Mexico Hotels Ramp Up Sustainable Tourism Practices
Hotel brands in Cancun and the Riviera Maya continue to highlight sustainable business practices. This is, after all, the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, per the United Nations General Assembly.
Aside from that, responsible tourism practices simply make good business sense these days.
The Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau points to recent accolades for several properties. They include The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun’s Hydro Sustainable Hotel distinction for the second consecutive year. Also of note is the Hyatt Ziva Cancun’s Green Globe certification for sustainable operations and management; and Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun and Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun’s Green Key status. The latter recognizes excellence in responsibility and sustainable management.
Xcaret World of Children
On the Riviera Maya, Hotel Xcaret Mexico has received the EarthCheck Certification in Planning and Design. It marks the first time a hotel in the Americas has received the certification. And the hotel won’t even formally open until December 1.
The 900-room Hotel Xcaret Mexico is the first stage of the massive Destino Xcaret project.
The new destination will encompass the existing Xcaret, Xplor, Xplor Fuego and Xenses parks. When completed (it will take at least a decade), it will have 6,000 hotel rooms, a convention center, retail area and 12,000-seat stadium.
Travel Agent spoke with Xcaret co-founder Marcos Constandse about his vision for the first phase of the project. Constandse is the architect behind Hotel Xcaret Mexico. He is CFO of Grupo Experiencias Xcaret and managing director of Destino Xcaret. He is also one of the first advocates of sustainable development in the region.
“We just celebrated the 25th anniversary of Xcaret park. And we’ve been working on the hotel project for nine years,” Constandse tells Travel Agent.
He is particularly proud of the sustainability efforts that have gone into Hotel Xcaret Mexico.
“We did very extensive research and study. We put a lot of effort into hotel energy consumption. We have been working basically for decades with this vision. The tourism industry has evolved a lot in the thirty years we have been here. The time when clients ask only for sun and a beautiful beach passed a long time ago. Now, visitors are very aware that they want to be in contact with culture and nature,” said Constandse.
When it opens in December, Hotel Xcaret Mexico will consist of five different casas. They’re small compounds offering different products. Casa Fuego and Casa Tierra are premium-level properties for adults and families, respectively. Casa Espiral is geared toward conventions, groups and weddings. Casa Viento is oriented to families. It includes kids and teen areas, a water park, plus a kid’s club and teen’s club. Casa Agua is another premium product, dedicated to spa and wellness.
Tying them together is Casa Grande, which is the main lobby and retail area. In total, the compound will include eleven restaurants and eight bars. Guests of the three premium casas will have use of all facilities.
The hotel will also introduce a new concept, “All Fun Inclusive.”
“Whoever stays with us has all our parks and tours included, as well as airport pickup,” said Constandse.
“Even though it’s 900 rooms, you never feel like you’re in a big resort. This hotel is unique in terms of architecture, because of its surroundings. We have a beautiful white sand beach as well as five inlets that create a very special ecosystem,” he added.
Other hotel brands in the area are also introducing new concepts. Palladium Hotel Group, for example, has rebranded The Royal Suites to TRS.
The newly renamed TRS Yucatan in the Riviera Maya will undergo upgrades and renovations through November 15. They include a complete guestroom renovation, swim-up rooms, additional exclusive restaurants and a new infinity pool. The entire room stock of the former Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa will be integrated into TRS Yucatan, along with a new Signature Beach Club.
Additionally, a new 473-room TRS Costa Mujeres property is set to open in the fall of 2018.
Sustainability is very much a concern for the brand, according to Jacques De Paep, Palladium Hotel Group’s commercial director for North America. Conservation efforts are in place at the Costa Mujeres site to protect existing mangroves, dunes, beaches and plants.
“We’re definitely in an era when the clients want more out of their vacation. They want more out of the money they’re spending. They want to see respect for the environment. We can now honestly offer that,” said De Paep.