by Lisa Grimaldi | December 01, 2003

Med revival: Club Med's Buccaneer Bay will be refurbished in 2004.

In the year since M&C profiled the main all-inclusive chains in the Western Hemisphere (“Who’s Who in All-Inclusives,” November 2002), 15 new properties in these groups have either opened or are in the works; several have been reflagged, and two chains Occidental and Viva have renamed properties.
    Growth in all-inclusive resorts is particularly strong among budget-priced brands in areas with cost-effective labor, such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, says Scott Berman, Miami-based principal in consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. And these destinations don’t rely exclusively on the U.S. market; they draw guests from all parts of the world.
    Following is a rundown of what’s new at 10 major all-inclusive chains.

Barceló Hotels & Resorts
Group sales: (612) 381-0036

This Spanish-owned global hotel company has 130 properties in its portfolio. In the Americas, a large number of Barceló properties are all-inclusive resorts.
    What’s new: Next year, Barceló will begin construction on a resort on Mexico’s Maya Riviera, south of Cancun. At press time, size and opening date were unavailable. Also, the Barceló Playa Blanca, with 219 guest rooms and a meeting room for up to 200, was slated to open last month on Panama’s Pacific coast.  

Club Med
Group sales: (800) 453-2582

This French company was one of the first to introduce the all-inclusive concept. Today, Club Med has 100 properties in 40 countries.
    What’s new: In April, Club Med introduced the new Total All-Inclusive policy at its North American properties. It enhances the chain’s standard inclusive amenities of rooms, three meals and activities with all-day snacks and full open bars serving premium liquors.
    On the property front, the company opened Club Med Trancoso in Brazil’s state of Bahia. The resort has 250 guest rooms, a spa and a nine-hole golf course.
    In March, Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek in Martinique will close for 14 months to undergo a complete refurbishment and the addition of 100 guest rooms, for a total of 399.
    Club Med La Palmyre opened on France’s Atlantic coast this summer. The 402-room property features a spa center, where treatments are à la carte.