Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: Nov. 1, 2006

THE 375-ROOM HILTON LOS CABOS is poised to wrap up its multimillion-dollar renovation in time for the busy winter season. Under new owner Beny Alagem, who also owns the Beverly Hilton, the Hilton Los Cabos is hoping to enter the luxury market with a $9 million budget and the help of designer Paul Duesing of Paul Duesing Partners, who also designed the luxury One & Only Palmilla in Los Cabos and the Palms in Turks & Caicos. The owners are spending about $18,000 per room on such things as Spanish-heritage furniture, Italian-made bed linens, marble baths and flat screen TVs. The resort's grounds are being spruced up at a cost of about $2 million. All rooms are scheduled to be renovated by December, with the landscaping portion of the project scheduled for completion by February. "Our dramatic aesthetic upgrades will enable us to offer an opulent vacation experience previously only available at smaller hotels in Los Cabos," said Antonio Vera, area director of sales and marketing for the Hilton Hotels Corp. in Mexico. To book, call (800) HILTONS or visit www.hiltonloscabos.com.

AN ASSOCIATION OF RANCHES, haciendas and mansions in western Mexico is offering horseback riding tours of rural Jalisco and Zacatecas. The association, Historic Hacienda Inns of Western Mexico, said the participating lodgings are in the heart of the Tequila Valley, a recently named World Heritage Site. The tours have been designed to guide riders through the area's remote mountain trails passing through fields of blue agave, cane and high sierra forests. There are 10 participating inns, ranging from rustic ranches to large haciendas with spas. The excursions include such activities as cattle round-ups on working ranches, riding with Mexican cowboys in the rodeo arena and learning to make tortillas over a campfire. Five tours are available, ranging from four to 10 days, with prices starting at $400 per person, all-inclusive. Tours are adapted to all levels of riders and group sizes up to 12. For information or reservations, call (608) 651-4053 or visit http://historichaciendainns.com.

MEXICOMAYANRESORTS.COM, an affiliate of RCI, is offering up to 20% travel agent commission for booking two Mayan Resorts brands: the Grand Mayan and the Mayan Palace Regency. Under the Mexico Your Way promotion, agents receive up to 20% commission when booking a minimum of three nights at any of six Mayan Resorts rental properties located in Acapulco, Nuevo Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Maya. The promotion is in effect for travel through Dec. 21. Nightly rates start at $105 at Mayan Palace Regency properties in Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta. To book, visit the Web site at www.mexicomayanresorts.com or call (866) 874-5779.       

TALK ABOUT PAMPERING your guests! The boutique Esencia Resort on the Riviera Maya employs an Essence Concierge to "infuse fresh scents" into guests' rooms as part of the nightly turndown service. The seven scents, which are circulated in the rooms through an aromatic diffuser, are designed to help guests relax and unwind. Scents range from orange and thyme to vanilla and lavender. You could say the 29-room Esencia Resort is high on fragrance; The resort's 10 garden suites are each named after an aromatic herb or spice such as basil, chamomile, rosemary, mint and marjoram. And the resort's spa is named, what else, Aroma Spa. For information or reservations, call (877) 528-3490 or visit www.hotelesencia.com.

FLIGHT BYTES

" Aeromexico said it will expand its nonstop service between San Antonio and Mexico City from weekly to daily starting Nov. 16. Aeromexico launched the San Antonio-Mexico City service in May. Flights will depart daily from San Antonio at 2 p.m. and from Mexico City at 10:50 a.m. Call (800) 237-6639 or visit www.aeromexico.com.

" Mexicana said it will offer seasonal service between Denver and Zacatecas from Dec. 1 to Jan. 31. Starting Dec. 1, Mexicana Flight 859 will depart Denver at 1:50 a.m. on Mondays and Saturdays and arrive in Zacatecas at 5:50 a.m. Return Flight 858 will depart Zacatecas at 9:25 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays and arrive in Denver at 11:10 p.m. For information or reservations, visit www.mexicana.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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