Andaz Riviera Maya

Andaz Mayakoba

Autumn is travel trade conference season and we recently attended TravelMart Latin America and International Luxury Travel Mart Americas in the Mayakoba complex of the RIviera Maya. I got to check out the new Hyatt Playa del Carmen property, which is a shade shy of being luxury but has an incredible location on the water in town there. The company was also talking up its upcoming Andaz property, which will open in the Mayakoba complex in late 2016.

Hyatt is expanding all across the region and has big plans for Colombia and Uruguay–they just took over the former Four Seasons in Carmelo. Their Playa del Carmen property right on the beach is impressively designed and they’ll have a much stronger presence in the Riviera Maya when their Andaz Papagayo one opens late next year.

Marriott is planning to open 60 hotels across the Caribbean and Latin America in the next couple years and Hilton is planning to open dozens as well.

Thompson Hotels branched into Mexico this year with the opening of The Cape in Los Cabos, which we’re hoping to check out in December. By the end of this year they’re going to have a second open: Thompson Playa del Carmen.

Never mind that hurricane that hit Los Cabos a year ago because a slew of new luxury hotels are opening there. Here’s a sampling of what’s in motion for the next two years: Park Hyatt, Montage, VieVage from Auberge, Le Blanc, JW Marriott, Grand Velas, Nobu, and Ritz-Carlton Reserve for a start.

One&Only currently just has one resort in Latin America—the recently revamped Palmilla in Los Cabos—but has plans for two new Mexico resorts near Puerto Vallarta: one to the north and one to the south (Costalegre).

Starwood is also coming to the region, opening a W Punta de Mita beach resort in 2017. We’re not sure what happened to their planned Guadalajara property, but the new Grupo Habita one is on our radar to check out before the end of the year.

Accor is expanding like mad in Latin America, looking to double its footprint to 500 properties soon (many of them the budget brands of course) and open a Pullman in Sao Paulo and a Sofitel in Mexico City.

Ritz-Carlton is coming to Panama City, though this is still not on their resort map. They have so few in the region that this and the Los Cabos one would double their hotel count…

AM Resorts continues its expansion in Mexico, with Secrets Akumal opening this year and their younger-skewing Breathless brand opening in Puerto Morelos next year. They’re also opening new beach properties in Costa Rica (Papagayo) and Panama (Buenaventura).

In Argentina, the Alvear group is saying “financial crisis be damned” and is opening Alvear Icon in the Puerto Madero area next year and is currently taking over the former Marriott Plaza, where they’ll do an extensive renovation.

In Ecuador, local player Oro Verde is opening a 44-room boutique hotel in Guayaquil, in a historic building in a private gated park.