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Hurricane Odile Update: All Tourists Evacuated But Hotel Zone Remains Without PowerSeptember 23, 2014 By: Meagan Drillinger
While many communities on the Baja Peninsula are on their way back to normal following Hurricane Odile, the hotel zone is still struggling to get power back. According to the Associated Press, electricity has been restored to only 19 percent. The good news, however, is that the majority of tourists have been safely evacuated from the vacation destination, leaving the Mexican government to turn its attention to rebuilding the area.
The Mexico Tourist Board says in a statement that approximately 27,000 people have been airlifted out on more than 200 special flights. The Los Cabos International Airport is also expected to resume normal operations as of October 8. And while the ports of the Baja Peninsula reopened on Sunday, Princess Cruises has canceled its call in Los Cabos.
The tourism boards have gotten back to Travel Agent telling us that they are working hard to assess the situation, but have yet to report anything else as it is still difficult to communicate with people on the ground in Los Cabos.
In cruise news, Princess Cruises told Travel Agent that Coral Princess' call to Cabo San Lucas on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 has been cancelled and replaced with a call to Puerto Vallarta from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm on the same day. The extent of the damage to the destination's port is currently unknown.
Here is a recap of the major hotels and tour operators that operate in Los Cabos.
The Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort is reporting that all tourists have departed the hotel as of last Friday. At this time, the resort is closed to arrivals and no longer accepting reservations. "We are presently assessing the full extent of physical damage and will share an update on hotel status once completed," the hotel posts on its Facebook page. "We continue working with the local authorities and our tourism partners, as well as doing all we can to help our team members affected by the storm."
Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar in Los Cabos is reporting that its staff members are safe and unharmed. Starwood has a team on the ground in Los Cabos focused on assisting them and there is in place a program to help them with their needs, both immediate and long term. All of the guests from The Westin Los Cabos have been evacuated safely, as well.
Guests of One&Only Palmilla were evacuated ahead of the storm and no guests were at the resort when Hurricane Odile hit the area.
"While it is too early to give a complete assessment, our dedicated team is working diligently to assess damage in order to determine when the resort will reopen," One&Only says. "We will provide updates as they become available. We are in the process of contacting guests with bookings immediately impacted."
Barcelo Grand Faro Los Cabos will not be accepting any new guests until operations resume at the Los Cabos International Airport or further notice. The resort is currently in the process of assessing property damage but can confirm that all current guests and staff members are safe with the resort in an operational state. As of Friday, 94 guests had been evacuated.
Guests of the Secrets Marquis Los Cabos have all been evacuated. Cell phone service is also back up and running.
Melia Hotels International has also felt the impact of the hurricane. The company is reporting that two of their resorts in the Cabo San Lucas area, Melia Cabo Real and ME Cabo, have been closed due to damages. Both resorts will remain closed until further notice and will undergo reforms and renovations. Currently, the resorts are not accepting any new bookings. For help or more information call 1-888-956-3542.
Travel Agent spoke with representatives from Pleasant Holidays, MLT Vacations, Travel Impressions, Apple Vacations and GOGO Vacations. The tour operators have all been working in concert with the Mexican government to work to evacuate their clients out of the destination.
Pleasant Holidays reports that customers with vacations scheduled to Los Cabos through October 1 can contact the company to change their plans to future dates in Mexico or to a new destination in Mexico, the Caribbea, Hawaii or Tahiti.
MLT Vacations is working with their travel agency and hotel partners to rebook customers with upcoming vacation plans to Los Cabos and elsewhere on the Baja Peninsula.
Apple Vacations is working to rebook travel to Los Cabos on a future date, or book an alternative destination based on the applicable airline and hotels policies. Passengers whose flights have been canceled and wish to rebook an alternative destination will receive a $50 discount per person for departures through October 31.