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The brand travel agents know well as the Palace Resorts family of all-inclusive resorts is steadily going through a transformation into Hard Rock Hotel properties. The changes go far beyond bolting a Hard Rock logo onto the side of the building. Once the changeover is complete on a property, the ambience, interior design, rooms, dining venues and public spaces are virtually unrecognizable.
The 601-room Hard Rock Hotel Cancun is the latest resort to officially make the transformation from its former incarnation, the Cancun Palace. The beachfront All Inclusive Collection hotel is part of a major push by Hard Rock Hotels into Mexico. While having a hip, rock ‘n’ roll edge, the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun is thoroughly family-friendly.
“It’s a juggling game, crafting your message to balance marketing to families and marketing to the young singles market,” said Frank Maduro, vice president of marketing, All Inclusive Collection. “We’re bringing fun back into the all-inclusive, while still maintaining a level of sophistication.”
On arrival, guests will notice the hotel’s Sound of Your Stay program, which is designed to provide guests with an all-encompassing rock ‘n’ roll experience during their vacation. Wherever you go, you’ll hear music piped in, from classic tunes such as Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Rollin’ on the River” to more modern music from artists like Moby. A drum kit from Led Zeppelin greets visitors as they enter the reception area. The kit is the centerpiece of the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun’s collection of rock memorabilia, which lines the walls of the hotel’s public spaces. Once guests are outside by the resort’s expansive poolscape, they will be in the hands of the resort’s Vibe Manager, who adjusts the music to the time of day and mood of the guests. Additionally, in keeping with the Hard Rock tradition, the property will host live concerts, which will be offered free to guests at the resort.
One of the most popular room categories at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun is the Deluxe Family category, with two connecting suites, one with a king bed and another with two double beds. The suites include a double Jacuzzi, L’Oreal Kids bath products, bathrobes and slippers (including small sizes for children), a digital LCD satellite television, an Xbox 360 and a DVD player, wireless Internet access and a sunset-view balcony.
“These are very popular,” said Maduro. “Agents should book at least six months out for these family suites.”
In 2013, Hard Rock Cancun will introduce its Little Big Club children’s club. The hotel has partnered with HIT Entertainment to incorporate the company’s characters, including Thomas & Friends, Barney, Bob the Builder and Angelina Ballerina. The life-size characters will interact with the kids at the club’s mini theater, where the characters will form their own rock band. Themed interactive play areas for kids at each Little Big Club include the Angelina Ballerina Dance Studio, Thomas & Friends Activity Station, Barney Music Room and Bob the Builder Construction Zone.
Hard Rock Hotel Cancun offers five restaurants, including a Brazilian steakhouse. The resort’s Rock Spa provides ocean views from the spa’s relaxation room and has 20 treatment rooms and outdoor palapa-style massage areas.
In addition, Hard Rock Hotels and Palace Resorts recently partnered with the Colin Cowie Wedding Collection. Newlyweds at the resort can also add on the Complimentary Honeymoon package.
This fall, Hard Rock Hotels will debut AMPed, a travel agent loyalty program.
“Agents have to know the product,” insisted Maduro. “They have to come down and experience the property. We’ll even reimburse their airfare. Once the agents experience the product they will be inspired to sell it.”