At Grand Residences we work to offer exceptional vacation experiences and the highest standards of service. We know that some of our owners and members have questions about the resort and concerns about the future. During the recent Advisory Council meeting, Management representatives discussed questions that have been received by email and as feedback from a survey conducted by Brian Shecterle, one of your Advisory Council representatives. In this document we will address them.
Some owners have commented that the fact that Grand Residences is no longer part of
Leading Hotels of the World has led to a decline in standards. Residences is no longer part of
Leading Hotels of the World has led to a decline in standards. Management assures
owners and members that it keeps to LHW standards as a benchmark and strives to go
Grand Residences continues to offer fresh flowers and fruit, turndown service, designer brands of bathroom amenities and complimentary private transportation among others.
Owners commented about maintenance and housekeeping issues they had noted during their
stay, ranging from light bulbs that needed changing and faulty appliances to cracked tiles on the
pool deck. During Maintenance Week this year, the resort was closed to carry out in-depth
maintenance in the resort, which included draining and regrouting the main pool and many
other equally important tasks (see Exhibit A for a full list of tasks performed).
Housekeeping is constantly taking inventory of appliances that need to be changed in the units and maintenance is carried out throughout the year. The Resort Manager commented that she will reinforce Housekeeping and Maintenance inspections and with supervisors in charge of checking guest areas to ensure that soap in pool restrooms is regularly replenished to give one example that was mentioned and in which the resort was found wanting.
In 2021 and this year, some maintenance projects (i.e. sink replacements) have been affected by supply chain issues and have taken longer and a few are still pending.
Management is working with the Concierge team to make check-in a seamless process and will address billing issues for owners and their guests with the Front Desk so that they receive separate bills at the end of their stay.
Appliances undergo regular maintenance during the year; however, some now need to be
replaced due to age and normal wear and tear. The original models for some appliances, the
sofas, sinks and deck furniture have been discontinued and new models were selected. They
are being delivered and replaced in units as needed. In 2023, the sofas will be reupholstered
with a similar fabric and worn rugs and deck furniture will also be replaced.
The internet has been upgraded and now permits 30 to 40 mb streaming, the TV has been switched to digital channels, and the plan is to add Roku in the units. Bed linens and duvet covers have also been replaced and hooks have been installed in all the closets. The villa privacy louvers between units were also replaced. The room amenity has been changed to a bottle of tequila with its own Grand Residences seal.
As part of the in-depth corrective maintenance program, 30 units were completed in 2022.
The Italian terrace dining experience was introduced in 2022, in addition to a Nautical Seafood
Night, Jazz & Martini Night and a Beach Bonfire for families to enjoy. Taco Tuesday was moved
to Heaven Beach Bar to offer another outdoor dining option with live music and Mexican
ambiance and the BBQ Night on the Beach features new BBQ sauces from around the world.
The Executive Chef, Restaurant Manager and Resort Manager are also working to offer more
dining experiences and focusing on quality (including sourcing better steaks and training on
steak cooking methods), consistency, presentation and service times with constant training.
The weekly Owners Cocktail was restarted in 2022 and all owners are invited. However, we ask that they confirm attendance. A minimum requirement of 20 people was set after several events with low turnout, and this is to avoid food wastage.
This was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was offered by Sales and Marketing and a decision has not been made yet about resuming it.
The Phase 3 & 4 plans include a larger retail area, in the meantime, Management is working to add more product variety in the existing store. Owners would like to see more diet drinks, organic, gluten free, dairy free choices and better fresh produce and fruit.
The current Spa and fitness center were always planned as temporary amenities while the construction of the resort was finished. The Phase 3 & 4 plans include a larger full-service Spa which will offer a wide variety of massages and treatments and will have a wet area, and a bigger fitness center.
During the resort tour with the Advisory Council, note was taken of maintenance issues in the
pool area including tiles and the need to match the color of the grouting.
To clarify, as of April 1 and by Mexican law, smoking is prohibited in pool areas, on villa terraces and on the presort premises. It is only permitted in designated smoking areas. Information on their locations is available at the Front Desk.
The Resort Manager adds chairs every year for the pool area to ensure that there are enough to meet demand. When conditions are windy, umbrellas are not put up, however, the Pool Concierges and security guards are always on hand to assist owners and members who would like one opened.
Owners have priority for sun beds and chairs but Management requests that they notify pool staff if they are not going to use them so that they may be reassigned if needed.
In Phases 3 & 4 a snack bar will be added in the lap pool area and an additional whirlpool will also be available.
Unlike other parts of the Puerto Morelos shoreline, the beach at Grand Residences is not
protected by offshore coral reefs and as a result surf is rougher, this means that our stretch of
coast is not suitable for the installation of a sargasso barrier. However, an external company
with a tractor works daily for eight hours from May to September to remove seaweed when it
washes ashore. This can be extended if required.
A wider access path to the beach is planned in Phases 3 & 4 to facilitate access for the tractor and speed up seaweed collection.
Management will ensure that owners and members receive full details of the activity and live entertainment line up during their stay. Some owners commented that keep fit sessions such as aqua aerobics should not be planned at the same time as other popular activities such as the cooking or mixology classes.
The Resort Manager is happy to meet with owners and members whenever they have questions. Alejandro Lara Guest Service Manager and Claudia Ramirez Owner Service Manager and the Concierge team are also available to help owners and members.
While owners and members comment on the friendliness of staff and their work, training is
ongoing to reinforce departmental procedures, attention to detail, consistency and response
times among room attendants, wait staff, bar tenders and kitchen staff.
Grand Residences is experiencing some staff shortages in the wake of the pandemic as some employees decided to make career changes, moved back to their hometowns, or joined new and larger resorts in the Riviera Maya.
Recruitment is underway to fill vacancies and new employees undergo a comprehensive training program to ensure that they deliver service to the highest standards.
The Resort Manager will work with the Concierge team on improving communication with owners and members so that they always have the information they need on activities and entertainment to enhance their vacation experience.
The state of the access road to the resort continues to be a concern for some owners. The
Puerto Morelos municipal government recently resurfaced the first part of the road leading
south from town. The remaining section is within the El Cid condominium and El Cid condo
administration is responsible for the upkeep, however it has not been very open to sharing the
appropriate improvement cost with neighboring resorts such as Grand Residences. We keep
pushing for this to happen.
In response to owners who asked if Grand Residences could offer golf carts to town instead of a taxi, we regret that we are unable to offer this service as the Taxi Union will not allow private hotel transportation to and from town.
As part of Phases 3 & 4 of the resort, the plan is to build a bike and pedestrian footpath with lighting from Grand Residences to the entrance of Marina El Cid on the mangrove side of the road.
While some owners do use the Signature Club, like the services and products it offers and the service offered by Signature Club Member Services, others commented that they do not know about it and the benefits it offers, do not understand it or haven’t used it. Signature Club representatives are always happy to explain the program to owners during their stay and appointments can be arranged with the Concierge. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help or want to learn more about your benefits while you are away from Grand Residences.
We have taken note of feedback, comments and recommendations about the Rental Program for owners and will work on improvements to make renting units an easier process.
The perception of some owners is that rental rates to stay at Grand Residences offered through
online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia are lower, this is not the case. We are very careful
with rate parity and review rates in all channels constantly. The average daily rate to stay at
Grand Residences is 3 percent higher than in 2019 at US$515.95 and even higher during peak
seasons. If members find a cheap rate, we request that they notify us, and we will investigate
immediately. It is important to note that often rates advertised in OTAs are not the final rates
you pay as hidden costs are revealed when you click to book.
Forty percent of Grand Residences rentals come through the Reservation Center call center and websites. OTAs like Expedia are not assigned room lots and wholesalers are not used.
Additionally, the average daily rate charged for Grand Residences stays in the Wyndham booking system is 5.6 percent higher than in other channels. The Registry Collection Hotels franchise agreement has helped increase resort occupancy by 4.1 percentage points. We are reaching a wider audience of potential new Grand Residences owners and members.
As part of the promotion of Grand Residences, the Vacation Ownership Sales department does use a number of marketing programs, one of which is Privileges Explore Preferred which consists of one discounted first stay at the resort to Royal Resorts members who are prospective buyers as a test drive.
Some owners had negative comments about the international exchange opportunities available through The Registry Collection mentioning that the program is confusing and that it is difficult to get reservations. Others commented that they have never used it. Please contact Signature Club Member Services at email@example.com if you need help with the program. We will be happy to assist you.
US Toll Free Number: 1-888-882-9259
Mexico Toll Free Number: 800 681-9247
International: +1 (954) 485-5279
US & Canada Toll-Free: 1-888-882-9252
Mexico Toll Free: 800-681-9248
International: +1 (954) 485-5109
The objective is to complete the resort as soon as possible. Management is working to
achieve that goal after the delays caused by the pandemic. The procedures to obtain
the Loan are well advanced and we hope to have the Loan secured at the beginning of
2023. Contingent on this being in place, and once building permits have been issued,
the plan is to begin construction. Work is expected to take between 18 and 21 months.
In preparation for this, soil mechanics studies have been completed and rain wells are
already being drilled on site. Grand Residences has also invested in resort
infrastructure in the machine house for Phases 3 & 4.
The Phase 3 & 4 plans include the buildings with reconfigured units II, III, IV to VI, a larger spa with a wet area featuring a steam room, sauna, plunge pools and hot tubs and nine treatment and massage rooms, a two-level gym and resort store, a pool snack bar, an area with six BBQ grills for owners to use, event rooms, a larger resort laundry, underground parking and a wider access path to the beach. The two specialty restaurants, a lounge bar and an owners lounge with an open-air terrace will be in the lobby building on the second floor in the areas that were occupied by the sales room and resort store.
The ground floor units in the new buildings will be two-bedroom units with a private pool and kitchen and all the top floor penthouse units will retain their original configuration. The two- bedroom units on the other levels will be reconfigured as three smaller suites with kitchenettes according to the proposal that was presented to owners in 2016, submitted to a ballot and approved by the majority.
Some owners have voiced their concerns about the reconfiguration and fear that there could be overcrowding. Management would like to stress that although the redesign of Phases 3 & 4 includes 20 percent more keys, the total capacity of the resort stays the same. In the redesign, the master bedroom and living/kitchen areas were converted into king size deluxe suites. Because the living/kitchen areas have two murphy beds, the total capacity stays the same even with 20 percent additional keys. The two specialty restaurants and pool snack bar will offer additional dining options.
There is a special discounted rate for Grand Residences owners and members who would like to purchase the all-inclusive dining package. As a result of inflation and significant food price rises, this rate did go up to US$91 in 2022. Yet it includes higher quality dishes, ingredients and more options and there are no surcharges for premium items. It also covers restaurants such as Hacienda Sisal, La Trattoria, Los Murales and Kinoko.
With regards to sales programs, both fractional and points memberships are sold at Grand
Residences. In 2018, a new Points membership was introduced to boost sales in a changing
market and to generate revenue to help complete the resort. The terms of the fractional
contract haven’t been modified. The Points membership was launched as a separate product
with different terms/contract that do not affect the terms of the fractional contract. Fractional
owners still have to abide by the original terms of their contract as do Points members.
The Points memberships are backed up with inventory. They have a lower entry price point than fractional memberships but require a similar or frequently higher investment to obtain the same level of usage. Points members pay an annual Club Service Fee, and this applies even if they do not use their Points at Grand Residences. In general, Points memberships pay a higher Club Service Fee/Point for premium inventory and mid-high seasons. Overall, Club Service Fee billing for Points memberships is only 1.4 percent less than for equivalent weeks inventory. Points members do not have access to residual rights. Both the Fractional membership agreement and the Points membership agreement are registered in PROFECO, the Mexican Consumer Protection Bureau. To date, 65.6 percent of the built units have been sold. The remaining inventory to be sold is 1,087 intervals.
Regarding the question about the effort and attention from the sales and marketing team to sell and promote Grand Residences programs, Sales Director Jerry Flores shared the following important points.
In reference to an owner question about resales and if fractional owners have the right to sell their fractions without the consent of Royal Resorts, the answer is no. The original contract terms for resales are still enforced.
As part of the Phase 3 & 4 plans there will be a private owners’ lounge with exclusive benefits and privileges. This will be open to all fractional owners and in the case of Points members, a minimum of points will be required to access the lounge. The 5,000 points level for junior suite use would not be eligible for use of the owners’ lounge.
With regards to the annual Club Service Fee, Management understands owners concerns and works hard to keep increases as low as possible while also maintaining high standards. Increases are due to inflation and not because of the number of unsold units in inventory. The company pays for the maintenance fees of the unsold inventory at Grand Residences and as a result maintenance fees will not decrease as more units are sold. A big benefit of a larger finished resort is that there will be economies of scale and it will be possible to build up the resort’s cash reserves in the future. Points Members have the same annual Club Service Fee obligations as Fractional owners.
Here is a list of the maintenance projects carried out during 2022 in guest areas, villas, employee areas and the engine room.