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The Riu Punta Canta's adults-only swimming pool promises no Marco Polo
In a somewhat shocking move, Riu Hotels & Resorts–one of the biggest and most traditional of the big-box all-inclusive resort chains–is suddenly introducing a slew of new and thoughtful brand-wide amenities boldly aimed toward getting their Americas properties into the 21st century.
After spending lots of time in many all-inclusives, we though many brands would never change their buffet-lined, screaming-kid, non-Internet-having ways. Bargain rates? They haz ‘em. But innovates? They never.
Except now, RIU is.
Hotel Openings / All-Inclusive Resorts / Puerto Vallarta Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Beach Resorts / Family-Friendly Hotels / → All Tags
Today Mexico adds yet another all-inclusive resort to its hotel inventory with the opening of the Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort. It’s Hilton’s first one-price-pays-for-all property in Mexico.
Right in the heart of PVs Hotel Zone near the Bay of Banderas, this Hilton is pretty modest in size with just 259 rooms and suites, which makes it less overwhelming than other resorts of its kind in the region.
Guests won't go hungry thanks to the four a la carte dining restaurants on site serving international cuisine, fine Mexican foods, French fare, and Brazilian churrasco. Plus, snacks are available at the La Bonita deli, and the beach-bar serving up cocktails and light bites.
Now there’s another reason to pare down your packing. Palace Resorts has just partnered with Farouk Systems, parent company to professional hair salon brands, CHI, and BioSilk. Now, all six Palace Resorts will feature CHI flat irons and professional quality hairdryers in their bathrooms as well as the line’s Infra shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and bubble bath.
From Palace’s news release:
“When most women travel, typically, they’ll find an average blow-dryer in their room — and certainly not a hair iron — so they will pack heavy hair tools and products.” said Gibran Chapur, Executive Vice President for Palace Resorts. “By partnering with CHI, a brand women know and love, Palace Resorts is further pampering them with the professional quality hair and beauty products they would find in a salon.”
Marketing lingo aside, we’ll have to give a hearty “truueee” to Mr. Chapur’s statement. We’ve traveled with some finicky females who carry an arsenal of products in their suitcases. They always seem to worry there isn’t a blow dyer in the room! It makes us shake our heads with wonder and worry. Dryers are standard, folks. A flat-iron, though? That’s kinda special.
Celebrity Scoop / Secrets Resorts / Jamaica Hotels / Nicki Minaj / All-Inclusive Resorts / → All Tags
Jamaica has been on fiyah more than usual, that’s because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the island's independence from Britain. Official Jubilee celebrations started this week, but will be absolutely bananas this weekend until to Emancipation Day on August 6th. Last month, the antics were warmed up with Reggaefest and many celebs came to jam, including headliner Nicki Minaj.
We thought she would have stayed at the Ritz-Carlton, Rose Hall or the tony Half Moon Bay, but no, she went the all-inclusive route and made the all-suite, adults-only Secrets Wild Orchid Resort her home. Sure, she stayed in the Preferred Club’s Presidential Suite, but we kind of dig she picked this accessible-to-the-people, two-year old resort.
Minaj and her entourage were seen being escorted to the luxury suite via golf cart, were she looked pretty tame in a demure floral outfit (but with some crazy orange wedges).
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All-inclusive Resorts used to be a cheap, spring break vacation where you sipped sugary drinks in plastic cups and shuffled through buffet lines filling up on nachos, burgers and something exotic called spaghetti bolognese. Looks like those days are a-changin’.
In a time where people (even the well-heeled) are demanding more bang for their vacation buck, many all-inclusives resorts are making a comeback, and bringing their A game.
Today you’ll see gourmet restos, free golf and even spa treatments added into the mix to lure discerning travelers to their now well-manicured grounds.
Check out these five luxury resorts that are so sleek, you’d barely know that one-price-pays-for-all.
All-inclusive resorts aren't our jam but it is interesting to hear that Starwood Hotels has just opened their very first all-inclusive resort--The Westin Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal in Costa Rica, formerly known as the Paradisus Playa Conchal Resort.
Here's a brief description of the property:
Centered around an expansive, lagoon-style pool, The Westin Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal is adjacent to the championship Robert Trent Jones II golf facility and is easily accessible from the international airport in Liberia, Guanacaste. Inspiring wellness with its signature Westin The Spa, the resort features beautiful gardens, luxurious suites, thatch-roofed bungalows, as well as breathtaking vistas. Guests will enjoy a variety of outdoor recreation and nightly entertainment and several restaurants serving both local and international cuisine.
Sounds nice, right? But this all-inclusive paradise will cost you.
Nothing says "I heart you boo" more than a romantic getaway, but sexytime isn't just for Valentine's Day. So if you don't have time to catch one of the V-Day packages we're profiling this week, we're also presenting you with some year-round sexy options. Whether you're into raunch, roses or Rosé, every day this week, we’ll pick a different property that we think will knock your socks—and who knows what else—off.
Hedonism II in Negril, Jamaica, is an over-the-top playground with a loyal following of guests who dig the ‘no-judgment’ atmosphere and all-inclusive price tag. Know up front that Hedo isn’t really for the shy and many of the rumors you hear are true. Yes, there’s a “prude” side with a perfectly nice beach for newbies or those uninterested in baring all. But it’s said many eventually cross over to the “Nude” side where all the antics (which, let's be honest, is what you're going for) take place.
Wow, we always thought the richies were immune from the whole recession thing, but turns out they like a bargain, too, because Diva, the most party-friendly resort in the Maldives has just announced it’s offering an all-inclusive accommodation option.
The All Inclusive Experience gives you all meals, wine and beer by the glass, and “a wide range of meticulously prepared cocktails”; as well as use of the tennis courts and selected (non-motorized) watersports (pedalos, kayaks and snorkels).
Hotel Fashion / All-Inclusive Resorts / Mexico Hotels / Christian Cota / Paradisus Resorts / → All Tags
When you make the big decision to stay at an all-inclusive resort, you accept several facts: you will have a pina colada in hand no later than 30 minutes after awakening, you will eat fusion asian food for at least one dinner, and you will be stuck wearing a plastic wristband that identifies you as a guest of the resort, entitled to all the goodies.
Now here's what's not so solid about the all-inclusive experience: why do all-inclusive resort bracelets have to be so ugly? If you're staying at a 5-star luxury all-inclusive, it is really mandatory to look like you've just come from fist-pumping night at some skanky club? It shouldn't be, and one group of all-inclusive hotels is out to change this by injecting a little fashion into their bracelets.
Paradisus Resorts, with several $500+ per night all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, has enlisted designer Christian Cota to add some style to their bracelets.
Okay. There are officially 31 days until Winter Solstice (a.k.a. the shortest day of the year) and we’re already going a little stir-crazy with the decrease in daylight and the plunging temperatures. The solution? Head to warmer locales, like Borrego Springs in the Southern California desert.
Sure, springtime may steal this remote desert destination’s tourist thunder with its insanely beautiful display of wildflowers at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, but wintertime temps that hover around 70 degrees are what call our name. Right. About. Now. Besides, is there anything more spectacular than seeing the moon come up over the desert? Nah, not really.
We are suckers for a room with a killer view. We find that we are even more likely to forgive some minor hotel inconveniences if we can stare out the window at something pretty--yeah we are that shallow. Let's help out our fellow hotel mavens by uploading rooms with killer views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. We will feature our favorites in this space from time to time. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number of the hot view.
Today we have a very special Killer View from Adam Kirby of HOTELS Magazine. These snaps were taken at the all-inclusive Riu Guanacaste Resort in Costa Rica from the balcony of room 5105. And in case you were wondering, Adam says, "Yes, it was awesome." Rooms start at $216 a night for the all-inclusive offer.
More photos of the pool and beach after the jump. Thanks Adam!
In continuing our Halloween Cocktails series, we bring you some Day of The Dead Cocktails from Mexico.
Remember over the summer when the Grand Velas Resort in Playa del Carmen introduced their margarita trolley and we nearly got drunk writing about it? Well, the resort's sister properties are also doing their best to get us buzzed.
In celebration of Mexico's Day of the Dead on November 1st and 2nd, The Grand Velas Riviera Maya is offering guests "The Cemetery" drink made with Vodka, Kahlua, Coca Cola and "Bloody Champagne," accompanied by strawberry and raspberry juices and served with dry ice for a "spookier feel." (Ed. note: can we get a contact high from this dry ice? Just curious is all.)
In Puerto Vallarta, the Casa Velas and Velas Vallarta Resorts are offering the "Red Devil" and the "Zombie" with a selection of rums and juices. Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit will be serving "The Skull" with Campari, Cider, lemon-lime soda, minced apples and walnuts and "The Blue Death" with Blue Curacao liqueur and Vodka.