|Vice President–Content/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero|
I’m just back from the Tianguis Turistico conference where Travel Agent hosted a roundtable of top executives to get the pulse on travel to Mexico. The following day, I presented the latest trends on selling to Millennials and the luxury market and then hosted another panel of experts who discussed how Mexico’s improving infrastructure is making it easier and easier to sell the destination. Watch for our feature on both of these events in a future issue.
I stayed at the Fairmont Mayakoba, where most of the accommodations are in casitas that look out into a jungle setting or onto a tropical inlet filled with exotic birds and plenty of marine life. This was my second stay at the resort and I say it’s still a home run. The service is at a very high level, and it’s a good pick for couples, families and business groups.
After Tianguis, I went to the new Grand Residences Riviera Cancun, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. The resort is beautiful; our suite, #128, was a Grand Master category with a large bedroom, living room, kitchen, laundry room and two bathrooms (the master had his-and-her sink areas and a whirlpool bath). The best part, however, was the outdoor living area, which had a private infinity pool, a Jacuzzi and three seating areas. The resort was built for multigenerational travelers. The Presidential Suite has four bedrooms; at 8,816 square feet, there’s more than enough room for 13 folks to spread out. Suite #128 is more than 1,800 square feet in size and easily sleeps five, more if you connect it to the adjoining Junior Suite.
Mexico’s tourism infrastructure is improving dramatically. The roads in the Quintana Roo area are new and in excellent shape and provide a good show of security for those who have concerns about driving in a new place. During our roundtable, Robert Whorral of Beach Bum Vacation, said of the country's hotel product: “It’s incredible how it’s changing. I would put a five-star EP up against a five-star all-inclusive any day.” He added that with so many new attractions, it’s not just about sending clients to an action park or a nightclub anymore; it’s about which action park and which nightclub to send them to, since there are so many options. Mexico is proving to be great for Millennial clients, said Mitch Toren of Trip Guy Travel, as they tend to be all about great cuisine and premium liquor brands, which many of the resorts there offer.
Personally, every time I go to Mexico I’m wowed by the beauty of the newest resorts, how the positioning of the expansive pool and dining areas are designed to take in the view of the ocean. My feelings were seconded by a couple we met at the Cancun International Airport on the way home. We were having quesadillas in Margaritaville when the newlyweds told us they’d just stayed for eight days at Secrets Maroma, where they’d visited for the third time. They’ve decided that’s where they’re always going to go because they feel it’s of such high quality and is always consistent. They were affluent and well-traveled; their next trip is a two-week safari to South Africa.
One last tip on the Riviera Maya—it’s not all about the new. I can’t wait to visit Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa; it’s a classic resort that draws celebrities who like to roll under the radar, and where dining on the beach at night by candlelight is to die for.