Mexico is a multifaceted destination for groups. And one of the most impressive ways to take advantage of the diversity of its coastal resort destinations—as well as to wow meeting and incentive groups— is to go upscale, with unforgettable experiences and venues that will make a lasting impression. Here are just a few.
Cancun with Class
Mexico’s most popular tourism destination is a rewarding place to combine luxury with value and convenience for meetings and events, according to Rocio Gonzalez Jonguitud, meetings industry director at the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“Cancun is the ideal destination for groups due to its air connectivity and great value, especially given the strength of the U.S. dollar and the tax rebate benefits available for groups as well as individuals,” she says. “Additionally, the city has an extensive range of hotels—European Plan and all-inclusive—at all types of price ranges, and it is also one of the safest destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean.”
Jungle theme parties are a photo-worthy way to splurge at two of Cancun’s most renowned luxury hotels. The Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun turns its Grand Coral Ballroom into upscale wilderness for Jungle Night theme events, complete with grass floor, trees and flowers.
The Mayan Jungle theme party at The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, meanwhile, converts a ballroom into a simulated rainforest, with high-tech lighting, fog machines and even live animals.
“This theme is definitely the ‘wow’ factor every meeting planner looks for,” says Antonio Razo, meetings director at the Ritz-Carlton, Cancun. “When guests walk in they do so through a tunnel so they aren’t able to guess what’s ahead.”
Luxurious Los Cabos
Perched at the southernmost point of the Baja California peninsula, Los Cabos is known for its array of luxury hotels , many of which fly the flags of internationally recognized luxury brands. Dramatic scenery provides an unforgettable backdrop for group activities that range from fine dining to world-class golf.
“With top-notch infrastructure, accessible airfare, incredible weather, unbeatable natural resources and the personalized service that characterizes our people, Los Cabos is a great choice for meeting planners around the world looking to host upscale events,” says Ricardo Orozco, vice president of operations for Solmar Hotels & Resorts, a brand that operates multiple properties in Los Cabos, including the Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa, which creates customized gourmet dishes and sommelier-curated wine lists.
Other options include the Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, which has a ballroom that caters gala receptions for up to 800 people, as well as pool and terrace lounges that can be decked out with fine linens and dramatic lighting to serve as chic gathering spots.
The JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa, located in Puerto Los Cabos, offers venue space within its exclusive Griffin Club, a boutique hotel within the hotel, including private cabanas and options for private chefs. The resort itself offers 37,600 square feet of meeting space.
At Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort, groups can partake in a variety of upscale activities this summer, including private surf lessons, an indigenous Huichol art class and a wine challenge with the resident sommelier. During the wine challenge, competing guests become members of the property’s Wine Connoisseur Club, with their own personalized wine-tasting glasses at La Cava, the resort’s wine cellar, to use each time they return.
Mazatlan to the Max
The Pacific port city of Mazatlan combines the natural beauty of a beach destination with the elegance of centuries past, thanks to its historic city center. Planners can easily combine the best of both worlds, making use of an array of meeting-friendly hotels as well as the Mazatlan International Center, the city’s largest convention center, and venues that allow participants to indulge in the destination’s historic ambiance.
The Angela Peralta Theater, a beautifully restored performance space, teams up with the Mazatlan School of Arts to offer customized performances of dance, music and theater for private groups.
In the Golden Zone, the area with the largest number of hotels, El Cid Marina Beach stages activities including sunset cruises, private dinners on the beach and sport fishing charters.
“Our full-service, upscale marina welcomes luxury yachts from all over the world,” says Isaias Gomez, general manager for El Cid Marina Beach.
“The magnificent atmosphere of our all-suite resort extends to our secluded beach, which is accessible by water taxi,” Gomez continues. “No matter where your next journey takes you, our signature marina-class resort will cater to the most discerning palate, including service to yachts and banquets.”
Very, Very Vallarta-Nayarit
The Pacific Coast area that encompasses Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit is home to a variety of upscale group offerings.
“Riviera Nayarit provides an ideal setting for upscale meetings and incentive group travel because of our state-of-the-art meeting facilities, luxury to boutique accommodations, and teambuilding activities, from surf lessons in Sayulita to golfing in Punta Mita,” says Marc Murphy, managing director, Riviera Nayarit Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The recently opened Sanctuary Convention Center at Hard Rock Hotel Nuevo Vallarta provides a new 12,900-square-foot space with the option to host themed meetings and events, including Prehispanic Night, where you can re-create your company’s logo carved in stone, and Lounge Party, where entertainment may include veil dancers and stilt walkers.”