Inside Engage! at Romantic NIZUC Resort in Riviera Maya

Photo by Dave NoonanPhoto by Dave Noonan

Earlier this summer I headed to Mexico to speak about honeymoons and destination weddings at the Engage! Luxury Wedding Business Summit. I’ve been going to this conference for quite a few years now, and it’s amazing for many reasons. First and foremost, at Engage! I get to connect with top event pros from all over the world, from amazing event planners to rock-star photographers, which expands my network of connections for our honeymoon and wedding clients. Secondly, the Engage! family is a tight-knit bunch, and many of my fellow attendees have turned into close friends, so it’s as much about community and having fun as it is about sharing intel and inspiration. Last but not least, Engage! always takes place at a luxe romantic hotel that’s ideal for honeymoons and destination weddings. So I get to experience gorgeous properties while I’m there! This time, it was NIZUC Resort & Spa, a stunning, year-old resort in Cancun, Mexico.

Photo by Dave NoonanPhoto by Dave Noonan

The resort’s decor style is modern zen, with sleek lines and gorgeous touches like glossy marble and carved woodwork wherever you look. Just off the main lobby is a serene reflecting pool that overlooks the beach; the mere sight of it as you walk in the entrance makes you relax.

Photo by Dave NoonanPhoto by Dave Noonan

NIZUC has 274 suites and villas, and unlike some of the mega-hotels in that part of the world, there’s not a bad one in the lot. Most of the other attendees were in the beachfront towers, where Ocean Suites have their own plunge pool overlooking the sea. This is five stories up, mind you!

Courtesy of Nizuc Resort & SpaCourtesy of Nizuc Resort & Spa

I was even luckier, staying in one of the Garden Pool villas. Each villa is set in its own private courtyard, and comes with a standalone bedroom with king bed, outdoor shower and soaking tub. But the courtyard is even better, with an oversized plunge pool and indoor-outdoor living room for chilling out. The high walls give you privacy from prying eyes, and the open top brings in the sunshine. Seriously sweet.

Courtesy of Nizuc Resort & SpaCourtesy of Nizuc Resort & Spa

In between Engage! events, most of us hung out by the beach or hit the spa. (NIZUC is home to the only ESPA outpost on Mexico’s east coast–that’s a big deal for spa-lovers!)

Photo by Dave NoonanPhoto by Dave Noonan

My fave hang-out spot was the main swimming pool, oversized with lots of deck space, an infinity edge and swim-up bar. If you have to leave your room, this is a pretty great destination.

Courtesy of Nizuc Resort & SpaCourtesy of Nizuc Resort & Spa

One of my favorite parts of Engage! is seeing the great decor ideas presented by the revolving cast of planners who work on each event. I loved this tequila bar from the Welcome Party, which was designed by Gabi Lavor for Canteiro Weddings, based in Riviera Maya.

Photo by Joel CallawayPhoto by Joel Callaway

I also loved all of the natural elements which fit so well with NIZUC’s minimalist decor. These beautiful hearts that hung over the dance floor during the Farewell Gala were designed by the talented team of Elena Damy, based in Los Cabos.

Photo by Dave NoonanPhoto by Dave Noonan

Instead of over-the-top centerpieces, tables were dressed in black tablecloths with succulent centerpieces and cool laser-cut wooden menu-chargers designed by PA-based TPD Design House. (They do beautiful letterpress invitations as well.)

Photo by Dorian PatrickPhoto by Dorian Patrick

But most of all, Engage! is just a blast to attend. There’s an amazing energy when you get a bunch of people in one place who all do the same thing for a living: work to make unforgettable memories for their clients. At this Engage!, founders Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce, along with Elan Artists, had a final treat for us: a surprise performance by ’80s icons Salt-N-Pepa. Here’s a shot of the dance floor, with yours truly rocking out in the middle. Can you see why I’m already looking forward to the next Engage!?

Photo by Carla Ten EyckPhoto by Carla Ten Eyck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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