Hotels & Resorts

RIU, Sunwing host agency partners for some festive cheer, look ahead to 2024

Good friends. Good food. Good news.

It was all on the menu this week as Sunwing and RIU Hotels & Resorts teamed up for their annual Festive Luncheon for their travel advisor partners.

Hosted at the Arlington Estate in Vaughan, Ontario, the Nov. 29 event has been held for more than a decade as a way that Sunwing and RIU can recognize their VIP agency partners and the support they’ve given the two companies over the past year, along with providing an opportunity for both firms to update advisors on new developments.

For RIU Hotels & Resorts, 2023 has been a ‘fantastic year’ out of Canada, with the company’s director, partner marketing and business development, Canada & the U.S., Hugo Aguilera telling Press Today, that he’s expecting the winter 2024 season to be a strong one.

Sunwing’s Deanna Murphy agreed, observing that the momentum of business has really been ramping up.

RIU and Sunwing have been partners since 2013 and Aguilera told PT that the long-standing relationship with Sunwing is like ‘a big extended family,’ with two successful brands working together to provide their customers and travel advisors’ clients with ‘a lot of value’ for money.

In fact, Aguilera added that RIU’s hotels and resorts offer Canadians ‘outstanding value’ and ‘that’s why Canadians keep coming back’ to its properties.

Murphy echoed Aguilera’s comments, telling the luncheon audience that the relationship has been a win-win-win for Sunwing, RIU and all of their travel agency partners.

Lots of Support

As for travel advisors, Aguilera came straight to the point, telling PT that RIU loves travel agents, providing them with loyalty and specialist programs as well as ongoing support.

Here in Canada, RIU has a new team of business development managers (BDMs), with the team including:

Paola Roldan, BDM, Quebec & Atlantic Canada – [email protected]

Leslie Manilla, BDM, Ontario & Manitoba – [email protected]

Andres Olvares, BDM, Western Canada – [email protected]

Karina Olivera, Virtual BDM – [email protected]

The goal, Aguilera said is to provide travel advisors with more responsive support in every province in Canada.

Lots Going On

As for new developments, 2023 has been a busy year with a number of its properties – in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Jamaica – undergoing major renovations.

Last August, RIU unveiled the new and improved Riu Caribe following a complete transformation. The resorts common areas and its 506 rooms were renovated and equipped with modern furniture and design. As well, the swim-out room with private pool is a new room category added for guests who look for a more exclusive experience.

However, the big news from the Riu Caribe is that the hotel will now host the Riu Party concept, adding to the hotel’s already wide variety of entertainment offerings.

In September, the Riu Palace Macao in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic reopened following a total revamp of its common areas and more than 400 rooms. New at the property is the hotel chain’s largest wellness centre and the addition of a new service — the Elite Club by RIU.

This exclusive service provides customers with rooms offering the best views, customized check-in and late check-out service, as well as a lounge area with a bar reserved just for them, an exclusive restaurant offering an à la carte dinner, an à la carte breakfast at the Italian restaurant and an exclusive beach area with its own bar service providing premium drinks for Elite guests.

This month (December) Riu Palace Pacifico in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico welcomes guests once again after a complete refurbishment where it will become an adults only hotel and maintain its 24-hour all-inclusive service. The renovation of this emblematic hotel, built in 2008, is accompanied by the expansion of new services for its guests, including more gastronomic options, improved experiences and the Elite Club by RIU service for those clients looking to take their holidays a step further.

RIU will close the year with some news and improvements at Riu Palace Baja California in Los Cabos, Mexico and Riu Palace Jamaica in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where Elite Club will be opening as of Dec. 15, 2023.

In 2024, Riu Palace Bavaro will be fully renovated and enhanced with new features, such as Elite Club by RIU. Starting Sept. 1, 2024, RIU guests can enjoy the new services, facilities and experiences available at this brand-new family hotel, including a new section with family rooms, four new redesigned pools, a new Marketplace by the main pool with a variety of culinary choices to select from, a children’s pool with slides, new Mexican restaurant and much more.

RIU will also add two new hotels to its portfolio in 2024 with the opening of Riu Palace Aquarelle, its seventh hotel in Jamaica and first in the Trelawny area, plus Riu Plaza Chicago in the heart of the city.

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