Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: November 30, 2005

SOL MELIA HOTELS & RESORTS announced reopening dates for its hotels in Cancun and Cozumel following Hurricane Wilma. According to the hotel company, the Paradisus Riviera Cancun and the Melia Cozumel will reopen on Jan. 14, the Gran Melia Cancun will reopen on March 31 and the Melia Turquesa will reopen on June 30. A number of changes are also planned as the resorts reopen. The Gran Melia Cancun, for example, will feature upgrades to its rooms, spa and fitness center, and the addition of a sushi bar and lounge in the main atrium. The resorts Royal Service Pyramid wing will become an adults-only section. Sol Melia announced that its 1,679 employees in Cancun and Cozumel will retain their jobs as its resorts work to get back on-line following the hurricane. For more information or reservations at any of the resorts, call (800) 33-MELIA or visit

AMRESORTS, which operates 11 resorts in Mexico and the Dominican Republic under the Secrets Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas and Sunscape Resorts & Spas brand, also had news about its resorts affected by Hurricane Wilma. The Sunscape Puerto Aventuras, which had just reopened after repairs brought on by Hurricane Emily on Oct. 16, will reopen on Dec. 12 after cleaning up in the wake of Hurricane Wilma. The Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa, meanwhile, will reopen on Dec. 24. Most recently, the Secrets Excellence Riviera Cancun reopened last week.


THE BOUTIQUE IKAL DEL MAR Villa Resort and Spa, another Hurricane Wilma casualty and member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, will offer a five-night Welcome package as its reopens Dec. 16. The package costs $2,399, double, for a villa with a private pool, roundtrip airport transfers, daily breakfast, one spa treatment per person, one dinner for two and a snorkeling tour. For information or reservations, call (888) 230-7330 or visit

IN RELATED POST-HURRICANE NEWS, Funjet Vacations, a leading tour operator to Mexico, launched a Web log, or blog, dedicated to providing agents and customers with updates on resort openings and other tourism developments in the Riviera Maya, Cancun and Cozumel as the destinations prepare for the high season in the wake of Hurricane Wilma. The blog is located at It features interviews with locals, photos and video of hotels and tourism attractions in the affected area, as well as a forum for discussion about the progress being made in the aftermath of the hurricane. The blog offers travel agents and travelers an alternative place to go for information that is current and that they can trust, because its being updated [by people] who live and work in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, said Tammy Lee, vice president of corporate affairs for The Mark Travel Corp., Funjets parent.

LOS CABOS will celebrate its gastronomic attractions during the destinations inaugural Culinary Festival of Los Cabos, scheduled for Dec. 2 to 10. The event will be organized around the zocalo, or town square, with stands offering samples of traditional Mexican fare prepared by 21 of the destinations top restaurants. The event will also offer music and stands selling jewelry and arts and crafts. Tickets to the culinary portion of the event cost $15. Throughout the week, participating restaurants in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo will offer specially priced menus, and the festival will culminate on Dec. 10 with a Dinner in the Desert featuring a grill menu. For more information, call (866) LOS-CABOS or visit


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