Advisors React To Bahia Principe Grand Tulum’s Renovations
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
Air Canada Vacations invited 60 travel advisors from across Canada to be among the first to stay at the newly renovated Bahia Principe Grand Tulum.
Since for most advisors it was their first international trip since the pandemic, ACV stressed the importance of experiencing first-hand the health and safety protocols implemented throughout the journey - both on board and at destination.
US$40 Million Renovation: Clean Lines And Sleek Decor
Bahia Principe Grand Tulum's comprehensive US$40 million renovation includes a complete makeover of all rooms, suites, and restaurants, redesigned common areas, brand new culinary experiences, a revamped kids and teens club and a Jungle park with ziplines, tunnels and slides.
"As I was a returning guest, I can say Bahia Principe Grand Tulum has stepped up its game and is in a new class of 'affordable luxury'," Barb Tudino with Cruise Holidays Luxury Travel Boutique told Open Jaw.
Judith Blair with Romantic Planet Vacations, commented, "It's very clean, I like the colour palette they chose, and the décor is very nice."
"The whole ambiance is wonderful," TPI's Jo-Anne Mullins says. "The rooms are very sterile, in a good way. There's nothing fluffy in the rooms, just very sleek, very modern, very attractive."
Premium Superior room at Bahia Principe Grand Tulum.
"Origin" Concept Highlights Mayan Traditions And Sustainability
Bahia Principe's renovation goes beyond surface improvements, with the new "Origin" concept centered on sustainability, Mexican traditions and the Mayan culture.
"The 'Origin' concept is more than a full renovation -- it's an essence," Helen Montijano, VP Sales & Marketing Canada & USA Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, tells Open Jaw.
Helen Montijano, VP Sales & Marketing Canada & USA Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts
"The hotel business is something that's very alive and we need to be one step ahead of it. 'Origin' is where we're going and what we want to transmit. We're trying to merge culture, ecology, sustainability and community, while keeping it in the form of a luxury hotel. We are very invested in keeping the essence of the areas and the people of where we build hotels."
The concept of "Origin" is expressed in all areas of the hotel, not just the décor, Montijano says.
"It's in every corner of the hotel: the food, the entertainment, the sustainability. All these things are ways that we say 'this is the Origin, this is the Mayan culture, we respect where we are and we're thankful for it.
"Bahia Principe Does Not Take Guests' Safety Lightly"
The timing of Grand Tulum's renovations also allowed Bahia Principe to completely reinvent the property from a health and safety perspective.
Here are some of the measures implemented at the resort:
All staff are wearingmasksat all times, and guests are required to wear masks indoors and when unable to maintain social distancing.
Thebuffetis no longer self-serve; attendants at various food stations assist guests.
Hand sanitizer dispensersare available throughout the resort, and staff at dining venues ensure guests use them before entering.
Floor markersremind guests to maintain a distance between each other.
Plexiglass barriersbetween staff and guestshave been installed in the reception area.
Temperature checksupon arrival.
Frequent and enhancedcleaning and disinfection measurestake place throughout the entire resort.
The Mexican governmentlimited resort capacityto 60%; Bahia Principe Grand Tulum was operating at around 30% capacity when the ACV FAM took place.
"Since health safety is paramount right now, you can feel very comfortable and secure with Bahia’s enhanced health protocols. Enforcement of the safety protocols was witnessed everywhere. Bahia Principe does not take guests' safety lightly," said Tudino.
Romantic Planet's Blair said all health and safety protocols at the resort were "right on point.
"I appreciate the fact that the protocols were being implemented not only at the airport, but at the resort too. I felt quite safe," she says, adding she would "definitely" feel comfortable sending guests to the Bahia Principe resort.
Judith Blair with Romantic Planet Vacations gets her temperature checked before entering the Riviera Maya Golf Club.
Mullins said she felt "really safe" at the resort and the safety measures were well executed. "It was very beneficial to see everything in action, not just at the resort, but the whole environment."
20-Year Partnership Still Going Strong
Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts and Air Canada Vacations have been working together for over 20 years, and the FAM was an opportunity for the two brands to celebrate the decades-long partnership.
"The relationship grows stronger and stronger every year. Bahia Principe is a great partner and understands the Canadian market. They understand what we want and expect, and that's an excellent product and great value for the price," Dina Bertolo, VP, Product Development, Air Canada Vacations tells Open Jaw.
Encarna Piñero, CEO of Grupo Piñero, parent-company of Bahia Principe Hotels and Resorts, flanked by ACV’s Guy Marchand (left) and Dina Bertolo.
"For Encarna Piñero (CEO of Grupo Piñero, parent-company of Bahia Principe Hotels and Resorts) and her senior management team to come from Spain to join us shows they understand the value of Air Canada Vacations, and they're as appreciative of the relationship as we are. It was a show of support for us."
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry