Mexico Hotels Meet Demand for Higher Luxury

Grand Velas Los Cabos

Luxury travel is in demand in Mexico, and vendors are more than happy to accommodate.

Jack E. Richards, president and CEO of Pleasant Holidays, tells Travel Agent what’s trending.  

“More upscale, upper upscale and luxury condos with room for everyone to breathe. Connecting rooms are important, too,” said Richards.

The Luxury Residences at Villa del Palmar Cancun, Grand Velas Los Cabos, Paradisus Los Cabos and The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun are especially popular, Richards noted.

Grand Velas Los Cabos opened in December 2016. It’s the third location for the luxury all inclusive brand pioneered by Velas Resorts. The 304-suite property lies midway between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. And, it’s already making its mark.

CNN named the Grand Velas’ flagship restaurant, Cocina de Autor, as one of the best new restaurants for 2017. It’s headed up by the Dutch chef Sidney Shutte, whose Amsterdam establishment has earned two Michelin stars. The restaurant serves a nightly tasting menu, with no à la carte options.

Frida offers the hotel’s modern take on Mexican cuisine, offering a tasting menu as well as à la carte dining. It’s front and center in the spotlight, thanks to a new menu item.

Frida's $25,000 taco with Kobe beef, Almas Beluga caviar, black truffle cheese and Ley.925 tequila on a gold flake-infused tortilla

An over-the-top taco for two is available at Frida for $25,0000.

The priciest taco in the world features langoustine, Kobe beef, Almas Beluga caviar and black truffle brie cheese. It’s doused with a decadent salsa of Morita chili peppers, Ley.925 ultra-premium añejo tequila and civet coffee. Holding it together is a gold flake-infused corn tortilla.

To accompany the taco, the restaurant offers a hand-crafted white gold and platinum bottle of Ley.925 Pasión Azteca Ultra Premium Añejo. It will add $150,000 to the dining tab.

Travel Agent spoke with Juan Vela, vice president of Velas Resorts, about the Grand Velas product.

“We attribute our success to the combination of the finest quality across the board, along with service and value. That applies to the cuisine and spa, the accommodations, activities or convention facilities. And let’s not forget the foodies and spa lovers, since our restaurants and spas are among the best in the world. The variety of gourmet restaurants, quality of the ingredients, creativity, presentation, and foodie experiences we offer are second to none,” Vela said.

As for the tony taco, guests must put down a $12,500 deposit with their order. And the hotel will work with them to create a special setting for marriage proposals.

Not that Velas properties are only concentrating on the romance market.

“We are constantly innovating for all of our family programs, especially during the peak family travel times,” said Vela.

At Pleasant Holidays, “Multigenerational travel is on the rise in Mexico, especially for summer with many resorts offering ‘Kids Stay and Eat Free’ promotions,” says Richards.

Even high-end travelers are interested in value. Properties offering special kid’s promotions include The Grand at Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort in Cancun. The newly-built property opened in March, with its sights set on luxury family travel.

The Grand at Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort

“The Grand is another segment of Moon Palace that has raised the luxury level to whole different tier,” Frank Corzo, vice president of U.S. field sales for Palace Resorts, tells Travel Agent.

He too cites factors that distinguish his brand.

“We’re known for providing the attention to detail that really makes a unique vacation experience," says Corzo. "It’s the amenities we offer, such as Chi toiletries. On the Le Blanc side, we provide L’Occitane and Bulgari, which take things to a whole different level. Certain room categories have Apple TVs, but we have smart TVs throughout our properties. We provide unlimited complimentary long distance phone calls to the U.S. and Canada. And, we don’t restrict free Wi-Fi to the lobby. We offer it everywhere on the property, so guests can use it while relaxing by the pool.”

Though they’ve not yet introduced a $25,000 taco, dining options at The Grand are designed for sophisticated palates of all ages.

“With cable TV and things like ‘Food Network,’ it’s really changed the scope of how families look at dining. When my son vacations at Moon Palace, he goes straight for the sushi,” said Corzo.

In addition to Palace Resorts, La Colección properties are also offering a Kids Stay and Eat Free promotion. The Grupo Posadas collection of beach resorts includes Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos, Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancún, Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta, Fiesta Americana Cozumel, The Explorean Cozumel and The Explorean Kohunlich.

Also in the “Kids Stay Free” mix is Oasis Hotels & Resorts’ all-inclusive Grand Oasis Palm in Cancun. The property earns consistently high marks for its 50,000 square feet of dedicated kids’ areas. Features include water slides, fountains and water trampolines; a separate kids beach club and kid-friendly restaurants.