Last updated: 10:30 AM ET, Tue January 12 2016

Opinion Home | Magic of Mexico

  • Greg Custer | January 12, 2016 10:30 AM ET

    Grupo Posadas: A Redefined All-Inclusive Experience

    Grupo Posadas: A Redefined All-Inclusive Experience

    PHOTO: Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta, Dec.  3 ribbon cutting ceremony with Enrique Calderón (center), joined by Grupo Posadas CEO José Carlos Azcárraga (to Calderon’s right) and other officials.

    TravelPulse sat down recently with Enrique Calderon, chief operations officer for Grupo Posadas. Grupo Posadas is Mexico’s largest hotel holding company, operating over 140 properties across eight brands. Calderon was in Puerto Vallarta hosting property investors and key sales supporters, opening the new Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta Adults Only Resort.

    The property (resurrected from bank receivership) represents a $100 million investment. Located 12 minutes to the south of downtown Puerto Vallarta by cab, the adults-only property is Grupo Posada’s newest under the Grand Fiesta Americana flag.

    TravelPulse: Your newest Grand Fiesta Americana is now open in Puerto Vallarta. In Vallarta, the dining/nightlife scene is one of Mexico’s most robust. Why should a client opt for an all-inclusive experience away from these attractions?

    Enrique Calderon: As hoteliers we used to think that people who go all-inclusive do so like going on a cruise ship. But with a resort you can “jump off” the ship and go back and forth any time you like. All-inclusive is a facilitation, and that doesn’t mean that if you are not having dinner at the resort that you are losing money.

    Clients have changed their perception. It’s very easy to travel all-inclusive, but the traveler now is savvier and they know how to manage the destination while they are here. They love not signing checks in the hotel. It’s convenient but it’s also flexible.

    Also, we are south of town and getting into the city is actually easier from here when compared with other parts of Puerto Vallarta.

    TP: How has the rebranding of the Fiesta Americana and the Grand Fiesta Americana been received? Has it had the intended impact?

    EC: Any brand has to refresh, and we have used our former logo for 15 years; it was time to come with a fresh image to market. It’s not just a new logo, it also comes with a new prototype concept for city hotels we are opening in Monterrey, Puebla and Mexico City.

    As well, we are working with owners in places like Guadalajara and Queretaro to go with this refresh process, including our new “360 lobby” with assorted work and relaxation spaces. Guests will also see new room interiors that maintain the Grand quality, plus more power outlets, new fiber optic networks and larger Smart TVs in their rooms.

    TP: Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun has a AAA Five Diamond restaurant (Le Basilic). It’s a high perch. What other Grand Coral Beach plans are in the works?

    EC: Lobby updates for Coral Beach are coming, as well as updates to the experience at Le Basilic and Viña del Mar. For La Joya we are looking at a project to have the best signature restaurant in Cancun. We are thinking to bring a franchise restaurant that would be very unique in Cancun. La Joya is a great Mexican restaurant but people are looking for something else. We will visit this in 2016.

    TP: What distinguishes the Fiesta Americana and Grand Fiesta Americana all-inclusive product from its competitors?

    EC:  First of all our food is great; we are an EP company and the majority of our hotels are still EP.  So we have a “culinary culture.” In our resorts we didn’t diminish any of the elements of our quality, whether supplier, portions or recipes. We have an all-inclusive concept that’s comparable to a five star hotel. It’s not buffet oriented.

    Secondly, service is part of the culture within all our employees. There is a lot of respect for other employee’s work. There’s a culture here that respects the relevance of everybody’s work.

    Third is what we call “the magic.” It’s how we want to touch our guests right from the heart. Our employees are willing to surprise our guests with something extra and exceeding expectations. It comes back to empowerment and once this is done, employees can do this by instinct. We want a service culture in all our training.

    TP: Is The Explorean brand gaining traction with the North American audience? Will it become a growth area for Posadas?

    EC: We want this niche to grow. It’s not going to be a big brand because these are small properties. But it’s going to be a great complement for the portfolio, especially for a millennial market seeking experiences and interesting surroundings.

    TP: Is the beach resort hotel “EP” concept dead?

    EC:  It’s not dead; our Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach is performing excellent and we are looking for a great 2016.  The EP product is an opportunity, but more for boutique or big luxury resorts. I would say the EP Five Star product is dead and in some ways like a city hotel on the beach. There’s no entertainment, no signature restaurants. It’s’ a flat experience. In the case of the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach we have the best Spa in Cancun or Riviera Maya, the best kids club, cuisine, rooms are big and lots of facilities for groups. A resort like this can be very profitable.

    For more information, and


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Greg Custer Magic of Mexico

Greg Custer Greg Custer is a California native with more than 35 years working in various international travel industry capacities. He spent 14 years in aviation (TWA, Mexicana, Aerocalifornia). With a love for studying all things Latin America, (BA/MA UCLA, Latin American Studies) he is a leading authority on travel agent educational programs for Latin American tourism boards. Greg is fluent in written and spoken Spanish and has conducted hundreds of training workshops for travel agents. He is an accomplished travel photographer and author (with wife Jane) of the “Magic of Mexico” travel agent study guide. He resides in Ajijic (Jalisco) Mexico, enjoying one foot in the modern world and the other in Mexican pueblo life.
Finding Your Transportation at the Cancun Airport

Vacation Packages