F&D International: Cancún


jwm_aerial_cmykThe CasaMagna Marriott Cancún Resort and the JW Marriott Cancún Resort & Spa are conveniently situated beachfront and less than 20 minutes from the Cancún International Airport. Christopher Calabrese, Vice President & General Manager of the Marriott Cancún Collection, highlights several other reasons why the resorts are popular with groups: “The Marriott Cancún Collection offers the largest conglomerate of hotel rooms in Cancún properties. This is because our sister properties, the JW Marriott Cancún Resort & Spa and CasaMagna Marriott Cancún Resort, are located side by side, offering over 88,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor and outdoor event space and 898 guestrooms combined. In addition, we offer a 2,000-plus-ft. stretch of beach for events.”

All of the shared meeting space is centralized on the lobby level, so meeting attendees can easily navigate between the properties. “From a logistical standpoint, a huge upside at our properties is that meeting attendees don’t have to leave the buildings to reach a convention center, as they would have to do in some of the neighboring properties,” says Calabrese. There are a total of 30 breakout rooms, including 12 at CasaMagna Marriott Cancún Resort and 18 at the JW Marriott Cancún Resort & Spa.

While the properties can accommodate all kinds of events, “nearly 99 percent of our group business comes from incentive groups,” says Calabrese. “While we see more domestic business in April and May, otherwise known as shoulder season, the remainder of the year we have mostly North American clientele in house, probably because of Cancún’s accessibility as a destination and our prime location within the Hotel Zone. While we do see a fair amount of business from corporate groups and associations — for example, a pharmaceutical company launching a product — it’s mainly incentive.”

Event Design

The Marriott’s Events Team works closely with client meeting planners to amplify their event through the integration of activities such as group fitness classes, which include kickboxing, yoga and spinning. The team also provides consultation on the design of special events and customizes the experience through its vendor partners.

“With our AV vendors, J&S and Sterling, we can transform our meeting spaces and bring meeting planners’ vision to life. We bring in magnificent props, and can change everything from the ceiling to walls to flooring, which is amazing for award presentations and big events,” says Calabrese. “Another offering that distinguishes us is our Red Coat Direct meeting planner app, which is a very useful tool that allows for constant communication between the meeting planner and our events team. With the app, they can let us know any needs without leaving their chairs, from coffee refills to room temperature change and anything else that comes up. We also just upgraded our Internet bandwidth to 300 mb, so our WiFi speed is lightning fast throughout both properties.”

Restaurants and Amenities

From Thai and Japanese to Argentine, fine Italian and American Southwest cuisine, the properties have nearly every craving covered. “All-inclusive meetings are on the rise, and for meeting planners who select an all-inclusive program, we have eight specialty restaurants between both hotels that are available to groups, regardless of which property they book,” Calabrese explains.

The properties share a 1,000-sq.-ft. Mayan-inspired spa facility, which is home to tennis courts, an indoor lap pool, Jacuzzis, plunge pools, steam rooms and saunas. Quiet adults-only pools and Bali daybeds offer a relaxing place to unwind in between meeting sessions.

Renovation Plans

The CasaMagna Marriott Cancún Resort will complete a $20 million guestroom renovation in October. As part of the project, wraparound balconies overlooking the ocean will be added to the Caribbean Suites and Executive Suites. Bathroom renovations have already been completed, including the installation of new, luxurious “Rain Forest” shower systems. The JW Marriott Cancún is scheduled for renovations starting January 2017.                   —Rachel Kapur

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