The 2009 Tobacconists' Association of America (TAA) Convention kicks off on Sunday, March 8. Tobacconists and manufacturers from around the world will converge on the CasaMagna Marriott for four days of reconnecting, deal-making and of course plenty of cigar smoking. I'm currently at this Cancun resort and am happy to give the attendees – and jealous onlookers – a few insights into the event's host.
Surprisingly, smoking bans have crossed the border, forcing the CasaMagna to be smoke-free. The lobby, restaurants, bars and guestrooms, for the most part, are off-limits for puffing. Fortunately, poolside smoking is fine, and you can light up in the bar that sits alongside the beach.
Igniting your cigar may be a challenge. With airlines frustrating efforts to carry torches, matches may be your only available option (unless you bleed your lighter and find someone to refill it for you in Cancun. The wind off the Caribbean is strong, so look for sheltered corners to use when firing up (there are a handful of them almost everywhere on the property).
A loophole in Mexico's smoking laws allows CasaMagna to welcome TAA's smokers into the Sa Si Thai restaurant, as it is a covered outdoor space. So, you'll be able to enjoy your favorite Avo, Fuente or Davidoff (or anything else) unmolested. The hotel has extended this restaurant's hours of operation to accommodate late-night indulging. After last call, you can retreat to your room's balcony to tie off the night with your preferred stick.