8 Great Cancun Venues for Meetings Big and Small
Planning duties recently took us to one of North America’s great event destinations: Cancun, Mexico. What we found was just about everything planners dream of — great rates, easy accessibility, lots of activities options, and a wide range of hotel venues to cover the meetings waterfront. From intimate, ultra-exclusive spots to midsized brand names to convention-ready “big guns,” Cancun has upward of 30 venues to choose from. Here’s a topline on a few of the area’s great meetings options to put on your list.
Secrets The Vine Cancun
Secrets The Vine (pictured above) is a sleek, oceanfront, all-inclusive luxury hotel with four-diamond pedigree. At just 5 years old, it’s also among the area’s newer arrivals. Inside the cool, cream-colored marble lobby, feelings of relaxation and serenity hit immediately. With nearly 500 guest rooms, the hotel is well-suited to handle a crowd — though attendees with young children will have to leave them home, as the resort doesn’t allow guests younger than 14.
- Meeting Space: There is over 17,000 square feet of meeting and function space — including a ballroom for up to 800 guests, four individual meeting rooms, a private boardroom, and spacious pre-function areas — occupying one floor of the hotel. Several spacious pool- and beach-side spaces are available as well.
- Guestrooms: 497 guest rooms with balconies overlooking ocean and lagoon views.
- Additional Attraction: Sommeliers lead twice-daily wine tastings, and the resort uses environmentally-friendly practices, such as the Turtle Release initiative, which lets guests participate in the staff-supervised program to guide just-hatched turtles safely into the ocean.
Nizuc Resort & Spa
Looking to impress high-level attendees? This is the place. It’s hard not to be astounded when you walk into the super-luxurious atmosphere of Nizuc Resort & Spa. Design-conscious meeting guests will appreciate Nizuc’s modern-meets-Mayan, masculine chic, while planners will revel in its top-of-the line facilities, service, and amenities.
- Meeting Space: A free-standing convention center features a 7,000-square-foot ballroom with stunning floor-to-ceiling water views (up to 450 reception guests); two breakout rooms with 1,000-plus square feet; and spacious prefunction areas. Numerous other indoor, outdoor, bar, restaurant, patio, and beach-side spaces also available for private events.
- Guest Rooms: 274 suites and villas with water views and balconies (some with plunge pools).
- Additional Attractions: Set in a private 29-acre, waterfront nature preserve that’s located just 15 minutes from the airport, the resort is home to a 30,000-square-foot Espa Spa with Mayan-inspired treatments, plus an outpost of famed restaurant Indochine.
InterContinental Presidente Cancun
Located at the northern end of Cancun’s Hotel Zone on a private, white-sand beach, the InterContinental Presidente is a (slightly) hidden gem. Quiet and sophisticated, the hotel features spacious, recently renovated rooms done in tones of ocean blue, pale green, or apricot. They’re soothing and chic yet smartly designed for those of us who need to get work done while gazing out giant windows to take in the ocean vistas.
- Meeting Space: Housed in its own free-standing building, the ballroom has roughly 5,000 square feet of flexible space for up to 400 guests and opens onto a broad, covered patio that’s perfect for breaks and gatherings. In addition to five meeting rooms, there’s also a separate registration/check-in area, plus several restaurants and pool- and beach-side spaces that are available for private events.
- Guestrooms: 300 guest rooms, all offering either ocean or lagoon views.
- Additional Attraction: An excellent location that’s less than five minutes from shops and nightlife and a 10-minute walk or quick drive to the Isla Mujeres Ferry makes the InterContinental Presidente the perfect jumping-off point for a half-day group excursion to the beloved bohemian island.
The Ritz-Carlton Cancun
The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun is the embodiment of European-style elegance, service, and comfort. Grand but not stuffy, spacious yet intimate, the oceanfront hotel is a multiple-award-winning standout. It’s a home away from home for luxury business travelers and a favorite among planners needing the highest levels of luxury for small to midsized groups.
- Meeting Space: With 27,000 square feet of flexible meeting and prefunction spaces, the hotel can host up to 1,100 guests. Oceanfront, pool-side, and beach-side spaces are also available for receptions and entertaining.
- Guestrooms: 363 beautifully appointed, freshly renovated guest rooms, all with ocean views and balconies or terraces.
- Additional Attraction: The Ritz-Carlton’s on-site Culinary Center hosts small groups for interactive, hands-on cooking experiences led the hotel’s expert chef instructors. There’s also an on-site, full-service destination management company.
CONVENTION BIG GUNS
Though their vibes couldn’t be more different, if it’s on-site convention space you need, then put the Big Four on your list: the JW Marriott, the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach, the Paradisius, and the Hard Rock, all of which offer fantastic facilities for midsized conventions and expos.
Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun
Perhaps the most glamorous granddaddy of them all, the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun offers over 40,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, an additional 45,000 square feet of outdoor space, 15,000 square feet of exhibit space, and over 600 guest rooms, all with ocean views that will knock your socks off. Should your group need even more space, the Cancun International Convention Center is just steps way. But what really sets the hotel apart is its unmatched spa — perhaps the most luxurious in town, with 40,000 square feet, indoor pools, and atriums that can also be used for elegant, private events.
JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa
Another of the area’s big-time players is the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, because it is a facility with a little something extra: an equally sizable sister property next door, the Marriott Cancun Resort, which is connected by covered walkways. What that means for planners is combined meeting space of roughly 88,000 square feet, more than 51,000 square feet of outdoor and beachfront areas, and 900 guest rooms. Among the properties’ more unusual amenities are an organic herb garden for group artisanal cocktail classes, plus on-site scuba-diving certification for attendees who plan to stay after the meetings wrap up.
Hard Rock Hotel Cancun
The all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel Cancun offers all the rock ’n’ roll memorabilia your attendees would expect from the chain, as well as 600 guest rooms and roughly 30,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. Function areas have their own private wing of the hotel, complete with separate entrance and registration areas. The pièce de résistance is a covered outdoor arena/performance space that seats upward of 500 guests.
For midsized conventions, the Paradisus Cancun features about 30,000 square feet of meeting space and more than 670 beautifully appointed guest rooms. What makes the Paradisus special is not only the substantial facilities but also the sheer volume of breakout spaces — 21 of them. Another point of difference? The on-site Tempo restaurant by foodie favorite and Michelin eight-star-winning chef Martin Berasategui.