Gran Caribe Real Cancun opens Roman Catholic chapel

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MEX-CANcatholicchapelReal Resorts has opened Cancun's only consecrated Roman Catholic resort chapel on the grounds of the 477-suite Gran Caribe Real Cancun.

The chapel -- available for weddings, First Communions and other religious services -- is the latest in the all-inclusive chain's growing list of romance-themed facilities and services, which also includes beachfront weddings and vow renewals, private Lear jet transportation to add from the U.S. and Canada, limousine transfers, nine nuptials packages, honeymoon deals and a la carte wedding arrangements.

The all-glass, beachfront Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Chapel was dedicated in April.

"There's no other resort in Cancun with a Catholic chapel consecrated by the [local] bishop," said Monica Roberts, Real's corporate director of operations. "It's also unique in that we can offer marriages on Sundays, when priests usually are not available."

The chapel is available to couples staying at the family-oriented Gran Caribe Real Cancun and the adjacent, adults-only the Royal Cancun.

Real Resorts also offers Jewish, Protestant, civil and --- with its Mayan Experience wedding package -- shamanistic ceremonies at its five all-inclusive properties in Cancun and Playa del Carmen. (Real's other resorts are the Royal Playa del Carmen, Gran Porto Real Playa del Carmen and Real Playa del Carmen.)

"We offer a range of choices, from the most simple weddings to the most luxurious ceremony," said Graciela Ochoa, groups and conventions director.

Real's nine wedding packages are the Free Wedding, Romance Wedding, Classic Wedding, Classic Catholic Wedding, Royal Catholic Wedding, Mayan Experience, Eternal Romance Wedding, Luxury Wedding and Ultimate Luxury Wedding.

MEX-RealMayan"We have many options to offer, many locations and many choices," added Ochoa. "If couples don't like any of the packages, they can pick what they want."

According to Roberts, Real Resorts hosts an average of 700 weddings a year. The chain hopes to grow that figure to 1,200 ceremonies annually, largely thanks to its new white-sand beach at Cancun, replenished after devastating Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

"We're really pushing the weddings market in Cancun," she said. "What most couples are looking for is to get married directly on the beach. That's what they come for."

Real Resorts is offering several romance specials through year-end.

The honeymoon deal at the all-suite, adults-only Royal Playa del Carmen, the Royal Moonlight Relaxation package, includes a couple's massage on the beach, bottle of Champagne, fresh jumbo strawberries and a "sensuous hydro experience."

Priced at $250 per couple, not including accommodations, the deal is available through Dec. 31. Couples can also add a starlight dinner on the beach for two --- complete with candlelit path to the table.

The Real Anniversary package at the 277-unit Gran Porto Real, priced at $350 (without accommodations) includes a 20-minute, in-suite couple's massage; bottle of sparkling wine; bathrobes and slippers; commemorative anniversary souvenir and more.

In addition, the chain continues to offer a "Flu Free Guarantee" through Oct. 31 to encourage travelers still concerned about the much-publicized but minimal H1N1, or swine flu, virus outbreak in parts of Mexico and other countries.

Under the plan, any guest who contracts H1N1 within 14 days of visiting any of its resorts is awarded a three-year package of complimentary, guaranteed vacations. (Guests who make a claim must have their illness confirmed as H1N1 and provide a positive blood result for H1N1 from a state-certified laboratory, dated within 14 days of checking out and certified by the doctor who performed the test.)

For more on weddings and romance-themed stays at Real Resorts, visit www.realresorts.com.

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