Paradisus Resorts, the all-inclusive luxury brand owned and operated by Meliá Hotels International, opened two properties last November in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The adults-only Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla and family-friendly Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda are joined by over 25,000 sf of various meeting spaces, including a 5,600-sf theater, in the central “Zocalo” area.
The 394-suite La Perla is the more upscale of the two properties, enhancing the all-inclusive experience with their exclusive Royal Service concept. This resort-within-a-resort product offers attendees a private check-in area and lounge, a personal butler and your own Jacuzzi out on the terrace.
Some really fun options for team building here. Host a Mexican fiesta in one of the 14 meeting spaces, treat the group to a tequila tasting on the beach, or gather the troops for a private cooking class inside one of the resort’s 14 restaurants.
We spoke with John Iannini, director of meetings/events, Americas, for an update:
Prevue: John, what are the hotel’s top selling points for U.S. groups?
John Iannini: I think our top selling point is the all-inclusive aspect. When we do a price quote for a customer we design that quote based on the specifics of the group so that their experience is literally all-inclusive. If they want a special function included we can include that in there,so that we can find the best opportunity for that piece of business.
This also includes a choice of private functions anywhere on our property. We have covered palapas, we can offer a function around the pool, and we have our ballrooms or even the breakout spaces. If they want to do a beach party then we can do that, although we need to get a beach permit for that.
How does La Perla fit into the category of Affordable Luxury?
To start, every room is a junior suite. It’s not the typical guestroom; it’s a room where the commode is not part of the bathroom. Inside each bathroom are two sliding doors that you can slide back and the area can become exposed. You can make it part of your room so you can be in the bathroom but have natural daylight. There’s a lot of airiness to it.
Things like the pillowtop mattresses that Melia uses, iPod docking stations and anything that a guest could want like a built-in luggage rack can be found in the guestrooms. A fully-stocked mini bar and complimentary internet are also featured in our rooms. And every room has a patio, which gives you extra space in this sun and fun destination. People love that they can go out on the patio and sit around the table, and there’s upscale furniture out there too.
There are upscale bath products, a robe for every guest, turn-down service, slippers and an umbrella. They’ve really thought of everything a guest might need while they’re in the room. We don’t use plastic bags for laundry but they’re actually cloth embroidered logo bags. Shoe shining is available and every morning a newspaper of your choice is placed outside your door. And guestrooms average about 600 square feet.
As far as the balance of the resort, we have the two resorts side-by-side and the center is El Zocalo. It’s a Mexican town square, if you will. That’s where the hubbub of the activity is. You only have to walk a short distance from the U-shaped resort to that central area that houses the spa, all the bars and restaurants, and extensive meeting space. We have a 16,000-sf ballroom, a built-in theater and stage, and nine break-out rooms, all housed in one air-conditioned unit where we also have a convention services department.
We have an array of restaurants with different cuisines and for the group market we have the ability to do dinearounds. We can also reserve spaces for them like the Zocalo and GABI Club, and GABI is Melia’s signature meeting spot. It’s a bar and also a fun spot for customers to unwind at the end of the busy day. We do a lot of local entertainment in there or we can do private parties. It’s not on the beach but it’s a sandy area located where the boardwalk meets the mangroves, so it’s just a short walk over to the beach.