5 Fresh All-Inclusive Resorts for Meeting Groups

These one-price properties offer stress-free experiences for conference attendees.

Melody Maker Cancun Mexico
Melody Maker Cancún offers 679 guest rooms and over 33,000 square feet of meeting space.

If you’ve ever felt the searing exhaustion that comes from burnout, you’re not alone: A 2015 survey of 1,000 American professionals by Deloitte found that 77 percent had experienced employee burnout at their job, and that having an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration negatively impacts the quality of their work for 91 percent of people.

“Professionals today are undoubtedly feeling the pressure of an ‘always on’ work culture, causing stress and sometimes leading to burnout,” reported Deloitte, which said organizations are “missing the mark when it comes to developing well-being programs that their employees find valuable to address stress in the workplace.”

Against that backdrop, meetings and events have a new, important role to play in the lives of professionals: Their job isn’t just educating attendees, entertaining them or even engaging them; increasingly, it’s also refreshing, resuscitating and revitalizing them.

Of course, few venues are as well suited to this new task as all-inclusive resorts, which give meeting groups an opportunity to conduct serious business in a stress-free environment so they go back to the office feeling invigorated instead of exhausted.

Take, for example, the recently opened Melody Maker Cancún, a beachfront entertainment resort in Mexico that describes itself as “Vegas-meets-Cancún.” Opened in December 2018, the all-inclusive property was named for the weekly British music magazine Melody Maker. On the one hand, it has over 33,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a new convention center that’s opening in May. On the other hand, it has 679 guest rooms and suites, a concert venue that’s home to the world’s largest video-projection mapping technology, a day club with cabanas and day beds, a pool and Jacuzzi, a night club, five restaurants serving global cuisine, champagne and coffee bars, a fitness center and a spa.

It’s business meets pleasure for groups of up to 1,000 people.

“At Melody Maker Hotels, we believe it’s better to live life than to dream it,” said Melody Maker product and brand manager Pablo Alvarez Sastre. “Our hotel concept aims to provide guests with quality, ever-lasting experiences through our premier entertainment and programming that will keep them wanting and returning for more.”

Four More All-Inclusive Event Venues

Melody Maker Cancún isn’t the only all-inclusive resort that is tapping into the demand for stress-free meetings. Here are four others that are ideal for burnout-busting groups:

• The Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic). Opened in December 2018, the Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real is a “resort within a resort” located within Meliá Hotels International’s all-inclusive Paradisus Palma Real. Designed in the shape of a circle to reflect a commitment to “wholeness and perfection,” the Grand Reserve features 432 one- and two-bedroom suites, including a selection of swim-up suites with direct access to an exclusive pool, lush garden areas and a solarium. Also on hand are seven restaurants and bars, a full-service spa, a beach club, a family-friendly kids club and waterpark, and a fitness facility. Plus, groups have access to all the services and amenities at Paradisus Palma Real, where there are 15 restaurants, a theater, a golf course, five pools, a spa and an 18,000-square-foot convention center.

• Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana (Dominican Republic). Another all-inclusive option in the Dominican Republic will soon be the adults-only Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana, which is set to open in November in Cap Cana, a master-planned, gated resort community next to Punta Cana. Located on the shores of Juanillo Beach, the resort will have 375 oceanfront suites -- some of which will be swim-up suites -- as well as six restaurants, five bars and lounges, a beachfront infinity pool, a state-of-the-art gym, an outdoor amphitheater with live entertainment, a 26,900-square-foot underground spa and over 45,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 15,000-square-foot ballroom and 16 breakout rooms. Its sister resort, the family-friendly Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana, will have another 375 suites, as well as a water park.

• Hilton Playa del Carmen (Mexico). The Royal Playa del Carmen became the Hilton Playa del Carmen in November 2018. The adults-only resort -- which is in the midst of a major renovation that’s scheduled for completion in December -- has 513 guest suites, including swim-up and beachfront walk-out options; seven restaurants; a coffee house; five bars and lounges, including a swim-up bar and a tequileria; a fitness center; a spa and beauty salon; two swimming pools; Zumba and dance classes; nightly live entertainment, and over 6,800 square feet of meeting space for groups of up to 700 people.

• Bungalows Key Largo (Florida). For smaller groups that want to meet closer to home, there’s Bungalows Key Largo, the Florida Keys’ first all-inclusive resort. Opened in December 2018, it occupies 12 acres and has 135 freestanding accommodations -- including 30 waterfront bungalows -- most of which total 1,000 square feet and come with their own outdoor plunge pools or tubs. Amenities include two in-ground pools; multiple indoor and outdoor dining options; 1,000 feet of shoreline; three piers for boats of up to 40 feet; and a boutique spa with men's and women's locker rooms, a steam room, a sauna, indoor relaxation areas and four outdoor treatment cabanas adjacent to a “Zen Pool,” where attendants serve spa-inspired cocktails and beverages. Additionally, the property has 4,000 square feet of event space for groups of up to 270, and offers a full buyout option.