New airlift, branding and hotel expansion are bringing Mexico’s Caribbean landscape into focus. One property benefiting from the new airlift is Explorean Kohunlich Resort. Set amidst the Mayan jungle thirty minutes from Chetumal, it’s part of La Colección by Grupo Posadas.
A new MAYAir flight makes the resort more accessible to visitors. Travel time from Cancun to Chetumal is less than an hour (as opposed to a four-hour drive).
An airport pickup then delivers Explorean guests to the resort.
Not as well known as fellow La Colección brands such as Live Aqua, Explorean offers a distinctive concept.
“Our Kohunlich property has forty nature suites, and it sits in the middle of jungle. It’s all-inclusive and family oriented. It appeals to those who want to be in contact with nature,” Rafael Lizarraga, commercial director for Hotelera Posadas, tells Travel Agent.
The property emphasizes soft adventure and a range of daily activities. The large — and mostly unexcavated —— Mayan archaeological site of Kohunlich is nearby. Guests can kayak and ride catamarans in a lagoon. Bike rides are also encouraged.
“You can get as tired as you like. And you don’t need to worry on the bike rides. We have an air-conditioned van following you,” said Lizarraga.
The Kohunlich property is one of two under the Explorean brand. The other is located on Cozumel. Grupo Posadas is looking to open a third location on the Riviera Maya, said Lizarraga.
Meanwhile, a vintage tropical experience inspires another recently-announced deal. Playa Hotels & Resorts is partnering with the Panama Jack consumer brand. Playa owns and manages Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva Cancun, Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta and Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, among other properties.
The new agreement will rebrand Playa’s Gran Caribe Resort in Cancun and Gran Porto Resort in Playa del Carmen. The “reimagining” with Panama Jack will cover experiential dining, entertainment, in-room and retail concepts, among other things.
Kevin Froemming, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Playa Resorts Management explains the idea to Travel Agent.
"The Panama Jack brand has been built around the concept that Jack is a traveler, not a tourist and the new resort brand will continue to reflect this. The atmosphere will be casual yet friendly and attract generations that span Millennials to Boomers, with venues and details that are both vintage and eclectic.This also creates an easy to sell opportunity for agents. It’s delivering a fun, experiential product that resonates with guests giving agents another way to build on repeat bookings,” said Froemming.
At the far end of the Riviera Maya, Tulum continues to expand its own unique brand of tropical appeal. One high-profile (pardon the pun) example is the new Treehouse at the Papaya Playa Project.
Famous for its eco-conscious elegance, the Papaya Playa Project lies on a half-mile stretch of the Caribbean. A member of the Berlin-based Design Hotels group, it has 85 casitas and cabañas.
The property prides itself on sustainable design features such as palapa roofs, composite walls and bamboo window coverings. The resort offers yoga, tai chi and meditation sessions, as well as massages and other spa treatments. Beachside, there’s dining, cocktails and an amphitheater where guests can express themselves if they’re so inclined.
The newly-added Treehouse sits atop wooden stilts above the jungle floor. Like the surrounding casitas, it was built using locally-sourced materials and indigenous building techniques. It does, however come with modern creature comforts such as air conditioning.
Interiors feature recycled wood, simple furnishings and macramé accents. A balcony and windows offer panoramic views of the jungle and the sea.