Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: Dec. 1, 2004

PALACE RESORTS, the operator of 10 properties in Mexico, extended its bonus commission program for travel agents through the end of 2005. Under the program, agents who book a minimum three-night stay at any Palace resort in Mexico receive a $50 bonus commission per room; for every 10th room reserved, the agent receives an additional $250 bonus. Palace Resorts will add its newest Mexico properties to the program as they open, including the Vallarta Palace on Dec. 24; the Cozumel Palace on Feb. 1; and the Playacar Palace on March 15. Reservations can be made through a wholesaler, GDS or by calling (800) 635-1836. Palace Resorts' Web site is www.palaceresorts.com.

ESENCIA, the second property on the Riviera Maya by the creators of the Ikal del Mar, will open in February. The hotel is located on a two-mile stretch of beach at Playa Xpu-Ha, surrounded by 50 acres of gardens. Esencia will boast 29 guest rooms and suites featuring custom furnishings, swimming pools, oversized bathrooms, private terraces and walk-in closets. The hotel's restaurant Sal y Fuego (Salt and Fire) will specialize in seafood and serve organically grown products. Rates will start at $375 a night, double. For information or reservations, call (877) 528-3490 or visit www.hotelesencia.com.

PLEASANT HOLIDAYS added nonstop service from Denver to Acapulco aboard Mexicana Airlines for departures Jan. 14 through April 8. The Friday flights depart Denver at 9 a.m. and arrive in Acapulco at 2 p.m. The return flights leave Acapulco at 2:50 p.m. and touch down in Denver at 5:50 p.m. In conjunction with the new flight, Pleasant teamed with a number of hotels in Acapulco to offer discounted room rates on seven-night stays. A seven-night air-inclusive package from Denver starts at $642 per person, double, at the Casa Inn Acapulco; $734 at the Continental Emporio Acapulco; $796 at the Las Brisas Acapulco; $840 at the Fairmont Pierre Marques; and $913 at the Fairmont Acapulco Princess. Packages include airport transfers, and all hotel taxes and surcharges.

FOURTH NIGHT FREE: Meanwhile, Pleasant is offering a fourth night free at La Jolla de Mismaloya in Puerto Vallarta when customers book a standard one- or two-bedroom unit, plus discounted rates on all-inclusive packages. The offer is available for stays through Dec. 20. A four-night, land-only stay starts at $234 per person, double. For information or reservations, call (800) 448-3333.

AMERICA WEST VACATIONS is offering 20% discounts on vacation packages to three Mexican destinations: Los Cabos, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. The discount is available from all of America West's departure cities. To qualify, a minimum three-night stay must be booked at a participating hotel by Dec. 5 for travel Dec. 1 to 17 or Jan. 2 to 15. A three-night stay at the Sheraton resort in Puerto Vallarta starts at $430 per person, double. The package includes a 15% discount on spa services. For information or reservations, call (800) 235-9298.

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