Call it a meeting planner’s rock & roll fantasy: Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. It’s Hard Rock’s fourth and largest all-inclusive in Mexico, at 1,264 rooms, and has the added distinction of offering two separate resort areas—all at one all-inclusive price. Perfect for groups who want to bring children but keep them busy during business meetings, the resort is divided into Heaven for adults (over 18) and Hacienda for families. Heaven groups get exclusive access to the par-72 championship golf course, the fitness center and the Caribbean’s largest spa, which has 75 treatment rooms.
The big question: Do you have to be into hard rock to get into Hard Rock? Not really. You’ll see rock memorabilia and hear music in public spaces, but you won’t feel like a groupie. Meetings are a major offering at this Hard Rock, which boasts almost 90,000 sf of meeting and event space, has a dedicated conference services manager and provides an in-house DMC. The sweet spot for meetings is 75 to 100 pax, says Kevin Edmunds, VP of meetings and incentive sales, but the entire property is available for buyout. And “all-inclusive” means all-inclusive: The only add-on is audiovisual services, which are provided by an outside vendor. Everything else is included in the price, says Frank Maduro, VP of marketing for the Hard Rock All Inclusive Collection.
The resort is benefiting from Mexico’s resurgence as a meetings destination, especially for those groups with an interest in Mexican history and culture, Edmund says. It’s close to many archaeological attractions such as Xcaret and Tulum, so “if you want to get more Mexican culture, this is the place to come.” Easy airlift from Los Angeles, Dallas and South Florida also make it “a no-brainer,” he says. Hard Rock executives plan to open more all-inclusives in Mexico and throughout the Caribbean, believing the convenience and simplicity of the model spells success. Next on Edmund’s wish list: building an impressive culinary program. “We want that to be the first thing people think of when they’re here. We want to be known for that.”