Cancun Casas

When Maggie Hernandez of Cancun Hideaways tells customers, “mi casa es su casa,” she means it. She and her relatives own several of the rental properties the Arlington, Texas-based company offers in the Cancun area, and say they provide customers with an extra level of personal attention.

By: Kevin Brass

When Maggie Hernandez of Cancun Hideaways tells customers, “mi casa es su casa,” she means it. She and her relatives own several of the rental properties the Arlington, Texas-based company offers in the Cancun area, and say they provide customers with an extra level of personal attention.

“I go into every property myself,” said Hernandez, who lived in Cancun for 12 years.

Cancun Hideaways’ properties range from condominiums in the heart of Cancun to villas in Akumal south of Cancun. The company specializes in privately owned units off the beaten path for customers looking for more than a few nights in the discos.

Her most popular offerings are several just-off-the-beach studios in the Blue Bay Club and Marina (formerly Hacienda del Mar), north of the strip, near the ferry dock to Isla Mujeres. A typical unit is 343 square feet and is air-conditioned, with a king-size bed, a sofa, a kitchenette and cable television. The complex includes three restaurants, two small pools and tennis courts. With twice-a-week maid service, it rents for $450 per week, or $1,000 per month. A larger unit in Blue Bay, a bi-level with three bedrooms and a living room, rents for $1,700 per week from April 16 through Dec. 14 and $2,100 per week from Dec. 15 through April 15. All-inclusive food, drinks and entertainment packages also are available. Shuttle service into town is offered.

“I don’t send people there who are just going to Cancun for three nights,” Hernandez said. “They want to be where the action is.”

Many of Hernandez’ rentals are best suited for travelers exploring the Yucatan and Quintana Roo areas for several weeks.

Some of her best bargains are in Akumal, the sleepy area about 60 minutes south of Cancun. A three bedroom, two-bath villa on picturesque Half Moon Bay capable of sleeping eight rents for $150 to $275 per night, depending on the season. Smaller one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites rent for $80 to $165 per night.

“The first question I always ask clients is, ‘Have you ever been to Cancun?’’’ Hernandez said.

If they’ve never visited the Mayan Riviera she sends them to the strip, so they can get a taste of the area best described as the Miami Beach of the Yucatan.

Cancun Hideaways’ strip properties include the Salvia Penthouse, which offers spectacular views of the beaches. It is located next door to the Forum shopping center and within walking distance of the Hard Rock Cafe and Coco Bongo nightclub. With marble floors, a balcony that overlooks the beach and an indoor Jacuzzi, it is a luxurious alternative to hotel rooms. The penthouse can sleep up to seven people. Rates are $1,000 a week from April 16 to Dec. 19; $1,645 a week from Dec. 20 to Jan. 5, 2003; and $1,575 a week from Jan. 6 to April 15, 2003.

Hernandez also represents the nearby Casa Alicia, a 2,000 square-foot bi-level, two-bedroom, three-bath beachfront penthouse with a Jacuzzi in the master bedroom. Located south of the Krystal Hotel, the property includes a tennis court and a snack bar. Weekly rates range from $1,750 to $2,100, depending on the date.

Both properties, originally built as condominiums, have on-site management and small pools, but no on-site restaurants, maid or room service.

“They’re very popular because of location, but the buildings are two- to -three-star properties because of amenities they don’t have,” she said. Cooks are available, but it’s very difficult to get one every day, Hernandez said.

Hernandez also represents villas at the Omni Hotel, which offer the privacy of villas with all the amenities of a hotel. The complex includes 36 three-bedroom, three-and-one-half-bath, three-story villas. Rates range from $315 to $725 per day, depending on the time of year.

Hernandez pays commission of 5% to 20%, depending on the property. For example, the commission is 15% for the units in Akumal. The company does not accept credit cards, which annoys some travel agents. Hernandez says it’s the trade-off for dealing with private homes.

A 50%, nonrefundable deposit is due seven days after the reservation is made. Many of the properties include roundtrip transportation from the airport.

Call 817-468-0564.

Web site: www.cancun-hideaways.com.

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