Grand Residences Update

After our June news about the affiliation of Grand Residences with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Registry Collection Hotels, some owners contacted us with questions about the project to build phases 3 and 4 of the resort. We would like to assure you that the plan is going ahead and that there have been no design or concept changes. We are waiting for final financial approval and then construction will begin.  

   As you may remember from the initial presentation of the project for phases 3 and 4, the majority of the two-bedroom units will be reconfigured as smaller deluxe Suites with a different floor plan. There will be additional amenities such as two more restaurants, the Spa, a larger shopping area and meeting and events facilities.

   The architectural design of the buildings, facades, and furnishings will not change, it will be as approved during the meeting of owners and remarkably like Phases 1 and 2.  

   Our Intention is to begin construction of phases 3 and 4 and complete the resort as soon as possible. We hope to be able to share more news with you about this later in the year.

Kids Club Summer

The Kids Club team has a great line up of summer activities for our youngest guests. There are fun pool and beach games, quizzes and competitions and arts and crafts sessions to keep them busy and entertained. We can guarantee that they won’t want to leave and that they will have plenty of Mexican Caribbean memories to share with their friends back home. 

   With its colorful jungle characters and reef creatures, the Kids Club is a great place for children to learn about the Yucatan and its wildlife and the importance of conservation and protecting our planet. Jaguars, monkeys, toucans, fish and turtles all make an appearance in the wall murals and, on nature walks with the Kids Club team, children get to see more birds and even to feed the iguanas basking in the sun around the resort. 

   The Kids Club team makes learning about Mexican culture fun for children. They’ll learn new Spanish words in classes and when playing lotería, dance steps, songs and get to try traditional Mexican braids, face painting and wear headdresses like the ones once worn by ancient Maya rulers. Even arts and crafts have a Mexican tint with bracelets, tissue paper flowers and papier mâché figures for the piñata party.

   They’ll also learn about the alebrijes that share space on the walls with native wildlife. These fantasy creatures take their inspiration from the wooden figures of dragons, mermaids, winged horses, colorful cats, dogs and birds created by the gifted folk artists of Oaxaca. 

   And while the children are having fun, teens and adults have their own activity programs full of sports, games and classes to choose from. Be sure to check what’s on with your Concierge during your stay. 

Movie Night

One of the most popular activities that families can enjoy together at Grand Residences is Movie Night on the pool deck. Ask your Concierge for details of the films to be shown during your stay for a fun evening under the stars.

Fourth of July Fun with the Family

Bring the children for a day of fun on the Fourth of July. The Kids Club team has a special program of games and activities lined up for them.

  • 10 a.m. T-shirt painting
  • 12 p.m. Pool games
  • 2 p.m. Contest & prizes
  • 3 p.m. Make your own pizza
  • 4 p.m. Beach competitions
  • 8 p.m. Fire Show by the beach

Fourth of July BBQ

The Stars and Stripes will join the Mexican flag at the classic Grand Residences Sunday BBQ on July 4th. Join us at Heaven Beach Bar for a tempting spread of BBQ favorites straight off the grill. Juicy steaks and burgers, BBQ ribs, fish, corn on the cob and much more, served with baked potatoes or fries, corn on the cob, traditional sauces and plenty of spicy Mexican salsa too. 

   Ask your Concierge for more Grand Residences dining recommendations. Choose from the gourmet a la carte menus at El Faro and Flor de Canela or try the theme night special menus for Argentine Night, Italian Night, Seafood Night and French Night.  

Grand Recipes

Here’s a delicious recipe from the Chef that’s perfect for the BBQ and features Caribbean shrimp and octopus. Try it yourself this summer and be sure to order it on your next visit. 

Grilled Shrimp and Octopus

  • 250g shrimp
  • 400g poached octopus tentacles
  • 200g yellow sweet potato
  • 66g lemons (halved)
  • 50g chopped garlic
  • 20g Cajun fish seasoning
  • 15g paprika
  • 10ml sunflower oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 200g cooked corn
  • 50g mayonnaise
  • 25g crumbly cotija cheese
  • 5g chili flakes
  • 100g butter
  • Sprigs of epazote herb
  • 20g baby rocket and radishes to garnish

Method

Cook the corn in water with salt and epazote until tender.

Cook the sweet potato with water, butter and a touch of sugar to make a confit 

Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan and add the shrimp and poached octopus. Sauté until the shrimp is cooked, then add garlic, Cajun seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper and continue cooking until golden brown.  

Put the camote on the plate and arrange the octopus and shrimp around it.

Serve the corn esquite-style with mayonnaise, cotija cheese and chili flakes and place in a ramekin dish on the plate.

Grill the lemon halves and add to the plate. 

Garnish with baby rocket and sliced radishes.

Enjoy!  

 

Wine of the Month

Your Grand Residences Sommelier Javier Moreno has this delightful French white wine for you this month. 

Chablis Saint Martin Domaine Laroche 2019

This white wine from Burgundy is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes and is dry, with the fragrance of green apples and citrus fruit, a suggestion of butter and intense mineral notes on the palate. It has a buttery flavor with a hint of hazelnut, almond and stone. The long finish makes it the perfect pairing for seafood, lobster cooked in butter and oysters Rockefeller.

Cool Cocktails

Here’s a tropical cocktail from your Grand Residences bartenders to sip on the deck this summer and to order on your next visit to the Mexican Caribbean.

Grand Sunset

  • 1 1/2 oz orange juice
  • 1 ½ oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz cranberry juice
  • ½ oz Malibu rum
  • 1 oz dark rum
  • Dash of lime juice

Pour the cranberry juice and rum in the glass, add the orange juice and then the pineapple juice. It should form layers in the different colors. Frost the rim of the glass with Tajin chili powder for extra Caribbean spice (optional).

Summer Splashes

When the summer heat sizzles, you’ll want to head straight for the water to cool down and here in the Mexican Caribbean you have a choice of ocean-going activities, or you can venture into the Riviera Maya jungle and leap into the cool clear waters of a sinkhole or cenote. Take your pick.

 

The mighty Mesomerican Reef

Go below the surface to explore the incredible coral realm of the Mexican Caribbean, part of the Mesoamerican Reef system, the world’s second longest. From Isla Mujeres and Cancun to Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Paamul and Akumal, there are snorkeling and scuba diving trips to reefs all along the coast. 

   More than 300 species of fish, rays, sea turtles and other marine life are a shimmering spectacle, a kaleidoscope of colors amidst the coral gardens, huge sponges and sea fans.  

   For more snorkeling thrills with children, make a beeline for the caletas or turquoise inlets and lagoons at Xel-Ha Park and Yalku, they are literally natural aquariums, full of fish from the nearby reefs.

 

Swimming with giants

During the summer you have the chance to swim with the mysterious giants of the deep, the peaceful whale sharks. This unforgettable eco trip is available from June to September when hundreds of whale sharks or pez domino (domino fish, so named for their mottled skin) gather to feed on plankton and fish roe in the waters off Holbox and Cabo Catoche and to the east of Contoy.

 

Sail ahoy

Cutting through the waves on board a catamaran or yacht with a stiff breeze to cool you is almost as good as being in the water and you are safe in the knowledge that there will be stops on the way to swim and snorkel.  

 

Jungle chills

There is more aquatic fun in store in the jungle. Head away from the coast one day and explore the cenotes or sinkholes of the Riviera Maya. In caves, partially covered by a cave roof or completely open, these limestone sinkholes are filled with cold, crystalline waters in turquoise or emerald-green. Gaze into the mirror-like depths and the columns, stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over millions of years look like a mysterious submerged city.  

   You can start your cenote discoveries along the Cenote Route to the west of Puerto Morelos. There are cenotes suitable for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and zip lining. For more cenote fun, don’t miss Selvatica, Xplor, Aktun Chen and Dos Ojos adventure parks. 

Ask your Concierge

Your Concierge can help you book snorkeling and scuba trips, whale shark swims, catamaran cruises, cenote excursions and park days.

 

The Travel Gallery

Here’s our monthly gallery showcasing some of the region’s many natural and historical attractions. How many have you visited?  Which ones would you like to explore on future visits to Grand Residences?

Cancun Underwater Art Museum

Also known as MUSA, this iconic underwater art museum has more than 500 life-size sculptures in four galleries in different parts of the Cancun-Isla Mujeres National Park. The brainchild of British artist Jason deCaires-Taylor, who has gone on to create sunken museums in other parts of the world, MUSA has a message of art and conservation. The sculptures are being colonized by corals and sponges and are a refuge for fish and other marine life. An attraction for divers and snorkelers, the galleries take the pressure off local reefs, giving them a respite and a chance to recover. 

 

Punta Maroma

A perfect crescent of white sand between Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen, Punta Maroma is one of the Riviera Maya’s most beautiful beaches.

 

Casa de los Venados, Valladolid

If you are planning a visit to the colonial town of Valladolid, be sure to call in at Casa de los Venados for a guided tour. Located a short walk from the main square, this is a 17th-century mansion lovingly restored by its owners who are lifelong collectors of Mexican folk art. More than 3,000 pieces are on display, a tribute to the creativity of Mexican artisans. You’ll see  everything from giant porcelain pineapples to Talavera vases and tableware, figurines of saints, angels, mermaids, skeletons and diablitos, alebrijes, wood carvings, textiles and paintings by local artists. Guided tours are at 10 a.m. (Valladolid time) and at the end you are asked to make a donation to support local community causes.

 

San Felipe, Yucatan

If you are bound for Rio Lagartos to see the flamingos, after your trip through the mangroves and lagoons to witness one of the Yucatan´s great natural wonders, why not explore a little further? A short drive from Rio Lagartos, San Felipe is a fishing village on the Gulf coast with peaceful beaches, colorful clapboard houses and delicious fresh seafood.

 

Ask your Concierge

Your Concierge can help you arrange trips to these spots and to all the natural and historical wonders in the Mexican Caribbean and Yucatan.

Mexican Caribbean & Yucatan News

Many US airlines are expanding their services to meet growing demand and there are new additions to the Cancun flight scene from Europe too, such as KLM, which will begin direct flights to the Mexican Caribbean from Amsterdam this winter. One of the world’s largest carriers, KLM has a global network and Amsterdam is a hub for connecting flights from Asia and the Middle East. World2Fly is another European airline that has added flights to Cancun from Madrid and Lisbon. 

   In more Mexican Caribbean news, cruise ships have returned to Cozumel and Mahahual, after a year of cancelled sailings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

   If you are planning a visit to Merida, capital of the Yucatan, on your next trip to Royal Resorts, be sure to take in some of the evening events that the city is famous for. The Vaqueria Folk Dance in front of City Hall on Monday evening and the Noche Mexicana on Saturdays in the park at the beginning of Paseo Montejo are now being staged once more after months of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing measures are in place and mask use is mandatory.

   Valladolid has a new Turibus for a city tour calling in at the main square, Sisal convent, Zaci cenote and other local attractions.