What a difference a year makes. At the beginning of 2019, sargassum and security concerns took their toll on Quintana Roo's arrivals numbers. But it seems that the tune has changed quite a bit as we head into the new year.
Security concerns have softened and sargassum seems to be visibly under control, but another place Quintana Roo is succeeding is in hotel development. Going into 2020, the state is leading the charge with hotel development for Mexico. According to STR's hotel pipeline data, Mexico has 16,303 rooms in construction, with the most active development market being the Yucatan Peninsula, with 6,737 rooms in 25 projects under construction.
Looking directly ahead of us, 2020 is bringing some major openings to Quintana Roo, with more than 10 long-awaited openings on the horizon. In fact, there is so much development, that it begs the question is the supply going to outweigh demand? That said, Cancun International Airport ended 2018 with more than 25 million arrivals, and is on track to surpass that in 2019, with January-to-June numbers showing 200,000 more arrivals year over year.
"Once the Dominican Republic fake news broke, clients did not seem as concerned about Riviera Maya/Cancun seaweed, or anything else. Plus, there is so much product to choose from that is four to five stars," said Robert Whorrall, vice president sales & marketing for BeachBum Vacations. "We appreciate more hotels and resorts coming to the area as it gives our clients options that fit their needs, wants and budget. We all love good options when considering any decision in life."
At a glance, here are some of the major openings coming to Quintana Roo in 2020.
The end of January will see the opening of the Now Natura Riviera Cancun. The AMResorts property will have 553 rooms just 10 miles from the Cancun International Airport. Guests can upgrade to the Preferred Club at Now Natura, which includes suite accommodations, access to a private lounge and other exclusive amenities. There will be 10 bars and restaurants to choose from as well as 24-hour room service. Other services include four swimming pools, including an activities pool and a children's splash pool. An Explorer's Club is available for kids, while a Core Zone Teens Club is available for older ones.
As of Feb. 1, the Sunscape Star Cancun will be renamed the Dreams Vista Cancun Resort & Spa. The family resort, located next to the Puerto Cancun Golf Course, will have 232 rooms and suites. Additional amenities include eight dining options, 24-hour room service and private dinner experiences like a Chef's Table or a dinner in the Cava de Vinos.
Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun is slated for its debut in March. The beachfront property in the recently developed Costa Mujeres will feature Hollywood memorabilia, themed experiences, a spa, dining venues and bars, and more. The all-inclusive resort will have 898 suites, a Stars Kids Club, and a. New Jump trampoline park.
Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma is also eyeing a March opening for the very first Margaritaville in Mexico. The new resort will open in the former Azul Beach Resort Riviera Maya by Karisma. The 148-room resort will have four pools, four restaurants, six bars, a spa, and family facilities, like the Parakeets Kid's Club.
The Kasa Hotel Collection, a new collection of boutique luxury hotels, has a slew of properties opening under its umbrella in 2020, as well. Opening dates are pending, but there are four properties slated to open Tulum and one that will open in Mahahual.
Next June, The Fives will be opening The Fives Oceanfront -- Puerto Morelos. The 115-suite resort will have one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites, as well as a Private Beach Club. The hotel will have an outdoor infinity pool and several restaurants, the details of which are yet to be confirmed. The resort sits on a stretch of powdery beach walking distance to Puerto Morelos.
Riviera Maya is expecting the opening of another master planned community, as well, similar to the Mayakoba complex that is home to Andaz, Rosewood, Banyan Tree and Fairmont. The new masterplan, the Kanai Resort, will be located between Cancun and Playa del Carmen and will include four hotels. Two have been confirmed as a W Hotel and a St. Regis, which are slated to open starting in 2020.
"Our responsibility is to match our clients to the property that meets and/or exceeds their expectations," said Whorrall. "As more resorts come into the area, the more resorts niche into what clients are looking for, such as adults-only fun, adults-only holistic, adults-only luxury, family luxury, family waterparks and so on. Knowing there is so much to choose from will allow us to dial in and match our clients up to the best resort options."