Meetings In Mexico – Cancun

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Cancún, Mexico’s number one tourist destination for nearly 40 years, attracts a steady stream of meetings to its Caribbean shores, including such high-profile events as the 2010 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Conference to the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol.

With more than 35,000 hotel rooms to suit any need—plus well over 33,525 more on the neighboring Riviera Maya—Cancún welcomes groups of every size and purpose, even the largest of groups with ease.

For planners, Cancun’s newfound wealth of all-inclusive hotels adds another layer of ease. All-inclusives now make up 70 percent of the properties, in part due to the recent conversion of the Hilton Cancún into an Iberostar, Le Méridien Cancún into a Sandos, and the Cancún Palace into a Hard Rock.

Back in September of 2010, the new CancúnMesse Exhibition Center debuted a whopping 272,000 square feet for expos near the airport. In 2012 it broke ground on another 200,000 square feet for meetings. In the Hotel Zone, Cancún Center—the region’s premier convention facility—offers 154,074 square feet of famously eco-friendly facilities.

Cancún has it all: abundant meeting space, top hotels, a vast infrastructure of well-experienced meeting professionals, miles of Caribbean sun and sea, water sports, nature, archaeology, golf, shopping, dining, and nightlife. More than anything else, Cancún recognizes the value of giving groups a great experience, knowing the members will spread the word and be back for more.

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spacer1Mayan Mysteries
Cancún’s new $15-million Maya Museum brought hundreds of archaeological artifacts to the heart of the Hotel Zone, including recent discoveries and never-before-seen relics collected over 30 years by the National Institute of Anthropology and History. Next door, the island’s own archaeological site, San Miguelito, recently reopened to the public as well, after restoration of its 14 structures.

Pedals to the Metal
What better way to supercharge incentive programs than with racing lessons from a professional NASCAR driver and practice behind the wheel of a Lamborghini,
Ferrari, Lotus, or other top-performing car—either on a private speedway or a four-hour road trip through the Riviera Maya? After Exotic Rides debuted the experience in December 2011, it shot straight to the top of TripAdvisor’s reader recommendations.

Best Shot
Delegates short of time in the Hotel Zone can walk to at least one of the 13 golf courses (and counting) in the region. Iberostar Cancún Hotel, which bought the Hilton Cancún in 2011, purchased the neighboring 18 holes in 2012 and now welcomes everyone, whether guests of the hotel or not. Highlights include new carts, Calloway club rental, wildlife sightings, and views of the mainland over Nichupté Lagoon.

Spa Daze
Competition between Cancun’s dazzling array of spas keeps them all on their toes. All need to satisfy been-there, done-that travelers with originality, innovation, and the latest exotic treatments. The sumptuous new Gem Spa at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancún Resort & Spa illustrates the point with its jewel-inspired treatments in 26 therapy rooms—plus a complimentary ten-step hydrotherapy-ritual circuit.

Creature Features
Howler monkeys, pink flamingoes, dolphins, white-tailed deer, tropical rain forest trails, and one of the largest butterfly pavilions in the world fill Xcaret, a giant eco-theme park on the Riviera Maya. Jaguars, pumas, horses, a huge aquarium, underground river, and more contribute to the experience. Groups of 60 to 1,800 can end the day with dinner and a show in the park’s amphitheater and replicated Mayan ball court.

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Annette Burden

Annette Burden

Annette Burden has written and edited for Elite Meetings International since 2007. In addition to writing on travel for other publications, she founded and edited Meeting Traveler, Resorts & Great Hotels, and Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazines.

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