Unusual Travel Packages Break From Tradition

Unusual Travel Packages Break From Tradition

Mexico Caribbean’s all-inclusives go above and beyond to cater to non-standard groups with unusual travel packages By: Lena Katz
Vow renewals are another reason to bring multigenerational families together. // © 2014 Thinkstock
Vow renewals are another reason to bring multigenerational families together. // © 2014 Thinkstock

The Details

AMResorts
www.amresorts.com

Grand Velas Riviera Maya
www.rivieramaya.grandvelas.com

Palace Resorts
www.palaceresorts.com

Palladium Hotels & Resorts
www.palladiumhotelgroup.com

Just 10 years ago, when vacationing at an all-inclusive hotel, guests were lumped into one of about three categories: romance/honeymooners, singles and families (usually consisting of two parents and two kids). But much is changing in the all-inclusive market, and perhaps nowhere more drastically than in the Mexico Caribbean.

Single Parents Welcome
One of the most encouraging trends that the Cancun/Riviera Maya is leading is its single parent offerings. No longer is the all-inclusive family vacation based on mom and dad paying full rates. Palladium Hotels & Resorts, for example, extends a deal of half the room rate to single parents with up to three children staying in the room for 50 percent off the adult rate. Similarly, Palace Resorts allows two kids to stay free in a room with a parent paying the full rate (with a three-night minimum). And Grand Velas Riviera Maya has not only waived its single supplement fee year-round for single parents, but also offers 50 percent savings for one child.

“There is an ever-increasing number of single parents,” said Rodolfo Gonzalez, general director of Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit. “We feel if they want to go away with their children, they shouldn’t have to pay more.”

Grand Velas’ staffers report that the single parent, single child package draws a lot of fathers vacationing with their kids — sometimes several of them together, who are acclimating to single parenthood among friends.

Celebrating Love at Any Age
The structure for celebrating romance used to be fairly traditional: engagements, weddings and honeymoons. But increasingly, couples want to redefine love, even decades into the journey. AMResorts is one of multiple brands supporting this travel trend. Vow renewal ceremonies at AMResorts’ brands Zoetry and Now offer longtime married couples a ceremony as romantic as a wedding, with honeymooner perks included — complimentary with a five-night stay.

“We are finding that more destination weddings and romance vacations are veering away from the traditional,” said Amanda Davis Pak, product manager, romance for AMResorts. “It is our job to understand the changing stages of romance in today’s world.”

Getting it Together
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit sets the bar for diverse family programming. Its Second Time Around Wedding Package incorporates special “coming together” rituals for the blending of two families, plus live video streaming of the ceremony for extended family.

On the flip side, Grand Velas throws one heck of a divorce party. When booking the Divorce Package, the newly single person and four to five friends get treated to a Zen Grand Presidential Suite, cocktail-making lessons, a night out in Playa del Carmen and a “Trash the Memory” pinata-breaking ceremony. The divorcee also gets a full makeover.

“With 50 percent of marriages in the U.S. ending in divorce, this is a large and growing travel market,” said Gonzalez. “Our packages are all about celebrating a joyful new beginning in life.”

Not only have Grand Velas, Palladium Resorts, AMResorts and Palace Resorts implemented non-traditional family rate structures, these brands are truly going all-out to make many variations of the modern family feel welcome.

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