This week marks the opening of Ventus at Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort Cancun Riviera Maya. The seventh El Cid Resorts property in Mexico is located between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It’s a sister property to Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort. Guests of each will have access to amenities at both hotels, according to Carlos Berdegué, president and CEO of El Cid Resorts.
“Ventus is within walking distance to Marina. Customers can live the all-inclusive experience of both. With Ventus, we made the decision to really punch up the family-friendliness aspect and the food and beverage aspect,” Berdegué tells Travel Agent.
On the dining side, one new concept at Ventus is called Mercado de Dolores. It’s a venue inspired by Spanish markets, offering seven different culinary options. And for fine dining, there’s Ile de France.
“For our French restaurant, we brought in a chef from France," says Berdegué. "He’s offering classical French cooking. That means the classics. You won’t see a lot of foams on the menu. You won’t have to go out for a hamburger afterwards, like you do at other places."
Accommodations at the 290-key Ventus range from 575-square-foot luxury double suites to three-bedroom suites. The latter are 2,854 square feet in size, with three bedrooms and four bathrooms. Platinum-level rooms feature a separate check-in lounge and butler service. Swim-up rooms are available in every category.
Additional amenities at Ventus at Marina El Cid include pools with kids only and adults-only areas, a kid’s and teen’s club, El Cocay Spa, a 2,088-square-foot fitness center, onsite marina and several wedding and event venues.
One important note, said Berdegué, is that clients booking Marina El Cid shouldn’t feel they’re at the “second-tier” property. Marina has been remodeled to have the same look and feel as Ventus.
Despite natural disasters and enhanced travel warnings, Mexico isn’t losing its luster, says Berdegué.
“The cold weather has already started in some places in the U.S. and Canada, which is where we get ninety percent of our business. We’re at ninety percent occupancy for both properties in November and December,” said Berdegué.
He adds, “There has been a lot of news about hurricanes in the Caribbean and earthquakes in Mexico. But, customers are really getting savvy. They know what’s important. They know that Mexico offers a place to disconnect, and that’s really what they want right now. There are so many things to see here, from the Mayan ruins to the beautiful reefs in the sea. They know the value of what Mexico has to offer,” said Berdegué.
Indeed. Mexico’s value — in the monetary sense — is in the news these days.
The Mexican peso is at its lowest point against the U.S. dollar in eight months. Jitters about trade talks and the future of NAFTA are blamed for the decline. But, it’s a win-win situation for the tourism industry.
At the 30th annual Cancun Travel Mart earlier this month, Mexico’s secretary of tourism Enrique de la Madrid shared the latest visitor numbers. To date, Mexico’s foreign visits exceed 26 million. That’s a 12 percent increase over the same period in 2016. Tourism-related goods and services are accounting for increasingly more of Mexico’s GDP, noted de la Madrid.
Guadalajara // Photo by camaralenta/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
With a stronger dollar, destinations known for shopping, dining and cultural attractions such as Guadalajara and Mexico City are particularly attractive. Both take on added vibrancy as the holiday season approaches.
Before the September 19 earthquake in Mexico City, tourism officials were promoting the idea of a “long weekend getaway” to the mega-capital. They cited the exchange rate as well as expanded airlift that makes travel to Mexico City easier than ever.
This fall, JetBlue added new flights to Mexico City from Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. And, Delta’s joint cooperation agreement with Aeromexico will increase seat capacity to the capital by ten percent by the end of the year.
If clients are still wary of residual earthquake damage, they shouldn’t be.
“Things are very much back to normal,” Antonio del Rosal, co-founder of adventure operator The Muddy Boot, tells Travel Agent. "The reconstruction is underway and now people visit the affected areas more as a way of paying respect and as a badge of honor. Earthquakes left a deep scar, but people have emerged with a new level of empathy for their neighbors and fellow citizens."