A sanctuary of traditional elegance — yet imbued with the relaxed feeling of the Caribbean — The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun presides over its stretch of white-sand beach like a stately grande dame. (2009 marked its 14th consecutive year as a AAA five-diamond property). The hotel has more than 27,000 square feet of meeting space, including two ballrooms, six conference rooms, and extensive outdoor function areas. For small groups of up to 60 people, like the group of financial and insurance meeting planners I visited with in November, the hotel can set up a private check-in at the sixth-floor Group Lounge, where access is controlled by a dedicated concierge.
All of the resort's 365 guest rooms and suites have sweeping ocean views, and I loved sleeping in the supremely comfortable Ritz-Carlton bed while hearing the ocean waves lapping the shore outside. Throughout the various indoor and outdoor facilities, specialty concierges and other friendly staff deliver the high level of service that has become synonymous with the Ritz-Carlton brand. Among the recreational options is the Kayantá Spa, offering therapies influenced by ancient cultures from around the world. One of the newest additions to this impeccably maintained property is a gleaming Culinary Center with a state-of-the-art kitchen overlooking the Caribbean. Here, small groups can participate in cooking sessions with the chef de cuisine, and/or wine and tequila tastings. The chef specializes in teaching modern Mexican recipes but sessions can also be tailored to other styles of cooking.
Among the highlights of my visit were evening events that showcased what The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun can offer to groups looking for creativity and delicious dining, both formal and casual. One evening, a ballroom morphed into the Mayan jungle: As we pushed through giant leaves and palm fronds to enter, it even smelled like the jungle. An in-house staff of dedicated conference service professionals assists planners with every phase of the meeting.