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From Boutique to Business, Hotels Are Expanding in MexicoNovember 10, 2015 By: Ana Figueroa
From boutique to business, there’s hotel news for every market category in Mexico. And some properties are in a category all their own. Namely, Chable.
The Hamak Hotels project 25 minutes from Merida is set to open in June 2016. The restored hacienda will offer an experience different from other luxury hacienda stays.
“We’re keeping the essence of the hacienda. But the design is very contemporary and luxurious. Our research tells us that hacienda stays get boring by the second day. So, we decided that this project would be anchored by a spa,” Nicolas Dominguez, operations managing director of Hamak Hotels, tells Travel Agent.
Chable’s spa incorporates an actual Mayan cenote.
“There’s nothing else like it anywhere. It’s a pampering, luxurious spa. It won’t be the type of place where you’re only allowed to boring sip tea. That’s often the case with destination spas. They’re all about deprivation. But this will be very hedonistic,” said Dominguez.
In addition to indigenous Mayan treatments, Chable will incorporate other aspects of Mayan culture.
“We’ve created our own gardens to provide food for our guests. We want it to be healthy as well as flavorful. We’re using some Mayan cultivation techniques as well. Some of the fields have elevated beds that have no man-made materials at all,” said Dominguez.
JoAnn Kurtz-Ahlers is president of Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates. The company will represent Chable, and the property is already generating attention.
“I’m very excited. There hasn’t been a destination spa built for a very long time in that area,” Kurtz-Ahlers tells Travel Agent.
In addition to Chable, Hamak has additional projects in the works in Tulum and Puebla. In Tulum, the company is renovating a property with a unique history.
“It’s a mansion that was built in the 1980s by (Colombian drug lord) Pablo Escobar. It was seized by the government and purchased at auction. We’re remodeling the place. I can tell you that the name of the bar will be the “Esco-bar,” said Dominguez.
“We want to create properties that are daring in concept. For others it might be somewhat scary. But we want to be distinctive,” he adds.
Hilton Worldwide is traditionally more deliberate than daring. But they’re certainly distinguishing themselves with an ambitious expansion program in Latin America. The company will reach the 100-hotel milestone this year in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“There is a lot of activity in Mexico,” Tom Potter, senior vice president, Latin America and the Caribbean, tells Travel Agent.
New properties opened this year in Mexico include the Hilton San Luis Potosi; Hilton Garden Inn Monterrey Airport; Hampton Inn by Hilton Merida; Hampton Inn by Hilton Zacatecas; and Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Aguascalientes. Additionally, four new Hampton Inn by Hilton hotels will open by year’s end.
While targeting the international business traveler, the expansion is designed to attract family travelers as well.
“All of our brands are very convenient for families. In some cases we’ve remodeled the prototype for the region. Amenities are adjusted to local flavors and tastes. But there’s a lot of interest in our brands. We are fortunate enough to have both luxury and family properties being developed throughout Mexico,” said Potter.