Once upon a time, Cancún, Mexico, was best known as a raucous spring break destination for over-served college students and sun-hungry American tourists. In recent years, however, international travelers have discovered another, more sophisticated side of the city that appeals not only to more mature visitors, but also to meeting and incentive groups -- which continue to flock to the Yucatán Peninsula to experience new and renovated resorts that cater to serious businesspeople in need of a serious escape.
One such property is the all-inclusive, adults-only Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancún, which in April completed a multimillion-dollar renovation, parent company Palace Resorts announced last month. Encompassing both interior and exterior updates, the renovation included the lobby, which was redesigned “as a nod to the era of grand hotel lobbies as urban meeting places,” Palace said in a press release; all 260 guest rooms and suites, which were redesigned with a breezy white color palette; and the resort’s dining program, which was completely revamped to include six new restaurants, as well as new décor and upgraded menus at two existing outlets.
Le Blanc’s 8,115 square feet of meeting space also was made over with new interiors -- including new décor, carpeting, doors and flooring, as well as new “smart” controls for lighting, temperature and sound -- while its spa was upgraded with a new signature service: the Balchè Massage, which utilizes balchè, a fermented drink from the Yucatán region that’s made from tree bark and honey.
“The investment in these unparalleled renovations to our AAA Five Diamond brand reinforces our commitment to continue to be the leader in the luxury, upscale, adults-only, all-inclusive market,” said Gibran Chapur, executive vice president of Palace Resorts. “We spared no detail in the renovations and upgrades, which are evident in their opulence and design. From fine dining to an innovative spa and on-trend wellness options, to lavish accommodations and top-notch service, Le Blanc Spa Resort will continue to be recognized around the world as the top luxury hotel in Cancún.”
Four More Cancún Resorts to Consider
Properties like Le Blanc Spa Resort used to be the exception in Cancún. Now, they’re increasingly becoming a rule. With that in mind, here are four more new or updated properties that promise to redefine Cancún for meeting groups:
• Melody Maker Cancún. Opened in December 2018, Melody Maker Cancún describes itself as “Vegas-meets-Cancún.” Named for the weekly British music magazine Melody Maker, the beachfront, all-inclusive resort offers 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, not to mention over 33,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a new convention center that’s scheduled to open this month.
• Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancún. Although it originally was built in 2005, Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancún closed shortly thereafter when it was damaged by Hurricane Wilma. After an extensive renovation, it reopened in 2008. Ten years later, in December 2018, it completed yet another major renovation. The update encompassed the 371 guest rooms and suites, each of which was refurbished; all eight restaurants, which were updated with new designs and menus; the Aqua Club lounge; and all public areas, including the resort's beach and seven pools. Also on-site are a spa and 16,000 square feet of meeting space.
• Iberostar Cancún Star Prestige. Located within the footprint of the larger Iberostar Cancún is Iberostar Cancún Star Prestige, a new all-inclusive luxury offering comprising 156 suites in a sparkling new beachfront hotel tower. Opened last fall, the adults-only property offers guests private balconies with whirlpool hot tubs, a private beach club with Balinese day beds and sun chairs, a private club lounge serving premium beverages and complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a new lobby bar and a new buffet-style restaurant. Plus, guests enjoy access to Iberostar Cancún, which has five restaurants, an 18-hole championship golf course, a fitness center, basketball and tennis courts, a dive center and a convention center with 50,000 square feet of meeting space.
• Royalton Suites Cancún Resort & Spa. In February, Blue Diamond Resorts opened the all-inclusive Royalton Suites Cancún Resort & Spa. Located in Cancún’s “Hotel Zone” tourism district, the property has its own meeting space along with 180 suites, nightly entertainment, family-friendly amenities like a kids club and a kids-friendly splash pad, seven restaurants, a spa and fitness center, and the adults-only SkyClub, with 360-degree views, a rooftop pool with cabanas, dining and a nightclub.