On November 1st, 2012, travel agents from all over the world gathered at El Dorado Royale for the 5th Annual GIVC Awards. Legacy Travel was honored to receive many awards. Here is a list:
Top 10 Producers El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels, by Karisma
Highest Category Sales (This award recognizes the agency who books more of the higher categories than any other.)
GI Wedding Consultant awards for Marty, Nicki and Terrah.
Top 10 Wedding Producers El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels, by Karisma (We have two of the Top 10 Wedding Producers for El Dorado.)
Top 10 Wedding Producers Azul Hotels, by Karisma
We also have three Four Diamond level awards.
Finally, we received the 2012 Hall of Fame Award.
From the program that night, here is a description of the Hall of Fame Award:
The Hall of Fame Award is given to the agency who has made a significant difference to the El Dorado Spa Resorts and Hotels and Azul Hotels organization by the actions taken throughout the year that resulted in an overall increase in business. The award is given on behalf of all the employees of our hotels with great pride.
The reason we put so many people at El Dorado Resorts and Azul Hotels is that we know when we send guests, they will be well taken care of and will have a great time.
Thank you, Karisma, for being amazing partners and doing such a great job.
El Dorado Generations is a new brand brought to you by the brilliant minds that created EL Dorado Seaside Suites, El Dorado Royale and El Dorado Maroma.
Now, these El Dorado Resorts are and always have been adults only. I love El Dorado resorts. For me, there are no other resorts on earth better than these.
Imagine my bliss when he owner decided that he would build a number of rooms right next to El Dorado Maroma where families could stay. The adults at this new family friendly place would have full privileges at El Dorado Maroma. Fantastic!
Imagine also how honored and excited I was when I learned that he decided to get the resort ready to open to the point that my family and I could check in during our family vacation and be the very first ones to check in and stay.
We did exactly that. We were the very first people to stay at the resort. We ate the first meal served in the restaurant. We cut the ribbon at the ribbon cutting. I feel like this is our resort, and I couldn’t be more proud.
Now we didn’t exactly have the full experience that guests will have once the resort is fully operational, but we know El Dorado Generations Maroma will not disappoint.
The children’s program will feature meaningful yet entertaining experiences for ages 4 – 12. The resort is right next door to one of the most popular activity marinas in the destination. Just steps away you can enjoy wave runners, ATVs, camel riding, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, speed boats and probably several other activities that I am not remembering. (Marina activities at an additional charge. The marina is a separate company, it just happens to be located next door.)
The rooms at Generations are HUGE! We had a two bedroom swim up suite and it was almost as big as our house. (We have a four bedroom house.) I found that I would forget about the kitchen / living room / dining room area because we had so much space (including another living area) in just our two bedrooms. There were no less than five TVs, each equipped not only with cable TV but also each had its own DVD player. We had three full bathrooms (not to mention four different showers including the outdoor shower).
The large dining room was the site of many matches of “Settlers of Catan” during our stay. I took this picture of one of them. The major difference between playing it at Generations and playing it at home is a) room service and b) champagne.
I understand that Generations will start accepting reservations late this month. Join me in being one of the first to experience it. Now there is no reason to accept second best just because you brought the kids.
I inspected the Riu Palace Bavaro in Punta Cana on June first, 2012. I’ve seen many Riu Palaces, and this one is unlike any other I’ve seen. In fact, we were told that Riu Palace Bavaro is the first of a new generation of Riu Palaces. I loved it.
Riu Palace Bavaro has 610 rooms and does allow both adults and children. It does have all of the standard Riu Palace functions and amenities. You will wear a wristband, you’ll need to keep track of your towel card and you’ll need to make reservations if you want to eat at any of the a’la carte restaurants.
They do have a kids program, but it is only open from 10am until noon, then it opens back up from 3pm until 5pm.
Riu Palace Bavaro does host weddings, up to three each day.
Wifi is available all over the hotel. We were informed that the cost is $3.00 per day, although I’m sure that is subject to change.
The difference between the standard rooms and the superior rooms is the view. Personally, I wish
Really the biggest thing I loved about this hotel is how it looks. So, feast your eyes!
I LOVED the Iberostar Grand Bavaro. In this part of the world there are three resorts bearing the Iberostar Grand label. Besides Iberostar Grand Bavaro there is Iberostar Grand Rose Hall in Jamaica and Iberostar Grand Paraiso in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Iberostar Grand is a luxury, adults only brand. All three Iberostar Grands are located in complexes where other Iberostar resorts are side by side. The Iberostar Grand Bavaro is in a complex with the Iberostar Bavaro Suites and the Iberostar Dominicana. Guests of Iberostar Grand have full access and guest privileges at both of these resorts.
Because of this proximity, and the need to identify and differentiate between guests at the different resorts, Iberostar Grand does have wristbands, unlike many luxury resorts. Restaurant for the four a’la carte restaurants are required for dinner. You can get restaurant reservations prior to your arrival by emailing guest services. My experience staying at Iberostar Grand Resorts, however, has been that reservations are very easily made on site.
Each of the 275 guest rooms is filled with exquisite comfort. The mattresses are very comfortable and the sheets are very
high thread count. To assure your comfort, you can select from a menu of pillows to match your sleeping style.
You can choose between a standard suite, an oceanview suite, an oceanfront suite or, my favorite, a swim up suite.
Each Iberostar Grand has a golf course attached. The golf is included. You get one round if you stay four nights or less. If you stay 5 to 7 nights you get two rounds. If you stay 8 or more nights, then you get unlimited golf.
Iberostar Hotels serve Coca-Cola products. (At least the ones in this part of the world. I can’t speak for the ones in Europe.)
Like all Iberostar Grand hotels, there is waiter service on the beach. There is nothing quite like sitting under a palapa, having your drink delivered while you watch the tide come in and the day go out.
The food is really amazing. From breakfast until late cocktails, you will enjoy the exquisite gastronomy at Iberostar Grand.
I highly recommend you plan to visit the Iberostar Grand Bavaro.
I toured Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe on May 31, 2012.
The Barcelo Bavaro Palace deluxe is a mega resort. Combined with the Barcelo Bavaro Beach next door, there are a total of 1991 rooms. There are 25 shops and 13 restaurants and six pools. This is a large resort.
The Barcelo Bavaro Beach next door, which is adults only, accounts for 391 of those rooms. The two resorts have a certain level of reciprocity, but the exact rules for exchange privileges at Barcelo resorts have always been unclear to me. It’s not as straightforward as at other resorts like, say, Iberostar where the rule is that you have full access to your own resort and all lesser resorts. At Barcelo you can’t eat dinner at a restaurant away from your home resort.
As you might imagine in such a mega resort, you wear a wristband to identify yourself as a guest of Barcelo Bavaro Beach and Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe. You are also issued a towel card at checkin that you will exchange back and forth for beach towels during your stay. When you check out, you need to either return the towel card or a beach towel. If you’ve lost it, you’ll be charged at check out.
The Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe has two room types that are incredibly useful. The first one is called a “Family Room”. This room consists of two sleeping rooms connected by a short (8 feet?) hallway with a bathroom between the two rooms. The other really useful room is called a “Family Junior Suite”. This is two sleeping rooms that connect only in this one each sleeping room has it’s own bathroom. In my own family, 2 bathrooms is really important. One note is that the family section of the resort is not directly on the beach. (It is a big resort, after all. Only a select few rooms are directly on the beach.)
Wifi is available at Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe. At the time of my visit I was quoted a price of $10 per day. If you stay in the “Club Premium” section there is no charge for the wifi. Also in Club Premium Internet access is even available in your room.
Speaking of Club Premium, the other features that distinguish this special section from the rest of the resort are free room service (most of the resort pays $5 per plate for room service), a 10% spa discount as well as access to the Club Premium lounge. The Club Premium lounge is enclosed and air conditioned and features drinks and snacks as well as computer work stations and free internet. There is also a private concierge just for guests of Club Premium.
This Barcelo does have a golf course on site. There is also mini golf and a pirates water park for the kiddos.
Also for the kids, there is the “Barcy Club”. Open from 8am until noon each day, the Barcy Club has planned kids activities for kids 4-12. There is also a teen club for the older kids.
A wave pool is also at the resort (one of few in the Caribbean).
Also, the do serve Coca-Cola products as opposed to Pepsi.
Have you stayed at Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe? What did you think? Or, do yo have specific questions about the resort?
I talked to a guest this morning who was dismayed that her bedding request wasn’t fulfilled on her vacation. She had requested a king bed and instead got two queen sized beds.
The issue is this. Many hotels do not guarantee bedding as part of the room type. For instance, let’s say you reserve an ocean view room. Some ocean view rooms may have two queens, some may have one king.
When you reserve your room, you are reserving an ocean view room. You will have an ocean view room. In the same way that a certain floor or location is not guaranteed, the bedding is not guaranteed.
The day before you arrive, the hotel looks at all of the reservations arriving the next day, and they look at all of the rooms they expect to be available. They will look at any requests they’ve been given and they will do their best to give people what they want as much as possible. When they’re assigning rooms, they have no idea when the reservation was made. A person who reserved the day before is given the same consideration as someone who booked a year ago.
On the other hand, there are some hotels who do guarantee bedding. On those hotels you’ll see roomtypes listed as things like “Oceanview King” or “Garden View Double”. When you reserve those sorts of rooms, the bedding is guaranteed. Also, there are other hotels that all have king bedded rooms. (Mostly adults only hotels)
So, if getting the kind of bedding you want will make or break your vacation, if getting the wrong bedding will completely ruin your vacation, then consider a hotel where it is a sure thing.
Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, operator of seven resorts in the Riviera Maya, hasn’t had a presence in Cancun. Until now.
Iberostar Cancun just opened in December. While it is not a new build (it is formerly the Cancun Hilton) it was completely redone for the new opening. While we were there, the hotel was quite full because of a big gymnastics competition that had traditionally come when it was the Hilton, and decided to continue on with the Iberostar.
As you can see, it was a cloudy day the day we were there. Actually, when you’re touring hotels, a cool cloudy day is the best. Most days in Cancun are nice and sunny.
If you’ve ever been to Cancun, you might remember the very best part of the beach. It’s the part where you see that public beach where all the locals go. As you’ve passed it in your transfer between airport and hotel you might have pondered how they saved the very whitest sand and bluest water for themselves? Well, the Iberostar is next door to that beach. Simply beautiful.
In this shot of the lobby bar you can get an idea of the colors of the lobby.
Here’s another photo of the pools and looking out onto that amazing beach.
The standard rooms at Iberostar Cancun are Oceanview. Nice looking, right?
Finally, here is a video of our experience at Iberostar Cancun:
On our recent trip to Cancun, we also took a quick trip down to a couple of our favorite resorts in the Riviera Maya. We were very excited to see the newly redesigned “MiHotelito Beachfront” room category at El Dorado Maroma.
I don’t know how they did it, but somehow the way they rearranged everything makes those rooms that used to feel so tiny, feel very roomy! I also love the Pineda Covalin scarves made into pillows for the bed. Each of those pillows probably costs hundreds of dollars.
The creamy yellow walls lend warmth and tie the whole room together. The beds are to die for, as usual. These rooms are the only ones in the whole El Dorado brand that don’t have in room Jacuzzis, but the private terrace and proximity to the pool, swim up bar and beach make these rooms a great choice.
Take a look:
This past Saturday, myself and a couple of our agents went to see hotels in Cancun as well as couple in the Riviera Maya. One of the ones we made time to see is Azul Beach Hotel. I’ve seen it a couple of times as the renovations have been in progress and, now that they’re almost complete, I must say I continue to be blown away. Let me show you what we saw:
This is a picture of one side of the new lounge area they’ve built right past the main lobby. It’s just beautiful and makes the lobby so much more open.
This is the view from inside the main lobby. See the ocean? Isn’t it pretty? The hotel is using this area as a “Plan B” venue for weddings in case of rain. Lots of brides are using this as their main choice of wedding venue, too!
Here are some restaurant pictures. Breathtaking, right?
Then here are pictures of a family suite. The honeymoon suite is the same, except for no trundle bed and the honeymoon suites are oceanview.
Azul Beach Hotel has always been a favorite. Now it’s better than ever.