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The shimmer, the glitz, the wow—it’s been on display at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya this week as the AIC Hotel Group honors its top travel partners during the Showstopper Awards celebration.

The hotel group, overseeing all-inclusive Hard Rock properties in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Vallarta and Punta Cana, the Nobu Hotels in Miami Beach, Chicago and Los Cabos, and Unico Riviera Maya, hosts this annual event to recognize its top-producing travel advisors in the U.S. and Canada, this year welcoming some 200 travel advisors (as well as their plus one, because what’s a celebration without a friend/partner to share it with).

This is a celebration the travel partners look forward to because, as travel advisor Tom Varghese of the Travel Tom agency [being honored with Double Platinum and Triple Platinum awards; the higher the category, the more bookings produced] says, it’s “celebrating us. Celebrating all of our successes. We all work super hard and it’s nice to be able to pat each other on the back and say this is what we work for. I mean, we love providing our clients with great experiences, but being recognized for the hard work we do is fantastic. And at this event specifically, we get to meet all the personnel that we interact with throughout the year, so the director of sales, the events team, the team we exchange millions of emails with…that’s what I love.”

The 3-day event kicked off with a welcome party at the resort’s expansive Woodstock Terrace. Themed around musical group ABBA, attendees were encouraged to step into the limelight wearing “Mamma Mia”-inspired attire. Food stands offering a variety of culinary delights encircled the terrace, and stunning decor framed the dance floor.

After a day of pool parties, spa sessions, presentations and bites at the newly opened onsite eateries, including the food hall-style Faro restaurant, travel advisors streamed into the hotel’s convention center for a Shimmer and Shine-themed evening, where advisors dressed to impress in sparkly outfits. A lively cocktail party was followed by a glimmering buffet-style dinner, featuring cuisine from restaurants throughout the property. The advisors were then led into a lounge-like setting where the awards were handed out.

AIC Hotel Group
Travel advisors pose with Tembe and Salazar during the awards show. (Photo credit: Paloma Villaverde de Rico)

All 200 travel partners were recognized—from Platinum Amped level to Black Diamond Amped level—and some advisors won several awards as top destination wedding producers were also recognized. All posed for a photo with AIC Hotel Group’s executives Ash Tembe and David Salazar. The Black Diamond individual agent (both individual agents and agencies were recognized throughout the evening)—the highest honor—was presented to Cherie Peninger of Island Vows. Additionally, tour operators, including Classic Vacations and ALGVacations, were presented with various awards for top overall sales and the like.

AIC Hotel Group Puts on a Grand Evening for Top-Producing Advisors

AIC Hotel Group
Sean Kingston (Photo credit: Paloma Villaverde de Rico)

The evening culminated in a nightclub-like setting, where a multicolored disco floor, laser lights and dazzling dancing figures welcomed the attendees. All awaited the surprise musical act—Sean Kingston, who put on an engaging performance that had everyone singing along.

And today AIC Hotel Group continues to roll out the red carpet with a “Bandwagon” Country Beach Party that is being described as an afternoon packed with “country tunes, food, refreshments and entertainment.”

Want to get in on the party? Check out