by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | March 01, 2004

Iberostar Paraiso Lindo’s new convention center

Iberostar Paraiso Lindo’s new convention center

Development in Cancun
continues to flourish at a furious pace. The Maya Riviera, a length of coastline that stretches south of the hotel zone from Playa del Carmen to Tulum, is exploding with a bevy of new all-inclusive hotels and tourist attractions.
    In an effort to lure even more meetings and incentive business, which is estimated to top US$29 million this year, the city is pumping significant monies into beautification programs to spruce up public parks and shopping and nightlife areas in and around the Cancun Convention Center. 

Last fall, the Cancun Convention Center completed a renovation of its lobby level and adjacent exhibit area, which encompasses 42,291 square feet of space.
    Remodeling continues at Cancun International Airport. Last December, a renovation of all departure and check-in gate areas was completed. In addition, passengers for Aero Mexico and Mexicana Airlines can relax in two newly opened VIP club lounges.

On the hotel front
The new 402-room Sofitel Cancun is scheduled to open this spring. The property will feature 20,000 square feet of meeting space, a full-service spa and three restaurants.
    Spain-based Riu Hotels has opened its third Cancun property. The all-inclusive 450-room Riu Palace Las Americas opened in February, a mere five-minute walk from the Cancun Convention Center.
    Shopping will soon be taken to a new level at the Kukulcan Plaza shopping mall. A new extension called Luxury Avenue, to be completed by year’s end, will house a row of upscale designer boutiques, including names such as Fendi, Max Mara and Mont Blanc.
    A mega-nightclub complex is rising on the site of the defunct Hard Rock Cafe, which was purchased in 2003 by Avalon Resorts. The City, an upscale entertainment venue scheduled to open at year’s end, will comprise a trendy nightclub outfitted with the latest high-tech gear, an open-air beach bar, a Porter House Grill restaurant and several lounge areas.
    In June 2003, the 450-room Meliá Turquesa converted to an all-inclusive resort, changing its name, fittingly, to Meliá Turquesa All Inclusive Resort.

The Maya Riviera
The 2,031-room Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, previously the Moon Palace Golf Resort, is adding a 19,469- square-foot full-service spa. Set to begin pampering this spring, the spa will feature 30 treatment rooms.
    Making its debut in November was the 446-room Iberostar Paraiso Lindo. Besides three meeting rooms, the property features a separate convention center facility capable of hosting groups of up to 1,000.
    Last month, the 379-room Westin Regina Cancun, which last summer added 98 guest rooms, wrapped up a US$5 million top-down renovation of all guest rooms, public spaces and banquet rooms, which included the addition of wireless options throughout the property.
   Xcaret keeps getting bigger and better. The park has opened a third river, Paradise, for rafting excursions and has added a Mayan Village, where guests get an up-close view of artisans at work and then have an opportunity to purchase their handicrafts. Also on display are a pair of recently rescued howler monkeys.