Not only were the majority of Caribbean destinations unaffected by September’s devastating hurricanes, but several are welcoming a series of new all-inclusive hotels and resorts. The new properties feature the latest amenities, facilities and services demanded by contemporary travelers while also exemplifying the emphasis on upscale design that increasingly defines today’s all-inclusive market.
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Riu Palace Paradise Island
Features include free WiFi throughout; extensive gastronomic offerings, including a barbecue station next to the pool and four à la carte restaurants serving Japanese, Bahamian, Indian and fusion cuisine; three bars; and a pastry and ice cream shop.
Sandals Royal Barbados
The 520-room resort is scheduled to open on December 20, 2017, with 222 concierge and butler-level suites, including the company’s signature Rondovals, Millionaire Butler Suites and Skypool Suites, plus an extensive Crystal Lagoon Pool Complex featuring swim-up suites.
It will also offer the island’s first rooftop infinity pool. Other features and amenities include the brand’s first gentlemen’s-only barber shop; a 15,000-square-foot Red Lane spa; five signature dining establishments, including French, Caribbean and Mediterranean cuisine as well as American and Asian-fusion concepts; and an entertainment pavilion with a four-lane bowling alley, living room and game room.
The Punta Cana district—widely considered the epicenter of upscale all-inclusive resort properties—will gain another in January with the debut of the 730-room Royalton Bávaro. The property’s accommodations will feature rain showers in bathrooms, two-person soaker tubs and the company’s DreamBed mattresses.
Facilities and amenities will include the Royal Spa, free Wi-Fi, a 1,200-footlong sprawling lazy river, FlowRider and Royalton’s first nine-hole mini-golf course. Nine dining options will range from a beach buffet to Zen, a signature teppanyaki restaurant. The resort will also house a Brazilian steakhouse where experienced carvers serve up a variety of delicious grilled meats.
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TRS Coral Hotel
The high-profile Cancun resort district will play host to another upscale property in early 2018, when Palladium Hotel Group’s 473-room, all-inclusive, adults-only TRS Coral Hotel opens adjacent to the company’s Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort Spa.
The property is framed by virgin beaches and mangroves—a perfect spot for quiet exploration and relaxation. In addition to its compelling landscape, the property will feature four à la carte restaurants, an Ibiza-style beach club with an infinity pool offering sweeping ocean views and poolside services, a world-class spa and fitness zone.
Target Clientele: Since the resort is located in close proximity to Cancun’s nightlife attractions and restaurants, consider recommending the resort to couples and friends traveling together who are seeking an active, upscale vacation experience both on property and off.
Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the resort, regularly restocked mini-bars and liquor dispensers in guestrooms, plus an infinity pool with a swim-up bar. Guests will also find a 24-hour sports bar and the Pacha dance club. Riu Dunamar’s exchange privileges will enable guests to visit multiple RIU properties in the greater Cancun area.
Easily one of the most eagerly awaited all-inclusive projects, this resort is an extension of Riviera Maya’s celebrated Xcaret eco-amusement park. Designed with an emphasis on sustainability, the 900-room Hotel Xcaret, which debuts this December, will feature direct access to Xcaret’s eight interactive parks.
The property will boast all-suite accommodations with nearby access to flowing rivers, coves and a white sand beach. Food-and-beverage options highlight traditional and contemporary Mexican fare, with 18 bars and restaurants. Carlos Gaytán, a “Top Chef” contestant and Mexico’s first Michelin-starred chef, has forged a yearlong partnership with the hotel to oversee elements of its cuisine.
Target Clientele: Recommend the property to customers who are adventuresome travelers interested in a destination’s cultural offerings. Millennials and families seeking active sun-and-fun vacations are good bets.