Rebranding of Gran Caribe and Gran Porto Resorts

To those of you familiar with Panama Jack products (sunglasses, tanning oil, beach clothing, etc.), it may be of interest to note that Playa Hotels and Resorts has partnered with said company in order to launch Panama Jack’s brand into Mexico’s all-inclusive market.  Both the Gran Caribe and Gran Porto Resorts will be rebranded with the Panama Jack name (Panama Jack Gran Caribe/Panama Jack Gran Porto)–the resorts will officially use the name in the last quarter of 2017 following a multi-million dollar refurbishment.

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Akumal Snorkeling Difficulties–Here We Go Again!

Vacationers traveling to Akumal in the next few weeks should be aware that PROFEPA (the Federal Environmental Protection Agency in Mexico) has temporarily suspended tour group snorkeling in Akumal Bay.  The agency determined that the original ruling of allowing only a certain number of tour group participants to snorkel had been grossly ignored by tour companies, so PROFEPA is trying to determine how to permanently resolve this issue while protecting the turtles, coral, and other sea life in the bay.  At the present time, individual snorkelers, for the most part, are allowed to swim and snorkel in front of Secrets Akumal and ABBWR without being harassed, but snorkeling north of this area may result in being told to get out of the water (the northern end of the bay is where most of the sea grass beds are and where snorkel groups typically have entered the water in the past). There are buoys marking these areas, but there is a lot of confusion right now about who is allowed in the bay and exactly where people are allowed to snorkel.  Some reports state that snorkeling is allowed as long as life vests and fins are not used, while others state info to the contrary.  If fins and life vests are not allowed, this seems to be a very unsafe snorkeling practice unless it is done immediately offshore.

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Drone Video of Royal Hideaway Playacar

Take a look at Royal Hideaway Playacar from a drone’s perspective–this was taken prior to the renovations, so a few outdoor spaces may look a tad different here than what the resort currently looks like (re. Deck and Grill outdoor space specifically).  Have you been here since the completion of the renovations, and, if so, how does it compare?

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Grandparents Stay Free at Generations Resort

Karisma is offering a 2017 promo for its Generations Riviera Maya Resort–the offer states that families can book a 3-bedroom suite for the price of a 2-bedroom suite when grandparents come along on the vacation.  While this deal is supposed to be for 2017, there may be some blackout dates or restrictions; contact this resort for more details or phone 1-866-666-9352.  (For new bookings only and only for the US market).

New Cancun Attraction

There is a new visitor attraction in Cancun’s Hotel Zone which will be opening sometime next week–it is called Gran Rueda Cancun and it is located at km. 9 in the Hotel Zone.  Grand Rueda Cancun is a 200 ft. high ferris wheel with 42 climate-controlled gondolas; the entire ride lasts approximately 20 min. and will give visitors a panoramic look at the Hotel Zone and Nichupté Lagoon. Admission prices have not yet been listed.

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El Dorado Maroma Overwater Palafitos with Extra Amenities Video

I found a very nice video of El Dorado Maroma’s newest resort addition, the Overwater Palafitos. The video includes a glimpse into the extra amenities which come along with booking this suite category, such as the private lounge, spa, restaurant, and beach area. Take a look!

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Catalonia Yucatan Beach’s New A La Carte

There is a new a la carte restaurant which has just been completed at Catalonia Yucatan Beach.  It is called Bloved, just like the beachfront restaurant at Catalonia Royal Tulum, and serves organic cuisine.  While the new restaurant is located above El Mercado (buffet), it is not clear yet whether it is for Privileged guests only or for all guests (the Bloved at the Royal Tulum is for upgraded Privileged guests only).  Here is a pic of the lovely new restaurant:

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Favorite Resort Videos of 2016

I came across this video which highlights the top 10 all-inclusive resorts in Mexico for 2016.  While the #2 resort is in Puerto Vallarta, the remaining 9 resorts are in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.  What do you think of the list?  Any resorts you would add or delete from this list?  How about where they are in their numbered order?  Take a look and let us know.

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Downtown Cancun Shooting

Just a day following the tragic shooting at the Blue Parrot Nightclub, downtown Cancun was rocked when gunmen attacked the state prosecutor’s office with explosive devices and firearms which resulted in four deaths; reportedly, three of the gunmen were killed along with one police officer.  While there is no evidence at the present time to link the two events, many individuals (tourists and locals) are now wondering whether Cancun’s insulation from Mexico’s problem with drug cartels has now reached this popular tourist destination.  Here is a short article with more information about both attacks.

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Blue Parrot Nightclub Shooting

As most people are already aware, Playa del Carmen’s popular Blue Parrot nightclub was the site of a tragic shooting early this morning at around 2:30 a.m.  There are five deaths reported including several security members and a US citizen from Colorado who was killed in the ensuing stampede; the motive of the shooting is unclear at this time, but Mexican police are investigating the possibilities of retribution for failed extortion payments, a murder plot for unknown reasons, or failure to access the BPM Music Festival in order to sell drugs.  While the report states this is a resort, the Blue Parrot also owns a small hotel in Playa del Carmen which is not one of the large all-inclusive resorts popular in this area (Playa del Carmen is a 40 min. drive south of the Cancun airport).  If you wish to know more about this story, here is an article and short video.

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