Mexico 2017

Happy happy happy Monday!

Well, last Sunday, Erika and I set off for a few days in beautiful Mexico to scout out some properties that our clients have been asking about.  (It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it, right?! 😉 )

Here’s the thing…we talk to people all day long about trips to Mexico.  It’s a great destination because it’s easy to get to from most US cities, it’s affordable and it’s gorgeous.  All of that being said…pictures can be deceiving and sometimes info you read on the internet isn’t accurate, so we are always so hesitant to send people places that we don’t have a lot of first hand knowledge about (or family, friends and clients have knowledge about), so we decided to set out and scout some properties that we were hopeful would be good fits for our clients.

Some disclaimers:

1. We did not tell the resorts we were there as travel agents, did not ask for things comped/special treatment/etc because we wanted the real experience and not the “you’re a travel agent, so we’re going to spoil you” treatment.

2. There are a whole slew of resorts we want to check out, but we didn’t want to be gone forever, so on this trip we checked out three…but we have subsequent trips planned to check out some more.

3. There are a lot of random pictures in this post.  We would randomly take a picture and then forget for hours and then randomly take another.  So, please excuse the poor photography/abundance of selfies.  We were really busy taking notes, asking other vacationers questions (why did you pick this place?  where else in Mexico have you stayed?  where do you love to go the most?, etc.) and checking out stuff…so the pics are definitely a hot mess here.

4. We picked an adult-only resort and a family resort…but the family resort was so bad that we left after two hours and moved on to another resort that people often ask us about.  THIS IS WHY WE SCOUT!  The pictures of this one particular resort were VERY deceiving.

So, I’m not going to go into a million details about each individual resort (we have so many notes that it would be way too much for one little old post!).  I’m going to share some pics, a bit of info and if you want more or would like us to plan a vacation for you, email us at  Right now, we are sending new clients to Mexico, Walt Disney World and on cruises departing after October 1.

And as always, if I’m wearing something that is still in stock, I’ll link to it.  The fun thing about Mexico is all of the bright and colorful stuff you get to away with wearing 😉 !


On Sunday morning, we headed to the airport and boarded a flight to Cancun!  Our flight was delayed by two hours (boo), so our day was a little off and we didn’t get to spend as much time as we would have liked at our first stop…Excellence Playa Mujeres.

We got there, we checked in and we immediately went to scope out the property.  This is an adult-only all-inclusive that is known for among many things, golf.  We have had several people want to stay here because they wanted (or their hubbies wanted) a little golf along with their trip.  We checked out all of the restaurants (10) and bars (9), made spa reservations for the next day, went to the pool and beach, saw the tennis court area and overall, the vibe was very CHILL.  We asked the front desk how full it was and they said 95% full…but seriously, it felt empty because it was so laid-back, peaceful and calm.  We loved this place!!

Because of our flight delay, we weren’t there for very long before it was time to head to one of the restaurants for dinner.  After asking around (both staff and other guests), we landed on their Italian restaurant for supper that night…



When your clutch has pom-poms, you know you’re in Mexico!  Ha!


Enjoying our dinner at the Italian restaurant.


It was so pretty there!  This resort was about 35 minutes from the Cancun airport and well worth the drive.  It was gorgeous!


We laughed because the only thing we didn’t love about our room was…the lack of privacy.  Hello?!  The potty and the shower are completely exposed.  We took turns not looking 😉 .  And PS: us tired moms loved being in bed by 8:00 😉 !


Our room had a view of the property with a little ocean way out to the side.  It was a lovely place to do a little work the next morning.



This was our only full day there, so we took the daily guide that they leave in your room every night and tried to do some things off of there…including water aerobics 🙂 .  It was actually a blast!


And since this won’t be my last trip to Mexico…I bought a fun beach bag that we used so much while we were there.  Isn’t it cute?!


Just two girls exploring.


Oh so chill at 8:15 in the morning 🙂 .


What I loved about this place was the fact that it was small and walkable.  No trams or golf carts needed…you could easily walk everywhere you went.


We get a lot of complaints about beaches and water…and so much of that is out of everyone’s control because it’s all weather-related.  That being said, our experience here was beautiful!  The beaches were white and the water crystal clear.



We had to try the spa services, right?!  During my massage, she pulled my hair back and added a flower 🙂 .

We did water aerobics, we ate by the pool, we walked around and checked out every detail of the property (we even went to see the medic/doctor’s office).  It was a full day!



We were told by almost every single person that the number one restaurant on property was their French restaurant inside the lobby, so we went!


Two girls full of yummy French food and heading back to read books in their rooms. #winning

And then the wheels fell off…


We got up early the next morning to check out of this resort and check in to a second one.  We were so excited because this next one was a family resort, and we often get families that want to head to Mexico.  So, we had a car waiting to take us over at 9:00 AM…


…and it was BAD.  So, so, so not good.

And this is why, we’re going to scout more often.

The pictures of this place were very deceiving.

Now, I’m not going to say which resort it was because I don’t want to slander it and get myself into trouble, but it will be a place that I personally tell clients to avoid.

We got there, we checked in, we headed out to explore and it was a complete BUMMER.  At one point, we were sitting by the pool just looking at each other like “what now” when Andrew texted me to see how we were doing and when I told him he said “Are you ever going to send people here?” and I replied back “NO!!” and he said “then get the heck out and go somewhere else”.


He is so wise.

So, two hours after checking in, we checked out.

We had one other spot on our list of places we wanted to see this trip, so we decided to check in there instead for our last night in Mexico.  We got in a cab…and headed to…


The Ritz-Carlton,Cancun.  We have had several people ask us about this place because you can take your kiddos, it’s not an all-inclusive (not everyone likes all-inclusives), it’s right by the airport and it’s located in the hotel district of Cancun (which is really popular).  It was just as wonderful as we had hoped it would be!



Things were on an upswing!  After a crazy morning, we finally settled into our new room and had lunch a little after 1:00.


We had very little time here because our flight was the very next morning, but here are some pics…




The view from our balcony.


It was lovely.

So, we went.  We saw three resorts.  We loved two and not one.  It was all very helpful for us as we plan more and more Mexican vacations for our clients!

If you want more info on where we stayed or other places we love to send people to in Mexico, email us for a chat!  Mexico in the winter/spring is BOOMING, so now is the time to start planning that!

And don’t forget!  Tomorrow morning, I announce the winner of this…

Travel Giveaway

…so to get all of the details and to enter to win, click HERE.

See you tomorrow!

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  • Francie August 7, 2017 at 4:38 am

    What a wonderful girls trip idea, Shay! I love Mexico! P.S I have to buy that beach bag, its too cute.

  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog August 7, 2017 at 4:43 am

    You seriously have the best job in the world. Looks like a blast!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Emily Downey August 7, 2017 at 5:13 am

    Do you ever recommend any of the palace resorts? My parents have weeks there and I was curious to hear which of those are the best.

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 5:24 am

      Sometimes. It’s not one of our go-to places though.

  • Courtney August 7, 2017 at 5:19 am

    That beach bag is SO adorable! 🙂

  • Amanda August 7, 2017 at 5:41 am

    We went to the Royal Playa Del Carmen for our honeymoon and loved it!!

    • Kristin August 7, 2017 at 2:39 pm


  • Jennie August 7, 2017 at 5:53 am

    What are your thoughts about the safety of Mexico? I’m nervous about vacationing there because I’m not sure it’s safe for my family.

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 6:07 am

      I think you have to be a smart traveler no matter where you’re going (even within the US). I felt completely safe the whole time and it’s definitely a place I would take my kiddos! Erika took her family there just last summer!

  • Bethany August 7, 2017 at 6:09 am

    I need this job! 😉

  • Noelle August 7, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Thank you I loved this post!! We had saved for a long time to go last February to Grand Velas in the Riviera Maya.. I did a ton of research and the hotel could not have been more geared towards families. It was fantastic! We had an absolutely amazing time and felt safe there always👍😉

  • Kelsey Eisold August 7, 2017 at 6:24 am

    My husband and I travel a lot and have been to many all-inclusiveness. For our honeymoon we went to Excellence Playa Mujeres and would recommend it over and over again. Everything was amazing from the staff, to the food, to the pool. So glad you had the same experience!

  • Chastity August 7, 2017 at 6:27 am

    Excellence Playa Mujeres is our favorite resort in Mexico! So happy to hear you girls enjoyed it as well!! Though I hope the family resort you went to wasn’t next door as that is where we are looking to travel to next. 😬

  • Sara Antic August 7, 2017 at 6:27 am

    You have to check out the JW Marriott Cancun. We love it more than the Ritz there. Family friendly but also an adult only pool.

  • Heather August 7, 2017 at 6:29 am

    I went to the Excellence resort in Punta Cana– was great! Would love to go to the one in Mexico! We did Mexico for our honeymoon..we stayed at the Valintin Imperial Maya in Riviera Maya (outside of Cancucn). We loved it!

    • Ashley August 17, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      Excellence actually has 2 resorts in Mexico–EPM and Excellence Riviera Cancun (ERC). We loved ERC! Paradise!

  • Abigail Carter August 7, 2017 at 6:30 am

    We went to Excellence Playa Mujeres last summer for our 10 year anniversary & LOVED it! We thought the service was incredible. They also treated us to a special anniversary dinner and even had a fun table decorated with lots of things on our last night there (they know which dinner will be your last) to say goodbye. We will definitely be back! I would love to hear more of what the family resort offered for kids – we are looking into an all-inclusive Mexico resort for our family either Spring Break or Summer!

  • Meredith August 7, 2017 at 6:31 am

    My husband and I went to the Excellence Playa Mujeres on our honeymoon and LOVED it! We dream of going back.

  • Kristin Ellis August 7, 2017 at 6:33 am

    I went to the Excellence Playa Mujeres on my honeymoon!! Loved your pictures…it was like a little walk down memory lane!!

  • Miriam August 7, 2017 at 6:34 am

    My hubby and I went to Excellence PM for our honeymoon and again for an anniversary several years later. We love it! We have recommended it to several friends who also love it! My only tip: we payed for the excellence club on our honeymoon but not on the return trip and didn’t feel like we missed much. Great way to save some money so you can stay an extra day 😉 We love the rooms on the ground level where the lazy river is right outside the door.

  • Emily August 7, 2017 at 6:37 am

    I have stayed at the Excellence Playa Mujeres and it is just as relaxing and fabulous as you have described it. I would recommend it to my friends and family! Also, I just love reading your posts each day! Congratulations on 10 years!

  • Beth August 7, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Mexico is so fun and easy to get to! Our resort last summer had SO much seaweed it was terrible. The rest of the resort was lovely but no swimming in the ocean!

  • Jessica August 7, 2017 at 6:41 am

    If you ever go to scout adult only all-inclusive in Mexico again, definitely check out Secrets Maroma Beach in Riviera Maya Mexico. We did our honeymoon there, we’ve been on several cruises and to a few other all inclusives and this place was BY FAR the most amazing resort we have ever been to. Spa, food, drinks, atmosphere…all amazing.

    • Nikki August 7, 2017 at 6:58 am

      I might going there with three girlfriends in January. So glad to hear from someone who has been there that it is as great as it seems!

    • Susanne Nieman August 7, 2017 at 7:45 am

      I was just going to suggest Secrets at Maroma Beach. Went there for our anniversary years ago and it was fabulous!

  • Rebecca August 7, 2017 at 6:42 am

    Shay, when you got to the second resort didn’t love it, how did you check out without paying or did you have to pay still? My husband and I always get nervous about if we don’t like somewhere we book how to just check out without being penalized. Thank you!

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 6:43 am

      We were penalized. Urg. It was so bad though that we accepted the penalty and hit the road.

      • Rebecca August 7, 2017 at 6:46 am

        Sometimes that’s almost worth it just to get out of there 🙂 Thanks!!

  • Erika Slaughter August 7, 2017 at 6:45 am

    Behind Tab (because he carries my bags) you’re my very favorite travel partner! Now if there’s a way for you to start carrying both of our bags, we’ll talk about that number one position. 😉

    • Wendy Reeve August 7, 2017 at 9:50 am

      Erika, I’m dying to know where you got the dress you wore to dinner this first night. Coral, sleeveless with ruffles at the sleeves… gorgeous!!

    • Lisa Richardson August 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      Oh my gosh…you’re so funny!!!! This totally made me chuckle and smile from ear to ear!

    • Bernadine August 7, 2017 at 2:04 pm

      This just made me LOL!

  • Narci Dreffs August 7, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Aw!!! This isso fun! Love all of your pics! You girls really are the best at what you do! I can’t wait to head to Mexico! It looks amazing!

  • Shannon August 7, 2017 at 6:49 am

    I also book a ton of trips to Mexico and we have been a bunch!! Excellence resorts are our favorite and we also loved Le Blanc and The Royal playa del Carmen too. Excellence resorts have a newer family property called Finest. We have not been yet but I have heard fantastic things about this property and have recommended it a few times. I hope this wasn’t the family all inclusive that you visited 😉

  • Angelique August 7, 2017 at 6:55 am

    What a fun post today! We’ll have to check out the Excellence, but I hope they have bigger beds than two twins. Yikes! On our last Mexican vacation we stayed at the Grand Residences Riviera Cancun in Puerto Morelos. It is the BEST family resort. It wasn’t crowded and our rooms were suites with a pull-out couch in the master bedroom along with two murphy beds in the living room. Perfect. And the resort is brand new. I think you should take another trip to check it out ASAP. 😉

    • Ashley August 17, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      They have king size beds. 🙂

  • Kelly August 7, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Mexico is my favorite!! We went to El Dorado Royale, Casita Suites in Riveria Maya. It was so amazing that we went back with friends! It is very laid back, service is great, food is amazing and it is beautiful! We also went to Secrets The Vine in Cancun. It was nice, food was good but not as relaxing.
    Thanks for sharing your reviews!

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 7:23 am

      Andrew and I went there two years ago!!

  • Dana August 7, 2017 at 6:57 am

    We love Mexico! Last fall we stayed at Beloved in Playa Muejers ( right next door). Same company as the Excellence. However much small resort!! It was amazing ! We had a 2 story casita with private roof top pool. The service was amazing!!! You should look into this resort!!

  • Dana August 7, 2017 at 7:03 am

    I also want to add. We went to the Excellence for dinner. The Excellence is beautiful. The service at the French resturant was wonderful. However if you are looking for a smaller more intimate resort look into Beloverd ☀️🍹⛱🌈

  • Jodi August 7, 2017 at 7:07 am

    We went to Secrets Maroma Beach in Riviera Maya Mexico for our honeymoon and LOVED it! We had a great experience – from the spa, food, drinks, pool, overall atmosphere, definitely an amazing resort. We’ve always wanted to go back!

  • Erin Port August 7, 2017 at 7:08 am

    What a fun trip and good for you for moving on. I agree pictures can be so deceiving and vacations are too precious to waste! xoxo ERIN

  • Kelcie Scoville August 7, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Wow what fun that must have been! We’re in the process of planning a honeymoon and there are just too many choices!

  • Elspeth Mizner August 7, 2017 at 7:13 am

    What a great idea to go scouting! Do you personally have a favorite place to send clients? So nice to have some BFF time too!! Blogging question, when is your next what’s up Wednesday? I would love to link up but don’t know when it is.

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 7:23 am

      It’s always the last Wednesday of the month! This month, it’s August 30!!

      • Elspeth Mizner August 7, 2017 at 7:49 am

        Thanks so much! I’ll definitely be joining this month!

  • sydnee August 7, 2017 at 7:19 am

    I’ve never been to Mexico. I’ll have to bookmark this site for when I go, so many great suggestions!

  • Katie August 7, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Have you ever checked out the Hyatt Ziva in Cancun? It is AMAZING!

  • Kimberly Penson August 7, 2017 at 7:21 am

    I bought that bag. It is everything.

  • Paige pater August 7, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Hey Shay, I love your blog and reading it every day! Just wanted to leave a quick note- not to be a Debbie downer, but this is something that’s happening in Mexico and happened to me
    In 2015. It’s absolutely terrifying and I would hate for this to happen to someone else, so I feel I would be doing a disservice not to warn people. I realize this may be less common say at places like the Ritz Carlton, but I was at an all inclusive in Cozumel with my mom and this happened to me. Please urge guests to me careful.

  • Melanie Butler August 7, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Hi Shay! We stayed at Excellence Playa Mujeres for a week in 2012 for our honeymoon. It was absolutely AMAZING! I would be happy to provide more about our experience if you have questions. Someday we would love to go back!!!

  • Jennifer August 7, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Do you have any non-Mexico resorts that are all-inclusive? We need help for Spring Break!

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 7:41 am

      For new clients right now, we’re only doing them in Mexico. So sorry!

  • Mary August 7, 2017 at 7:40 am

    So excited to see you were at the Excellence Playa Mujeres. I stayed at Excellence Riviera Maya 2 years ago for a friends wedding, it was amazing. One of the couples in our group accidentally booked themselves at Playa Mujeres and realized the rest of us were at Riviera Maya, and both resorts were super accomodating and changed their reservations so they could be with the rest of the wedding party. I can’t say enough good things about them 🙂

  • Alexis deZayas August 7, 2017 at 7:41 am

    This has me dying to go to Cancun 🙂 And loving all of your fun earrings!!

  • Kristin August 7, 2017 at 7:42 am

    I hope y’all explore Tulum next! We’ve been dying to plan a trip there.

  • Kelley Baumgartner August 7, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Last spring break we stayed at Finest Playa Mujeres, right next door to Excellence. This is their family property. We have four kids between 12-17 and it was awesome. The most relaxing vacation ever. The food was fabulous, the beach was pristine, and staff learned our names quickly. I would highly recommend Finest for families. We have also stayed at the Ritz and Nizuc, which were both great but we prefer Finest for our family dynamics.

    • Cristina August 12, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      We were just debating between Nizuc and Finest PM since we have 4 children! Saw your review and Booked Finest, hopefully it will be amazing!(:

  • Dorinda doft August 7, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Next trip check out Royal hideaway playa del Carmen. Adults only all inclusive. It was amazing. I would recommend it to anyone.

  • Megan Butler August 7, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Such a fun job!!! I remember a few of my girl friends honey-mooned at the excellence and they were a little shocked at the open bathroom concept!! Nothing says “hey we are married” like seeing every move!!! Ha.

  • Elaine August 7, 2017 at 8:00 am

    We love Excellence Playa Mujeres, but Secrets Marina Beach is our fav!! Been back 3 times!! Actually headed to Mexico in a few days!!! Can’t wait

  • Elaine August 7, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Secrets Maroma Beach (oops auto-correct) 👆🏻

  • Angela Ellingson August 7, 2017 at 8:06 am

    I mean, just let me know if you need anyone else to travel with you and try out spa services, etc. 😉 That is so great that you guys check out places or at least have the inside scoop before sending clients there. Someday I’ll have a vacation fund! 🙂

  • Julie August 7, 2017 at 8:08 am

    We’ve been to Mexico twice…for my sister’s wedding at Now Jade Riviera Maya and then went to the other side to Puerto Vallarta and stayed at Hard Rock Vallarta. Excellent times at both and highly recommend both! Would love to check out Cabo sometime as well as Dominican. Traveling is so fun!

  • Jenngchicago August 7, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Nice post! We have traveled to the Ritz Cancun a few times in Jan/Feb to escape the Chicago cold and we love it! The ONLY drawback is the position of the pool – it is shaded by the building almost the entire day – bummer! We sit on the beach for sunshine, but of course, our small kids would rather be at the pool!

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      I think it depends on the time of year you go (and where the sun is). We had full sun the whole time!

  • Amanda August 7, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Def check out the Beloved also…it’s part of the excellence group. It’s a “boutique resort” so it’s a slightly difference experience…smaller and more adult oriented (but still kid friendly), has a spa etc also. We went there for a friend’s wedding last summer and it was great! Looks a lot like the Excellence Playa Mujeres you went to.

    • Ashley August 17, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      Beloved Playa Mujeres is now adult only! It used to be family friendly, but it’s AO now. 🙂

  • Megan August 7, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Shay, Any future plans to vacation at Disney World? I know you book there and I would love to see what restaurants your family enjoys, what fast passes you recommend getting, etc.

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 1:35 pm


  • Kristen August 7, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Can you recommend a family friendly resort in Cancun? We are headed there in Feb and now i’m hoping I don’t pick the one you went to!

    • Robin August 11, 2017 at 8:27 am

      The Royalton Riviera Cancun was amazing. We took our kids last summer. We had a swim up room. There isn’t one thing I would change.

  • Stephanie August 7, 2017 at 8:33 am

    You should look into the Royalton. It’s half way between Cancun and Playa del Carmen and it is one if the best we have ever been to in Mexico. The service is impeccable, food is delicious and the rooms and spa are great. They also have a nice family section with a nice kids pool.

  • Sonia Patel August 7, 2017 at 8:37 am

    I actually went to Excellence Playa Mujeres for my honeymoon and ABSOLUTELY loved it, to the point where we went to Excellence El Carmen last year and are planning a trip to Excellence Oyster Bay next year when it opens in July! We didn’t really maximize all the things that Excellence Playa Mujeres has to offer, but we took complete advantage of all the things that Excellence El Carmen has. I’m glad you enjoyed EPM, and now I really want to go buy a pompom clutch. 😛

  • Heidi August 7, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Girls trips are the best! What a fun getaway for you both! Love all the tassel earrings and bags too!

  • Krista August 7, 2017 at 8:39 am

    How fun! We love Mexico and go at least once a year. In fact we just got back from Secrets the Vine (which is right next to the Ritz). It’s one of our favorites, right up there with the Excellence, you should check it out! Some of our other favorites are Le Blanc and Zoetry. Hard Rock which was on the other side of Secrets seemed to have a ton of things for kids so that might be a family option? Can’t wait to read more!

  • Carolyn V August 7, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Hi Shay – quick question, do you recommend booking the flight and hotel together? I stayed at the Excellence Punta Cana this past February and booked everything (flight and stay) through their website. Do you think it’s more cost efficient to look for flight deals separately?

    Another comment, I couldn’t say enough good things about the entire experience except at Excellence Punta Cana EXCEPT one thing – the bed was super uncomfortable! Interested to hear if that was the same at Playa Mujeres?

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      It varies. We sometimes book our clients packages and then other times, we do them separately if the price is too high.

  • Kara Cramer August 7, 2017 at 8:50 am

    My husband and I have been to the Excellence in Playa Mujeres several times. We always have had the most wonderful time. So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Natalie August 7, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Secrets Maroma Beach is amazing–Highly recommend! Also, LeBlanc in Cancun is small but very nice and quiet on the strip if a couple wants calm and peaceful in the city.

  • Hayley ziegler August 7, 2017 at 9:03 am

    You should totally check out the El Dorado Royale in Cancun next time! AMAZING all inclusive adult only. I’ve been to several all inclusive across Mexico and the Dominican and this was by far the best! Thanks for sharing your experiences. 🙂

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      Been there! Andrew and I went and we loved it!

  • lilly August 7, 2017 at 9:15 am

    these are very good tips! would you be checking out cabo san lucas? thank you!

  • Kristin Hernandez August 7, 2017 at 9:27 am

    You should leave a review for the resort either on their website or yelp. Many people check those before booking. I know you don’t want to slander and get into any trouble but how awful would it be for someone to book their for their first family vacay and be so bummed out. We are leaving to Mexico next week and luckily we used a travel agency, however, not everyone does this. This is our first family vacay and we don’t have the luxury or traveling often so I’d be so bummed if we showed up and it was awful. Do someone a favor and pass your info along.

  • Karah Stracener August 7, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I love seeing all your Mexico pictures. I have several friends hat go all the time but I’ve always been nervous about safety going to Mexico. Your pictures might have me convinced I need to go. Also your beach bag is so super duper cute!!!

  • Emily K August 7, 2017 at 9:31 am

    We have stayed at multiple Secrets resort locations and each have been great. If you ever expand to other locations, the Secrets in Punta Cana is attached to a family friendly resort. If you are at Secrets you got access to the other resort, but the others couldn’t come over to Secrets. It was great and would be perfect for large family trips where some have kids and others don’t.

  • Colleen August 7, 2017 at 9:38 am

    I love this behind the scenes research! This is a bit random, but do you have any insight into how these hotels handle food allergies? We have to eat paleo (no grains or dairy) in our house due to some serious auto-immune issues. We worry about having enough to eat at all-inclusives and cross-contamination. Just curious if you had any thoughts on this.

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      At every single meal, they asked us about food allergies. I truly do believe they go above and beyond to prevent people from eating things that would be harmful to them.

  • Ashley Alcorn August 7, 2017 at 10:01 am

    My husband works for Edward Jones and he earns some great trips. We just got back from Grand Velas Rivera Nayarit, it’s in Puerto Vallarta. It was great, just FYI if you need some new places to scout.

  • Megan Dahl August 7, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Do you ever send clients to the JW Marriott resort in Cancun? It is amazing! Me and my husband went a couple years ago and were just talking about taking our kids there for our next family trip. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it!

    • Sara August 7, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      I second the JW Marriott! It’s amazing- we go every year!

  • KFed August 7, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Being a west coast girl we always go to Cabo. We love Mexico and Cancun looks beautiful.

  • Alice H August 7, 2017 at 10:23 am

    We just got back from a cruise in July and we went to a resort for the day in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Although we had a great time and the staff was amazing, the place looked NOTHING like the pictures. So that was kind of a bummer.

  • Michelle August 7, 2017 at 10:25 am

    I’m with you! I won’t stay somewhere if I check in and I’m not happy with the facilities (cleanliness is my biggie).

    For future use, can you please tell me what are your credentials (and erika’s) as a travel agent?

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      We’re certified and registered to serve clients here in the US. We have an IATA.

      • Michelle August 7, 2017 at 1:45 pm

        Isn’t that just for air travel?

        • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 3:35 pm

          Oh goodness, no! A lot of services we provide for certain destinations are out of the ordinary.

  • Chelsey Boren August 7, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Oh gosh I wish you’d tell, I just got back from Cancun (family resort) for a friends wedding and I’m dying to know if it was the same one!!

  • Sara August 7, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Question, Do you work on commission or do you charge a fee for putting a trip together?

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      It depends on the trip! Some trips do not have commissionable components.

  • Joy Johnson August 7, 2017 at 10:33 am

    My husband and I stayed at Excellence Playa Mujeres for our 5 year anniversary back in 2008. We loved it!’ I am so glad that it is just as nice almost 10 years later! I agree it is very chill, laid back and does not feel crowded. The stafff are wonderful and very helpful. The food is terrific. But I highly recommend making reservations beforehand. They have great shows at night. One night we saw some salsa dancing, one night they had really good karaoke and one night they had a comedian. I loved that it was adult only. I have 2 kids and love them fiercely. However since it was our anniversary trip it was very nice to not have to be around any one else’s kids and just RELAX.

  • Sara August 7, 2017 at 10:50 am

    My husband and I stayed at The Excellence in Punta Cana, and it was incredible. Great food, wonderfully kind people, and a very calm-relaxed atmosphere, but still plenty to do. It was adults only. I am happy to give you more info about my experience there if you ever decide to sent clients to the Dominican Republic.

  • Keisha M Dawson August 7, 2017 at 11:33 am

    How fun to get to “work travel” with a bestie! Looks like you girls did a lot of work and had a lot of fun!

  • Marina August 7, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Have you been to any of the RIU resorts in Mexico? We’ve been to two and loved them. Can’t wait to go again next spring!

  • Cortney Watkins August 7, 2017 at 11:49 am

    We have been to Excellence Playa Mujeres 3x now and have LOVED each and everytime! We have gone on our honeymoon, back with my husband and his parents, and then again for my father in laws 60th birthday celebration with 9 of us and each and everytime we have been so pleased! We have heard that Excellence Playa Mujeres is a tad nicer than Excellence Riveria Maya but haven’t been for ourselves. We have also heard the older Excellence resort in the Dominican Republic is nice, but if you go there after having been to Excellence Playa Mujeres you will be let down due to the DR property being older and not as nice as Excellence Playa Mujeres. We are looking forward to trying out the new Excellence locations though including the 2018 opening of the resort in Jamaica. Love your review!

  • Jennifer August 7, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Did the family resort ask you the reason why you were checking out just hours after checking in? I wonder if in that instance, they’d do something to try to make it better. Whether it’d be refunding some of your money or asking what they can do to make it better??

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      They did ask us why…but the reasons why we left were really out of their control at that point.

  • Lisa Richardson August 7, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. Right?! What a great idea checking things out in person with a sweet friend along. I love that you did that. Photos can be so deceiving and hard to judge by. YAY for Andrew being the voice of reason and “saying get out of there”. I would have totally needed that same prompt.

  • SS August 7, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    We LOVE The Excellence! We also love The Valentin Imperial Maya if you haven’t been to that one too. We’ve been there several times – super reasonable for an all inclusive and nice. Love Mexico All-Inclusives!

  • Lizzie @ This Happy Life August 7, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    How fun to go scope out new places!! Too bad the second was a dud, but at least you ended on a high note!

  • Keri Smithson August 7, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Us and many of our friends have stayed at the Valentin Imperial Maya and loved it!!

  • Jess August 7, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Somewhat off topic, I know your a Travel Agent for Disney…Do you have any posts on Disney world restaurant recommendations, or best places to use a fast pass? It all seems so overwhelming!

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      It totally can be overwhelming! Email me and I will send you some tips!!

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams August 7, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I’m going to Mexico for my birthday next year so this post is so helpful to narrow down resorts! I like how Andrew said “get the heck out of there and try somewhere else” what a wise husband! lol
    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Deena August 7, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    We stayed at the Privilege Aluxes in Isla Mujeres and enjoyed it a lot. One of their restaurants is on the beach which was nice. Our suite was huge and like a small apartment. It’s quieter on the island so it’s not for those who are looking for nightlife. It’s such a small island that you can rent a golf cart and drive around it which we did one day.

  • Jackie August 7, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    I’m confused as to why as a travel agent that is promoting your company why you would not tell the people where you stayed even if they email you in private. If you are wanting to boost your business i would think you would want to tell them. Otherwise you could of simply just left out the part about the “bad experience” seems to be you are just wanting to flaunt that OMG i went to mexico had a horrible time at 1 place but i wont tell you where its my little secret darlings. You could of written the entire blog post on just those two and left out the bad experience and noone would of known.

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      I’ve been telling people all day via email where we stayed and why it was bad :). I’ve probably told 50 people by this point today.

  • Jackie August 7, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Thats interesting i emailed you and asked and you wouldnt tell me.

    • Mix and Match Mama August 7, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      I just went back to double check and I don’t have an email from you, Jackie. Sorry!

  • Jillian August 15, 2017 at 10:06 am

    I just stayed at Fiesta Americana Condesa and it was amazing!!! Everyone was so welcoming and friendly.. the food was good especially the shrimp tacos.. would definitely go back 😊

  • Colleen August 16, 2017 at 9:57 am

    I’ve seen a few people comment on 2 resorts my husband and I loved…The Beloved in Playa Mujeres and Le Blanc in Cancun. We definitely prefer a boutique style hotel.

    The Beloved had an amazing steak restaurant and I probably could have ate their every night. My mother in law is an EXTREMELY picky eater (she doesn’t eat any type of ethnic food…mexican, italian (doesn’t like noodles), etc. and she is lactose intolerant. We keep telling her that she could definitely go to this resort and find something to eat. The service was wonderful and the tamarind margaritas with a chili salt rim were our jam while we were there!

    Le Blanc had some of the best service my husband and I have had on a vacation and THE BEST mojitos! You are greeted with fresh coconut milk, and I proceeded to order one at breakfast every day! We loved the butlers and took complete advantage of him unpacking our things, so we could head out to the pool, and was completely impressed when we came back and he put my bite splint on the bedside table.

    We are also going back to soon and staying at UNICO which is a true all inclusive resort. I’m talking, spa services, excursions, etc and all you have to do is pay the 20% service fee. My husband and I are talking about getting a massage everyday!

  • Ashley August 17, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    We loved Excellence Riviera Cancun! It was paradise! Glad you enjoyed EPM! I hope you get to try Finest Playa Mujeres (family friendly). It looks amazing, and we are hoping to take our daughter in a few years. Have you been to any of the Beaches resorts yet? Beaches Turks & Caicos is on our bucket list. We loved our Disney cruise (went when I was 7 weeks pregnant–this was right before Zika hit everywhere, lol), and we can’t wait to take our daughter on one in a few years! I know you all enjoyed your Disney cruise, too!