Mexico Travel Guide
Celebrity Scoop / Mexico Hotels / Puerto Vallarta Hotels / Cancun Hotels / Eva Longoria / Harry Hamlin / Lisa Rinna / Spring Break Hotels / → All Tags
Spring Break is in full effect and we sincerely hope you're reading this from your tablet poolside with a margarita or pina colada in hand. If not, well, don't worry, you're not alone. We're right here with you.
But you can daydream about where to go for next year, starting with these two celebrity retreats in Mexico.
Eva Longoria spent her break with close friends at the Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, located in between the beach and the jungle of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Word is the star and her friends have been making good use of the resort's Hamara Spa as well as relaxing on the beach. Longoria also had a special dinner celebration in honor of her birthday last month, complete with fireworks. Cheers!
The resort is currently in the middle of a 48 hour sale for travel through December 23, starting at $179 a room. All-inclusive options are available too. Sorry, the fireworks are extra.
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]
We thought the Viceroy Riviera Maya had won the best turndown service award with their plunge pool turndown but another resort in the area may just have them beat.
The Belmond Maroma (remember, Belmond is the new name for Orient Express) does a resort-wide turndown service every night. All around the property, candles are lit--along the walkways, in the lobby, at the restaurants, by the beach and around the pool (above.) Did we mention this happens every night?
The Belmond Maroma boasts a more secluded location than other resorts in the Cancun area, set amongst 25 acres of preserved jungle with the beach and ocean in front of it. Of course, you will pay for this. Deluxe rooms start at $815 a night which includes breakfast, coffee in-room, internet and a welcome cocktail. You may be able to score a slight discount by booking Belmond's introductory offer of 15 percent off standard room rates. The deal is valid on bookings made by June 26 for travel by June 30, 2014.
[Photo: Belmond Maroma/Facebook]
Turndown Service / Hotel Turndown / Hotel Packages / Viceroy Hotels / Mexico Hotels / Beach Hotels / Beach Resorts / Riviera Maya Hotels / → All Tags
If you’re looking to heat things up at night, this may just be the turndown service for you.
The Viceroy Riviera Maya is now offering a new Plunge Pool Romantic Turndown that involves aromatherapy, candles and lanterns, music, food, and drink – all set under the stars on your private terrace with its own plunge pool.
At the prescribed time, the hotel’s Concierge arranges for the turndown with the options you’ve pre-selected:
• Aromatherapy choice includes Relaxation, Romance and Rejuvenate
• Mood music may be anything from love songs, Latin rhythms or your own iPod playlist
• Lanterns and flower petals rim the perimeter of the pool, and candles are floated in it
• Choice from the special turndown food and beverage menu, from champagne and fruit to after-dinner drinks and dessert creations by the pastry chef
• Plush robes and towels to cozy up in
The Plunge Pool Romantic Turndown is $99. Other romantic options are available for an additional cost, such as a bouquet of three-dozen red roses for $105.00 and Chocolate Fondue for $25.
The 41 villas at the Viceroy Riviera Maya start at $393 in July for a Sun, Sea and Solitude package in a Deluxe Villa, which includes breakfast and a $100 resort credit.
[Photos: Viceroy Hotels & Resorts]
Last month we attended the grand opening of the new Iberostar Playa Mita on Mexico's Riviera Nayarit. The 452-room all-inclusive resort is the Spanish brand's first property on Mexico's Pacific coast and features 120 oceanfront junior suites, 18 adult-only Spa Rooms, two Presidential Suites, two pools and a spa. Guests also have preferred access to the nearby Greg Norman-designed course at the Litibu Golf Club
What really caught our eye, though, was the pieces of Huichol art displayed throughout the hotel, in rooms and public space. Huichol art is a traditional folk art form by the native Huichol people who live in Nayarit and Jalisco made with intricate designs, vibrant colors and sacred symbols to express deeply held spiritual beliefs.
Like this jaguar head in the lobby (pictured above), which has three million beads in it and it was made by one family -- grandparents, parents and children -- and took about three months to make. For Huichol Shamans, the jaguar is a power animal, considered messengers of the god of fire, Tatewari.
Photo Gallery / Snapshot / Mexico Hotels / Cabo San Lucas Hotels / Beach Hotels / Hotel Pools / Melia Hotels / → All Tags
While we showed you a quiet alternative in Cabo San Lucas earlier this week, today we're looking at a more lively hotel spot--The ME Cabo. This is where pool, beach and party all come together in a neat little package, ready for you to rip open with life-affirming gusto. But before you go buckwild, we have some important tips to share.
1) Bring your best bathing suit—This is no time to shrink down into your beautiful white Bali bed. The ME experience focuses on the senses and this includes sight, so show what ya got even if you think what ya got ain’t good. Here, attitude counts. With Bali beds for two to eight, sharing and showing a little skin is what it’s all about.
2) Wear your party hat—Nikki Beach Club, known worldwide as party central for house music revellers, can be found right at ME Cabo. We’re talking bikini dancing here, folks. There’s a DJ spinning tracks in an open-air booth while the Nikki Girls (that’s right) try to get the crowd moving to the beat of the electronic drum. Make sure to try the Nikki Mojito, the signature drink Bacardi approached Nikki Beach to create and is found at all Nikki Beach Clubs.
ME Cabo also knows how to throw a good party at Passion, their indoor/outdoor club and lounge. When the music dies down at Nikki Beach, Passion gleefully takes the baton. We were there during the annual Halloween party (if you can, we recommend you try to go during a celebration of some sort as well) and it was packed with both guests and locals. To best describe the vibe that night and the well-dressed or well-costumed patrons, imagine a big-city nightclub owned by Salvador Dali. (We’re digging what you’re thinking right now.)
Capella Pedegral may change any of your previous conceptions about Cabo San Lucas, which probably involve thoughts of LA/OC folks partying or celebrities paying top dollar for a romantic rendezvous.
True, Capella Pedregal, situated on a stony hillside above The Marina (home to Senor Frog's and a quick boat ride out to El Arco), is often referred to as the "Beverly Hills of Cabo" and room rates are similar to those at the top places in Beverly Hills, at around $650 a night.
But it's also where you will find touches of the real Mexico, making Capella far more interesting than being just some resort on the beach. And when you're paying that much a night, the last thing you want is some same-old, same-old, luxury resort. So here are 7 Authentic Mexican Touches at Capella Pedregal that we found during a recent visit.
1. Mexican Cooking Classes: Capella Pedregal's Don Manuel's restaurant features Su Cocina, a dual-kitchen where guests can learn traditional Mexican cooking techniques and recipes, including a variety of ceviches and salsas. Cooking lessons are also offered here to kids who learn to make tortillas à mano, quesadillas, flautas, and churros.
2. Daily Delivery of Coronitas, Tortilla Chips and Guacamole. Every afternoon, this selection arrives at your door. It's included in the room rate and if you're not there to accept it, room service will leave a note telling you to call down when you would like it delivered.
Sure enough, just as we compile a list of our favorite killer hotel views comes another view that nearly tops them all.
This is the view outside room 336 at the luxury resort, Capella Pedregral, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. What more can you ask for? The ocean, the beach, a couple of palm tree, a boat happily sailing by and in case you can't see it, your own private plunge pool on the terrace. Muy bonita!
Rates for this Ocean View King Room, the starting room category at the hotel, are currently going for about $650 a night. That rate includes complimentary WiFi, complimentary minibar refreshments (non-alcoholic) and a daily delivery of Coronitas, tortilla chips and guacamole. We'll have more on that and other authentic Mexican touches at Capella Pedegral next week.
Hyatt Ziva / Hyatt Hotels / All-Inclusive Hotels / Los Cabos Hotels / Barcelo Hotels / Best Room to Book / Hotel News / → All Tags
Now that we've actually seen one of the properties in person, we're even more ready to give the all-inclusive experience a whirl.
We peeped at the former Barcelo Cabo in Mexico as it was undergoing some last-minute touch-ups to turn into the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, a family-friendly resort. (Hyatt Zilara in Cancún will be adults-only.)
The good news is that the Barcelo property is rather new (it opened in 2009) and so the rooms, public spaces, restaurants, meeting rooms, pools and even the kids' club area are all in excellent condition. (We especially loved the giant flat-screen TVs which also accessed the internet as well.) All Hyatt really had to do was make some cosmetic adjustments, change up the signs and tweak the all-inclusive plans.
You can read more about the plans here but the basic all-inclusive plan includes not just food and alcohol from the eight restaurants on-site (most are a la carte and only two are buffets) but also entertainment options, daily and nightly activities, fitness center, kids club and WiFi. The Club Premium Plan gets you a few more perks like private check-in, access to the Exclusive Premium Level Lounge, 20 percent off spa and salon services, welcome amenities and other goodies.
The famous "Arch" in Cabo
Yesterday as we cruised the beachfront "tourist corridor" in Los Cabos, Mexico where all the hotels are located, we learned that both Montage Hotels and Four Seasons would soon be setting up shop in Cabo.
We had heard about the Montage back in August but Four Seasons? That was new to us. So we did a little research and found that indeed Four Seasons is joining the party.
LosCabosGuide.com reports the hotel will open in The Cabo Riviera development which is located on more than 900 acres in the town of La Ribera, only 38 miles east of Los Cabos. That puts it pretty far from the tourist corridor and the action of the marina but it will still front the Sea of Cortez, ensuring lots of relaxing on the beach and water activities. The Cabo Riviera development will also include a golf course and its own 280-slip marina, along with an artists village, and plenty of high-end residences. (Sorry, no Senor Frog's here!)
In our research, we also uncovered a website for the Ritz-Carlton Reserve (essentially, a super luxe Ritz-Carlton) in San Jose del Cabo that was announced the other month. This Reserve should open in 2015 but sorry, your dollars won't go any further here as the dollars to peso exchange rate is pretty much the same. But we can all hope that the Reserve will keep prices below a $1,000 a night.
In our opinion, the jury is still out on all-inclusive resorts. Sometimes we love them, and often we hate them, but one thing's for sure: we never expect a memorable gastronomical experience when we stay at one.
We are happy to report, however, that our recent stay at the all-inclusive IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraíso, on Mexico's Riviera Maya, might help sway our opinion. The hotel has four restaurants (Japanese, Italian, French, and a steakhouse -- strangely no Mexican), two buffets, and six bars. We ate well and we ate often.
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our series, What is This?, is devoted to odd-looking items in hotels that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
We saw a friend Facebook a picture of her bathroom at the trendy W Mexico City and we were all like, WHAT. IS. THIS. So we went over to the W's website and found out that yes, there is a hammock suspended over the bathtub. Here's how the folks at the Doble Ve describe it:
Zone, suspended over the bath area in the silken hammockover the warm (or cooling) bathtub in the silken hammock.
Did you get that it's a silken hammock? Anyways, we're all for adventurous design but we are just imagining all sorts of difficulties climbing into this hammock. And we'd be naked, yes? That wouldn't be pretty. That said, we'd be willing to give it a try--before we had any tequila. Alcohol and hammocks over bathtubs do not mix. At all.
Wanna give it a go? Rates at the W Mexico City start at just $189USD for a Spectacular room.
[Photo: W Mexico City/Facebook]