Cancun Travel Guide
It might be low season right now in Cancun but there's a lot to get excited about for next winter, especially if you love that new hotel smell (which we do!)
Below is a list of the new hotels--either brand-new, rebranded or renovated--that have opened or will open very soon. And thanks to a bunch of upcoming airline routes, Cancun will be easier to get to.
Southwest plans on flying nonstop from Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington and Milwaukee to Cancun on August 10. Alaska Airlines will launch their seasonal daily service between Seattle and Cancun starting November 6, while Delta Airlines will expand their Saturday season service to Cancun from 13 US cities including Boston, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham, and Tampa.
Now, let's take a look at what's coming up in Cancun soon. Vamanos!:
· Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa
Catchphrase: "All-In Luxury.": Opening this winter (in 2015), The Royalton is an all-inclusive luxury resort with three different sections to hang out in, including the resort within a resort, called The Hideaway. In total, there will be close to 1,200 rooms and suites to choose from and 10 restaurants and 16 bars to get drunk at, er, to enjoy.
· Grand Oasis Viva will turn into the Dreams Sands Cancun Resort & Spa
Catchphrase: "Unlimited Luxury.": This hotel will open on September 1. Billing itself as "Unlimited Luxury", The Dream Sands includes dining at their eight restaurants, unlimited top-shelf spirits at four bars and lounges, 24 hour room service and both daytime and nighttime activities and entertainment for all guests. You can upgrade to the Preferred Club Privileges to get more VIP amenities as well as free internet. Rates for September 1st start at $99 a night.
· Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres is now the Zoetry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres
Catchphrase: "Endless Privileges.": The rebranding of this island haven of Isla Mujeres, 30 minutes from mainland Cancun, happened on July 1 but the official rename and inauguration won't take place until December 15. However, you can stay at this holistic wellness resort right now and take advantage of their "Endless Privileges" when you book one of the 35 oceanfront suites. Those privileges include Bulgari amenities, fine dining, deluxe yacht services, complimentary greens fees at the nearby golf course and access to the Spa & Thalasso Center. Rates start at $227 per person per night.
Hotel Wellness / Hotel Fitness / All-Inclusive Resorts / Cancun Hotels / Hotel Workouts / Palace Resorts / → All Tags
Hotel wellness programs are THE IN THING right now. Seriously, if we lost a pound for every press release we've gotten about a new hotel fitness or wellness amenity, we'd be walking around naked because we'd be so fit.
But we have to give an extra shout-out to Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort's new fitness initiatives for keeping us motivated, even while beer, sugary cocktails and chips and dips tempt us at every turn.
The all-inclusive resort has bucked the norm when it comes to chilling out in the middle of Cancun and traded the cocktails for Crossfit and poolside snacks for Pilates. Just by booking one of the property's 19 Palace Wellness Suites, guests will score health-oriented amenities, a minibar stocked with juices brimming with vitamins and an Awe Sports Kit complete with a yoga mat, jump rope and dumbbells.
Each recently renovated-room also features the CHI beauty amenities, aromatherapy room diffusers, pillow menus and dawn simulating alarm clocks to ensure you start each day with a smile on your face. And since we know that fitness is more than just exercise and sleeping well, 24-hour access to a healthy room-service menu is just one button away.
If you're a Hyatt lover who's looking for a Cancun getaway, we've got some bad news--The Hyatt Regency Cancun will no longer be a Hyatt as of May 1, 2014. Here's the note that is now on their website:
The Hyatt Regency Cancun will no longer be a Hyatt-managed or a Hyatt-branded property effective 11:59pm local hotel time on April 30, 2014. As of May 01, 2014, the hotel will be known as “Krystal Grand Punta Cancun.”
Hyatt will continue to sell stays at the hotel up to 11:59pm local Cancun time on April 30, 2014. Please note that due to the management change, Hyatt Gold Passport members will not be eligible to receive Hyatt Gold Passport program benefits, including Hyatt Gold Passport points and Gold Passport free nights redemption for stays after April 30, 2014 and beyond. Redemption of Hyatt Gold Passport free nights requested and confirmed prior to March 14, 2014 will be honored as booked.
We're not so sure of the reasons for Hyatt's departure but thankfully, the hotel brand still has another property in the area--Hyatt Zilara, their new all-inclusive resort brand.
Meanwhile, we'll update you on what the Krystal Grad Punta Cancun will have when it takes over the old Hyatt. There's already a Krystal resort in Cancun so perhaps this will be their luxury property.
Meanwhile, rates start around $165 a night during the Hyatt's last week in operation.
[Photo: Hyatt Regency/Facebook]
Killer View / Caribbean Hotels / Mexico Hotels / Cancun Hotels / Hotel Pools / Hotel Swim-up Bars / → All Tags
There's something about a swim-up bar that gets hotel guests excited, but the one at Cancún's Nizuc Resort & Spa truly blows our socks off. The pool is still pretty pristine as the hotel has only been open since March, so there's no wear-and-tear as of yet.
Also, Nizuc is not an all-inclusive, so this bar isn't three-deep in 18-year olds clamoring for cloyingly sweet margaritas and cervezas. No, this is a more civilized ( and pricey) experience in an infinity pool with a sleek, dark blue hue, rather than the traditional garish turquoise coloring. The over-sized serving area is manned by a crew of talented bartenders who mix up such concoctions as the Rocket (made with reposado tequila, lime juice, and cranberry) and a green powerhouse of a drink made from local chaya leaves and vodka ( a healthy-boozy drink!).
One of the many waiters will bring your drink to your bali bed (no charge, first-come, first served) or lounger and from there it's just you and the incredible scene you see above and after the jump.
Celebrity Scoop / Nene Leakes / Hotel Weddings / Cancun Hotels / Palace Resorts / Mexico Hotels / → All Tags
Earlier this week we told you that a certain high profile personality was headed to Mexico for her bachelorette party.
Today we reveal the bride-to-be is none other than Linnethia "NeNe" Leakes of "Real Housewives of Atlanta" (and "Glee") fame!
Even though NeNe's famous line has been "I'm RICH," she brought her entourage of gal pals to the relatively affordable, but still upscale all-inclusive Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort near Cancun. The place is increasingly becoming a popular spot for celebrities--Usher just had a concert there last December and previous guests at the Palace brand have included Snooki.
The seven-member bridal party are already living it up and have gone on the FlowRider, been in the pool, spa and gym, having a true girlfriends getaway--but without the drama that we've seen on RHOA, thank goodness. However, just like their personas in ATL, they've been dressed to impress, even going to the beach in high fashion attire. Though NeNe looks a bit more comfy in her caftan than Marlo in her gladiator gear!
Check out our pics of the women having a ball!
Actress Regina King made us laugh earlier this year with her turn as on "The Big Bang Theory" but behind the scenes, things have been a little, well, rough.
For starters, her show "Southland" got cancelled. Then she split from boyfriend
Theo Huxtable Malcolm-Jamal Warner who apparently told her "he wasn't feeling it anymore." But we bet after seeing these pics, he's definitely feeling it now.
Regina showed off her killer body poolside at the Villa del Palmer Resort and Spa in Cancun, where she recently escaped for a much-needed getaway with her girlfriends. (Fun fact: Lisa Rinna recently stayed there too.) While there, she also fell in love again...with a salsa recipe from Chef Alfredo Bazan, the chef de cuisine at the resort's Zama restaurant. Once we heard this, we had to get our hands on that recipe. Will it make us look as good as Regina does? Probably not, but we can keep on with that wishful thinking, can't we?
Keep reading for more photos of Regina and the Villa del Palmar's special salsa recipe!
It seems like lately, Mexico's Moon Palace Resort is blowing up. Who knew this all-inclusive resort complex, just 25-minutes away from Cancun’s airport, would turn out to be such a hot spot?
It was recently the playground for reality-tv star (and Hugh Hefner's ex-girlfriend) Kendra Wilkinson, who stayed at the 123-acre resort's Moon Grand section while in the country attending the anniversary party of Cancun’s Playboy Club. Contrary to popular belief, Kendra was never a Playboy Playmate.
She arrived with husband Hank Baskett and had a private check-in into the resort's presidential suite. Waiting for her was a bottle of Moet and petit-fours (she immediately ate a few. However, the sweets didn't ruin the mother of a 3-year old's body, or her appetite for an Ameri-Caribbean meal that night at Caribeño restaurant.
Far be it from us to judge another’s idea of fun – that’s why they make chocolate and vanilla – but we’ve been having a good old-fashioned chuckle about the upcoming promotion from ME Cancun: A “pooch pawty” weekend getaway that pampers pets and their owners with what is essentially a couple’s spa experience with joint manicures, 'paw'-dicures, and massages.
It gets funnier. Each furry guest will have their photograph taken upon arrival, framed and given to their owners as mementos. After the treatments and feasting on a buffet of cookies, kibble, and liver, the duo can return to their room for relaxation, where dog amenities – a plush bed, blanket with hood, and toys – await. We do like that a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the local animal rescue, Tierra de Animales.
Celebrity Scoop / Palace Resorts / Usher / Cancun Hotels / Mexico Hotels / Beach Resorts / → All Tags
Most hotels don’t have a huge concert arena, but Mexico’s all-inclusive Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort has a giant set-up that's hosted the likes of Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, and Jon Secada. Now, the 2,400-room mega resort has confirmed that Usher Raymond will perform at the property’s concert space on Dec. 29th, kicking off his 2013 tour. And, guests booking a stay of five nights or more at any of the Palace Resorts’ properties in Cancun or Playa del Carmen from now until December 28, 2012 will receive two free show tickets.
If you don't stay five nights, expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $350 (that’s US, not pesos!) a ticket.
Usher Raymond is a bit of a departure from the primarly Latin-based acts that have performed on Palace’s stage, so it'll be interesting to see what kind of crowd the crooner will bring in. But if his recent interview on "Oprah's Next Chapter", is any indication, the dancing-and-singing machine will be ready to rock the crowd no matter what, especially after having to live down walking off a Berlin stage in January 2011 and receiving boos from the crowd.
If you just happened to tear yourself away from NBC's endless Olympic volleyball coverage, and found yourself tuning into last night’s MTV premiere of "Snooki and JWOWW", you may be in luck. Capitalizing on these young girls' 15 years (um, minutes of fame) there's a Twitter sweepstakes being hosted today and next Friday, August 17th from Palace Resorts. The prize? A four-night stay in the Presidential Suite at the all-inclusive Beach Palace Resort Cancun where the two "Jersey Shore" stars stayed this past Spring Break while filming their new 12-episode reality TV show.
Today, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST and next Friday, August 17th at the same time, contestants who follow @PalaceResorts must answer at least one of the six live chat questions correctly, using the hashtag #SnookiPalaceResorts. The questions will be based on trivia from the episodes that air on MTV at 10 p.m. EST. If you didn't catch last night's show, you can watch on August 16th, and participate in the August 17th contest.
Looks like Snooki isn’t letting something like pregnancy interfere with her spring break fun. She and ace boom JWoww arrived in Cancun yesterday and checked into the all-inclusive Beach Palace Resort for a few days of R&R.
But how they can they relax when cameras are constantly surrounding the two reality-TV chicks who are filming a “Jersey Shore” spin-off called “Snooki and JWoww vs. The World”? Somehow they are managing with the two girlfriends they brought along, chilling at the pool and soaking up the sun. While JWoww was dazzling today in hot pink, Snooki was a little more modest, covering her bikini and baby bump with a dress.
Everyone altogether say, "Awwwwwwwwww."
Yes, that is one of the brand-new baby hotel "rooms" that the Ritz-Carlton Cancun has begun offering for guests who won't let the arrival of a little one stop their jet-setting ways.
The Itzy, Bitzy Ritz Kids rooms are actually ocean view deluxe rooms inside the hotel but outfitted with baby-centric amenities to resemble a home nursery such as:
A safety-approved crib; a changing table over the chest of drawers; a television armoire positioned so as not to disturb baby at naptime; miniature hangars in the closet to fit an infant’s wardrobe; and a telephone programmed to light up, not ring.
Even the Do Not Disturb sign gets the baby treatment saying "Shh, Baby Sleeping" so that folks passing by might heed the sign and lower their voices. (And if you see this sign, you really should lower your voice. You don't not want the wrath of parent who has tried for an hour to get the baby to sleep.)