AFTER A $20 MILLION INVESTMENT, the Club Med Ixtapa Pacific reopened recently with a new focus on families. During an eight-month renovation, the property added 60 family suites, Internet access in all 298 rooms, a Baby Club Med program for infants 4 months to 23 months, new restaurants and more recreational facilities. With its new Baby Club Med program, the Club Med Ixtapa is now able to cater to families with children 4 months to 17 years and is the only Club Med property in Mexico, and one of only 11 worldwide, to offer the program. Club Med is currently offering a seven-night Family Escapes program for a family of two adults and two children, priced from $4,499 from June 11 to Aug. 29 and $2,999 from Aug. 30 to Oct. 31. Call (888) WEB-CLUB or visit www.clubmed.com.
FAMILIES ARE ASLO THE FOCUS of the Family Fun in the Sun package at the 29-suite Esencia resort in the Riviera Maya. Available through Oct. 31, the five-night package included free accommodations for five nights for two kids 12 and younger; free daily breakfast for the entire family; daily, two-hour nanny service; and a cooking class for kids 4 to 12. Prices start at $1,999 for accommodations in a Garden Room. Call (877) 528-3490 or visit www.hotelesencia.com.
UNITED VACATIONS said it is now accepting reservations for Mexico bookings in 2009 and is offering early booking bonuses for next year. Meanwhile, the operator is offering bonuses for this year's packages when bookings are made by May 20 for travel through Sept. 30. Discounts begin at $50 for air-inclusive packages costing between $1,200 and $1,999 and climb as high as $300 for vacations costing $5,500 or more. Visit www.vaxvacationaccess.com.
RIU HOTELS & RESORTS said it will offer the gourmet a-la-carte Krystal restaurant at all of its Riu Palace locations in Mexico when the new Riu Palace Pacifico opens in the Riviera Nayarit (Puerto Vallarta region) in October. Riu said it will gradually incorporate Krystal restaurants throughout the Caribbean in 2008. Krystal restaurants combine contemporary decor with more upscale, fusion cooking; menus combine ingredients from different countries. Although reservations are required at Krystal restaurants, the eateries are still part of the resorts' all-inclusive program. In Mexico, Krystal restaurants are now open at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya and Riu Palace Mexico, both on the Riviera Maya; the Riu Palace Las Americas in Cancun; and the Riu Palace Los Cabos. Visit www.riu.com.
MEXICAN LOW-COST CARRIER AVOLAR is streamlining its operations in the face of rising fuel costs. The airline said it returned two Boeing 737-200 aircraft and is operating with eight Boeing 737s. As part of a management restructuring, the Tijuana-based airline said it has new partners that will hold 30% of the company's shares. Avolar, which connects Tijuana with 13 other Mexican cities, will also cut as many as six unprofitable routes in an effort to slash costs. Avolar said the changes are due to rising fuel prices and increased competition among low-cost carriers in Mexico.
Mexico E-Letter Editor: Jorge Sidron
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