How can two adults-only, all-inclusive honeymoon havens in the same corner of the same Caribbean island be so successful and yet so different? Guests I met at Royalton Resorts’ CHIC Punta Cana in late April would have felt out of place at Club Med Punta Cana’s Zen Oasis, and vice versa
Last month I got a peek at Moon Palace Jamaica Grande’s destination wedding venues, including the two gazebos, each on either side of the resort and ideal for weddings under 100 guests; the 200-guest Terrace; the 400-guest ballroom, and the setting most couples choose, beachside.
As a romance travel seller, you know all the facts on destination weddings: It’s one of the fastest growing niche markets in the vacation experience; Mexico and the Caribbean are the most popular international destinations for destination weddings; a 4-day destination wedding experience can be more budget-friendly than a 4-hour ceremony back home; many destination weddings take place at all-inclusives; and a destination wedding affords ample time for couples to spend true quality time with their loved ones.
Some of your clients will want to spend the long summer days lounging by the pool sipping hand-crafted cocktails, and for them we suggest these waterfront properties featured in our May issue. But, for those looking for a more active, wellness-oriented getaway, we suggest the following expert-led wellness retreats.
The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa is now offering guests the option to choose between an all-inclusive package or nightly rates when staying at the four-star property on Puerto Rico’s northeast coast.
"The travel industry will double in the next decade, making it the second largest industry in the world, exceeded only by agriculture," said Bill Todd, author of “Increase Sales Now,” to 400 travel agents at ETI, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company's annual conference. "You couldn't have picked a better career path."
Two things astonished Recommend's Caribbean editor Ed Wetschler at Puerto Rico's second annual ETI, or Expo de Turismo International.
Due to double-digit growth in 2015, Delta Vacations is offering expanded offerings in the Dominican Republic, including new hotels and flights for 2016.
On May 3, Recommend's Caribbean Editor Ed Wetschler quoted an Island Routes official who told him that the new highway connecting Montego Bay to Kingston would soon make it possible to expand the company's excursions to the capital. Three days later, Island Routes publicly announced a new Bob Marley and Kingston Highlights tour. We're on a roll, so let's look at some Jamaican hotel news.
Yes, there are 65 dive sites, 35 beaches, a highly acclaimed Jazz Festival, varied cultures—from Dutch to Spanish—unique architecture, and a well-known Ostrich Farm, but it's the people of tiny Curaçao, said Eugene Rhuggenaath, Curaçao's Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, over lunch a few weeks ago, that make this Southern Caribbean island stand above the rest.
Last week in Havana, Cuba, the governments of Aruba and Cuba signed a cooperative agreement in an effort to boost both countries’ tourism sectors.
How might the land of alright get alrighter? At the 26th annual JAPEX—Jamaican Product Exchange—Jamaican tourism leaders are offering answers.
Two questions guided my recent stay at Palace Resorts’ first foothold in Jamaica, the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande: 1. How was Mexican-owned Palace Resorts adapting to the land of alright? 2. How could it stand out on an island that already has dozens of all-inclusive brands?
This Mexican destination on the Pacific side isn’t just overflowing with vibrantly colorful bougainvillea, it’s also bursting at the seams with new hotel openings and revamps, ranging from all-inclusives to ultra-luxe and eco options. During my visit to the destination for Gala Vallarta-Nayarit, I learned that there are at least 11 properties in the area that either recently opened or underwent a revamping, giving you plenty of new booking options.
It’s a gorgeous day in Riviera Nayarit. The sun isn’t being shy about how luminous it can get, and nature in general—from the beach to the lush mountains—is having one of its finest days. I’m at the Iberostar Playa Mita property in Riviera Nayarit, and although I’ve been to this area of Mexico a few times, I’m always blown away by how utterly gorgeous it is—nature really outdoes itself here. That striking scenery takes center stage at the 452-room Iberostar Playa Mita, which pays homage to the natural surroundings, creating a lovely, laid-back ambiance throughout the property.
AMResorts, an Apple Leisure Group subsidiary, is offering round-the-clock food and beverage options across its six luxury resort brands that include 43 properties in 21 destinations.
Not that long ago, people went to the Caribbean in spite of the food; not because of it. But along came the wellness movement, the Food Channel, celebrity chefs and dining as sport. Expectations rose, so resorts, including many all-inclusives, hired better chefs, opened new kinds of restaurants, offered more fresh produce, upgraded their wines, and trained the servers better. The result: Dining has become a selling point and a competitive edge, especially at adults-only resorts. So, I asked some savvy travel agents and tour operators which all-inclusives are the culinary stand-outs.
Recommend’s December issue declared that “dark chocolate is the new black,” thanks to the trend of Caribbean hotels to offer more sophisticated chocolate desserts, chocolate-infused spa treatments, cacao plantation tours, and festivals. Leading the charge has been Saint Lucia, known for its scenic Pitons, beaches, and brides. But this island has other bragging rights, too: It’s been growing exceptional cacao for more than 300 years.
On May 1, 2016, Carnival’s newest brand, Fathom, will operate the cruise line’s inaugural sailing to Havana, Cuba from the Port of Miami.
Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana is now live and available for bookings through U.S. operators.
Classic Journeys' family multi-sport journeys invite the whole gang to participate in river tubing, snorkeling, and other outdoor activities, as well as experience interactions with locals throughout their vacation.
Carnival Cruise Line and International Game Technology (IGT) are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the “Wheel of Fortune” slot machines being featured aboard all Carnival Cruise ships by offering guests the opportunity to win a free cruise and participate in a Spin N Sail Slot Tournament.
Recommend's Caribbean Editor Ed Wetschler sat down with USVI Department of Tourism commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty in a private meeting in Manhattan to talk tourism numbers, how the USVI is handling the Zika's threat and what's in store for 2016.
Could any trend be stronger than the posting of puppy videos on Facebook? Just one: the race to open name-brand, all-inclusive resorts, some for adults only and others that are family-friendly. Here’s how three successful companies are parenting new resorts targeting families.
Almost every time a staffer in a golf cart passed me while I was walking to/from my butler suite at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, he or she offered me a lift. Why? (a) The resort covers a lot of ground. (b) The employees really know how to provide service. (c) I looked incapable of walking without adult supervision. Class, your job is to pick the two correct answers.
Breathtaking landscapes, unspoiled beaches, family-friendly activities…there are plenty of reasons to book your clients a British Virgin Islands vacation, and here are a few more, luxury villa stays, fresh seafood, a fundraising triathlon…
The ink has dried on the U.S.-Cuba deal to re-establish scheduled air services between the two countries, and now the race has begun for U.S. air carriers trying to snag as many coveted runway time slots as possible.
Whether it's building a naturally powered ship with the largest guest capacity in the world or utilizing the latest technology to satisfy guests' needs, there's no shortage of innovations coming from the Genoa-based Costa Group, whose Costa Cruises line, interestingly enough, began as a party cruise—it's come a long way, baby.