Located on the north tip of Cancun’s hotel zone, the 602-room Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun is a haven for relaxation, while at the same time, directly connected to the buzzing Cancun International Convention Center and within minutes of Cancun’s local culture and entertainment. The oceanfront resort is also one of the oldest properties in the area, but don’t get the wrong idea, local traditions and culture play out in modern, unexpected ways.
“We take pride in showcasing Mexico’s rich culture and traditions throughout the property, and particularly for our groups,” says Laura Robles, CMP, director of group sales. “To celebrate Mexico’s festive holidays, such as Dia de Los Muertos and Mexican Independence Day, we offer festive events and treats like “pan de muerto” in our award-winning restaurants. We also host celebration theme nights, like our Mayan night, featuring a ritual performance to bring an immersive experience of pre-Hispanic cultures; it has become very popular among planners.”
A Grand View
Each guestroom has expansive balconies facing the ocean, including 79 master suites. The sprawling beach sits alongside a large pool with two swim-up bars. Between meetings, our group gathered in this area for cocktails after taking advantage of numerous water sport activities offered on-site.
While there are many notable spaces for musical palalpa parties, beach soirées and cocktail events, the 40,000-sf Gem Spa had the biggest wow factor. The combination of rich woods and luminous Italian mosaics with flowing water features made for a stunning venue for cocktail events for up to 300. Our group swayed to Spanish guitar music here while sipping on healthy green beverages made of fresh orange juice and spinach.
“While there are many spas in Cancun, no other hotel in the area has a spa up to this caliber,” Robles says. “Due to the innovative setting, options for group spa experiences and expansive layout, the Gem Spa rivals with spa destinations
around the world.”
Interactive tequila tastings in La Joya, a traditional hacienda-style restaurant off the hotel lobby, can also be arranged. The 3-tiered sampling of Blanco, Reposado and Anejo tequilas were combined for us with exotic fruits and juices to accompany the spicy flavors.
Under Paris-based Chef Henri Charvet, Le Basilic serves up mouthwatering French-Mediterranean cuisine. Our group stayed well into the evening, looking out onto the rippling ocean and listening to live jazz. The off-site Cenacolo Mare Italian Restaurant & Lounge Bar offers a scenic private dining room and gorgeous views. Our group indulged in a large meal of shared entrees, including mushroom risotto with truffles, salmon carpaccio and hazelnut truffles.
For off-site events, attendees can easily catch a ferry to Isla Mujeres, home to Garrafon Natural Reef Park. We worked with Dolphin Discovery, which offers a variety of teambuilding activities spread over a 107,600-sf campus of white sand, palm trees, turquoise waters. Dolphin encounters, snorkeling, zip lining and kayaking are just some of the options. For those who’d rather relax, the park includes comfortable lounge chairs, a full bar, restaurant, WiFi and a variety of hammocks and pools. Adventurous groups also enjoy excursions to Chichen Itza, Tulum, Xcaret, Xel-Ha and Cozumel.