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Cancun Vacation Planning

GoGirlfriend dips into the Riviera Maya

In my mind, a beach vacation is the closest you can get to heaven while still paying tax. And picking just one favorite is a foolish enterprise - they're all beautiful in their own way. This month, I'm headed to Riviera Maya ~ two Marriott beach hotels for GoGirlfriend - all in the interest of research, of course.

finin sun at a Cancun resort finding sun at a Cancun resort I've shied away from Mexico in recent years because of the drug and gun violence but in reality less than 10 of Mexico's 31 states are considered extremely dangerous (according to travel advisories from the US and Canadian governments), mainly along the US border where heroin and marijuana are produced. Steering clear of troubled zones and practicing common sense, which is true of any travel destination you visit, Mexico has some wonderful secrets yet to share with travelers searching experience-rich vacations.

I'm eager to explore the Mayan Riviera and I'd love to hear your thoughts on travel to Mexico - what you love, what you're unsure about and what you want me to find out for you.

CasaMagna Marriott

CasaMagna Marriott, CancunCasaMagna Marriott, CancunPerched on edge of the Caribbean's powdery white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, CasaMagna is the quintessential beach resort. While it's infused with Spanish-inspired architecture and boosts a lavishly styled marble entrance, all the reviews I've read point to relaxed environment that's perfect for families and couples alike. Actually, it's hailed as one of Cancun's best family-friendly resorts.

Out of almost 1,500 reviews, TripAdvisor ranks it at 4.5 stars while VirtualTourist says 93% of guests enjoyed their stay and 88% FamilyVacationCritic gave it a thumbs up. Sounds like a better than average batting score, if you ask me.

Here's what I'm looking forward to enjoying.

  • Sasi Thai restaurant, CasaMagna, CancunSasi Thai restaurant, CasaMagna, CancunSasi Thai - As a vegetarian, I love Thai food and the fact that this restaurant is outside overlooking the Caribbean Sea - perfect.
  • The spa - I'm not going to lie, I'll do almost anything for a spa treatment.

If your travel curiosity's peaked, visit CasaMagna Marriott online for more information. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

JW Marriott Cancun

W Marriott, CancunW Marriott, CancunConnected to the CasaMagna via a glass walkway, the JW Marriott has been compared to the Ritz Carlton (also in the Hotel zone of Cancun) but without the attitude. What thrills me the most is the 35,000 sq ft spa - I may just move in there.

Of 1,400 reviews on TripAdvisor, the JW Marriott earned a 4.5 star review while FamilyVacationCritic's visitors were 84% happy with their stay.

The spa tops my must-visit list but I'm also looking forward to hanging out in the infinity pools that meander throughout the property. In between the pools and the spa, I'm planning to set up office on a deck chair facing the ocean and blog - it's a tough gig...

Wanna know more? Visit JW Marriott online or chat with them on Facebook or Twitter.

Travel planning with a little help from my friends

beach, sun, sand .. GoGirlfriend fun!beach, sun, sand .. GoGirlfriend fun!I use social media for a lot of reasons and I love it when my friends chime in to help with travel planning. Because my upcoming trip to Cancun is a media tour, I'll be sniffing out story ideas and thankfully my social media friends were happy to help share their opinions.

Shannon Mischuck ~ I look for a resort that has amenities, pool, restaurant, close to shopping, spa, extras like resort activities for the kids and adults. Kitchenette, beach view. With balcony. A place where I don't have to fight for a deck chair by the pool

Jenn Eades ~ I look for a great beach, with good snorkeling right off the beach, a dive shop on site, a great kid's club (KC is a MUST). Secondary needs are a good selection of restaurants and nice looking rooms. A whirlpool tub in the rooms is an excellent bonus. We're very picky about choosing all-inclusive resorts.

just another day on the job!!just another day on the job!!Sharon Smart ~ I LOVE Mexico. When my friends and I go, we always look for tours that are a little off the beaten path. There are some terrific one-day trips to smaller towns and out of the way markets to shop at ... all safe and full of culture. Easy access to local restaurants and wine bars always helps! Any time you can feel like your life blends in a little. Have fun!!! I'm SUPER jealous!

Darleen Andruchow ~ I don't like Cancun at all - could be I don't do shopping at same stores I see at home, the too many drunk people, and Americanization. I prefer untamed, but need the resort to be nice. 3 star is fine as long as clean rooms. Food I can eat out if price of resort is low enough. Don't need kids program or party atmosphere. I want all inclusive, balcony, adult only swimming pool and close to town by walking and snorkeling. WIFI is a must as well.

Have you been to either CasaMagna or JW Marriott in Cancun? I'd love hear what you love about them! Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook - and let's continue the conversation!

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