Movers and Shakers
BUSINESS WIRE reports that AMResorts, a subsidiary of Apple Leisure Group, has just signed deals to add two important new properties to its impressive portfolio.
- First among them is a deal to assume ownership of Isla Mujeres' Villa Rolandi, a 35-room hotel and spa near Cancun, Mexico. AMResorts will begin operating the hotel in June. It will eventually be rebranded as Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts under Apple's luxury boutique brand, likely by December 2014.
- The other announcement is the new Dreams® Buenaventura Panama Resort & Spa - a 450-room resort featuring a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course that is under development in Farallón, Panama. Slated for completion in 2016, this luxury property is AMResorts' first venture in Panama.
The high-end resort chain has been active in acquisitions and developments as of late. These moves mark the 5th and 6th properties acquired by AMResorts in the past year, 5 of which are new developments, and brings their total number of properties to 40.
100th Anniversary of The Panama Canal
Completed in 1914, this engineering marvel is a bucket-list item for many cruisers. Its 100th anniversay in August is the perfect time to take a luxury cruise down the historic 77 kilometer canal. As work to increase the canal's capacity continues through 2015, now is also the time to see modern-day history in the making. Look to the most active cruiselines in the canal (Celebrity, Holland American and Princess) to provide a stunning view of one of the 7 Wonders of The Modern World. Land lubbers may prefer to see the canal from tierra firma via tours that operate from Panama City.
Your Dollar Goes Farther in Argentina
In the past two years, the value of foreign currency in Argentina has doubled, or tripled, depending on who you ask. "Official" rates verses the US dollar have plummeted recently, and have levelled out at 7 or 8 Argentinian Pesos. However, government efforts to reduce the sell-off of its currency have created a secondary market (known as the "Blue Peso") resulting in a street-value of 12 pesos or more to the dollar. For foreign tourists, this unexpected change means their vacation dollars go much farther than they did even a few months ago. But vacationers will need large amounts of ready cash to benefit from the Blue Peso, and will need to be ready to negotiate their best rate.