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.

Grand Residences signs an affiliation agreement with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

We would like to share some exciting news with you about Grand Residences. As of June 2, 2021, Grand Residences is affiliated with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, one of the world’s largest and most diverse hotel groups. As part of this strategic alliance, Grand Residences will be the flagship hotel of Wyndham’s new collection of luxury hotels: Registry Collection HotelsSM.

In challenging times for the world economy, we made the decision to seek a strategic business alliance with an international brand to diversify market opportunities, boost occupancy levels and gain access to new prospects for our hotel and timeshare programs.

After months of research and analysis of 19 of the world’s leading hotel luxury brands, we selected Wyndham Hotels & Resorts to be our alliance partner and we believe that it is a perfect match. The world’s largest hotel company in number of properties, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has a portfolio of 21 brands such as Wyndham Grand and Wyndham, Dolce, Dazzler, Ramada, Tryp and Trademark, and over 8,900 hotels in nearly 95 countries spanning the globe. Expansion continues with more than 187,000 rooms planned, and with Registry Collection Hotels it is set to redefine the luxury hospitality experience.

With Grand Residences as its flagship property, Registry Collection Hotels is an exclusive collection of diverse independent hotels all over the world that share a commitment to luxury, and to offering unparalleled service, exceptional dining, and unforgettable experiences.

The decision to affiliate with Wyndham was made with the best interests of our owners and members and our employees at heart. It will allow Grand Residences to grow, offer you more benefits and strengthen our position in the luxury hotel and vacation ownership sectors.

The alliance will give us access to Wyndham’s global booking engine and marketing channels and worldwide visibility as we offer our luxury vacation experience to a greater number of highly educated and wealthy international travelers. We will benefit from the experience of an international brand and take advantage of operations and sales support and best-in-class training opportunities for our employees. Grand Residences will remain independently owned and operated.

Due to this new affiliation, we have ended our relationship with The Leading Hotels of the World®. Nevertheless, Grand Residences will continue to follow the highest quality and service standards that have become our hallmarks, earning us the top spot among Puerto Morelos hotels, and accolades as one of the best of the best in Mexico.

What does it mean to you?

You will continue to enjoy the luxury vacation experience in your beloved home away from home as you have always done. And whenever you want to travel the world, you can use your reciprocal use privileges to book stays at luxury resorts and hotels listed on the Registry Collection website.

Additionally, you will be able to join Wyndham Rewards, the award-winning loyalty program with 87 million members worldwide. You’ll earn points when renting additional nights at Grand Residences and you can use them to make reservations at Wyndham properties.

We will be sharing more information with you about this affiliation and what it means to Grand Residences and for you, our owners and members.

We have also prepared a Wyndham Affiliation FAQ section for you to answer the questions you may have. Learn more

Grand Open-air Dining

Summer nights in the Mexican Caribbean are truly magical. The sound of the waves breaking on the beach and the whisper of the breeze, more stars than you ever dreamed scattered across the heavens and the moon rising. If you are lucky, you might see a turtle coming ashore to lay its eggs, phosphorescence glimmering in the shallows or a shooting star flaming across the night sky.  All this makes for the perfect setting for open-air dining and at Grand Residences we have the gourmet cuisine and fine wines for an unforgettable evening.

 

Romantic dinner on the beach

Are you celebrating an anniversary, a birthday or just want to do something special on your next trip to Grand Residences? How about a romantic dinner on the beach? Your Concierge can help you set it up. Enjoy one of our irresistible set menus or work with the chef to create your own menu if you have something else in mind. Flickering candlelight, flowers, champagne or fine wines selected from our award-winning wine list and served by your attentive waiter will make it an evening to remember. Reservations required, please contact your Concierge.

 

Poolside BBQ

Enjoy tasty outdoor dining for friends and family at our Sunday night BBQ, a Grand Residences favorite. Prime steaks, fresh seafood and the best burgers in town are cooked to order on the grill and served with sauces ranging from traditional BBQ to spicy salsa.

 

Argentinian Night

For more mouthwatering outdoor dining you won’t want to miss Argentinian Night on Wednesday at Heaven Beach Bar. Choose your favorite cut of prime beef, chicken, chorizo and the catch of the day grilled to perfection Argentine-style. Add chimichurri, salsa verde or habanero sauce and you are ready to tuck in. The freshly baked empanadas make great starters or order them with a salad as an alternative to a steak.

 

Sunset Cocktails

Enjoy a final Caribbean cocktail in Heaven Beach Bar before dinner. And remember that you can also enjoy a drink on the open-air deck at the Lobby Bar or a meal on the terrace at El Faro later in the evening. There is live music during the week to enjoy and your Concierge will fill you in on the details.

 

Alfresco dining on your residence

A drink and dinner on your terrace enjoying the starlight and the sound of the ocean is another option for a casual evening in. Budding chefs can work their magic in the gourmet kitchen with fresh fish, shrimp, lobster and steaks from the Protein Menu available through Room Service. Order delicious dishes from the Room Service menu if you prefer not to cook and for something special, you can even arrange for the Chef to cook for you. Ask your Concierge for details, reservations are required.

Ask your Concierge for more tempting dining options at Grand Residences this summer.

Wine of the month

Here’s a wine recommendation from the Grand Residences Sommelier Javier Moreno. This Spanish white from the award-winning El Faro wine list is perfect for outdoor dining this summer.

Paco & Lola

From the Rías Baixas region, this Spanish white wine made from the albariño grape is the perfect choice for sipping on the beach or to serve with seafood. It has notes of citrus fruit, green apple, basil, a fresh taste and a subtle hint of fragrant white flowers. The pleasant acidity is easy on the palate and it has lingering flavors of fruit.

Grand Recipes

We are sharing a seafood recipe from the Flor de Canela menu this month. Mexican ingredients and a touch of the Far East combine to create a delicious fusion of flavors.  The freshest tuna from the Pacific is served on crisp corn tostadas with a creamy avocado sauce and soy sauce vinaigrette.

Tuna Tostadas

  • 500g fresh tuna
  • 1 packet of tostadas
  • 100g green tomatillo
  • 300g tomatoes
  • 300g avocado
  • 1 lima
  • 2 limes
  • 250ml whipping cream
  • 225ml soy sauce
  • 150ml olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Radishes

Method

Dice the raw tuna in one-centimeter cubes and set aside. Chop the tomato and tomatillo into a similar size.
To make the avocado cream sauce: Blend the avocado, cream, the juice of two limes and the lima and 50 milliliters of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
To make the soy sauce vinaigrette:  Put the soy sauce in a bowl and whisk in the olive oil. Then add the tuna, chopped tomato and the tomatillo and mix. Check seasoning.
Place on the tostadas and top with drops of the avocado cream and garnish with sliced radishes.

Buen provecho!

Cool Cocktails

Here is a cool and colorful creation from our bartenders to try on your next visit to Grand Residences. If you are hosting a dinner this summer, why not make it and impress your guests.

Grand Paradise

  • 1oz grenadine
  • 1oz white rum
  • Orange juice
  • 1 ½ oz Blue Curaçao

Place ice in a tall glass and add the grenadine and rum. Slowly pour in the orange juice, you should have two layers, one red and the other orange. Finally add the Curaçao for a multicolored cocktail that tastes as good as it looks. Garnish with orange slices and a cherry.

Grand Residences and World Travel Awards

There’s still time to vote for Grand Residences in the 28th annual World Travel Awards. Your resort is a nominee in the category Mexico’s Leading Hotel Residences 2021.

To cast your vote for Grand Residences, visit

https://www.worldtravelawards.com/vote

  • Click on the link
  • Register your email (you will receive a confirmation email)
  • Click on vote
  • Select Central America
  • Enter Mexico and vote for Grand Residences in the Mexico’s Leading Hotel Residences category

You can also support your favorite destinations in Mexico so be sure to check out the different categories. The closing date is July 26

Mexican Colors at the Kids Club

Have you seen our new-look Kids Club? The walls are covered with colorful murals featuring wildlife found in the Yucatan such as the toucan, jaguar and sea turtle and with alebrijes, the fantastic dragon-like creatures of Mexican folklore. Bring your children to see the art and to meet the Kids Club staff who have days of non-stop fun lined up for them.

They’ll enjoy pool and beach games, arts and crafts, movies, video games and activities such as cookie making, a pirate treasure hunt, nature walks to see and feed the iguanas and much more during their stay. They can practice their Spanish and try their hand at Mexican art sessions such as making paper flowers, papier mâché, beaded bracelets and colorful picture frames. And of course, they’ll take their turn in hitting the traditional piñata at the fun party at the end of their stay.

Ask your Concierge for the Kids Club program, your children will have so much fun, they won’t want to leave!

Great News about Puerto Morelos, the Central Square is Open!

We have some great news for you about Puerto Morelos! After a year of construction, the central square is now open! The new-look plaza or Parque Fundadores, dedicated to the original founders of Puerto Morelos, was inaugurated on May 19. It has a traditional Mexican-style kiosko or pavilion, a stage for live music and events, a children’s play area, pergolas, planters, palm trees and ceibas or sacred Maya trees to give shade. It is the perfect place to sit for a while and enjoy an ice cream, the sea views and life in Puerto Morelos.

Summer Golfing

Get out on the fairway this summer and play some of the finest golf courses in the Mexican Caribbean. Grand Residences owners, members and guests are entitled to special rates for play at these courses in Cancun and the Riviera Maya and there are fun tournaments too.

 

Puerto Cancun

Designed by Tom Weiskopf, Cancún’s newest course stretches for 7,241 yards between the bay and Puerto Cancun marina. Holes 15 and 16 overlook the beach and Hole 18 is the most challenging. Marina Town Center mall is nearby with a collection of restaurants and bars for post-round meals and refreshments.

 

Iberostar Cancun Golf Club

Iberostar Cancun

Located in the Cancun Hotel Zone, Iberostar Cancun is a 6,734-yard par 72 course between El Rey archaeological site and Nichupte Lagoon. The most challenging hole is the 14th hole par three. Keep a look out for the crocodiles that love to bask in the sun on some of the greens.

 

El Camaleón Mayakoba

Designed by Greg Norman, this 7,024-yard par 72 Riviera Maya course has a jungle and mangrove setting with cenotes, canals, rock outcrops and beach views. It hosts the Mayakoba Golf Classic PGA Tournament that draws a field of leading players on the circuit each year.

Gran Coyote

Designed by Nick Price, Gran Coyote (formerly Grand Coral) is located behind The Royal Haciendas in CoraSol, Riviera Maya. This 7,050-yard course has challenging bunkers and water features. Hole 7 is the most difficult one to play.

 

iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club

Iberostar Playa Paraíso

Designed by P.B. Dye, this Riviera Maya 6,800-yard par 72 championship course has features including a river of rocks and a replica of Chichén Itzá’s famous El Castillo pyramid. The 18th hole par 5 is the most challenging.

Booking Tee Times

Your Concierge will help you to book tee times (reservations one day before), ask for information about rates and transportation. And for more golfing fun, sign up for our weekly tournaments at the different courses, your Concierge has all the details.

A Glimpse of the Caribbean’s Coral Kingdom

Slip beneath the waves and there is a whole new world awaiting discovery in the depths. Are you ready for a glimpse of the Caribbean’s coral kingdom? From Cancun and Isla Mujeres to Puerto Morelos, the Riviera Maya and Cozumel, the Mesoamerican Reef is ready to reveal its wonders. Divers will already be acquainted with the amazing reefs that comprise the world’s second longest coral reef system, but if you have never taken the plunge, how about planning a snorkeling trip on your next visit. It will be the beginning of a whole new love affair with the Mexican Caribbean, and it starts right here in Puerto Morelos.

 

Puerto Morelos National Marine Park

One of the richest areas of the Mesoamerican Reef in terms of marine life, Puerto Morelos Reef is a National Marine Park. There are two marine biology research stations on the outskirts of town where scientists study fish populations, coral health, algae, and are also reproducing coral colonies to be transplanted to damaged reefs along the coast.

Local dive masters know all the best places in the National Park for snorkeling and scuba adventures. You’ll see shoals of blue tangs, blue-striped grunts and porkfish and colorful parrotfish. Larger fish such as jacks, snappers, hogfish, grouper and barracuda gather above the corals, and keep a look out for sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, nurse sharks and octopus.

Look closer and you’ll see smaller fish such as squirrel fish and damsel fish guarding their territory among the corals, hiding in crevices or in the sea grass.

After many a happy hour exploring the Puerto Morelos reefs, venture further south to discover more underwater treasures.  Here are three great options for a snorkeling trip, all a haven for colorful reef fish and other marine life.

 

Xel-Há

A chain of turquoise inlets, lagoons and crystalline cenotes fed by underground springs and surrounded by emerald-green forest and mangroves, Xel-Ha is one of Mexico’s wonders and a huge natural aquarium.

More than 90 species of fish of all shapes and sizes from the nearby reefs seek food and shade among the rocks rimming the caleta (inlet). You’ll find yourself surrounded by schools of fish such as sergeant majors that are just as curious about you as you are about them. Diminutive beaugregories and spotted drums hover around rock outcrops, multicolored parrotfish – one of the park’s symbols – nibble at the limestone and blue tangs glide regally by.

Submerged concrete reef balls in different areas of the inlet provide an additional habitat for fish and are being colonized by corals and algae. Xel-Ha Park also has a project to replenish fish populations in the lagoon and to raise the endangered Queen conch.

Venture further into the forest and swim in the cenotes or sinkholes where you’ll see different species of silvery freshwater fish, tropical butterflies and dragonflies.

Walk across the floating bridge at the mouth of the inlet for a breathtaking view of the lagoons and the Caribbean. Watch the waves break and larger fish such as groupers, barracudas, red, mutton and yellow tail snappers and horse-eyed jacks as they swim under the bridge.

Apart from hours of snorkeling there is much more aquatic fun to enjoy, including oversized inner tubes for floating on the lagoon, zip lining splashdowns and rope bridges. And be sure to climb the 30-meter-high lighthouse for panoramic views of the Riviera Maya coast before descending with a splash on the spiral water slide.

Xel-Ha has restaurants, bars, gift shops, rest rooms, showers and lockers. For an additional charge you can swim with dolphins, manatees or stingrays, try snuba (a combination of snorkeling and diving in a cenote) or sea trek your way across the seabed.

 

Akumal & Yalku

With its palm-lined beach, gentle waves, thatched roof palapa bars and restaurants you’d think that picturesque Akumal Bay had charms enough, but there’s much more below the surface. The offshore reefs are great spots for diving and snorkeling.

Marine life is varied and abundant in Akumal, even in the shallows. Royal grammas, spotted drums and damselfish dart through the corals and parrotfish and eagle rays are frequently observed. The greatest thrill of all, however, is to spot a green or loggerhead turtle grazing on the sea grass. Watch from a distance, do not approach, or make a noise and it may swim past you, giving you the chance to see the beautiful markings on its shell. A vacation memory to treasure, no wonder Akumal means “place of the turtles” in Maya.

There’s more snorkeling to the north in Half Moon Bay or Bahia de la Media Luna where the corals are much closer to the shore. You’ll need reef shoes here because the seabed is rocky.

Follow the coast road north from Akumal past Half Moon Bay to the shores of Yalku lagoon, another turquoise caleta that is a popular snorkeling spot. A local cooperative manages Yalku and charges a fee for admission. The use of life jackets is obligatory and there are changing rooms, showers and an open-air cafe.

As you explore the cool, crystal-clear waters of this inlet you’ll soon have an impressive list of fish sightings. Sergeant majors, porkfish and butterfly fish patrol the shoreline; there are puffer and triggerfish, angelfish, shoals of blue tangs and jacks. Looming out of the shadows are solitary barracudas guarding their territory.  Listen carefully and you can hear the parrotfish gnawing at the rock and you may see the camouflaged peacock flounder emerge from the sand.

After snorkeling, sit on the rocks and take in the view. Yalku is a lovely spot, especially early in the morning before it fills up.

 

Chankanaab Park, Cozumel

Take the ferry from Playa del Carmen to the island of Cozumel, world-famous for its amazing coral reefs. Chankanaab Park is the spot for your first Cozumel snorkeling adventure.

Swim through the coral gardens of Chankanaab Reef admiring the sea fans, algae and sponges from a distance. Look out for queen and French angelfish, several species of parrotfish, trunkfish and shoals of sergeant majors, grunts and jacks.

Other Chankanaab attractions include a cenote or sinkhole connected to the Caribbean by an underground river, a botanical garden and dolphin swims.

If you would like to explore more of Cozumel’s underwater world, there are glass-bottomed boat trips and the Atlantis submarine, which takes you down to a depth of more than 100 feet to see the glory of the island’s reefs.

At a depth of 50 feet, you’ll see a shipwreck, the Felipe Xicotencatl, now a home for myriad species of fish. Keep a look out for sea turtles and manta rays swimming by. Finally, the submarine will hover over the Wall, the drop off which plunges to a depth of 1,800 feet below you.

Planning your trip

Ask the Concierge to help you plan your snorkeling adventures in the Puerto Morelos National Park and to Xel-Há, Akumal and Yalkú and Chankanaab Park on Cozumel.

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? 

Holbox

In the Gulf of Mexico, just off Quintana Roo’s north coast, peaceful Holbox is a place to leave your cares behind and renew your bond with nature. Spend hours rocking gently in a hammock, walking along the shoreline gazing at endless waters in shades of blue, aquamarine and turquoise or on the beach waiting for another glorious sunset. There are birding and fishing trips, and the chance to see whale sharks, manta rays and sea turtles in the summer. The fresh seafood is a Mexican Caribbean dining highlight and be sure to try the lobster pizza, an island specialty!

 

Nohoch Nah Chich Cenote

This incredible jungle cenote is the mouth of Sac Actun, the longest underground river system discovered to date in the world.

Guided tours are available to the first chamber of this huge cave cenote for swimming and snorkeling and to see its amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations. For cave divers, there are trips into the cenote’s mysterious depths.

 

Ka’an Luum Lagoon

Kaan Luum is a turquoise lagoon in the jungle just to the south of Tulum. You can swim from the wooden deck and there are ojos de agua or freshwater springs and cenotes – the zones of darker blue and deeper water – in parts of the lagoon. Organized day trips to Kaan Luum include visits to the nearby Mariposa and Chen-Ha cenotes and to a Maya community to learn about the ancient tradition of bee keeping and the Melipona stingless bee native to the Yucatan, and cacao cultivation.

 

Uayma

In contrast to the colors and ornate stonemasonry of colonial churches in other parts of Mexico where wealth flowed from silver mines, the 16th and 17th-century churches in the state of Yucatan tend to have a much more austere design graced by their twin bell towers or a distinctive espadaña or belfry. Not so the parish church in Uayma, a small village near Valladolid. Dating from 1646, this architectural gem is painted in vibrant rust, white and blue and is decorated with ajaracas, Moorish-inspired bas-reliefs in a flower, star and tie design. Seven two-headed eagles with outstretched wings can also be seen in different parts of the façade, the heraldic symbol of Asturias, Spain.

Your Concierge can help

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

Beach Reads

Here is our beach book recommendation for June. Why not write to us and let us know what’s on your bookshelf or Kindle right now?

Paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks

The City of Light is the setting for the story of Tariq, a 19-year-old Moroccan immigrant who is searching for traces of his dead mother and his French Algerian heritage, and Hannah, an American postgraduate researching the wartime experiences of women in occupied France.

Their narratives reveal different perspectives and experiences of Paris, Tariq is working in an Algerian fried chicken shop and exploring the Paris Metro where he meets an old puppeteer called Victor Hugo. Hannah is unlocking the past through the memories of the old women she interviews and the documents she reads in the archive about the wartime internment and deportation of French Jews, while also coming to terms with a failed romance when she lived in the city 10 years earlier.

Tariq ends up as Hannah’s lodger and is drawn into her research as he helps her translate documents and acts as an interpreter. At the same time, he discovers the history of the French occupation of Algeria and the persecution of Muslim Algerians in Paris during the turbulent post-war period.

Sebastian Faulks’ love of Paris shines through. This book evokes the city’s history on every boulevard and in every square. From the vibrant immigrant neighborhoods to St. Germain des Pres and Le Marais, the city holds endless surprises for Tariq and clues and connections for Hannah.

Need more books? Alma Libre Bookstore is the place

If you run out of beach books, you’ll be able to stock up at Alma Libre right here in Puerto Morelos. Located on the main square, this iconic bookstore has a good selection of new and second-hand books in English and Spanish. Open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Come Back Soon

It’s been a while since we saw you and we miss you! Whenever you are ready to travel, we look forward to welcoming you, and we hope that you will soon decide to plan that long-awaited trip.

Keeping you safe

Your health is always our top priority and Royal Care Standard is our commitment to keeping you and your family safe. It is a level of hygiene and care that goes hand in hand with the rigorous Leading Hotels of the World® standards we already comply with. As part of this program, there are additional health and safety protocols throughout the resort. Examples include extra procedures in our room cleaning routine, cleaning busy areas and frequently touched surfaces repeatedly during the day, the use of electrostatic sprays and EPA-approved products, mask use and social distancing and the use of contactless menus, among others.

Watch this video to learn more.

Grand Residences has the Clean and Safe Check certificate awarded by the Quintana Roo Tourism Board and Department of Health, a state program that has the Safe Travels seal of approval from the World Travel & Tourism Council.

To help you comply with new travel rules and for your convenience we have made free COVID-19 antigen testing available at the resort. PCR tests can also be arranged on-site for a fee. Testing is carried out by certified, independent laboratories.

Dreaming of the beach? It is looking beautiful

If you are dreaming of white sand and sparkling turquoise waters, we are happy to report that the beach is looking beautiful. Checking the Grand Residences webcam from time to time will always give you a boost, but the real thing is so much better. Isn’t this the moment to wake up to a Caribbean sunrise, sit on your terrace and gaze out at paradise?

 

A world of experiences awaits

We are always busy planning different experiences for your next visit so there will always be something to look forward too. There are tempting gourmet dishes and a la carte theme nights in store for you and we have added more live music and outdoor dining during the week. The Spa has an exclusive new line of luxury treatments to pamper and relax you after months of lockdown. From cooking classes to salsa, there are fun activities for all and plenty to keep the little ones entertained in the colorful new-look Kids Club.

Puerto Morelos and the Mexican Caribbean

Life in Puerto Morelos follows its own peaceful rhythm and in other Mexican Caribbean news, the number of daily flights is picking up as US-based airlines reactivate their networks, making travel easier.

Restaurants, malls, marinas and golf courses are all open and tours to the area’s parks, reserves and world-famous archaeological sites are available for those who want to go exploring. Wherever you go, mask use is mandatory and strict health and safety standards are enforced.

Grand Residences is up for two international awards and voting is open

We are proud to announce that Grand Residences is up for two international awards, the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice 2021 and the World Travel Awards. We invite you to support your home away from home by voting in both. We hope that you will tell your family and friends too!

Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice 2021

Each year, Condé Nast Traveler magazine showcases the best of the best in its annual Readers’ Choice awards, chosen by its community of seasoned travelers and we are thrilled to have been nominated.

Voting is easy if you would like to support your home away from home. Just click on the link below to register with an email and password, go to Hotels and Resorts, search for Grand Residences Riviera Cancun and rate the resort for its rooms, location and more. Finally, cast your vote.

https://www.cntraveler.com/rca/vote

Voting closes on May 31

World Travel Awards 2021

Grand Residences has also been selected as a shortlisted nominee for the 28th annual World Travel Awards in the category Mexico’s Leading Hotel Residences 2021.

Voting is now open and we hope that you will support Grand Residences by casting your vote.

https://www.worldtravelawards.com/vote

  • Click on the link
  • Register your email (you will receive a confirmation email)
  • Click on vote
  • Select Central America
  • Enter Mexico and vote for Grand Residences in the Mexico’s Leading Hotel Residences category.
  • You can also vote for your favorite destinations in Mexico, check out the different categories. 

The closing date is July 26

As always, we thank you for your support in spreading the word about Grand Residences.