Real Resorts expands wedding options with Catholic chapel

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

The chapel 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 Learjet transportation to and 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 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.

Roberts said Real Resorts hosts an average of 700 weddings a year. The chain hopes its new white-sand beach at Cancun, replenished after the devastation done by Hurricane Wilma in 2005, can help raise that figure to 1,200 ceremonies annually.

"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."

Real Resorts is offering several romance specials through the end of the year.

The honeymoon deal at the all-suite, adults-only Royal Playa del Carmen, the Royal Moonlight Relaxation package, includes a couples massage on the beach, a 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 for two on the beach, complete with a 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 couples massage; a bottle of sparkling wine; bathrobes and slippers; and a commemorative anniversary souvenir.

Visit www.realresorts.com.

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