Prevue May/June 2015 - (Page 68)

Iberostar Playa Mita Exclusivity in Mexico's verdant Riviera Nayarit region [ON LOCATION] JESSIE FETTERLING L ocated about 35 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico's Riviera Nayarit is still fairly uninhabited with lush greenery that spans for miles from the beach to the surrounding hills-exactly what meeting planners want in order to give attendees a true getaway experience. That sense of seclusion is apparent at the new Iberostar Playa Mita located within Litibu. The 452-room resort had its soft opening in December 2013 and received a AAA Four-Diamond rating in May-an achievement that's just the beginning for the area. "For the Federal Government, the opening of this hotel is of great importance, as it allows us to continue improving the infrastructures in the region to offer a high-quality destination," says the country's Undersecretary of Tourism Operations, Carlos Joaquin. Because this part of Riviera Nayarit is just starting to stretch its legs, the property remains disconnected from the tourist vibe common in other Mexican meetings destinations. "This is a bonus for meeting planners because it means groups will come to the property and likely stay, encouraging attendees to engage in planned itineraries," says Annette Furman, director of groups and incentives for Iberostar Hotels & Resorts. "Plus, the all-inclusive offerings make it so that attendees don't have to pay for any additional food or drinks, which is a nice incentive." The exclusivity starts at the large gated entrance welcoming visitors into Litibu. After a wave through the gate, attendees are driven past the 18-hole Litibu Golf Course to the Iberostar entrance. The property's open-lobby design provides a welcometo-Mexico atmosphere with colorful fountains, thatched roofs and a decorative, beaded jaguar head that took an entire family of seven to construct. The resort expands beyond this entrance all the way to the beach, with four specialty restaurants, three outdoor pools and several bars scattered in between-the ideal playground for meeting attendees. All Iberostar chefs are specially trained in Spain, notes Furman, putting a fresh spin on Mexican cuisine. On-site activities abound with an on-site meetings staff ready to customize teambuilding activities and a daily activity board that attendees can use to plan their free time. Kayaking, windsurfing, golf, yoga, salsa dancing and water aerobics are also available, as well as organized water volleyball games. With miles of uninterrupted shoreline, a walk on the private beach in front of the hotel is a must for attendees. MEETINGS WITH FLAIR Groups can meet in the more than 7,000 sf of indoor meeting space or several outdoor venues such as the ocean-facing Rooftop Terrace, which holds up to 350 people. The 650-seat theater is available for groups before 6 p.m., when the hotel staff starts to prepare for the nightly live entertainment. The Broadway musical revue, for instance, entertains guests with classic Broadway hits from musicals such as "Mamma Mia," "Chicago" and the "Phantom of the Opera." La Tabla disco, adjacent to the theater, also provides additional event space before 11 p.m., when the surfer-themed venue turns into a salsa-dancing haven open to all guests. For a group's last night at the resort, a cocktail reception at the Sea Soul Bar makes an ideal toasting spot, especially if a famous Puerto Vallarta sunset decides to make an appearance. 64 | prevue magazine 64-65_Iberostar_San Diego.indd 64 4/22/15 12:35 PM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue May/June 2015

Planner’s Pick: South Africa
Fresh Meets: Sheraton Expands in China
Bureau Buzz: Meet Hawaii
Good Business: Accor on Gender Equality
Sea Shores: Windstar Cruises
Experience Luxury
On Location: Destination Resorts
On Location: Northeast Florida
On Location: Iberostar Playa Mita
On Location: Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
Checkout: Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall & Zilara Rose Hall

Prevue May/June 2015