Pool paradise: Le Blanc Spa Resort in
Cancun, Mexico, is working hard to repair the
extensive damage caused by last October’s Hurricane Wilma. Already,
the popular island resort mecca has spent $20 million to repair its
famous beaches. Because fully 38 percent of all visitors to Mexico
come here, the rebuilding effort is a top priority, say city
The Cancun Center, Conventions &
Exhibitions, reopened on Nov. 8, 2005, followed by the
area’s main cruise port, Cozumel; it is estimated that 20,900 of a
total 27,500 hotel rooms will be open by mid-January.
In addition, American Airlines, Cancun’s largest carrier,
resumed all of its 59 weekly flights from the United States in
Information is updated daily at www.cancun.info.
Palace Resorts’ 260-room Le Blanc Spa
Resort, which opened last August only to close due to
hurricane damage, reopened on Dec. 18, though its 10,000 square
feet of meeting space will not reopen until spring. The boutique,
adults-only hotel features white-on-white, minimalist décor. Also
on site is a 29,000-square-foot spa with wonderful extras such as
bamboo gardens, hydrotherapy tubs and lagoon views.
Opening in 2010 will be the Westin Lagunamar Ocean
Resort. To emerge from the former Sheraton Cancun Resort
& Towers, it will offer 296 two-bedroom villas on 18 acres of
beachfront. The first phase of the project, with 66 villas as well
as public space, pools and restaurants, will debut in 2007.
The Fiesta Americana Grand Aqua Cancun opened
in December 2004 but now is closed for repairs until this summer.
The 371-room property offers an airy lobby, a 16,145-square-foot
spa, Mexican and nouvelle-American restaurants, and 16,500 square
feet of event space.
Known for its striking, bold design and equally eye-opening
martinis La Madonna opened last spring in the La
Isla Shopping Village. Serving Italian delights infused with local
flavors, specialties include crab cakes in chipotle sauce and
risotto in octopus ink. The dining room hosts groups of 120
The latest high-end spot to shop is the Luxury Avenue
Shopping Mall, managed by the ultra-exclusive Grupo
UltraFemme. Opened in December 2004, the facility houses 27 stores,
included among them sterling names such as MontBlanc, Rolex and
Tiffany & Co. Private events can be held at the mall.
The Riviera Maya, which begins in Puerto Morales, 15 miles
south of Cancun, will soon welcome two new hotels.
Opening this spring is the Fairmont Mayakoba,
part of the $2 billion Mayakoba development that includes an
18-hole golf course, 5.5 miles of canals and lagoons, and four
additional hotels. The 401-room property will feature a
20,000-square-foot spa and approximately 30,000 square feet of
Also due in summer 2006 is the Mandarin Oriental,
Riviera Maya. Set among 36 acres of tropical forest and
beachfront, the 128-villa hotel will offer a 25,000-square-foot spa
centered around a freshwater pool.
Organize a trip from Cancun 70 miles south to the Sian
Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Eco Colors (www.ecotravelmexico.com) takes adventurers deep into
the jungle for snorkeling and kayaking. The biosphere has a rustic
conference center and meeting space for up to 40 people.