Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: Aug. 15, 2007

THE LOS ANGELES-BASED KOR HOTEL GROUP is changing the name of its recently acquired Hotel Villa del Sol in Zihuatanejo to the Tides Zihuatanejo. The rebranding of the 70-room boutique property is part of the Kor Hotel Group's plans to expand its Tides brand internationally after launching its flagship property, the Tides South Beach, in Miami. The Tides' international expansion began in Mexico with the repositioning last spring of the Ikal del Mar as the Tides Riviera Maya. Along with its new name, the Tides Zihuatanejo will add signature amenities such as beach butlers, a La Marea seafood restaurant and butlers to cater to guests staying in suite-category rooms. Future plans include an upgraded spa. Kor Hotel Group is also developing the Tides Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya. Visit www.korhotelgroup.com.

INTERSTATE HOTELS & RESORTS, the Arlington, Va.-based hotel management firm, formed a strategic partnership with Newport Beach, Calif.-based Steadfast Cos. to own and operate hotels in Mexico. As part of the deal, Interstate invested $5.7 million in three Tesoro Resorts in Mexico owned by affiliates of Steadfast: Tesoro Los Cabos, Tesoro Manzanillo and Tesoro Ixtapa. The new partners plan to invest $10 million to upgrade the three resorts, with primary concentration on redeveloping Tesoro Los Cabos. Interstate also formed a separate 50/50 joint venture with Steadfast, called Interstate de Mexico, to manage hotels. The joint venture will manage the three Tesoro properties. Steadfast launched the Tesoro Resorts brand in 2006 after acquiring and rebranding the three former Grupo Situr properties.

TRAVEL IMPRESSIONS launched a Tee Time promotion for customers planning a golf vacation in Mexico. Depending on the participating property, customers receive one or more of the following amenities: a free round of golf, a complimentary night's stay, free golf equipment rental, free golf swing analysis, a $50 pro shop discount and a complimentary meal for two. Five-night packages include roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charge. In Los Cabos, for example, participating properties offering afree nights include Villa La Estancia Beach Resort & Spa, Villa del Arco Beach Resort & Grand Spa and Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa Cabo San Lucas. The Tee Time promotion is valid on bookings made through Aug. 31 for travel through Dec. 15. Call (800) 284-0044.

CRUISE WEST is offering an early-booking promotion for five specialty Sea of Cortes cruises in December 2007 and January 2008 aboard the 138-passenger Spirit of Yorktown. Savings start at $125 per person when bookings and deposits are made by Sept. 14, with an additional $50 off if payments are made in full by that date. Prices start at $2,399 per person, double. The Dec. 22 Whales & Wildlife cruise, for example, will include a traditional Mexican Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day spent on a remote beach. For information or reservations, call (800) 689-1783 or visit www.cruisewest.com.

FRONTIER AIRLINES said it would add new nonstop flights to Puerto Vallarta from Sacramento and San Jose, Calif. The new Sacramento route will operate four days a week starting Dec. 15 aboard 76-seat Embraer E-170 planes operated by Republic Airlines. San Jose flights also would launch on Dec. 15 with two E-170 flights operated by Republic Airlines and a third Saturday flight aboard Frontier's Airbus A319. Frontier is offering one-way introductory fares starting at $119 through Sept. 12 for travel between Dec. 15 and March 5.

Mexico E-Letter Editor: Jorge Sidron

Phone: (973) 898-0011

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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