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New ways to earn Royal Resorts Rewards

We have some exciting news for you about the Royal Resorts Rewards loyalty program: it now offers you even more ways to earn Rewards.

As of June 27, you can earn Rewards when you book eligible stays and products through the Royal Resorts Reservation Center, either by contacting the Call Center or online at www.royalreservations.com or www.royalresorts.com (applicable for new reservations only). That’s not all; we have added a new way for you to use the Rewards in your account. You can now redeem them to pay for additional nights and other products booked through the Royal Resorts Reservation Center.

Earning Rewards

  • You’ll now earn Rewards whenever you book eligible stays and products through the Royal Resorts Reservation Center (Call Center and the Royal Reservations and Royal Resorts websites) NEW
  • Earn Rewards during your vacation at participating* Grand Residences and Royal Resorts restaurants and facilities
  • By purchasing Life Extension products or Skymed memberships
  • By participating in the Friends & Family referral program

Redeeming Rewards

  • You can now use the Rewards in your account to pay for eligible stays and other products booked through the Royal Resorts Reservation Center*. Enjoy even more vacation time in your home away from home NEW
  • Pay your annual Club Service Fee
  • Pay the resort bill on your next vacation
  • Make a donation to the Royal Resorts Foundation

* Redeem Rewards by phone only to pay for stays and other products booked through the Royal Resorts Reservation Center.

Want to enjoy additional vacation time at Royal Resorts this year, book through the Royal Resorts Reservation Center and start earning Rewards. Visit www.royalresortsrewards.com for more information.

If you haven’t enrolled in the Royal Resorts Rewards program, JOIN TODAY by visiting www.royalresortsrewards.com

Royal Resorts Rewards Customer Service
Interval Servicing (ISCO)
Toll Free from US and Canada 1-877-736-4552
Toll free from Mexico 01-800-099-0486
All Other Countries +1 (954) 485-5400
rewardsprogram@royalresorts.com
RoyalResortsRewards.com

 

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Catch of the Day

During your next Grand Residences vacation be sure to order the catch of the day cooked with flair by our award-winning chef Yann Cozic and his team. Sample the tempting fresh seafood dishes on the menu at our trio of restaurants El Faro, Flor de Canela and Heaven Grill and don’t miss the Seafood Night theme buffet on Thursday night.

From Caribbean lobster to Galician-style grilled octopus, shrimp in curry sauce or cooked with ginger and lemon grass, tuna tagine and Mediterranean fish recipes, our fruits de mer are all delicious and supremely fresh. There’s grilled salmon and grouper fillet with butter and almond sauce, mussel casserole and if you crave seafood pasta the chef will be happy to oblige.

Try the ceviche, a classic in Mexico and Peru, and the zesty flavors of aguachile, shrimp and cucumber marinated in lime juice, a recipe from Mexico’s Pacific coast. For a lunchtime snack, munch on Baja California-style fish or shrimp tacos at Heaven Grill as you take in the incredible beach views.

Much of the seafood prepared in the Grand Residences kitchens is sourced locally from Puerto Morelos fishermen or from Mexico’s Pacific ports and further afield.

These classic Mexican recipes are a must when dining in Puerto Morelos seafood restaurants: tikinxic or Mayan-style grilled fish, fish fillet al mojo de ajo, which is fish fillet sautéed in garlic butter, and pescado a la veracruzana, fish stewed in a tasty tomato, olive and caper sauce. You can even order a whole fried fish – the boquinete or hogfish is delicious – accompanied with tortillas, salsa and a salad garnish and make your own tacos.

Buen provecho!

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Water sports summer

Cast off this summer and enjoy days of watery fun on the waves or beneath them as you explore the Mesoamerican Reef. Your Grand Residences Concierges can help you arrange snorkeling and diving trips, kayaking, fishing, catamaran cruises and other water sports adventures.

Spend the afternoon snorkeling the reefs in the Puerto Morelos National Marine Park. When you are ready to go further afield to explore more of the coral kingdom there are trips to Akumal, Isla Mujeres and the island of Cozumel, world-famous for reef diving.

Would you like to go fishing? Charters are available from the nearby marina for a morning or a full day out on the waves.

You won’t want to miss the weekly Grand Residences sunset catamaran cruise, just ask the Concierge to book your seat. Or how about planning a longer yacht excursion along the Riviera Maya coast or from Cancun across the bay to Isla Mujeres? The possibilities are endless.

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Every picture tells a story

From the sea turtles that nest on Riviera Maya beaches each summer to flamingos, jaguars, monkeys and even tapirs, the Yucatan Peninsula is rich in wildlife. Its jungles and wetlands are a haven for species large and small. You may have seen some of the wild creatures in this month’s selection of photos. Why not tell us about your sighting, we would love to hear from you.

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

 

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Summer sightseeing in the Mexican Caribbean

If you are planning to visit your Grand Residences home away from home with the family this summer, you’ll want to combine your resort relaxation with day trips to some of the Riviera Maya and Yucatan’s many natural treasures. Here are some of the options for unforgettable summer adventures.

Plain sailing

When the summer heat sizzles and the sea is mirror calm conditions are perfect for a day of sailing in the Caribbean and if you would like to plan a boat trip with family and friends there are several exciting adventures to choose from.

Go in search of nature and plan a trip to the island of Contoy, the palm-fringed island of Caribbean legend and lore and an important bird sanctuary for over 150 species, including pelicans, frigate birds, cormorants, roseate spoonbills, ibis and herons.

Contoy is a two and a half hour boat trip north of Cancun and the shades of turquoise and blue water that you’ll pass through en route are breathtaking. Spend the day watching the birds, relaxing on the beach or snorkeling and swimming with rays and other fish in the sheltered bay.

Eco cruises are available to Contoy during the week, ask your Concierge for information.

Charter a luxury yacht and set sail from Cancun to Isla Mujeres. You can stop for a spot of snorkeling on the way and after exploring Isla, sit down for a seafood lunch at one of the restaurants along the waterfront.

If you want to extend your voyage, why not sail along the Cancun shoreline and through the Nichupte Lagoon before heading for Isla Mujeres?

 

Face to face with the Whale sharks

For a once-in-a-lifetime nature experience this summer, board a boat for a trip to see the whale sharks, the world’s largest fish and gentle giants.

From mid-May to mid-September, whale sharks gather in large numbers to feed on plankton in the waters to the east of Contoy and Isla Mujeres and also off Holbox Island and Cabo Catoche. Your eco trip will take you out to the whale shark feeding grounds where you can watch them swim placidly by as they filter feed and even swim with them. You may also be lucky enough to see giant manta rays leaping from the water, sea turtles and pods of dolphins too.

 

A day at the Riviera Maya’s parks

If you are vacationing with your family, then a day at one of the Riviera Maya’s parks is a must and one that everyone will enjoy.

Heading the list is world-famous Xcaret Park just south of Playa del Carmen. A day here is as much about fun in the water as it is about you and your children discovering the country’s rich traditions and wildlife.

After a day snorkeling, swimming in underground rivers and visiting attractions like the aquarium, aviary, butterfly pavilion and craft museum, among others, you must stay on for the Xcaret evening show. This gala performance takes you on a journey through Mexican history, from the days of the ancient Maya and Aztecs to the arrival of the Spaniards, the 19th century seen through the eyes of a newly independent nation and Mexican Revolution in 1910, to this day. See folk dances from all over the country and all the sights and sounds of a Mexican fiesta, complete with a mariachi band.

If you want to spend the day in the water, then head to Xel-Ha Park. This chain of turquoise inlets, lagoons and cenotes is a snorkeling paradise offering face to face encounters with a variety of colorful reef fish. And although you’ll want to dive into the clear water over and over again in search of new species, there are other fun activities on offer.

Follow the paths through the forest to the park’s cenotes, smaller inlets and caves. Leap off the cliff of courage into the water and then drift across the lagoon on a giant inner tube. You can also try your hand at zip lining, swim in a cenote or swim with dolphins (additional charge) and don’t miss Xel-Ha’s latest attraction, the viewing tower that is actually a giant water slide.

Or how about a day of jungle adventures? Enjoy the thrills of zip lining, snorkeling in cenotes, kayaks, abseiling, nature walks or ATV drives through the forest at the Riviera Maya’s many adventure parks. They include Selvatica, Xplor, Aktun Chen and the Jungla Maya tour.

 

Splash down in a Cenote

Diving into a jungle-rimmed pool filled with crystal-clear water that is so cool it is quite a shock after the heat is a favorite Riviera Maya activity. There are so many cenotes or sinkholes in the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan and if you ask a local, they all have their favorite cenote parks.

Some of the Riviera Maya’s most beautiful cenotes are actually not far from Puerto Morelos, clustered along the Ruta de los Cenotes. There are more to explore in the Puerto Aventuras area and in Tulum.

Taking the family to Xenotes Oasis Maya gives you the chance to explore the jungle and spend the day at four different cenotes on the Ruta de los Cenotes. Swim, snorkel and rappel down a cliff wall. Go kayaking, float in an inner tube and splashdown in a cenote on a fun zip line. Venture into ancient caves and enjoy a guided walk along nature trails in the jungle.

Ask your Concierge for more summer sightseeing ideas.

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New Museum opens in Valladolid

The colonial town of Valladolid has a new museum to visit if you are interested in Mexican culture. El Museo de Ropa Etnica de Mexico or MUREM is a museum showcasing traditional clothing worn by Mexico’s indigenous groups in 12 different regions of the country.

Embroidered cotton huipiles or dresses for everyday wear share space with splendid ribbon bedecked ceremonial dresses. Whatever their use, they are works of art full of color and creativity, decorated with designs featuring flowers, birds and animals or stripes, crosses and geometric shapes, symbols of the natural world and their ancient beliefs.

There are brocaded blouses from Mayan communities in the highlands of Chiapas – each village has its own design – worn over black woolen skirts and tied with woven sashes. Other huipiles from Oaxaca, Yucatan and the central Mexican highlands still resemble the garments worn by women in pre-Hispanic times.

After the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century and the arrival of settlers from Spain, European fashions began to appear in Mexico, such as frills, lace, ribbons, shawls and fans. Many of Mexico’s most famous dresses show Spanish influence. They include lacy white dresses from Veracruz and colorful dresses worn in Campeche, Puebla and Jalisco.

Hats and headdresses, ribbons, traditional belts, shawls and jewelry complete the outfits and there is a collection of men’s clothing too. Other exhibits show contemporary items such as the masks worn by lucha libre wrestlers.

MUREM is located in the center of town on Calle 41, No. 195, between Calle 38 and Calle 40. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and there is a shop selling Mexican crafts.

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Good news for jaguar conservation in Mexico

At an international conference on jaguars and other tropical felines found in the Americas held in Cancun, June 8 -15, Mexico shared some important information about the country’s population of jaguars. The Second National Jaguar Census revealed that there are around 4,800 jaguars in Mexico, an increase of 20 percent over that reported in 2010.

The Census was coordinated by the Institute of Ecology in the National University of Mexico (UNAM) with the support of the National Commission of Protected Areas (CONANP) and the World Wildlife Fund-Fundacion Telmex Telcel Alliance. Twenty-five groups from 16 different academic institutions took part, installing 396 camera traps in 11 different sites throughout Mexico. The census locations were Montes Azules and La Sepultura Biosphere Reserves in (Chiapas), Sierra del Abra Tanchipa (San Luis Potosí), Los Chimalapas (Oaxaca), Laguna Om and El Edén Reserve (Quintana Roo), Nevado de Colima (Jalisco), Sahuaripa (Sonora), Meseta de Cacaxtla (Sinaloa), Sierra de Chilpancingo (Guerrero) and Punto Puuc (a point in the center of the Yucatan Peninsula where the states of Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo converge).

Located along jungle trails used by wildlife or near water sources, the camera traps detect motion and take photos of jaguars, pumas and other creatures that pass by. For 60 days, the census cameras took photos of 20 different species, including peccaries, deer, agouti and wild turkey, all important prey animals for jaguars and pumas.

The survey results reflect heightened efforts to protect the jaguar, the largest feline in the Americas. The creation of new reserves in Mexico, improved coordination and census techniques, reforestation and increased awareness about the dangers this magnificent creature faces from habitat loss and illegal hunting are helping but more work is needed to bring this big cat back from the brink of extinction.

The creation of biological corridors linking reserves where jaguars are known to roam can help, as can reforestation, the protection of important swathes of forest under threat from development and wildlife underpasses on highways. Biologists are also working with rural communities and ranchers that see jaguars, pumas and ocelots as a danger to their livestock.

The largest populations of jaguars are found in southeast Mexico, in the jungles of Quintana Roo, Campeche and Chiapas.

(Census information source: WWF)
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UPCOMING EVENTS IN CANCUN, RIVIERA MAYA & YUCATAN

July Sport Fishing Tournaments

Punta Allen 2018 Fishing Tournament, Punta Allen, Sian Ka’an, July 13-15

Copa Punta Herrero 2018, Punta Herrero, Sian Ka’an, July 27-29

Feria del Carmen, Playa del Carmen, July 7 – 16

Masses, processions, music, a fair and more to honor Playa del Carmen’s patron saint.

La Diosa del Mar Women’s International Fishing Tournament, Puerto Morelos, July 13 & 14

Catch and release international fishing tournament.

Whale Shark Festival Isla Mujeres, July 20-22

164th Anniversary of the Foundation of Holbox, Holbox, July 22

Folk ballet and live music in the main square, July 22 at 7 p.m.

Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Izamal, August 15, Izamal

Masses, processions, traditional dances and music in Izamal, a historic town in the Yucatan famous for its colonial convent and surrounding buildings all painted in bright yellow with a white trim. Izamal shares the distinction of being one of the Yucatan’s twin Pueblos Magicos or “Magical” Towns with Valladolid, a name given to smaller Mexican communities that are rich in history and traditions or are the site of natural wonders.

168th Anniversary of the Settlement of Isla Mujeres, August 17

Isla Mujeres celebrates its anniversary in August, 168 years since the first settlers in the modern era founded the village of Dolores. Isla Fest events include processions, dance performances, live music and more.

Mexican Independence, September 15 &16

Mexico celebrates the anniversary of its Independence from Spain with delicious food, music and colorful festivities the night of September 15 and processions on September 16.

Fiesta del Cristo de Las Ampollas, September 27, Merida

The patron saint of Merida is honored with masses, pilgrimages, processions and traditional dances.

6th Cancun International Festival of Music, Cancun, October 18 to 27

More than 300 musicians of 12 nationalities will take to the stage during the festival. Different musical genres and venues.

7th Festival of Maya Culture (FIC Maya), Merida, October 19 – 28

This year’s FIC Maya Festival showcases the Maya of today, the descendants of the ancient temple builders. Scattered across Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Campeche, Tabasco and Chiapas in southeast Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, parts of El Salvador and Honduras, they speak 31 different languages and keep faith with many ancient beliefs and customs. Learn about their traditions, farming, cuisine, their art, textiles, timeless rituals, music, dance and festivals. The program will feature seminars and round tables, concerts, film, theater, dance performances and more.

This year, the Mexican state of honor is Aguascalientes, also famous for its textiles and embroidery. The guest country is India, another nation rich in traditions that is home to ancient cultures dating back thousands of years.

Festival de Vida y Muerte, Xcaret Park, October 30 – November 2

Hosted by Xcaret Park, the Festival of Life and Death Traditions showcases one of Mexico’s richest and most colorful customs, the Day of the Dead or Día de Muertos, which takes place on November 1 and 2. At this time of year, Mexicans believe that the souls of the departed come back to the world of the living for a short time. They welcome their loved ones with altars laden with flowers, food, treasured possessions and other offerings, and with candlelit vigils, masses and serenades.

The Festival program features processions, altars, traditional cuisine, art exhibits, music, dance, theater, children’s events and a visit to the colorful Mexican cemetery. Each year, a different Mexican state is invited to participate in the Festival and showcase its Day of the Dead traditions and this year it is the turn of Zacatecas. Located in the northern uplands, Zacatecas is a state rich in history.

OHL Classic at Mayakoba, PGA golf in the Riviera Maya, November _______

A field of players that includes some of the PGA’s leading young players and several former champions gathers for the OHL Classic at El Camaleón Golf Club in Mayakoba.

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