Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: July 13, 2005

READY, SET, GOL: Low-fare Brazilian airline Gol hopes to launch a new low-cost carrier in Mexico in the second quarter of 2006. The move would give Mexico two such airlines, following on the heels of Click Mexicana, Mexicanas low-cost unit, which began flying July 5. Gol officials said the domestic Mexican and Brazilian markets are very similar, having long distances, large cities and high airfare in common.

GO WEST: The all-inclusive luxury chain Palace Resorts opened Vallarta Palace, its first property on Mexicos Pacific coast. Formerly the Sierra Nuevo Vallarta, the 348-room resort overlooks Bahia de Banderas in Nuevo Vallarta, 15 minutes from Puerto Vallarta airport. Features include a 7-hole pitch-and-putt golf course, a fitness center, four international restaurants (Mexican, Italian, Oriental, and Brazilian), a car rental outlet and more. All-inclusive vacation packages range from $264 to $354 a room per night. In June, Palace Resorts debuted the Cozumel Palace; it will also open Playacar Palace in Playa del Carmen and Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancun by year-end.  Call (800) 635-1836 or go to www.palaceresorts.com.

BON APPETIT: The 56-room boutique hotel Casa del Mar in Cabo San Lucas in Baja California welcomed new executive chef Jennifer Michelle OToole to its renowned El Tapanco restaurant. A New York native, OToole trained at the Institute of Culinary Education, then worked with renowned Gotham-based chefs Marcus Samuelsson, at Aquavit; Jean-Georges Vongerichten, at Mercer Kitchen; and John Delucie, at the Tribeca Grand Hotel.  For more information, visit www.casadelmarmexico.com or call (888) 227-9621.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Paraiso de la Bonita, a 90-suite, 14-acre resort on the Riviera Maya, is celebrating its third anniversary with two special packages/rates. Both include daily breakfast and dinner; three spa treatments per person, per stay; daily yoga and Pilates fitness program; daily tea time; and free roundtrip airport transfers via Lincoln Navigator. The three-night Spa Getaway is priced at $1,095 per person, 30% off regular rates, through Aug. 31. The Summer Suite Dream deal is a special nightly rate of $455 for a standard suite or $555 for a suite with plunge pool a savings of 20% until Oct. 31. Visit www.paraisodelabonita.com or call (866) 751-9175. Or call direct at (011) 52-998-872-8330 or e-mail to [email protected].  

WINDOW SEAT: The DOT gave Frontier Airlines (www.frontierairlines.com) approval to fly non-stop from Kansas City (MCI) to Puerto Vallarta three times a week (Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday) starting Dec. 17; introductory fares start from $139 each way.

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