When the concept of the all-inclusive vacation was originally created, it was meant to appeal to middle-class travellers seeking sun and sand; comfort, amenities and experience were total afterthoughts. But as more players entered the market, the concept has slowly but surely evolved, widening its appeal and now, often targets up-market travellers who want experiential, high-end, no-hassle getaways.
Enter UNICO 20°87°, the newest hotel to throw its hat in the ring. But don’t expect to find your typical all-inclusive experiences at this property. In fact, count on finding anything but, as this brand intentionally strays away from the traditional approach, appealing to your clients who are travellers just as much as they are vacationers.
“We saw there was a void in the all-inclusive market,” Frank Maduro, VP of marketing at AIC Hotel Group tells CT Magazine. “UNICO 20°87° was born out of a desire to create an entirely new category of all-inclusive that is defined by relaxed luxury and cultural immersion.”
Travel advisors hear it all the time; clients are “looking for more,” and UNICO 20°87° hopes to be the solution, differentiating itself by celebrating the regions in which its properties are located. UNICO 20°87°– which brings a sense of creativity and casualness to the style of hospitality while putting an emphasis on cultural exploration – will convey an eclectic and modern aesthetic through programming, attitude and offerings.
Read on for an in-depth look at the UNICO 20°87°, the first property of its kind which is set to open in Riviera Maya in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in March 2017. Playing-off the latitude and longitude of each location, the property – at 20° and 87° respectively – will be known as UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya.
HOW DOES UNICO 20°87° CONNECT GUESTS WITH THE DESTINATION?
1. “THE PROUD LOCAL”
The hotel staff will embody this mantra, allowing guests to experience a genuine love and emotional investment in each region from a truly local perspective. In addition, UNICO 20°87° will offer all guests a unique “host” for their stay, replacing the traditional butler service.
2. EXCLUSIVE PRIVATE EXCURSIONS
Visitors will have the chance to choose from a number of private excursions, from exploring the region’s lesser known alcoves with local hosts to dining at local tastemakers’ preferred restaurants and bars.
3. ON-PROPERTY ACTIVITIES
Look for culturally-inspired activities such as cooking classes taught by renowned local chefs and impromptu pop-up programming, from mezcal tastings and cocktail hour in a nearby Mayan village, to boozy pibil’s “pit roast” and full moon parties on the beach.
4. IN-ROOM GALLERIES
Guests can purchase art from local artisans, on display in guest rooms and throughout the hotel.
5. ESENCIA STUDIO IN THE ESENCIA WELLNESS CENTER
Guests select their own beach gear and personalized in-room amenities sourced from local craftsman.
6. LOCAL FOOD & DRINK SELECTIONS
Food and beverage offerings will foster a sense of regional celebration, from an Executive Mixologist infusing local flavours and ingredients to craft speciality cocktails throughout the hotel, to rotating chef restaurant concept, with a focus on emerging talent and flavours.
TOP-SELLING TIPS FOR UNICO 20°87°
1. This isn’t a cookie-cutter all-inclusive. Everything from the design, the mixology program, the culinary offering and the artisanal touches, to the programming and entertainment has been carefully curated.
2. UNICO 20°87° is an adults-only hotel and perfect for travellers who are looking for a more sophisticated or kids-free vacation.
3. Departing from the traditional all- inclusive, UNICO 20°87° will encompass all food and beverages, select spa treatments and off-property excursions, unlimited golf and more.
4. Guests will be immersed in the local culture through both culturally-inspired on-property activities, and off-property experiences.
5. Each guest room will boast spectacular ocean-views, plunge pool and double hydro spa tub options, and an in-room mini bar stocked for guest preference with all the essentials to make-your-own cocktail.
6. All rooms come with a local host to assist with any needs throughout each stay.
7. The hotel will incorporate unique pop- up programming from mezcal tastings and cocktail hour in a nearby Mayan village, to full moon parties on the beach.
TAKE 5 WITH FRANK MADURO
VP Of Marketing, AIC Hotel Group
1. What is the unique value proposition of UNICO 20°87°?
UNICO 20°87° steps outside the box of traditional branded hotels and creates an entirely new kind of immersive experience, one that offers an unfiltered view of modern Mexico and a deep connection to the region. With ownership’s roots in Mexico, Riviera Maya was the perfect place for us to launch this first property where we can pay homage to a region we call home. At UNICO 20°87°, we embrace the local, from the food and drink, to the spa treatments, to a selection of curated adventures.
2. Who is the UNICO 20°87° client?
We’re targeting anyone from millennials, older guests, couples, destination weddings, bachelor and bachelorette groups, meetings and incentives, and more. The UNICO 20°87° client is aspirational, spontaneous, and wants to experience the unexpected. Ask your clients if they’re interested in immersive cultural experiences, and if they’re looking for more than just a cookie-cutter vacation. If the answer is yes, then the UNICO 20°87° experience is for them.
3. Explain the move towards “hosts” from butlers.
Our goal was to embrace a more local and relaxed approach, and offer all guests a Local Host for their stay. The local host will not only assist with any on-property needs or reservations, but will also give insight into the local culture, including the best bars, restaurants and shopping in the area.
4. When it comes to selling UNICO 20°87, what’s in it for travel advisors?
Travel advisors can enjoy up to 19 per cent commission, exclusive marketing support, 19 business development managers throughout the U.S. and Canada, exclusive in-house sales and marketing support, co-op dollars, free week opportunities and much more. In addition, online webinars and in-person trainings are now available. Once the hotel opens, we’ll be conducting FAM trips. To learn more, contact your BDM and visit www.allinagents.com.
5. Give your elevator pitch to travel advisors who may be leery about sending clients to a new property under a new brand.
The UNICO 20°87° guest experience is about curated flexibility where your clients can escape into the contemporary local culture with an emphasis on art, mixology and food all while enjoying the amenities of a high-end and relaxed luxury property.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 448 guest rooms
- 5 restaurants with bars (Modern Mexican, Coastal Italian Mediterranean, Japanese & beach restaurants)
- 6 bars, including a cigar lounge
- 2 swim-up bars
- 1 coffee shop and juice bar
- Spa with 18 cabins, including 2 couples suites, 6 couple cabins & 10 single cabins
- 3 pools with cabanas
- 1 full service beauty salon
- 1 state-of-the-art fitness centre
- Meeting space with 1 main ballroom (divisible by 3) and 10 breakout rooms
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS & FEATURES
UNICO 20°87° is individual in style, design, history and architecture, and will be reflective of its location and culture (as will other future properties). With exteriors designed by Artigas and interiors conceptualized by AvroKo, UNICO 20°87° will feature 448 guest rooms with predominately ocean- views, boasting plunge pool and double hydro spa tub options and a crafted mini bar with all the essentials to make-your-own cocktail.
- The Esencia Wellness Center will feature a state-of-the-art fitness facility, boasting specialty classes, a visiting instructor program and personal training sessions.
- The on-site spa within the Esencia Wellness Center includes 18 luxe cabanas, hydrotherapy facilities with a plunge pool and Hammam, as well as steam and sauna rooms.
- Dedicated meeting space will allow UNICO 20°87° to play host to experiential meetings and weddings, featuring an 11,600 square-foot ballroom, two breakout rooms and outdoor event space.
Instead of packing your fancy hair styling tools, all rooms will come equipped with CHI products including a flat iron and hair blow dryer, as well as custom scent amenities.
Travellers are connected to their smartphones while on vacation; why not use it to enhance their experience? With the UNICO 20°87° Experience App, visitors will find information on each week’s activities, be able to order room service, contact their local host through a chat option to book spa, beauty salon and barbershop services, as well as golf tee times, tours and excursions.
In addition, guests can order food and drinks poolside to their lounge chair, schedule turn down service and learn more about the local art on display. If clothes get wrinkled in their suitcase, the local host is also available for personalized ironing and steaming services.