Years ago, a young Enrique Calderón dreamed of being an engineer. That was until, as fate would have it, “my uncle got me my first job in the hotel industry, in the maintenance department,” he reminisces. “That was it for me; I wanted to work in hotels. My uncle started me from the bottom up, in food and beverage,” and he worked his way up the ladder.
Soon enough, he enrolled in Mexico’s prestigious CESSA University, renowned for its hotel management program, and made a move from operations to sales. That was the start of a very successful career that saw him work his way through top hotel brands throughout Mexico and, by 1999, he had joined Posadas. In 2010 he was appointed Chief Commercial Officer for the brand, and in 2015 took over his current role as Chief Operating Officer.
Though based in Mexico City, Calderón is a road warrior who is happiest pursuing new business opportunities in different destinations for Mexico’s premier hotel brand or visiting one of the many properties in its portfolio. Case in point: The adults-only Live Aqua Beach Resort Punta Cana, part of the exclusive La Colección Resorts by Fiesta Americana that opened in February 2021.
“We did have to delay the opening, but we were ready,” he said. And, he added, the Aqua Lovers—the brand’s loyal fan base—were more than ready. The 120-million-dollar resort results from the constant and accelerated growth the company has maintained over the past five years.
Located in one of the most exclusive destinations in the Caribbean, the Live Aqua Beach Resort Punta Cana is an exciting addition to the area’s wellness offer, thanks to the signature Live Aqua brand sensory experiences that pamper guests’ body and soul from start to finish. The resort boasts 347 exquisite suites—some with swim-up access, private swimming pools, and terraces—with amenities including the freestanding Live Aqua Bathtub, Live Aqua Bed, luxurious 400-thread-count bedding, aromatherapy kits, and more.
Guests can choose from seven restaurants and eight bars, including a Mexican selection that Calderón assures us, is a slice of pure Mexico in Dominican lands. Posadas is known for its gastronomy, so there’s no doubt every meal is a stellar production. The resort also has a robust meetings offer, with 10,287 ft² of indoor space, outdoor settings, and a dedicated meetings and events staff.
But beyond all that, Calderón reminded us that with Posadas, safety is of the utmost concern.
“To put things in perspective, we have one thousand doctors living in Posadas properties around Mexico,” commented Calderón, which speaks to the airtight pandemic protocols in place, that extend, as he explained, all the way from the properties to the employees’ own homes. We should mention that Posadas opened its doors to doctors and first responders during this pandemic, providing them with 18,000 free nights plus board and transportation at 12 properties located in eight destinations in Mexico.
The new Live Aqua Beach Resort Punta Cana opened with the Posadas’ extensive Travel with Confidence program in place, with heightened safety procedures, hygiene, and flexibility protocols developed with the ABC Medical Center in Mexico City and using 3M hospital-grade products. “With these protocols, the client’s hotel room is the safest place to be,” added Calderón. The program includes free antigen tests and traveler’s insurance from the moment a guest checks into a hotel to cover all types of emergencies, including COVID-19.
Eye on the future
“This year, we’re also opening the Live Aqua Beach Resort Tulkal Riviera Maya [Mexico] with 343 rooms and the Fiesta Americana Tulkal Riviera Maya with 743 rooms,” said Calderón. These properties will have access to the Tulkal Convention Center, with a ballroom available for 3,000 guests, an outdoor terrace with room for 1,000, and a 400-seat theater. Meeting planners will want to remember Posadas’ extremely flexible booking programs and cleaning plans explicitly created for groups and events.
These hotels debut in the summer and fall, respectively, so if you need to reach Enrique, you know where to find Posadas’ tireless road warrior.