CORRESPONDENCE FROM MEXICO Hotel Resorts in the Riviera Maya, classified by Stars and Diamonds

Emilia Olescu
English Section / 30 octombrie 2023

Hotel Resorts in the Riviera Maya, classified by Stars and Diamonds

Versiunea în limba română

Those who choose to spend their vacation in Mexico will not only enjoy the sea and the ocean, history and culture, jungle and traditions, but also the hotel resorts there, which are not classified only by stars but also by diamonds. In the tourist areas of Mexico, you can find all-inclusive resorts that far exceed what we know as 5-star; these are resorts located on the edge of the sea or ocean, on vast spaces spanning tens of thousands of square meters, where architecture intertwines with tropical nature, where the region's specific flora and fauna enrich the landscape, and they are distinguished by four diamonds.

Hotel Resorts in the Riviera Maya, classified by Stars and Diamonds

Such complexes in the Riviera Maya on the Yucatan Peninsula include Dreams Tulum, Margaritaville Beach Resort, and Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows, resorts that have been visited over the years by personalities like Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Sarah Braiden, Elton John, and Jennifer Lopez.

Dreams Tulum - a resort in the midst of the jungle

Hotel Resorts in the Riviera Maya, classified by Stars and Diamonds

One of the uniquely Mexican resorts is Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa, which is part of the Hyatt hotel chain and is located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, in the midst of the Tulum National Park. Surrounded by acres of tropical gardens and jungle, not far from ancient Mayan ruins, Dreams Tulum is a resort distinguished with 4 AAA diamonds and offers all the luxury a tourist needs for a perfect vacation. The architecture blends colonial Mexican with the highest-class contemporary design, and all rooms feature, among other amenities, a furnished terrace, marble bathrooms, and 24-hour room service. The resort also has an adults-only section and rooms with direct access to one of the pools. The private beach stretches for 3.6 km of fine white sand, offering facilities for recreational and sports activities, and the hotel complex's pools are heated. Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa features traditional dining areas and nightly shows. With 600 employees, the location includes gardens, a Mexican market, a winery, six à la carte restaurants, and a buffet.

Being situated in the midst of tropical gardens, the resort is a space where various animals native to the region feel at home, such as raccoons, iguanas, squirrels, and a variety of birds in different colors and sizes. Marco Soria, general manager of Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa, said in a small meeting with the Romanian press that the resort could have accommodated 2,000 rooms on the 17-hectare property on which it was built, but the complex only has 432 rooms, each with an area of 52 square meters and views of the garden or the ocean. Marco Soria stated that most of the rooms and restaurants are set to be renovated on the interior.

Hotel Resorts in the Riviera Maya, classified by Stars and Diamonds

The hotel complex has open areas where people can stroll, as well as several locations for private parties, on the beach and in the restaurant gardens, the resort's manager added. According to him, most of the tourists who come to Dreams Tulum are Americans (60% of the total tourists here), followed by Mexicans and Europeans, including Germans, Italians, and Spaniards.

"The company has 110 hotels, including those in Europe. In Mexico, there are 46 of the chain's hotels, with about half of them in the Riviera Maya. The group owns multiple brands, some catering to families, and others are adults-only, all in an all-inclusive mode," said Marco Soria, noting that 2023 is truly the first year the company has bounced back from the pandemic. "In general, we have an 80% occupancy rate. This year was slightly lower. The resort is highly sought after by Americans and Mexicans for private events, weddings, and honeymoons; Europeans come with their families."

The manager of Dreams Tulum told us that the Riviera Maya has a total of 120,000 rooms, with about 100 smaller hotels in Tulum. Alejandra Alvarez, sales director at the resort, stated that around 25,000-35,000 tourists visit here each month, with Dreams Tulum being a family-oriented resort located 10 minutes from the town of Tulum and 90 minutes from Cancun International Airport. "Good news is that we will have an international airport in Tulum, which will open in December this year."

Hotel Resorts in the Riviera Maya, classified by Stars and Diamonds

Room prices start at $300 per night for one person and go up to $700 for master rooms, depending on the season.

The Dreams brand includes Dreams Tulum, Dreams Natura, and Dreams Flora, which are known for catering to families, Alejandra Alvarez added. She said, "We can characterize tourists based on the season - in the summer, younger tourists come, in September, we have more adult tourists, retirees who dedicate their time to relax and take longer vacations, with higher financial means. As for what you can do in the area, I can say that in the Riviera Maya, there are many cenotes (underground water pools in rocks), natural parks, beaches, rivers, cultural parks with outdoor activities and activities from Mexican culture. You can go to the town of Tulum, where there are restaurants, hotels, shops, and beach clubs. For those who enjoy adventure, you can visit archaeological sites like Chichen Itza, located an hour away from us. There are also small towns like Valladolid or Merida, where you can go for visits. Many guests go on tours, leave in the morning, possibly return for lunch, and then leave agai".

Margaritaville Beach Resort Riviera Maya - a New Hotel Resort Worth Over $100 Million

Hotel Resorts in the Riviera Maya, classified by Stars and Diamonds

Margaritaville Beach Resort Riviera Maya is an adults-only hotel resort with 355 rooms that opened in June, and so far, it has primarily attracted American tourists (about 65%). In addition to them, the new resort is also popular among Canadians, Mexicans, as well as tourists from Latin American countries. For November, there are reservations made by tourists from the United Kingdom, according to Grecia Lopez, the general manager of the hotel complex.

Hotel Resorts in the Riviera Maya, classified by Stars and Diamonds

The resort manager mentioned, among other things: "The adults-only concept is a successful one. Currently, we have an occupancy rate of 55%, and I hope that after a year of operation, we will reach 70%. For the Holiday season (Christmas and New Year), we have a special program on the beach and at the pool, special dinners at all the restaurants, fireworks, music, and dancing. All the head chefs are Mexican, but we have restaurants with various themes such as Italian, Asian, Mexican, etc. We have 375 employees, all Mexicans. We also have hotels in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. In Mexico, in addition to this one, there are two more Margaritaville brand hotels, and these three cater to all types of customers - one is adults only, offering tranquility and relaxation facilities, another is family-friendly, with playgrounds, menus, and facilities for children, and a third one is a mix. Here, the prices depend on the season, the contract with the tour operator, and the tourist's origin. Currently, the rooms at Margaritaville Beach Resort Riviera Maya cost between $182 and $250 per day, per person."

The complex features pools, a spa, a gym, a brewery, five restaurants, and four bars, with all rooms having an ocean view. Rafael Jr. Feliz, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Europe, mentioned that there are plans to build a Margaritaville resort in the Dominican Republic, in the southern part of the country, where the most beautiful natural park in the entire country is located. "We also have plans in Belize and Honduras. We are expanding the brand throughout the Caribbean region. Margaritaville is a luxury brand. European preferences vary greatly from country to country - Germans spend their entire day on the beach loungers, on the sand, or in the water, while a British tourist who only wants to see the beach spends the whole day by the pool. For breakfast, the British want jam with their bread and peanut butter, sausages, and baked beans as they are used to, Italians - who practically skip breakfast - have an espresso, grab a little something, and are already in the pool. And we try to adapt to every guest, of every nationality."

Currently, the hotel does not have a beach, but it is planned to be constructed, as Rafael Jr. Feliz told us: "There used to be a very beautiful beach here, but repeated hurricanes destroyed it. Now we are in negotiations with local authorities to build a beautiful beach. However, it concerns the coral reef in the area, which is the second-largest in the world, starting here and ending in Panama, and it is protected by the government. To build the beach, we need to obtain permission, but we have just opened the hotel and are waiting for it to be issued."

Hotel Resorts in the Riviera Maya, classified by Stars and Diamonds

The source mentioned that hurricanes occur in the area roughly every two years, but every building in the Caribbean, Miami, and the entire American East Coast facing the Atlantic is constructed from the beginning with hurricane-resistant windows.

The investment in Margaritaville Beach Resort Riviera Maya has exceeded $100 million, as mentioned by Rafael Jr. Feliz. He invites Romanian tourists to Mexico to explore, try local cuisine, experience the flavors, meet the locals, enjoy the beautiful weather, especially during the winter, and broaden their experiences.

Margaritaville Beach Resort Riviera Cancun - A Caribbean Lifestyle

Hotel Resorts in the Riviera Maya, classified by Stars and Diamonds

Margaritaville Beach Resort Riviera Cancun, the second resort in the Margaritaville brand, is dedicated to families and represents "a relaxed and colorful Caribbean lifestyle, where you can experience the feeling of a vacation on an island reserved just for you," says Diego Velasquez Macias, the group's head of social media. He emphasizes that there are only three Margaritaville by Carisma locations in the world "that offer the all-inclusive experience and top luxury." Margaritaville Beach Resort Riviera Cancun was opened in 2020 after the former resort was renovated, and it combines the experience with relaxation and luxury. The 148 rooms are distributed in several buildings almost hidden among the tropical plants, giving you the impression that you are staying in a vast garden. The complex features pools, a spa, a nail and pedicure salon, a gym, a therapy space with four different areas, six bars, four theme restaurants, and a shopping area. The resort hosts many weddings, with specially arranged spaces for this purpose.

Hotel Resorts in the Riviera Maya, classified by Stars and Diamonds

Normally, the peak occupancy is during December, June-July, and March-April, according to Diego Velasquez Macias. During this time, the occupancy rate is 50-70%. The average price for a room is $250 per night, per person, according to the cited source.

Last year, about 1,600 Romanians traveled to Mexico with Eturia, and this year, the demand has increased by an average of 15%, as stated by the tour operator's representatives. They have informed us that Romanians' interest in vacations in Mexico is higher this year compared to 2022, by approximately 20%. The average price for a 7-night travel package to Mexico, including flights, transfers, and insurance, is euro1,790 per person.

Requests for the winter holidays began to arrive in the summer, with greater interest than last year, prompting Eturia to create more vacations - beach vacations or group tours with a guide to take tourists to the most beautiful areas of Mexico. The average budget allocated by Eturia's tourists ranges from euro1,500 to euro2,000, depending on the complexity of the vacation, its duration, included services, and time of travel, according to the sources mentioned.

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