Resources

The Ultimate Guide for Adult-Only Resorts in the Caribbean

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Finding that perfect place to stay isn’t always the easiest.  Here at Otus, we focus on resorts and hotels that cater specifically to adult’s only.  When on vacation, without children, the last thing most people want to be around is other people’s children running around making noise and splashing you in the pool.  There are thousands of resorts that cater to families which is wonderful, but here we’re doing our best to make it easier for those who want that extra bit of peace and serenity on their next vacation.

The internet is full of the “top xx” lists of resorts, but not everyone is looking for the same type of experience and those lists only report a handful of resorts.  In order to give you more options, we’ve decided to list every resort we’re aware of so you can do better research to find the perfect fit.  These resorts do not allow anyone under the age of 18, though some are 21+.  In addition to that, a few of them only allow couples, so check ahead of time if you’re trying to do a girls-trip or are going with a bunch of friends.

Please check back often as this list will be kept up to date as more information added as it’s changed.  There are new adult-only resorts being built right now, others that are changing from adult oriented to family oriented and reverse.  If you add a comment below, we’ll update you when the list is updated.  If we have missed anything in this list please let us know in the comments below and we’ll get it updated asap.

Resort and Hotels….Contact us if we’ve left you out or if you’d like to get an in-depth review of your resort highlighted at Otus Adventures.

Resort/HotelCityCountryAll-Inclusive
AzulikTulumMexicoNo
Casa ChameleonMal PaisCosta RicaNo
Club Med TurkoiseGrace BayTurks & CaicosYes
El Castillo Boutique Luxury HotelPuntarenasCosta RicaBreakfast Only
Excellence Playa MujeresIsla MujeresMexicoYes
Excellence Riviera CancunCancunMexicoYes
Golden Parnassus ResortCancunMexicoYes
Grand Oasis Sens -> Our Full ReviewCancunMexicoYes
Hard Rock Hotel CancunCancunMexicoYes
Haven Resorts & SpaCancunMexicoYes
Hideaway at Royalton Punta CanaPunta CanaDominican RepublicYes
Riu Palace Antillas Stay – ArubaNoordArubaYes
Hyatt Zilara CancunCancunMexicoYes
Isla Mujeres PalaceIsla MujeresMexicoYes
Kore Tulum Retreat and SpaTulumMexicoYes
Le Blanc Spa ResortCancunMexicoYes
Live Aqua CancunCancunMexicoYes
Luxury Bahia Principe BouganvilleLa RomanaDominican RepublicYes
Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway BayRunaway BayJamaicaYes
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’anCancunMexicoYes
Paradisus CancunCancunMexicoYes
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La PerlaPlaya del CarmenMexicoYes
Riu ReggaeMontego BayJamaicaYes
Royal Decameron Los CabosLos CabosMexicoYes
Royal Hideaway PlayacarPlaya del CarmenMexicoYes
Secrets AuraCozumelMexicoYes
Secrets Capri Riviera CancunCancunMexicoYes
Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera CancunPlaya del CarmenMexicoYes
Secrets the Vine CancunCancunMexicoYes
Senses Riviera Maya by ArtisanPlaya del CarmenMexicoYes
Sun PalaceCancunMexicoYes
Temptation CancunCancunMexicoYes
The Reef 28Playa del CarmenMexicoYes
The Royal Playa del CarmenPlaya del CarmenMexicoYes
The SoCo HotelBridgetownBarbadosYes
Villa Buena Onda HotelPlaya del CocoCosta RicaYes
Villa Lala – Premium CollectionPuerto VallartaMexicoNo
Riu Republica -> Our Full ReviewPunta CanaDominican RepublicYes

How to get the Best Deal on Flights

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As we are getting ready for our next adventure, I thought it would be a good time to talk about flights.  The one question we hear over and over is, “How do you fly for so cheap”?  Flights are the last thing anyone wants to spend money on for vacation.  All they do is get you to your destination where you’d rather be spending your money.

  1. Flexibility.  The biggest way to save on flights is if you are flexible on the dates you need to fly.  There is always some deals to be had no matter what, but if you are flexible, you can save hundreds or more.  Flying during school times is always a benefit and flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the cheapest.  Most airlines will show you an entire month at a glance to see when the best times are to fly, and some airlines even have special saver months or weeks where you can get a flight for a fraction of the normal price.
  2. Mix Airlines.  Nowhere is there a rule that you have to use the same airline to depart and return.  Very often, one airline has a great deal to get you to your destination but raises the price to come home.  Take the time to look at other airlines, or even nearby airports to find a better return trip.
  3. Extras.  A lot of airlines try to get you in the door with a low price, but charge fees for extras, like checking a bag, or even a carry on.  Make sure you know all of the fees upfront before booking that trip.  If you have to check a bag, you also want to do it during the purchase process and not wait until you get to the airport.  Prices are much cheaper if you pay for a checked bag upfront.  As always, Southwest still has no baggage fees, but their ticket prices usually reflect the bags upfront.  Spirit won’t even let you have a carry-on without a fee, but most airlines will.
  4. Travel Agents – Just kidding, never use a travel agent.  They don’t care about getting you the best deal.  They’ll help you book whatever gives them the best commission.  This may be the easy way out, but will always cost you a lot more.
  5. Rewards – There are always rewards to be had for flying.  Make sure whoever you fly with that you sign up for their rewards program and get credit for your flight.  Using credit card miles or even the airline’s credit cards can reap major rewards as well.  About one in 3 of our flights that we take is free from rewards, either through a credit card or frequent flyer miles.  Maximizing those miles can be very lucrative.  We’ll go into these tricks in another article as the features of each airline and credit card different greatly.

When we start looking for a flight there are a few resources that we start with.

  1. Kayak Explore – When you don’t really know where you want to go, but are curious to see where the best deals are, this is the site for you.  You can enter in your home airport and it shows you, on a Google Map, all the airports you can fly to and general prices, based on the time of year or month that you choose.
  2. Scott’s Cheap Flights – This isn’t really a site to search for flights, but a mailing list that you can sign up for.  They have a free mailing, but don’t expect to get much good info out of that.  For $40/year you can have flight deals sent to your email address on a daily basis.  Scott’s Cheap Flights mostly only deals with international flights, so if you’re looking for something within the county, this won’t help you (with the exception of Hawaii).
  3. Google Flights – Leave it up to Google to make searching for flights easier.  This is the fastest site to check across most airlines.  Google Flights gives you direct links to the airline’s sites for booking, so there isn’t a middle-man fee.  Keep in mind that Southwest isn’t represented here, as you’ll always need to check them independently.
  4. Momondo – Funny name, but great flight searching capabilities.  Scott’s Cheap Flights has a feature they call “Flight Hacker”, which will mix airlines for your flights.  This can save you a lot of money by giving you the best deal for each leg of your trip.  They link directly to the airlines, so there isn’t a middleman again.
  5. Airfarewatchdog – Another great site to show deals on flights as well as set up your preferred locations in order to receive emails when new deals are available.  This is similar to Scott’s Cheap Flights, but for domestic flights instead of international.

So, when is the best time to book a flight?  There are sites out there that’ll tell you a certain hour of the week is the best time, which may be true in general, but each airline has very complex algorithms they’ve put in place to modify flight prices throughout the week in order to get all of their seats booked for the highest price possible.  As a general rule of thumb, the middle of the week (tues/wed) is the best time to book flights.  If you’re looking early enough, you can watch the price of the flights daily for a week or so and see how they compare.  Or if a really great deal pops up, sometimes you just need to book it right away.  Most of the airlines now give you 24 hours to cancel a flight for a full refund, but check the fine print ahead of time.

Costa Rica in the Rainy Season?

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After booking our trip to Costa Rica, we quickly realized we had booked it during the wrong time of the year.  Apparently, we were going there right in the middle of rainy season.  This was going to be a horrible trip, but everything was booked and all we could do make the most of it.  As it turned out, this was probably one of the best times for us to visit and provided us with everything we wanted in the trip.

Costa Rica is known to have a very wet rainy season that spans from May to mid-November.  It is quite common for it to rain for days during this time of year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will rain all day long.  Here are some of the benefits we found to going to Costa Rica during the rainy season.

Privacy

Just the phrase, “Rainy Season” is enough to scare most tourists away.  Hotels are often empty or near empty.  Our trip left us alone in our resort with no one to bother us.  This isn’t true for all places, but you can be assured that even the more popular resorts and hotels won’t be fully booked.  If you’re looking for a romantic getaway then this is a great time to visit during the rainy season.  We have never experienced such relaxation on a vacation before.  This is one trip that didn’t require another vacation when we got home to de-stress.

Discounts Galore

The lack of tourists mean lots of discounts.  Hotels and resort are often 50% cheaper, or more.  Staying at a five star resort like Zephyr Palace, wouldn’t have been an option for us during Costa Rica’s “summer” (Nov-Apr).  We were also able to rent a 4×4 vehicle for only $5/day (plus the required insurance).  While shopping, vendors were also more inclined to negotiate their prices due to the lack of customers.

The Rain!

Believe it or not, the rain is actually an advantage.  Costa Rica is a beautiful country, but without rain, the trees and plants start to die like anywhere else.  Being so close to the equator, summer weather in CR is hot, very hot.  This also causes some of the touristy attractions such as rivers and waterfalls to dry up.  Hiking to waterfalls is always a fun adventure that we love to do, so I’m happy to report that viewing any of the many waterfalls in CR during rainy season is a definite must.


So how did the weather actually fare in mid-September?  It rained nearly every day we were there, with the exception of a couple of days, but the rain didn’t start till the afternoon.  It was dark around 5:30, with rain starting anywhere from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  Sometimes it only rained for a couple of hours and a couple of times it rained through the night.  As a result, we went to bed earlier than normal, for us, and were usually ready to tackle the day by 6:00 AM, which is extremely unusual for us.  The beaches were amazing in the morning and the sun was in full power.  Unfortunately, we never got to see the sun actually set on the horizon.  We got close, but in the last 15 minutes every day, the sun went behind clouds prior to making it to the horizon.

Overall, don’t let “rainy season” deter you from visiting Costa Rica.  We will not hesitate to go back the same time of year any time.