The 1,366-square-foot Presidential Suite features ocean views and two private balconies. // © 2018 Britney Hope
Feature image (above): The lobby’s front desk showcases an “explorer” aesthetic. // © 2018 Britney Hope
On Dec. 15, the highly anticipated Panama Jack Resorts Gran Caribe Cancun, formerly Gran Caribe Resort, celebrated its soft opening, ushering in a new, “retro hip,” authentic and interactive experience for travelers who prefer a more laid-back all-inclusive vacation.
The resort, which is part of a collaboration between Playa Hotels & Resorts and casual beachwear brand Panama Jack, expects to complete its multimillion-dollar upgrade over the next few years.
“It’s always a process,” said Matias Klein, general manager of Panama Jack Resorts Cancun. “We’re building a space for the casual adventurer, so there will be a lot of new experiences — and a lot of surprises.”
Here are five things clients can expect.
A Panama Jack Welcome
The lobby’s all-new aesthetic of clean lines, wood accents and a blue, white and gray palette provides a fresh feeling upon arrival. The front desk has been completely redesigned, with decor that includes vintage suitcases and explorer paraphernalia. The lobby bar, meanwhile, has undergone a full renovation to reflect the Panama Jack style — complete with an upside-down rowboat affixed to the ceiling.
A new, adults-only swim-up suite room category features views of the beach and access to semi-private infinity pools. The resort’s other guestrooms have been outfitted with sleek new furniture, bedding, tropical wall decor and window treatments. Guests can expect USB ports in every room, new phones and clock radios with Bluetooth capability, as well as a surprise gift upon arrival. The lighting has been upgraded in every room and now includes bedside reading lamps — a response to guest feedback, according to Klein.
More Public Spaces
A new coffee shop, Panama Coffee Co., is just off the lobby and boasts an urban-industrial style with black marble countertops. Serving up coffee, espresso and baked goods, the cafe is brightly lit and provides views of the pool and ocean. Down by the beach, deck extensions are planned for 2018, as is the addition of two new infinity Jacuzzis on either side of the chapel. Klein says the resort will also build new beach and pool bathrooms later this year.
New Dining Digs
In addition to the lobby bar, the resort is rolling out buffet restaurant Deck 74, a casual venue serving Caribbean and Mexican cuisine for breakfast and lunch and Mongolian-style meals for dinner. The space has been upgraded with air conditioning and a beach-view terrace for private events. Guests can also enjoy the brand-new pool bar, Amigo’s Bar, which includes a second level for cocktail gatherings with sweeping views of the ocean.
In keeping with Playa’s “service from the heart” philosophy, Klein says that the hotel staff is being trained in more “casual and authentic” service styles, and that guests can expect more “memory-making surprises” from their vacation experiences. New entertainment programming will include flash-mob dances, poolside tiki parties, multifaceted activities — such as a catch-of-the-day fishing workshop — and interactive theme nights.