October-December Issue | 2013
-magazine by Club Meliรก
Paradisus Palma Real offers the
Paradise of Eternal Summer
S O M E
T H I NG S A
P OV E RT Y
S HOUL DN’T
GEN ERATIONS OF
Christel House breaks the cycle of poverty by providing children with the education and skills they need to become self-sufficient, contributing members of society. YOU
will match all donations to Christel House made by RCI® subscribing members up to a total of $25,000* through 12/31/13
*Contributions will be matched by Wishes by Wyndham Foundation, the charitable foundation supported by Wyndham Worldwide Corporation.
Visit www.christelhouse.org to make a donation today. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org | Follow us:
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October-December Issue | 2013
October-December | 2013
by Club Meliá
Regional Message Corner Paradisus Palma Real offers the
Paradise of Eternal Summer
Onofre Servera Executive Vice President
Victor Charco VP of Operations and Strategic Projects
Sergio Faggiani Corporate Director of Administration and Finance
Yasmin Gomez Yaudie Barboza Angel Torres Contributors
Perspective Group Publisher
Dear members of Club Meliá, Welcome to the Dominican Republic! Welcome to your Club Meliá! As the regional managing director in the Dominican Republic for more than five years, my priority has always been to provide our members with the best possible experiences, and to make your vacations truly special. Our main goal has always been to satisfy and surpass your expectations by delivering unforgettable stays. We are committed to creating a great experience for our members, and we constantly strive to exceed the level of service you anticipate from us. Keeping that in mind, we are constantly improving our resorts. As a result of these investments, we are pleased to announce a brand new beach restaurant at Paradisus Punta Cana (Gabi Beach), the expansion of our meeting facilities with the addition of 18,000 square feet in the new Palma Real Convention Center, the completely renovated beach restaurant Turey, which now has a new concept, “Quatre Restaurant,” and The Level adults only at Melia Caribe Tropical. We also are providing support with a new member services department to deliver fast responses by our knowledgeable staff, while participating in joint weekly meetings with the reservations department in order to ensure a truly pleasant experience when booking. We are constantly training based on your feedback, with the objective of increasing your level of satisfaction and much more. Our opinion is that vacations do not end after you return home. They continue to resonate and live in our lives for many years through the memories we cherish and the photos we take. We are here to make those memories unforgettable. Each time you review your photos with the family, we want them to bring a smile to your face, remembering those amazing days you lived in your “home” here in the Dominican Republic or across all of the vacation destinations your membership provides. You are our greatest inspiration, you are what drives us every day, to be more creative and productive, and to continuously improve our services. Why? Easy. Because you deserve only the best.
Club Meliá by Meliá Hotels International 800 Brickell Avenue Miami, FL 33131 © 2013 C-magazine by Club Meliá, All Rights Reserved.
Hopefully you are researching a vacation soon. Make it a dreamy one. We look forward to seeing you on your next trip. We hope you will join us on the white beaches of Punta Cana. Sincerely, Alexander Avramovic Regional Managing Director | Dominican Republic Club Meliá
6 Contents 6 Paradisus Palma Real offers the Paradise of Eternal Summer
Situated in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Paradisus Palma Real offers a luxury resort with outstanding service set with a background of stunning tropical gardens and eternal summer, for an unforgettable vacation experience.
10 Latest Company, Resort and Industry News
New hotels and resorts, new accolades, and new financing options are just some of the wonderful and exciting things Club Meliรก has in store.
12 Take the Holiday of a Lifetime with Club Meliรก Options
Take a tour around the world with Club Melia Options, which allow owners to experience it all, without even having to use up the full value of their options (points). Points or options are another aspect of Club Melia ownership that allows club members to use their membership flexibly, serving as tickets to a fantasy trip. Read on to find out more about the exciting destinations Club Melia Options can take you to.
14 A Taste of Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic offers a variety of foods for visitors to partake in, from international dishes to traditional Dominican options, with hints of Spanish, Taino, and African flavor, along with Italian, Chinese and Arab cuisine, making for a smorgasbord of international tastes to enjoy.
12 16 Club Melia undertakes major renovations
As part of its commitment to customer satisfaction and high quality standards, Club Meliá is constantly renovating and upgrading its resort properties to ensure they stay ahead of the game in terms of quality, in a quest to ensure members continue to create vacation memories that will last a lifetime.
18 Club Melia donates to Christel House As part of the company’s commitment to giving back to good causes, Club Melia recently donated a certificate for a complimentary seven night stay at Paradisus Cancun to be auctioned off to support Christel House, a non-profit that benefits impoverished children around the world by providing them with medical care and educational opportunities.
20 Member Spotlight: Jay Theise
Like other members we have featured, Jay Theise is also a true spokesman for the Club Meliá brand and the vacation lifestyle it has provided. As an advocate of Club Meliá, everywhere he goes, he shares positive anecdotes about the benefits of Club Meliá membership.
22 Brazil: The Place to be in 2014
From its world-renowned soccer tradition to its diversity, bustling cities, natural splendor and famed Carnaval, Brazil has much to offer any visitor.
Paradisus Palma Real offers the
Paradise of Eternal Summer S
ituated in Punta Cana, a rustic region in the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic, Paradisus Palma Real offers a luxury resort with outstanding service set with a background of stunning tropical gardens and eternal summer, for an unforgettable vacation experience in paradise. Located on the untouched beauty of Bavaro Beach, one of most beautiful beaches in the world, lies the Paradisus Palma Real. Protected by a coral reef, Bavaro Beach features calm, balmy turquoise waters that beg any visitor to just jump right in for a swim. Amenities at this luxury all-inclusive hotel include a YHI Wellness Center, Royal Service, fine dining, three pools, a casino and other
YHI Spa pool at Paradisus Palma Real. 6 C-magazine October-December 2013
services, such as the newly-opened Palma Real Convention Center. Other benefits of staying at Paradisus Palma Real include unlimited dining options, bars serving premium brand liquors, entertainment and sports programs, six in-pool hydro massage areas, personalized butler service, unlimited free green fees at the Cocotal Golf & Country Club, and the perfect place for magical weddings to occur. Best of all, it is close to the Punta Cana International Airport and all the sights and sounds the area has to offer. With all of these things combined, why not make Paradisus Palma Real your jump point for a luxury trip to see and do everything you can in the Dominican Republic?
The Royal Service Experience
Naos buffet restaurant at Paradisus Palma Real.
Designed exclusively for adults, Royal Service provides visitors with unparalleled luxury and pampering, courtesy of their very own personal butler. Other benefits include the use of a Royal Service Lounge, Wi-Fi, a private pool and private Royal Service beach, both equipped with Bali beds, preferential reservations at exclusive restaurants, an exclusive water circuit at the YHI Spa Garden and a wide variety of activities, and accommodations with luxury furnishings and décor, a full set of superior bathroom amenities, an espresso coffee machine, a pillow menu, in-room aromatherapy, and an in-room Jacuzzi. Royal Service guests also receive the use of a free mobile phone to call their personal butlers, and they can fill out a pre-arrival form for butlers to personalize the experience. Butlers offer patrons a personal tour of the resort, preparation of the in-room whirlpool, personalized services such as inroom espresso coffee preparation, ironing, shoe shining, and laundry collection; and preferential reservations to a number of resort services. At the Royal Service pool guests receive additional pampering and pleasure courtesy of the pool concierge, which provides a fresh fruit and juice service, a selection of top brand sun creams, a refreshing water spray, aromatic cold towels, sunglass cleaning service, drinks service, newspapers, magazines and books, and board games and playing cards to add to the enjoyable experience.
As far as types of suites go, Club Melia offers the following at Paradisus Palma Real: Garden View Junior Suite, Luxury Garden View Junior Suite, One Bedroom Master Suite with Whirlpool, Royal Service Imperial Romance Oceanfront Whirlpool Suite, Royal Service Regal, Royal Service Regal Ocean View Whirlpool Suite, Royal Service Garden View Whirlpool Suite, and a two bedroom Master Suite.
Furthermore, there’s also a Royal Service YHI Spa, which offers an extensive range of facial and body treatments and comfy bathrobes and slippers for patrons’ comfort and convenience.
The Garden View Junior Suite is a spacious room decorated in Caribbean colors, with mahogany furniture and marble floors and either a king sized bed or two queen-sized beds.
Rooms at the Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort
This luxurious resort offers guests 554 deluxe suites located in different three-story buildings, all of which offer a terrace or balcony, a hydro massage tub for two, ceiling fans, a lounge with a sofa bed, a flat screen TV, high speed Internet, a CD and DVD player, a minibar that is restocked daily, a safe, 24-hour room service, mahogany furniture and marble floors, and a European spa shower with jets. Royal Service rooms offer the same and more, in keeping with the Royal Service experience: 200 Royal Service suites with an in-room hydro massage tub, a personalized VIP welcome and private escort to the new Royal Service Lounge, a personalized pillow menu, and a weekly cocktail with hotel executives.
The Luxury Garden View Junior Suite is a spacious accommodation overlooking the Paradisus Palma Real gardens. These suites come equipped with a king sized bed, a kitchenette and the capability to be connected to a one-bedroom Master Suite. Speaking of the one-bedroom Master Suite, this spacious luxury suite offers breathtaking views of the hotel’s gardens. Accommodation amenities include a kitchenette with a well-stocked minibar, a luxury bathroom with a hydro massage and wash basins for two, and a king-sized bed. For adults only, the elegant Royal Service Suite is perfect for a couple enjoying a romantic holiday. These suites offer amazing Caribbean Sea views, a private
hydro massage, and the choice of either a king sized bed or two queen sized beds. The next room up is the Royal Service Garden View Whirlpool Suite. Also for adults only, this oversized suite overlooks the lush tropical gardens that surround Paradisus Palma Real. Butler service at this accommodation includes whirlpool preparation. Amenities include a choice of a king sized bed or two queen sized beds. Last but certainly not least is the two bedroom Master Suite, which connects a luxury Junior Suite and a one bedroom Master Suite, overlooking the hotel gardens and equipped with a king sized bed, a kitchenette and a spacious bathroom with a hydro massage and two wash basins.
Foodies will love the fact that they can go on an international tasting adventure without ever leaving their resort, courtesy of Paradisus Palma Real. Truly, one can try the best dishes from every country, from Italian to Asian to everything in between. Visit the ‘Passion by Martín Berasategui’ Restaurant, run by one of the world’s finest chefs, winner of seven Michelin stars, and enjoy its sophisticated a la carte and sampling menus. Other eateries to enjoy include Bana, which serves contemporary Asian fusion, sushi, and Teppanyaki; and Vento, an a la carte eatery specializing in international cuisine with Mediterranean influences. Specialties to try include C-magazine October-December 2013 7
Tropical garden at Paradisus Palma Real. the Greek salad with lemon and thyme dressing, chicken farfalle with a creamy walnut sauce and roasted Provencal salmon encrusted with Dijon mustard seeds and sour cream. Then there is Market Grill, which offers an attractive selection of salads (grilled chicken salad with Dijon mustard dressing, green Texan salad with bacon and parmesan cheese, charcoal beef salad, roast pear salad), barbeques (Texan ranch-style grilled chicken, fish of the day with garlic, shrimp skewer) and light meals with show cooking; Naos, an international buffet of world cuisine; Gabi Beach, an a la carte restaurant featuring a mix of culinary styles and ingredients from around the world; Mole, an a la carte restaurant specializing in Mexican cuisine and traditional dishes; Palazzo, an Italian a la carte eatery, new and exclusive for Royal Service guests only; and Grab & Go, an informal place to quickly get a choice of freshly-made sandwiches to be enjoyed anywhere one wants to go. After dinner, one can enjoy a nightcap at one of six bars with superior brand international drinks and trendy Caribbean cocktails, and three pool bars with snacks and drinks at the pool’s edge. Highlights include Gabi Beach, which provides sunset and sea views with evening entertainment and a relaxed atmosphere; Red Lounge Bar, where one can enjoy the best and latest music; and Lobby Bar, located in the reception area.
Paradisus Palma Real offers a wide and varied program of activities, designed for members of all ages and tastes to better 8 C-magazine October-December 2013
Gabi Beach at Paradisus Palma Real. enjoy their stay. For adults, these include sports activities, dance classes, workshops, evening shows, live music, and clubbing. While their parents play, children ages five to 12 can enjoy a game room equipped with an Xbox 360, a Wii, and a PlayStation 3; a computer area with Internet, a terrace with air hockey, table tennis and foosball; a kids’ lounge, buffet and mini bar; an adventure park with a climbing wall, super bouncer, and bouncy castle; and evening programs featuring tropical parties, movie nights, magic shows, a mini disco, and a puppet show. Other activities for children include an eco-tour, eco workshops, bike rides, swimming classes, biscuit and pizza making, a treasure hunt, a science workshop, face painting, balloon figures, a tropical party with a piñata, beach trips, tennis classes, and day trips. For teenagers, Paradisus Palma Real offers plenty to do as well. Activities include the above-mentioned game room, adventure park, and computer area, tennis and paddle tennis courts, volleyball, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, pedal boats, catamaran sailing, boogie boarding, art workshops, Olympic games, local excursions, and golf.
For rest and relaxation, Paradisus Palma Real offers plenty of opportunities at the YHI Spa & Wellness, a health and wellbeing space measuring 2,200m2 and offering an extensive menu of facial and body treatments based on the traditions of Asian spas. There are also treatment and massage rooms and a hydrotherapy
area, a thermal circuit, a fitness center, a pool with pressure jets for legs and waist, waterfalls and swan necks for cervicals, a footbath, a sauna, a Turkish bath, a cold plunge pool, two whirlpools, changing rooms, showers, and lockers with towels and toiletries. Other services include a facial and body treatment menu using cosmetic items from Natura Bisse and Natural Benefit, aromatherapy, anti-cellulite treatments, sports and relaxing massages, hot stones, Abhyanga, Shirodara, Hindu scalp, shiatsu massages, reflexology, Samunprai technique massage, cleansing and waxing services, a beauty center with hairdressing, manicures and pedicures, and bathrobes, slippers, towels, and mineral water, so patrons have everything they need to relax and enjoy.
Golf enthusiasts can enjoy unlimited rounds at the Cocotal Golf Course & Country Club, as well as exclusive privileges and unlimited green fees. Designed by José Pepe Gancedo, this professional golf course is integrated into the surrounding countryside, which makes each hole unique and challenging. For those who could stand to improve their game, the club offers professional golf classes with an expert international team of instructors from the Meliá Golf Academy. Other amenities include free transport to and from the club, and firstclass Calloway equipment rentals.
Conventions and Meetings
Paradisus Palma Real now has expanded
Deluxe Junior Suite at Paradisus Palma Real. meeting facilities with the addition of 18,000 square feet in the new Palma Real Convention Center. Now offering the most technologically advanced convention space in the Caribbean, Paradisus Palma Real can accommodate groups of all sizes right next to the beautiful Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana. Amenities include a fully-equipped business center measuring more than 2,335 m2, high speed Wi-Fi Internet, meeting and banquet rooms with capacity for up to 850 people, spaces for exhibitions and trade fairs, secretary and hostess services and technical assistance on request, business and state-of-the-art technology and audiovisual equipment for use, and food and beverage service.
For those looking to have the perfect destination wedding in a tropical paradise, Paradisus Palma Real is the ideal option for exchanging vows in front of gorgeous sea views and idyllic natural surroundings. The resort offers several wedding packages and offers for weddings, honeymoons, and celebrations.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Punta Cana is the name of a region in the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic that is home to a coastline of sandy white beaches and lush tropical beauty. That, and its proximity to other major resort areas make it a top Caribbean destination. Despite its deserted nature, Punta Cana
is a close drive to many of the sights and sounds of the Dominican Republic, starting with Santo Domingo, the first European settlement of the Western Hemisphere. While there, one can visit the first Cathedral of the Americas, or the Alcazar de Colon, the palace of Christopher Columbus’s son, Diego. Next is Altos de Chavon, a modern-day artist’s village resembling a 16th century Mediterranean town that is home to a 5,000 seat amphitheater, an archeological museum, craft workshops, artist’s studios and a plethora of galleries and restaurants. To get back in touch with nature, one can embark on a safari excursion and Dominican Republic tour, to see the natural scenery and life in the Dominican Republic, visiting homes and sugarcane plantations in the area. For more natural splendor, one can take a day trip to Saona Island, set in the natural reserve of The Parque Nacional del Este, where one can relax on powdery white beaches, or go sailing in turquoise Caribbean waters and maybe see a dolphin or two. Additional wildlife can also be witnessed at Manati Park, an animal lover’s haven. Afterwards, visitors can stroll along the gorgeous tropical gardens, take pictures of amazing orchids and tropical plants, and buy some local crafts in the souvenir shops. Area activities include snorkeling, either on one’s own, through an aquatic tour, or at Marinarium, a unique water park where one can experience some of the best snorkeling the Dominican Republic
has to offer. Scuba diving is popular as well, as is swimming with dolphins. Or one can journey to the bottom of the sea with Seaquarium, a unique tour that provides visitors with diving helmets, allowing them to walk the bottom and gain a spectacular view of underwater flora and fauna. Other fun activities in the region include rafting on the Rio Yasque, the longest river in the Caribbean; helicopter and Segway tours, and horseback riding, on either a beach or through the mountains.
About Meliá Hotels International
Meliá Hotels International was founded in 1956 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and is one of the country’s leading hotel chains, in addition to being one of the world’s largest resort hotel chains. It currently provides more than 350 hotels and 87,000 rooms in 35 countries on four continents under its brands: Gran Meliá, Meliá, ME, Innside, Tryp by Wyndham, Sol and Paradisus. Its product and service portfolio is complemented by Meliá Club, the only vacation club operated by a Spanish company.
In 2004, Meliá Hotels International introduced the concept of building lifelong memories with a shared vacation membership club that offers all the conveniences and lavish amenities of a luxury, world-class resort, plus the value, flexibility and choice that vacation membership offers. It now has over 27,000 members, and growing. To find out more, please visit www.clubmelia.com. C-magazine October-December 2013 9
Latest Company, Resort and Industry News
Keep up to date with the latest news and happenings from our resorts. Read below to find out more about the amazing things Club Meliá has in store for members.
ME Madrid and Gran Meliá Fénix amongst the top 15 hotels in Spain for readers of Condé Nast Traveler • T he ME Madrid and Gran Meliá Fenix hotels, both in the Spanish capital and owned and operated by Meliá Hotels International, the leading hotel company in Spain, have been voted amongst the top 15 hotels in Spain and Portugal by readers of Condé Nast Traveler in its Readers’ Choice Awards 2013. • ME Madrid is a popular hotel in the Plaza Santa Ana, and has received numerous awards since opening in 2006 from magazines such as Forbes, Wallpaper Magazine, Actualidad Económica, Travel + Leisure, Hospitality Design, and Condé Nast
Traveler, which has also included the hotel in its Gold List and Hot List. • The Gran Meliá Fenix Hotel, located in the central Plaza de Colón, has been known for more than a century as the “Hotel of the Nobility,” the epitome of luxury and refined taste in Madrid. • The hotel forms part of the select group of Leading Hotels of the World, one of the most prestigious hotel associations in the world. • Among the numerous awards it has received, last year it also won the Madrid Excellence Award for Customer Trust from the Community of Madrid.
The Meliá Golf Tour held its Son Muntaner qualifying golf round with Gabriel Escarrer and Rafael Nadal on hand • The seventh qualifying round of the VII Meliá Golf Circuit teed off October 19 at the Son Muntaner golf course. • This year’s Balearic island contest was a success in terms of participation, solidarity and friendship. • The more than 100 participating players sported pink ribbons and donated their winnings to the “solidarity hole” for the fight against breast cancer on International Breast Cancer Day. • The distinguished guests included such prominent personalities as Meliá Hotels International founder and Chairman Gabriel Escarrer, who attended with his wife. • Majorcan global tennis superstar Rafael Nadal once again competed in the tournament, accompanied by his uncles Rafael and Miguel Ángel, who participated in the awards ceremony. • The winners in the top category, Mateu Balaguer and Francisco Arenas, each scored 39 points. • The second category winners were Ludger Stefan Trapp, with 39 points, and Manuel Morales with 36. • The two ladies’ category winners were Maite Alcover, who scored 39 points, and Esperanza Espina with 36. • Special awards were given to Nacho Suances (men’s longest drive), María Fiol (women’s longest 10 C-magazine October-December 2013
drive), and Jaume Fiol (the closest to the pin). Manuel Morales received the Breast Cancer Awareness Closest to the Pin award. • For a second consecutive year, the Gran Final will be held at the Villaitana Golf Course (Benidorm, Alicante), where the top finalists in all categories from any of the seven tests will compete.
The hall lobby at Gran Meliá Fénix.
Crelogix to provide financing for Club Meliá Canadian customers • Club Meliá by Meliá Hotels International has partnered with Crelogix Acceptance, Canada’s most business-friendly specialty finance company, to provide a consumer loan program for Canadian customers purchasing timeshare products at Club Meliá Resorts. • Crelogix and Club Meliá have agreed to initiate the consumer finance program in the Dominican Republic. • It will then be subsequently rolled out to other countries in which Club Meliá sells right to use to Canadian customers. • As part of the agreement, Club Meliá will have access to MyCrelogix.net, Crelogix’s propriety software suite; a bilingual webbased application providing customers with credit grading and real time point of purchase loan applications and documentation.
Meliá Hotels International Announces ME by Meliá Dubai • Leading hotel company Meliá Hotels International unveiled its next major launch with ME by Meliá Dubai, which will open in the jaw-dropping Opus building, developed by real estate company Omniyat. • ME Dubai will be situated at the heart of the up-and-coming Burj Khalifa’s district. • It will be Zaha Hadid’s first hotel project for which she will design all of the interiors and exteriors. • Opening in 2016, the stylish hotel will consist of 100 rooms, complimented by Michelinstar restaurants and the most exclusive international F&B brands, masterfully distributed across 250,000 square feet in the striking 95-meter high Opus building.
ME by Meliá Dubai.
The roof terrace at ME Madrid.
• Along with Zaha Hadid’s masterwork of design, whose repertoire gravitates towards interconnectedness and originality, the Opus building will stand out as one of the most striking landmarks on the Dubai skyline and offer the hotel guests and residents of the serviced apartments an experiential journey. • Each guest’s stay will be orchestrated by the dedicated Aura Manager, whose job it is to know the city back-to-front and use this knowledge to make the hotel’s service truly bespoke. • ME Dubai’s facilities and Aura service will also be extended to the owners of the exclusive serviced apartments located on the upper floors, including four penthouses with private roof terraces.
Paradisus Palma Real Honored as #1 Fine Dining Restaurant in the Caribbean by TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice Awards • Paradisus Palma Real, a luxury allinclusive resort located on Bávaro Beach in the Dominican Republic, is proud to announce that its signature restaurant, Passion by Martin Berasategui, was recognized in the 2013 TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice™ Restaurants awards. • The honor recognizes travelers’ favorite fine dining establishments worldwide, based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor®. • The awards recognize 171 restaurants, covering 13 countries and seven regions around the globe, including
lists for Europe, Asia, South America, South Pacific, the Caribbean, the U.S. and the world. Passion by Martin Berasategui at Paradisus Palma Real.
• T aking first place in the Caribbean and 10th place worldwide, Passion by Martin Berasategui highlights local seafood and offers menus designed for pairings, featuring the resort’s most exquisite wines. •A n innovator of Basque cuisine, Chef Berasategui is known for utilizing a distinctive cooking style and fresh seafood in his cuisine, which is light, extremely imaginative and crafted with masterful technique. •P assion by Martin Berasategui is an adultsonly gastronomic experience, serving dinner nightly. C-magazine October-December 2013 11
Take the Holiday of a Lifetime with
Club Meliá Options T
ake a tour around the world with Club Melia Options, which allow owners to experience it all, without even having to use up the full value of their options (points). Club Melia Options come with highly personalized service available from a Club Melia member services representative via phone or email. So don’t delay in taking your dream vacation of a lifetime with Club Meliá, which offers a wide range of options based on the membership point plan, or option plan purchased, and backed by the unit type purchased, enabling club members to use their membership flexibly and serving as tickets to a fantasy trip.
you, waiting for you to use it on the holiday of a lifetime. For this reason, Club Melia members can vacation at any home resorts, Meliá resorts, or other Melia destinations through the Club Meliá Network. All they have to do is choose a destination based on the amount of vacation options they have available, talk to a representative to set it up, and go. Meliá Hotels International has 350 hotels in 35 countries on five different continents. As such, members can use their options to go anywhere they wish; ask your network vacation guide for details on how to maximize your Options, convert to Melia Rewards or deposit into RCI in order to travel within the network.
As a Club Melia member, how you use your options is up to you. Think of it as having Meliá currency in a savings account just for
The following pages offer just a taste of all the exotic locales and sumptuous resorts one can visit with Club Melia Options.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Located along the coast of the Caribbean Sea, Playa del Carmen, with its powder white sand, lush palms, and beautiful turquoise waters, is a popular tourist destination in eastern Mexico. Playa del Carmen is located within the Riviera Maya. Playa, as it is fondly nicknamed, serves as a stop for several cruise ships. While in the area, tourists from those ships often visit the Xcaret Eco Park, a Mexicanthemed eco-archaeological park. Tourist activity is also heavy on Avenida Quinta, or Fifth Avenue, which is filled with hundreds of shops, bars and restaurants, as well as many small boutique hotels.
through Rancho Punta Venado is another sought-after activity. Most of the city’s famed resorts and all-inclusive hotels are located in Playacar, located just south of the main metropolitan area. There is also an aviary housing many indigenous and tropical birds there, and a golf course.
Royal Service, a YHI Spa, international cuisine from 11 restaurants and 10 bars, and modern meeting spaces equipped with up-to-the-minute technology. Furthermore, their ideal location provides a great jumping off point for seeing the Riviera Maya’s archaeological treasures, namely Tulum, Chichén Itzá and Cobá.
Where to stay:
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla (adults only), or La Esmeralda (families). Winner of a 2013 Travelers’ Choice award by Trip Advisor, La Perla is located in a stunning private bay. Both all-inclusive resorts deliver luxury and exclusivity, with first rate facilities,
Originally founded as a small fishing town, Playa del Carmen grew to become a tourist mecca with the advent of passenger ferry service to Cozumel. As such, the area has undergone rapid development recently, with the construction of many luxury condominium buildings, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. Despite its growth, Playa remains a tranquil beach town at its core. As such, it offers several beaches popular with families and hipsters alike, for relaxing in the sand and frolicking in the water. For those who enjoy a deeper glimpse of the underwater world, scuba diving and snorkeling in cenotes, or underwater caves, is incredibly popular, as is boating and fishing at the Puerto Aventuras marina. Horseback riding on the beach 12 C-magazine October-December 2013
Gabi Beach Club at Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla.
A visit to this Spanish city will have you saying “Ole!” for more reasons than one: Madrid is the birthplace of bullfighting and a soccer fanatic’s dream, with a hot rivalry between Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid, known as El Derbi Madrileño (Madrid Derby in English). As far as bullfighting goes, it’s a must if you visit in May, during the season. And if you go on the Las Ventas Tour, you can even see the bullring up close.
major art museums located on the Paseo del Prado. Madrid is also known for its many beautiful outdoor spaces. Shopping is big in Madrid, with a variety of name-brand stores selling high fashion at low prices. As far as markets go, Madrid has plenty. After a busy day of shopping and catching the local culture, you might be famished for a bite. If so, you’re in luck, as Madrid has multitudes of eateries to suit any taste and budget.
Where to stay:
The Meliá Madrid Princesa Hotel, a luxury hotel with elegant interior décor with hints of contemporary flair. The Meliá Madrid Princesa Hotel has been fully renovated to serve as the perfect option for both business and leisure travelers, with an ideal location in the heart of the city, comfortable facilities, and excellent services. Other amenities include great views from each of the hotel’s 274 spacious rooms, a fitness area, a wellness center with a hydrothermal circuit and therapeutic massages, and The Level service.
Also popular in Madrid is flamenco, a genre of Spanish music, song, and dance from Andalusia, in southern Spain. Flamenco shows can be seen all over Madrid, and are often shown in conjunction with dinner.
Breakfast buffet at the Meliá Madrid Princesa Hotel.
Madrid has a multitude of landmarks and a splash of Spanish architecture not to be missed, starting with its many plazas. And no trip to Madrid would be complete without seeing the Royal Palace (Palacio Real), one of the biggest palaces in Europe, and the official residence of the king of Spain. To learn more about Madrid’s art and history, check out Madrid’s museum district, which has three of its
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
As one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is rather like an independent city-state, and is the most modern and progressive emirate in the UAE. As a relatively new tourist destination, Dubai is conveniently located just five hours from Europe and three hours from most parts of the Middle East, the Near East, and the subcontinent of India, making it a great destination for shopping, partying, sunbathing, fine dining, and sporting events, to name a few things. The city-state is divided in many districts, each with their own unique feel and flavor: Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai, the Dubai Marina, Satwa, Karama, Bur Dubai, Deira, Mirdif, and the International City.
The Level Suite Presidential Room at the Meliá Madrid Princesa Hotel.
for snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing, and natural areas where one can find beautiful waterfalls, fossil-lined cliffs, and freshwater lakes, outdoor parks for relaxing or participating in sports such as camel racing, an amusing and unique sight to behold. For those who wish to venture further out in nature, desert safaris or dune bashing are popular activities.
Where to stay:
If shopping is your game then Dubai is the place to be, as it offers several opportunities to shop until you drop in area malls, shopping centers and open markets. In the Mall of Emirates, for example, besides simple clothes and accessories, visitors can find an indoor skiing center that offers both skiing and snowboarding.
Located in the center of historic Dubai, the Meliá Dubai is within walking distance from many of the main commercial and shopping districts, as well as tourist destinations such as the Dubai International Airport, the Dubai Museum, the Dubai Creek, the Heritage Centre of the city and the New Gold Souk.
The luxurious Meliá Dubai, an urban oasis in bustling Bur Dubai, a historic area of Dubai. As the first Spanish five-star hotel in the Middle East, the Meliá Dubai offers The Level service of excellence and prestige, a YHI Spa, a rooftop swimming pool with panoramic city views, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Things to see in Dubai include the Dubai Alfonso X at Meliá Dubai. Museum, Al Ahmadiya School, the Bastakiya District, the Jumeirah Mosque, the Shindagha District, and souks, or markets, which sell everything under the sun. Then there is the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building; the Dubai Fountain, the world’s largest dancing Rooftop pool at Meliá Dubai. fountain; the Burj al-Arab hotel, the Dubai Marina, and the Palm Islands, the three largest artificial islands in the world As far as area activities are concerned, there are endless opportunities C-magazine October-December 2013 13
Dominican Republic L
ike any Caribbean country, the Dominican Republic offers a variety of foods for visitors to partake in, from international dishes to traditional Dominican options. Speaking of which, Dominican cuisine has much in common with the gastronomic traditions of its neighbors Puerto Rico and Cuba, as well as with the country it shares the island of Hispaniola with, Haiti. Spanish, Taino, and African are the primary cuisines, with hints of Italian, Chinese and Arab flavor. Food favorites include mangú, a savory puree made with mashed plantains and yautía (taro) or yucca (cassava). Mangú’ is traditionally served with fried red onions, and can also be accompanied by fried white cheese, eggs or salami. Tropical fruits are another favorite, in the form of papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, bananas, and mangoes, as well as more exotic varieties like jagua and zapote. A lunchtime favorite is “La Bandera Dominicana” or the Dominican Flag, a tricolor dish of either black, red, or white beans, or guandules (pigeon peas), white rice with either noodles, sweet corn, or vegetables, and meat, which can be
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chicken, beef, pork or goat that is either stewed, fried or roasted. Codfish stew is sometimes served as well, with either a small mixed salad or a plate of boiled vegetables. Then there are sauces like salsa criolla or Creole sauce, a vegetable-based sauce made with onions, green peppers and tomatoes, al ajillo, a garlic sauce, and a la crema, which is similar to a béchamel sauce. All of these can be combined with fish, shrimp, chicken, pork, or other meats. Holiday favorites include sancocho, a thick stew made with up to seven types of meat and a large array of vegetables and tubers, lechón asado, which is a roast suckling pig accompanied by moro de guandules (rice and pigeon peas) and potato salad, and habichuelas con dulce (sweet beans). Other local favorites in the Dominican Republic include kipes, a dumpling that is actually of middle eastern origin, and is now a culture regular, containing a brown crispy outside and a soft meaty inside, sometimes served with a hint of spice, or sweet, in the form of added raisins; empanadas filled with chicken, beef, or cheese; tostones, which are plantains fried, mashed, then re-fried and served, typically as a side dish; flan, a dessert that
is caramel-like in color and taste, widely popular in Dominican culture; chicharron, a crunchy, deep fried chunk of pork or chicken, typically served with a lime and plantains or yucca; and pollo guisado, literally chicken stew that can also be made with beef, pork, and fish, typically served with rice and beans. The above-mentioned foods can be enjoyed at many restaurants on the island. As such, the following eateries provide a taste of what the Dominican Republic has to offer.
For great seafood at a reasonable price, Captain Cook is the place to go and try what locals have called the best lobster in town. Located right on the main beach strip, this beachside eatery serves fresh fish and seafood in large portions for visitors to try.
Neptuno’s Club Restaurant
Also specializing in seafood, this restaurant/ club offers patrons an expansive deck for sitting, complete with lounge-style beds and all-white mini-cabanas. Specialties include lobster lasagna, seafood casserole,
and a signature red snapper stuffed with saffron and calamari.
Las Lenas II
This Spanish-style coffee shop and bakery offers comfortable seating, an urban clientele, free wireless Internet access and a rustic ambiance. It serves fresh, hot coffee, delectable baked goods, and scrumptious desserts, as well as a breakfast that is not to be missed.
Mares Restaurant & Pool Lounge
Distinguished chef Rafael Vasquez-Heinsen has converted his elegant home into a foodie’s dream destination, serving what Vasquez-Heinsen has titled haute fusion cuisine, or dishes that creatively combine Dominican ingredients and cooking with other culinary styles for visitors’ dining pleasure. A house specialty is Dominican goat marinated with sour orange, oregano and garlic, and served with pigeon peas, yucca fritters and chipotle sauce. Reservations are recommended for this popular restaurant.
For a change of pace, visitors can try this Italian café that specializes in classic pasta recipes and a few innovative varieties, like all’amatriciana, which combines tomato sauce, bacon and chili; carbonara, all’arrabiata and aglio, olio e pepperoncino, which is garlic, olive oil and chili powder. Dishes at this eatery are made simply for good taste and are priced to please.
El Rancho Du’ Vagabond
Also serving Italian fare, this eatery specializes in pizza and fresh pasta. Gnocchi is a must-try specialty here, as is the namesake pizza pie, comprised of Serrano ham, fresh tomatoes, freshly-grated parmesan and truffle oil.
Restaurante Playa Blanca
Surrounded by lush green palms, this open air eatery is located within the Punta Cana resort complex. As a matter fact, one can even dine on the sand at this hip and cool white-on-white restaurant. Food includes a surf and turf menu, with a few local favorites sprinkled in: spicy Dominican goat, criolla-style guinea fowl, an organic salad, and a seafood rice.
Another beachside banquet, this dressed-up beach shack provides picnic-table-style seating, bright tablecloths and a chalkboard displaying the daily offerings, served fresh: fresh fish, langosta (lobster), and grilled chicken, all cooked on a large, open-air grill.
Specialties include whole fish in coco sauce, and coconut rice served with an excellent salsa.
This sophisticated French bistro serves tasty seafood concoctions like calamari Provençale and a French cheese plate, all prepared by a Dominican chef, and all served for under US$15.
This cosmopolitan eatery offers an exciting menu full of tasty and unusual dishes, served in massive portions fit for a king.
Specialties include honey-oregano pork mignon, key lime chicken, and seafood taboule. All of these are served in a candlelit alfresco space with a designer thatched roof so one can enjoy dinner under the stars.
Owned by a real live Mexican, this large, airy eatery serves authentic Mexican tacos that come in flour or yellow maize tortillas filled with beef, chicken, or pork, and sides that include spicy salsa and creamy and fresh guacamole, all served with an ice cold local draft that is to die for. C-magazine October-December 2013 15
Club Melia undertakes
Palapas, or tiki huts, at Melia Cozumel.
s one of the world’s top hotel and resort chains, Meliá Hotels International, which currently provides more than 350 hotels and 87,000 rooms in 35 countries on four continents under its brands, works hard to provide lavish amenities and a luxury atmosphere for members to enjoy. As part of its commitment to customer satisfaction and high quality standards, Club Meliá is constantly renovating and upgrading its resort properties to ensure they also stay ahead of the game in terms of quality. Many of these room renovations have achieved Gold Crown status courtesy of RCI, which awards the accolade to affiliated resorts that have met or exceeded specific standards in the areas of unit housekeeping, unit maintenance, hospitality and check-in/ check-out procedures, and resort facilities, amenities and services. The following are just the first in a series of renovations Club Meliá has undertaken since July of this year in a quest to ensure members continue to create vacation memories that will last a lifetime. Stay tuned in January to read more of what Club Melia has in store for members.
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Melia Caribe Tropical
Meliá Caribe Tropical is located on the esteemed Bavaro Beach resort area in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This resort offers club members comfortable facilities, a wide range of activities and entertainment, and superior quality of services with its exclusive Royal Service. There are tons of amenities to delight patrons of all ages, for a vacation full of family fun: eight outdoor pools for adults and children, fine dining with international cuisine and theme nights, a delightful activities program for children and adults, workshops, parties, musicals, live music, and evening shows for everyone, the YHI Wellness Spa, and a Flintstone adventure park complete with sports, arts and crafts and cookery workshops for everyone to enjoy. Improvements to the hotel include the integration of an adults only area, The Level Adults Only, with suites that offer a novel concept in luxury and comfort. The rooms in this area are currently being renovated with a Jacuzzi, king sized beds, a terrace with a sofa and a private patio with a Balinese bed or a private balcony overlooking the
garden or pool. Furthermore, the Royal Service is changing its concept to The Level Family, a concept that offers unparalleled luxury and comfort, ideal for families, couples and groups of friends. The Level guests will enjoy exclusive benefits and preferential treatment, such as the option to stay in The Level Suites, which offer king sized beds with views of the pool or garden. Additionally, the resort is also remodeling its Turey Buffet Restaurant, located on the shores Bavaro Beach. It is slated to reopen in December 2013 with a new concept: Quatre Restaurant.
Located on the island of Cozumel, the all-inclusive Melia Cozumel Golf & Beach Resort features an array of amenities and a casual, comfortable environment, all located directly across the street from the island’s premier golf course designed by the Nicklaus Design Group and just three miles from San Miguel, Cozumel’s main shopping area. Accommodations at this world-class resort include 89 rooms with terraces and balconies and either a garden
or pool view, 46 Junior Suites offering breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea, 12 Paradise Suites with Whirlpool tubs, and one Presidential Suite overlooking the ocean, all of which are equipped with marble bathrooms, air conditioning, and satellite TV. Amenities at this resort include a plethora of bars and restaurants to pick from, two outdoor swimming pools, two lighted tennis courts, a spa with a variety of treatments, watersports, beach volleyball, cooking lessons, bar tending lessons, Latin dance lessons, a Flintstones Land with special activities for children, horseback riding, a fitness center, and live music. To further add to the enjoyment of a Club Melia vacation, Melia Cozumel has added various pampering areas, which include a hammock area, palapas, or tiki huts, for senior citizens, Bali beds, and 40 inch LED Smart TVs in the rooms, thereby once again garnering the Gold Crown recognition granted by RCI for quality of service.
Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora
This resort combines the natural beauty of Tenerife with unfettered luxury. Located with majestic El Teide as its backdrop, this resort provides members with endless relaxation and fun, superior service and facilities, five restaurants, Red Level services for adults only, the YHI Spa, four adult swimming pools, two children’s pools and a pool for babies as well. It’s no wonder that in 2012 Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora was named the Best Resort in Spain by Condé Nast. Renovations to this resort include improvements to the lounge, with new, longer hours, a more varied bar, and fresh fruit served all day. Furthermore, Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora now offers free network Level access for partners with the MR Platinum card, and reduced fees for members with the MR Gold card. The hotel also offers
Room renovation at a Club Melia resort. additional discounts on excursions, restaurants, and boat rentals, to name a few things.
Gran Meliá Puerto Rico
Gran Meliá Puerto Rico is located on a lush peninsula on the island of Puerto Rico, on Puerto Rico’s northeastern coast in Coco Beach, Río Grande. It delivers top-notch, beautiful scenery and a relaxing escape from it all, just 19 miles from the hustle and bustle of Puerto Rico’s capital and tourist mecca San Juan. Rising up from the lush jungle that is the El Yunque rainforest, the villas and pavilions of Gran Meliá are surrounded by an oceanfront landscape of gardens, pathways and pools, where one can lounge with a cold tropical drink, or be a bit more active by playing golf on one of two adjacent courses, which are also home to the Puerto Rico Open, the only PGA Tour event hosted on the island, or tennis at the resort’s multi-court tennis facility. Recreational activities abound at this resort, with a lagoon-style swimming
pool, water sports, and lighted tennis courts, all surrounded by a lush, tropical habitat. Other resort features include a piano bar and several swim-up bars, a nightclub, a lagoon-style swimming pool, a children’s pool, a supervised children’s club, and a game room. Whatever one chooses to do on one’s vacation, this premier facility is the place to do it, whether it is relaxing on a Bali bed beside Puerto Rico’s largest lagoon-style pool, soaking in one of Gran Meliá Puerto Rico’s four whirlpools, or enjoying live entertainment at Gran Meliá Puerto Rico’s Avenue Bar. Newly added to Gran Meliá Puerto Rico is the exclusive VIP lounge for Melia members, offering them complimentary drinks like red and white wine, beer, juices, soda and coffee. In addition, on Saturdays and Sundays the lounge serves a continental breakfast from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Upcoming innovations include the addition of daily continental breakfast in the lounge, and a $200,000 investment for future projects.
Room renovation at a Club Melia resort.
Pyramid at Melia Cozumel.
Palapas with Bali beds at Melia Cozumel C-magazine October-December 2013 17
Club Melia donates to
s part of the company’s commitment to giving back to good causes, Club Melia recently donated a certificate for a complimentary seven night stay at Paradisus Cancun to be auctioned off as part of an online fundraiser for Christel House, a non-profit that benefits impoverished children around the world, helping them overcome the boundaries to success by providing them with medical care and educational opportunities. Perfectly situated on the soft white sand beaches of Cancun, Paradisus Cancun provides visitors with a paradise vacation getaway, enabling guests to experience the stunning beauty that has made Cancun a world-renowned destination, all in the comfort of a luxury resort that meets the highest standards of excellence in service and accommodation. Located a short 15 minute drive from the airport, amenities at Paradisus Cancun include a pristine beach, four lagoon-inspired pools, nine on-site restaurants, tennis, a nine-hole par 3 golf course, a Kids Club, the YHI Spa, Royal Service for adults only, and a Family Concierge option, all of which provide patrons with a perfect Cancun dream vacation at Paradisus. “We were thrilled when Club Melia agreed to donate a week at the spectacular Paradisus Cancun resort for our annual online vacation auction,” said Becky Arnett, director of timeshare development. “It was a wonderful addition to the auction, and helped contribute to our overall auction results in excess of $20,000 – 100 percent of which will be used for programs
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benefiting more than 4,000 impoverished children around the world. We are truly grateful for Club Melia’s generosity, and we are certain that the winning bidder will enjoy her vacation. Thank you Club Melia!” Each year, Christel House does an online auction for vacation weeks at resorts like Paradisus Cancun as a fundraiser on Biddingforgood, an online site much like eBay that is only available for registered U.S. charities. This year’s auction ran from October 28 to November 7, with a goal of raising $25,000. Last year’s auction raised more than $20,000. All of the auction proceeds will be
used for programs and services directly benefiting the Christel House children. Founded in 1996 by businesswoman and philanthropist Christel DeHaan, Christel House provides more than 4,000 impoverished children around the world with the education and support they need to break the cycle of poverty and become self-sufficient, contributing members of society. Christel House currently has five learning centers in Mexico, India, South Africa, Venezuela and the United States, employing 325 dedicated professionals helping children, their families and communities optimize their potential to achieve productive lives.
limited time offer | take advantage today
RECEIVE 5% DISCOUNT OFF
your 2014 maintenance fees
Hurry and make your payments for your maintenance fees before December 31, 2013 and receive a 5% discount on your fees. Make your payment by January 31, 2014 and we will provide you with a 3% discount on your fees.
THATâ€™S NOT ALL!
To encourage you to visit Club Melia Home resorts we are offering a 10% discount off the maintenance fee for all accelerated week reserved in 2014.
Financial Department phone number and hours of operation: Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m (EST) Email: email@example.com USA / Canada Club Melia: 1-888-576-8626 MVC: 1-888-996-3542
Europa: 900-32-1123 0034+ 91 572 24 54
Terms and Conditions: 5% discount is only applicable to maintenance fees and must be paid before December 31, 2013. If paid after but before January 31, 2014 - a 3% discount will be applicable to maintenance fees only. Loan must be up to date to participate in the offer.
C-magazine October-December 2013 19
n our ongoing series of interviews with special Club Meliá members who have been loyal beneficiaries of our vacation products, we now turn our attention to Jay Theise, an enthusiastic Club Meliá member. Like other members we have featured, Jay is also a true spokesman for the Club Meliá brand and the vacation lifestyle it has provided. As an advocate of Club Meliá, everywhere he goes, Jay shares positive anecdotes about the benefits of Club Meliá membership. Jay and his wife joined Club Melia eight years ago, with the purchase of the 88,000 Option package, which gives them a week in a deluxe suite and a connecting suite during any season, which they use every year to travel with their two adult children, son-in-law, and threegrandchildren. “My wife and I were staying at the
Melia Colbert hotel in Paris, France. 20 C-magazine October-December 2013
Paradisus Punta Cana as guests of a condo developer of an unrelated project as part of a sales promotion. We liked Punta Cana very much, but did not want to tie ourselves down to a condo purchase. The Palma Real sales office was at that time at the Paradisus we were staying at, and we were curious to understand the vacation club concept. The sales office at our request provided us with a day pass to see it for ourselves. We loved it. It’s very upscale, beautifully appointed, the food and facilities are excellent, the club residences spacious, well appointed, and situated by the members only pool overlooking the beautiful beach. We bought it on the spot.” “Because we also have the right to accelerate future options, my wife and I stay for two weeks. During the first week we have our children and grandchildren, and the second week it’s
The extended Theise family. just the two of us. For the last two years, and again this year, my wife’s brother and his wife and her sister and her husband, both from Paris, France, will also join us at Paradisus Palma Real, our ‘home’ resort.” Using their options, Jay and his wife have also stayed at a Melia hotel in Madrid, and several times at the Melia Colbert in Paris. “Both are fabulous and in great locations in each city,” Jay said. The Paradisus Palma Real remains
Lobby at Paradisus Palma Real in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
the Theise family favorite, “for exactly the reason we purchased it; to fix the price of a family vacation at a very reasonable price compared to what it now costs to take a ‘small army’ away. The all-inclusive price can’t be topped in this very fair price range. This is the best buy anywhere!” “In addition, the warmth and outgoing nature of the staff is also top notch, and there is plenty of varied activity for us all, as we presently range in age from 68 to four years old.” When not on vacation, Jay and his wife live in Massachusetts, on Martha’s Vineyard, and in Boston. Jay is an attorney, with offices in both locations, and his wife is a retailer who imports and distributes the Ligne Roset line of contemporary French furniture and lighting in Boston at Adesso-Ligne Roset at the Four Seasons Hotel. “As our children and the grandchildren’s lives are becoming more self-directed as everyone has and is growing up, and this type of family travel starts to come to an end, I expect my wife and I will expand our winter time at Palma Real, using our allocations and accelerations for stays in
the so called ‘Junior Suite,’ which is more than ample for two people to enjoy in great comfort, and share options with our children to go to other Sol Melia destinations such as Orlando, Florida, to take their family to Disney World.” “The Theise family are such positive advocates of the club product and our staff that service them,” said Victor Hugo Charco, vice president of operations and special projects. “The mere fact that they came to us out of curiosity on a non-vacation trip truly showcases the value we place on family vacations without adding the pressure of heavy sales or marketing. When they came to learn about the product and learned that it met the needs of their travel lifestyle, we were excited to have them own over 88,000 Options with us. Constantly we are positively challenged by many that are not familiar with the value of owning a membership. All we can say is, learn from the Theise family and others. This is not a product for everyone, but when you can see the flexibility, cost savings and most importantly, the family time and memories this product gives families, this is why we are in this business: to cultivate and create lifelong memories.”
“The Theise family cannot strongly enough express our pleasure and enjoyment of the vacation club experience Sol Melia has created at an extremely favorable price at a very upscale resort,” Jay said.
Jay post cycling marathon . C-magazine October-December 2013 21
The Place to be in 2014
The pool bar at Meliá Angra Marina.
s the largest country in South America and the fifth largest country in the world, Brazil has much to offer any visitor, from its world-renowned soccer tradition to its diversity, bustling cities, natural splendor and famed Carnaval. By far the most populous and prosperous country in Latin America, today Brazil is Latin America’s foremost economic power and regional leader. Owing to Brazil’s rich history and varying ethnic groups, it also offers a rich and diverse culture. Brazil is divided into five regions, mainly drawn around state lines, with each containing its own attractions for visitors to see and do. They are: the north, which houses the Amazon and offers great examples of rainforest and frontier life; the northeast, offering strong indigenous culture, the country’s most beautiful coastlines, and its sunniest and hottest climate; central west, which offers the Pantanal wetlands, farms, up and coming cities, the cerrado, which is a vast tropical savanna, and the modernist architecture
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of the Federal District; the southeast, Brazil’s cosmopolitan hub, home of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo; and the south, where strong gaucho culture meets European influences.
For those who enjoy nature, Brazil has plenty to offer, starting with the Amazon River Basin, which holds more than half of the world’s remaining rainforest, home to roughly 2.5 million insect species, more than 40,000 plant species, 2,200 fish species, and over 2,000 types of birds and mammals. As a matter of fact, one out of five of all the bird species in the world live in the Amazon rainforests, and one in five of the world’s fish species inhabit Amazonian rivers and streams. Then there is the Atlantic Forest, a region of tropical and subtropical forest that extends along the Atlantic coast of Brazil and has a wide variety of vegetation and unique creatures like the capybara, the world’s largest rodent, closely related to guinea pigs and rock cavies. Designated a World Biosphere Reserve, the Atlantic Forest
is home to a large number of endangered species like marmosets, lion tamarins and woolly spider monkeys. Another must-see is the Pantanal, one of the world’s largest wetlands, containing a diverse collection of aquatic plants and animal species. Last but not last are Brazil’s amazing range of impressive waterfalls: Iguaçu Falls, Cachoeira da Fumaça, Cachoeira do Araca, Caracol Falls, Itaquira Falls, Goiás, and the gorge at Parque da Cascata.
Brazil’s many cities offer a multitude of examples of colonial architecture that serve as a link to the country’s past: churches, monasteries, forts, and barracks, to name a few. As far as modern architecture goes, the Oscar Niemeyer works serve as a good example. Built by Brazil’s most famous architect, they explore the aesthetic impact of reinforced concrete and curves, with unique structures that can be found all over the country.
The Level Lounge at Meliá Brasil 21.
Carnaval is both Brazil’s and the world’s biggest party, taking place across the country each year for almost an entire week in late February or early March. It is celebrated in a wide variety of ways with a plethora of different traditions, and is a must for any visitor to experience.
Brazil is renowned for many things, with beaches certainly being at the top of the list. The beach lifestyle is a big part of Brazilian culture, especially in Rio de Janeiro, home to famous beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana. Beaches in other areas of the country are just as amazing, starting with the northeast shores of Jericoacoara, Praia do Futuro, Boa Vista, Porto de Galinhas, and Morro de São Paulo. Other gorgeous beaches include Guarapari, Itaunas, Caraguá and Ubatuba. In the south, Ilha do Mel and Balneário Camboriú are the places to be, as are the 42 beaches of Santa Catarina Island, which bring in thousands of Argentianian tourists every year.
The marina at Meliá Angra Marina.
Last but not least, sports are certainly big in Brazil, with soccer being the biggest. Wherever one goes, soccer is the talk of the town, as Brazil is brimming with great teams and great players. Speaking of soccer, starting on June 12, 2014, Brazil will host the FIFA World Cup. Approximately 32 countries’ teams will compete in the finals tournament, slated to take place across 12 Brazilian cities through July 13, 2014. This upcoming World Cup will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the previous being in 1950. As such, Brazil will become the fifth country to have hosted the World Cup twice, after Mexico, Italy, France and Germany. As the first World Cup to be held in a South American country since 1978, this year’s World Cup is particularly auspicious for Brazilians. The 2014 World Cup will also be the first to use goalline technology, which uses electronic devices to determine when the ball has completely crossed the goal line. World Cup ticket sales started on August 20, 2013, with an estimated 3.3 million tickets available through FIFA’s website. As such, visitors who plan to attend should be sure to get theirs right away.
Where to Stay
The luxurious resort hotel of Meliá Angra Marina, located on the Angra dos Reis, known for its 365 islands and beautiful beaches. This resort hotel offers 200 spacious rooms, all equipped with balconies, air conditioning, satellite TV, a direct phone line, high speed Internet, a mini bar, an electronic safety deposit box and 24 hours of room service. Hotel amenities include the Atlantico restaurant, which serves Brazilian and international cuisine, and two bars with a choice of Brazilian and international brand drinks. For those who want to stay in Brasilia, the capital and a haven for modernist architecture and the arts, there is the five-star Meliá Brasil 21, which offers 600 accommodations equipped with Internet, cable television, a minibar, and a safe.
Hotel amenities include a gym, a sauna and swimming pool, a meeting room with a capacity for six people, a heliport, and a 24-hour business center. Hotel dining options include the Norton Grill, famous for its grilled meat and fish, and the Churchill Lounge Bar, an ideal place to listen to some good jazz. The hotel is located in the only multibusiness complex in the central-western region, the Centro Empresarial Brasil 21, a mixed-used development fitted with three hotels and office towers, a convention center, parking, auditoriums and leisure and shopping facilities. Last but not least is the TRYP Sao Paulo Campinas Hotel, located in the heart of bustling São Paulo, Brazil’s epicenter for vibrant nightlife and cultural experiences. C-magazine October-December 2013 23