The latest news from Prevue’s annual Mexico Meetings & Incentives Guide
We tapped 5 top hotel companies—Posadas/Fiesta Americana, Playa Resorts, Melia, Xcaret and AMResorts—for all that’s new in Mexico.
New for 2021 is the Live Aqua Beach Resort Tulkal Riviera Maya, a 343-room adults-only all-inclusive, which shares a complex with the family-oriented 734-room Fiesta Americana Tulkal Riviera Maya. “The Tulkal complex is on probably one of the best pieces of land left on the Riviera Maya,” says Enrique Calderon, chief operating officer, Posadas/Fiesta Americana. The beachfront complex boasts several pools, a destination spa inspired by Mayan traditions, as well as a meeting and convention center that can accommodate up to 3,000 attendees and features an open-air auditorium.
“What we have seen is that the vaccine effect is creating enthusiasm,” says Calderon. “Since February, we have started seeing new requests for proposals for small groups. And it’s almost business as usual for 2022 and 2023, in terms of international groups going to Mexico. We have seen some repeat clients already requesting the space for bookings in winter 2022 and 2023.”
New from Playa Resorts in 2021 is The Yucatan Resort Playa del Carmen, which is part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton. The boutique resort offers a rooftop pool and bar, as well as a Peruvian-Japanese restaurant. It is located minutes from the beachfront Hilton Playa del Carmen, and guests can enjoy the sister hotel’s amenities, including a private beach, water activities, tennis, luxury spa and Olympic-sized pool.
“We could not be more bullish on the MICE business,” says Howard Tanenbaum, senior vice president of sales, Playa Resorts. “We’ve seen a very significant upswing in the amount of leads and confirmed new contracted revenues in 2021. But, there is a reason for this. At Playa, the MICE business is not a part-time thing that we do. For us it has always been a strategic imperative to be the best all-inclusive in this space.”
Playa Resorts’ properties range from 60 suites to over 750 suites, which allows groups of all sizes to buyout an entire resort for their program. Groups can then brand the resort with their company’s logo and images, set the dress codes and customize every phase and interaction. Resort event staff can work with meeting planners to choreograph the details of the program including customized menus, signature beverages, entertainments, team building events and more.
Coming soon from Melia is the Paradisus Playa Mujeres, located north of Cancun’s International airport. The oceanfront resort will offer 10 dining options as well as the Yhi Spa.
Carmelina Iannarone, CMP, CMM, director of group sales, North America, Melia Hotels International, reports that 2022 has seen an increased demand for the group’s Mexico properties from U.S. and Canadian meeting planners. Melia also reports a demand for bucket list activities such as group cultural experiences and CSR events that support the local communities that were hit hard during the pandemic.
“Things are looking positive overall,” says Iannarone. “The industry studies are showing that the incentive travel recovery will take one to two years to fully recuperate. This proves an increase in confidence from clients and attendees.”
The new Hotel Xcaret Arte is divided into five distinct casas, which each emphasize a different facet of Mexico’s cultural and creative heritage. The Casa del Diseño offers a textile workshop and weaving lessons, Casa de la Música offers dance instruction, Casa de Los Artistas inspires guests to paint, Casa de la Pirámide explores Mexico’s pottery traditions, while Casa de la Paz offers cooking workshops specializing in vegan cuisine. Grupo Xcaret also offers the All-Fun Inclusive concept, which provides unlimited access to all seven of its eco-adventure parks and tours, as well as round-trip transportation to the parks, hotel, and Cancun International Airport (CUN) in a safe environment with its 360º Xafety protocols.
Grupo Xcaret is also set to launch the adults-only La Casa de La Playa in 2022. The new property will feature 63 spacious suites with private plunge pools, categorized in three concepts: Nature, Fun and Wellness. 2022 will also see the opening of Xibalbá, the group’s first project in Yucatan that will feature eight of the region’s most beautiful cenotes.
“People are craving travel, with a focus on sustainable experiences at safe destinations, hotels, and resorts that involve shorter flights,” says says Manuel Saracho, corporate director of group sales, Grupo Xcaret. “There is an increased desire to reconnect.”
This summer saw the opening of the new Secrets® Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resort, an eco-friendly property situated on over 13 hectares of jungle, and featuring its own water treatment system and a tour-able nursery with more than 4,000 species of plants. The resort will boast more than 12,711 sf of meeting space, including a 1,000-capacity convention center.
Set to open Fall 2021 is the Secrets Moxche Playa del Carmen situated on a white sand beach within a private, gated golf community, and just a 10-minute drive from Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue. The resort will offer 14,600 sf of meeting and event space.
“Beyond enhanced hygiene and safety protocols, some things remain true – planners want convenience, flexibility, and more value for their money,” says del Gonzalo del Peón, group president, AMResorts Americas & Global Commercial.