Travel Weekly's Mexico E-Letter: Dec. 19, 2007

RIU HOTELS & RESORTS began construction on its 14th Mexican resort, the Riu Palace Pacifico in Puerto Vallarta. Situated nine miles from the citys downtown district, the all-inclusive Riu Palace Pacifico will have 484 junior suites, several bars and restaurants and what Riu described as the companys "highest level of luxury, comfort and service." The resort is scheduled to open in October 2008 near Rius two other Puerto Vallarta properties, the Riu Jalisco and Riu Vallarta.

INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP opened its first Hotel Indigo in Mexico. The 50-room Hotel Indigo Merida Hacienda Misne is housed in a restored, 100-year-old building that was once a hacienda. It is located a short drive from the historical cathedrals and museums of downtown Merida. All rooms face a central gardens and feature ceiling fans, antique furnishings, Mexican-inspired tile floors and artwork depicting flowers native to the region. The hotel includes a restaurant, the Golden Bean, which specializes in Yucatan dishes; a business center; and a fitness room. IHG will open a second Hotel Indigo in Mexico in 2009, in Mexico City.

ROSEWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS was chosen to operate the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, a 63-room luxury hotel that will be part of a mixed-use development currently under construction in the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende. Scheduled to open in late 2009, the hotel will have 15 guest rooms, 46 suites and two 1,700-square-foot presidential suites. All rooms will have fireplaces, balconies and private terraces. Resort amenities will include a spa; casual and fine-dining restaurants; a rooftop bar and tapas bar; and a wine and tequila cellar. The development will also include two- to five-bedroom residences ranging from 1,800-square-foot casitas to 7,500-square-foot villas. Residents will have access to resort amenities.

ROSEWOOD, MEANWHILE, started accepting bookings for the Rosewood Mayakoba, which is scheduled to open on the Riviera Maya on Dec. 21. For reservations booked by Jan. 21 (for stays from Feb. 1 to April 30) guests will receive $100 off the rack rate as well as daily breakfast for two. A minimum three-night stay is required. Nightly rack rates before the discount start at $595. The 128-room, upscale resort features a Greg Norman-designed golf course; the company's first Sense, a Rosewood Spa; and a tequila bar. To book or for more information, call (888) ROSEWOOD or visit www.rosewoodhotels.com.

CASA CUPULA, a boutique hotel in Puerto Vallarta, opened the first phase of a condo-hotel development that will be marketed to the gay community. The Private Residences at Casa Cupula opened Dec. 8 on property just west of Casa Cupula and within walking distance of Puerto Vallartas gay-friendly South Side area. The first phase includes three suites and a restaurant. During the next two years, the property will open a villa, three more suites (including a penthouse unit), a gym and spa. Units are available for rent from $225 to $700 a night. Visit www.casacupula.com.

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