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When even Southern California is dealing with some bad weather, you know it's bad. A trip to warm, tropical Mexico sounds good right about now. But we're not sure about the Ritz-Carlton Cancun's latest package. Paying $769 a night and up doesn't sound like much of a deal. However, you get a $500 resort credit thrown in.
The Cancun a La Carte package' $500 daily resort credit can be used for food, drinks, the spa and other recreational activities. As part of the deal, you also get an ocean-view suite as well as 20 percent off of stores within the hotel.
Looking for plans on Christmas Eve? Here's an excuse to spend it in Mexico: The Villa Del Palmar Cancun will open on December 24.
The hotel's offering an introductory rate of $186 per person a night, all inclusive, through January 2. The price will drop to $142 per person from January 3 to April 15. If you can wait, you can take advantage of Virgin America's new Cancun-to-SFO service on January 20 and Cancun-to-LAX route on January 19.
Seven people were killed yesterday and 15 more were injured in a freak explosion at the beachfront, all-inclusive Grand Grand Riviera Princess Resort in Playa del Carmen, just outside of Cancun. Five of the dead were reported to be Canadian tourists, including a nine-year-old boy while the other two were hotel employees.
From The AP:
[Attorney General of Quintana Roo, Francisco] Alor described a horrific scene in which the floor of the building was basically hurled through the ceiling by the force of the explosion, blowing out windows and sending fragments of aluminum window and ceiling panels frame over a wide area.
"Everyone said their hotel room shook. The glass at neighboring restaurants all cracked and blew out. The tiki hut that was in the area, that was on fire," said James Gaade of St. Catharines, Ontario, who was walking on the beach when he heard a loud explosion and saw smoke coming from the resort’s premium platinum lounge.
One time at a beach on a family vacation, we were building a sandcastle and our brother ran up and snagged a big bucket of that good, wet, sandcastle-building sand that we'd had to walk all the way down to the water to retrieve and we threw a hissy in response to the stolen sand.
So we can sort of relate to this story a little bit: environmental enforcement officers and Mexican navy personnel "closed off hundreds of feet of powder-white coastline in front of a hotel accused of illegally accumulating sand on its beach." Yes, a hotel stole some sand.
We have a bit of a tumultuous background with Mexico – similar to LiLo’s journey to non-slutdom and sobriety – but we recently gave Cancún another shot at love. Although all the usual suspects are still there (and some Real World leftovers), we discovered a civilized side of Cancún beyond the conveniences of the big-box hotels and silky blond beaches that few tourists ever see – especially for those who venture the 80-mile stretch south of Cancún, or the “Riviera Maya.”
In some rare cases, culture and calm (and even a bit of continuing education) can even be found amongst the partier’s paradise of the Zona Hotelera. Sometimes it simply helps to know where to look.
In between sun-worshipping, swimming and a much-needed massage while holed up at tranquil (yes, you read that correctly) AQUA Cancún , we unraveled the mystery behind mezcal at AKA Wine & Mezcal Bar. Named for wine geek, renowned mixologist and tequila evangelist Steve Olson, mezcal is known as tequila’s “Daddy.”
We are all about the giveaways today (have we mentioned we're sending someone to Nashville for free and all you have to do is tell us a bit about your dream amenity, which is something you think about every day anyway?), so here's another one for ya: The Hilton Cancun Golf & Spa Resort is launching a Facebook giveaway and all you really have to do is become their Facebook fan to get in on the action. Yes, kids, Cancun and Facebook can live in happy harmony together and you don't have to associate the words "Facebook" and "Cancun" with all those horrendous photos of you from Spring Break '07 that you had to go through great pains to remove the tags from.
They're trying to amass a whole bunch of FB fans, we suppose, and once they reach 1,000 fans, all 1,000 of 'em will be thrown into a drawing for a three-day vacay at the Hilton Cancun Golf & Spa Resort. The winner also gets one round-trip flight on Jet Blue airlines.
They're only at 254 fans right now, so roll on in there and tell your friends to get with the program too; hopefully when they hit the 1000 fans and do the giveaway, they'll let everyone know so those of you who like to keep a tidy (read: tiny) collection of Facebook fan pages, you can duck out. Er, not that we'd encourage such.
When we stayed at AQUA Cancun right after its reopening last year (it was formerly Fiesta Americana Grand Aqua), we scored an Aqua Club room upgrade on the fifth floor. Our entertaining ready room came equipped with a private oceanfront patio, living room, a freestanding circular Jacuzzi tub, a spa-worthy bathroom with locally made soaps, and access to the (drum roll, please!) Club Lounge.
Private check-in and dedicated concierge made us feel more Tori Spelling than Joe Average tourist. An endless stream of adult beverages, five food and beverage servings throughout the day, including continental breakfast and a lovely hors d’oeuvre spread timed right around sunset/happy hour kept us happily sated. A styled out entertainment center, telescope, and books, magazines and iPods to borrow were available in case boredom struck (it didn’t).
A very, very interesting article was printed by the UK Telegraph today: apparently, Heidi and Spencer among only a handful of people traipsing around Mexico resorts wearing face masks to protect themselves from swine flu. Hmm.
According to the article, many tourists and hotel guests down in the Cancun area are being met with hotels full of seemingly unconcerned staff and other holidaygoers who seem equally unconcerned (i.e., people are still hitting up nightclubs and whatnot). Per the Telegraph:
As The Daily Telegraph discovered, questions to hotel workers about the virus are generally simply ignored as if they haven't been heard or, if pursued, countered with the claim that it hasn't yet reached Cancun.
Mike Heelan, 29, a recruitment consultant from Limerick, Ireland, said: "I've been thinking that the first time I see a mask here, I'm out. But everyone's so blasé here. We're all in a bubble, thinking it's just happening somewhere else."
He said that when he once asked a concierge at a $288-a-night hotel about the bag of masks on his desk, he quickly moved them under a table and said they were for staff.
ME Cancún, a Sol Mélia resort, is a hotel that is sort of ... well, meh (or shall we say, "MEh"). As we discovered last year, there are plenty of good things about the resort as we said, pretty people, pretty views, and pretty nice furniture but there isn't really anything distinguishing it from the properties around it in Cancun.
However. Unbeknownst to us until recently, the 22nd season of MTV's The Real World is already wrapping up filming in sweet, sweet Mexico (thanks, Jaunted!) and guess where the 7-ish strangers picked to live in a house will be living? The ME Cancun. Oh yes.
Ritz-Carlton Hotels typically cater to an older, more refined, more subdued crowd. But just because people like to relax at the Ritz, instead of party doesn't mean they can't have any fun. Especially when that Ritz-Carlton is located in Cancun.
The Ritz-Carlton Cancun has just introduced its Moonlight Fest which takes place on the beach at (duh) moonlight during a full moon.
The Moonlight Fest is an alluring beach party for visitors to relax, laugh and share their experiences with friends or loved ones around a bonfire. During the event a guitarist, inspired by the soft breeze of the sea, plays guests’ requests along with Mexican romantic tunes. By partaking in this bohemian night, guests are swayed by the gentle harmony of nature’s song and eased into the unhurried pace of Mexican time. The result: The sudden disappearance of worldly concerns.
And hey, why should those silly spring breakers get to have all the fun? The fiesta begins at 7pm on a full moon and drinks are served. The next event/full moon will be February 9th. Rates start at $439 a night.
[Photo: Ritz-Carlton Cancun]
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.
When we think of Cancun, we typically think of wet t-shirt contests, MTV VJ's, beer bongs and whatever else may or may not belong on the standard roster of Spring Break shenanigans, but sometimes we forget that Cancun isn't all Senor Frogs and rowdy co-eds in much the same way that we forget that there are better places to be in December than the freezing cold big city we happen to be writing from. Sigh.
This particular killer view comes from Le Meridien Cancun via reader D and, fortunately, there are no rowdy Spring Breakers to obscure the gorgeous beach scene here.
So what if weather.com says it's going to be a sweltering 90 degrees in Cancun today? If you were staying at the Aqua Cancun, you'd be lolling in one of their eight pools, cocktail in hand, thinking about your pending massage.
Indulge in one of the Aqua's cleverly named four-day, three night packages. Each US$1605 package (based on double occupancy) gets you a Deluxe Ocean Front Suite, and airport transfers, but there the extras diverge.