Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: Nov. 15, 2006

BARCELO HOTELS & RESORTS said it would build a fifth luxury, all-inclusive property at its expansive Barcelo Maya Beach Resort complex on the Riviera Maya. The complex currently includes four all-inclusive resorts with nearly 2,000 rooms. The new hotel, which has yet to be named, is scheduled to open in December 2007 with 756 all-suite rooms with sitting areas, Internet access and walk-in showers; five restaurants; its own pool and beach area; and access to the resort complex's other restaurants, recreational amenities and conference facilities.

MEANWHILE, the Barcelo Maya Beach Resort complex will open a luxury spa in December. The spa will be located in a garden setting and feature traditional spa treatments as well as Mayan-style massage and a Mayan Temazcal Lodge. The center will include eight outdoor cabanas and a beauty parlor. The spa will be connected to an expanded fitness center featuring new cardiovascular equipment and a reconfigured weight room. Barcelo is planning to offer spa packages in conjunction with the new facility. For information or reservations, call (800) BARCELO or visit

PRESIDENTE INTERCONTINENTAL has created a package that lets customers discover the "other side" of Mexico. Through Dec. 31, the hotel company is marketing the Discover Merida package at the Presidente InterContinental Villa Mercedes Merida, the city's newest hotel. Located less than 180 miles from the resort city of Cancun, Merida, the Yucatan capital, is home to ancient Mayan ruins and historical colonial buildings. The Discover Merida package costs from $102 a night, double, and includes two out of three options, including a guided tour of Merida. The 127-room Presidente InterContinental Villa Mercedes Merida opened last February in a converted 19th century mansion. For information or reservations, call (800) 327-0200 or visit

ALASKA AIRLINES last month significantly expanded service to Mexico, adding five nonstop routes, inaugurating service to La Paz and boosting capacity on existing routes. With the new flights, Alaska increased its overall Mexico capacity by 22% for the fall. On Oct. 27, Alaska launched nonstop service between Seattle and Cancun. The flights initially will operate seasonally through April four days a week. On Oct. 28, Alaska began service between Portland, Ore., and Los Cabos, the airline's first international destination from that city. Flights will operate seasonally four days a week. On Oct. 29, Alaska launched flights between San Francisco and Cancun and between Portland and Puerto Vallarta. Both flights will operate seasonally three days a week. On Oct. 30, Alaska inaugurated service between Los Angeles and La Paz, making La Paz the 10th city in its Mexico route network. Alaska last month also added six more weekly flights on several existing Mexico routes.

THE ALL-INCLUSIVE Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort in Nuevo Vallarta is offering a special Diamond Travel Agent rate of $175 a night per person and one complimentary spa service through Dec. 18. The rate is in celebration of receiving the AAA Five-Diamond award. Agents must show IATA identification upon check-in. For information or reservations, call (877) 398-2784 or visit


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