Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: March 5, 2008

AZUL HOTELS BY KARISMA, the collection of "gourmet-inclusive" resorts in the Riviera Maya, said it will open its third resort in the region, the Azul Fives Hotel by Karisma, in December on Playa del Carmen. Azul Fives will feature 360 one- to three-bedroom suites with flat-screen TVs and DVD players, stocked minibars, marble bathrooms with rain-forest showers, deluxe toiletries and oversize balconies and terraces. The property will offer four restaurants; several bars and lounges; a spa and fitness center; and a Kids Club. Azul Hotels has begun accepting reservations for stays starting in December; rates start at $360 for a deluxe suite and rise to $2,183 for a three-bedroom penthouse suite. Azul's other resorts in the Riviera Maya are the Azul Beach Hotel and the Azul View Hotel. Call (888) 280-8810 or visit www.azulhotel.com.

THE GALA BEACH RESORT HUATULCO will close in May to undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation and reopen in November as the Dreams Huatulco Resort & Spa. Dreams Huatulco will be the Dreams brand's first property in Huatulco, located on the Pacific coast in the state of Oaxaca. The all-inclusive property will have 419 luxury suites; six restaurants and several bars; 24-hour room and concierge service; a spa; a Kids Club; and a Preferred Club program with upgraded amenities and daily hors d'oeuvres. Call (866) 2-DREAMS or visit www.dreamsresorts.com.

ISLANDER COLLECTION is promoting a $113 per night rate at the Villa Chichen Itza hotel near the Mayan archaeological site, in celebration of the spring equinox on March 21. Included in the rate is daily breakfast, entrance to the site and taxes. The rate is offered for stays from March 19 to 23. The property will offer a similar rate during the fall equinox; the fall rate will be available Sept. 18 to 22. At the precise time of the spring equinox, the sun casts its rays on the El Castillo pyramid, creating the shadow of a feathered serpent slithering up the pyramid as the sun moves through the sky. On Sept. 21, during the fall equinox, the feathered serpent is seen descending the great pyramid. Situated in the jungle near Chichen Itza, the Villa Chichen Itza features a pool, a tennis court, a library and a gourmet restaurant. Visit www.islandercollection.com.

SEA KAYAK ADVENTURES is offering a 10-day kayaking tour exploring Baja California's Isla Carmen, the largest island in Loreto Bay National Marine Park. Participants will be among the first to paddle sea kayaks along Carmen's rocky shore, stopping along the 60-mile trip to explore sandy beaches and sea caves, snorkel, swim with dolphins at Salinas Bay and hike, among other activities. Accommodations will be in tented camps along the way. The trip is planned for April 13 to 24. The price is $1,695 per person, including two nights in Loreto, all meals, all camping and kayaking equipment, naturalist guides, park fees, taxes and airport transfers. Air fare is extra. Call (800) 616-1943 or visit www.seakayakadventures.com.

AEROMEXICO inked a deal with NCR Corp. to add 32 self-check-in kiosks at the airline's new terminal at the Benito Juarez Airport in Mexico City. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Aeromexico uses NCR's self-check kiosks at seven other locations throughout Mexico, including Guadalajara, Tijuana and Monterrey.

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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