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Facelift for Fifth Avenue

Playa del Carmen’s iconic Fifth Avenue is getting a much-needed facelift. New benches, trash cans and bike parking spaces are being added and the landscaping will be improved with colorful displays of native plants and shrubs.

In other Playa news, the Quinta Alegria mall on Fifth Avenue will host a K’iwik or Mayan market at different times during the year. Artisans from Mayan villages in the Zona Maya area of central Quintana Roo will gather there to sell embroidered dresses, wood carvings, wicker baskets, gourd lamps and tropical fruit conserves.

 

 

 

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New Crocodile Park in Rio Lagartos

In tribute to its name “Lagartos” which means crocodile, the inhabitants of Rio Lagartos unveiled a new attraction for visitors to the Rio Lagartos Biosphere Reserve on the Gulf coast of the Yucatan, a community-run crocodile park.

In addition to boat trips along the estuary and through the lagoons to the salt flats to see the thousands of flamingos and other birds that make their home in the reserve, nature lovers will also be able to see the crocodiles that gave their name to the reserve. They’ll learn about their life cycle, breeding habits and their importance in ancient Mayan culture.

 

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Upcoming Events

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”4706″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Riviera Maya Film Festival

April 23-29

Movie screenings in Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Tulum, short films, documentaries, spotlight on the actor events and more await cinema fans in the Mexican Caribbean this April. The program features Mexican and Latin American films, Hollywood premieres and world cinema and will be available at the end of March.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5059″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][dt_fancy_separator separator_style=”line” separator_color=”default”][vc_column_text]Cancun International Fishing Tournament 2014

April 24-26

Fishing tournament fever comes to Cancun with the Capitan Armando Ferrat International event.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][dt_fancy_separator separator_style=”line” separator_color=”default”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”4965″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]47th Regatta del Sol al Sol, Isla Mujeres

April 23-May 1

Yachts set sail from St Petersburg, Florida on April 24 bound for Isla Mujeres. Their arrival marks a week of island festivities including the Amigos Race.

 

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][dt_fancy_separator separator_style=”line” separator_color=”default”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”4964″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Copa del Rey Polo Tournament, Puerto Morelos

April 23-26

Located in the jungle along the Ruta de los Cenotes, 11 kilometers from the coast, El Rey Polo & Country Club is a magnificent setting for a fast-paced sport that is growing in popularity in the Mexican Caribbean. If you would like to attend the Copa del Rey tournament, visit the club or arrange riding or polo lessons ask the Concierge for assistance.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][dt_fancy_separator separator_style=”line” separator_color=”default”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”4971″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Puerto Morelos Fishing Tournaments, May

May is a month of fierce competition for fishermen in Puerto Morelos as they compete in two international fishing tournaments. First up is the César Martin Rosado Fishing Tournament on May 1-3. Later in the month, the Don Andrés García Lavin Tournament brings together even more competitors from all over the Mexican Caribbean and abroad, May 8-10.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][dt_fancy_separator separator_style=”line” separator_color=”default”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”4933″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]International Theater Festival by the Sea (FITFAM 2015), Puerto Morelos

May 14-17

More details of this event will be published in future editions of this newsletter as they become available.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][dt_fancy_separator separator_style=”line” separator_color=”default”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”4932″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Sacred Mayan Crossing, Xcaret & Cozumel

May 21-23

Visitors to the Mexican Caribbean in May have the opportunity to witness the reenactment of an ancient Mayan pilgrimage to the sacred island of Cozumel to worship at the shrine of Ixchel, the goddess of the moon, fertility and childbirth. After months of arduous training, teams of trained oarsmen from Cancún, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and further afield set sail from Xcaret at dawn on May 22 in authentic wooden canoes on the Sacred Mayan Journey (Sagrada Travesía Maya). On May 23 the pilgrims make the return voyage to Xcaret.

 

 

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Grand Residences Tops on Trip Advisor

In just one year, Grand Residences has reaped an array of accolades and climbed steadily up the rankings in Trip Advisor, the world’s largest online travel community. By the summer of 2014 it was rated as the No. 1 hotel in the Riviera Maya as a result of the excellent reviews received from our guests, beating famous resorts in the area, and it is now the No. 1 hotel in the Yucatan Peninsula out of 876 hotels.

There’s more, your home away from home has started 2015 in style by reaching another Trip Advisor milestone. It features in the Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Top Hotels in Mexico 2015, coming in at No. 7. It is also ranked No. 8 in the Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Top Luxury Hotels in Mexico 2015 and has a mention in the Traveler’s Choice Top 25 Family Resorts in Mexico, all in all, a great way for your beautiful beachfront resort to celebrate its first anniversary and inspiration for your hosts to look for even more ways to exceed your expectations and make each vacation more incredible than the last.

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Valentine’s Day Dinner

Award-winning Chef Yann Cozic has created a sumptuous Valentine’s Day menu to celebrate love and romance.

The tempting starters include cream of carrot soup perfumed with lemon grass and served with shrimp, a tropical take on the classic moules mariniere, mussels in a ginger and coconut broth or scallop and salmon carpaccio. For your main course choose from a selection of duck with a crust of sweet spices, apple, saffron and dates, veal chop with asparagus and morel mushrooms. For an exquisite finale to a magnificent meal, there’s pear belle hèléne, raspberry and pistachio cream mille-feuille or passion fruit crème brûlée. The wine list includes the perfect wine pairings for your menu choices and champagne if you prefer.

Dine by candlelight in El Faro Grill or on the terrace listening to the waves and watching the moon trace a path of shimmering liquid silver across the sea. You’ll agree with the words of George Sand, “There is only one happiness in life; to love and be loved.”

 

Contact the Concierge ››

 

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Spa Pampering

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If you are staying at Grand Residences this February, ask about special Valentine’s Day promotions. And whatever the season, indulge with a soothing massage, a herbal facial or body wrap at the Spa and start your vacation in style.

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A Grand Wedding

Romance is definitely in the air at Grand Residences. The beautiful secluded beach and luxurious surroundings make the resort the perfect spot to pop the question, tie the knot or pledge your eternal love. From romantic dinners on the beach to engagement parties, intimate weddings, anniversary celebrations and vow renewals, the Events Coordinator and the rest of your Grand Residences family will make any special occasion unforgettable.
For information on wedding packages and other event services contact Grand Residences Special Events
 

 

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Call your Concierge

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Your Personal Concierge will help you with tour recommendations and reservations, area information, restaurant bookings, golf tee times and any thing else you need during your stay.

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Download your own Virtual Concierge App

Grand Residences is at the forefront of technological innovation in the hospitality industry and we would like to unveil our brand new Virtual Concierge App. Download it on arrival and check our sightseeing and dining recommendations. Read about area highlights and must-see archaeological sites and nature parks. Choose the golf courses you want to play this time, and of course, read all about the services and activities available to you at Grand Residences.

Download the Grand Residences Virtual Concierge App now from the App Store

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Spread the Word about Grand Residences

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

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

To take advantage of this special offer the only requirement is that during their stay, your referred guests must attend a personalized resort preview of our Private Residence Club. We will show them our new vision of luxury living and what it would be like to have a beautiful home in paradise. If your referrals choose to become owners, we will apply 2% of the purchase price of their Fraction towards your annual Club Service fees.

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

If you would like to make a referral, click here or call +52(998) 881-0100 ext. 65846.

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MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS | Karen and Doug Bayerlein

Hailing from Wisconsin, the Bayerleins have been Royal Resorts members for 23 years, originally at The Royal Caribbean, then The Royal Islander and finally at The Royal Sands. They then decided to purchase a year-round residence at Grand Residences with Doug’s brother Steve and his wife Barbara. When asked what made them decide to become Grand Residences owners, Karen says, “Our past history with Royal Resorts and the company’s credibility had a big part to play in our decision. We love the Cancun area, it is so accessible from the United States, there is so much to do here and the golf is fabulous, which makes my husband and brother-in-law very happy, as they are both avid golfers. There are many fine restaurants, which also suits us because we are choosy about our food and like good wines. And our kids have always loved it here.

“We had been thinking about buying a full-time condo in Cancun but we didn’t want to have to pay staff to look after it or foot the maintenance costs, so Grand Residences was the perfect solution. Investing in Grand Residences was also a business decision for us,” she adds, “We run a high-end treadmill company and we had been looking to expand our operation into Mexico. Our treadmills are in the fitness center at the resort and all the Royal Resorts gyms. Other local companies are interested in our brand; Royal Resorts is a standard that they all look up to.”
“I guess the thing that I remember most from my first visit to Grand Residences as owners in December 2013 was the view of the ocean through the front window, it was stunning.” Karen says, “I have been down since then with my daughter and friends to celebrate her twenty-first birthday in June and it poured every day. They still loved it though! We are planning to bring other members of the family down with us this year and we have also used our unit for vacations with friends, company staff and for rental purposes.”

“The ambiance at the resort is over the top,” Karen says, “It is by far the finest resort in the area, there’s no doubt about it. We love the location, the low-key, quiet and friendly ambiance of Puerto Morelos is close by, and then there’s cosmopolitan Cancun and crazy Playa del Carmen, both of which are just a short drive away.”

“When we are on vacation my husband and brother-in-law play golf and I like to relax and take time off from our hectic schedule,” Karen says, “All the Grand Residences services and staff are outstanding. I know that even more options are planned for the future such as a larger Spa, store and another restaurant and I will be excited to see the improvements to what are already very impressive services.”

“My message to Grand Residences owners who haven’t visited yet is that they need to hurry up and come down if they haven’t already experienced their luxury home,” Karen adds, “The staff are doing a wonderful job of making us feel at home. The resort is amazing but they raise the bar even more and make it truly outstanding.”

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City of Angels, Ek Balam

20-minute drive north of the colonial city of Valladolid in the neighboring state of Yucatan, lies Ek Balam, an ancient Mayan site that is currently being excavated by archaeologists. To date, 60 buildings have been restored and a wealth of artifacts, including 50 hieroglyphic inscriptions and a royal tomb with offerings of jade, pottery and copal incense have been unearthed.
Ek Balam, “black jaguar or star jaguar” in Maya was inhabited from 600 B.C. and reached its peak between A.D. 600-900. It is an enigma for archaeologists, its ceremonial heart is walled, probably for defensive purposes, and its buildings show a variety of architectural styles and artistic elements including hieroglyphic inscriptions and friezes. The city’s crowning glory is the façade on the upper level of the Acropolis, the principal building, which features stucco serpents, masks of the earth monster and the statues of richly attired nobles, including a seated figure thought to be one of the rulers. The huge building was built in several phases and is a warren of rooms and terraces.

Local people often refer to the statues at the top of the Acropolis as “los angeles,” the angels, because they appear to have wings. The “wings” are actually feather headdresses. Archaeologists have deciphered hieroglyphic inscriptions at the site and others in the area to discover that Ek Balam was ruled by a powerful dynasty and have identified the city’s founding father, Ukit Kan Le’k Tok who came to power in 770 A.D. it is though that the central statue may depict this mythical personage.
To reach the site from Cancún take Highway 180 to Valladolid and then Highway 295. The road to Ek Balam is clearly marked.
A painting of Ek Balam graces the living room of your residence and when you are ready to visit this beautiful site,
your Concierge can help organize trips or a car rental
so that you can explore on your own.

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A Good Book for the Beach

Have you already finished all the books you brought down with you for the beach and are tired of looking at your Kindle? Visit Alma Libre Bookstore in Puerto Morelos main square during the winter season to stock up on beach books.
Run by Rob and Joanne, a couple from Calgary, Canada, Alma Libre carries an extensive selection of second-hand and new books, maps and guidebooks on Mexico and the Maya World. You’ll find everything from thrillers, romance, sci-fi and fantasy to the classics and books on nature, cooking and even meditation.
Alma Libre is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., November to the end of April.
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More Statues for Cancun Underwater Museum of Art this March

La Bendicion or “The Blessing”, the latest sculptures for Cancun’s iconic Underwater Museum of Art will be submerged at the end of March.

The six statues are destined for Chitales Reef, which will be the museum’s third gallery. The Museum currently has 500 statues and its goal is to reach 10,000.
Snorkeling and dive trips are available to the Museum, ask the Concierge for details.

 

The Silent Evolution, Jason deCaires Taylor, Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA), Parque Nacional Marino Costa Occidental de Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancún y Punta Nizuc

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New Time Zone for the Mexican Caribbean

On February 1 the clocks were put forward one hour in the state of Quintana Roo and the Mexican Caribbean has an extra hour of daylight as a new time zone comes into effect.

This measure means that Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and other tourist destinations in the state are now on the same time as cities in the Eastern Standard Time zone in the United States. It does not apply to the neighboring states of Yucatan or Campeche (something to bear in mind if you are planning to attend events in Merida, Valladolid or other places in Yucatan) and the state will also be one hour ahead of Mexico City.

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New Planetarium for Cozumel

The island of Cozumel will soon have its own Planetarium for budding astronomers to visit, joining the popular Ka Y’ok Planetarium in Cancun and Yook’ ol Kaab in Chetumal. The Cozumel building will be known as Cha’an Ka’an, which means: “observe the sky” in Maya.

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Momentos Sagrados Mayas Community Theater in X’ocen

From January 18 to March 8, every Sunday at 4 p.m. (CST), the village of X’ocen near Valladolid in eastern Yucatan hosts a vibrant and moving community theater performance that is an extraordinary portrayal of Mayan traditions. A production of the Laboratorio de Teatro Campesino e Indigena Community Theater Workshop, Momentos Sagrados Mayas or Sacred Mayan Moments is brought to life by 270 actors of all ages hailing from seven different villages. Admission $150 pesos per person.
Ask your Concierge for information and assistance in arranging a tour to see the performance and visit Valladolid.

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Carnival Time

February 11-17

The Yucatan Peninsula plays host to several important Carnivals this February. The oldest in the Mexican Caribbean is Cozumel Carnival, which is 139 years old and the first Chetumal Carnival was held in 1912. The Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos Carnivals are much more recent but celebrated with no less enthusiasm. Elsewhere, the Merida Carnival is one of the largest in the country and the colonial city of Campeche host the oldest carnival in Mexico, at 428 years old, it dates back to the days of the merchants and pirates who sailed the Caribbean.

Puerto Morelos will be hosting its own Carnival events from February 19 to 24.

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Puerto Morelos Food, Wine & Music Festival February 27-28

Puerto Morelos Food, Wine & Music Festival February 27-28

Starting at 5 p.m., two evenings of varied music, cuisine (including lion fish dishes) and 40 different wines for sampling under a starlit sky.

Contact the Concierge ››

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Cancun & Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival

Cancun & Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival, March 12 – 15

Sponsored by Food & Wine Magazine and Travel & Leisure among others, the Cancún & Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival is growing in popularity with every year that passes. The 2015 festival line up features events ranging from celebrity chef conferences, star chef cooking class and lunch, wine and spirits tastings hosted by leading sommeliers, a sunset catamaran cruise, gala dinners and a gourmet tasting village.

Among the food celebrities participating are Mexican chefs Martha Ortiz and Patricia Quintana, who will be honored with a gala dinner on the theme Divas of Mexican Cuisine. Other star chefs include Eneko Atxa, Joan Roca, Juan Mari Arzak, Mikel Alonso, Bruno Oteiza, Aquiles Chavez, Yerika Muñoz, Carmen Ramirez (Titita) and Maria Teresa Ramirez Degollado and more will confirm their participation this month.

In addition to showcasing Mexican cuisine, the Festival will also pay tribute to the contribution of Spain and France to the culinary tradition of the Americas. The wine tastings will feature champagne and wines from Baja California and, Spain.

The Festival founder and president is David Amar, a longtime Royal Resorts member who has a passion for Mexico and its rich heritage.

Visit www.crmfest.com for more information.

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Equinox at Chichen Itza, March 21

March 21

The famous light and shadow serpent of Kukulcan appears on El Castillo Pyramid and descends from the heavens at sunset on the day of the Spring Equinox, also visible the day before and after (cloud cover permitting).

Elsewhere in the Yucatan, at dawn on the day of the Equinox the rising sun appears through the doorway of the Temple of the Dolls in the ancient city of Dzibilchaltun to the north of Merida.


Ask your Concierge for information and assistance

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If you would like to make a referral

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

CLICK HERE

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,

Riviera Maya Film Festival

Riviera Maya Film Festival, April 23-29

Movie screenings in Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Tulum.
Ask your Concierge for information and assistance

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SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT GRAND RESIDENCES

If you would like to make a referral

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

CLICK HERE

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,

International Theater Festival by the Sea

Puerto Morelos, May 14-17

More details of this event will be published in future editions of this newsletter as they become available.

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SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT GRAND RESIDENCES

If you would like to make a referral

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

CLICK HERE

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