We put the spotlight on the Paradisus by Meliá brand and natural luxury.
Punta Cana, Cancún, Playa del Carmen and Los Cabos: just reading these names transpor ts us to a paradise we’ve all dreamed of, with white sandy beaches and cr ystal-clear water. So it’s only natural that there’s a Paradisus by Meliá resor t in each of these destinations’ most alluring spots. And they’re just as we imagined.
Until recently, a stay in any all-inclusive resort was a fairly uniform experience. Just a handful of hotels were able to differentiate themselves from the rest with a unique and exciting key selling point that made them truly memorable. This was the original objective of Paradisus by Meliá, whose hotels stood out for their extraordinary natural settings featuring lush tropical gardens and protected mangroves, always overlooking the Pacific, Atlantic or Caribbean.
There’s not much more you could ask for. But Paradisus by Meliá has gone one step further to offer a truly superior all-inclusive experience. Its hotels display original works of art and boast award-winning interior design, and guests can enjoy spectacular culinary offerings—headed up by chef Martin Berasategui—in three different restaurants: Passion, Tempo and the Gastro Bar. They also offer customised programmes for both adults and families, and a plethora of enriching experiences that guests will never forget.
Constance Lacroes, Global Brand Director of Paradisus by Meliá and Regional Marketing Director for the Americas, notes that, ‘the concept of all-inclusive has evolved significantly over the past ten years, especially for Paradisus. In the Caribbean and Mexico there are many all-inclusive resorts, but they all offer the same thing. The emphasis is on luxury and an abundance of “gourmet”
restaurants and drinks. But no one was talking about creating unique experiences for guests. That’s where we saw an opportunity to expand our services and create our own niche in the market’.
From there, the brand gradually fine-tuned its services by way of unique programmes. First, concepts were designed and built around two types of guests, each with different needs: families, and couples or groups of adults who are looking for some escapism. That’s how the Family Concierge and Royal Service programmes were born. They include accommodation in superior rooms, as well as upgrades ranging from signature restaurants and lounges to amenities and special minibars. There’s also a butler service; butlers can, for instance, arrange family-friendly activities either for groups or for individual guests.
Later on, The Reserve concept emerged: a private, exclusive enclave within the resorts for those seeking something even more luxurious. The Grand Reserve at the Paradisus Palma Real, scheduled to open in December, ‘will feature new restaurants, a Natura Bissé spa, a water park and swim-up suites with direct access to the pool, as well as a terrace and private garden. Guests will also be able to enjoy the public areas and restaurants in The Reserve and the rest of the Paradisus Palma Real’.
As times change, so do the needs of travellers, and today ’s guests seek experiences that will create lasting memories. This has to do with their desire to truly understand the destinations they visit in a unique, experiential and respectful way.
Lacroes notes that, ‘as we continue to develop our brand, we have created Life Enriching Experiences, a programme that allows guests to learn a new skill, take part in a wine tasting or participate in classes on photography, dancing and more while on holiday. Our focus is on creating experiences, those "wow" moments you’ll share with your family and friends when you go back home’.
Future plans to surprise guests and make their stays even more memorable are becoming increasingly ambitious: ‘We’re considering the possibility of organising yoga retreats with renowned experts who will travel to Paradisus for a week and share their knowledge, or hosting intimate concerts where guests will have the opportunity to learn songwriting in private workshops’.
Paradisus is extending its efforts to reach millennials—the generation that’s leading the way in many travel trends. ‘We’re conscious of the fact that millennials are gradually starting families, and something like Paradisus could really interest them’, says Lacroes, ‘To attract them to our hotels, we’re updating the fitness and spa programme, adding vegetarian and vegan options to menus and incorporating fitness television channels, so that guests can practise yoga in the privacy of their rooms’.
In addition to the attention placed on food and wellness, one of the main defining characteristics of millennials is their strong social and environmental consciousness. This has not gone unnoticed by the brand, which has begun to implement volunteer programmes at its different destinations. ‘We’re developing a “voluntourism" programme specifically for Paradisus, which gives guests the opportunity to contribute to the development of the destinations and local communities’.
‘WE’RE DEVELOPING A “VOLUNTOURISM" PROGRAMME SPECIFICALLY FOR PARADISUS, WHICH GIVES GUESTS THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE DESTINATIONS AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES’
THE CULINARY REALM
Another pillar of contemporary luxury in all-inclusive hotels is the cuisine—a cuisine with substance. It’s not enough to simply provide a large variety of restaurants; culinary offerings must also be respectful of the environment and community, allowing guests to understand and appreciate the destination even more. ‘We updated the minibar products to incorporate local, organic and non-GMO products, and expanded the variety of snacks available. We’re putting more effort into connecting the resort with its surroundings through its architecture and the inclusion of pop-up restaurants with local dishes, as well as other initiatives’.
THE FAMILY CONTINUES TO GROW
To expand its offerings in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, Paradisus will continue to introduce new features and properties. Short-term expansion plans include the opening in December of The Grand Reserve at the Paradisus Palma Real, and the opening in the second quarter of 2019 of the Paradisus Playa Mujeres in Mexico. The Playa Mujeres destination will be set within a residential complex by the coast, where guests will have access to a golf course designed by Greg Norman. But it doesn’t stop there. Though nothing is finalised yet, ‘other European and Asian destinations in equally stunning natural environments deserve to have their own piece of Paradisus, too’.
The Paradisus resor tsare considering the possibility of enlisting renowned exper ts to lead on-site yoga retreats. Pictured, a viewof the Paradisus Playa del Carmen in Mexico.
Watching the sunset over the Caribbean is an unforgettableexperience— especially when enjoyed from a jacuzzi on the private terrace of a suite at the Paradisus Playadel Carmen.