77710 Travel Guide
It's Monday and just the right hour for some work procrastination. Take a minute and play Witty Wordsmith with us, whydontcha? That's right, it's time to Name.This.Caption!
It was the wild scampering on our thatched roof at the Viceroy Riviera Maya that sent us running around our villa, wondering WTF was on our roof. Was it on fire? A crazy Mexican thunderstorm? Did we drink too much the night before?
But it was none of these things. Suddenly the scampering stopped and turned to jungle canopy thrashing.
We finally identified the crazy: two spider monkeys hanging out above the outdoor shower. Fumbling for the camera, we snapped this pic of this gray-bearded Papa Boo. But what is he doing there?
Hotel Fashion / Riviera Maya Hotels / Fairmont Hotels / Stephanie Johnson / Hotel Shopping / Hotel Giveaways / → All Tags
Usually, when fashion designers get inspired by fancy hotels and resorts, it's bikinis they churn out. But in the case of designer Stephanie Johnson, what we get is a new range of travel accessories. And the hotel that took Johnson's fancy? The Fairmont Mayakoba, on Mexico's Riviera Maya.
We haven't stayed at this property but we've stayed at one next door that's on the same Mayakoba development of lush jungle rolling down to the ocean. Can't say we blame Johnson for getting inspired--it is indeed very pretty!
So is the new line of bags, which includes an iPad case and a few small cosmetics bags that double as cute clutches for a night out on the town—or on the beach at the resort's bar.
The new villas look like places we'd happily swap our apartments in the States for -- hell, we'd even sleep in the new gym with floor-to-ceiling views of the beach. Luckily, we didn't have to resort to that and stayed in one of the Tides' existing villas, which happily looks exactly like the big, glossy photos on the hotel's website. (No switch and bait here.)
Even though we only had a short hop over to Cancun from Miami, any lingering sense of obligations at home vanishes with the resort's welcome ritual--a Mayan blessing performed at the entrance to the spa. And then there is the Soap Concierge...
Here's the thing about spa treatments: in cities like NYC, we could get the best massage ever but our zen totally evaporates when we step out onto the streets or hit the subway. In resort locations, we're often so relaxed by the warm breeze and a margarita that hitting up the hotel spa is an afterthought.
But! We have now experienced a spa treatment that has made our skin sparkle and taken away all our worries in the process--and it all took place before we even stepped inside the treatment room for our massage.
It's called the Riviera Maya Water Journey, and you'll find it at the huge, $15-million Spa at Grand Velas Riviera Maya. The concept of a water journey is not new, but what struck us about this one was how detailed the multi-process step was and how helpful it was to have a spa attendant guide us through the whole thing. (Often when we see all those pools and showers, we just hop from one to the other, willy nilly, which is fun, but doesn't always lead to the desired state of mush.)
All this week, HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen will be talking with the people who perform some of the coolest Green Hotel Jobs out there. He reached out across the globe to talk to the dynamic folks who do everything from breeding fish to teaching indigenous survival courses, and everything in between.
When we think of interesting ecology, the tequila-soaked clubs and crowded beaches of Cancun don’t spring to mind. But just 45 minutes south of party central on the way to the Riviera Maya, is the exclusive enclave of Mayakoba, a lush, jungly environment with three luxury resorts discreetly arranged among the winding limestone canals and mangrove-anchored beaches.
There, we talked to the Fairmont Mayakoba’s Ecology Manager and Green Team Leader, Lyn Santos. Hear about the resort's natural underground rivers, stingless Melipona bees, and why Santos loves boating on the resort’s freshwater lagoons and wetlands.
It may feel like a jungle outside with this heat wave, but you can visit an actual tropical forest at the Tides Riviera Maya. Though if you wait until December to stay at the Playa Del Carmen resort, you'll be able to check out its newly renovated digs.
The all-villa resort has a lot of plans for its renovation, which will finish sometime in December. The biggest one is that it's adding 11 private luxury villas to the property and giving its existing villas—which all come with a private patio and plunge pool, outdoor shower and a thatched-palapa roof—a makeover.
Hotel Closings / Mexico Hotels / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Riviera Maya Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Renovations / → All Tags
Commenter LuxeSF tells us the property has closed with reports saying the hotel was suffering from a pithy 20 percent average occupancy rate. When it reopens, LuxeSF says, a new company will be managing the property.
Yet when we head over to the MO Riviera Maya website, the official statement is a little different:
Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya is currently closed in order to complete necessary improvements to its facilities. Our re-opening date will be announced in due course.
Yeah, that still doesn't sound good. Guess you will just have to head over to The Tides for your Riviera Maya getaway.
HotelChatter Video Tours / Riviera Maya Hotels / Video / Photo Gallery / Mexico Hotels / Beach Hotels / Fairmont Hotels / → All Tags
Despite some recent troubles, Mexico is still one of our favorite vacation destinations. There are just so many beautiful (and safe!) places to explore, and on a recent pre-Spring Break trip to Cancun, we got to check out one of them: the Fairmont Mayakoba.
Here’s our exclusive photo gallery and room video, so it feels just like you came along with:
All this week, HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen will be telling us about some of the coolest hotel jobs out there. He reached out across the globe to talk to the dynamic folks who do everything from wrangling elephants (and guests!) to designing the latest high-tech gadgetry for your next guest room. So check back every day to see who he’s talking to next.
The next subject of our Cool Hotel Jobs Series, has to do with what usually turns out to be one of our favorite places in the hotel, the spa. This one is at the Orient-Express-branded Maroma Resort and Spa on the Riviera Maya in Mexico, and it is performed by Nancy Aguilar, who is a trained Temazcalera.
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.
Hoping for an economic inoculation against swine flu fears, and what it calls "negative media reports and unsubstantiated fears of the H1N1 virus," the "residential retreat" Esencia Estate is introducing a battery of deals right now. The Esencia has dubbed the promotion "Splurge on the House," and it is intended to revive the tourism industry that has been in a slump since the H1N1 scare earlier this year.
The Mayan-themed resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya is offering guests a daily account credit equal to the amount they pay for their nightly room rate. Rates start at $459 per night, so we’re talking some big money here. The credit can be used at the hotel’s “organic” spa (treatments use indigenous fruits, plants and herbs, many of them grown in an onsite garden), at the poolside restaurant, or on other expenses like airport transfers, room service, in-room babysitting, and even beachside drinks.
Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Services / Tequila / Riviera Maya Hotel / All-Inclusive Resorts / → All Tags
It's no secret that we love margaritas at HotelChatter although we have been branching out as of late to try some of the great summer cocktails that hotels have been putting forth this summer. Yet, when a hotel introduces a Margarita Trolley, it's kind of hard to think about anything else.
The Grand Velas in Mexico, an all-inclusive resort, has just announced their Margarita Trolley in the hotel's Frida restaurant. Here's how the heavenly service works:
The Margarita Trolley is wheeled to the dinner table where diners choose from a selection of top Tequila brands - Don Julio, Herradura, Frida and Milagro - and margarita flavors. Tropical mango, tamarind, guava, cucumber and traditional lime juices are kept on ice in silver ice buckets. Once diners choose the Tequila and flavor preferences, the bartenders then prepare the margaritas table side and spice things up by serving it in a chili-salt rimmed glass.
And since the resort is all-inclusive, the margs are included in the room rate which start at around $450 for a master suite that can sleep four people.