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Heaven Grill opens for dinner with more tempting dining choices

Gazing up at the star-studded sky and listening to the waves as you watch the moon rise over the Caribbean, a spectacular setting and gourmet cuisine are the makings of a memorable evening in the Mexican Caribbean. Now open for dinner, Heaven Grill is the perfect spot for dinner with friends. Open-air dining doesn’t get any better than this.

Order your favorite cocktail or a bottle of crisp white wine and the seafood starters such as fresh tuna tartare, salmon gravlax, calamari or gazpacho. For your main course, choose the catch of the day, Caribbean-style coconut shrimp, classic fish and chips or grilled swordfish. The lobster with buttery vanilla sauce and basmati rice pilaf is outstanding.

Meat lovers will be able to order one of Heaven’s popular prime Angus burgers and there are salads and pizzas too.

Heaven Grill has TV screens for sporting events and on Tuesday and Friday evening there is live jazz, blues and bossa nova music.

 

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Are you interested in serving on the Grand Residences Advisory Council?

The Advisory Council is comprised of five Owners that represent the Grand Residences Community. They meet at least once a year with representatives from DRM and the Resort Operating Company to review and make recommendations on Resort Operations at Grand Residences for the following year, policies, procedures and issues of interest to Owners.

The Advisory Council’s annual meeting will be held at Grand Residences. Any Owner that would like to be a part of the Grand Residences Advisory Council is cordially invited to send in their application before July 31, 2018.

Current members of the Grand Residences Advisory Council will review all the applications and will vote for a new member in a private election during the 2018 Advisory Council Meeting in October.

The next Advisory Council Meeting will be held in Grand Residences on October 18, 2018.

Advisory Council responsibilities

The duties of the Advisory Council consist of the review of financial statements for the current year’s operations at Grand Residences, all reports presented by Management relating to the maintenance and operation of the resort, the projected budgets for the operation of the following year and proposed Club Service Fees to be paid per interval based upon the reviewed budget for the resort. They also study maintenance and fixed assets programs, proposals for new services and amenities, cost-efficiency operating projects and guest satisfaction survey results among others.

In their capacity as representatives, Advisory Council members raise concerns voiced by Owners in relation to the operation of the resort and follow up on their queries with DRM and the Resort Management Company at the meeting and during the year.

Making your Application

If you love your resort home and are interested in standing as a candidate for the Advisory Council for Grand Residences by Royal Resorts®,

click here to read the eligibility requirements. If you would like to be considered for this important role, fill out the application form.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to stand for the Advisory Council, you must be over the age of 25 and be a Grand Residences Owner. You must be in good standing with all your obligations. You must own one or more Fractions at Grand Residences, the equivalent of five or more weeks in the Grand Residences Fractional Program, and at least one of the said fractions must have been purchased directly from DRM (resales and title changes are not accepted for this purpose). You must agree to abide by the Advisory Council Regulations.

It is important that you read the Advisory Council Rules in full as they include more information on the eligibility requirements for candidates and the restrictions that could render their application invalid.

Sending your application

Send your application form by email and attach a copy of your résumé and a cover letter stating why you would like to stand for the Grand Residences Advisory Council. Your résumé should include details of current and past employment, your educational background, community work and other relevant career information.
Applications must be received by July 31 to be considered for this year. Interested Owners should send their questions or application form and résumé to:

 

GINA LÓPEZ
Tel: (954) 485-5400 Ext. 2503
Email: glopez@royalresorts.com

 

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Get on your Bike at Grand Residences

On your next vacation why not sign out a bike as part of your daily exercise routine. Enjoy the fresh air, stay in shape and see the sights of Puerto Morelos with your Activity Center guide.

The bike route takes you past the mangrove forest and your guide will tell you about the ecological importance of this fascinating plant and the flora and fauna of the wetlands. Then it’s on to the Puerto Morelos pier and a stop to cool off with an ice cream or fresh fruit. Learn about the history of our pueblito and the famous leaning lighthouse or faro and get a group photo on the dock.

On the way back to the resort, the guide will take you past the market and the craft shops and there’s time to stop if you would like to take a look.

The route is 8.7 kilometers and activity center staff will tell you how long it will take and how many calories you’ll burn off as you enjoy the ride. Bikes come with helmets, jackets, bottled water and a basket. This activity is not for children under the age of 12. Sign up at the Activity Center.

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Cooking Classes with Chef Yann

Watch a master chef at work and fine-tune your own culinary skills with Chef Yann Cozic’s cooking classes. Learn how to prepare shrimp and scallop ceviche, guacamole and classic lime soup from the Yucatán. Try your hand at coconut, lemon grass and shrimp soup from the Far East and a variety of other tempting dishes. Discover the secrets of perfect Parisian patisserie and pick up useful tips that will help you when cooking for family and friends. Reservations required, call the Concierge.

If you would like to learn more about Mexican cuisine, why not sign up for cooking classes at one of the cooking schools in the area. The best-known school in the Mexican Caribbean is The Little Mexican Cooking School in Puerto Morelos. Your Concierge will be able to assist you with reservations.

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Every Picture Tells a Story

This month we travel back in time and take you on a whirlwind tour of some of the Maya World’s most beautiful ancient cities, masterpieces of art and architecture.

Do you have a favorite archaeological site in the Yucatan or the Riviera Maya that you have visited? Write to us and let us know.

If you have a picture of Grand Residences, Puerto Morelos or a special place in the Yucatan that you would like to share with us, we would love to see it. Send your pictures to memories@royalresorts.com. A selection of the photos we receive will be published in this newsletter.

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Spread the Word about Grand Residences

If you enjoy telling your friends, relatives and associates about Grand Residences and showing them photos of your home in paradise, why not help spread the word by participating in the Grand Residences Referral Program?

We want your referrals to discover the Grand Residences luxury vacation experience for themselves and we are willing to offer them, on your behalf, a special 3 night/4 day stay in a luxurious Junior Suite at Grand Residences at a greatly discounted rate, so that they can do just that.

To take advantage of this special offer the only requirement is that during their stay, your referred guests must attend a personalized resort preview of our Private Residence Club. We will show them our new vision of luxury living and what it would be like to have a beautiful home in paradise. If your referrals choose to become owners, you will receive 2% of the net purchase price of their Fraction in Royal Resorts Rewards that you can apply towards your annual Club Service fees, use to pay your club bill on your next vacation or make a donation to Royal Resorts Foundation charitable causes.

Start thinking about the people you know and that you think would be interested in the Grand Residences lifestyle. We would love to hear from you and look forward to showing your friends your beautiful resort home.

SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT GRAND RESIDENCES

If you would like to make a referral

Call +52(998) 881-0100 ext. 65846. or

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Go Wild, Jungle Adventures in the Puerto Morelos Area

There’s much more to Puerto Morelos than beautiful beaches and the Mesoamerican Reef. Why not try a change of scenery one day and explore the forest? Here are four trip ideas for you and they are all on your doorstep.

Puerto Morelos Botanical Garden

Did you know that the second largest botanical garden in Mexico is right here on your doorstep in Puerto Morelos? Located beside Highway 307, just south of town the Yaaxche-Alfredo Barrera Marin Botanical Garden is a nature reserve protecting 65 hectares of jungle and marshland rich in wildlife. It is home to trees and plants native to the Yucatan Peninsula and the tropical forests of the Americas.

A visit to this beautiful spot is a must for nature lovers and you’ll soon leave the noise of the highway behind as you walk along the trails through the forest. You’ll hear a variety of bird calls and may spot hummingbirds, orange orioles, great kiskadees, woodpeckers and parrots among others. Flocks of Yucatan jays with their bright blue plumage, and the green jays that sport green, yellow and blue feathers, are also common. A flash of turquoise and a soft whooping call means that the turquoise-browed motmot or toh bird is near. Keel-billed toucans can sometimes be seen on dead branches and in the early morning, the forest echoes with a sunrise serenade that reaches a crescendo with the cackles and rattle-like sounds of the chachalaca, a gregarious bird the size of a large hen.

The park is home to a troop of approximately 50 spider monkeys who forage for fruit in the treetops. You might be lucky enough to see coatimundis or tejon, peccary, deer, fox, squirrels and the shy agouti or tepescuintle, a rodent the size of a small dog that feeds in the undergrowth. Other mammals are nocturnal and seldom spotted although wardens have seen puma tracks in the more remote areas of the park.

Follow the trail to the herb garden where you’ll see familiar plants such as basil, rue, chamomile and spearmint growing with native species traditionally used by the Maya as remedies for ailments including fever, colds, migraines, stomach bugs and arthritis.

In a jungle clearing there is a rustic exhibition about chicle, the original natural ingredient for chewing gum that is actually the resin from the chicozapote, a native forest tree found throughout southeast Mexico. Used by the Maya for thousands of years, chicle is still harvested to this day. Bands of chicle harvesters or chicleros venture into the forest for months in search of chicozapote trees ripe for tapping. They extract the resin by making cuts in the bark with machetes and collect it as it trickles down the tree trunk. Collected in sacks, it is subsequently heated and molded into balls for commercial use. In the early 20th century, chicle was transported to Puerto Morelos and Cozumel and sold to foreign companies such as Chicle Adams.

Be sure to walk to the wooden observation towers for spectacular panoramic views of the forest and the wetlands stretching to the Caribbean. You’ll soon spot Grand Residences in the distance.

The Botanical Garden is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Exploring the Ruta de Los Cenotes

An alternative is to hop into a rental car and drive along the Ruta de los Cenotes, the road to the west of Highway 307 that goes through the forest to Leona Vicario. Along the route you’ll see many wooden signs marking the turn off for cenotes deep in the forest. These natural limestone wells or sinkholes have crystal-clear waters that look turquoise or emerald, depending on the light. Some are open and others are hidden in caves. The list includes Cenote Las Mojarras, Siete Bocas, Boca de Puma and Verde Lucero and several of them have rustic zip lines and nature trails in the vicinity of the cenote.

The Xenotes Oasis Maya trip offered by Experiencias Xcaret gives you the chance to explore four very different cenotes in one day and includes swimming, snorkeling, zip lining and kayak.

Zip lining at Selvatica

For a day of jungle adventures, Selvatica Park fits the bill. Fly through the jungle canopy on thrilling zip line circuits and then swim and snorkel in a cenote. Walk or ride along winding forest trails and you can even drive your own ATV.

Bird watching

The fourth option is an early morning Puerto Morelos birding trip available from Cancun-based travel agency Eco Colors. Accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide you’ll explore a jungle reserve to hear the dawn chorus. This clamor of birdsong includes the squawks of parrots and the distinctive call of the pygmy owl and the chachalacas.

Look out for flocks of parrots, Yucatan jays, trogons, tanagers, solitary keel-billed toucans, and the Yucatán’s own bird of paradise, the turquoise-browed motmot that makes its nest in the limestone walls of cenotes.

Departure is at 5 a.m. from your resort and you’ll be back at around 12 noon; snacks are included.

Organizing your trip

Ask the Concierge for information about these jungle adventures. If you are planning a trip into the forest, we recommend that you take your camera, binoculars and use eco-friendly insect repellent to ward off biting insects. You should never stray off the path, even in the Botanical Garden.

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Parque Maya opens in Cancun

Cancun has a new fun park combining adventure with a dash of history. Located just to the south of Captain’s Cove restaurant and opposite the Cancun Maya Museum, Parque Maya offers a zip lining circuit, rope bridge and a lagoon cruise. There is an interesting exhibit on the Maya culture and one of the ticket options available also includes admission to the Cancun Maya Museum and Ruinas El Rey, the largest of the archaeological sites in the Cancun area and a ride on the Cancun Turibus.

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Cancun now has its own Big Wheel

Cancun has joined a select group of cities around the world with their own big wheel for a birds’ eye view of the urban landscape. London, Paris and now Cancun. The brand new Cancun Big Wheel or Rueda de la Fortuna is located at La Isla Mall and takes its passengers 60 meters up in the air for stunning vistas of the Caribbean, Nichupte Lagoon and the Hotel Zone.

The big wheel is built with the latest Dutch technology and has 42 glass booths for up to six people. The ride takes around 25 minutes and the wheel operates day and night.

La Isla Mall is growing and the Cancun Wheel will eventually be moved to the second phase of the shopping center, which is currently under construction.

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Events in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Yucatan

Here’s our regular round up of festivals and events in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Yucatan in the next few months.

Camino de Las Flores, Merida, March 25 and April

For the third year running, Merida’s La Mejorada neighborhood will be transformed into an urban garden by the Camino de Las Flores, the path of the flowers. This colorful walkway of plants, flowers, hedges and shrubs and trees clipped into the shapes of native birds and animals will lead to La Mejorada Convent and the Museum of Popular Art.
Organizers have promised that this year’s garden display will be bigger and even more beautiful than previous years and will attract visitors throughout April.

Fundadores 2018 International Riviera Maya Fishing Tournament, Playa del Carmen, April 13-15

This tournament attracts fishermen from all over the state and the Caribbean. Competitors are asked to follow catch and release policy to help preserve fish stocks.

Second Cozumel Emerald Hummingbird Festival, Cozumel, April 13 -14

Bird watchers will be gathering on the island of Cozumel in April to learn more about the Cozumel Emerald Hummingbird (Chlorostilbon forficatus), a beautiful little bird found nowhere else in the world. There will be seminars and birding trips and a Cozumel Birding App with information on the island’s resident and migrant species will be unveiled.
A second, larger Bird Festival is organized on the island in October.
Cozumel has several endemic species of birds and mammals, including a dwarf raccoon.

Anniversary of the Founding of Cancun, April 20

Cancun turns 48! The celebrations include masses, processions, exhibitions and more to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of Cancun.

Cancun International Capitan Armando Ferrat Fishing Tournament 2018, Cancun, April 20-22

This tournament attracts fishermen from all over the state and the Caribbean. Competitors are asked to follow catch and release policy to help preserve fish stocks.

Regatta del Sol al Sol, Isla Mujeres, April 27 – May 6

The 50th year of this famous yacht race from the St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida to Isla Mujeres. The event also features parties for the yacht crews and islanders, excursions and a race around Isla Mujeres.

Fiestas de la Santa Cruz, Feria de El Cedral, Cozumel, April 26 – May 3

This traditional festival commemorates the day of the Santa Cruz and the arrival of the island’s 21 founding families in 1848, fleeing from the Caste War that broken out in the Yucatan Peninsula in 1847.

500 Years of Cozumel, May 2017-May 2018

Cozumel commemorates the 500th anniversary of the first encounters that Spanish explorers had with the Maya of Quintana Roo in 1517and 1518.
The Cozumel: 500 Years, the Meeting of Two Cultures festival began in 2017 and concludes in May 2018 with a series of events such as exhibitions, concerts, seminars and more.

Puerto Morelos Fishing Tournaments, late April – early May

Cesar Martin Rosado Tournament, Puerto Morelos, April 27-29

Don Andres Garcia Lavin Tournament, Puerto Morelos, May 4-6

Travesía Sagrada Maya, Xcaret and Cozumel, May 25-26

The Sacred Mayan Crossing is the reenactment of an ancient pilgrimage. Oarsmen set sail from the port of Pole (now Xcaret) in wooden canoes bound for the island of Cozumel where they will worship at the shrine of Ixchel, the Maya goddess of the moon and fertility.

Visit the Royal Resorts blog at www.royalresorts.com for listings of more events during the year.

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Grand Residences among the Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice World’s Top 25 Luxury Hotels

Every February, Trip Advisor publishes its Travelers Choice annual awards celebrating the best of the best in tourism. Based on resort reviews written by members of Trip Advisor, the world’s largest online travel community, they showcase resorts that go that extra mile in giving exceptional service to make a vacation truly outstanding.

This year Grand Residences has gone one step further than being included in four Best in Mexico categories, it is also in the Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice 2018 listing of the World’s Top 25 Luxury Hotels.

We are honored by this accolade, which serves as inspiration to look for even more ways to enrich the vacation experience we offer.

Tell other travelers about Grand Residences

If you have just returned from a vacation in paradise, why not share your experience on Trip Advisor? Tell the world what you love about Grand Residences, the cuisine and activities you and your family you enjoyed or about a member of staff who made your day.

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Follow Grand Residences on Instagram

Do you want to see more pictures of paradise? We have relaunched the Grand Residences account on Instagram and are posting photos and videos of your home away from home. Follow us at @grandresidences and be sure to tag your own Instagram photos of Grand Residences as #grandresidences #luxurytravel #homeawayfromhome

Join the Grand Residences online community if you haven’t already done so by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

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Game, set and match

A game of tennis is a great way to start a Mexican Caribbean morning and you can sign out rackets and balls from the Sports Desk if you haven’t brought your own gear.

If there is an area of your game that you would like to work on during your stay, book a couple of tennis classes and clinics with the Pro. You can even challenge him to a game.

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BBQ Night

Sunday night is BBQ Night at Heaven Beach Bar and it is a great supper idea for families and friends. Enjoy all your cookout favorites under the stars. The menu features tender and juicy flank steak, BBQ ribs, salmon, Rock Cornish game hen and burgers, all grilled to perfection and served with your choice of sauce and side dish. Hours: 5 to 10 p.m.

And don’t miss the Heaven Jazz Night during the week, every Tuesday and Friday at 8:30 p.m. (weather permitting).

 

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Protecting the planet, Grand Residences joins Earth Hour

On March 24 at 8:30 p.m., Grand Residences will participate in Earth Hour, the global campaign organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature or World Wildlife Fund) to draw attention to the effects of climate change and the urgent need to protect the one thing that unites us all, the Planet.

Non-essential lights will be turned off around the resort at 8:30 p.m. for one hour and guests are invited to join in by dimming the lights in their suites and attending special Earth Hour events organized during the day. Activities will include beach cleaning, beach yoga, arts and crafts activities, tree planting, a quiz, bike tour and panda face painting to enjoy with your children. Finally, don’t miss the fire show at 7:30 p.m. before the lights are dimmed.

In 2017, 187 countries took part in Earth Hour and more than 3,000 of the world’s most famous landmarks were dimmed. Millions of people came together to take action, making pledges to protect the environment, whether at home, in the workplace or in their communities.

 

 

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Every Picture Tells a Story

This month we celebrate the beauty of Yucatan’s otherworld, the labyrinth of caves and sinkholes or cenotes that has been sculpted over millions of years by the slow drip of water eroding the limestone rock.

Do you have a favorite cenote in the Riviera Maya where you and your family love to cool off during the midday heat? Write to us and let us know.

If you have a picture of Grand Residences, Puerto Morelos or a special place in the Yucatan that you would like to share with us, we would love to see it. Send your pictures to memories@royalresorts.com. A selection of the photos we receive will be published in this newsletter.

 

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Sport Fishing Season starts

March heralds the start of the sport fishing season in the Mexican Caribbean and avid fishermen are preparing to set sail in search of adventure.

Marlin and sailfish move through area waters following huge shoals of migrating sardines, anchovies and mackerel. Snapper, dorado, bonito and wahoo are also plentiful and even first-time fishermen are sure to catch a barracuda. Knowledgeable local fishermen will take you right to where the fish are running.

Puerto Morelos is one of the most popular spots in the Mexican Caribbean for sport fishing, just a short boat ride away from the rich fishing grounds along the deep ocean trench between the Riviera Maya coast and the island of Cozumel known as the Cozumel Channel.

Other good fishing grounds in the area lie to the east of Isla Mujeres, along the sea mount known as Arrowsmith Bank, around Contoy and Holbox islands and further south along the Costa Maya and accessible from the fishing villages of Mahahual and Xcalak.

The still, shallow lagoons along the Quintana Roo coast offer a different challenge – they are rich in bonefish such as tarpon, permit and snook and attract fly fishermen from all over the world. There are fishing lodges in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and Holbox and the Isla Blanca wetlands north of Cancun are also good spots.

Local marinas adhere to the catch and release policy to help conserve fish stocks and we urge you to join their campaign. The thrill of being out on the waves in pursuit of marlin and sailfish, the fastest fish in the sea, should be enough and we hope that you will liberate any game fish you catch.

If you enjoy fishing and are planning a day out on the high seas or want to go bone fishing, the concierge will help you organize fishing trips and boat charters.

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Equinox at Chichen Itza, March 20

As the sun sets in the west and the shadows lengthen in the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, a collective cry of wonder goes up from the thousands of people that gather at the foot of the Pyramid of Kukulcan on March 20, the spring equinox. They are witnessing an amazing spectacle, the mysterious shadow of a serpent rippling across the stone, the symbol of an ancient god returning to earth.
Also known as El Castillo, the Pyramid of Kukulcan is a feat of ancient engineering and a solar clock, aligned to catch the rays of the setting sun on the days of the spring and fall equinoxes in March and September, respectively. Triangles of light and shadow form along the side of the north staircase and the figure of a snake appears, merging with the head of a stone snake at the foot of the building. The illusion is created of a gigantic serpent slithering down from the heavens and across the ground towards the huge sinkhole in the forest known as the Sacred Cenote.
The snake symbolizes Kukulcan (also known as Quetzalcoatl in central Mexico), the feathered serpent god, who returns to earth to give hope to his followers and heralds the spring planting and fall harvest seasons for the Maya.
Your Concierge can help you arrange a day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza for the Equinox, or at any other time of the year. This year, the Spring Equinox falls on March 20 but it is traditionally observed on March 21 at Chichen Itza as it coincides with an official national holiday. The light and shadow snake is visible the day before and after the equinox, cloud cover permitting.

Making a day of it in eastern Yucatan

If you would prefer to explore Chichen Itza at your own pace, why not rent a car and explore the eastern Yucatan?

Ek Balam

Start your Maya time travel with an early visit to the archaeological site of Ek Balam. Located 20 minutes to the north of Valladolid, Ek Balam (“black star jaguar in Maya”) was inhabited from 600 B.C. and reached its peak between A.D. 600 and 900.
Excavation is still underway at the site and in an area of 12 square kilometers archaeologists have already unearthed five sacbes or ceremonial causeways, defensive walls, a ball court, steam baths, chultunes or Mayan wells, several stelae and over 60 structures ranging from temples and palaces to tiny shrines. They have discovered hieroglyphic inscriptions, a royal tomb with offerings of jade, pottery and copal incense and proof of the links Ek Balam once had with rival city states in the Yucatan, on the coast of Quintana Roo and the Peten region in northern Guatemala.
The central plaza is dominated by the Acropolis, a maze of palaces and temples that is 31 meters high. Its crowning glory is an intricate frieze of stucco masks, the statues of richly attired nobles in feather headdresses, and a seated figure thought to be one of the rulers.
Archaeologists have deciphered hieroglyphic inscriptions at the site and others in the area to discover that Ek Balam or Talol was ruled by a powerful dynasty and have identified the city’s founding father. Ukit Kan Le’k Tok came to power in 770 A.D. and ushered in an extraordinary building and artistic boom.
Experts recently revealed that Ek Balam’s scribes and artists brought new techniques, colors, the flowing lines of calligraphy and different symbols to the area. These gifted painters went on to influence mural painting at larger sites such as Chichen Itza.
After your Ek Balam visit, a dip in the cold, clear waters of a cenote is a great way to cool off. There is a sinkhole just down the road from the archaeological site or you can drive to Hubiku Cenote outside the village of Temozon.

Valladolid

As an alternative spend the morning in the colonial city of Valladolid. This peaceful pueblo magico is steeped in history and tradition. Start with the spectacular Zaci Cenote, stroll through the main square to the Cathedral and take a guided tour of Casa de Los Venados, a 17th-century restored mansion that is a private home and a museum with a collection of more than 3,000 pieces of Mexican folk art. Admission is a $60 peso donation for charity. Then walk along Calzada de Los Frailes, the street leading to San Bernardino Church and Sisal Convent. You’ll pass more restored mansions, craft shops, a workshop where cacao is transformed into chocolate using traditional techniques, and a perfumery.
To the north of Valladolid, a side trip to the Mayapan artisanal distillery gives you a glimpse of the world of the blue agave, the plant that gives us tequila. Native to the state of Jalisco, the plant is flourishing in the fields surrounding the distillery.
When the plants are seven years old they are harvested for their root stem or piña, which is then roasted. The sugary liquid crushed from the cooked piña is fermented, distilled and stored in wooden barrels until ready to be bottled as blanco, reposado or añejado varieties of Mayapan.
Mayapan is not the only spirit produced in Valladolid, the town is also famous for Xtabentun, the fragrant anise-flavored liqueur of the Yucatan, which is made from honey and a native flower.

Cenotes and Caves

Just outside Valladolid, Dzitnup or Xkeken Cenote is the Yucatan’s most famous sinkhole and there are more of these mysterious sinkholes to visit en route to Chichen Itza. Call in at Ik-Kil Cenote and Balancanche Caves during your travels through the eastern Yucatan.

Dawn at Dzibilichaltun

Chichen Itza is not the only Mayan ceremonial center in the Yucatán to have temples with solar, lunar or planetary alignments. The doorway of the Temple of the Seven Dolls at Dzibilchaltun (13 miles north of Mérida) makes a perfect frame for the rising sun on the day of the Equinox.

Contact your Concierge to arrange a day trip to Chichen Itza.

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Running for a cause, the 3rd Royal Resorts Foundation Race, February 18, 2018

On February 18, 700 runners and walkers took part in the Third Royal Resorts Foundation Race in support of a good cause. Their goal was to raise money to build a kitchen at the Don Bosco Youth Center on the outskirts of Cancun.

The competitors included Royal Resorts employees, members and guests and local runners. They took part in 10 and 5k road races, a 3k walk and a race for children. This year, 69 children signed up to race and there were around 60 Royal Resorts members and guests, some of whom competed in 2017.

 

Overall, the number of competitors was up on 2017 and the hope is that more and more runners and walkers will sign up for the Royal Resorts Foundation race in the years to come, support a worthy cause, do some exercise and have fun.

 

WATCH THE VIDEO

 

 

About Don Bosco Center

A Ciudad de la Alegria community project, the Don Bosco Youth Center gives vulnerable teenagers in marginalized neighborhoods on the outskirts of Cancun hope for the future.

The Don Bosco Center lends a helping hand to young people who have dropped out of school due to poverty, gang membership, domestic violence and other factors. They continue their studies and learn English and computer skills. Seminars and workshops on health and nutrition, values and self-esteem also give them a boost of confidence and there are sporting and cultural activities too.

A study by the TecMilenio University in Cancun showed that many of the teenagers attending the Don Bosco Center are malnourished and that this is causing low concentration levels and poor academic performance. Building a kitchen will give them access to nutritious meals and better health.

 

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Puerto Morelos News

Puerto Morelos municipal government is working to improve infrastructure and public services in town and the surrounding area. This includes installing LED street lights along José María Morelos Avenue from the highway into the main square, moving power cables underground, paving streets, reforestation and designating parks in residential areas.

Other projects include improving the water, sewage and garbage collection systems, installing traffic signs and conservation of the mangrove forest.

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Cancun Flight News

Starting March 14, Mexican airline Interjet will offer two new routes from San Francisco, California to Cancun and Guadalajara. There will be three direct flights a week to both cities.

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Events in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Yucatan

Here’s our regular round up of festivals and events in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Yucatan in the next few months.

Easter in Mexico, March 30 – April 1

Playa Delfines or El Mirador in Cancun is the setting for a representation of the Via Crucis and Crucifixion of Christ on Good Friday, March 30.
Via Crucis processions are also held in Merida, Valladolid, Playa del Carmen and other parts of Mexico.

Fundadores 2018 International Riviera Maya Fishing Tournament, Playa del Carmen, April 13-15

This tournament attracts fishermen from all over the state and the Caribbean. Competitors are asked to follow catch and release policy to help preserve fish stocks.

Anniversary of the Founding of Cancun, April 20

Cancun turns 48! The celebrations include masses, processions, exhibitions and more to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of Cancun.

Cancun International Capitan Armando Ferrat Fishing Tournament 2018, Cancun, April 20-22

This tournament attracts fishermen from all over the state and the Caribbean. Competitors are asked to follow catch and release policy to help preserve fish stocks.

Regatta del Sol al Sol, Isla Mujeres, April 27 – May 6

The 50th year of this famous yacht race from the St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida to Isla Mujeres. The event also features parties for the yacht crews and islanders, excursions and a race around Isla Mujeres.

Puerto Morelos Fishing Tournaments, late April – early May

Cesar Martin Rosado Tournament, Puerto Morelos, April 27-29

Don Andres Garcia Lavin Tournament, Puerto Morelos, May 4-6

Travesía Sagrada Maya, Xcaret and Cozumel, May 25-26

The Sacred Mayan Crossing is the reenactment of an ancient pilgrimage. Oarsmen set sail from the port of Pole (now Xcaret) in wooden canoes bound for the island of Cozumel where they will worship at the shrine of Ixchel, the Maya goddess of the moon and fertility.

Visit the Royal Resorts blog at www.royalresorts.com for listings of more events during the year.

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Grand Residences Best in Mexico and the World, TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2018

Members of the TripAdvisor travel community have spoken and for the fourth year running Grand Residences is in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2018 Top 25 Hotels in Mexico. This time it picked up four different accolades given only to the best of the best in Mexico:

  • TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2018 Top 25 Hotels in Mexico

Grand Residences is No. 4

  • TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2018 Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Mexico

Grand Residences is No. 2

  • TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2018 Top 25 Hotels in Mexico for Best Service

Grand Residences is No. 14

  • TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2018 Top 25 Hotels in Mexico for Families

Grand Residences is No. 18

Top 25 Luxury Hotels in the World

That’s not all; Grand Residences is also in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2018 Top 25 Luxury Hotels in the World listing at No. 25.

What are people saying about Grand Residences?

“Perfect for young families”

“Excellent Service – Best Vacation – Will Return Again!”

“The Perfect Escape”

“HEAVENLY!!!!”

“True Paradise”

“First class all the way!”

“Grand Residences Grand”

“Best Resort Experience Ever!”

“Beautiful property, amazing staff!”

“BEST VACATION EVER”

“We felt like royalty the whole time”

“Excellent and beautiful resort, friendly wonderful staff that take care of your every need, attention to detail and always went above and beyond”

“We’ll be back as soon as possible!

Best Vacation Ever Taken! Highly Recommended!

“Trip of a Lifetime”

Three Royal Resorts in the Top 25 Hotels in Mexico for Families

Three other resorts in the Royal Resorts collection also made the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2018 Top 25 Hotels in Mexico for Families list. The Royal Haciendas comes in at No. 13, The Royal Sands at No. 19 and The Royal Cancun at No. 25.

Grand Residences and Royal Resorts are honored to be included in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2018 listings of Mexico’s Top Hotels. We strive for excellence in everything that we do and will continue to work to raise the bar on service and look for more ways to make the vacation experience outstanding for owners and guests.

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More Gourmet Dining: Taco Tuesday

Chef Yann and his team present a new theme night at Flor de Canela restaurant, Taco Tuesday. The taco, Mexico’s most famous finger food, takes center stage and who could believe that a freshly made tortilla with tasty fillings, salsa and guacamole could be so delicious?

Satisfy your craving for tacos. Choose from a spread of traditional fillings, help yourself to tortillas and salsas and make your own tacos. The Taco Tuesday buffet ranges from classics such as grilled arrachera or skirt steak, shrimp and fish to marinated pork al pastor, stewed pork rind and golden-fried chicken flautas or crispy tacos. The selection of guisados or dishes that are popular taco fillings also includes poblano chili pepper slices cooked in cream, picadillo or minced beef, chorizo with potato, slow-cooked beef barbacoa-style, mushrooms and ajillo-style spicy octopus.

Pile your plate with grilled spring onions, guacamole and refried beans and try some nopales or tender cooked cactus pads, they are delicious and very nutritious. Mexican-style rice, tortilla soup and charro-style stewed beans are also served as part of the buffet.

When you are ready to add the final touch to your tacos head for the classic accompaniments. Sprinkle chopped onion, radish and cilantro on simple beef tacos; fresh pineapple goes perfectly with tacos al pastor and shredded cabbage is served with fish and shrimp tacos.

You’ll want to add lashings of salsa. The sauces range from pico de gallo, green sauce with avocado and stewed tomato salsa to mayonnaise with chipotle pepper or garlic for seafood tacos. Ask your waiter to point out the mild salsas and the spicier recipes that pack more of a chili punch.

For true chili fans, xnipec is the local salsa to try. Made from habanero chili, the Yucatan’s fiery pepper, finely chopped onion and lime juice, xnipec may bring tears to your eyes. Its name in Maya means the nose of the dog (xni = nose, pec = dog), presumably because it might give the diner a wet nose like that of a dog.

Making your tacos

There is an art to making tacos! Take a warm tortilla from the basket – Mexicans will tell you never to take the top tortilla – and place it on your plate. Put a small spoonful of the filling of your choice in the center such as grilled steak or chorizo, add guacamole, salsa and a dash of lime juice and you are ready to go. Roll the tortilla up like a pancake and you have a taco. True connoisseurs will tell you to hold the taco with your index finger and thumb (no knives and forks) and lean over the plate to avoid being splashed as the juice drips out. After a couple of attempts you’ll have got the hang of taco making and we are sure that you will want to sample as many as possible.

A selection of Mexican desserts is the perfect finale to your taco feast and of course you’ll want to order Mexican beer, wine or tequila to accompany your meal.

Ask your Concierge for more information about Taco Tuesday and the other tempting theme nights during the week.

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Mexican Dish of the Month

When you dine at Flor de Canela restaurant ask your waiter about the dish of the month. The chef’s monthly special celebrates the diversity of Mexican cuisine, regional specialties and the rich traditions that led UNESCO to include it in the World Heritage list.

In February the Flor de Canela dish of the month is enchiladas. Try classic enchiladas suizas or vegetarian enchiladas in a smooth mole sauce made with Jamaica or hibiscus flowers, spices, chili and chocolate.