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Unique Hotel Features

Many of the tropical resorts we represent have unique amenities or services that set them apart from the rest. This week I'd like to highlight a few of those properties. For more details, including photos, or to shop for a great rate, click the resort name.

Love the thought of lounging by your own private pool? In Playa del Carmen, Mexico, all accommodations at Banyan Tree Mayakoba have private pools, as do the villas at the boutique Viceroy Riviera Maya. All suites at Hotel Mousai Puerto Vallarta have ocean-view terraces with jetted plunge pools. In the Caribbean, resorts with private pools attached to rooms include Excellence Oyster Bay in Jamaica, Sanctuary Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic, Spice Island and LaLuna in Grenada, Hermitage Bay in Antigua, Calabash Cove and Sugar Beach in St. Lucia and Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico.

El Dorado Maroma in Mexico has overwater bungalows with glass windows set into the floors and access to the ocean via a ladder; they also come with private infinity pools. Rosewood Mayakoba's overwater lagoon suites also feature plunge infinity pools, as well as an outdoor garden shower and lounge terrace. Sandals has installed overwater bungalows at three of its properties: Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals South Coast in Jamaica and Sandals Grande St. Lucian.

On-site water parks add to the fun at these properties: Hilton Rose Hall in Jamaica, Dreams Playa Mujeres and All Ritmo Cancun in Mexico, Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts in the Dominican Republic and Mexico, Beaches resorts in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos, Coconut Bay in St. Lucia and Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas (Atlantis also has a marine habitat with more than 50,000 aquatic animals).

You'll find kid-sized aqua parks at Iberostar Selection Rose Hall Suites in Jamaica, Crown Paradise Club Puerto Vallarta on Mexico's Pacific coast, Iberostar Selection Paraiso Lindo on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Barcelo Bavaro Palace in the Dominican Republic and Grand Palladium Jamaica and neighboring Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton in Jamaica (Grand Palladium Jamaica also claims to have the largest pool on the island).

Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres hosts the on-site Rafa Nadal Tennis Center. It provides instruction for all ages through a variety of programs, plus eight clay tennis courts, a gym and a bar and cafeteria with TVs showing tennis matches and other sports. Guests at neighboring sister resort TRS Coral Hotel also can use the facility.

Planet Hollywood resorts in Costa Rica and Mexico offer an extensive menu of fitness classes and activities as part of their "PHit" philosophy, from sunrise and sunset yoga, TRX training and kickboxing to boot camps, ab workouts and a beach obstacle course.

Guests can swim in a cenote -- a natural underground spring -- at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, a Playa del Carmen property set amid jungles, mangroves, a sandy beach and its own impressive water park. Moon Palace Cancun has a FlowRider surfing simulator among its amenities.

Hard Rock Hotels in Mexico and the Dominican Republic offer The Sound of Your Stay. It's a free program of musical amenities: You can borrow a Fender guitar, along with a pocket amp and headphones (in-room video lessons are available), or turn your room into your own private club with DJ equipment.

Hoteles Xcaret properties in Mexico offer guests unlimited access to many of Grupo Xcaret's nature and water parks, which include a variety of activities such as swimming in underground rivers, snorkeling, zip-lining and more.

How about taking in the views from a private rooftop terrace? High-end rooms at Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites in the Dominican Republic have rooftop terraces with Jacuzzis and Bali beds. The Excellence Collection resorts in Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic also have accommodations with private rooftop lounge areas and pools.

There's something missing from the rooms at Jade Mountain and Ladera Resort in St. Lucia: a fourth wall. The hillside accommodations are open to fresh breezes and ocean views, but they are situated in a way that ensures the privacy and safety of guests. All rooms at Ladera and most at Jade Mountain have private pools.

Tabacon Thermal Resort near the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica, features natural, magma-heated hot springs pools with temperatures ranging from 77 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Some have views of the volcano and rainforest.

The reef at Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia starts just 10 yards from the water's edge, offering snorkelers and divers an amazing array of marine life in 20 to 140 feet of calm, clear ocean. More than 150 species of fish have been counted here.

 

 

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