinations but still nice. ( but like I said we only stayed on the beach one day with friends we had met...otherwise Brian and I are pool people
8.  Room was great....loved the huge, double rainhead showers!  Our view from the balcony overlooked the swampy mangrove...so that just meant we spent more time out of our room than in.  Resort was full so we were not able to get a room overlooking pool area.  Asked about swim-out room upgrade but was too much ($145 US extra per day)...glad I ended up just booking a regular room anyway, as only one side of the resort for these rooms got sun...the other two sides were pretty much shaded all day.
9.  One night at the disco...great music...lots of fun!
 
The hardest part of my week was trying to get my book read in between all the fun!  Another fun note, this was the first time I had ever been to a resort down south with "escalators." I told my parents that this place would be perfect for our entire family vacation at the Royalton... kids would love the splash pad/water park there...so many hours of entertainment readily available for the kids...no wonder there were so many vacationing there!
The only downfall, are the time share people...but we just smiled and kept on our way!
Let me know if I missed anything!  I think the only thing I'm missing now is the sun:)
Thanks!
Cathy

You helped make this the best family vacation ever!

Lyle and Carol, Strathroy, ON - (trip to Aruba)

Hello Monica! The trip was 100% awesome! Elite Plus at the Rui Palace in Aurba worked great and we would do this again!

All aspects of this resort complex were renovated 2 years ago and they did a great job. We did go to adult tower building twice but we still found our RIU Palace to be the best choice.

POSITIVE SIDE (all excellent)

  • temperature - perfect
  • rooms
  • drinks
  • food
  • new years eve food and get together
  • friendly staff all areas of resort
  • family tours taken in UTVs, snorkling, deep sea fishing ,
  • power boat tubing
  • fire works start early afternoon of New Years Eve and go on all over island all night long. My Family said this was something they have never seen and will remember for ever.

 

Overall, I cannot think how a family vacation could be any better than this one anywhere. Maybe it was the organizer?! Thanks again!

Lyle and Carole

 

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