Palace Resorts and Alaska Airlines Fam

Seattle-based agent Marlee Khastou visits Cancun and the Riviera Maya

By: By Marlee Khastou

Photo: Beach Palace Resort // (c) 2008
Beach Palace Resort

Our room at the Beach Palace was stunning. We were facing the azure water of the Caribbean, and our balcony had a double foam bed for relaxing along with two chairs and a table. There was a large double Jacuzzi (a signature Palace feature), and a separate glassed in shower. It was all very sleek, clean and comfortable. There was a flat screen TV, a coffee maker, and in the lighted closet there are plentiful hangers and a programmable safe for our use. The room was energy saving, requiring a card key to be inserted in order for the lights and air conditioning to switch on.

In the morning, we attended a seminar led by Lourdes Garcia, the supervisor of sales in the US and Canada. She taught us why Palace resorts rank above other all inclusive options. Some of the included features in all Palace properties:

24 hour room service
Rooms for physically challenged (ADA compliant)
Free, unlimited phone calls to the US, Canada and Mexico
Admission to Wet & Wild water park with transportation and food and beverages within the park
Children’s rates: under 4 years are FREE and rates are available for 4-17 years olds year round
Unlimited a la Carte dining, without reservations
Included tours to archeological and tourism sites

Photo: Aventura Spa Resort, Cancun // (c) 2008
Aventura Spa Palace

There is a high level of service provided at all Palace Resorts, but each property is unique and clients should be carefully fitted to these properties. For example, Aventura Spa Palace is an adults only club (18 years and older). It does not have a traditional beach, instead it has inlets and a rocky shoreline.

The beach faces the beautiful Caribbean. Guests can kayak along the inlets, and there are four outdoor pools and one indoor pool for water activities. This property has 1,266 rooms and is on the Riviera Maya coast, about an hour from the airport. It boasts the largest spa facility in Latin America and its 4 floors of treatment rooms offer everything from massage to a new age sensitive facial.

The most unusual resort we visited was Xpu-Ha Palace. This is a family resort, and one Palace’s smallest properties at 144 rooms. The units are two stories, and the top floor roof is a soaring thatched style, like Fijian bures. The property itself is like a jungle zoo, with areas for different animals, such as monkeys and deer. On site experts are available to answer your questions about the animals. A large kid’s pool play area is available, as well as kayaks are for use in the inlet. There is a small beach but it isn’t very smooth or sandy for swimming. The property is quite spread out but there are “bus stops” throughout and golf carts will take you where you wish to go, operating frequently. The sound of birds singing can be heard all through the property.

Photo: Xpu Ha Palace // (c) 2008
Xpu Ha Palace

One of the most interesting features during this fam trip was a tour to the kitchen preparation building, which is a central kitchen that provides much of the food to all the area Palace Resorts. The kitchen tour is offered to guests as well. The place was spotless. The saying you could eat off the floor came to mind. Staff have many controls in place to assure that the food they prepare is of the highest quality and that no contamination can enter the kitchen area. At the central kitchen, they make pasta, pastries, soups, and prep meats and fish for cooking at the resorts.

I was impressed with many things I saw Palace resorts doing. First, they have very satisfied employees. They have a two year wait for jobs! Employees are fed well on the job, are given transportation, and are provided education for themselves and their children. They are treated as family. The second thing I really liked was that they respect the environment. They have a recycling program and the funds generated by this program go towards an employee foundation. This foundation provides help in many ways, one of which is paying a large medical bill if the need arises. The third thing I really liked was the emphasis on cleanliness. It was apparent everywhere, in rooms, bathrooms, the kitchen, lobbies. I wish my house was that clean.

Why recommend Cancun to your clients? It has beautiful Caribbean water and sand, and friendly people. It has history to explore in many different Archeological sites, and it has many, many activities available. The food is wonderful. Palace Resorts offers a very good value and your clients will come back happy and ready to go again.