Monday, January 31, 2011

Guest Review: NH Real Arena/NH Royal Beach

It's always great to hear from our readers. Some have questions about a resort we stayed at and what's even better is when they email us to tell us all about there vacation. Marcianne emailed us back in December with some questions about our stay at NH Real Arena. She made us quite jealous when she mentioned that she would be going for two weeks over the holidays. Here's her report about her stay at NH Real Arena (one of our favorite resorts).


Hi Leesh,

We had a wonderful trip, even though the weather wasn't really nice.  It was cloudy almost every day and even rained at least 4 times.  We pretty much had only half days of sun. The hotel was good but at first we were a bit surprised at how big it was.  There were so many people, tons of children, and a bit too much noise! It was the holidays, mind you, and of course we love children, but we were looking forward to a nice relaxing romantic and sunny holiday.

We were also disappointed at the fact that our room was on the ground floor, when I had taken the time to write Roberto prior to our departure, our travel agent had requested a 3rd or 4th floor room, and we had paid for the mirage level so I assumed we would have had a better room.  We complained to a very nice concierge named Alexander and even though he couldn't do anything that night, he did tell us to come back and see if there was another room the next day.  Well it just so happened that apparently the hotel had overbooked and since we had no children, he offered to upgrade our hotel to the sister hotel next door called the NH Royal Beach for a very small fee.  He said it was smaller (about 200 rooms) and for adults only and that there were two more a la carte restaurants, and of course we could still have complete access to the NH Real Arena and all their restaurants.  The Royal Beach also offers unlimited reservations for all 6 restaurants and we could make them all at once for the whole 14 days.

As soon as we changed hotels, we were in heaven!  The buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner was amazing! Fine cheeses and good bread.  Expressos and cappacinos.. Irish coffees after dinner under the stars!  At one of the restaurants at the Royal Beach I ate a rack of lamb.  The menu at the other restaurant was a tasting menu which was also excellent!  The Royal Beach hotel is newer and the rooms are nicer and bigger and each one has an outdoor whirlpool bath on the balcony!  Needless to say, the change made our holiday a wonderful experience and I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone who wants great food, quiet atmosphere and excellent service!  I'm sure that both of the NH hotels are excellent and we met lots of people at the other hotel who loved it there too.

All in all, I can say we spent a week of being spoiled while we waited and hoped for the sun to come out! We relaxed and read books before returning to snow and ice and work... I hope this helps some people choose a good place for vacation.

Keep up your beautiful site, it sure helped me to feel good about my choice.



Thanks Marcianne for sharing your thoughts and experience after being upgraded to the new resort next door, NH Royal Beach. We, ourselves would like to check it out one day. It would be nice to stay at the sister hotel and enjoy the benefits of adults-only while still having the options to enjoy the amenities over at NH Real Arena.

NH Royal Beach {via}

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I ♥ the beach by Lisa

{Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos}

Best resort. The Four Seasons Maui.  But my favourite beach is Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos (see pics).  The water is the bluest I have ever scene with sugar white sand.  This beach has spoiled me and I always compare back to the beach in Turks.

Worst resort. Any all-inclusive with bad food.

Tropical cocktail of choice. Miami Vice.  Half Pina Colada and half Strawberry Daquiri when you can't decide which one you want.

Favorite sunblock. Hawaiian Tropic with the coconut scent.  Always makes me think of being on vacation.  The Neutrogena Sheer Touch collection is a close second because you don't feel it.

Beach tunes. Wipeout by the Surfaris, In the Summertime by Mungo Jerry

One magazine to bring. A very thick In Style Magazine.  I once made the mistake of bringing Shape Magazine and felt guilty my whole vacay.

Best tour operator. Westjet Vacations

Go-to travel agent/company. I check everything on iTravel 2000 for best pricing.  I then cross-reference with Expedia and Kayak.

Travel essentials. Pepto Bismol - it's the pill that solves everything!  I just really need a bikini, sunglasses, sunscreen, a magazine and that's it.

Lisa - The Hip & Urban Girl's Guide

Friday, January 28, 2011

I ♥ the beach by Kathy

{Palm Beach, Aruba}

Best resort. I have to say the Holiday Inn at Aruba. It was by no means a 5-star (maybe a 3.5star?) but it was the best because the rooms were spacious, clean and the whole vacation was just so awesome.

Worst resort. The one we stayed in mexico. although it was a 5-star resort and really nice, the fact that we had to stay IN the resort after hours sucked. we're a 'choose your own adventure' type people and didn't like being confined in the hotel.

Tropical cocktail of choice. strawberry daiquiri and/or pina coloda

Favorite sunblock. australian gold.  smells like orange popsicles!

Beach tunes. anything 80s and regular top 40 stuff.

One magazine to bring. anything trashy - people, OK!, US weekly

Best tour operator.
damn, i forgot the name. It starts with an "S" and has the word "Sun" in it (I think).  When the airline lost our luggage in Antigua, the lady who was our tour operator main contact/person went above and beyond to track our luggage down so that we got them about 2 or 3 days into our vacation. The airline told us "it'll get here when it gets here".  She was so awesome I tipped her $100US for doing that because she would spend hours on the phone arguing with these people when she went home!

Go-to travel agent/company. don't have one. We always do our own booking and research.

Travel essentials. sun block, books, mags, music, water, face cream, vaseline.  i've also learned to carry an extra set of clothes and toothbrush with me in my carry-on.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I ♥ the beach by Lori

{7 Mile beach in Grand Cayman}

Best resort. El Dorado Maroma

Worst resort. Grand Palladium in the Mayan

Tropical cocktail of choice. Mojito!

Favorite sunblock. Neutrogena Ultra sheer body mist spray

Beach tunes. Taylor Swift, Marianis Trench, 50 first dates soundtrack, Glee

One magazine to bring. Cosmo

Best tour operator. Sunwing

Go-to travel agent/company. Myself! Lori Green at The Travel Network

Travel essentials. Sunglasses (extra pair too!), beach bag, headband, big straw hat, iPod, LOTS of books, aloe, moisturizer

Lori Green

Monday, January 24, 2011

I ♥ the beach series by Leesh

{Playa Megano in Cayo Ensenachos}

Best Resort. NH Real Arena, Punta Cana, DR (best all around - food, service, room, entertainment, pools and beach)

Worst resort. Barcelo Solymar in Varadero, Cuba

Tropical cocktail of choice. Mojitos

Favorite sunblock. Hawaiian Tropics Sheer Touch

Beach tunes. Robin Thicke

One magazine to bring.
Us Weekly

Best tour operator. Transat Holidays

My go-to travel agent/company. Lori at The Travel Network

Travel essentials. iPhone, tinted lip balm with SPF, sunblock, sunglasses and jelly bellies

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I ♥ the beach series

It's been three months since we last posted on here. We are going to start a little series called, I ♥ the beach. If you would like to participate, send us an email at and complete the following:

First, attach your favorite beach photo (and let us know where the photo was taken).

Next, answer these:
Best resort.
Worst resort.
Tropical cocktail of choice.
Favorite sunblock.
Beach tunes.
One magazine to bring.
Best tour operator.
Go-to travel agent/company.
Travel essentials.

And lastly, don't forget to include your name and blog if you have one.

Every week, we will post the answers we receive and hopefully, you, our readers, will find some inspiration for your next vacation.