Recommend May 2015 - (Page 20)

riu palace st. martin onsitereview continued from page 18 N O V E M B E R 2 0 14 watersports facility's old contract expires. Meanwhile, back on land, there's petanque (remember, this is French St. Martin), a kids' club, a fitness center, and a Renova Spa where Your Correspondent served His Loyal Readers by submitting to a delicious massage. restaurants "The Radisson had two restaurants, but an allinclusive needs more than that, so Riu added another two," explained Virginia Casado, press manager, America at RIU Hotels & Resorts. The restaurants are Le Marche (buffet), L'Île (a grill and steakhouse), La Mer (French), and Krystal (fusion). All but Krystal offer outdoor seating. There are three bars/lounges, one of which has entertainment at night. Several guests told me they loved the food, but I felt it could have been a bit better. I enjoyed some Spanish touches at the buffets (e.g. chorizos and tapas-style tortillas), but some of the American foods (e.g. American cheese rather than chevre or bleu cheese) were disappointing. The mahi-mahi kebabs, not to mention the mahi-mahi in a Champagne emulsion at La Mer, were sublime, yet the tuna was overcooked. While breakfast croissants and desserts in all the restaurants-from La Mer's to-die-for creme brulee trio to Krystal's banoffee pie with bittersweet chocolate sauce-were quite good, I would like to have seen more whole grain artisanal breads. A medium-rare filet at L'Île was unusually flavorful, while La Mer's bouillabaisse could have used some saffron. By the way, La Mer is the only French restaurant in Riu's empire, and Chef Bruno Brazier's escargot in cream sauce (taste the Sambuca in it?) is the real deal. riu partner club for agents Of the three categories of rooms-Junior Suite, Superior Suite (facing the marina), and Gran Suite- the latter two make sense for families, but most couples will find a Junior Suite spacious enough. It costs from about $365 to $680 a night per couple, plus a $22 per night resort fee. When agents book clients through the Riu Agents platform, they'll often find some bonuses available. Agents who join the Riu Partner Club get points for each booking, and some hotels may offer double or triple points, which can be redeemed for vacations. ● Archived related articles (available on Riu Palace Mexico (March 2014) contact information Riu Palace St. Martin: (888) 748-4990 in the U.S.; (866) 845-3765 in Canada; 20 may 2015 18-47 CB Onsites.indd 20 Guests can opt for a beach cabana experience. Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort & Spa michelle marie arean Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort & Spa is not an all-inclusive property like other Fiesta Americana resorts in Mexico. However, the property is offering a credit package through December 2015 that includes $1,000 in resort credits that guests can use for experiences around the property, from dinners to excursions. This allows guests to customize their Fiesta Americana experience and create their perfect Cancun getaway. I had the opportunity to put some of these experiences to the test during my 4-day trip-here's a breakdown of what I experienced. the zen experience The Gem Spa at Fiesta Americana is unlike anything I've ever experienced before. The 3-hour hydrotherapy experience plus massage treatment I opted for included stops at 10 stations. These stations included an ice room that resembled the inside of an igloo, a room with wooden benches and coal burning, an aromatherapy steam room, a small "pool of sensation" walk through a pool filled with bubbles and floor geysers-one hot, one cold- and water cascades and neck jets in the pool. After the guest blissfully goes through these treatments, the massage itself begins. This indulgent experience definitely left me extremely relaxed and in a perfect mindset to begin the 4-day getaway. the foodie experience There is a variety of onsite restaurants: the authentic Mexican venue, La Joya, complete with mariachi performances and where I had the opportunity to take part in a tequila tasting lesson; the five-diamond Le Basilic, where continued on page 46 4/22/15 8:31 AM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend May 2015

Editor’s Notes
Lodgings Take Comforts to New Heights
Exclusive Group Travel
What’s New in All-Inclusives
Riu Palace St. Martin
Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort & Spa
Trinidad & Tobago Travel Agent Specialist Program
Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta
Andalucia, Spain
Different Routes to Southeast Asia
The Guatemala Travel Experience
New Ships Bulletin
What’s New in Orlando
Orlando World Center Marriott

Recommend May 2015