Part of Mexico's allure is the fantastic diversity the country has to offer. Visitors can climb one of the world's largest pyramids in the ancient city of Teotihuacan
(above), just an hour outside of Mexico City; visit historic Colonial towns in the interior, or experience gorgeous beach resorts on either coast.
The Hard Rock Hotel Guadalajara, a 350-room new-build in Mexico's second-largest city, is set to open this month. The tower is part of a new mixed-use complex, Iconia, that promises additional dining and entertainment options within the coming months. Less than 2 miles from the Expo, the hotel will offer a fitness center and spa, a rooftop pool, a signature restaurant, five meeting rooms and flexible event space.
The Remède Spa at the St. Regis Mexico City wants to help guests stay focused -- and the hotel claims to be the first in Mexico City that offers a Meditation Butler to help accomplish that. Using the technology of the brain-sensing Muse headband, the Meditation Butler can help guide distracted brains back to a state of calm and mindfulness.
Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos opened last month with 374 guest rooms and 14,000 square feet of event space. A sister resort in this luxury all-inclusive brand is busy pampering guests in Cancún.
There's a development boom just north of Cancún in Playa Mujeres, but for now the scene is tranquil and the white-sand beaches secluded. The 502-room Dreams and neighboring 424-room Secrets remain surrounded by mangroves.
• The 426-room Iberostar Cancún is on target to open a new 13-story tower before the end of this year, adding 154 luxury suites to its room count. The beachside tower will be home to a new bar, restaurant and pool as well. The restaurant will accommodate up to 232 people and serve buffet-style breakfast and lunch, followed by a-la-carte dining in the evening.
• Palladium Hotel Group will debut two hotels this November in Costa Mujeres, an exclusive beach about 30 minutes north of Cancún proper. The luxury all-inclusive properties, the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa and the TRS Coral Hotel, will offer 673 and 473 rooms, respectively. Guest rooms in both hotels will have hydro-massage tubs, balconies or terraces, and stunning views; the TRS Coral Hotel will be adults-only and promises a more VIP boutique hotel atmosphere. Amenities shared by both properties include seven themed restaurants and two buffets, five swimming pools, a spa, a gym and a kids' club. Shared meeting facilities include a convention center overlooking the lagoon, with 13,000 square feet of meeting space for up to 1,050 attendees.
• The Óleo Cancún Playa Hotel, a 168-room boutique resort in the Hotel Zone, opened late last year on the site of the former Yalmakan Hotel. The resort is owned and operated by Atelier de Hoteles, a relatively new chain that infuses new properties with contemporary Mexican art and design. The Óleo Cancún features seven F&B outlets on-site, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a VIP concierge and complimentary Internet. Atelier plans to open two more hotels in December 2018, in Playa Mujeres: the 422-room, adults-only Atelier Playa Mujeres, and the 173-room Estudio Playa Mujeres. The complex will feature a shared golf course and a three-level spa; Atelier will have eight restaurants and Estudio six. The hotels will share nearly 21,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 14,880-square-foot main ballroom that can be divided into seven breakout rooms, as well as five additional meeting rooms and an exhibition area.
Meeting Hotels: Among the many meetings-friendly properties in Cancún's Hotel Zone are the 2,404-room Moon Palace Cancún; 687-room Paradisus Cancún; 602-room Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancún; 617-room Crown Paradise Club; 592-room Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas & Spa, Cancún; 547-room Hyatt Ziva Cancún; 450-room Marriott Cancún Resort; 447-room JW Marriott Cancún Resort & Spa; 371-room Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancún; 370-room Westin Resort & Spa, Cancún; 365-room Ritz-Carlton, Cancún; 307-room Hyatt Zilara Cancún; 285-room Beach Palace, and 260-room Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancún.
To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com.
Convention Center: Cancún International Convention Center; total exhibit space, approximately 50,590 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 10; +52 (998) 881-0400
Airport Transit: Cancún International Airport, about 12.5 miles from Cancún Hotel Zone. Hotel transportation may be booked in advance of arrival; transfer cost by shared van, approximately US$8--$10; taxi, approximately US$50--$60
Taxes: Room tax, 3%; sales tax (IVA), 16%; total tax on hotel rooms, 19%. Note: Sales tax can be refunded for foreign groups.
Group Venue: For large-scale events, the Marriott Cancún Collection offers a "Campus Sell" -- wherein planners can do a buyout of the adjacent Marriott and JW Marriott resorts. Together, the properties have 898 guest rooms, nine restaurants and more than 80,000 square feet of meeting and event facilities, including 2,000 square feet on the beach.
Contact: Cancún Travel, +52 (998) 881-2747