El Faro Grill is in the Wine Spectator World’s Best Restaurants 2020

Grand Residences has received Wine Spectator magazine’s 2020 Award of Excellence for El Faro Grill for the fourth year running.

The El Faro Grill wine list features 150 wines and according to the magazine listing on Restaurants.WineSpectator.com its particular strengths are Mexican and French wines.

Our congratulations go out to Resort Manager Daniela Trava and Sommelier Javier Moreno.


Discovering the World of Wine: Meet your Sommelier

Do you have a question about wine or would you like a recommendation for a particular dish? Javier Moreno, the Grand Residences Sommelier is your guide as you explore the world of wine.

Originally from Mexico City, Javier moved to Cancun four years ago and joined Grand Residences as the Sommelier. He explains how he fell in love with the world of wine. “I was studying Tourism for my Baccalaureate and was invited to visit Hacienda San Lorenzo in Parras, Coahuila. This is the home of Casa Madero, Mexico’s oldest vineyard, founded in 1597. Quite simply, I was fascinated with every aspect of wine making, from the cultivation of the vines and their harvest to the production process and the cellars full of huge oak barrels. I knew immediately that I wanted to learn more and I enrolled in a one-year Sommelier diploma course at Centro Culinario Ambrosia in Mexico City. After 10 years working as a Sommelier, there is always something new to learn and I know I will never stop! In fact, I am studying the second level of four as a certified Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommelier Americas. This international body sets the global standard for excellence in beverage service in the hospitality industry.”

Sommeliers learn about geography, geology, grape varieties, history, the winemaking process, blends, wine tasting and pairing. Each country has its own distinctive grapes, cultivation, production techniques and wine regions. The study of wines lasts a lifetime, it is a passion and an art and one in which Javier is a master.

Each winemaking region or district, even a particular vineyard, has its own terroir, a term that encompasses the climate, humidity, hours of sunshine, wind direction and strength, the land, soil, ecosystems and even the plants that grow around the vineyard and give a wine its distinctive personality and notes. For example, some wines have citrus notes and this may be because there are orange groves near the vineyard, others have a hint of fig, cherry or plum or the scent of rosemary and other herbs.

Javier says, “At Grand Residences we have 150 wines in our cellar and we pride ourselves on the fact that we serve the finest wines, carefully selected to include a balance of well-known vineyards and smaller winemakers. Our commitment to quality has received industry recognition; we have been Wine Spectator award winners four years in a row.

When I look for new wines to add to our wine list I ensure that balance is maintained between the different countries and the wine regions that we showcase, “ Javier explains. “I decide which grape variety I want to include. I look for quality, value for money, talk to suppliers to see which wines they have in stock and then arrange a tasting, paying special attention to pairings with dishes on the menus. It is a complex process.”

Perfect pairings

We asked Javier for some of his recommendations to order or serve with different dishes and this is what he had to say:

“Paco & Lola is a Spanish wine from the Rias Baixas region that is the perfect pairing for seafood. Made from Albariño grapes, it is very citrusy and floral.”

“I would go for an Italian red for the acidity, a Sangiovese Rosso di Montalcino Castello Banfi.”

“I recommend a Mexican wine from Bodega de Los Cedros in Coahuila, it is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz, which gives it lots of body and an intense flavor.”

“I have several recommendations here. You could go with a Pinot Noir like Avant-Garde Domaine Carneros, which is light and very fruity or choose a white wine. The J. Lohr Paso Robles Chardonnay aged in oak barrels is a good option; it is drier and has buttery notes.”

“This depends on the type of cheeses you are serving: creamy and mild or mature cheeses with a stronger flavor. Jackson Triggs Ice Wine from Canada is a sweet wine that goes well with cheese or you could opt for a light white wine or a red. Another Mexican wine called Megacero, a Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend from Bodega Encinillas in Chihuahua, is good with mature cheeses and for mild cheeses try the Kendall Jackson Merlot from California.”

“The perfect pairing for the chocolate sponge we serve in El Faro Grill is a port called Royal Oporto 10 years, but obviously it depends on the dessert. Crème brûlee goes well with a Gewürztraminer.”

On the subject of new wines that he likes, there’s one Mexican wine that immediately springs to his mind. “Laberinto from San Luis Potosi,” he replies. “It is a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo blend and is very reasonably priced. I also like French wines from the Bordeaux region like Château du Val d’Or Grand Cru Classe Saint-Emilion A.O.C., which is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc and excellent quality. Another wine I love is a white wine from Austria called Grüner Veltliner from the Wachau area. It has fragrance of stone fruit such as peaches and of citrus fruit and as it evolves it develops honey notes.


Mexican wines

Although Mexico has the oldest vineyard in the Americas, winemaking in the country was not constant during the Colonial period or after Independence in the 19th century and there were long periods of inactivity. Javier explains that the last 25 years have seen an awakening in the national wine industry and something of a boom.

The most famous winemaking regions are the Valle de Guadalupe near Ensenada in Baja California, Parras, Coahuila and wines are also made in Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes and even Michoacan.

“In Mexico there is no wine appellation or denomination of origin as there is in France and Spain, this enables wine makers to innovate, experimenting with blends of grapes and the time periods that the wines are stored in oak barrels. They are not bound by strict rules on the varieties of grapes that can be used in each wine as they are in Europe but it also means that there is no authenticity. You can distinguish wines from regions such as Bordeaux or Rioja but not so in Mexico, except perhaps for the Ensenada wine region where the mineral notes come through due to the proximity to the sea.

“Nevertheless, Mexican wines are now making a name for themselves. Don Leo, a wine from Coahuila recently won a global award as the best Cabernet Sauvignon for its 2013 vintage. Some small independent vineyards are producing small amounts of very good wines and are winning prizes. Three of my recommendations are Apogeo Cava Maciel, a Nebbiolo from Ensenada; the Bodega de Los Cedros rosé, which is a blend of Malbec and Shiraz grapes, and the Legat Viña de Frannes Sauvignon Blanc from the Valle de Guadalupe.”

Old World wines versus New World wines

Javier explains that wines from France, Spain and Italy have more earthy notes, with hints of leather, wood, smoke, spices and minerals such as graphite. In contrast, New World wines are fruitier, with a stronger taste of alcohol and more fragrance. The flavors and scent of fruit such as cherries and plums in red wines, are concentrated almost like jam, and citrus fruit notes in the case of white wines really come through.

And when it comes to grapes grown by different wine producing nations or regions, Javier gives us a quick tour:

“The three most famous wine regions in France are Bordeaux where the wines are made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec grapes; Burgundy, which is characterized by white wines made with the Chardonnay grape and reds made with Pinot Noir; and the sparkling wines of Champagne made with Pinot Noir, Pinot Menieur and Chardonnay grapes.

“The country produces incredible wines with Nebbiolo (Barolo DOCG) and Sangiovese (Chianti DOCG) grapes.

“The emblematic Tempranillo grape is grown widely in the Ribera del Duero (D.O) and Rioja (D.O.Ca) regions and the country’s Cava sparkling wines are famous.

“The Carmenere grape predominates in the wine producing valleys of Chile.

“The country produces excellent Malbec grapes in Mendoza, its famous wine region.

United States
“The highlights are Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons and Sonoma Pinot Noirs.

“In Baja California, Ensenada wine country, centered around the Valle de Guadalupe, Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo red grapes and Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc white grapes are grown. In central Mexico, vineyards in Queretaro specialize in Freixenet sparkling wines.

“The Shiraz grape suits the Australian climate and soils perfectly, for example in Barossa Valley.

New Zealand
“I recommend the crisp fresh flavors of Sauvignon Blancs from Marlborough and the central Otago region produces great Pinot Noir wines.

South Africa
“The Stellenbosch wine region produces good red wines made with Pinotage grapes.”

Javier sometimes organizes wine and tequila tastings at Grand Residences and is always ready to answer guests’ questions about a particular wine or winemaking in general. He recommends Pinot Noir as a good starter for someone who has never tried wine before.

“When I recommend wine pairings I begin by asking what the diner has ordered for dinner. The idea is that they enjoy a new experience, a wine that is easy on the palate, enjoyable, and with flavors and notes that they have not experienced before.” Javier explains, “If they are ordering seafood I recommend a white or sparkling wine and red wines to accompany meat dishes.

“My message to our owners, members and guests is to try wines made in Mexico and support this growing industry. Wine is much more than a drink made with fermented grape juice; it is about lifestyle and culture too. I hope that during their stay at our beautiful resort they will take time out to discover our wine list, including our exclusive selection of Mexican wines.” And because we are in September and celebrating all things Mexican, we asked Javier for some wine pairings for two classic dishes at Flor de Canela:

Chiles en Nogada
“Serve with a white wine or rosé. Casa Grande Chardonnay complements the creamy sauce and a rosé brings out the flavor of the pomegranate garnish.”

“Amado IV de Viñas de Garza is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo and Zinfandel from the Valle de Guadalupe with spicy notes of chocolate and caramel that enrich the complex flavors of mole.”

To toast Mexico, you’ll need a glass of tequila and Javier recommends Clase Azul Reposado.

Ask your Concierge for information about arranging a Wine or Tequila tasting with Javier.


Chiles en Nogada, a Delicious Mexican Masterpiece

Celebrate Mexican Independence at Grand Residences this month by trying a signature dish always served during the festivities, Chiles en Nogada (Chilies in Walnut Sauce). We will be cooking them up at Flor de Canela, along with many other tempting Mexican dishes.

The time-honored recipe for Chiles en Nogada features poblano chilies with a sweet-savory filling topped with a creamy walnut sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and parsley, the colors of the Mexican flag, red, white and green.

A patriotic culinary creation

A sophisticated dish that is a celebration of Mexican bounty, there is a fascinating story behind Chiles en Nogada. History tells that in 1821, General Agustín de Iturbide visited the city of Puebla after signing the Treaty of Córdoba, the agreement that gave Mexico its Independence from Spain. He decided to celebrate his saint’s day in the city: August 28, the day of St Augustine, and the city’s elders held a banquet in his honor. The nuns of Santa Monica Convent were so caught up in the patriotic fervor of his visit that they decided to create a special dish to commemorate his visit and the birth of a nation, using the colors of the new flag: red, white and green.

They prepared Poblano chilies with a filling of ground pork and beef mixed with raisins, citron, peach and apple, spices, garlic and onion. A creamy white sauce made from ground walnuts, almonds and sherry was poured over the chilies. Pomegranate seeds and chopped cilantro and parsley completed the color sequence.

To this day, the inhabitants of Puebla pride themselves on this patriotic dish and every August chefs compete in a contest to prepare the best Chiles en Nogada.

Recipes for Chiles en Nogada vary from family to family, some cooks put pears and apple in the stuffing or use citron peel, pineapple, prunes or banana. Some swear by nutmeg, pine nuts and add a dash of rum, while others scorn the use of cream or cheese in the sauce, relying on nuts to create the creamy consistency. The staples, however, are pomegranates and walnuts and these are only in season during late August and September, coinciding with Independence month. And whatever the interpretation, the results are always delicious.

Here’s our chef’s recipe for this classic dish if you would like to make it yourself.

Chiles en Nogada

For the stuffing

  • 100g lard
  • 350g onion
  • 4g fresh garlic
  • 300g ground beef
  • 300g ground pork
  • 4g salt
  • 2g freshly ground black pepper
  • 600g tomato
  • 1g ground cinnamon
  • 1g ground nutmeg
  • 1g ground cumin
  • 1g ground cloves
  • 1 pear
  • 1 peach
  • 1 plantain
  • 30g shelled almonds
  • 30g pine nuts
  • 8 Poblano chilies
  • 30g raisins

For the Nogada sauce

  • 50g goat cheese
  • 60g walnuts
  • 10g sugar
  • 500ml sour cream
  • 750ml milk
  • 100g sherry
  • 2g salt

The seeds from a pomegranate
1g chopped parsley

Sauté the poblano chilis to soften them, clean them and remove the seeds
Dice the onion, tomato (deseeded), pear, peach and plantain and finely chop the garlic, almonds and parsley.
Extract the pomegranate seeds and set aside.

For the stuffing
Heat the lard and fry the onion, add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute; add the ground beef and pork with salt and pepper, cook for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix and cook for 5 minutes more. Fill the chilies and set aside.

For the Nogada sauce
Blend the softened goat cheese, walnuts, sugar, cream, milk, sherry and salt.

Place the stuffed chili on a plate, add the sauce and garnish with pomegranate seeds and parsley.



Viva Mexico!

If you are staying with us this September, we hope that you’ll join us to raise your glass in a toast to this beautiful country and its people as they celebrate Independence month. Viva Mexico!

Dine on tasty traditional dishes such as chiles en nogada and mole or order a plate of tacos, sopes and other tasty appetizers with guacamole and salsa. Sip premium tequila, a margarita or try some of the country’s finest wines. And be sure to listen to Mexican melodies!


Cocktail Time

There’s nothing better for a Mexican Independence toast this September than this Blackberry Mezcalita from the Grand Residences bartender. Wherever you are, salud, cheers! We hope to see you very soon.

Blackberry Mezcalita

  • 2oz mezcal
  • 1oz Triple Sec
  • 1oz lime juice
  • 1/2oz natural sweet syrup
  • Blackberries
  • Splash of orange juice
  • Macerate the blackberries in a cocktail shaker, add the other ingredients and serve on the rocks with plenty of ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy!




Beach Reads

Here are some of the books we are reading right now if you are looking for something for the beach. Some are recent releases but there are some old favorites too. Why not write to us and let us know what’s on your bookshelf or Kindle right now?

A Suitable Boy

Vikram Seth
The story of university student Lata and her mother Mrs. Rupa Mehra who has made it her mission to find her daughter a “suitable boy” to marry. Needless to say, Lata does not agree with her mother’s views and falls for someone entirely different. This story of four families and a host of other characters is a rich tapestry of Indian life in the years following Independence from British rule and Partition.

A Suitable Boy was recently broadcast as a BBC mini series directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding) and adapted by Andrew Davis who also produced award-winning series such as War and Peace and Pride and Prejudice).


Anne Enright
From the Booker prize-winning Irish author, the story of Katherine O’Dell, a legendary actress as told by her daughter Norah. Early triumphs in Hollywood and success on the stage in London and Dublin, life was all a performance for Katherine. Norah watched from the wings as her beloved mother acted on and off stage, endured heartbreak and entertained the literati and socialites of the day. She watched her go into decline, endure the disappointments of being passed over for roles and become mired in scandal after a bizarre crime. After Katherine’s death, she discovers the secrets that her mother kept hidden from her adoring public.

If you run out of books remember that you have a neighborhood bookstore right on the main square in Puerto Morelos. Alma Libre stocks new and secondhand books.


A Day of Snorkeling Adventures

Pack your snorkel mask and flippers and get ready for a day exploring the underwater world of the Mexican Caribbean. First stop is the Puerto Morelos Marine Park. Rich in marine life, the Puerto Morelos reef is considered one of the most pristine stretches of the Mesoamerican Reef. One day in the water is never enough so head further south to a trio of fabulous snorkeling spots. Xel-Há, Akumal and Yalkú, all guarantee hours of watery fun and fish sightings for the whole family.


A chain of turquoise inlets, lagoons and crystalline cenotes fed by underground springs and surrounded by emerald green forest and mangroves, Xel-Ha is 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).

As soon as you dive in you’ll find yourself in the middle of schools of fish such as sergeant majors that are just as curious about you as you are about them. Diminutive butterfly fish, damselfish, beaugregories and spotted drums hover around rock outcrops, multicolored parrotfish – one of the park’s symbols – nibble at the limestone and algae and angelfish and blue tangs glide regally by. You can even watch southern stingrays in an area near the north bank of the inlet.

Reef balls, which are concrete structures full of holes, have been submerged in different areas of the inlet to provide an additional habitat for fish and are already being colonized by corals and algae. The 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 freshwater fish.

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.

Spend a day at Xel-Ha with the family. Apart from snorkeling, you can float down the waterways in oversized inner tubes or climb the observation tower and descend on the spiral water slide. Leap into a pool from a cliff, explore caves and learn about Mayan culture, the tradition of bee keeping and local flora and fauna such as the manatee.



With its palm-lined beach, gentle waves, thatched roof palapa bars and restaurants you’d think that this picturesque 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 the Mayan language.

There’s more great 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.



Located just to the north of Akumal, Yalkú is another turquoise caleta that is a heavenly snorkeling spot.

Follow the coast road north from Akumal past Half Moon Bay to the shores of Yalku. As you explore the cool and crystal-clear waters of the inlet you’ll see a variety of colorful reef fish that come inshore to feed or breed among the mangrove roots and submerged rocks. Sergeant majors and damselfish patrol the shoreline, there are pairs of queen angelfish and lone barracudas guarding their territory. Listen and you can even hear the sounds of parrotfish gnawing at the rock and look carefully and you may see the camouflaged peacock flounder emerge from the sand.

A local cooperative manages Yalku and charges a fee for admission. Life jackets are available and there are restrooms and a little open-air cafe. We recommend an early visit, as it can get quite busy.

Reef Tips

If you decide to go snorkeling, please follow these guidelines and help preserve the reefs for future generations.
• Do not apply sun lotion or any kind of lotion or perfume if you are going snorkeling, wear a t-shirt to protect your skin instead. Sun products and the oils and chemicals in creams and cosmetics damage the coral and pollute the water.
• Do not touch the coral or stir the sand up in the vicinity of the reef. The slightest touch can cause damage that will take the coral centuries to recover from.
• Do not remove shells or other marine creatures from the reef.
• Don’t forget your underwater camera!

Ask the Concierge to help you plan a trip to Xel-Há or Akumal and Yalkú.


Grand Residences Travel Gallery

Some of you still cannot be with us right now but we can bring the beauty of the Mexican Caribbean and the Yucatan to you. 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?


First brought to international attention by Mexican diver René Cardona and French conservationist and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau, the chain of reefs circling Cozumel’s leeward coast offers some of the finest diving in the world. Visibility is as high as 200 feet and the seascapes are breathtaking: towering coral buttresses festooned with sponges and coral gardens teeming with marine life, including 300 species of multicolored fish of all shapes and sizes.



An hour’s drive south of Mérida, Uxmal is one of the loveliest ancient cities in the Maya World. Its architectural wonders include the Magician’s Pyramid, the Nuns’ Quadrangle, which is a gracious courtyard surrounded by four palaces, and the Palace of the Governor.



This archaeological site is the largest of 23 discovered to date in Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. It lies in the jungle close to the lagoon of the same name and was a port in ancient times. More than 1,000 years ago, the Maya dredged and widened a natural canal running through the wetlands between the city and the sea to create a trade route for their canoes.



Located on the west coast of the Yucatán, 92 km from Mérida, Celestún Biosphere Reserve protects 81,482 hectares of tropical forest, wetlands, cenotes and estuaries, not to mention a prehistoric petrified forest and an area of ancient Mayan saltpans.

The reserve is rich in wildlife: over 300 species of bird have been recorded, including thousands of flamingos, the elusive boat-billed heron, pygmy kingfisher, sandwich tern and the osprey.


Keep in Touch with Grand Residences

Check the Grand Residences and Royal Resorts facebook pages this month for videos and posts of Mexican Independence dance, music and other traditional festivities.

Watch your friends from the Activities team and Kids Club give keep fit, dance and craft classes via Facebook Live. If you miss them don’t worry, you can watch the videos later.

Check the Grand Residences Facebook page for pictures from paradise, resort updates, cocktails, recipes, activity ideas, sightseeing recommendations and much more


Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice 2020 for Grand Residences and Royal Resorts

Grand Residences and Royal Resorts® have received Tripadvisor’s annual Travelers’ Choice awards in three different categories.

Travelers’ Choice – Best of the Best 2020
This award is Tripadvisor’s highest recognition and is presented annually to those businesses that are the Best of the Best on Tripadvisor, those that earn excellent reviews from travelers and are ranked in the top 1% of properties worldwide.

• Grand Residences Riviera Cancun
• The Royal Cancun® All Suites Resorts
• The Royal Haciendas® All Suites Resort & Spa

Travelers’ Choice 2020
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

• The Royal Islander® All Suites Resort
• The Royal Sands® Resort & Spa All Inclusive

Popular Cancun restaurants Captain’s Cove and Hacienda Sisal have also received the Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice 2020 awards.

Travelers’ Choice Top 25 Hotels in Mexico for Families 2020
In the Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice lists honoring the top hotels in Mexico, Royal Resorts and Grand Residences are among the top 25 hotels category for family vacations.

• The Royal Haciendas No. 6
• The Royal Cancun No. 16
• Grand Residences Riviera Cancun No. 19

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Let’s Protect Each Other: Wear a Face Mask

We are in this together and we can all help slow the spread of COVID-19 by following hygiene recommendations such as frequent hand washing and social distancing and by using face masks. Masks reduce the dispersion of droplets when you sneeze or cough and if we all wear one we can protect each other. We ask all our owners, members and guests to wear a face mask indoors and in busy public areas of the resort.
The use of face masks is compulsory in the Kids Club, the Spa, Gourmet Food Market, in elevators and on board our vans. You should also wear one when entering our restaurants up until the moment that you are seated.

Use of masks is now mandatory in public in Cancun with fines for non-compliance
In Cancun, the use of face masks is now mandatory in public for residents and for visitors. The police are enforcing the new law and there are penalties for non-compliance. Fines may be given for not wearing a mask and if the fine is not paid the offender could face detention for 36 hours.
In Tulum, the authorities are also enforcing this new law and police have detained several people for not wearing a face mask.
Whenever you venture off property, please use a mask.


Sporting life

A stroll along the beach at sunrise is the start of another perfect day in Grand Residences. What do you have planned? Are you going to spend it on the beach or by the pool or have an activity-packed day to stay in shape?
Keep up with your daily workout at the gym or use the lap pool. Join a yoga, zumba, pilates or stretching class. Whatever your choice, cool off afterwards with water, juice, fruit and granola cookies from the recovery station on the pool deck.
Anyone for tennis? Book a court and sign out rackets and balls at the Sports Desk. Clinics and private classes are available with the Pro if you want to improve your game.
If your passion is golf book your tee times for a round at the El Camaleón Mayakoba, Gran Coyote (formerly Grand Coral), Puerto Cancun or Playa Mujeres courses. Designed by champions, all are eminently playable with challenging holes to test your skills and they offer discounted green fees for Grand Residences and Royal Resorts golfers.
Remember that at 3 p.m. you are invited to join the Activity team on the beach for a fun game of volleyball.
And after a day of activity you’ll be ready for a relaxing Spa massage to ease those aching muscles.

Your Concierge can help you with golf and spa reservations.



Mexican Mariscos, an Evening of Seafood at Flor de Canela

Plan an evening at Flor de Canela on your next visit for some of Chef Rafael Borbolla’s seafood dishes. Fish, shrimp and lobster are cooked to perfection in recipes inspired by the traditions of fishing communities along Mexico’s Pacific and Caribbean coasts.
Start your meal with a plate of ceviche, aguachile or tuna tostadas with avocado and lime cream and a hint of habanero chili.
For classic Mexican Caribbean dining order fresh lobster grilled al mojo de ajo in garlic butter or Maya-style tikinxic, fish that is marinated in achiote (annatto) and Seville orange juice, then charcoal-grilled with bell peppers, onion and tomato and served with tortillas and fried plantains.
From the Pacific coast, the hearty Governor’s burrito is a flour tortilla packed with shrimp flambéed in tequila with garlic and guajillo chili, rice and grilled sweet corn. Tequila shrimp is another favorite and the seafood pozole is Mexico’s take on the Provençal bouillabaisse but even tastier. Grouper, shrimp, mussels, octopus and lobster chunks are cooked in a spicy seafood broth with cacahuacintle corn kernels and the traditional garnishes.
Of course, if you would like the catch of the day, it is sourced locally and superbly flavored and you can order it grilled, sautéed in garlic butter or with your favorite sauce.


Dish of the Month: Grand Residences Green Salad

Here’s a refreshing new salad from Chef Borbolla’s repertoire, a perfect lunch recipe for the summer. Crisp garden vegetables and the nutty flavor of pumpkin seeds and pine nuts, delicious and very nutritious.

Grand Residences Green Salad with Pumpkin Seed Pesto
30g baby spinach
60g local squash
40g peas
60g green beans
50g asparagus
40g chayote

For the pumpkin seed pesto
30g pumpkin seeds
20g pine nuts
10g Parmesan cheese
15ml olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Bring water and salt to the boil and cook the squash, green beans, asparagus and chayote; cool them in a bowl of ice. Cook the peas until they are soft and then puree them in a blender.
To make the pesto toast the seeds in a frying pan and blend with the Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the pea puree on the plate and top with the remaining ingredients. Add pesto to taste.


Cocktail Time

Fix a cocktail for a summer evening on the terrace and memories of your Mexican Caribbean home away from home will come flooding back. We hope that you will soon be here, in the meantime, here’s a taste of the tropics for you.

3/4oz vodka
3/4oz white rum
2oz orange juice
2oz strawberries
¼ banana
1oz Kahlua
1/4oz grenadine
Blend and serve with an orange and melon garnish.

Caribbean Nizuc
3/4oz brandy
3/4oz melon liqueur
2oz pineapple juice
2oz orange juice
1/4oz coconut cream
1/4oz grenadine
Blend and serve with an orange and melon garnish.

Beso Maya
1oz almond tequila
1/2oz Xtabentun liqueur
1/4oz coffee liqueur
2oz Carnation milk
11/4oz coconut cream
Blend and serve with a pineapple garnish


Stay Connected

Watch your friends from the Activities team and Kids Club give their classes via Facebook Live on the Royal Resorts and Grand Residences Facebook pages. If you miss them don’t worry, you can watch the videos later.
Check the Grand Residences Facebook page for pictures from paradise, resort updates, cocktails, recipes, activity ideas and much more
You can also stay connected with Grand Residences on Instagram and Twitter.


Beach Reads

Here are some of the books we are reading right now if you are looking for something for the beach. Why not write to us and let us know what’s on your bookshelf or Kindle right now?

The Colour
Rose Tremain
Gold casts its spell in this tale of 19th-century New Zealand. Joseph and Harriet Blackstone emigrate in search of a new life. When Joseph finds “the colour,” gold dust in the creek on their homestead he becomes obsessed and abandons everything in pursuit of his fortune. He travels to the Southern Alps to seek his fortune in the gold rush, leaving Harriet to run the farm. Separated and beset by misfortune, they make their own way in the beautiful but harsh landscape.
Set against the grandeur of the mountains of South Island, this is a compelling story of pioneers.

Sea of Poppies
Amitav Ghosh
A rich saga of 19th-century India at the time of the Opium Wars. A ship sets sail for Mauritius with a motley crew of sailors, indentured laborers  and convicts, including a bankrupt Raja, a widowed farmer and a French runaway.


Virtual Traveler

Some of you still cannot be with us right now but we can bring the beauty of the Mexican Caribbean and the Yucatan to you. 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?

Rio Secreto
Exploring this chain of caves in the jungle just to the south of Playa del Carmen is an incredible experience. Your guide will show you hidden chambers deep in the limestone rock filled with crystal-clear water and impressive stalactites and stalagmites formed over millions of years.

Located near Chichen Itza, this is one of the Yucatan’s most popular cenotes, a huge sinkhole with towering limestone walls festooned with jungle creepers and aerial tree roots.

Wide beaches and the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, fishermen unloading their catch and flocks of gulls and pelicans waiting expectantly for scraps, this is life on Holbox, the northernmost island of the Mexican Caribbean. A slower pace, the chance to see wildlife and incredible sunsets are some of its rustic charms.

Ek Balam
Located 20 minutes to the north of Valladolid, the ancient city of Ek Balam is best known for the Acropolis, the tiered pyramid crowned by a temple with a carved stucco façade depicting ancient lords, gods, sacred animals and earth monsters.

Between Xel-Ha and Tulum, Tankah is a lovely palm-lined bay with cenotes in the mangroves and tiny Maya temples in jungle clearings.


Swimming with the Whale Sharks

If you are staying at Grand Residences this month and are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, how about swimming with the whale sharks, the gentle giants that are the world’s largest living fish? Get ready for a magical wildlife encounter that’s straight out of National Geographic.

Ocean wanderers in search of food during the year
Whale sharks are great ocean wanderers, migrating thousands of miles through the tropics in search of the plankton and fish eggs that are their staple diet. From mid-May to mid-September, hundreds of them gather in the northern waters of the Mexican Caribbean near the islands of Holbox, Contoy and Isla Mujeres to feed. Biologists say it is the largest whale shark gathering in the world.

Domino fish
Also known as domino fish due to the distinctive stripes and dappled markings on their blue-grey skins, each whale shark has its own unique pattern and taking photos of them is helping experts around the world to compile a catalog. Through the use of this international database for identification purposes and by tagging sharks they have been able to map the movements of some of these enigmatic and endangered creatures during the year.

Whale shark tours
Imagine snorkeling alongside a whale shark and watching as a creature the size of a bus approaches you and then swims placidly by, its gaping jaws open to scoop up the plankton. It is an awe-inspiring sight and one that wildlife watchers won’t want to miss. Guided small group eco trips to see the whale sharks are available and during the day you may be lucky enough to see wild dolphins, sea turtles and the graceful manta rays that also gather in the whale shark feeding grounds.

Ask your Concierge to help arrange a whale shark watching trip for you. You have two options: taking an eco trip from Cancun or Isla Mujeres or traveling to the island of Holbox. Just off the north coast of Quintana Roo, even the wooden signs and colorful murals lining the sandy streets of Holbox show the famous pez domino, as the whale shark is affectionately called by local fishermen.

Staying on Holbox will let you discover the rustic laidback ambiance of the island, spend time on the beach, set sail in search of whale sharks and explore the Yalahau Lagoon, a prime spot for bird watching.

Ask your Concierge about whale shark trips

In Memoriam


It is with profound sadness that we share news of the loss of a much-loved member of the Grand Residences and Royal Resorts family, Cuauhtémoc Luna Peralta known as Octavio, Concierge Manager for the Sales department in Grand Residences.

Originally from Tepexi de Rodríguez, Puebla, Octavio was 52 years old. He joined Royal Resorts in 2006 and had been at Grand Residences since 2014. Many owners and members will remember him for his quiet and courteous manner, kindness and professionalism. A gentle soul, he always went out of his way to help people and will be greatly missed.

Octavio’s colleagues and friends at Grand Residences sent these tributes.


Octavio really made Grand Residences his life and we were like family to him. I will always remember his sense of humor. We will all miss him.

Catherine Duda


He was a dear soul who was loved by many. He was charming and always sharp. He was fun, loving and generous. We will miss him but he will always be in our hearts

Claudia Rámirez


He was such a wonderful man. We all loved him

Karen Bayerlein


We are sure that you will want to join us in sending your thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and workmates during this difficult time.


Grand Residences is Open and Happy to Welcome You Back

We are open and so happy to welcome back our owners and members and their families.
Grand Residences staff and management representatives gave a Mexican-style Fourth of July welcome to the first owners, members and guests to arrive with applause, live music, cocktails and more.
Mexican and US flags were flying and a Jarocho trio from Veracruz serenaded guests with traditional Mexican music. This very special day ended with a Fourth of July BBQ in El Faro Grill.

Welcoming you back with new health and safety measures
Grand Residences reopened with new Royal Care Standard health and safety protocols in place for your protection. As part of this program, we have implemented World Health Organization, Mexican Department of Health and The Leading Hotels of the World® hygiene recommendations, elevating our cleaning and sanitization standards even further. Your resort has now received the Clean and Safe Check certificate from the Quintana Roo State Tourism Board and Department of Health. This official certificate also has the Safe Travels seal of approval from the World Travel & Tourism Council.
The new measures are in effect from the moment you leave the Airport. You will be greeted by your Grand Residences chauffeur, who will be wearing a face mask. He will escort you to your van, which has been cleaned and disinfected and is ready for use.
You will receive a complimentary hygiene kit including a face mask, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes for you to use on the resort premises or when you go on tours. Upon arrival at the resort, staff will ask permission to take your temperature and your luggage will be disinfected before being carried to your residence.
Disinfecting mats have been installed in the lobby, the doorways to other guest areas and at staff entrances. Wherever you go in the resort, you’ll find that we have also added hand sanitizer dispensers for guests and staff to use.
You’ll notice that all our staff are wearing face masks and some also wear gloves and visors as they go about their work. We ask our owners, members and guests to wear face masks in indoor spaces such as the Kids Club and busy public areas of the resort where keeping a safe distance is not possible. By doing so, you are protecting yourself and others. The use of face masks is mandatory when you go outside the resort, you must wear them in public areas, supermarkets, malls and more.
High traffic areas and frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, elevator buttons and handrails throughout the resort are cleaned and disinfected repeatedly during the day.
We also adjusted our room cleaning procedures, incorporating new hygiene protocols and EPA-approved products. In addition, all rooms are sanitized using electrostatic technology prior to guest arrival.
Social distancing is respected wherever possible and in the Kids Club and Gym we have reduced the number of guests permitted at any given time. The cocktail class is also limited to eight people, the cooking class to seven and tea time to nine; reservations are required for all three. Two guests are permitted to use the elevators at the same time.
We have made changes at the restaurants too, adding hygiene protocols and changing seating plans. For the time being, we have suspended the theme night buffets replacing them with a la carte menus, individual portions and staff on hand to serve diners.
Wherever they are, our staff take care of every detail to ensure that all cleaning and disinfecting procedures and protocols are being followed.
We are looking after our staff and monitoring their health closely. All team members have their temperature taken before they start their shift and must complete a health survey. They then change into their uniforms, which are laundered on site. Additional health and safety precautions have been implemented in offices and other employee areas to protect them.
Staff have been trained to carry out the new protocols and also attend ongoing online courses on COVID-19 awareness and hygiene best practices.

Watch our Royal Care Standard video

For more information on the measures that have been implemented at Grand Residences and Royal Resorts visit royalcarestandard.com


Contactless menus and more: online information sources

We have gone completely contactless at Grand Residences, moving all our restaurant menus and resort information sources online. Scanning QR codes in your room, in our restaurants and elsewhere in the resort gives you access to a wealth of digital information including:

• Menus for all our restaurants and bars
• Room Service menu
• Activity programs for the Activity Centers and Kids Clubs
• Grand Residences Guest Service Directory

You’ll also find daily activities, menus and much more on the Apple TV in your residence.

Use the Grand Residences App
Download the Grand Residences App if you haven’t already done so. It is a great source of guest service information and daily activities and we have added menus too. It also offers you contactless solutions for check-in and checkout, paying your bill by credit card, reservations and making special requests before your stay.
Download it from the App Store or Google Play.


A Week of Grand Dining

Gourmet cuisine awaits you whenever you dine at El Faro and Flor de Canela and there is always tasty fresh seafood for lunch or early dinner at Heaven Beach Bar. Yet there’s much more for you to try during your stay, and you won’t want to miss the theme nights we have lined up for you this summer. They come with a la carte menus at the moment instead of the classic buffet but there are plenty of tempting choices, including appetizers, soup, salad, main courses and desserts.

• Monday
Italian Night, El Faro Grill

• Wednesday
Argentinian Night

• Thursday
Seafood Night, El Faro Grill

• Friday
French Night, El Faro Grill

• Sunday
BBQ Night

There may be some temporary changes in opening hours for Flor de Canela and El Faro Grill in July. Ask your Concierge for more information and the location of Argentinian Night and BBQ Night.


Mellow Music

There’s live music somewhere at Grand Residences all week long, whether it is in the restaurants at dinner, on the pool deck or even on the lobby bar terrace. Here is the summer line up, your Concierge will have the times and locations for you.

Saturday: Guitar
Sunday: Harp and Saxophone, two locations
Tuesday: Los Jarochos (group)
Wednesday: Cielito Lindo (group)
Thursday: Salsa con V
Friday: Jazz with Jeriko (duo), The Two (group), two locations

Line up is subject to change without prior notice.


Dining in? Check the new Room Service menu

For a casual dinner on the terrace or in your dining room, order from the 24-hour Room Service menu. Chef Borbolla has added new dishes for your dining pleasure, including seafood, vegetarian and vegan options and you’ll find all-time favorites such as pizza and pasta.