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A room with a zoo
You can get used to having some toiletries included in the price of a hotel room; sometimes the use of a pool or leisure centre. But how about the chance to see a small zoo which is in the same grounds as the hotel?
Resorts on the Pacific coast of Mexico have mushroomed in the last few years as the country has become one of the top must-see destinations. And as the resorts become more luxurious, they compete to provide the visitor more and more in what is increasingly an all-inclusive offer.
So in Punta de Mita which is about an hour’s drive from the international airport at Puerta Vallarta, you will find a bevy of four and five star resorts that are set on beaches, have pools, spas and leisure centres, craft stalls, a variety of restaurants, the odd golf course designed by people even I’ve heard of, language lessons (Mexican Spanish can be quite different from Benidorm Spanish) and entertainment laid on nightly appealing to all ages.
And one has a zoo.
All right it’s not a very big zoo but it is something a bit different and it exhibits how many of these resorts work in their local communities. The Grand Palladium Resort is run by a Spanish based company so many of you will know a little of what to expect since the Spanish influence is strong. But in Mexico it has other functions as well. Produce for the restaurants is locally sourced and support is provided to the local communities and schools. But the Grand Palladium has provided space for local indigenous plants in a botanic garden thus maintaining what was there. And amongst the vegetation there are animals and birds that have been involved in accidents or rejected by others that would probably not survive in the wild. So the resort provides a haven for these which also provides an attraction that no other resort nearby offers. There are a couple of ostriches, macaws, three deer, rabbits and chickens but also some creatures I hadn’t come across before such as coati badgers which don’t much look like badgers as you can see. (apologies for the picture but they do race around. Getting one still for ten seconds is luck rather than planning.) Add in some spider monkeys and the fact that wild skunk roam through the grounds as well as countless different types of bird and you can happily while away the time in one of the most interesting resorts in which I’ve stayed.