Prevue September/October 2015 - (Page 12)

fresh meets Grupo Posadas Expands Into the US Five cities anchor the award-winning Latin lifestyle hotel brand, Live Aqua Hotels & Resorts Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive M exico's largest hotel operator has embarked on its first international expansion with five properties set for Miami, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago beginning in 2017. The $450 million investment, in partnership with private equity firm Bighorn Capital, Inc., opens up the awardwinning lifestyle brand to the substantial Latin American and international tourists that frequent these metropolitan areas. It's not by accident that all properties will open in cities with high Hispanic populations. In fact, it's this all-around Latin flavor that David Manzella, VP of group sales and marketing for Posadas USA, is banking on. "The US-based hotels will have a similar concept to our Live Aqua city hotels, either existing or being built, throughout Mexico-a luxury, lifestyle hotel enjoyed by a variety of distinguished travelers." Chicago is set to debut the first Live Aqua hotel in 2017-an 82-story, 250 to 300-room doozy sharing tower space with NYbased Dream Hotels in the city's West Loop, 250 to 300 rooms being the sweet spot for all US Live Aqua properties. Developers can't seem to build fast enough in Chicago's West Loop, whose inventory of old industrial buildings and overall charm have made it a hot spot for new residential towers. Though an entirely new build, Manzella anticipates Live Aqua's "warm and attentive service" to be a key differentiator for US planners, and says they plan to work closely with veteran hotel management company Debut Hotel Group to cross-sell their existing loyal customer base to establish the brand in the US MICE market. The Debut Hotel Group also owns and operates a number of successful hotel brands including Dream Hotels, Night Hotels and Time Hotels. Another key focus is to leverage local environments into the US builds in a similar fashion as the Latin American properties, with emphasis on friendly service and traditional Latin hospitality. "By incorporating the local history, culture and people into an event, we allow attendees to [connect] with the destination, creating lasting memories of their incentive or meeting," Manzella says, referencing the Mayan experiences that have taken place at Live Aqua Cancun All Inclusive Resort and cultural experiences held at Live Aqua Mexico City Hotel & Spa. As a leader in the Mexican hospitality industry, Live Aqua Hotels & Resorts' elegant, sophisticated and culturally rich vibe has helped it receive the accolades of "best resort" in 2013 by Travel + Leisure, made Conde Nast's 2014 Hot List and has won honors in Trip Advisor's Traveler's Choice Awards. Manzella hopes to keep this momentum going. Back in Mexico, a new adults-only resort is set to open this fall in Puerto Vallarta. Positioned against the Pacific Ocean and Sierra Madre Mountain rainforest, the 443-suite Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive will boast the largest conference center in the city. Groups can meander along the recently revamped malecon boardwalk for shopping, street art and galleries, restaurants and a vibrant nightlife scene. Along with 10 meeting rooms for up to 1,300 people auditorium-style, an eco jungle area is in the works as one of the more interesting options to meet on-site, with zip-lining, rappelling, jungle tours and more programming on the way. -Johnalee Johnston; "By incorporating the local history, culture and people into an event, we allow attendees to [connect] with the destination, creating lasting memories of their incentive or meeting." 12 | prevue magazine

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue September/October 2015

Planner’s Pick: Santa Fe
Fresh Meets: Grupo Posadas Expands Into US
Bureau Buzz: Detroit CVB
Good Business: Singapore Tourism Board
Sea Shores: Cuba: Pioneering a “New” World
On the Verge
On Location: Costa Rica
On Location: Langham Place New York
On Location: Norfolk
Checkout: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Prevue September/October 2015