Mexico’s Sparkling Riviera Maya Draws Luxury Investment and Popular Events
By: Travel World News Editor
The magnificent destination of Mexico’s Riviera Maya has been recognized in several prestigious contests. In the W Awards, it scored in three of 20 categories—Best Promotion of a Tourist Destination, Best Destination Marketing Office in Mexico and Best Tourist Destination in Mexico.
Riviera Maya was recognized as the Best Luxury Destination in Mexico in the Travelocity Destination Awards. A readers’ choice award, users of Travelocity.com voted for their favorite destination in a selection of categories.
Of the fourteen hotels in Mexico awarded in 2010 with the AAA Five-Diamond Award for exemplifying the highest level of excellence in every facet of operation, six are located in the Riviera Maya: Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort, Fairmont Mayakoba, Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya, Occidental Royal Hideaway Resort & Spa, Rosewood Mayakoba and Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya.
Recent host to the first annual Latin American and Caribbean Unity Summit, Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort Riviera Maya was honored with Conde Nast Johansens’ Excellence Award 2010 in the category of Best Hotel with a Spa in Mexico and Central America.
Maroma Resort & Spa Orient-Express was chosen by readers as the No. 2 Top Resort in Mexico in the Conde Nast Traveler 2010 Read-ers’ Choice Awards. The Awards recognize the world’s top cities, islands, cruise lines, airlines, hotels, resorts and rental car agencies.
Investments and openings
Augerge Resorts, world-renowned developers and operators of luxury resorts Auberge du Soleil, Esperanza, Calistoga Ranch, The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Encantado and Rancho Valencia, are expanding their presence in Mexico. The company announced plans to open a 50-suite luxury resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya at Kanai, an exclusive master-planned beachfront community being developed by joint venture partners ALHEL and GIM Desarrollos. The property will feature spacious suites offering unobstructed ocean views, a signature Auberge Spa, waterfront dining, swimming pool and beach club bar and grill. There will also be six luxury oceanfront villas. Designed by internationally-renowned California firms Backen, Gillam & Kroger Architects, along with George Girvin & Associates landscape architects and planners, the Auberge resort will feature a dramatic contemporary design inspired by Kanai’s natural landscape.
In 2011, Marriott will open the JW Marriott Milla de Oro Resort & Spa with 450 luxurious guest rooms and the exclusive Renaissance Milla de Oro Resort with 150 guest rooms. Together, these projects boast an investment of more than $80 million.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts will soon open its doors to Kanai, Riviera Maya, an exclusive beachfront community on the east coast of Yucatan Peninsula, just eight miles from Playa del Carmen and 42 miles from Cancun International Airport. The St. Regis Kanai, Resort & Residence, will boast 1,500 sq. ft. of event space. The hotel will offer 124 guest rooms and suites, 32 exclusive villas, four restaurants, a signature spa, swimming pools overlooking the sea, and two golf courses with 18 holes designed by professional golfers.
Events and festivals
The PGA Mayakoba Golf Classic 2011 will be held February 23–27 2011, at the beautiful Mayakoba Resort at the Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon golf course. The tournament will feature 132 golf pros with a purse of $3.7 million. This event, in 2007, marked the first PGA TOUR to be held outside the U.S. and Canada.
In May 2011, visitors are invited to watch Sacred Mayan Journey, an important ritual where Mayan communities reenact a ceremony worshipping the Mayan Goddess of Fertility, Ixchell. At dawn, Mayans with authentic body paint and dress will take 25 traditional Mayan canoes from Polé (today Xcaret) to the island of Cozumel. These canoes are handmade in the old traditional Mayan style, and 300 rowers from the communities of Xcaret, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen will participate in the journey, about a six- to seven-hour paddle across the Cozumel Channel. Once in Cozumel, the oarsmen will perform the ritual in which they pay patronage to the Goddess. They return from Cozumel to Playa the following morning.