In Canada One Travel, agents are encouraged to participate in familiarization trips, which are visits to become familiar with designated locales offered by tour operators or vacation properties. The agents then share their experiences and knowledge when working with their clients and with their coworkers.
Barcelo Hotel Group, Cancun, Mexico
Reported by Kylie Salazar
Two of our travel agents Kylie and Bani participated in a fam trip offered by Barcelo Hotel Group for a week in November, 2016. They visited eight different resorts over the course of the week -- Cancun, the Mayan Riviera and Cozumel. . The Barcelo Hotel Group have committed to multiple branding, and currently offer four hotel names in their portfolio: Allegro, Occidental, Barcelo and Royal Hideaway. Each resort is unique in its own way, with modern accommodations while keeping true to the destination by incorporating the culture’s cuisine and architecture.
Occidental Costa Cancun -- formerly Barcelo Costa Cancun, is quaint and comfortable. It is a small resort located right in Cancun, a short 25 minute ride from the airport. This all-inclusive resort offers 358 completely remodelled rooms. There are four restaurants on site to fulfill all cravings. The snack bar just above the lobby is open 24 hours, so guests can help themselves at any time of the day – or night!
The resort offers daily activities and free non-motorized sports. These activities are listed on TV screens throughout the hotel. There is evening entertainment on the outdoor stage in front of the pool. Guests will still get a good night’s sleep as all is quiet in the resort around 10:00 pm. For those who are looking for excitement, the resort is 10 minutes away from Cancun’s nightlife.
Occidental Tucancun Beach -- formerly the Barcelo Tucancun, is situated in Cancun’s hotel zone, only 15 minutes away from the airport. There are 336 rooms; standard rooms have one king or two double beds. 16 family rooms/suite rooms can occupy up to 6 people.
There are multiple dining options; a comprehensive buffet at El Mirador, and lunch or supper at La Claraboya – which is also a specialty seafood restaurant by night. Guests can also enjoy Mexican cuisine at the Mexico Lindo Restaurant or Italian, at La Trattoria. Reservations and dress code required. 24 hour self serve snack bar, and the lobby bar open until 2 am.
This resort is recommended for active travellers The resort has multiple staircases, and is not accessible all the way to the beach. However, one can walk for miles along the beautiful stretch of white sandy beach front.
Royal Hideaway Playacar -- an elegant and luxurious modern resort with a Mexicantraditional style. The Royal Hideaway is an all-suite resort. The hotel specializes in weddings and honeymoons, or couples looking for an intimate get away. Each building has its own personalized concierge service. The resort offers lots to do: free non-motorized sports, a fully equipped gym, and a first class spa. Guests can enjoy a free introductory lesson of scuba diving in the pool, and get certified right on site.
World class cuisine is served to the guests – all restaurants on site have their specialties. “Chef’s table” is a unique experience, where they watch the chef prepare the meal at a short distance, or on TV screen which is monitoring the cooking live and up close. This dining room is located right in the kitchen!
Allegro Playacar -- A beautiful, newly renovated resort located within walking distance from the famous 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen. Guests relax on the white sand beach or participate in various sports on land or in the water. Each evening, there is fantastic entertainment in the on-site theatre. It accommodates small groups, events and family functions, with special wedding and honeymoon packages available, all budget friendly.
Occidental Cozumel -- A hidden gem located in the lush jungle of Cozumel, the island for fantastic snorkelling and scuba diving! The intimate resort has 243 rooms, with something to offer to everyone, catering to families, couples or singles. There is a range of activities on the beach for children and adults of all ages. Relax by the pool during the day and celebrate the evening enjoying outdoor entertainment at the “outdoor plaza.” If it rains, the evening entertainment will be moved to the lobby bar or the disco on site, open until 1 am.
The beach is a short walk over a lagoon, on a boardwalk through a lush tropical forest. The main pool is located there, with music and dancing, ping pong tables. The snorkelling is great right off the beach!
Allegro Cozumel -- Situated on one of the best beaches in Cozumel. The resort has an on-site water park. It also offers 5 restaurants, 5 bars (including the Disco), 4 swimming pools (including diving center), a gym with updated equipment, wallet-savvy spa and paid internet access.
As Cozumel is one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world, the Allegro Cozumel offers the “Ultimate Diving Experience” at the Palancar Reef, welcoming beginners to experts.
Occidental at Xcaret Destination -- A beautiful resort located in the Mayan Riviera right next to the famous nature park – Xcaret. This property is known for their Unlimited Xcaret Experience Package. The guests can experience many culinary flavours at the 11 restaurants on site. Located in the same area of the specialty restaurants, is the theatre with live entertainment each night. Hop on over to the disco which is open until 2 am and dance the night away!
Since the beach on site is man-made, the cove has shallow and calm waters, and is perfect for snorkelling and those who look to wade in the water. There are no motorsports on site, but the resort does offer snorkelling equipment use for free for one hour per day.
Barcelo Maya Grand Resort -- The Barcelo Maya Grand Resort is a complex made up of one large convention centre, five exquisite resorts, a shopping mall, dolphinarium, world class spa, and much more. The complex is located in the Mayan Riviera, an hour and a half from the Cancun International Airport, situated on a beautiful long stretch of powdery, white sand beach.
It is fully accessible, and easy to get around with the double decker bus, imitating a hop-on-hop-off bus that circles the property. The 5 resorts on site are the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe, Barcelo Maya Beach, Barcelo Maya Caribe, Barcelo Maya Tropical and the Barcelo Maya Colonial.
Day & night entertainment is extensive, with on-site shopping at the Maya mall and at the Plaza Mexicana (small marketplace with hand-made souvenirs), dolphinarium (an onsite dolphin aquarium, free to watch, and to swim with them), full size soccer field, on site water park and surf rider on Pirate’s Island, bowling alley, mini golf ,ONE disco club for teens, and casino. The U-your spa is a large, brand new spa with multiple professional treatments, and new hydrotherapy circuit. Enjoy aroma-showers, steam room, dry sauna, indoor and outdoor hot and cold pools. There are also 3 theatres across the complex that has live shows, different each night that presents professional singers, dancers, and performers. The onsite nightclub, Jaguars, is also free of charge, which is open until 2 am.
This resort can accommodate everyone, from families with young children, to young adults, to seniors. Also suitable to weddings (can host up to 5 per day) and honeymoons, as well as corporate incentive trips.
During their visit, our Travel Agents also had the chance to participate in two excursions: a visit to the famous Xcaret Nature Park and new adventure park, Xenses.
This beautiful nature park offers multiple activities for all ages. Guests can walk through the zoo-like park, and see many exotic animals. Visit the aquarium and see up close what the beautiful Caribbean Sea hides deep in its waters. The butterfly pavilion is spectacular with many photo opportunities.
Float down three underground rivers, with snorkel equipment for rental. Each river will allow visitors to float through the nature park, with exit points throughout.
Experience true Mayan culture at the Mayan village, archaeological sites, Mexican cemetery and Hispanic dances. By night, guests will make their way to the large theatre, where they will experience the “Especacular” night show, informative and interesting with a dancing and singing performance that reflects the history and culture of the Mayan people throughout the decades.
Xenses is an adventure park with fun-filled activities to activate your senses! The high ceiling of the lobby is designed with a pinwheel, which illuminates with light that is rhythmic with the music playing. Surrounding the centre of the lobby, are small branches where guests will find neat photo opportunities: distorted living room, kaleidoscopes, mirror maze.
There is a village that is built on its side, so it appears to be falling into the ground, while it feels like you are walking up hill, however, you are walking perfectly straight. It was hard to walk in a normal straight line! There is a Xensatorium, which replicate multiple ecosystems, a desert, a rainforest, with the built environment that make visitors experience these exact locations. There are a waterslide, a zip line and a salt-dense river and a mud pool.
For more information about a warm vacation in these parts of Mexico, please contact
Kylie Salazar Phone: 204 992-9458; email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or
Bani (Banafshe) Zare Phone: 204 992-7117; email: email@example.com