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Grand Residences Riviera Cancun: All Out on Sustainability

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Grand Residences Riviera Cancun, a member of the Royal Resorts group located 40 minutes from Cancun, is going all-in on sustainability, according to general manager Daniela Trava. The luxury property is taking multiple initiatives toward conservation, some unlikely for a decidedly upscale product, a member of Leading Hotels of the World and as Trava describes it, “ the jewel of the Royal Resorts group.”

Nestled just south of Puerto Morelos, a fishing village on the Mexican coast, the 144-suite Grand Residences provides a highly personalized experience to visitors, 85 percent of whom come from the U.S.

Most immediately, said Trava, the resort is taking steps to eliminate plastic bottles. “We believe if this model is copied by other hotels,” said Trava, “we will make a great difference.” And atypical for a luxury hotel, Grand Residences asks guests to reuse bath towels to reduce the use of water, electricity and detergents.

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Another initiative has been replacing plastic straws with avocado substitutes. Guests are first asked if they’d like a straw at all. If they do, they will get the avocado one. The property also offers biodegradable to-go containers in its three restaurants.

Reverse osmosis technology is used to purify the water and there is a desalination plant onsite. A state-of-the-art treatment plant allows wastewater to be treated and disposed of in accordance with environmental norms, said Trava. Other significant steps toward sustainability will be announced soon, she added.

While all this is important, said Trava, the mission of the resort is to provide an idyllic holiday for families and other guests with quality cuisine and accommodations. “From the moment you make your reservation,” said Trava, “you are taken care of.” Even so, she said, rates are competitive—about $450 a night for two in mid-season for all-inclusive; and about $325 for EP in that same period. The average stay is seven nights.

“We know our guests well,” said Trava, ”and we do not say no. We had one family whose children were big Disney fans, so we had Mickey Mouse cookies ready for them when they arrived.”

The resort opened six years ago as a European Plan property but has evolved toward being three-quarters all-inclusive. There are still EP and Bed & Breakfast guests but more and more are seeing value, said Trava, in the all-inclusive product. Also, it is allowable to split a stay of more than four nights between two plans as long as four consecutive nights are all-inclusive. Guests staying four nights or less can request any rate plan.

Rooms are spacious, as large as 8,762 square feet for a four-bedroom Penthouse Presidential Suite with even the smallest unit at 635 square feet. They feature handcrafted tropical hardwood furniture, signature bedding, upscale appliances (like Nespresso coffee machines), Bulgari toiletries, Jacuzzi and a large open-air terrace.

While Grand Residences is not a “party hotel,” said Trava, there are a lot of weddings and multi-generational groups. The property will only allow one wedding on any given week so there is not an assembly line feeling.

There are numerous special nights that are free to all guests, including salsa nights, jazz performances and more. There is 24-hour room service and a chef will come to the room to prepare a meal at an additional cost. The head chef is French and there is an extensive wine list.

PHOTO: Heaven Bar & Grill. (Photo via Zapwater)

And the nearby town of Puerto Morelos offers its own beaches, coral reefs, excellent fishing and jungle adventures. Said Trava, “There are many ex-pats living there and even a lot of Italian restaurants.”

In fact, the resort avoids nickel and diming, providing extras like free golf clubs (the property is near numerous golf courses), bicycle tours, water activities gear and a kids club. Even airport transfers are complimentary.

Amenities include four pools (including an adult pool), outdoor Jacuzzis, two tennis courts, fitness center, spa, five bars and a gourmet store

Trava said the resort did very well in 2017 but business slowed the last two years because of negative headlines about Mexico and the invasion of seaweed on the beach. The seaweed is gone now and bookings are picking up.

Grand Residences works with multiple travel advisor networks, including Frosch, Ensemble, Destination Weddings Travel Group and Altour.

Looking ahead, said Trava, there are ongoing discussions about expansion and plans will be announced later.

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Family Fun Abounds in Ocho Rios at Moon Palace Jamaica

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All-inclusive resorts are an amazing option for families in search of the perfect shared getaway.

Parents looking for relaxation and a reprieve from daily pressures can certainly appreciate not having to sweat every individual expenditure while on vacation and instead settling on an up-front cost that allows adults and kids alike to go hog wild when they reach their destination.

At Moon Palace Jamaica, a Palace Resorts property situated near the celebrated seaside town of Ocho Rios, all-inclusive really means that it’s all covered, from luxurious accommodations and upscale amenities to world-class dining, 24-hour room service, minibar, premium satellite TV channels, wireless internet access, free calls within North America and a whole host of on-site activities designed to appeal to every age group.

The 700-room resort is located directly on Jamaica’s north coastal beach, where the sparkling Caribbean Sea virtually calls out to guests to come splash in its dazzling waters and warm themselves on the tropical sands.

With use of non-motorized watersports equipment included in their stay, kids and grown-ups might want to try boogie-boarding, snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking or sailing a Hobie cat as a family. Once the tribe has had their sand and saltwater for one day, there’s always more aquatic fun to be had at any of four family-friendly outdoor swimming pools.

PHOTO: A family enjoying time on the water at Moon Palace Jamaica. (photo via Palace Resorts)

The resort’s kids’ club, called the ‘Playroom,’ houses state-of-the-art activity spaces that cater to kids whose ages are four and up. They’ll stay entertained for hours in areas filled with building blocks, creativity areas, kitchen play area, ball pit, indoor playground, movies, video games and even a mini-stage to host kids’ karaoke.

Outdoors, there’s a dedicated kiddie pool and children’s water park, plus areas for taking out bikes and rideable cars.

The trendy ‘Wired’ teen lounge is designed especially for kids twelve and over, featuring flat-screen TVs, video games, arcade games, billiards, air hockey and foosball tables, and serving up slushies and frozen virgin cocktails.

Moon Palace Jamaica
PHOTO: An outdoor restaurant at Moon Palace Jamaica. (photo via Palace Resorts)

With all this on offer, it’s possible that parents will find their teenagers spending more time on their own, with their peers, than they’d have guessed.

Parents who prefer to enjoy a little adults-only downtime who have children under four are also able to arrange for babysitting services through the resort for an additional fee.

Where kids are concerned, what’s on the menu at their next meal can also be a pressing question. Guests of Moon Palace Jamaica will find abundant options available to keep youngsters satisfied, with everything from poolside pizza and snacks to gourmet dining included in their stay.

Boulangerie, Moon Palace Jamaica
PHOTO: Boulangerie, Moon Palace Jamaica (photo via Palace Resorts)

The Boulangerie, reminiscent of a Parisian café, is particularly convenient, serving up fresh pastries, crepes, sweet treats, ice cream, flavored coffees and more, 24 hours a day. Gourmet Corner also dishes out a variety of quick-serve favorites, like pizza, paninis and even sushi, for casual dining or to take on-the-go.

Five other sumptuous, dine-in restaurants on the property offer a mouth-watering variety of cuisines with options to please the palates of adults and minors alike.

Right now, Moon Palace Jamaica is offering a special deal that provides free airport transfers, up to $1,500 in resort credit, and free stays for kids and teens.

For more information, contact a travel professional or visit jamaica.moonpalace.com/en.

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