Planners would be wise to pay attention to the destinations at the top of their attendees’ lists: When destination is reward, the effect on business programs can be huge. A place that puts the “me” in “meetings” triggers amongst delegates new depths of creativity and more profound levels of engagement. They want to go, and they’ll work hard to get there.
It’s when those places have a mindset for meetings—and first-rate host hotels to help attendees funnel their enthusiasm into productive, meaningful work—that planners can get excited, too. To find one such locale, just look south of the U.S. border. Throughout a country spirited with culture, stunning in scenery, and rooted by rich history is an impressive collection of resorts that are world-class in distinction but Mexican at heart.
The best destination hotels strike just the right balance, like that of the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort, which is nestled near the Banderas Bay and Sierra Madre Mountains on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The 433-room beach property is amenity-rich and steeped in luxury, but the experience for groups is rich with Mexican style—think cocktail receptions featuring house-made tequila from the property’s own agave farm and menus derived from Mexico’s fresh, piquant flavors. “Through the use of authentic sets, food, music, and people we bring the flavor of Mexico into meetings and events,” enthuses Robert Hayes, director of account sales for Marriott Caribbean and Latin America Resorts. A 6,000-square-foot ballroom and four intimate meeting rooms are just the right venues for attendees to turn that awe into achievement.
CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort
Cross the country, though, and the effect Mexico has on meetings is just as mighty: Cancun also serves as motivation and muse for business groups. There, clarity for attendees comes from the crystal-clear turquoise expanse of the Caribbean Sea, and ambitions are awakened at the sight of astounding ancient Mayan ruins. Reflection is nurtured at places like the AAA Five-Diamond-rated JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa. It’s a lavish retreat with amenities like a three-story spa and 448 guest rooms that envelop attendees with a sumptuous place to refresh after all the sightseeing and seminars. The sensation is different but just as enchanting at the adjacent 452-room CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort: The family-friendly haven has an aura of Mexican flair and charm that captivates attention in the way a destination resort should. Either way, business needs are facilitated in a big way: Combined, the two properties have more than 80,000 square feet of event space, indoors and out, with the background ranging from boardroom to ballroom to beach.
JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa
CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort
It’s no wonder planners and attendees can both say “Si!” to destinations Mexico, with hotels like these being not just the gateway to incredible, distinct experiences but also the point place for productivity. “Groups usually feel a very warm welcome and a great deal of comfort in the way the Mexican people service them,” says Hayes, “and the beauty of the destinations tends to increase one’s happiness.”