riviera maya - Travel World News


riviera maya - Travel World News



Splendor & Sports



Mr. Dario Flota, Director of the Riviera

Maya Tourism Promotion Board has

announced that Questex Media

Travel Group has selected the Riviera

Maya as host destination for the

Mexico Luxury Travel Expo, to be

held at the Aventura Spa Palace in the Riviera Maya

from June 22 to 24, 2006.

“Mexico has always been steeped

in luxury; however over the last

few years, the growth of the upscale

segment has warranted a

show dedicated specifically to the

Mexican luxury market,” remarked

John McMahon, Show

Director and Group Publisher,

Luxury Travel Portfolio, Questex

Media Group. “This will be an opportunity

for North American

travel agents to meet, in an intimate setting, with

Mexican upscale travel suppliers and experience the

beautiful Riviera Maya. Launching an international

show was a logical expansion of our already successful

Luxury Travel Expo product. We look forward to presenting

this new and exciting opportunity to advisors

and suppliers alike.”

Mexico Luxury Travel Expo will provide an educational

program for high-end travel agents, as well as a

trade show comprised of Mexican luxury travel suppliers

including hotels, resorts, spa, golf, haciendas, regions

and transportation companies.

Over 300 U.S. travel agents who specialize in luxury

and desire more opportunities for their upscale clientele

will attend the event. Other exciting happenings

planned for Mexico Luxury Travel Expo include

evening receptions, networking opportunities, cocktails,

and VIP lounges.

"The Riviera Maya Tourism Promotion Board and

Questex have agreed to closely cooperate and partner to

ensure that only the highest level of professionalism will

exist for the new luxury trade fair," said Mr. Flota. “We

are delighted to work with our new partner, Questex

Media, which brings a wealth of expertise to help us realize

Mexico Luxury Travel Expo, which will be the first

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The Riviera Maya to Host Luxury Travel

Show in 2006 and PGA Tour

Championship in 2007

The Riviera Maya Tourism Promotion Board aims to strengthen the area’s

position as a leading luxury destination.


By Jennifer M. Lane

Relax, revitalize and restore mind, body and soul at the Aventura Spa

Palace in the Riviera Maya.

trade fair for the luxury travel industry in Riviera Maya

and in Mexico.”

The Riviera Maya Tourism Promotion Board’s

international marketing aim is to strengthen the

Riviera Maya’s position as a leading luxury destination.

“We want to become the No. 1 (reference for the

industry) in Mexico and the Caribbean," said Flota.

Mexico Luxury Travel Expo

Questex Media Group will organize Mexico Luxury

Travel Expo, in conjunction with the Mexico Tourism





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Board, and Riviera Maya Tourism Promotion Board.

Questex Media is the organizer of Luxury Travel Expo

Las Vegas. The exhibition and educational program will

be held at the Aventura Spa Palace hotel, a 50 minute

drive from the Cancún Airport and is ideally positioned

in the heart of the beautiful Riviera Maya.

Riviera Maya to Host Mexico’s First

PGA Tour Event

Riviera Maya Tourist Board also announced that the

destination has been selected to host the first ever official

PGA TOUR event to be held in Mexico, the

Mayakoba Classic, from February 19-25, 2007.

The tournament will be contested on the 7,067-yard

El Camaleon course at the Mayakoba Resort, the first

Greg Norman designed golf course in Mexico. Managed

by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, the course is a par-72

layout spread across a fascinating mix of scenery that

includes jungle, dense mangrove and oceanfront holes

bisected by limestone canals. The tournament will offer

a purse of $3.5 million.

The field will consist of 132 players and the winner

will take home $630,000.

“We are very honored and pleased that the PGA

TOUR has chosen Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, to host

the first-ever official PGA TOUR tournament in

Mexico,” said Lic. Felix Gonzalez Canto, Governor of

Quintana Roo, Mexico. “The event will give us a perfect

opportunity to highlight not only the beauty of the

region, but also our golf courses, since the sport of golf

is a growing and important component of our overall

tourism product.

Also, we have an excellent hotel infrastructure in place

to readily accommodate such a large and prestigious


“The PGA TOUR is very excited about making golf

history in Mexico,” added PGA TOUR Commissioner

Timothy W. Finchem. “One of our goals is to expand

the reach of golf and the Riviera Maya region of Mexico

has demonstrated a growing passion for the sport. We

are pleased to be able to showcase our players to the destination,

and in turn showcase the destination to the


The Mayakoba Resort features five hotels along with

luxury villas, pristine beaches, spas, golf course and

restaurants, all on a property offering a very diverse


The PGA TOUR is a tax-exempt membership

organization of professional golfers. Its primary

purpose is to provide competitive earnings

opportunities for past, current and future members of

the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide

Tour; to protect the integrity of the game; and to

The Aventura Spa Palace is the ultimate in luxury.

help grow the reach of the game in the U.S. and around

the world.

Mexico Tourism Board

The Mexico Tourism Board is a company of Majority

State Participation, whose objective the design and operation

of the strategies of tourist promotion at national

and international levels.

The Riviera Maya

The 81 mile stretch known as the Riviera Maya is situated

in the Mexican Caribbean on the coastline of the

Yucatan Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo,


Beginning 11 miles south of the Cancun International

Airport in Puerto Morelos, the Riviera Maya extends to

Felipe Carrillo Puerto, a small town near the Sian

Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

The region features uncrowded beaches, a vast

network of underground rivers, over 100 cenotes,

the action of eco-adventure sports including

kayaking, mountain biking, scuba diving, snorkeling,

trekking, bird watching and deep sea fishing, proximity

to many of Mexico's most significant Mayan archeological

sites, the varied activities of the eco-archeological

parks, plus golf courses, shopping, gourmet dining and

a range of accommodations to suit every lifestyle

and budget.

The Riviera Maya, 877-7GO MAYA, info@riviera

maya.com, www.rivieramaya.com; Mexico Tourism Board,





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Cancun, the Riviera Maya and ‘Q.Roo’

Eye a Quick Post-Hurricane Comeback

By Michael Iachetta

There’s no business

like no business

which is why the

Mexican state of

Quintana Roo is in

show business, trying

to show the tourism world that

the area stretching from Cancun to

the Riviera Maya and beyond is

alive, well and open for business in

the wake of devastating hurricanes

named Emily and Wilma.

“But perception is the reality, and

the perception is that the area is

still reeling from the after-effects of

the late summer and fall hurricanes,

which isn’t the case at all,” said

Lizzie Cole Guerrero. SEDETUR

Director of Promotion for Quintana

Roo, henceforth Q.Roo.

In an exclusive interview with

Travel World News during a recent

fact-finding trip to Cancun and the

Maya Riviera, Lizzie gave the following

upbeat professional analysis

of ongoing area recovery efforts

since relatively mild Emily hit in

mid-summer followed by the more

horrendous Wilma in late October.

“Of the 24,000-plus rooms in

Cancun, around 12,000 are already

available with at least 12 major hotels

in full operation, with more hotels

opening every day – around12

in February alone, and three more

scheduled for March. And most of

the 48 major hotels in the megabeach

resort are scheduled to be

open by the summer,” she said.

“A multi-million dollar sand

restoration project is underway to

restore Cancun’s beaches to their

former splendor, with special machines

from Belgium pumping up

the sand. Ironically, the hurricanes

enhanced the sand beaches in and

around nearby Playa del Carmen in

the area known as the Maya Riviera.

Local officials and media watch as the first shot of sand is pumped back into Cancun’s beaches.

“New resorts and golf courses are

springing up all around us, with ten

scheduled to open in the next two

years in and around Playa del

Carmen, which has been experiencing

phenomenal growth with more

than 20,000 hotel rooms becoming

available in just the past five years

“ And the lure of ancient cultures

in all directions –the Maya ruins at

Tulum, Cozumel, Coba and

Chichen Itza, among them -- is still

intact, as are the ecologically oriented

theme parks such as Xel-Ha

and Xcaret.”

Here there is a slight pause, almost

as though Lizzie is trying to see in

her mind what she is about to say

next. “We also have the world’s second

longest barrier reef (after

Northern Queensland’s Great

Barrier Reef in Australia),” she

says. “Also the famous cenotes (natural

wells leading to underwater

rivers making up the largest underwater

river system of its kind in the

world), one of the world’s top five

diving sites in Cozumel, great deep

water fishing and beaches, and in

Cozumel alone, a dozen malls with

name-brand and duty free shops,

more than 350 restaurants and

nightclubs. 24,000 plus hotels

rooms, and more.

“ In brief, we have everything

going for us, except for tourists,”

she says. “At least nowhere near the

number of tourists we are used to.”

As Lizzie talks, musicians plays,

tequila washes down tortillas and

optimism brims over all around her

in Playa del Carmen, where the hurricanes

have redistributed the sand

to the point where the beaches are

better than ever..

Lizzie a tourism veteran of more

than 25 years with experience rang-




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ing from travel agencies to tour operators

to convention planning prior

prior to joining Q.Roo as promotional

czarina – mentions that the

first Mandarin Oriental a la carte

all-inclusive resort will be opening

in mid-February right down the

road, as will an upscale Rosewood


She also said around 40 of the 48

major Riviera Maya resort hotels are

open as are about 17 of the 22 major

properties on Cozumel. The Four

Seasons is eyeing property on the

Isla de Mujueres. And seven to ten

golf courses are scheduled to open in

the area within the next two years.

“Ironically, Q. Roo was well on its

way to a record year of $4billion

plus in tourism revenue and more

than three million tourists in

Cancun alone when the hurricanes

struck,” she says. “Now room stays

are way down, which means the

room tax is down, which means

there is no revenue for a promotion

budget to get the word out that

Q.Roo is alive and well in and

around Cancun, Playa del Carmen,

Cozumel and the Maya Riviera.

“We are doing everything in our

power to get that message across to

consumers as well as the travel industry,”

she said, mentioning,

among other things:

The rescheduled Cancun Tourism

Institute (originally planned for just

before Wilma struck in late October

last year) in early January designed

to show around 200 major buyers

and about 80 top-notch tour operators

that Cancun is operational.

Alsos a major three-day media informational

conference in mid-January

showcasing the area’s recovery efforts

with on site inspection visits as

well as briefings.

Other attempts to showcase Q.Roo

post-hurricane range from stepped

up media and travel agent FAM

trips to a computer training program

designed to make qualified

travel agents into Q.Roo experts.

A few nights later, Lizzie’s SEDE-

TUR colleague Javier Arana

Pedrero, Q.Roo undersecretary of

tourism, was saying essentially the

same thing at another Playa del

Carmen restaurant as he described

how far Cancun has come since the

days when Mexican tourism computer

planners mapped out the area

as an up-and-coming tourism destination

site in 1974 in the days

when the area was little more than

sand, ocean and jungle.

That same kind of vision, tourism

savvy and the ability to get things

done no matter what led to Cancun

and the surrounding area growing

from a computer- planning blip to a

world-class destination that is actually

an island, a 14-mile sliver of

land connected by two bridges and

separated from it by the Nichupte


During a recent Cancun inspection

visit, hotel construction and reconstruction

seemed to be going on

up and down Tulum Avenue and

along Highway 307 stretching

down the coast from Cancun virtually

all the way to Chetumal. Cranes

of the mechanical variety swayed

virtually ‘round the clock as the ongoing

facelift continued at record

pace. The beach was coming back,

sand and landscaping was being replaced,

the highways were being

smoothed between the airport and

the various Q.Roo destinations and

the “golden snake” – which is what

Cancun means in Mayan – seemed

well on its way to making Q.Roo

once again a pre-hurricane Garden

of Eden.

All of which this Travel World

News contributing editor observed

first hand during a recent fact-finding

trip there thanks to the Lizzies

and Javiers trying to get the word

out that the area is alive, well, ready,

willing and able to provide memorable

vacations for those willing to

live the moment and see and experience

for themselves what the area

has to offer, without any pre-conceived

notions about the lingering

aftereffects of the hurricanes.

Cancun, www.cancunmx.com, www.

cancun.info; www.cancun.com, www.

go2cancun.com, www.mexicoweb.




Isla Mujeres is located in the northeastern

part of Mexico in Quintana Roo, in front of

the Cancun coast.The attractions of the island

include El Garrafon National Park, the legendary

hacienda of Pirate Mundaca, the

Sleeping Sharks Cave for divers, the reefs of

Farito, Punta Norte, and the unique

Manchones. Guests can also visit the turtle

farm, watch the dolphins show, and see the

Mayan temple.

The best hotels of Isla Mujeres form HIM

(Hoteles Isla Mujeres Caribe Mexicano), and

each one of them offers its guests all the comfort

they need for their vacation, including

clean and comfortable facilities and first class


To get to Isla Mujeres, travelers must first

got to Cancun and from there are three

options: by car from Punta Sam there is a

ferry service that take 45 minutes; by boat

in air conditioned fast boast that leave

from Puerto Juarez every 30 minutes and take

15 minutes to get to the island: or different

boats leave from Playa Linda or Playa Tortugas


Once on the island, a variety of cuisine

awaits guests.Buho’s Swing Bar is a restaurant

by the sea, offering international cuisine prepared

with Caribbean passion. Located next

to Cabanas Maria del Mar Hotel, there is a casual

and fun bar next door. Casa Rolandi features

Swiss and Northern-Italian cuisine in a

romantic and elegant atmosphere with an

oceanside bar next door. It is located in Villa

Rolandi Gourmet & Beach Club Hotel.

Pinguinos Bar-Café offers grilled meat and

seafood as their specialties. With an oceanview,

they are located in the Posada del Mar

Hotel. Zazil-Ha boasts an authentic Maya atmosphere

with unique Mayan and vegetarian

specialties. There is live music on Fridays and

Saturdays. They are located in the Na Balam


HIM (Hotels Isla Mujeres Caribe Mexicano),




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The doors at the Five-Diamond Paraiso de la Bonita Resort and

Thalasso are set to re-open March 31, 2006.It has been five months since

the resort closed for renovations in October 2005.New developments include

the creation of ‘Sikil’- a terrace bar adjacent to Kaax Restaurant, a

redesigned ‘Chiringuito Beachside Grill,’ design upgrades to each of the

luxury suites and the addition of a new, romantic,‘made for two’ treatment

room in the property’s signature Thalasso Center.

According to resort architect and owner Mr.Carlos Gosselin,“We are the

only Five-Diamond resort in the Riviera Maya. We decided to make improvements

and enhancements to the property that will add to the quality

of vacations our clients expect and the level of service for which we

are known.We will re-open our doors on March 31st better than ever.”

To celebrate the highly anticipated un-veiling, Paraiso de la Bonita is

offering One Free Night with a minimum of a five night stay. This special

offer includes: accommodations in a luxury, ocean view, one-bedroom

suite; a sunset cruise on the property’s catamaran; complimentary round

trip transfers to and from Cancun airport in a Lincoln Navigator; complimentary

continental breakfast and daily afternoon tea; complimentary

transportation to the fishing village of Puerto Morelos; complimentary

use of the tennis courts; and complimentary use of the Thalasso facilities

including the sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and 24-hour gymnasium. Offer

valid from March 31-April 30, 2006.

Paraiso de la Bonita Resort, www.paraisodelabonita.com


Continuing its steady expansion to the premier leisure destinations in

Mexico, beginning June 3, 2006, Delta will enhance its roster of gateways

to Cancun with the addition of Saturday service from Boston's Logan

International Airport and Washington's Dulles International Airport, subject

to Mexican government approvals.Delta will operate the new service

to Cancun using the 150-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft,featuring both First

and Economy Class cabins.

"Cancun is one of the world's near-perfect leisure destinations providing

visitors abundant recreational,historic and architectural interests and

activities," said James Sarvis, Director-Latin America & Caribbean Region.

"This summer's additional flights from Boston and Washington to

Mexico's world-renowned Yucatan Peninsula region are one more example

of how Delta is giving its customers convenient access to more of

Mexico's most popular vacation hot spots."

Last fall Delta announced the largest expansion into Mexico in the airline's

history.Between February and June 2006,in addition to its new service

to Cancun from Boston and Washington-Dulles, Delta plans to offer

customers flights on 12 new non-stop routes from its hubs in Atlanta,

Cincinnati, New York-JFK and Salt Lake City, as well as service from Los


In December 2005, Delta preceded its most recent growth into Mexico

with new service between Atlanta and Puerto Vallarta, another flight

each between Atlanta and Guadalajara (a total of two daily) and Mexico

City (a total of three daily), as well as a third flight that will operate seasonally

between Atlanta and Monterrey. Delta also is seeking DOT approval

to serve three additional routes by summer 2006: New York-JFK to

Cancun, and Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos.

Delta Air Lines, delta.com



The New Year heralds a new beginning for Mexico’s number one tourist

destination as efforts to rebuild and repair following hurricane Wilma

progress steadily and a stream of visitors continue arriving on its shores.

Foremost among Cancun’s renewal and restoration projects is the recovery

of nine miles of beach that experienced varying degrees of erosion

as a result of the hurricane.The project is centered primarily on the southernmost

stretch of the city’s famous hotel strip.

Visitors are, however, assured that the majority of Cancun’s beaches are

in fact accessible and open to all.Much of the dredging involved in the recovery

project will take place approximately 600 feet from the shore and

will not disturb bathers.

“We are excited to see the beach restoration underway, but most importantly,

we are thrilled to see Cancun returning to its old self –

sparkling, vibrant and energized,” said Artemio Santos Santos, Executive

Director of the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).“We will

soon move from restoration and renovation work back to ongoing projects

of expansion and enhancement that will make Cancun more alluring

than ever.”Signs that life is returning to normal in this Caribbean resort

city abound: many marinas and snorkeling and scuba companies are

operating as normal; an everyday greater number of hotels, clubs, restaurants

and attractions have reopened; new palm trees have been planted;

patches of greenery are sprouting throughout the Hotel Zone; and much

of the heavy machinery used to repair hotels and other infrastructure has

been removed.The $20.33 million beach recovery project was kicked off

on January 16, 2006, and is expected to be completed by April 30, 2006.

In addition, as of February 3, American Airlines will resume all flights to

Cancun. Construction has also begun on the second runway and a third

terminal at the Cancun airport.Among other future enhancements

planned for Cancun once immediate post-hurricane needs are taken care

of are new gardens and sidewalks for the hotel strip’s main thoroughfare,

Kukulkan Boulevard; a new park designed to conserve 2.5 million acres of

land that will house a zoo and a botanical garden among other attractions;

and a bridge designed to alleviate traffic along Kukulkan.

Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau, www.cancun.info



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This winter, escape to the newly renovated

Breezes Montego Bay.

“Breezes Montego Bay offers unbeatably affordable

vacation getaways without compromising

on quality,” said John Issa, Executive

Chairman of Breezes Montego Bay’s parent

company, SuperClubs Resorts. “Located on

MoBay’s hip Doctor’s Cove beach, the beach

that made Jamaica famous, our piece of tropical

heaven is an effective antidote for the winter


Vacationers eager to take advantage of the

new and improved Breezes can reserve a spot

saving more than 40 percent off rack rates

Toll Free US & Canada

800.532.8536 or 800.804.950.2862

All Other Locations: 604.519.8630


with all-inclusive packages from $149 per

person, per night, for travel through April 16,

2006 (based on double occupancy; landonly).

All of the resort’s 124 air-conditioned guest

rooms and suites have been rejuvenated.

Guests in oceanfront suites can unwind on

new leather sofas, while the soundproofed

sliding balcony doors can be opened to let in

the sounds of the ocean.

A key refurbishment is evident in the complete

overhaul of the resort’s trademarked

rooftop Jacuzzi, a favorite site for guests. Two

of the resort's popular restaurants have also

been upgraded. Jimmy's Buffet, the air-conditioned

main dining room, has been spruced

up with colorful interior furnishings, while the

covered Terrace has been refurnished and

pool deck resurfaced. Meanwhile,the Pool Bar

and Grill has been re-tiled. Guests looking to

work off some of their vacation dining can put

themselves through the paces on the new

and upgraded equipment in the resort’s onsite


Breezes Montego Bay, www.breezes.com;

SuperClubs, 800 GO SUPER (800-467-8737),




The Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya and the

Grand Sirenis Mayan Beach are the firsts of a

four hotel complex, situated on the Mayan

Rivera, 20 miles from Playa del Carmen, and

one hour from the airport at Cancun. The

property has several Mayan Ruins, “cenotes”

two natural wonders, and five beaches.

The hotels have 500 and 450 twin rooms all

with Jacuzzi. All the rooms have independent

air conditioning, ceiling fan, private bath,

satellite TV, minibar, safety deposit box and

private furnished balcony.

Facilities include public areas; indoor and

outdoor lounges; air-conditioned buffet

restaurant; seven “à la carte” air conditioned

theme restaurants; a gourmet French

Restaurant; snack-bar; bars; a free form swimming

pool; separate children’s pools; sun terraces;

entertainment area; mini club (4-12

yrs); game area for children; meeting facilities;

internet access; mini-market and shops; and

medical center.

Sports and activities include a gymnasium;

table tennis; darts; tennis courts; tennis

lessons; beach volleyball; and beach football.

Water sports include canoes; windsurfing;

snorkeling; catamaran; diving center for deepsea

diving (PADI center) and other motorized

water sports and excursions are available. Day

and evening entertainment; dancing lessons

and a wide variety of shows are also offered.

All inclusive rates include buffet meals,

house wine, a-la-carte themed dinners, one

Gala Dinner, snacks and bar, domestic and selected

international premium liquors and soft

drinks, free pool towel service, non-motorized

water sports, tennis, gymnasium, pool aerobics,

introductory diving lesson, concierge,

and room service.

Honeymooners receive a basket of fruit, bottle

of sparkling wine and tequila, romantic

dinner, superior room category, surprise gift,

and one Wedding breakfast.

Their Children’s Clubs cater to all ages and

feature a ?7-day program offering varied daily

activities. There are up to five hours activities

every day, a weekly show with participation of

the children, gift pack, supervised children’s

lunches and evening meals, and a children’s


Grand Sirenis Resort Riviera Maya,

comercial@sirenishotels.com, sirenishotels.




The Reef Playacar Hotel underwent a renovation

during the last few months of 2005 to

upgrade the hotel into a 5-star all inclusive

boutique style hotel. The hotel now offers

guests even more personalized service and

dining and drinking options. They offer a

lounge bar overlooking the sea with relaxing

music and top shelf drinks.

For an afternoon coffee with some ice

cream, guests can enjoy the ice cream parlor

facing their natural “cenote.” At night, they

offer two very exclusive a la carte restaurants,

a Mexican Grill and one featuring Italian cuisine.

Guests can enjoy spa services directly on

the beach and enjoy live music in the different

bars at night. The Reef Playacar is the hotel to

feel at home and welcome at, with great service

and many options to entertain, relax and

enjoy gourmet food.

The Reef Playacar Hotel,

r e s e r v a t i o n s @ t h e r e e f p l a y a c a r . c o m ,




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Update on Dominican Republic Resorts

Renovation time is all the time.

By D. O. Christian Rieger IV

The small, beachhugging,



town of Cabarete,

on the Dominican

Republic's north

coast, is becoming increasing popular.

It is a small-town resort that cannot

become big and spoiled because it

is on a five-block long, one-and-a-half

block wide narrow strip of land between

Cabarete Bay and a wilderness-protected

lagoon. It is more

than a lagoon, it is a cross between a

rain forest and the Everglades - with

trails and caves to explore.

According to Claudia and Frank

Schwarz, the owner/managers of

Villa Taina, "Cabarete has changed

quite a lot, even in the last year. It is

becoming a more hip destination

than ever. Lodging gets more sophisticated

and there is a new top of the

notch Sushi restaurant. There are

160 new apartments in a new residential

area called Ocean Dream,

next to Hotel Caracol, one of the kite

surfing centers of this kite surfing

and wind surfing Mecca. The next

kite surf world cup is taking place in

Cabarete from June 6th through

June 11th."

Villa Taina, the small hotel, with a

five star personality, has boosted

Oceanside at the Villa Taina, Cabarete,

Dominican Republic.

small, affordable hotels into another

category. Had it been almost anywhere

other than in Cabarete, already

they would have been a highend,

expensive boutique hotel. But

its rates remain reasonable even

though Cabarete's tourism has


It is right on the beach with an intimate

bar and restaurant terrace.

Breakfast is included in all the rates,

now so is free Internet in all the

rooms, as well as the computer in the

lobby for vacationers who do not

want to trek a work-related laptop


with them.This year sees the addition

of two penthouse suites, for a

total of three. They each have an awesome

view of Cabarete bay and an

enormous private penthouse sun


They also opened a small day-spa,

massage center, the Tranquil

Massage Center. It offers five different

types of massages and a program

to spoil the guests: facials, manicure,

and pedicures by its professional day

spa therapists.The mini-resort now

has 57 units, up from its former 53.

But they are important additions.

There are now three penthouse, 17

spacious comfort rooms, on apartment

with an ocean view, one

Comfort Deluxe Studio with kitchenette,

and 35 Standard rooms. Also

new this year is a small, air conditioned

conference facility for 10-12


Winter rates, to the end of

April, range from an unbelievably

low of $87for garden-view rooms,

up to $145 for the suites.

Unbelievably, because they are clean,

airy, bright, have good beds and

many of the rooms include ocean

views. The rate includes breakfast

and tax. The small and intimate

Villa Taina offers agents a 12 %



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TRAVEL IMPRESSIONS 800-284-0044 631-845-8000 Fax: 631-845-8095

US AIRWAYS VACATIONS 800-455-0123 407-857-8533 Fax: 407-857-9764

For Additional Information, Call: 800/582-6208 • 212/535-1234 or Fax 212/734-6511 • email info@stkittstourism.kn • www.stkitts-tourism.com



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commission for any bookings.

Grupo Piñero Hotels

By the end of the 2006-2007 winter

season , Grupo Piñero will inaugurate

four luxury hotel complexes in

Bahía de Samaná, also on the north

shore. Under their Bahía Príncipe

brand are the Gran Bahía Príncipe

Cayo Levantado (grand luxury five

star), Gran Bahía Príncipe Cayacoa

(five star), Gran Bahía Príncipe

Samaná (five star) and Gran Bahía

Príncipe El Portillo (five star).

The first three hotels are located between

Bahía de Samaná and Bahía

Escocesa, two of what management

believes to be the most beautiful locations

in the world because of their

great natural appeal. It is one of the

places where vacationers can catch

sight of the famous humpbacked

whales that mate in these waters

from December to March.

The hotel Gran Bahía Príncipe

Cayo Levantado will have 191

rooms, including superior junior

suites located in 12 villas with 8 bedrooms;

Villas Playa rooms, located

right next to the beach and with an

outdoor jacuzzi on the porches overlooking

the sea, and standard rooms.

Optional butler service is available

for all suites. This establishment will

have four restaurants, four bars, two

tennis courts, a paddle tennis court

and a heliport.

Gran Bahía Príncipe Cayacoa will

have around 223 rooms, including

junior suites with sea views, suites

with sea views and standard rooms.

The hotel also has two panoramic elevators

to access the beach.

The Gran Bahía Príncipe Samaná,

located opposite the island of Cayo

Levantado, will have around 103

rooms with all the services and facilities

people now expect from Bahía

Príncipe Clubs & Resorts.

The chain currently has two hotel

complexes in the Dominican

Republic: Bahía Príncipe San Juan,

at Playa Grande, in the north of the

country and Gran Bahía Príncipe

Bávaro Resort, in the east, which includes

two five-star hotels (Gran

Bahía Príncipe Punta Cana and Gran

Bahía Príncipe Bávaro).

Extensive Refurbishing at Lifestyle

Hacienda ResortsLifestyle Hacienda

Resorts, formerly Hacienda Resorts,

announced a multi-million renovation

at their well-known properties

Lifestyle Vitalis Garden Club,

Tropical Beach Resort & Spa,

CrownResidence Suites, and Crown


All four Lifestyle hotels enjoy a

unique location of nearly 250 acres

at Cofresi Beach, with lush vegetation,

a mile of sandy beach, and surrounded

by mountain ranges gently

sloping to the ocean, and it just a

short distance from Ocean World

Adventure Park.

Herbert Schoderboeck, CEO and

partner of the recently founded

Lifestyle Hacienda Resorts, announced

that $5.7 million are being

invested in this first stage.

The extensive renovations include

all the rooms, redecoration in a colonial

contemporary style. There are

new restaurants and bars like the

Caribbean Seafood and Grill, a Tex-

Mex restaurant, and completion of a

full service spa. Also, a new beach

club and a helicopter pad have been


"For this winter season we are offering

our guests, fresh, stylish and elegant

rooms, a superb cuisine and the

most attentive and experienced staff

available in the area," said

Schoderboeck, "but best of all,

Lifestyle Hacienda Resorts is ready

to offer every possible amenity in a

very comprehensive 24 hour, all-inclusive

program with more ways to

enjoy the good life."

Remodelling at Ocean Bavaro Spa

& Beach ResortOcean Hotels by H10

& Hodelpa has introduced new facilities

and services at Ocean Bavaro Spa

& Beach Resort and Ocean Cana

Beach Club. When they are all finished,

this complex will boast 120

spacious refurbished rooms, luxuriously

decorated, each with A/C, balcony

and marble bathroom.

Management says, "To welcome

guests the way they deserve, the

lobby area has been expanded, adding

a lobby bar. Also new, is the convention

center which offers beautiful facilities

and a highly professional and

trained staff. They have group packages

available for corporate incentives,

meetings, reunions, and all

types of banquets."The new facilities

also highlight a modern sports bar

designed from the ground up for

sport fans, a coffee shop to enjoy savory

teas and coffees, and an large

casino where you can try your luck.

Villa Taina, 877-584-5053,

info@villataina.com, www.villataina.com;

Grupo Piñero Hotels,


www.bahia-principe.com; Lifestyle

Hacienda Resorts, 809-586-1227;

Ocean Hotels & Resorts, www.oceanhotels.net



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The newest luxury boutique resort to open on the Gold Coast of the

Dominican Republic, Sivory Punta Cana celebrates its grand opening by

offering year-long package deals that include up to 40 percent in savings

on suite rates and deluxe amenities.Packages are available now through

December 21, 2006.

Situated on a private beach, this 5-star luxury property features 55

suites, with most offering ocean views and personal plunge pools. All

suites offer a separate living area with surround-sound plasma screen

televisions with satellite channels, CD and DVD players, complimentary

mini-bar, and a wine cooler stocked with a sampling of the Wine Cellar


The “Good Life Package” is designed to offer guests a taste of a lavish

lifestyle with three-night deluxe accommodations and a host of superior

amenities.“The Good Life Package”includes:

three nights in a Deluxe Junior Suite; private ground transportation to

and from Punta Cana International Airport; private check-in; daily breakfast;

daily selection of house wines in each suite; one premium cigar box

of Arturo Fuentes per room;55-minute aromatherapy treatment per person/per

stay at the hotel’s Aquarea Spa & Wellness Center; and one

gourmet dinner for two. Packages start at $1,595.

The “Caribbean Romance Package” is designed for couples seeking a

getaway to a tropical paradise.This three-night packageincludes special

guest services and amenities for both to enjoy. The

“Caribbean Romance Package”includes:three nights in a Deluxe Jr.Suite,

ocean view; private ground transportation to

and from Punta Cana International Airport; private check-in; daily

American breakfast, including one breakfast served in bed; caviar hors

d’oeuvres and a bottle of Champagne upon arrival; one couple treatment

per stay at Aquarea Spa & Wellness Center; one candle lit dinner on

the beach for two, with selected premium wine; daily bed turn down

with chocolate dipped fruit; and a 10 percent discount on all further spa

treatments. Packages start at $1,858.

Sivory Punta Cana, 809-552-0500, privateentrancec@aol.com,

www.sivorypuntacana. com



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Sara Matera, a

hospitality and

restaurant industry

veteran with experience

in the U.S.,

Aruba and Bonaire,

has been appointed

as the new General

Manager of Divi

Flamingo Beach


Resort & Casino.

After nearly six months as interim General

Manager of Divi Flamingo, Maarten van Wijk relinquished

his position on January 16, 2006.

An accomplished restaurateur in Bonaire and

recent Director of Events and Project Manager

at the Aruba Renaissance Beach Resort, Mrs.

Matera is charged with overseeing the Divi

Flamingo staff and the day-to-day operations of

the resort and will focus on augmenting customer

service and implementing physical improvements.

Alex Nieuwmeyer, Managing Director of

Divi Resorts in charge of overseeing all Arubian

operations as well the Divi Flamingo said, "We

are excited about the new and permanent

change; Sara's background will bring an extra

dimension to the guest experience at Divi

Flamingo and will enable her to focus on the

great Divi staff and physical improvements.”

Located on Bonaire, the beachfront

Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino features

129 guestrooms including 89 hotel rooms and

40 timeshare units each with private balconies

or patios; Divi Dive Bonaire, the on-site full service

PADI Gold Palm and National Geographic

Dive Center equipped for handicapped divers

with 24 hour access to tanks and five custom

dive boats; two freshwater pools; two restaurants;

two bars; a state-of-the-art fitness center;

on-site car rental and activities desks; beauty

salon with spa services; sundries and gift shops;

and Bonaire’s famous and recently expanded

“Barefoot Casino.”

The Divi Flamingo Beach Resort &

Casino, 800-367-3484, www.diviresorts.




Seven major U.S. media have selected

PUNTACANA Resort & Club for their highest

awards for 2005 and 2006. Included are:

American Airlines’ Celebrated Living Magazine,

ranked 9th among Top 20 International Golf

Courses (Readers Choice Platinum List); PGA

Magazine, Best Golf Resorts of the World,

Caribbean category; Caribbean World News 1st

International World Property Award: Best Spa

Development of the Year, 2005; Luxury Golf

Homes & Communities, Luxury Award Winner;

The Golfer Magazine,Best of Design,Real Estate,

La Cana Golf and Beach Clubhouse; Links

Magazine, Premier Golf Properties of 2005-6;

and Wedding Channel, Top 5 Caribbean


According to Paola Rainieri de Diaz, Director of

Marketing for the 15,000-acre resort, the new

Six Senses Spa opened in the award-winning

Clubhouse in December. “We are delighted to

have an amenity of such high quality to offer our

resort guests and residents,” she said. “Their

treatments and materials blend in perfectly

with our philosophy of celebrating the environment.”Although

the golf awards were given because

of the acclaimed La Cana seaside golf

course designed by P. B. Dye, the resort will be

opening a new Tom Fazio course next year.

“We are calling the course Corales,” said Frank

Elias Rainieri, Director of Real Estate

Development, “after both the beautiful coral

reefs offshore, and the Corales residential enclave,

where many of our most honored

members live.”

Also recently opened is the new Tortuga Bay

boutique hotel.Located near the Golf and Beach

Clubhouse, Tortuga Bay’s 15 beachfront villas

offer “unrivalled luxury, privacy, security and 5-

star service to people who expect the exceptional,”Rainieri

de Diaz commented.

The villas’ interiors were designed by de la

Renta. Every two villas have their own Villa

Manager (a.k.a. butler), who attends to guests

every need, including dinner reservations, teetimes,

horseback riding lessons, a Spa appointment,

shoe shine or cleaning. Tortuga Bay’s

restaurant, Bamboo, also decorated by Oscar, offers

an extensive Dominican menu as well as

daily room service.

PUNTACANA, 888-442-2262, www.punta




BWeeVacations offers U.S. Travel Agents

15 percent commission for sales completed

by March 31, 2006.BWeeVacations, the in-house

tour product of BWIA Airways, offers Caribbean

travelers a selection of over 60 hotels and resorts

in eight Caribbean destinations:

Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana,

St. Lucia, St.Vincent & Grenadines,Trinidad and


BWeeVacations, 877-FUN-BWIA



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The Bonaire Hotel

& Tourism Association

(BONHATA) recently

held its elections

for the 2006

Board of Directors

and elected Mr.

Boudewijn “Bous”

Scholts from Plaza

Resort Bonaire as



A hospitality industry veteran with more

than 10 years experience and an active member

of the Bonaire hotel industry, the 44 year

old Mr. Scholts has been Director of Sales &

Marketing of Plaza Resort Bonaire since 1995.

As a Consultant to Plaza Resort Bonaire’s

shareholders, Van der Valk International BV in

The Netherlands, Mr. Scholts is also involved in

the company’s charter flight operations between

Europe and the Dutch Caribbean.

Furthermore, Mr. Scholts acts as a Sales &

Marketing Consultant to Van der Valk Tour

Operating in The Netherlands and Plaza Hotel

Curaçao, another property owned by the Van

der Valk Family.

Also elected to the BONHATA Board of

Directors for 2006 were Corine Gerharts

(Bonaire Tours & Vacations) Vice President, and

Dirk Jan Methorst (Budget Rental Car),


Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association, visit



PLAN FOR 2006-2007

Pursuant to the cessation of sugar production

on the island of St. Kitts, the Tourism

Authority has developed an eight-point

tourism plan for 2006-2007 that emphasizes

the important role the tourism industry must

play in the island’s economy. In an effort to

broaden its marketplace appeal and accentuate

its natural assets, the short-term plan focuses

on the product attributes which set the

island apart from the competition, while also

outlining various ways in which the destination

will expand its tourism offering and infrastructure.

“With the emphasis and urgency that has

been placed on the closure of and transformation

from sugar production, it is critical that

government approach the Tourism Industry

with even greater care and planning,” said

Ricky Skerritt, St. Kitts’ Minister of State in the

Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture.“Thus

we have implemented an eight point shortterm

Tourism Plan for 2006-2007. Details of a

revised National Tourism Policy and Strategic

Plan for the medium term will be developed

during the first six months of 2006.”

Based on these assets the St. Kitts Tourism

Authority has developed an eight point

tourism plan. First it will promote the national

assets to attract more upscale travelers. Next

it will introduce a wider variety of accommodations

and attractions, including luxury hotels

and villas, world class golf courses, marinas,

spas and wellness centers, a

thoroughbred race track, gourmet dining and

high-end shopping; and improve and upgrade

the existing tourism infrastructure. They will

then expand the training for the front-line and

other service providers to ensure they have

the tools to enhance the visitor experience

and provide a globally competitive service

product. They will maximize the destination’s

status as a host nation for the ICC Cricket

World Cup to position St. Kitts to be a significant

player in the world of Sports Tourism and

Events Tourism in general. They will facilitate

the economic empowerment of small- and

medium-sized local enterprises and help to increase

awareness within the communities of

the opportunities that the tourism sector provides.

They will give full respect to the principles

of sustainable tourism in the development

project planning.

Lastly they will improve the ability to track

the source of tourism arrivals and the details

of tourism expenditure with the objective of

assessing performance and impact of the sector

on government revenue and the national


St. Kitts Tourism Authority, 800-582-

6208, info@stkittstourism.kn, www.stkittstourism.com



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The Holiday Inn San Juan is proud to announce the promotion of

Gerardo Leguillow to Guest Services Manager. Mr. Leguillow has been

with the hotel since pre-opening and is now responsible for all Rooms

Division - Front of the House areas. His background includes experience

in the Activities Departments at the Palmas del Mar Resort and in Guest

Services at the Wyndham Old San Juan Hotel and Casino.

Bernardo Vazquez joins the Sales and Catering team as Director of

Sales and Marketing. Graduate of the Cornell University – Puerto Rico

campus – School of Hotel Administration, his 28 years of work experience

include many of the prestigious Hotels in San Juan as well as the

Regional Sales Director for United Airlines. Mr.Vazquez has also participated

in the Marketing Committee of the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism

Association and the Hospitality Committee of the Puerto Rico Tourism

Company for the Grand Regatta Colon ’92.

Angel Luis Marrero,recently appointed Revenue Manager,brings to the

Holiday Inn San Juan over 15 years of experience in the hotel industry at

major destination properties in Puerto Rico. His background and proven

success make him an excellent choice to move the hotel forward, combining

market knowledge with pricing and tactical strategies. According

to Mr. Marrero “we share our successes with everyone, reaching a goal is

a team effort.”

A number of dining options await visitors of the Holiday Inn San Juan

including: Vinsanto Café, which takes its inspiration from the

Mediterranean; J.H.Yee’s Asian Bistro whose menu is an unique blend of

Asian foods; Fantasia Terrace Restaurant, featuring lunch and dinner prepared

with an award-winning Puerto Rican flair; and David’ Cookies, located

in the Lobby, which offers pastries, coffees and an ice cream bar.

The Springtime Package requires a 2-night minimum stay at the

Holiday Inn San Juan. Starting at $200 for single or double occupancy,

with two children under 12 staying free, this offer runs from Sunday,

March 19 through Sunday, April, 30, 2006 based on availability. A daily

$20 Fantasia Food Credit,surprise gift,government tax and the resort fee

are all included.

Get the fourth night free, when booking the “Caribbean Free Night”

offer at the Holiday Inn San Juan for three nights. A Superior room, complimentary

use of the pool recreational areas, Internet and WIFI access,

Borders Books discount and dining choices are included.

Holiday Inn San Juan, 800-625-0312, 800-HOLIDAY,

reservations@hisanjuan.com, www.hisanjuan.com, www.holidayinn.




The St. Kitts Tourism Authority announced that the American Airlines

winter service to St.Kitts of five round-trip, non-stop flights per week between

Miami, Florida and St. Kitts will continue through September 4,

2006, then again from October 29, 2006 onward. The five flights will operate

on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. From

September 5 to October 28, 2006 American Airlines will operate three

round-trip non-stop flights per week, operating on Wednesday, Friday

and Sunday.

Prior to Daylight Savings Time, which takes effect on April 2, 2006,

American Airlines flight #2299 departs Miami at 11:10 a.m. arriving into

St. Kitts at 3:00 p.m. The return flight #2280 departs St. Kitts at 4:14 p.m.

arriving into Miami at 6:37 p.m. Beginning April 2, 2006, flight #2299 departs

Miami at 11:02 a.m. arriving into St. Kitts at 1:53 p.m., while flight

#2280 departs St. Kitts at 3:19 p.m. arriving into Miami at 6:30 p.m.

American Airlines uses a 142 seat, 737-800 aircraft with 16 first class

seats and 126 economy seats for these flights.

“We could not be more pleased that American Airlines will offer five

non-stop flights per week through the summer,” said Richard O.“Ricky”

Skerritt, Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism, Sports & Culture for

the Government of St.Kitts & Nevis. “With five non-stop flights per week,

visitors will have more flexibility in planning their trip to the island during

the times that we will be hosting major events, such as the India vs.

West Indies cricket One-Day International Match on May 24, the cricket

Test Match from June 21-26 and the St. Kitts Music Festival June 29-July

2.There will be more flight options available for event attendees.”

St. Kitts Tourism Authority, 800-582-6208, info@stkittstourism.kn,



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Coral Gardens Beach Resort




Costa Bonita Resort Villas



Courtyard by Marriott



The Flamboyant Hotel and Villas




Ghost Tour of Old San Juan


Fax: 208-493-9425



Holiday Inn San Juan



Hotel InterContinental San Juan



Hotetur Caribbean Division/

Blue Bay Resorts

Fax: 305-534-7679




Majestic Colonial Punta Cana


Fax: 809-552-9995


Mayaguez Resort and Casino




Ocean Hotels



Osprey Beach Hotel




Paradise Cove Resort



Peter Hughes Diving


Point Village Resort




Punta Cana Resorts




Rincon Beach Resort



Riviera Maya Tourism

Promotion Board



St. Eustatius Tourism

Development Foundation

Tel/Fax: 599-318-2433



St. Kitts & Nevis



Sivory Punta Cana

sales @sivorypuntacana.com


Sun Village Resort & Spa



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