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ATTN: Riviera Maya brides, IMPORTANT info from your MODS

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Dear ladies (and any gents) getting married in Riviera Maya in the coming weeks/months:


I am posting this to AVOID any kind of mass hysteria so you have the FACTS about what is going on in the Tulum and Cancun areas right now with the government shutting down some hotels.


Before you get into reading the article below (which is from a national newswire, and a valid source, the Associated Press), please recognize that there are only 5 hotels which have been closed in Tulum at this point. The hotels in question are mostly small, eco-friendly resorts with anywhere from 10 to 30 rooms, many of them using alternate energy sources. There are rumors and speculation that one of the large mega resorts in Tulum closest to the ruins (which would be Dreams Tulum) is destined for demolition as well, but there is no official confirmation of this report.


The 5 hotels that have been closed so far are: El hotel Cabañas, Mezanine, El Diamante K, El Ibera and Alternature (which is still under construction)


Any information I post here will be verified by multiple news sources so you can be assured that it is correct. I will be reading the Mexican newspapers and keeping an eye out in English-speaking media as well to provide you with any info updates that I am able to find.


The Mexican Government has indicated that Cancun hotels and resorts will also be subject to inspection of business licenses and property lines to make sure that they are not encroaching on any federally owned land within the coming weeks.


AGAIN, PLEASE DO NOT FLIP OUT ABOUT THIS - I will provide you with every piece of accurate information that I can give you (which I will be collecting from both English and Spanish-language media sources). Please feel free to post your questions here, and I will do my best to answer what I am able to.


Mexico launches battle for Tulum beach


The Associated Press

Thursday, July 10, 2008; 6:00 PM

MEXICO CITY -- The soldiers seemed out of place in paradise.

They stood guard at the sandy entrances to the exclusive, beachside hotels, holding their guns while inspectors took careful measurements and studied documents.

Tourists from around the world sauntered by on their way to spa treatments or sunned themselves on private decks overlooking the Mexican Caribbean's blue-green waters, puzzled but mostly unconcerned.

Until Monday, when the soldiers returned with federal officials who slapped "closed" signs across the hotel entrances and said they would be back on Friday to start clearing out guests.

The federal government's closure of five small, exclusive hotels on Tulum's breathtaking stretch of white-sand beaches has created an uproar over who has the title to one of the few still-to-be-fully-developed coastlines left along the exclusive Riviera Maya. At least five other developments near Tulum's seaside Mayan ruins are also under investigation.

The actions carried into Thursday, when the federal Environmental Department announced it had shut down construction of an Acapulco development that didn't meet environmental standards.

Visitors driving south from Cancun find most of the coast has been divided up and sold off to hotel chains. There are monster, all-inclusive resorts boasting hundreds of rooms and a maze of swimming pools, as well as sprawling communities of vacation villas and beach clubs.

Then there is Tulum, a tiny hippy-style town that started as a backpacker retreat. Most hotels were a collection of primitive thatched huts stuck into the sand and surrounded by beachside jungle.

But it has recently transformed itself into a chic eco-resort, one where travelers pay up to US$500 a night to practice yoga on the beach and stay in minimalist Mayan suites where flatscreen televisions and iPod docking stations are powered by solar energy.

Title disputes have haunted the Tulum beach for decades. At the heart of this dispute, however, is whether the hotels were built in a federal park.

Federal environmental prosecutor Patricio Patron says the land is protected and the government wants to eventually demolish the buildings and leave the area untouched. But he says bulldozers won't arrive for a year or more as the cases work their way through Mexican courts.

John Kendall, owner of Mezzanine, a 10-room resort featuring a beachside restaurant and bar, says the federal government just wants to take back land that is worth millions of dollars.

"The pretext is totally fabricated," he said.

Ari Kantrowitz, a New York City graduate student, said he and his girlfriend were in the pool Monday when two bureaucrats walked up, carrying clipboards and signs that said "closed" in Spanish.

"Suddenly, walking behind them were four guys in full fatigues, helmets and carrying M16 rifles. It was somewhat surreal," he said. "We sort of just sat in the pool ... After a bit, I assumed it was the Mexican government and not some rogue militia."

Kendall has held nightly meetings with his guests, assuring them that he will find alternative lodging if they are forcibly evicted on Friday.

But guest Richard Beaver and his wife aren't waiting to find out what happens. The couple from New Zealand plan to check out first thing Friday. They drove up Monday as soldiers and government officials were posting the closed signs.

"There were guys walking around with big guns, and my wife didn't want to stay," he said. "We thought we had come to a really nice place, but to look at that was pretty intimidating."

Patron says officials will let guests stay until they are scheduled to leave, even if it means they stay past Friday. But he warned the hotels against taking on new clients.

He says the developments have yet to show adequate titles, are too close to the Mayan ruins and are built in an area for protected plant and animal species, including the towering chit palm.

"We are forced to comply with the law," he said.

Hotel owners argue they've been there for up to two decades without problems, and their businesses are built around protecting the environment.

Roberto Palazuelos, a Mexican soap opera actor and president of the Tulum Hotel Owners Association, says the federal government's paperwork to create the protected area in the 1980s was never done correctly. His Hotel Diamante K is among the five that have been closed.

"I think they want to take away the land and divide it between themselves," he said.

The state government issued the land titles and says they are valid. Tourism officials have been visiting the hotels this week and supporting their fight to keep their land.

In the meantime, urban refugees seeking peace and quiet in Mexico's jungle squeeze in one last spa treatment and wonder when the soldiers will return.


On the Net:

mezzanine | tulum, mexico


Hotel Paraiso Tulum, Habitaciones, Club de Playa, Restaurant Bar

© 2008 The Associated Press

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Oh geez...now i'm really stressed! I'm booked for Dreams Tulum in December...thanks for the info though & definetly keep us updated!


*sigh*...what next

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Maura and I personally did searches for verifiable news sources and as of now Dreams Tulum shutting down is just rumors and speculation. We will keep monitoring the news and keep everyone as updated as possible. Please do not panic and freak out. This will only cause more problems for the resorts if everyone starts calling their WC and asking them a million questions. As of now there is no reason to get upset since everything is purely speculation and rumors.

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Oh my god! This sucks. Has anyone emailed the resort? I'm a little panicked at the thought!!!!! I have travel insurance but I'm not sure about the rest of my guests. Plus, all the planning!!!!! Yikes. Deep breaths.

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I HIGHLY recommend that nobody else contact them - if they get inundated with phone calls and emails it will take them forever to respond to each and every one of you - so just sit tight for now and wait.

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We had a thread about this last week. I spoke with Sandra at DT and she assured me they are not at risk. The only thing the govt asked them to do was relocate a volleyball net/court (not sure why). The resorts shut down are very small, have bungalows as rooms and apparently were too close to the ruins. For those of us who have been to DT....we know the resort isn't too near the archaelogical site. In fact, you can't even see it from their grounds.


No need to worry.

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