Deluxe Addition

Barcelo Hotels & Resorts is poised to enter the Los Cabos market

By: By Mark Rogers

The Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe will be an all-suite, all-inclusive  resort. // © Barcelo Hotels & Resorts 2009

A unique double-diamond shape makes the 
Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe stand out.
// © Barcelo Hotels & Resorts 2009

Barcelo Hotels & Resorts is well known for its resorts in the Dominican Republic and in premiere resort destinations in Mexico, such as the Riviera Maya and Puerto Vallarta. The company has been surprisingly absent from having a presence in Los Cabos, but that is due to change this November. The hotel company has invested $75 million into its renovation and expansion of the Grand Baja All Suite Resort & Spa, rechristening it Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe. The beachfront resort — which is a five-minute drive from the city of San Jose del Cabo and 12 miles from Los Cabos International Airport — will show off its upgrade during a soft opening in November and a grand opening in late December.

“Meetings and incentives will be a big part of our business,” said Jaime Buxo, executive vice president of sales and marketing for the Spain-based Barcelo Hotels & Resorts. “One of the ways we’ll be marketing the resort for this segment of the market is to position it as actually being cheaper than a similar meeting held in Los Angeles, even with the cost of flights factored in.”

Barcelo’s goal for the resort is a balance of 40 percent meetings and incentives business and 60 percent leisure, according to Buxo.

A unique double-diamond shape makes the resort stand out. // © Barcelo Hotels & Resorts 2009

The Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe will be
an all-suite, all-inclusive resort.
// © Barcelo Hotels & Resorts 2009

“The ongoing recession in the U.S. will make it difficult to reach these figures the first year,” explained Buxo. “However, the problems facing the whole industry have forced us to really coordinate well and to work as a team. We feel the worst has past.”

According to Buxo, Barcelo’s research shows that the intent to travel is higher than it was several months ago.

“The deals are out there,” he said. “We think we can be successful the first quarter of the year.”

The resort’s Convention Center will have a main hall with an area of 10,225 square feet. This can be divided into five conference rooms. There are also five boardrooms and a 526-seat theater.

The company has prepared an all-inclusive package tailored for meetings and incentives planners. The package contains such perks as one complimentary room for every 25 paid rooms (based on double occupancy), one VIP upgrade for every 25 paid rooms, a 10 percent discount on pre-contracted spa treatments and a group rate that is applicable three days prior and three days after the group stay, subject to availability.

“Alaska Airlines is one of our partners, and the West Coast will be the key market for us,” said Buxo.

When it opens, Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe will be a five- star, all-inclusive all-suite property. It will have 608 deluxe suites (34 are swim-up suites), 40 deluxe suites with two bedrooms and one presidential suite. All suites will have ocean views. The resort is designed in a double-diamond shape, and the very best ocean views will be had at the Oceanfront Suites at the front of the diamond. There will be Wi-Fi Internet access and flat-screen televisions in the suites. Buxo said that the rack rate will vary but will be roughly $352.

Eight dining venues will offer a variety of international cuisines. Only two of the resort’s restaurants will feature buffet-style dining, while the others will be ala carte restaurants. There will be a variety of bars, including a sports bar, nightclub, and a smoking and tequilería venue.

“We also offer what the American market wants, which is the option of in-room dining at an all-inclusive resort,” said Buxo.

The resort will have four pools, including an adults-only pool, tennis courts and a fitness center. Spa Aztlan will have 16 cabins and three special outdoor palapas for treatments and massages.

“Our target customer is the discriminating traveler,” explained Buxo. “Gourmet dining, room quality, spa facilities, sport fishing and golf will all be very important. We feel that once a guest tries a better product, they’ll never go back.”

Agents can also expect to see golf, spa and fishing packages offered by the resort.

“There will certainly be travel agent fams and special rates, since we believe the best way to sell the resort is to experience it firsthand,” said Buxo.