All-inclusive resorts continue to be a popular vacation option and the competition amongst the growing number of brands means nobody is resting on their laurels. Here are some of the latest developments from several companies who are out to get you and your clients’ attention.
MAKING AN ‘IMPRESSION’: Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya has unveiled a new villa concept that caters to the healthy traveler. Entitled, “Impression,” the new collection marks the Zoëtry brand’s first resort-within-a-resort concept. Guests can choose from nine oceanfront rooms with private access and luxury amenities. Every suite includes dining rooms, terraces offering full sunset views, a plunge pool and an outdoor shower.
Good to know: Guests staying in one of the seven Butler Suites within the original Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita property will also have access to all the amenities available within Impression. Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita’s Endless Privileges program provides an elevated and personalized stay where everything is included. Wellness, gourmet meals, top-shelf spirits, fine wines, entertainment, and other luxury amenities are all covered in the room rate.
YOGA RETREAT AND MORE FROM KARISMA: For the last seven years, Sally Jane Smith, co-owner of the TravelSmiths travel agency, has partnered with her celebrity brother, wrestling legend and fitness instructor, Diamond Dallas Page, on a special set of fitness retreats at various Karisma Hotels & Resorts properties in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Now, for the first time, Smith is sharing a piece of the pie with every other agent looking to earn commission on a unique health and wellness offering at a beachfront resort in Mexico this July. Page’s DDP Yoga retreat will run from July 7 to 12 at the Gourmet Inclusive El Dorado Casitas Royale by Karisma.
In other Karisma news, several Azul properties have changed their names. Azul Beach Resort the Fives Playa Del Carmen is now The Fives Azul Beach Resort Playa Del Carmen, Azul Beach Resort Sensatori Jamaica becomes Azul Beach Resort Negril, and Azul Beach Resort Sensatori Mexico will henceforth be known as Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancun. Azul Beach Resort Riviera Maya remains as is.
A landmark partnership between Karisma Hotels & Resorts and Margaritaville Holdings will result in the development of a collection of all-inclusive Margaritaville resorts. The first will be in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, with construction planned for this year. Karisma will also be opening three hotels of its own in the Cap Cana resort area by 2019: a Semismart resort, an El Dorado Royale hotel and an El Dorado Casitas Royale, by Karisma.
CLUB MED ADDS AND UPGRADES: The Aguamarina family accommodations at Club Med Cancun Yucatan Resort will welcome an additional 60 rooms (30 Family Club rooms and 30 Family Deluxe rooms) by July, along with a new oceanfront pool. The renovation of all existing rooms across property was completed in December. Meanwhile, Club Med Turkoise in Turks and Caicos has been upgraded from a 3 Trident resort (the company’s own rating system) to a 4 Trident one, effective May 1. The additional Trident is a result of the resort’s recently unveiled renovations to the entire property combined with additional service enhancements planned for this summer. There are 80 all-new Deluxe-level rooms with added balconies.
PLANET GOING GLOBAL?: In an effort to expand Planet Hollywood on a global scale, the brand has signed an agreement with integrated travel company Sunwing Travel Group. The first two resorts to open as part of the venture will be in Central America and Mexico: Planet Hollywood Cancun and Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica. The former is scheduled to open in spring 2019 while the latter is slated to debut this fall. They mark Planet Hollywood’s first foray into the “in-demand, luxury all-inclusive” category.
The Amber Spa at Warwick Paradise Island – Bahamas has an exclusive couple’s suite with whirlpool spa.
SAVINGS FOR THEM, COMMISSION FOR YOU: The adults-only Warwick Paradise Island – Bahamas is offering travelers savings of up to 40 percent on nightly rates through the Paradise Spring Fever Savings promotion. The offer is valid on bookings made by June 15 with travel dates through December 31. All-inclusive rates offered as part of the promotion start at $190 per person double, per night. Rates quoted are based on bookings in an Island View room category and are subject to availability and blackout dates. Agents who book the Paradise Spring Fever Savings offer receive a 15 percent commission.
Guests booking a minimum of three nights receive a four-ounce Tortuga Rum cake and $30 per person credit for use toward Amber Spa’s full menu of massages, facials, skin care, nail and hair treatments (available for an additional charge). As part of the resort’s all-inclusive offerings, guests can partake of the “Cabbage Beach Picnic,” which takes guests to one of Paradise Island’s finest beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. Reserved spaces are limited to 36 guests per day and reservations should be made 24 hours in advance of the excursion at the reception desk.
MORE FOR PUNTA CANA: The Lopesan Group has announced it has begun the first phase of construction on a new all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The hotel, which is being built next to the IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa in the tourist area of Playa Bavaro, is slated to open on May 1, 2019. The project reportedly represents a total investment of $150 million. Plans call for more than 1,000 rooms; multiple swimming pools, including an infinity pool; a variety of restaurants; a spa; a casino and a nightclub, as well as several green spaces and aquatic environments.
PLAYA’S BIG PLAY IN JAMAICA: Playa Hotels & Resorts has entered a definitive agreement for a business combination with Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited whereby Sagicor will contribute to Playa a portfolio of five all-inclusive resorts and two adjacent oceanfront developable land sites on the north coast of Jamaica. The portfolio comprises four existing resorts — Hilton Rose Hall, Jewel Runaway Bay, Jewel Dunn’s River and Jewel Paradise Cove — as well as an 88-room hotel tower and spa, two developable land sites with a potential density of up to 700 rooms and a hotel management contract for the Jewel Grande Palmyra. The existing assets are currently managed by an external third-party operator and upon closing of the transaction, Playa will be able to immediately internalize and self-manage the assets.
Playa currently owns and operates the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall and Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall in Jamaica. This new business combination with Sagicor will make Playa one of the largest resort owners and operators in Jamaica — both in the total number of rooms and number of brands under management.
RIU LANDS IN ZANZIBAR: RIU Hotels & Resorts is expanding into Zanzibar with the launch of the Riu Palace Zanzibar. Formerly the Hideaway of Nungwi Resort & Spa, Riu has purchased the property from the Emerald hotel chain. The hotel will remain unchanged this year and, for the upcoming 2018–2019 winter season, will begin offering Riu’s adults-only, all-inclusive concept.
The beachfront Riu Palace Zanzibar, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, is on the northern tip of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago, less than an hour from the airport and capital, Zanzibar City. It has 102 rooms and suites, three restaurants, two bars, a full-service spa, a children’s club, conference rooms, a gym and a tennis court.
The addition of the Riu Palace Zanzibar marks the third Riu property in the Indian Ocean. The company also has resorts in Mauritius and Sri Lanka.