COVID-19 tests now available at Grand Residences

As another measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the United States and other countries are requiring a negative COVID-19 test for all inbound travelers.

To help guests traveling to the United States comply with the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order, Grand Residences, through a certified independent laboratory, is now making convenient onsite COVID-19 antigen testing available at no cost. This policy is valid until July 17, 2021.

The PCR test required by Canada, United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia is also available (fees apply).

See our COVID-19 Travel Update for more details and a FAQ section.

Advisory Council Meeting Report 2020 online

The 2020 Advisory Council meeting report and financial statement is published in the Owners Area of grandresidencesbyroyalresorts.com (member log in required) and printed copies will be available on request from the Manager’s office at the resort.

The meeting report includes information on operations projects completed in 2020 and those planned for 2021, the resort’s 2020 financial performance, and the resort budget for 2021. The Club Service Fees remain unchanged for 2021.

Tempting Dining Experiences to try in 2021

Whether you are craving Mediterranean or Mexican cuisine, prime steaks or fresh seafood, gourmet dining awaits you whenever you stay at Grand Residences. Be sure to try something different this year, a classic Mexican dish, one of the theme nights, fresh local lobster and for something really special why not arrange to have dinner of the beach? Chef Hector Renteria and his team will make every meal a memorable experience.

Enjoy a romantic dinner by candlelight in El Faro Grill with menu choices including lobster, the catch of the day, steaks, Mediterranean-inspired dishes and more. Sommelier Javier Moreno will help you choose the perfect wine pairing for your meal and we recommend that you save space for dessert.

Discover dishes from all over Mexico at Flor de Canela restaurant. A celebration of flavors, fresh ingredients, colors and textures, Mexican cuisine is diverse, vibrant and exciting. It is the product of a blend of cultural influences that have shaped the country through the centuries. It is such a rich tradition that you’ll soon see why UNESCO added it to the World Heritage list in the intangible culture category.

The Flor de Canela menu includes a selection of popular appetizers or antojitos such as tacos, sopes, tlacoyos, quesadillas and guacamole. Fish dishes range from ceviche and tostadas to tikinxic (marinated Maya-style grilled fish), lobster, shrimp flambéed in tequila sauce and tuna cooked in a sesame, coriander and chia seed crust. Duck is cooked to perfection in a mole sauce known as manchamanteles (tablecloth stainer) or you can try free range chicken in Oaxaca mole sauce. Order the grilled beef fillet in red pipian sauce, lamb in salsa borracha or the all-time Yucatecan favorite, cochinita pibil, which is suckling pig marinated in achiote and Seville orange juice and slow roasted pibil-style.

Fresh shrimp and fish tacos are always a winner at Heaven Beach Bar or snack on a burger, sandwich or salad as you enjoy the spectacular view from your front row seat in paradise.

Unwind with traditional afternoon tea with freshly baked scones and cakes on the terrace at the Lobby Café.

For breakfast in bed, a casual lunch or a romantic candlelit supper on the terrace, call Room Service. If you are celebrating a special occasion, ask about the private catering service and ask the chef to cook for you (prior reservation required).

In addition to the a la carte restaurant, beach bar and in-room dining menus, there are more delectable dining options for you to try during the week with our theme nights with special a la carte menus. They range from Seafood Night to French and Italian Nights. Ask your Concierge for more delicious dining ideas.

 

 

Celebrating love and romance at Grand Residences

February is the month of love and renewing vows with that special someone and Grand Residences is a truly romantic spot to do so, whatever the season.

The beautiful secluded beach is the perfect place for a romantic dinner under the stars at any time of the year, but in February it is all the more special. Ask your Concierge about arranging a dinner with a sumptuous menu and a bottle of fine wine or champagne.

Dream weddings at Grand Residences
If someone in your family is planning to get married, why not choose Grand Residences? The beach is a wonderful spot in which to exchange the vows of eternal love and the luxurious surroundings make the resort a spectacular setting for a fairytale wedding in paradise with family and friends.

The happy couple and their guests will love the elegant suites, gourmet cuisine, world-class amenities, unique touches of luxury and the attentive service that is a hallmark of The Leading Hotels of the World®.

Whether the bride and groom have an intimate sunset ceremony on the beach in mind or a formal wedding bringing together family and friends for the occasion, the Grand Residences Wedding Planner will help them. The resort hosts one event at a time meaning that staff can give it their undivided attention, going above and beyond to make it unforgettable.

After the ceremony, the celebrations may continue with a cocktail reception, a formal sit-down dinner in one of the restaurants or a party on the deck with a buffet and music for dancing. From the menu and décor to music and flowers, the Grand Residences Wedding Planner takes care of all the details making dreams come true.

The Grand Residences Weddings collection of packages offers a variety of options. In addition to everything they include, there are exclusive perks and gifts for the bride and groom. https://grandresidencesrivieracancun.com/wedding-and-groups

Whatever the Occasion or Event
Have you considered hosting a special family occasion in your home away from home? Contact the Event Coordinator if you are thinking about a reunion, vow renewal, anniversary, engagement or graduation party or any other special occasion, including corporate events such as meetings and incentive trips.

For more information about event and wedding services or to receive our special wedding offers please email mmoya@grandresidencesrivieracancun.com

 

Spa Experiences for Wellness

Make this the year that you add the Spa to your Grand Residences vacation experiences for a morning of relaxation, restoration and renewal.

Whether you choose a massage, a facial or a body wrap, the collection of luxury treatments has everything you need to nurture body and soul and boost your wellbeing.

How about a relaxing massage on the beach, aromatherapy or a sport massage to soothe tense muscles? The massage collection also includes techniques harnessing the ancient wisdom of Native American cultures, the Far East and Hawaii. Choose a Hot Stones, Thai, Shiatsu or Lomi-Lomi massage for purification and energy balance.

Pamper your body with a fragrant facial or cleansing body wrap to leave your skin silky smooth.

For the ultimate in relaxation, ask about the Pampering in your Residence massages and luxury tub baths with milk, marine salts and grape essence.

Cool Cocktails

Are you dreaming of the taste of the tropics? Here’s a cocktail for you from the Grand Residences barmen that is brimming with Caribbean flavors. We hope that you will soon be back here with us in your favorite poolside or beachfront seat enjoying it. In the meantime, why not prepare it for a special dinner.

Cancun Tropical
½ oz gin
½ oz tequila
½ oz white rum
3 oz pineapple juice
1 oz coconut cream
¼ oz grenadine
Blend, serve and enjoy.

Wine of the Month

wine

Your Sommelier Javier Moreno has a red wine from Mexico for you this month. Why not try it with the Beef in Pipian Sauce recipe we shared?

Megacero, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz 2017, Encinillas, Chihuahua
A full-bodied red with all the fragrance of black fruit and subtle notes of wood and vanilla due to the ageing process, which entails it being stored in barrels of French oak. It is a dry, well-balanced wine with mature tannins. It has lingering flavors of chocolate and spices and is the perfect accompaniment for prime steaks and other meat dishes.

Beach Reads

If you are staying with us immerse yourself in a book on the beach or your terrace. If you are dreaming of your Grand Residences home curl up on the sofa with a good read and let your imagination take flight. You’ll soon be here. In the meantime, here are some recommendations. Why not write to us and let us know what’s on your bookshelf or Kindle right now?

Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory
The second book in the Tidelands trilogy follows the fortunes of Alinor and daughter Alys who are now London merchants with a small warehouse on the banks of the Thames. They keep up correspondence with Ned, Alinor’s brother who fled Restoration England for a homestead in New England, and anxiously await news of Alinor’s son Rob who is in Venice.

They receive two visitors, one from the past, James Avery, Alinor’s long-lost lover who wants to make amends for leaving her so many years ago, and Livia, a mysterious Italian beauty who claims to be Rob’s widow and the mother of his child. Alinor, who has the second sight, feels that something is not right and that Livia is not what she seems. She refuses to accept that her son is lost forever and her granddaughter Sarah shares her belief.

The family is plunged into confusion as Livia weaves a web of intrigue and entrapment in London and Ned tries to keep the peace between the settlers and the First Nations tribes that had welcomed them and now complain that their lands are being seized.

Sarah makes a dangerous journey to Venice to look for answers carried on the dark tides.

Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes
From the author of A Thousand Ships, this is a retelling of the Oedipus and Antigone myths from the perspective of two female characters Jocasta and Ismene. They have powerful voices in this atmospheric story of the cursed House of Thebes.

If you run out of books remember that you have a neighborhood bookstore right on the main square in Puerto Morelos. Alma Libre stocks a good selection of new and secondhand books and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Exploring the Mexican Caribbean and Yucatan, some great trip ideas

Sian Kaan

Have you thought about what you would like to do during your next vacation? How about a spot of sightseeing and visits to places you have never seen before? The Yucatan Peninsula has countless natural wonders and historical sites awaiting discovery and your Concierge will arrange unforgettable tours for you. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Explore the Underwater World
There’s an incredible world below the surface! Take the plunge and discover the underwater world of the Caribbean and come face to face with the shimmering creatures that inhabit the reefs. Learn how to snorkel or dive during your vacation and you’ll soon be ready to explore the Mesoamerican Reef, the second longest reef system in the world.

Start your underwater odyssey on the Puerto Morelos Reef, one of the most pristine parts of the Mesoamerican Reef, and then explore other reefs in the area such as those offshore from Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, Paamul and Akumal. Take the ferry from Playa del Carmen to the island of Cozumel, a world-famous scuba paradise with magnificent reefs offering dive sites for snorkelers and novice, intermediate and expert divers.

Spend some time admiring the sunken statues in Cancun’s Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA), the largest of its kind in the world.

Other underwater highlights not to be missed during the year are encounters with sea turtles or the gentle giants of the deep, the whale sharks and manta rays that gather during the summer to feed on plankton in the warm waters to the east of Holbox, Contoy and Isla Mujeres. From January to March, experienced divers can also swim with sailfish, the ocean’s fastest predators.

 

reef

 

Time Travel
Plan a day or two-day trip to one of the Yucatan’s colonial towns or cities for a glimpse of history and rich traditions.

Heading the list is Merida, state capital of the Yucatan, which just turned 479 in January. There’s so much to see and do there: history, traditions, a tempting dining scene, museums and art galleries and a different cultural event somewhere in the city every night.

Start your Merida tour in the main square, which is dominated by the 16th-century Cathedral, Casa de Montejo, the home of the founding father Francisco de Montejo, City Hall and Government House. Then stroll along Calle 60, which will take you through leafy squares past more colonial churches, the University of the Yucatan, one of the oldest in the Americas, and the belle époque Peon Contreras Theater. The colonial barrios or neighborhoods clustered around the main square constitute the second largest historic city center in Mexico.

Heading north along Calle 60, you’ll eventually make your way to Paseo Montejo, Merida’s famous boulevard. Inspired by the Champs Elysees, it is lined with mansions built at the height of the henequen boom in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Leaving Merida behind, the smaller towns of Valladolid, Izamal and Mani, all classed as Pueblos Magicos (Magical Towns) by the Mexican Tourism Board, have 16th-century churches, sprawling former monasteries or conventos and restored mansions to captivate visitors.

South of Merida, the Ruta de Conventos or Convent Route is a chain of traditional Mayan villages each one with its own colonial church of monastery to visit. They include Acanceh, Mani and Oxtankah and many visitors combine this circuit with a visit to a hacienda, Loltun Caves, Uxmal and the archaeological sites along the Puuc Route.

Further afield, a one-and-a-half-hour-drive from Merida the colonial port of Campeche is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its impressive fortresses were built to protect the local population from pirate attacks.

Maya mystery revealed
The whisper of the wind in the trees, the flash as a colorful bird takes flight and a glimpse of ancient temples, the Maya city of Coba has an air of mystery that appeals to the adventurer in all of us.

One of the largest Maya cities discovered to date, Coba is slowly revealing its secrets. A regional capital and trade center, it reached its peak during the Mayan Classic period, A.D. 250-900 and was still inhabited at the time of the Spanish Conquest. After its decline, the jungle engulfed the abandoned temples and palaces and archaeologists estimate that only around 10 per cent of the buildings have been released from its grip.

Experts have deciphered the hieroglyphic inscriptions carved on temples, stone tablets and standing stones or stelae to discover that Coba was ruled by a dynasty of at least 14 kings and queens. They have even identified the names of some of the rulers.

You can explore Coba on foot or hire a bike at the entrance. Follow the paths through the jungle to the different clusters of buildings. The most famous building at Coba is Nohoch Mul, a 42-meter-high pyramid that is the tallest in the northern Yucatán. Other buildings of note are the Coba group, the oldest at the site, La Iglesia, another 24-meter-high pyramid crowned by a temple, the Ball Court, Las Pinturas, Xaibe or the Crossroads Pyramid and the Macanxoc group which has nine circular altars and eight stelae.

Coba is also famous for the sacbes or Mayan causeways that radiate from the heart of the city. To date, 45 of these roads have been detected, including the longest sacbe in the Maya World, which links the city with Yaxuna, near Chichen Itza, a distance of 101 kilometers.

As you explore this jungle site keep a look out for birds such as parrots, toucans and motmot. Agouti, shy, deer-like foragers that are the size of a large terrier scuttle through the undergrowth and families of coatimundis, agile and engaging animals related to the raccoon that have distinctive white snouts and long tails may cross your path. Look at the position of the tail of the lead animal, the matriarch, and you’ll see that all the others are imitating her. Spider monkeys move through the jungle canopy in search of wild figs and zapote fruit and huge blue morph butterflies flutter through forest clearings.

Don’t stop your Maya discoveries with Coba, if you have already visited Tulum or Chichen Itza, why not plan a trip to Ek Balam or Uxmal and the Puuc Route sites (like Chichen Itza, Uxmal has World Heritage status) in the state of Yucatan. You could even organize a private tour and venture south to Kohunlich, Oxtankah and Dzibanche in southern Quintana Roo and Calakmul in southern Campeche, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.

uxmal

 

Nature’s wonders
For a glimpse of the Yucatan’s animals and birds you don’t have to venture very far from the resort to see iguanas, coatimundis, crocodiles, parrots, pelicans and osprey. Go exploring the jungle on the Cenote Route and you’ll spot a variety of colorful birds, spider monkeys and deer.

Further south in the Riviera Maya, 10 to 15 minutes north of Coba, is the community-run reserve of Punta Laguna. This pristine area of jungle on the shores of a lagoon is home to spider and howler monkeys, toucans, parrots and turquoise-browed motmots. Ocelots, pumas and jaguars are also said to roam in the remoter parts of the reserve. Villagers act as nature guides and will take you along jungle trails to see the families of spider monkeys feeding in the trees.

For an unforgettable Yucatan wildlife experience, sign up for an eco trip to Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve. Fishermen from the village of Rio Lagartos are trained as bird guides and will take you along the ria or estuary and through the mangroves to the coastal lagoons and salt marshes where thousands of flamingos feed. You’ll also see herons, kingfishers, crocodiles, raccoons and more.

For more wildlife watching, visit Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve south of Tulum, it’s one of the largest reserves in Mexico and a wonderland of jungle, wetlands, beaches and coral reefs teeming with wildlife. Other area reserves to visit if you are interested in nature include the island bird sanctuary of Contoy, the coastal lagoons and wetlands of Celestun (west coast of Yucatan), Yum Balam (accessible from Holbox) and the jungle biosphere reserve of Calakmul in southern Campeche.

Sian Kaan

 

Something New
Discover Bacalar, the spectacular Lagoon of Seven Colors, go bird watching or kayaking in Sian Ka’an or visit one of the Mayan communities in Maya Ka’an. Arrange a private tour to the historic city of Valladolid and combine it with a look at some of the area’s most spectacular cenotes. Swim with the whale sharks in the summer; visit the island of Holbox or even sign up for Mexican cooking class. The Mexican Caribbean and the Yucatan are full of things to do, so start exploring.

 



Contact your Concierge for help with travel plans.

Mexican Caribbean Update

Read our COVID-19 Travel Update for information from Royal Resorts and on the Mexican Caribbean and travel assistance if your trip plans are disrupted.

The Quintana Roo State Government recently passed a law making the use of face masks mandatory in public and stringent health and safety standards are in effect wherever you go, starting with the airport and in resorts, restaurants, malls, parks and on tours.

Public beaches, marinas, golf courses, parks and archaeological sites are all open for visitors to enjoy. The flight network is expanding once more and Cancun and the Riviera Maya are the most sought after destinations by Expedia customers in the United States.

Stay in touch with Grand Residences

Check the Grand Residences webcam for a daily glimpse of your Mexican Caribbean home. Visit Grand Residences on Facebook and Instagram for photos and the latest news from your home away from home, exercise and activity ideas, trips to do, recipes and much more.

Grand Recipes: beef in red pipian sauce

pipian

Here’s a recipe from Chef Hector Rentería for you to try back home, we hope that it will put you in the mood for an evening of delicious Mexican cuisine at Flor de Canela. Learn how to make pipian, a classic Mexican sauce that blends seeds, nuts and chilies for a rich but mild flavor.

Beef in Red Pipian Sauce
Serves 4 people

For the sauce
200g onion
20g garlic
10g dried chili ancho
50g almonds
20g white sesame seeds
50g shelled unsalted peanuts
10g epazote
20g green pumpkin seeds
300g plum tomatoes
600ml chicken stock
5 guajillo chilies
5g sea salt

Heat the pan and toast the almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Lightly cook the onion and tomato. Clean and devein the guajillo chilies and toast them. Return all the toasted ingredients to the pan, add half the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Add the epazote and garlic. Set aside to cool and then blend. Season with salt and pepper. Strain the sauce so that it is smooth.

Beef fillet
200g beef fillet
3g sea salt
2g black pepper
100ml olive oil
30g baby zucchini
30g patty pan squash

Preheat a frying pan, add the beef and seal, cook to taste and leave to rest. Sautée the vegetables in the same pan. When you are ready to serve the dish pour the sauce onto a plate and cut the beef in half to show that it is cooked to taste and place on top. Add the zucchini and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Buen provecho/Bon appetit