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Old 11-12-2005   #46 (permalink)
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November 07, 2005 08:01 AM US Eastern Timezone

Viva Wyndham Azteca and Maya Unveil $17 Million Renovation; Doors Will Re-Open Mid-November; All-Inclusive Mexican Resorts Enhance Public Areas, Add Dining Options and Introduce New Amenities

SANTO DOMINGO, Mexico--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 7, 2005--Viva Wyndham Resorts' sister properties in Playacar, Mexico are set to unveil their $17 million refurbishment, with Viva Wyndham Azteca re-opening on Nov. 12 and Viva Wyndham Maya re-opening Nov. 19. The resorts will feature enhanced public areas, state-of-the-art exercise equipment and a new restaurant, as well as repairs to minor damage caused by recent hurricanes.


"Careful consideration was taken with all the enhancements at each property to ensure that we provide our guests with the services and amenities that they desire in a setting that allows them to relax and rejuvenate," said Ettore Colussi, president of Viva Wyndham Resorts, "These refurbishments will ensure that our guests will enjoy these properties for years to come." --

The $10 million refurbishments to the Viva Wyndham Maya include: --

Remodeling of the main lobby, restaurant and bar --
A new a la carte Italian restaurant --
A buffet area to the remodeled snack grill bar --
New Life Fitness(R) equipment to the gym --
Extension of the existing La Placita bar --


The $7 million refurbishments to Viva Wyndham Azteca include: --

A larger fountain to greet guests upon arrival --
Renovations to the main lobby, which now features a more ample entrance, allowing the entire hotel facade to be admired from the street --
New lighting and paint, as well as reinforced and modified roofs to several restaurants and bars --
Significant remodeling to the property's Italian a la carte restaurant, La Scala, with the construction of a wine cellar, waiting area and intimate dining spaces
New outdoor furniture and enhanced tropical foliage along the beach and pool areas --
A new boutique design in the property's gift shop to increase merchandise options --
Relocation of the Kid's Club closer to the beach, offering a larger space for games and activities

Nestled along palm-covered, white sand beaches, sister properties Viva Wyndham Maya and Viva Wyndham Azteca are pure vacation paradise. Just off shore, the multi-colored coral reef offers world class diving, snorkeling and fishing. Guests can participate in numerous recreation activities such as windsurfing, canoeing, volleyball and more. Nearby attractions, such as Playa del Carmen, a nearby town with array of shopping and dining opportunities; Xel-Ha, a recreational eco-park; and the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum, offer guests a variety of ways to experience the local area and culture. Guests of both Viva Wyndham Maya and Viva Wyndham Azteca can take advantage of the amenities at both properties, including the full-service Renova Spa (Spanish for "renew") offering services such as massages, wraps and hydrotherapy as well as a variety of international restaurants featuring Asian, Italian, Mexican cuisine.
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Old 11-17-2005   #47 (permalink)
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Cozumel Updates Status of Hotels, Dive Shops
Published on: November 17, 2005


Hotel properties and dive shops on the Mexican island of Cozumel continue to make great strides toward restoring facilities and operations, following damage from Hurricane Wilma. Nearly all of the downtown hotel properties are now open, several coastal properties are targeting reopening dates in December, and by Jan. 31, 2006, up to 85 percent of the rooms operated by members of the Cozumel Hotel Association will be ready to welcome travelers. According to Gabriela Verduzco, director of the Cozumel Hotel Association, renovations to the island's hotels are progressing quickly. "Although some properties have identified additional work to be done and revised their opening dates, we expect that many visitors will return to the island during the winter travel season and more than 2,800 rooms will be available for guests," he said. Travelers with existing reservations are urged to contact their respective properties directly for further details and guidance. Additionally, the majority of island certified dive operators have resumed business and others are expected to report anticipated reopening dates within the next few weeks. Six Cenote diving (cavern diving) sites are now open including Cenote C-1, Cenote Aerolito, Cenote C-3, Cueva Quebrada (Chankanaab), Cenote 3 Potrillos and Cenote Roca Bomba. Following are the certified Cozumel dive shops that are currently open and operating: Acuatic Sports ( scubacoz@scubacozumel.com), Aldora ( frontdesk@aldora.com), Aqua Safari ( dive@aquasafari.com), Black Shark ( blackshark@prodigy.net.mx), Blue Angel Dive Shop ( alexcozumel@prodigy.net.mx), Caballito del Caribe ( caballitocozumel@prodigy.net.mx), Cozumel Sports ( eduardo@cozumelsports.com), Del Mar Aquatics ( jorgemarino@delmaraquatics.net), Deep Blue ( dive@deepbluecozumel.com), Deep Exposure Dive Center ( info@deepexposuredivecenter.com), Dive Cozumel ( dmanfish@divecozumel.net), Dive House ( dive@divehouse.com), Dive Paradise ( apple@diveparadise.com), Eagle Ray Divers ( chellie@eagleraydivers.com), Manta Raya Divers ( scuba@mantaraya.com), Sand Dollar Sports ( sds@sanddollarsports.com), Scuba Du ( scubadu@cozumel.net), Yucatech Expeditions ( german@yucatech.net). For more information, on Cozumel hotels, visit www.cometocozumel.com. For more information on travel to Cozumel, visit www.islacozumel.com.mx.
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Old 11-17-2005   #48 (permalink)
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Palace Resorts Riviera Maya Properties Set to Reopen
Published on: November 17, 2005


Palace Resorts said Aventura Spa Palace, located in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico, has reopened the North section of the resort following the passage of Hurricane Wilma. The North section of the all-inclusive resort features approximately 900 of the beachfront property's 1,266 rooms, as well as the resort's namesake spa. While Aventura Spa Palace is normally an adults-only property, the resort will allow children for a limited time from Nov. 5 to Jan. 8 to accommodate guests with prior reservations at other Palace properties that welcome families and are temporarily closed. The North section of the resort, and all of this sector's restaurants, with the exception of the "El Greco" restaurant, are open and operational and the remaining portion of the resort is slated to become fully operational Nov. 30. Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, which was originally slated to reopen on Dec. 20, will reopen the entire resort including the golf suites and the spa earlier than anticipated, on Dec. 15, 2005. This is five days prior to initial estimates and with an additional 531 rooms. The golf course at The Moon Spa & Golf Club will reopen on Nov. 30. All weddings have been temporarily suspended at Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort until Jan. 2, 2006. Scheduled ceremonies are being moved to Aventura Spa Palace based on availability. Palace Resorts' additional properties in Cancún's Hotel Zone are now closed and are expected to undergo refurbishments in the upcoming months. Upon reopening in the Summer of 2006, Sun Palace, Cancun Palace and Beach Palace will all feature refreshed décor, a double Jacuzzi in every suite and several new amenities. In addition, Cancun Palace will feature a newly renovated lobby, a new spa and a convention center, Beach Palace will feature a newly renovated lobby and Sun Palace will be home to a new spa. Palace Resorts' newest properties, Playacar Palace will open on Dec. 15, a full three days earlier than anticipated, while Cozumel Palace is slated to open in the Summer of 2006.
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Old 11-19-2005   #49 (permalink)
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APPLE VACATIONS UPDATE AS OF NOVEMBER 19th
NEW INFO ADDED FOR AKUMAL BEACH RESORT, VIVA MAYA, MOON PALACE, PLAYACAR PALACE AND PARADISUS RIVIERA.




RIVIERA MAYA


Sunscape Tulum (Dreams Tulum as of December)
Hotel is open and fully operational - all restaurants, bars, pool, electricity, water (hot & cold), air conditioning, telecommunications, etc. are fully functional and undamaged. Cable TV expected to be operational within 30 days. Water purifying system (tap water) should be fully operational within 10 days.

Sunscape Puerto Aventuras
Reopening Dec. 12

Copacabana
Reopening Nov. 2
Due to Hurrican Wilma, the hotel has had its power redirected through a smaller power plant and this is causing some power shortages within the hotel. A/C is only being applied during the evening hours. The hotel should have this problem fully operational by 11/18/05.

Bahia Principe Akumal
Bahia Principe Coba
Bahia Principe Tulum
Open and fully operational

Palladium
Fully operational as of Nov. 1

Palladium White Sands
New resort, still pending, but no delay expected

Iberostar Beach/Del Mar
Reopening Nov 4 with limited inconveniences: theater shows will be held in the Convention Center; one of the beach Palapas will be closed; the beach bar will be closed. The hotel should be fully operational by 12/15/05.

Iberostar Paraiso Lindo
Reopening Nov 4 with limited inconveniences: Italian & Oriental restaurants closed until 11/19/05, to compensate this, guests will have full access to the Paraiso Maya restaurants.

Iberostar Paraiso Maya
Reopening on Nov 4 with limited inconveniences: three small pools are closed, beach bar closed. The hotel should be fully operational by 12/15/05.

Iberostar Tucan/Quetzal
Reopening Nov. 4 fully operational

Riu Palace Mexico
Riu Yucatan
Riu Playacar
Riu Tequila
Open with limited inconveniences, fully operational Nov. 1

Riu Palace Riviera Maya
New resort - scheduled to open Feb 06

Sandos Gala Playacar
Reopening Nov. 10 with limited inconveniences, fully operational Nov. 25

Sandos Caracol Beach Resort
Reopening Feb. 1

Grand Gala Esmeralda
New resort, scheduled to open Dec. 05
*Shammy's edit* I've been told they will NOT be open in Dec, but some time in Feb.

Secrets Capri
Reopening Nov. 3

Secrets Excellence
Reopening Nov. 25. Bookings will be protected at Secrets Capri providing there is availability at that hotel.

Viva Azteca
Reopening Nov. 12

Viva Maya
Reopening Nov. 25

Club Maeva Tulum
Club Maeva open with limited inconveniences: spa & gym with the exception of the sauna, will be operational by 11/30/05.

Akumal Beach Resort
Reopening Dec. 15

Allegro Playacar
Reopening Jan. 31

Barcelo Maya Beach / Caribe
Hotel open without 1 beach restaurant. Hotel should be fully operatonal 11/30/05.

Barcelo Maya Tropical / Colonial
New resort - opening pushed back to Dec 23

Grand Xcaret
Reopening not prior to Jan 31. Exact reopening date will be advised at a later time.

Royal Hideaway
Expected to reopen March 1.

Paradisus Riviera Cancun
Hotel is scheduled to reopen 01/15/2006 - hotel pushed up opening.

Club El Mandarin
Reopening Dec. 1

Oasis Akumal
Reopening Feb. 1

Fairmont Mayakoba
Opening pushed back to March 1.

Valentin Playa Del Secreto
Still on schedule to open May 06

Aventura Spa Palace
Due to Hurricane Wilma, the hotel will be allowing kids thru 01/08/2006. North Section open on 11/05/05 - less 1 restaurant; however the South Section will reopen 11/30/05.

Moon Palace
Hotel scheduled to reopen 12/15/05 with all its rooms including the Golf Suites. The Sunrise and Nizuc lobbies, all indoor restaurants, pools, club house, spa & the convention center will be fully operational at this time as well. The golf course is expected to open on 11/20/05. Weddings will resume on January 2, 2006. We are working on moving all scheduled weddings to the Aventura Spa Palace based on availability.

Playacar Palace
New resort - scheduled to open Dec 15 - three days earlier than previously reported.
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Old 11-19-2005   #50 (permalink)
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FUNJET HOTEL UPDATES AS OF NOVEMBER 19th



RIVIERA MAYA


Bahia Principe Akumal
Bahia Principe Coba
Bahia Principe Tulum
Nov. 1
Some damage to the main areas and beach Palapas, only 2 pools open

Grand Palladium
Open
Limited Services:Main lobby closed, 1 pool closed and A la Carte restaurant closed

Grand Palladium Riviera Resort
Dec. 15
New Spa and Gym opening 1/15/06

Iberostar Beach/Del Mar
Iberostar Paraiso Lindo
Iberostar Paraiso Maya
Nov. 5

Iberostar Tucan/Quetzal
Nov. 5

Riu Palace Mexico
Riu Yucatan
Riu Playacar
Riu Tequila
Open and fully operational

Sandos Gala Playacar
Nov. 11 Fully operational

Sandos Caracol Beach Resort
Feb. 1

Club Maeva Tulum
Open - Some Service Interruptions:Beach erosion and landscaping work required

Barcelo Maya Beach / Caribe
Nov. 4

Barcelo Maya Tropical / Colonial
Dec. 23

Aventura Spa Palace
Nov. 5
500 rooms North Section only. The rest of the resort will open 11/30/05. Due to circumstances,children will be allowed 11/5/05-1/8/06. Some visible noise and construction 11/5/05-11/30/05

Moon Palace
Dec. 15
Weddings will resume Jan. 2nd

Azul Beach Resort
Dec. 25 - tentative opening

El Dorado Seaside Suites
Nov. 17
Gym and spa will be closed
Due to the limited inventory in some categories, downgrades in room types may occur upon arrival. In case you receive a different room type as stated on your travel voucher, please contact your travel provider upon return home and the price difference will be reimbursed.

Hidden Beach Resort
Dec. 15

El Dorado Royale
Nov. 25
Casitas will not open on Nov. 25. Scheduled to open on Dec.15. Due to the limited inventory in some categories, downgrades in room types may occur upon arrival. In case you receive a different room type as stated on your travel voucher, please contact your travel provider upon return home and the price difference will be reimbursed.

Gran Porto Real
Nov. 19

Royal Porto Real
Open - Some Service Interruptions: Some windows broken but very little other damage

Real Playa Del Carmen
Open
TRADE WINDS BEACH BAR- guest are using beach and beach bar at Gran Porto Real.
Shuttle to Beach club - operating

Grand Coco Bay (formally Coco Beach)
Open with no water sports shack

Reef Club Playacar
Nov. 30

Club El Mandarin
Dec. 18
One restaurant closed and general maintenance going on.

Catalonia Riviera Maya
Nov. 8

Occidental Grand Xcaret
Feb. 1 - tentative opening

Occidental Allegro Playacar
Jan. 31

Royal Hideaway
Feb. 1 - tentative opening

Paradisus Riviera Cancun
Jan. 20
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Old 11-22-2005   #51 (permalink)
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Hola!

Funjet has some very kewl short video clips from several hotels, Playa, Tulum and even Xel Ha on their web site - take a look.

Follow this link: FUNJET

Then go to the small box in the center of the page, where it says:

"Riviera Maya: Estamos Abiertos - We Are Open"

And click!

And here is their blog with lots of pictures and comments:

Funjet's Blog

Nice job at keeping us updated Funjet!
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Old 11-28-2005   #52 (permalink)
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Cozumel, Cancun Post-Wilma Recovery Efforts Progress
Published on: November 28, 2005


Cozumel tourism officials report that visitors are returning and restoration efforts are moving faster than expected. Updates from the island include: electricity and water are now restored to the entire island; cosmetic improvements are drastic, including the replacement of mature palm trees along the main tourist thoroughfare; cruise ships returned to Cozumel on Nov. 14, 2005 and continue daily arrivals; and all Cozumel roads are clear and open except for a small strip between Coconuts and Rastas restaurant on the east side of the island, which is estimated to open Dec.15. East coast beaches are in excellent condition and are actually wider as a result of the storm. The island's certified dive shops are open and operating and snorkeling tours have resumed normal operations. The Cozumel Country Club is set to reopen for play on Dec. 1, 2005. Limited food and beverage service will be available until the restaurant and golf shop repairs are completed, which is expected to be by Jan. 1, 2006. More than 60 of the 70 island excursions are currently available including horseback riding tours, jeep excursions, all-terrain vehicle tours, fishing, etc. The Atlantis Submarine attraction will reopen on Dec. 15, 2005. Ninety percent of Cozumel shops and restaurants have reopened at this time. Coconuts bar, Rastas Bar and Mezcalitos have reopened on the eastern side of the island. The Mayan ruins at San Gervasio are in good condition and the site is now open. According to officials from the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park, visitors can expect the excellent water clarity with optimum visibility. New opportunities are being discovered in the wake of the storm. The shifting of sand has actually revealed new sites for exploration, including newly-revealed caves at Palancar. Among other marine life, barracudas, rays, groupers, sharks, surgeon fishes, parrot fishes, etc., are still abundant within their natural environment. Among others, popular reefs for diving and snorkeling include: Punta Chiqueros; Punta Sur; Santa Rosa; El Mirador; Colombia; San Francisco; Playa Bush; Palancar; Cardona; El Islote; La Francesa; Punta Tunich; Maracaibo; Punta Dalila; Las Palmas; Chun Chacab; Paso del Cedral; and Paraíso profundo. Six Cenote diving (cavern diving) sites are now open including Cenote C-1, Cenote Aerolito, Cenote C-3, Cueva Quebrada (Chankanaab), Cenote 3 Potrillos and Cenote Roca Bomba. Meanwhile, post-Wilma recovery efforts are also progressing in Cancun. Of the 27,822 lodging units available, 5,314 are expected to open by Nov. 30; 12,023 are expected to open by Dec. 20; 13, 938 will open by Jan. 31, 2006; 17,403 are slated to open by Feb. 28, 2006; 18,787 are slated for opening by March 31, 2006; 20,089 will open by May 31, 2006; 20, 438 will open by June 30, 2006; 20,888 will open by July 1, 2006; and 21,259 will be open by summer 2006 with the opening of 545 more to be announced. Cancun hotels that are currently open include: Royal Mayan; Royal Caribbean; Royal Islander; Royal Sands; Club Internacional; Hotel Kin Mayab; Hotel Bonampak; Hotel Plaza Caribe; Hotel Caribe Internacional; Plaza Kokai Cancún; Margaritas Cancún; Suites La Maison; El Batab; Antillano; Radisson Hacienda; El Rey del Caribe; Hotel Alux; Hotel Tankah; City Express; Maria de Lourdes; Club Verano Beat; Barceló Club las Perlas; BW Cancun Clipper Club; Riu Palace las Ameritas; Dos Playas; Maya Caribe; Imperial Laguna; Riu Cancun; Aquamarina Beach; SolyMar; Le Meridien; Imperial las Perlas; and Royal Sunset; and Gran Costa Real. Secrets Excellence Riviera Cancun was scheduled to reopen Nov. 25 and on Dec. 1, Club Carrousel Cancun, Nichupté Holistic Spa, and Golden Crown Paradise Spa will reopen. Blue Bay Getaway & Spa Cancun will partially reopen on Dec. 2. Sunset Lagoon will partially reopen on Dec. 3 and NH Krystal, El Pueblito, and Fiesta Americana Cancun will reopen on Dec. 15 when the Crown Paradise Club Cancun and Gran Caribe Real also will partially reopen. Le Blanc will reopen on Dec. 18 and Moon Palace Sunrise y Nizuc will reopen on Dec. 28. Riu Caribe will reopen on Dec. 20 along with Blue Bay Club Cancun and Flamingo Cancun. Dreams Cancun will reopen on Dec. 24; Avalon Bacara will reopen on Jan. 1, 2006; Paradisus Riviera Cancun will reopen on Jan. 14, 2006; Ambiance Villas will reopen Jan. 20, 2006; Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach and Fiesta American Condesa will reopen Jan. 30, 2006; Hotetur Beach Paradise will reopen Jan. 31, 2006. Marriott Casa Magna, JW Marriott, Oasis Beach, Oasis Viva, Grand Oasis, Oasis Cancun, Oasis America and Oasis Playa will reopen Feb. 1, 2006. The Presidente Intercontinental will reopen March 1, 2006 and the Westin will reopen March 16, 2006. Grand Melia Cancun is set to reopen March 31, 2006; the Sheraton's reopening date is slated for June 16, 2006; the Hyatt Regency's reopening is May 1, 2006; and the Cancun Palace's is May 31, 2006, when the Beach Palace and Sun Palace will also reopen. The Hyatt Cancun Caribe will reopen June 1, 2006 and the Melia Turquesa will reopen June 31, 2006. The Fiesta Americana Grand Aqua is slated to reopen in the summer. Reopening dates for the Avalon Grand and the Hilton are to be announced. As for beach conditions, a detailed inventory is being prepared. At present, the area between the Riu Cancun toward the downtown/mainland (facing the Bahía de Mujeres) and other along the hotel zone, has actually had its beaches expanded. Attractions and marinas that are currently operating include: Dolphin Discovery in Puerto Aventuras; Lobster Dinner Cruise; Marina Aqua Fun; Marina Blue Ray; Aquaworld; Solo Buceo; Scuba Cancun; Capitan Hook Dinner Cruise; Dolphin Discovery on Isla Mujeres; Marina Aqua Tours; Islander Tour; and Asterix Contoy tour and night party fishing. Golden Cruise Isla Mujeres will begin operating on Nov. 28 and Caribbean Carnaval will relaunch operations on Dec. 1. Xel-Ha is set to kick off operations on Dec. 3; The City, on Dec. 5; and Xcaret on Dec. 12. Coco Bongo will reopen on Dec. 15 and Garrafon Park will reopen on Feb. 1, 2006. Tour operators that are currently open for business include Gray Line Cancun; Alltournative; and Eco-colors. Selvatica, which also offers ecological tours, will reopen on Dec. 15. In addition, water, electricity and phone services are working in all establishments and all roads are accessible in the hotel zone and downtown. The Cancun Airport is also operating normally and the Cancun Convention and Exhibitions Center is also open.
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