Prevue May-June 2018 - 28

The New Luxury
Immersive programs redefine all-inclusive luxury throughout Mexico
and the Caribbean. By Steve Grasso & Barbara Scofidio

F

For today's attendees, luxury experiences
are more likely to include immersive
experiences of local culture, such as
hands-on workshops deep in the Mayan
jungle or progressive culinary adventures
that incorporate storytelling and cultural
knowledge. Technology also plays a part
in the luxury offering, with instant butler
service available via a smart phone app, or
in-room personal assistants ready to screen
messages leaving attendees free to focus
on the conference or meeting.

VELAS RESORTS
At the Grand Velas Riviera Maya in
Mexico groups are greeted at check-in
with guacamole and ceviche carts offering
several types of fish and seafood, and a
choice of ten different types of guacamole.
It's one of several ways that the brand
incorporates experiential programming into

28 | prevuemeetings.com

"Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All Compare."
Busy execs can disconnect from technology
by leaving their phones with a professional
concierge who will filter incoming messages
and respond as directed.
"In the 29 years since the first Velas
resort opened, the bar has been raised for
the luxury resort experience," says Jorge
Meraz, director of cluster group sales at
Velas Resorts. "It's not enough to have
fine dining and service, designer amenities
and cutting-edge facilities. Attendees want
to experience the local culture and have the
option to explore it more deeply, whether it's
through more contact with locals and their
traditions, or by participating in activities that
make memories."
Cultural experiences for groups include
"Dreamcatcher Workshops" at the Grand
Velas Riviera Nayarit, where attendees
are instructed in the 2,000-year-old

tradition. Or, "Straw Mosaic" workshops at
Velas Vallarta, where they can learn the
pre-Hispanic technique made with beeswax
and dyed straws.
"We are continuing to bring local
color into the more unexpected parts of a
meeting and attendee stay," says Meraz.
"For instance, our arts and crafts meeting
breaks are designed not only as team
building exercises, but also to stimulate
creativity. These include everything from
mandala coloring books and painting to
straw basket making and glass blowing."

FIESTA AMERICANA HOTELS &
RESORTS
"Not all all-inclusive resorts are created
equally," says David Manzella, SVP of sales
and marketing for Fiesta Americana
Grand Meetings Mexico. "Our all-inclusive
resorts have genuinely evolved over the past


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