Tourism officials, hoteliers and tour operators in Puerto Vallarta are uniformly thankful this week. Not many destinations can say they emerged relatively unscathed from a predicted catastrophe. But that’s what happened with Category 5 Hurricane Patricia that hit October 23.
Travel Agent spoke with Zachary Rabinor, director general and CEO of Journey Mexico. Rabinor is based in Puerto Vallarta and kept clients, travel partners and friends updated on social media over the weekend.
“South of us bore the brunt of the storm, but due to sparse population and well-executed evacuations and preparedness, no loss of life has been reported to date. We've been busy speaking to our partners along the coast south of us and will release an update soon,” Rabinor tells Travel Agent.
Puerto Vallarta-based Rocio Martinez Quintal, owner of event planner ConciergeOnline, also reports that things returned back to normal quickly.
“Guests were evacuated from hotels, but many came back that same night. We are very grateful. There was perfect coordination and team work among the authorities, locals, and media,” Martinez tells Travel Agent.
One high-profile resort did take a direct hit from Patricia. The hurricane made landfall on the coast of Jalisco state near Cuixmala. The massive estate between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo is home to the luxurious getaway of the same name.
Travel Agent spoke with Cuixmala spokesperson Wayne Hudson for an update.
“The best news is that there were no injuries. Our staff are all fine and everyone has been asking about the animals. The zebras, horses and we assume other wildlife seem to have made it through.
"Of course we received some damage as you would expect but for the most part it is superficial like tiles blown off some roofs and palapas falling over. The landscape has been thinned a bit.
"The team is already in the process of clearing fallen trees and broken branches. Plans are underway to make the necessary repairs.
"We plan to stay closed until mid December at which time Cuixmala will re-open with the same level of perfection that people have come to expect,” Hudson says.
On the tip of Baja California Sur, it’s been a year since another hurricane hit. This one was much more devastating.
Los Cabos endured widespread damage from 2014’s Hurricane Odile. A number of luxury properties took months to re-open. Some took the time to completely renovate. Others underwent management changes. Hotels numbers now exceed pre-Odile figures.
At the moment, Los Cabos is in the midst of a high-end building boom.
One of the most anticipated properties this year, Mar Adentro by Encanto opens December 1.
The hotel’s design is by renowned Mexican architect Miguel Angel Aragonés. Among its features: special tablets guests can use to customize room temperature, lighting and even order room service.
Mar Adentro and the lineup of properties in the pipeline will no doubt be hot topics at the ninth annual Los Cabos VIP Summit. Taking place November 18-22, the summit brings together 40 invited trade partners. Travel Agent will be there as well.