Travel Information & Resources
Important Note: Information below is for reference purposes only and should be confirmed prior to your trip. Some information provided by third party sources and may not be up to date.
NEW MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENTAL FEE FOR ALL HOTEL & RESORT GUESTS IN THE RIVIERA MAYA
As part of its work to preserve the extraordinary natural beauty of the area, and effective October 1, 2017, the Solidaridad Municipal Government will begin charging an environmental tax to all hotel and resort guests in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya. This new Environmental Fee will only be charged to Riviera Maya hotel guests. It does not apply to Cancun or Puerto Morelos. In accordance with Municipal Finance Law, the Environmental Sanitation Fee that will be charged is as follows:
20 Mexican pesos per room per day (approximately $1.13USD as of 9/1/17), collected at hotel check-out.
What will the tax be used for?
The proceeds from this new Green Fee charged to all hotel and resort guests in the Riviera Maya will be used to contribute to environmental protection and sanitation initiatives such as:
- Beach conservation and upkeep
- Implementation of an integral Waste Management program in urban areas
- Elimination of open-air garbage dumps
- Reduction of carbon emissions by installing LED lighting systems in public areas
- Other programs geared towards making the Riviera Maya a sustainable destination
Why is it needed?
The Riviera Maya is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Its white sand beaches are legendary and the world’s second longest coral reef is just offshore, its jungles and wetlands are home to rare species and it boasts the world’s longest underground rivers discovered to date. Yet increasing visitor numbers and population growth are outpacing public services and more action is needed to improve waste management and other services for the health of the environment and area ecosystems. The new fee charged by the Solidaridad Municipal Government will be used for such programs.
IMPORTANT SCREENING NOTICE:
TSA raising aviation security baseline with stronger domestic security measures
To ensure the security of airline passengers and the nation’s airports, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is implementing new, stronger screening procedures for carry-on items that require travelers to place all electronics larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening in standard lanes.
As new procedures are phased in, TSA officers will begin to ask travelers to remove electronics larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bags and place them in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for years. This simple step helps TSA officers obtain a clearer X-ray image. The stronger security measures do not apply to passengers enrolled in TSA Pre✓® who are using TSA Pre✓® lanes.
We recommend you plan ahead and make those devices (iPads, Kindles, etc.) easy to access and remove from your carryon bag prior to arriving at the airport. Do not have any bulky or oversized cases on the devices or TSA officers may ask you to remove them. Make sure your devices are charged and will power up; broken devices or those with dead batteries may not be allowed on board.
IMPORTANT PASSPORT NOTICE:
New TSA regulations require that passports be valid for at least six (6) months beyond travel dates. If your passport is set to expire prior to six months from your return date, you must renew it prior to travel. For expedited passport services, please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/hurry.html or your local passport office.
Baggage Information by Airline
IMPORTANT: Now that many airlines have made changes to their baggage allowances, and may charge per checked bag, please visit the airline’s website for the most up-to-date restrictions. All-inclusive packages do not include airline incidentals, such as baggage charges, carryon charges, on-board purchases, etc. If your airline is not listed, or if the link no longer functions, please see the airline’s website directly. We cannot be responsible for extra charges or denied boarding associated with baggage issues. Please note that if you are flying a charter (even using one of the carriers below), baggage charges/allowances will be different, so please contact your Travel Consultant for details.
Pre-purchase your Dominican Republic Tourist Card
The Tourist Card is valid for a year from the date of purchase and is only valid for one person, who will only be able to use it once. The Tourist Card can be acquired at point of sale locations in land, air, or sea ports in the country; it is also available in Dominican embassies and consulate offices overseas and in Tour operating companies. It may now also be purchased through the online portal.
Using Cash in Mexico
With the objective of limiting and controlling the movement of American dollars within Mexico, the Mexican Government recently passed a new law, making the use of American dollars cash to make purchases in Mexico will not be as free as it has been in the past. Many repeat guests to Mexico who have become accustomed to using American cash in Mexico as though they were effectively in the United States will notice the difference. Other payment methods such as Credit Cards of all types and all issuing banks, Travelers Checks, Mexican Pesos and non-American Dollars foreign currencies in cash (Euros or Canadian Dollars) are not affected in any way by this new law.
The most noticeable differences to travelers will be:
1. Hotels and Exchange Booths will only be able to change a maximum of $1,500 USD CASH per person per month into Mexican Pesos. Previously there was no limit.
2. Businesses (transportation and excursion companies) will only be able to accept a maximum of $100 USD CASH per transaction – but the number of transactions per customer are not restricted.
3. Certain businesses may not be able to, or may choose not to accept American Dollars CASH for any purchase at all (this may include shops etc)
If a customer wants to purchase from an on-site excursion company (for example) a tour worth $139 US per person, he will only be able to pay $100 USD of this amount in USD CASH and the remainder will need to be in another form of payment (credit card, Mexican Pesos cash, etc).
Travelers should not carry large amounts of American Dollars cash with them to Mexico, but instead they should consider either using a Credit Card, taking Mexican Pesos cash, taking Travellers Checks (of any currency) or withdrawing money locally in Mexican Pesos. Local tipping in small bills is still widely accepted, and Berwick Travel recommends charging any in-resort purchases (gift shop, spa, etc.) to the room, which would then be paid by credit card.
Requirements for Travelers Between the United States and the Western Hemisphere
All persons (even infants) traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States.
Requirements for minors traveling to the Dominican Republic:
The Dominican Republic no longer requires a permit or a notarized letter for minors who are United States nationals or Canadian nationals. Anyone under 18 on the day of departure will be denied boarding if not accompanied by an adult 18 years or older.
Requirements for minors traveling to Mexico:
Mexico no longer requires a notarized letter from the non-accompanying parent(s) for minors under 18. Anyone under 18 on the day of departure will be denied boarding if not accompanied by an adult 18 years or older.
Berwick Travel still recommends obtaining a notarized letter from the absent parent(s) giving permission to travel to avoid any delays or issues.
For more information, click here.
AMResorts Notification: Reaffirms Commitment to Guest Health and Safety – 07/28/2017
- All alcohol is purchased from approved, licensed and bonded vendors that meet all standards required by the designated regulatory authorities
- A valid Certificate of Registration is required from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for all imported liquors
- A valid Certificate of Registration is required from the Mexican authorities for all national liquors, known as COFEPRIS (Comisión Federal para la Protección contra Riesgos Sanitarios)
- Letters of authorization are required from all direct liquor manufacturers to the regional or local distributors, validating the import and distribution of their brands
- Access to a doctor 24 hours a day, seven days a week is available to all guests for minor medical situations
- Partnership with top hospital facility in the destination available to all guests for more serious medical needs
- All guests are informed of payment terms for doctor calls in advance, in line with best hospitality industry practices
- Fees for medical services are regulated by government and tourism authorities
- If medical, police or government involvement are needed, options are immediately discussed with the guest to ensure their comfort, safety and convenience
Hotel Staff Training
- Mandatory and ongoing training is conducted to prepare staff to immediately recognize and respond to situations including symptoms from excessive alcohol consumption and other health-related issues
- Organizations and certifications include but are not limited to the Cristal Award for International Standards and Distintivo H validated by the Mexican Tourism Board
- Random testing of bottles of liquor from every hotel by a non-affiliated certified lab
- External audit of liquor warehouse procedures and controls
- Immediate destruction of all liquor bottles before disposal, and any open bottles left in guest rooms, restaurants and bars
- All drinks to be prepared directly in front of guests upon request
- Visibly show sealed liquor bottles to guests upon request
- All guests will be prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages from outside vendors to the property
- Increase the number of surveillance cameras at the bars and other public areas in order to further ensure guest safety
We have complete confidence in the strict procedures and protocols we have in place, and the professionalism and attentiveness of our staff. We look forward to continuing to welcome thousands of guests who consistently visit our resorts in Mexico and other destinations. We aim to deliver nothing less than perfect guest experiences at our resorts.
Excellence Group Notification – 07/28/2017
Dear Travel Partner,
Excellence Group has always been recognized and set apart from its competitors for its superior quality on everything we offer as a leader in All Inclusive Luxury. Professional yet warm and friendly service, upscale amenities and a wide variety of fine ingredients in food and beverage are among the core elements that make each of our properties special and outstanding. Aside of luxury and comfort, the safety of our guests and employees is at the top of our priorities.
Consequently, we are very proud to offer premium international brands of wine and liquor within every property, at every bar and restaurant. Our staff and procedures successfully satisfy domestic and local regulations as well as some of the world’s strictest health & safety guidelines, besides other self-dictated standards and procedures to guarantee the optimal quality of everything served to our highly discerning guests.
Our company is honoured to receive a vast amount of praise and recognitions by customers and partners worldwide who attest our promise of quality and satisfaction.
Please, feel free to contact us if further information is required.
Excellence Group Luxury Hotels & Resorts
Karisma Hotels Notification – 07/27/2017
Dear Travel Partner,
Karisma Hotels & Resorts would like to assure each of our guests and future travelers that El Dorado Spa Resorts, Azul Beach Resorts, Generations Resorts and Hidden Beach in Mexico’s Riviera Maya remain safe and welcoming destinations. We are proud to deliver the award-winning Gourmet Inclusive Experience, an entirely new category of luxury vacation. As a part of this Gourmet Inclusive Experience, we use only premium alcohol in every one of our drinks at every one of our properties.
Furthermore, we feature sommeliers at every restaurant, fresh local ingredients, distinguished partnerships and innovative food and beverage concepts, gourmet cuisine served a la carte, 24-hour room service and full-service concierge. Our resorts have been honored with Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence,” among many other epicurean- and service-related accolades, and named to Conde Nast Traveler’s prestigious list of “Top 25 Resorts in the World.”
Our team is dedicated to ensuring an exceptional quality vacation environment. This starts with enforcing stringent protocols with regards to hygiene and food and water quality, including purifying water from our own treatment plant, which is used throughout the entire property. In addition to abiding by all local and national regulations, we also have a dedicated Quality Manager employed at the resort who works in conjunction with Cristal International Standards, a world-renowned independent organization that specializes in the adherence to hotel quality, hygiene, and safety standards. They work closely with us to ensure that every aspect of our hotels is effectively managed and the guest experience is devoid of incident or injury by conducting unannounced audits and inspections, providing documentation overviews, and testing samples of water and food. The results at Karisma’s El Dorado Spa Resorts, Azul Beach Resorts, Generations Resorts and Hidden Beach Resort are always exemplary.
We consistently take all measures to provide an unforgettably luxurious Gourmet Inclusive vacation for guests that value quality. We look forward to welcoming guests to Karisma Hotels & Resorts now and in the future.
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