Royal Roundup, November 16 2011

Go Golfing this Vacation
Play a round of golf at Playa Mujeres this winter. Designed by Greg Norman, this beautiful course lies 20 minutes to the north of Cancun and offers challenges and plenty of fun for golfers of all levels.

cancun golf

Golf course at Playa Mujeres

Interested in adding golf to your Royal Resorts vacation schedule? Take advantage of this special rate for only $120 US for Royal Resorts members and guests (regular Royal Resorts rate is $135 US) available for a limited time only.

Call Thomas More Travel at 1-800-791-4496 today to book and pay for your round. This special discount is only available while supplies last and it does not apply on Tuesdays. Your reserved round must be played on or before December 31, 2011.

If you are already staying at the Royal Resorts, you can call in at the Thomas More Travel tour desk to make your reservation.

2011 Sea Turtle Season Breaks Records
Royal Resorts had a record tally of 581 sea turtle nests and 61,221 hatchlings for 2011 and we would like to thank our security staff for all their hard work and dedication. Throughout the summer they spend every night patrolling the beaches and they do not rest until the last hatchling of the season has made that mad dash across the sand at dusk and disappeared into the waves.

royal resorts turtle protection program

Royal Resorts Sea Turtle Protection Program

A special mention also goes out to the members and guests who helped us release the baby turtles to begin life at sea this summer and for those of you who followed our updates on this blog and on Facebook.

The support of Royal Resorts and other hotels, conservation groups and volunteers is vital for sea turtle protection in the Mexican Caribbean. The area is visited by four species of turtles and is one of the world’s most important nesting areas for green turtles. The north coast of the Yucatan is equally important for the hawksbill turtle. Threatened with extinction in many parts of the world, Mexican law protects turtles – it is a criminal offense to hunt them and consume eggs, meat or use their shell –and the hopes are that the populations of these ancient reptiles will recover.

Royal Resorts began watching over our turtle visitors in 1985 when The Royal Mayan opened. Formal record keeping began in 1998 and since then Royal Resorts has protected 4,797 nests and released 367,377 turtles. Local biologists estimate that The Royal Sands, The Royal Mayan, The Royal Caribbean and The Royal Islander account for 20 percent of the hatchlings set free in Cancun.

Rent an iPad
In previous Royal News Round ups, we mentioned that Wi-Fi is now available at The Royal Cancun (Club Internacional de Cancun), meaning that this complimentary service is offered at all six Royal Resorts in the villas and communal areas. The Royal Market is now making it even easier for guests at the resorts to stay in touch and enjoy online entertainment by offering iPad rentals. The daily rate for renting an iPad 2 (16 GB) is $120 pesos or $490 pesos for the week. Contact The Royal Market and reserve your iPad now!

ipad rentals cancun

Cancun Victorious at World Travel Awards
The awards keep coming for Cancun, it was declared the winner at the World Travel Awards 2011 in the categories Mexico & Central America’s Leading Beach Destination and Mexico & Central America’s Leading Destination, respectively. The Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau was also voted Mexico & Central America’s Leading Tourist Board. The winners were announced at a gala ceremony in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

In other news, travel agents in the United States and Canada selected Cancun as the top-selling destination in the annual survey conducted by Recommend Magazine.

These accolades follow on the heels of similar awards for the Riviera Maya and for Tulum. With media attention focusing on the Maya World in the lead up to December 21, 2012 when the ancient Mayan calendar draws to a close and a new era begins, the Yucatan Peninsula has also made the Frommers Top 10 recommended travel destinations for 2012.

Cancun to Host World Windsurfing Championship
More than 100 top windsurfers from all over the world will gather in Cancun to compete in the World Windsurfing Championship Formula Experience Class from December 26 to January 1.

More Flights to Cancun
Several major airlines have added Cancun to their flight network in recent months, a sign of the Mexican Caribbean’s enduring popularity for world travelers. Air France’s inaugural flight on the direct Paris-Cancun route arrived at Cancun International Airport in the afternoon of October 21 bringing 462 passengers. One of the world’s most important airlines, Air France will be offering three flights a week and connections to other European capitals.

In other airline news, Aeroflot inaugurated its Moscow-Cancun route on October 31 and Aerolineas Argentinas will be flying direct from Buenos Aires this winter.

North of the border, US Airways is to offer a new flight to Cancun from Boston, and AirTran will fly from San Antonio as of May (pending government approval). Other major US airlines are also expanding their flight networks, not just to the Mexican Caribbean, but to other areas of the country, making it easier than ever to visit its colonial cities and other natural and historical attractions.

Caribbean Culture Festival
Caribbean rhythms are playing loud and clear this week in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Chetumal as the Caribbean Culture Festival is in town, November 12 – 19. The program features music, dance, art, theater and seminars on shared concerns for countries in the Caribbean. There is live music during the evening in Parque Las Palapas with performances by artists from Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

A favorite from the past, this event was re-launched this fall after an absence of several years.

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival
Local music lovers and visitors are gearing up for the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival in Playa del Carmen from November 24 to 26. Held at Playa Mamitas, this free event features talented performers from Mexico and the world music scene. Don’t miss it.

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival

Photo by holarivieramaya

The line up is as follows:
November 24 Natalie Lafourcade, Jeff Lorber, Randy Brecker
November 25 Hermanos Toussaint & Enrique Pat, Jon Anderson, Stanley Clarke,
November 26 Alex Otaola, Richard Bona, Yellow Jackets
The music starts at 7 p.m. Schedule is subject to change.

A Night at the Theater
Cancun’s Universidad del Caribe is hosting a series of cultural events open to students and the general public. The program for winter 2011 and spring 2012 features plays transmitted from the National Theatre of London, UK and operas from the Metropolitan Opera House of New York, all of which are shown on a HD giant screen in the university courtyard. Recent offerings included One Man, Two Guvnors, by Richard Bean, a comic take on an 18th-century play by Carlo Goldoni, and Mozart’s famous opera Don Giovanni. The program for the season is as follows:

National Theatre, London
The Kitchen November 18
Arnold Wesker
Directed by Bijan Sheibani

Collaborators January 13, 2012
John Hodge
Directed by Nicholas Hytner

The Comedy of Errors March 30, 2012
William Shakespeare
Directed by Dominic Cooke
The plays are in English with Spanish subtitles.

Opera at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York
Rodelinda December 3
Georg Friedrich Handel
Soprano Renee Fleming in the role of Rodelinda, directed by Harry Bicket

Faust December 10
Charles Gounod
Jonas Kaufman in the role of Faust, directed by Des McAnuff

Performances begin at 7 p.m. and are weather permitting. The Universidad del Caribe is located to the north of Cancun en route to Punta Sam and Playa Mujeres.

Cancun to Host Food Festival 2012
Foodies, put this event in your schedule for next year, the First Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival will take place in Cancun, March 15 – 18. Leading chefs from Mexico, Spain, United States, Canada, France, Peru and Chile will pay tribute to Mexican cuisine and also to special guest, world-renowned chef Ferran Adriá.

The enticing festival program includes cooking master classes, celebrity dinners, wine and spirits tastings showcasing the finest vintages from Mexico, Argentina, Chile, USA and Spain, a gourmet tasting village, a catamaran cruise and private beach lunch, a Latin Grill Fiesta and after-dark parties.

For more information and tickets visit http://cancun-rivieramayawineandfoodfest.com

The Festival will be supporting two charitable causes: the Fundacion Ciudad de la Alegria (education for children from low-income households, women who are the victims of domestic violence and the elderly), and scholarships for students at the Universidad del Caribe and the Universidad Tecnologica de Cancun.

Royal Kitchen Discovered at Mayan Site of Kabah
Recent excavations at the ancient Mayan city of Kabah in the Puuc Hills of Yucatan have yielded fascinating evidence relating to daily life at the royal court. Archaeologists working in a sector of the archaeological site where the rulers and the nobility once resided have found the royal kitchen. They identified it as such due to the presence of soot from cooking fires, traces of food, more than 30,000 dishes and fragments of pottery, knives, scrapers and metates or grinding stones used for corn, all of which are over 1,000 years old.

Kabah is the second largest city on the Puuc Route, a chain of archaeological sites headed by Uxmal and also including Sayil, Labna and Xlapak. Uxmal and the Puuc Route are on the World Heritage Site list. Kabah reached its peak between AD 750-950 AD and is famous for the Codz Poop or the Palace of the Masks, a name that does justice to its magnificent façade consisting of 250 masks depicting Chaac, the Mayan rain god.

Palace of the Masks - Kabah, Yucatan, Mexico