Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: Jan. 30, 2008

WYNDHAM HOTELS AND RESORTS opened the company's first Grand Bay boutique brand in Cozumel, adjacent to the much larger 402-room Wyndham Cozumel Resort and Spa. The new-build Aura Cozumel, a Wyndham Grand Bay hotel, is being managed by Mexico-based Islander Collection. The $22 million boutique property features 96 rooms, all of them suites, situated in four low-rise buildings. Ground-level rooms offer direct access to a pool that's connected to the resort's central "lazy river" pool, one of the property's main features. Seven room categories are available, and all rooms feature wireless Internet; 32-inch, flat-screen TVs; iPod docking stations; and luxury bedding and linens. Facilities include two restaurants, three bars, two dive shops, a business center and two meetings rooms and a private pier. To book or for information, call (866) 551-AURA or visit www.auraresorts.com.

RESPONDING TO THE POPULARITY of culinary tourism, the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa launched a Secrets of the Kitchen program that enables guests to play chef for a day. For $90 per person, guests can sign up for a cooking class that includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the resort's kitchen and herb garden and a cooking class led by executive chef Fred Ruiz. After the class, guests are invited to enjoy their own creations at the Chef's Table with Ruiz and enjoy complimentary wine. For $60, guests can sign up for a one-hour cooking demonstration that also includes a tour of the kitchen and herb garden, and a sit-down tasting of the chef's creations. To book or for information, call (888) PARADISE or visit www.casamagnapuertovallarta.com.

THE GRAN MELIA CANCUN opened a state-of-the-art fitness center to complement its Yhi Spa, which is a member of Leading Spas of the World. The fitness center features two distinct areas, including a "movement studio" where guests can participate in yoga classes, take a Tai Chi lesson or join a spinning class. An expansive gym area includes the latest in cardiovascular and weight-training equipment. The fitness center becomes the third component of the Gran Melia Cancun's Yhi Spa, which also includes a water ritual center (hydrotherapy) and the "relaxation" center (the spa treatment component). For information or reservations, visit www.solmelia.com.

THE HACIENDA XCANATUN in Merida is promoting a three-night Unlock Romance package throughout the month of February. A popular retreat for couples, the Hacienda Xcanatun features 18 rooms in a restored 18th century hacienda. The resort features two swimming pools, a spa and the Casa de Piedra restaurant. The three-night Unlock Romance package costs $1,150 per couple and includes accommodations in a deluxe suite, daily breakfast, a four-course dinner with wine and a couple's massage. To book or for information, call (888) 883-3633 or visit www.xcanatun.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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