Cancún

TripAdvisor Cancún wiki

September 15th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún, News

I really do think that this could mean the death knell for travel guidebooks as we currently know them!

TripAdvisor Inside™ is a travel wiki. We can all now read, write and edit online travel guides on thousands of destinations around the world. There are no doubt other examples, but TripAdvisor are the big players.

Travellers – and residents – can now collaborate to write travel guides together. One person starts a topic, like “Cancún: Travelling during Hurricane Season” Another person adds to it. Another fixes a couple of typos. Another adds more to it. And shortly you have a travel topic written from the collective wisdom of dozens of people.

Better than an outdated guidebook.

In brief…

John Bordsen of the Charlotte Observer interviews Abelardo Juarez, the manager of Señor Frog’s in Cancún on post-Wilma recovery.

Viva Cancún

August 14th, 2006 by Mel Zelniker filed under Cancún, News

Cancún beach fiesta - August 12th, 2006Thirty days since our last visit to the beach and what a difference. Fonatur and Mother Nature have been at work: The beach is clean. The beach is wide. The ‘shelves’ have gone. The water is beautiful.

The Cancún Palace is a mess; still looming over the beach, imposing an ugly and noisy backdrop to the festivities. Nevertheless, the beach appears to be back to its glorious self.

Cancún beach party

July 31st, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún, News

la fiesta de playa mas grande del mundo logoKitty Bean Yancey writing in USA TODAY says that tourism officials are throwing what’s billed as "world’s largest beach party" from August 11th -13th, including sand-sculpture and surfing contests, food, music and booze.

The article also includes some hotel updates…

the 515-room Westin Resort & Spa reopened July 7th, but still has rooms being worked on
the 365-room Ritz-Carlton Cancun is due to reopen in mid-September
the 450-room J.W. Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa has 235 rooms open. All are due back by the end of August
the 450-room Marriott Casa Magna Cancun Resort has 200 rooms open; all are due back by the end of August
the 300-room Hyatt Regency Cancun is due back in November

Don’t mention the “h-word”

June 30th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún, Hotel groups, News

I’ve previously posted some thoughts on the subject of ‘hurricane preparedness’. Then, earlier this week, I got a call from USA TODAY reporter Laura Bly. We talked at some length about the post-Wilma recovery in Cancún: the positive, the less positive, and some areas still to see some action.

Laura quotes me in her article published today, although my opinions are rather more rounded than they might appear from the morsel in Laura’s piece.

Beach takes two steps forward, one step back

June 29th, 2006 by Mel Zelniker filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún

This report concerns the beach front between Park Royal and the Cancún Palace. 

This morning, whether from neglect or design, the beaches were positively filthy. It was as though Fonatur [the Mexican tourism development agency] has given up on cleaning the beaches, which were clogged with huge bundles of seaweed and other detritus.

Looking south from Playa BallenasIt seemed as though the Park Royal had attempted a small cleanup, but it could also be the meter to meter and a half ‘shelf’ in front of the property keeping the seaborne garbage off the beach.

The beaches in front of Le Meridien and Ritz Carlton have lost their shelves and the sea has deposited what appears to be about five meters…

Cancún: the jewel in the crown

June 28th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún

Aerial photo of Cancun Hotel Zone courtesy of Cancún Visitors Bureau
This recent photo clearly shows Punta Cancún (foreground) and the restored beach heading south. View a (dazzling) larger version.

Photo courtesy of Cancún Visitors Bureau (Oficina de Visitantes y Convenciones de Cancún), with additional thanks to Manuel Cuevas and Sandra Ibarra of William H. Coleman Inc.

June beach update

June 13th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún, Photos

The ecology zone in front of the Golden Crown Paradise. Le Meridien can be seen in the backgroundAfter walking the beach and getting well crisped by the sun, Mel Zelniker took this photo of the beach in front of the Cancún Palace on June 4th.

While the hotel is being re-developed, an "Ecological Restoration Area" has been planted at the back of the beach. A ‘beautification’ project really.

View a larger version of  Mel’s photo of the beach.

Mel adds that it appears the beach cleaning is restricted to hotels that are open; the area in front of Le Meridien (the green-roofed building in the background) is pristine, while the area next door in front of the Ritz Carlton is laden with seaweed and junk.

Another photo of the ecological restoration area, and another.

The long goodbye

April 13th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún

Two weeks ahead of schedule, and a just a few days short of six months after Hurricane Wilma left her ugly footprint on Cancún, the resort now boasts miles of golden sand.

Gabriela Rodríguez Gálvez - photo courtesy Diario de Yucatan"Jan de Nul is getting ready to pack its bags" Gabriela Rodríguez Gálvez, Secretary of Tourism for Quintana Roo state (pictured) declared yesterday.

She added that the last recycled sand was being flushed onto a 70m stretch of beach in front of the hotel El Pueblito, the only section of the 11.7km (7-mile) strip which did not get its promised measure of 25m first time round.

While the two dredgers disappear over the horizon, Belgian maritime engineering company Jan de Nul may yet win…

In brief…

April 12th – Bloomberg journalist Thomas Black does a good job of pulling together the facts on the beach recovery in this article.

Back to the future

April 12th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún

Playa Delfines, April 11th - photo: Steve Just as some of us anticipated, it seems that Jan de Nul has returned to the spot where they began the beach recovery project on February 1st. Probably to sort out the issue of the sand "wall".

Many thanks to Steve Wright of CancunCare.com who took this image of the outfall pipe in position on Playa Delfines, ready (presumably) to start pumping sand today.

Here’s another photo… taken just north of El Pueblito and looking south towards the Westin and Punta Nizuc.

Heads in the sand and empty pockets

April 11th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún, Hotel groups, News, Sustainable tourism

Much ducking and weaving, much passing of the buck in evidence today as most of the local newspapers on sale in Cancún carried a story on the post-Wilma squabbling between hotel reps and insurers. I covered some of the background in January.

Insurance salesmen would probably squeeze their way into the top five in most polls of the least respected, least trusted professions – certainly where I come from. They are the perennial bad guys.

Now, I am not about to leap to their defence, but, all the same, while hoteliers may baulk as premiums skyrocket and insurers drag their feet to settle their dues, I believe they should share the blame as the cycle of build and…

Holy Passion

April 10th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún

After the season of fasting and penitence, for many in Mexico, Easter is a time for processions, altars, flagellations and realistic reenactments of the crucifixion.

Unrepentants flock to the beaches over Semana Santa (Holy Week) and Christmas, something I remember well when I lived on the Pacific coast of Michoacán.

Cancún will fill up this week, particularly from Thursday to Sunday. Many will bus in from neighbouring states, filling hotel rooms and the cinder-block rooms of friends and relatives in equal measure.

All in all, it’s an especially bankable time for taquerias and coctelerías and smaller restaurants in el centro.

Hotel occupancy and business fall off quickly the day after Easter, the end of high season.

What a difference a day makes…

April 5th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún, Photos

Beach recovery, Le Blanc, April 5th - photo: Jim Wehrle24 hours later… Le Blanc now has a beach.

These guys sure work fast.

This stretch of the beach was wiped out by Hurricane Wilma. You can see what little remained in this photo taken just last week by Nancy McElroy, who is, alas, now back home in Michigan.

View a slideshow of Jim Wehrle’s before and after photos from April 4th and 5th.

Cancún beach recovery enters home straight

April 4th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún

Beach recovery in front of Le Blanc, April 4th - photo: Jim WehrleThe beach recovery operation has now reached the Le Blanc Spa Resort.

Approx. 1 – 1.5 km left to go (view a map).

Thanks to Jim Wehrle, who took this photo early this morning from the Royal Sunset. View a larger version.

Domestic tourism props up Cancún in wake of Wilma

March 29th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún, News, Riviera Maya

As Cancún continues to rebuild and reinvent itself, a new study sheds some interesting light on how the hurricane’s impact has been felt in the resort.

Overall, the number of tourists staying in Cancún has fallen by 10 per cent since the October storm. But it could have been so much worse.

Playa del Carmen, March 2006  photo: Chantelle TuckerAn article [Spanish] in today’s La Jornada reports that researchers at La Salle University’s Institute of Tourism Research [website not available until April 3rd] in Cancún have identified that Mexicans themselves flooded in to nullify the slump in US visitors, whose numbers peeled back to a third of what they were before Wilma struck.

In the twelve months to January this year, domestic tourism…