New Places, New Hotels in Mexico for 2018

Hotel groups in Mexico hit their stride in 2017, with ambitious plans in place for the new year. The country’s largest operator, Grupo Posadas, is one prime example: the company marked its 50th anniversary last year, it rebranded a dozen high-end resort properties under the La Colección portfolio, and it broke ground on some notable new properties as part of an ambitious expansion program.

“The goal of Posadas is to be operating 300 properties by 2020. We have lots of construction underway for the next few years, Rafael Lizarraga, commercial director for Hotelera Posadas, tells Travel Agent.

This year, Grupo Posadas will open the 135-room Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende. The property sits next to, and incorporates, an existing hacienda in the Santa María del Obraje area. The grounds include a cultural center, meeting space and—of course—spa and wellness facilities. It’s within walking distance to the plaza, galleries and restaurants that have made the UNESCO World Heritage Site a global go-to destination.

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“Live Aqua is the top brand from Grupo Posadas, and it fits in very well with the ambiance of our city. We’re very much looking forward to this new property, and welcoming visitors who may have experienced the Live Aqua concept in other settings," Guillermo Gonzalez, director of the San Miguel de Allende Tourism Board tells Travel Agent.

Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun

Grupo Posadas currently operates Live Aqua properties in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Mexico City and Monterrey.

Also in the works from Grupo Posadas is the 145-room Grand Fiesta Americana Oaxaca. The property broke ground in July 2017 near the popular El Llano Park.

Published reports indicate that construction will take approximately 18 months.

The Pacific coast enclave of Huatulco is also in the sights of Grupo Posadas.

“Huatulco is one of the destinations in which we have no presence,” he notes.

Karisma Hotels & Resorts is also expanding into new regions. Namely, Baja California’s increasingly popular wine country. This year brings an all-out push for El Cielo Vineyard, Villas and Spa by Karisma in the Valle de Guadalupe.

Photo by MarcPo/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

“It’s about an hour south from San Diego. We are building 30 two-bedroom villas there. You open the door of the balcony and you’re just in front of the vineyards of El Cielo, which means ‘heaven,’” Daniel Scheiman, Karisma’s senior business development manager for North America, tells us.

He describes the accommodations at El Cielo as “luxury, standalone villas with their own pool, Jacuzzi, living room, dining room and fireplace.”

The luxury villas are not all inclusive, but groceries are available at local markets, as well as wineries.

Karisma is positioning itself as a market leader with the winery concept.

“We really are the first ones to do something like this. Normally, when you go to Napa or Sonoma, you go to a winery, but you aren’t able to stay there.

We already have two villas in place at El Cielo. By the spring of 2018, we will have 28 more of them. We will also add an addition 83 hectares to the 38 we have planted now. The winery produces 15 different labels of wine with 14 different grapes. We’ve already earned awards at the Belgium World’s Fair of Wine. El Cielo is one of the best wineries in all of Mexico and we wanted to give our clients the experience of staying there,” said Scheiman.

The villas, he added, are especially well-suited for the destination wedding and family group vacation market.

“By 2019, we’re going to be building a standalone hotel over there,” he said.

Of course, there’s a few other high-profile debuts from Karisma set for 2019. In the lineup are Margaritaville, An All-Inclusive Experience, by Karisma in Riviera Maya and Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya.

“Nickelodeon will be located next to Generations Riviera Maya," said Scheiman. "All of the rooms will be ocean-front and connecting. All of them will either have a swim-up or infinity pool and two different bathrooms. One bathroom is for adults, the other for kids, regardless of which category of room you have. You’ll find the largest water park in the region. We have nine different slides and four different sections. It is for guests between two and 99 years of age. We can say that it will be a full Nickelodeon resort but without losing the ‘Gourmet Inclusive’ personality that we are known for."

He added, “One thing is for sure, with all of the diverse products that we have. We will always need the support of the travel agent community.”

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