Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: Dec. 26, 2007

STRATEGIC HOTELS & RESORTS has acquired the lone remaining hotel development site at the 1,500-acre Punta Mita peninsula on Mexico's Pacific Coast for $53 million. With Chicago-based Strategic's purchase of the as-yet-unnamed 57-acre site, Punta Mita is now completely sold out for any new large-scale development opportunities, according to DINE, the Mexican firm that developed and owns the master-planned, mixed-use resort community near Puerto Vallarta. Strategic, which bought the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita in early 2001, now owns three of the four resort sites at Punta Mita. It also owns the La Solana resort development parcel. In addition to these developments, the St. Regis Resort Punta Mita is under construction and scheduled to open in mid-2008. According to DINE, approximately 20% of the roughly 900 residential units planned for the entire Punta Mita project have been sold, with sales of $84 million through the third quarter of this year. Visit www.puntamita.com.mx.

THE 756-ROOM BARCELO MAYA PALACE HOTEL is scheduled to open Dec. 24 in the Riviera Maya, bringing to five the number of properties in the Barcelo Maya Beach Resort complex. The new all-suite property features Moorish-inspired architecture; large patios; five restaurants; spa-style bathrooms with walk-in showers; and modern room features such as high-speed Internet access and large-screen TVs. Guests will have access to the facilities at the other Barcelo Maya Beach Resort properties as well as to the complex's new European-style spa and 23,000-square-foot conference center. Visit www.barcelo.com or call (800) BARCELO.

THE OPERATORS OF the Casa Dorada Los Cabos are promising to "up the ante" in Cabo San Lucas when the property opens on Jan. 21. Already a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the 186-room property is located on Playa Medano, within walking distance of the popular beach area's dining, shopping and nightlife. The property will feature a 7,000-square-foot spa; three swimming pools; a children's club; two restaurants; a private beach club; and rooms with wireless Internet; plasma-screen TVs and bathrooms with whirlpool tubs. Rates will start at $530 a night. Visit www.casadoradaloscabos.com or call (866) 448-0151.

THE HOTEL MARINA EL CID SPA & BEACH RESORT in Puerto Morelos is opening a new spa and convention center this month, part of a multimillion-dollar expansion that included 150 new luxury junior suites, a new restaurant and a new beachfront lounge. The 342-room property is situated midway between Cancun Airport and Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya. The property's new convention center boasts 7,500 square feet of flexible space, including a Gran Salon with room for 400 people theater-style. Next to the convention center is the property's new El Cocay Spa, which includes a traditional Mayan Temazcal steam room.

HOPING TO ATTRACT FAMILIES, Cabo La Estancia resort in Cabo San Lucas said it would provide free roundtrip airport transfers (a $190 value) for the entire family when guests book a villa between Jan. 5 and March 14. The promotion includes a welcome amenity basket. Situated on Medano Beach, the property offers organized activities for children. For information or reservations, call (310) 577-8600 or visit www.cabolaestancia.com.

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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