By Elizabeth Valerio
Some employees groan at the idea of traveling for work. All the packing, flavorless meetings and new colleagues’ names to remember can make the trip more challenging than a day in the office. But many companies are choosing to branch out, flying their employees to more enjoyable locations – Mexico anyone?
“Corporations tend to pick resort hotels, usually deluxe or better, in cities that offer a variety of activities,” said vacation specialist Annette Vitello, explaining that Phoenix, Denver and Ft. Lauderdale are frequent locations on U.S. soil. Vitello is an agent at Abacus Travel, an agency that specializes in personal and business travel. She also said that corporations have recently been more interested in more tropical locations. “Cancun has also been extremely popular and Los Cabos is another destination of choice for corporate meetings and incentives,” said Vitello. And as you may have guessed, these warmer, ocean-surrounded destinations are favorites of employees. Denver is nice, but Jamaica is better, so for your next business convention, push for one of these hot spots.
The Hyatt Cancun Caribe Resort in Cancun, Mexico (cancun.caribe.hyatt.com) has an extensive business center. In addition to their three auditorium-style meeting rooms, the hotel recently formed an alliance with the Cancun Convention Center, a facility with 1,600 rooms to accommodate corporate meetings of all sizes. The resort also has a VIP boardroom for smaller executive meetings, overlooking the neighboring lagoon. This facility also features computers and projectors with advanced technology and sound systems. As for the rooms, the Hyatt’s suites each have a private balcony or terrace, flat-screen televisions and high-speed Internet. Room service is always available but there are six restaurants on the grounds, just in case corporate guests want to meet up with colleagues or clients after business hours.
Also south of the border, the Marquis Los Cabos (marquisloscabos.com), in Los Cabos, Mexico is a popular resort for corporate travelers. The hotel’s master ballroom is frequently used for business conventions and seats up to 1,000 people. Features include individual light dimmer controls and timers, automatic projection screens, personal air conditioning controls, and telephone and computer connections. Rooms and rates are similar to the Hyatt in Cancun, but the suites overlook the Sea of Cortez with balconies complete with tables and chairs, so you can watch the sunrise while drinking your morning coffee.
Farther east in the Caribbean Sea is Montego Bay, Jamaica, which houses the Rose Hall Resort and Country Club (rosehallresort.com). With an array of seven different room themes and styles, guests are able to select the setup that best meets their needs. The same goes for their business facilities – corporate clients can choose from indoor and outdoor venues and seven different meeting and event rooms. All business facilities’ floor plans are easily modified to function with whatever presentation or meeting you have in mind. The resort’s 12 restaurants and lounges don’t hurt either, and provide more spaces to conduct business or to simply relax.
San Juan, Puerto Rico is also attractive to corporate clients. According to Vitello, the Intercontinental (ichotelsgroup.com) threw quite the convention back in February and has been a popular pick for corporate travel ever since. In addition to the 13 meeting rooms and specialized suites, the Intercontinental offers private activity consultants to help guests enjoy all of the services and activities that San Juan has to offer. The staff at the Intercontinental wants corporate clients to make the best of their time overseas whether guests have a free hour or a few days off – shopping, a local eatery or horseback riding can all be done with a little bit of planning from local experts. These services make the Intercontinental an attractive option for corporate clients.