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Insider's Cancun

October 1, 2007 By: Joslyn Yang Travel Agent

A selection of top properties, plus tips on authentic dining and shopping experiences

HURRICANE DEAN RECENTLY SPARED Cancun a ferocious blow, allowing the destination to preserve its charms and to stay fully operational. Here we present an array of hotels to suggest to your clients.

At the edge of the luminous waters of the Caribbean Sea and Laguna Nichupte, Le Méridien Cancun Resort & Spa ( has miles of shining white-sand beach that Paris Hilton, Drew Barrymore and Matthew Perry have all sunk their feet into.

The most requested accommodations are Deluxe Guest Rooms with a 21-square-foot balcony and fabulous ocean views of the Caribbean Sea and Laguna Nichupte. For clients traveling with family, opt for the Laguna or Méridien Suite, which have a separate living area and a connecting room. The 2,000-square-foot Presidential Suite has two beds, a Jacuzzi, TV room, separate living room and dining area and a large balcony that offers a panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea. Deluxe Ocean View Room at Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa afford spectacular views from their balconies

If you're sending a client, be sure to contact General Manager Jorge Herran ([email protected]). Book the rooms via fax, e-mail and phone via Director of Sales and Marketing Rocio Ballesteros ([email protected]).

With 15,000 square feet, Spa del Mar has 14 treatment rooms, saunas, Jacuzzis, cold plunge pools, an outdoor whirlpool with waterfall, hydrotherapy, a gymnasium and aerobic room with lessons twice a day. Receive the Beach Massage in the palapa (outdoor hut) or Moonlight Massage in the gazebo. The Spa features Elemis, Pevonia and Phytomer products. Book treatments via Simona Dumitru ([email protected]).

For dinner, Aioli serves authentic French cuisine and nearby open-air Mocambo restaurant (+52 998 883 0398) is known for its fresh Mexican seafood and beach views.

The winter season (especially December) and July are the busiest times at Le Méridien, so book 90 days ahead to secure a reservation.

Situated exclusively at the shore point known as Punta Cancun, Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa ( ) is the only resort in the Hotel Zone surrounded on three sides by the Caribbean. Guest rooms at Le Méridien Cancun Resort & Spa provide a light and airy tropical ambiance

Rooms With a View

All rooms come with a private balcony that overlooks the lagoon, ocean, beaches or gardens. For the best views of the ocean, book the Club Ocean Front rooms at the Dreams Club Tower, which have direct access to the Caribbean beach. Contact the sales department at [email protected] to book.

Families should request the Club Jacuzzi Master One Bedroom Suite, which is on the highest floor of the Club Tower. The charming suite not only has a living room, a dining room and a full bathroom with a Jacuzzi but also a private balcony from which clients can enjoy spectacular views of the Caribbean from the second Jacuzzi. The Presidential Suite features high marble ceilings, an inside fountain, bar, a spacious terrace with pool and a view of the Caribbean. If you're sending an important client, be sure to contact General Manager Mauricio Martinez ([email protected]). Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Junior Suites serve up additional space for relaxation

The spa has 10 treatment rooms, but it's still a good idea to book ahead via Spa Manager Patricia Navarro (+52-998-848-7000, ext. 7698, [email protected]). Request the Moon and Star treatment, or for kids, a Sunny Kids Massage or facial.

On site, guests devour traditional Mexican food at Paloma Bonita restaurant. For nearby off-site dining, try Puerto Madero (+52-998-885-2827), which offers a wide variety of seafood dishes and Argentinean-style prime cuts.

In walking distance from Dreams is Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach (, which is shielded from the open sea and attracts swimmers with its 328-yard beach of calm water and 219-yard heated free-form pool. The resort, which has hosted Salma Hayek and Will Smith, has three indoor tennis courts, and guests receive complimentary access to the nearby 18-hole Pok-ta-Pok Golf Club. For families, it's best to book Junior Ocean Front Suites, which have a living room and balcony facing the Caribbean Sea. Though all 602 guest suites have ocean views, the Corner and the Master Suites on each floor provide memorable panoramic ocean views.

On the 12th floor in each tower, the two Presidential Suites have a private reception area, two rooms, a living room, kitchen, ample terraces, a private pool and views of Cancun, Isla Mujeres and the Caribbean Sea. The Spa offers Germaine de Capuccini products and supervised handicrafts activities for children. For on-site dining, suggest the hotel's La Joya restaurant, which serves refined Mexican cuisine and folkloric shows. Nearby La Habichuela Caribbean Restaurant (+52-998-884-3158) is a hot spot for a romantic dinner. Deluxe room at Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa

On a white-sand beach between Nichupte Lagoon and the Caribbean Sea, the adults-only Le Blanc Spa Resort ( is an all-inclusive new resort where President George W. Bush has stayed.

Request Royal Honeymoon Suites: They have spacious floor plans. And for the best views, the block of the rooms ending in 00 to 17 are ocean front, boasting great sunrise vistas; those ending with 18 to 22 have bay and hotel zone views; and the rest ending in 24 to 32 have sunset front and bay views. Royal Presidential and Royal Governor suites are the largest. Resources

Le Blanc offers full-service butlers from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on every floor. Book the rooms via the reservation department (877-753-2526, [email protected]). Public Relations Manager Elizabeth Acosta ([email protected]) is the contact if you are sending important clients.

Although the 29,000-square-foot spa houses two dozen suites, it is still a good idea to book it upon arriving via Spa Director Cecilia Valenzuela ([email protected]). Request the Steam Vichy Rain Journey or the popular Qi 4 elements stone massage. AGENT ADVICE

Chief Concierge Aramis Sosa ([email protected]) and his team are good at accessing luxury vehicles and making tour arrangements.

For on-site dining, suggest Le Blanc Stage restaurant. For nearby dining, Cenacolo Restaurant (+52-998-885-3603) inside Kukulkan Plaza has excellent Italian food and wine.

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