Tempting Dining Experiences to try in 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Celebrating love and romance at Grand Residences

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Spa Experiences for Wellness

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

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

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

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

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

Cool Cocktails

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

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

Wine of the Month

wine

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

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

Beach Reads

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exploring the Mexican Caribbean and Yucatan, some great trip ideas

Sian Kaan

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

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

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

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

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

 

reef

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

uxmal

 

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

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

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

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

Sian Kaan

 

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

 



Contact your Concierge for help with travel plans.

Mexican Caribbean Update

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

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

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

Stay in touch with Grand Residences

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

Grand Recipes: beef in red pipian sauce

pipian

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

Beef in Red Pipian Sauce
Serves 4 people

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

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

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

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

Buen provecho/Bon appetit

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Grand Residences is seven years old this December

How time flies! It doesn’t seem a day since Grand Residences by Royal Resorts opened and now your home away from home turns seven this December.

How many blissful hours have you spent on the beach or relaxing on your terrace gazing out at those sparkling turquoise waters? All those long leisurely lunches of shrimp tacos and ceviche that you have enjoyed at Heaven Beach Bar and magical evenings of gourmet cuisine at El Faro or Flor de Canela with wines recommended by the Sommelier.

Children look forward to seeing their Kids Club friends every time and there’s always a fun-packed program of activities in store for them. Whether it’s pool fun, making piñatas and paper flowers, nature walks or cookie classes, they never want to leave and back home they talk about their vacation memories all year round!

And when it comes to activities for adults, many of you enjoy a walk on the beach to start the day, a yoga class, gym workout or a game of tennis. The daily beach volleyball game is a must and the bike tour is a favorite for many. For more vacation experiences there are cocktail, cooking and dance classes to try your hand at. After a day’s activity a massage at the Spa is just the thing. However you spend your days you’ll always enjoy our family ambiance, pampering and the hospitality standards of The Leading Hotels of the World®.

Think back over seven magical years of Grand Residences and all the incredible places you have visited in the Mexican Caribbean. Close encounters with colorful fish and sea turtles among the reefs in the Puerto Morelos National Park, jungle adventures on the Ruta de los Cenotes and fun-filled days in the Riviera Maya. There’s the exciting prospect of many more magical days in the years to come. Your Concierge can help you plan everything from a getaway to Merida and Uxmal, Rio Lagartos, Holbox to a swim with the whale sharks and many other unforgettable travel experiences.

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Master of Flavors, Meet Chef Hector Rentería

Originally from the state of Michoacán, our new Executive Chef Hector Rentería went to college in Mexico City and has Bachelor’s degrees in Gastronomic Management and Food & Beverages from Universidad de Norteamérica and the Instituto Culinario de México. When asked why he decided to become a chef, he explains, “I love to travel and this was what drew me into the world of cuisine in the first place. You learn about food on the journeys you make as you visit different places and explore different cultures. When I was a student the culinary boom was happening in Mexico with the emergence of great new chefs, but none of us students really knew what the food scene was all about. I began to investigate and realized that it was a beautiful craft and that I wanted to be part of this world, a world of true artists.”

Hector’s career has taken him to leading luxury resort groups in Mexico and beyond its borders, including Four Seasons, Banyan Tree, St. Regis and Karisma. He says, “I have been cooking for 18 years now, working my way up through the ranks. I was appointed Executive Sous Chef at Azul Sensatori by Karisma in 2015 and then Executive Chef in 2018 at Generations Riviera Maya, another Karisma resort. Here at Grand Residences I have a team of 46 and part of my job is to inspire and encourage them in the pursuit of excellence.” He adds, “I believe that any cook that is passionate about the food they cook becomes a chef. It is the power to express themselves through the dishes they serve to diners.

“My travels and career moves have taken me to many countries and you learn about the cuisine, ingredients and the techniques used as you explore the culture.” Hector explains, “Every chef has a different way of working and way of expressing themselves in their art, you can learn from them all, as I did.

“I was with Karisma Group for four amazing years as a Chef in the Resort Opening Team. I opened restaurants at their Punta Cana Nickelodeon Resort with Chef José María. Then they sent me to Holiday Villages in Montenegro, followed by Serbia. It was an intensive year with three new resorts opening in one season!

“In 2012, a job opportunity with Four Seasons took me to Doha and after three months I joined the St. Regis there, where I had the chance to work in an incredible fine dining grill restaurant. However, the Doha immigration system dictates that after your second permit you must stay for two years without leaving the country and I didn’t like the sound of that so I decided to move on. I spent a month in London exploring and working. I even did a stint in a fish and chip shop as I planned my next trip. I had two choices, return to Mexico or go to Thailand. As money was running short by then and I didn’t have enough for a full-on journey through southeast Asia I took the inaugural British Airways London Gatwick flight to Cancun, so you could say I ended up here in the Mexican Caribbean by accident!

“The Slow Food concept of cooking with time-honored methods that go back to our roots and use local ingredients is part of my philosophy. I spent some time working in St. Louis at a superb Italian restaurant and also one that showcased upscale country food, show cooking, the art of grilling and smoking food. It gave me an insight into traditional American recipes. I like the open grill, using smoking techniques and preparing food to be shared with friends and family. I love the family ambiance here at Grand Residences and I already feel at home.

“I want our guests to discover Mexican cuisine during their stay, it’s so much more than a dish, it’s an experience, a culture. The art of making sauces that are the high point of a dish, the warm, freshly made tortilla you are served with your meal, soups, even a pot of beans. We don’t just serve food, it’s much more than that, we share the table and our heritage. Each region of the country has its own culinary culture. We become chefs offering an experience, it’s wonderful, the idea that each thing you eat should be a delightful memory.

“Mexican chefs that have been an inspiration to me?” Hector muses, “Ricardo Muñoz Zurita is more than a chef, he is a historian, Enrique Olvera spearheaded the food boom here in Mexico, the idea of going back to our roots and using artisanal, locally sourced ingredients and traditional techniques. He believes dining should be an experience. And then there’s Eduardo Marin Anaya at Mundo Cuervo. On my list of international chefs I would include Michael Mina and Gerald Sombright.

“I create experiences when I cook and guests will have different dining moments to look forward to at all our restaurants. From its name and iconic lighthouse emblem to the stunning view, El Faro evokes the sea and so the dishes we serve there will showcase the catch of the day and other fresh seafood. Flor de Canela is romantic; its name means “cinnamon flower” and pays tribute to the fragrance of tropical flowers and spices. It is full of intriguing flavors. One of my projects for the future is to offer an authentic Mexican fiesta when it becomes possible to commemorate an important date such as Independence or Dia de Muertos once more.

“My message to our owners and members is that a gourmet experience awaits you, full of exquisite flavors, synonymous with excellence and prepared by a team ready to serve you like nowhere else.”

Cuisine and cooking classes
We are sure that you will love Chef Hector’s gourmet dining experience and creativity. For more great recipes, kitchen stories and tips don’t miss his cooking classes. Sign up with the Concierge.

Festive Yuletide Flavors

Are you joining us for Christmas or New Year? There’s a tempting spread of festive fare lined up for you for an unforgettable gourmet experience.

First up is the Noche Buena or Christmas Eve dinner. The menu includes a warm turkey salad and ravioli filled with veal, duck, nuts and dried fruit followed by main course choices of Beef Tournedos Rossini or Biscayan-style sea bass. Dessert is a sumptuous fruits of the forest mousse with ruby red chocolate.

New Year’s Eve dinner is a celebration of fine dining. Start the evening with foie gras, spiced brioche and grilled peaches followed by an Asian-Caribbean fusion salad of scallops, sea bass, caviar and coconut. Main courses are fresh lobster or a short rib bourguignon and lobster Thermidor medley. A heavenly hazelnut praline cake with chocolate mousse filling and a hint of Baileys is the perfect ending to your meal.

The New Year’s Day Brunch is a meal to be enjoyed with your family. The menu includes seasonal fruit, smoked salmon, fruits de mer, roast leg of pork, chilaquiles, waffles, nut tart, éclairs and more.
For more information, prices and reservations, contact your Concierge.

 

A Child’s Christmas

The Kids Club has a fun-filled program lined up for the little ones this December. There will be special Christmas activities, including making decorations, the Christmas tree lighting and the traditional letter to Santa, cookies, candies, face painting and piñatas galore.
For more information ask your Concierge or Kids Club staff for the program.

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Christmas Cocktail

Here’s a festive bubbly cocktail for you to try this Christmas.

4oz sparkling wine
1 oz De Kuyper Sour Apple Pucker liqueur
1 oz Sprite soda
1 mini skewer of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries

Pour the chilled sparkling wine into a goblet, add the apple liqueur and then the soda. Garnish with the fruit and mint leaves.

Grand Wine recommendations from the Sommelier
Your Sommelier Javier Moreno also has some wine recommendations that are the perfect pairing for the traditional roast turkey Christmas dinner or lunch.

Cava Quintanilla Syrah Reserva, San Luis Potosí, Mexico 2017
A well-structured wine with intense color, fragrance and notes of blackberry, spices, lavender and a hint of roast coffee beans. It is a dry wine with bold flavors, and a hint of smoke that lingers as an afterthought and excellent acidity.

Bodega Los Cedros Fusión, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec, Coahuila, Mexico 2017
A medium-bodied wine full of fruit flavors and a fragrance of black and red berries, a hint of black pepper and smooth chocolate notes. The fruit flavors really come through and it leaves you with a delightful lingering taste of stewed black fruit, perfect for the season.

Grand Recipes

This traditional Mexican recipe is easy to prepare and very tasty. If you like it you’ll want to plan an evening at Flor de Canela during your next trip and remember to ask the waiter about the dish of the month, which showcases classic recipes from different parts of Mexico. For more recipes and cooking tips sign up for a cooking class too.

Enchiladas Mineras
Makes 4
126g potato
72g carrot
90g shredded cooked chicken breast
80g cotija cheese
120g lettice
4 corn tortillas
20ml oil
100ml of guajillo chili sauce
Guajillo sauce
44g guajillo chili pepper (dried chilies)
62g onion
10g garlic

Clean the chilis and remove the veins (along with the seeds they are the spiciest part of the chili). Quarter the onion and half the garlic. Boil in half a liter of water and blend. Preheat a frying pan and gently cook the sauce until it has a smooth consistency. Season and set aside.
For the enchiladas, dice the potato and carrot and cook in a pan with the shredded chicken. Season. Heat in oil and fry the tortillas. Remove from heat before they become crispy. Coat the tortillas in sauce, add the filling and fold in half. Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce, sprinkle with cotija cheese and a dash of sour cream. You can also garnish with avocado slices or asparagus spears.

Splendid solitude

A walk along the beach at dawn enjoying the fresh air and warm sunshine puts you in the mood for another great day in paradise. If you are up for a spot of exploring but want to avoid the crowds, here is a tour idea for this season.

Wildlife watching in Sian Ka’an
Seek solitude and renew your ties with Mother Nature with a visit to Sian Ka’an, the huge biosphere reserve protecting swathes of jungle and wetlands, beaches and coral reefs in northern and central Quintana Roo.

Protected by government decree since 1986, Sian Ka’an is home to 103 different mammals including the jaguar, ocelot, peccary, tapir, howler and spider monkeys, and the West Indian manatee. It also has one of Mexico’s largest crocodile populations and is an important nesting area for sea turtles. However, you are most likely to see birds on your trip: over 350 resident and migratory species have been registered here in the jungle and wetlands and their numbers are swelled at this time of year by wintering migratory species of waders, ducks, birds of prey, finches and songbirds.

Your Sian Ka’an day starts by exploring the jungle archaeological site of Muyil, the largest Maya city discovered in the reserve to date. A 20-minute drive to the south of Tulum, Muyil is located on the shores of the lagoon of the same name, also known as Chunyaxche. In ancient times it was a trade center, the shipping point for goods bound for inland cities throughout the Yucatan Peninsula.

As you walk through the forest past the crumbling temples you may see woodpeckers, chachalacas, the exotic turquoise-browed motmot and trogons with their distinctive yellow breasts and white and black-barred tail feathers. Look out for the flash of emerald green hummingbirds flitting from flower to flower and clouds of butterflies settling to lap up minerals from the damp salt-rich earth.

The members of a local ecotourism and fishing cooperative offer boat trips through the Muyil lagoon and wetlands to Boca Paila on the coast. During the journey you are likely to spot different species of herons and egrets, ibis and roseate spoonbills taking flight, wood storks, kingfishers and hunting osprey. Pelicans, frigate birds and cormorants nest in the mangroves around Boca Paila.

You’ll be following the route taken by ancient Maya merchants. Over 1,000 years ago, they dredged and widened a natural channel in the mangroves so that their trading canoes could reach Muyil and a tiny temple is testimony to their presence.

After you have visited the temple your tour guide gives the signal for everyone to jump into the channel. The water is clear, shallow and you are wearing a life jacket. It’s time to lean back, forget your cares and drift with the gentle current.

Another Muyil trip offered as part of the Maya Ka’an community tour collection includes a visit with the villagers of Muyil. They show you how the white sap of the chicozapote tree is tapped and cooked to make chicle, the natural gum that is the original raw material for chewing gum.

For more Sian Ka’an adventures, you can also take the coast road south from Boca Paila to the fishing village of Punta Allen on the shores of Bahia de la Asuncion. Punta Allen is the largest community in the Sian Ka’an Reserve and inhabitants earn their livelihood from the sustainable capture of lobster and ecotourism. They offer birding, fishing and diving trips, nature walks, kayaking and bike excursions.

Ask your Concierge about tours to Sian Ka’an, Rio Lagartos and other nature reserves in the area this winter.

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The Travel Gallery

Xel-Ha
Glorious turquoise waters rimmed by mangroves and jungle, Xel-Ha inlet is an immense natural aquarium, a refuge for multicolored reef fish to feed and breed among the mangrove roots. The lagoon system also includes several cenotes in the forest and is fed by underground rivers. Whether you spend the day snorkeling or just admire the view, Xel-Há is a Riviera Maya must.

Mani
If you ever visit Uxmal and explore the Puuc Route in southern Yucatan, call in at the small colonial town of Mani, designated as one of Mexico’s Pueblos Magicos on December 1. Visit the restored colonial convent, embroidery workshops and sample the tasty local dish poc chuc, grilled marinated pork.

After the Spanish Conquest, Mani was the site of Friar Diego de Landa’s auto da fe in which he burned Mayan codices and idols in an attempt to eradicate their history and religion. Fortunately, some codices survived and ancient beliefs endured.

Cancun
Miles of spectacular white sand, endless turquoise waters, coral reefs close by and being the gateway to a world of natural and historical attractions have made Cancun one of the world’s leading travel destinations. While 2020 didn’t turn out to be the year of 50-year celebrations we had all hoped for, the news is better for next year. Expedia reported that Cancun and the Riviera Maya are top destination choices for its US customers in 2021.

Holbox
Long walks along the shoreline, nature and fishing trips, glorious sunsets and fresh seafood are some of Holbox’s charms. This island just off the Gulf coast is well worth a visit. Be sure to order the shrimp ceviche, conch and lobster pizza!

Your Concierge can help you arrange tours to all these places and many more during your next visit.

In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that we share news of the loss of a much-loved member of our Royal Resorts family.

 

Tyrone Ukaegbo Magaña

Originally from Dallas, Tyrone Ukaegbo joined Royal Resorts in 2003 and worked hard over the years to become one of the leading sales executives. At the time of his passing he was an Assistant Manager at Grand Residences. A gentle soul, Tyrone will be remembered for his intelligence, kindness and compassion. Everyone loved and respected him and he will be greatly missed.

 

Some of Tyrone’s workmates added their own tributes:

 

Words cannot express how sorry we are for the loss of Tyrone. God must have needed another angel.

Tyrone was loved and respected by all his coworkers and all the owners at Grand Residences. He has left us too soon. Tyrone will be greatly missed, may he rest in peace.

Catherine Duda

 

Tyrone, thank you for your friendship, your charisma, generosity, intelligence and joy. Rest in peace. I am going to miss you.

Claudia Ramirez

 

For me he wasn’t just a great man but a mighty heart, he was my friend. May he rest in peace.

Marcela Azcorra Trejo

 

Because when I needed you, you were there, you listened to me, you advised me, you protected me, you shared, you encouraged me, you believed in me, you accepted me, you fulfilled me, we had fun together, always wise and always generous, you went ahead in everything and again went ahead. Wait for me there in Valhalla so we can have some Guinness together and cry with laughter turning to see all the stupid things we did here… you will always be my soul brother.

Alejandro “Patrick” García

 

Tyrone was a friend before anything else; I had the fortune to work with him for many years, I have known him since he started working at Royal Resorts, always with the best attitude and a great personality, we shared many great moments and he will live forever in my memory. We lost an incredible person and for sure we are all going to miss him.

Gerardo Flores

 

Tye, you were and will always be a part of the Royal Resorts family; you will always be in my heart.

Rosalía Cantú

 

Ty, you won’t be able to read this but fortunately it is something I was able to tell you myself.

 

Thank you for your friendship and your love for my family and me.

You are one of the greatest people that I have ever known, so generous, always ready to help others. 

I can’t remember a single moment when I didn’t have a good time with you (unless it was when we were roomies and your snores kept me awake!) 

Thank you for your unstinting support when I was at my lowest ebb, financially and emotionally. I’m going to miss you so much. I’ll miss all those moments when we laughed so much that we cried, and I know that we will meet again for one more laugh!

Jorge López

 

Tyrone will be greatly missed. He was not only a great asset to Royal Resorts, but a wonderful friend, human being, son and brother.  He seemed tough on the outside but he had one of the warmest hearts I’ve ever known. Always willing to help, always being positive, and he made everyone around him laugh with the funniest jokes.  We will keep him in our hearts forever.

Paola Shouse

 

All of us at Royal Resorts will treasure our memories of Tyrone. We are sure that you will want to join us in sending your thoughts and prayers to his family and friends during this difficult time.

 

 

 

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No change in the Club Service Fee for 2021

We have some great news from your home away from home. There will be no change to your annual Club Service Fee for 2021. This applies for Fractional and Points contracts. This decision was made at the Advisory Council meeting at the resort on the basis of a recommendation by Royal Resorts Management and unanimously approved by your Advisory Council representatives.

The Grand Residences Advisory Council meeting report and financial statement will be published in the Owners Area of www.grandresidencesbyroyalresorts.com (owner log in required) in the weeks to come.

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Grand Residences has a New Chef

We are sure that you will want to join us in welcoming our new chef to the Grand Residences team, Hector Rentería. Rafael Borbolla left in September to take up a position as Executive Chef in a large all-inclusive resort and we wish him every success in his future career. Chef Rentería joins us as Executive Chef.

Originally from Michoacán, Chef Rentería has Bachelor’s degrees in Gastronomic Management and Food & Beverages from Universidad de Norteamérica and the Instituto Culinario de México, respectively.

He has worked for luxury hotels in Mexico, Doha and United States and was the chef heading up teams for the opening of restaurants in new resorts in Dominican Republic, Montenegro and Serbia. He moved to the Mexican Caribbean in 2015 and has been an Executive Chef since 2018.

We are sure that you will love Chef Hector’s cuisine and creativity and will enjoy meeting him in the weekly cooking classes. Stay posted for an interview with Chef Rentería in the December edition of this newsletter.

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Enjoy Even More Great Dining with the All-in Grand package

If you opt for the All-in Grand package on your Grand Residences vacation in order to enjoy all-inclusive gourmet dining then you’ll love the new, expanded version of the package with more dining choices. In addition to meals and drinks at El Faro Grill, Flor de Canela and Heaven Beach Bar, Room Service and more at Grand Residences, you can now dine at Captain’s Cove, El Conquistador, Hacienda Sisal and restaurants at The Royal Cancun, The Royal Sands and The Royal Haciendas.

If you are in the mood for Italian food, La Trattoria at The Royal Cancun fits the bill and Captain’s Cove is an all-time favorite for fresh seafood and sunset Happy Hour. Book a table for dinner at Los Murales and sample the new menu or try Kinoko, the Asian restaurant, which opened this summer at The Royal Haciendas.

The All-in Grand package now includes:

In Cancun
• Captain’s Cove
• El Conquistador, The Royal Islander
• Hacienda Sisal
• La Trattoria, The Royal Cancun
• La Palapa, The Royal Cancun
• La Veranda, Char Hut, Sand Dollar and Sidelines Bar at The Royal Sands

Riviera Maya
The Royal Haciendas
• Los Murales
• Kinoko
• La Palapa del Sol
• Sol Grill & Luna Grill
• La Rotonda Bar

The All-in Grand dining package is optional for Grand Residences owners and members. For more information and rates contact your Concierge. Reservations are required for El Conquistador, Captain’s Cove, Hacienda Sisal, La Trattoria, Los Murales and Kinoko.

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Seasonal Treats in Store

Will you be joining us at Grand Residences for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year? There are tempting festive menus in store for you as always, starting off with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. This year the chef has created a set menu featuring roast turkey and all the trimmings or tender prime rib, Autumn salad, sweet corn soup and a dessert bursting with rich fall flavors. Delicious dishes for an evening with family and friends as we give thanks for the important things in our lives.

For those owners and members who will be joining us for Christmas, the Noche Buena or Christmas Eve dinner menu also includes a selection of exquisite dishes. Warm turkey salad and raviolis filled with veal, duck, nuts and dried fruit are followed by Beef Tournedos Rossini or Biscayan-style sea bass and a sumptuous fruits of the forest mousse with ruby red chocolate.

New Year’s Eve dinner is foie gras with grilled peaches and spiced Brioche followed by a celebration of seafood with an Asian-Caribbean fusion salad of scallops, sea bass, caviar and coconut. Main courses are fresh lobster or a short rib bourguignon and lobster Thermidor medley. A heavenly hazelnut praline cake with chocolate mousse filling and a hint of Baileys is the perfect ending to your meal.

Sit down with the family and enjoy the New Year’s Day Brunch. The menu includes seasonal fruit, smoked salmon, fruits de mer, roast pork, chilaquiles, waffles, nut tart, eclairs and much more.

For more information, prices and reservations, contact your Concierge. A Thanksgiving menu is also available through Room Service if you prefer to dine in your unit.

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News for Grand Residences Golfers

If you like to include a round of golf or two in your Grand Residences vacation, check out the latest news about the Royal Golf program. Grand Residences owners, members and guests are entitled to special rates for play at these courses in the Cancún area and the Riviera Maya and there are weekly 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.

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.

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 annual Mayakoba Golf Classic PGA Tournament; in 2020 the dates are November 30 to December 6 and it will be played without course spectators.

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 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.

Tournament Days
We hope that you will join us for the weekly tournaments at these courses: Monday at Gran Coyote; Wednesday at Iberostar Playa Paraíso, Thursday at Iberostar Cancun; Friday at Puerto Cancun (at least 12 players) and Sunday after 12 p.m. at El Camaleón (at least eight players).

Booking Tee Times
Your Concierge will help you to book tee times (reservations one day before), ask for information about transportation to the courses.