Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: Oct. 24, 2007

THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT agreed to sell its controlling stake in Aeromexico for $249 million to an investment group headed by Banamex, a Citigroup subsidiary, and some of the country's wealthiest families, ending a monthlong bidding war for Mexico's largest airline. The Citigroup unit said it planned to take the airline private, trim expenses and spend $240 million to improve operations at Aeromexico. Citigroup's bid was lower than one offered by a local father-son businessmen-team that was rejected after it arrived two minutes past the deadline set by the government on Oct. 17. An offer by Grupo Mexicana, the country's second-largest airline, was rejected by antitrust regulators last week. Aeromexico, a member of the SkyTeam alliance, flies to more than 40 cities in Mexico as well as to the U.S. and Europe.

HOMEWOOD SUITES BY HILTON, the Hilton brand of all-suite, residential-style hotels, opened its first property in Mexico. The 102-suite property opened in Torreon, in Coahuila state. The hotel is part of a mixed-use entertainment and business complex called Intermall Laguna, which includes dozens of retail shops, an Imax theater and an ice rink. The five-story hotel offers 97 two-room (one-bedroom) suites, four two-bedroom suites and one Presidential suite; free Internet; a fitness center; a putting green; and traditional Homewood Suites services and amenities. Call (800) CALL-HOME or visit www.homewoodsuites.com.

GRUPO POSADAS said it would open 10 properties in Mexico next year and reopen Aqua Cancun (formerly the Fiesta Americana Aqua) this December; the company is marketing the property as the debut of its Aqua brand in Mexico. Aqua Cancun will feature 371 rooms (36 suites), three celebrity-chef restaurants, a spa and a fitness center.  Next year's openings will include seven Fiesta Inns, the company's business hotels, in Chetumal, Cuernavaca, Durango, Insurgentes, Morelia, Tepic and Toluca as well as three One-brand hotels in Acapulco, Aguascalientes and Culiacan.

THE HACIENDA XCANATUN in Merida is promoting a package that includes a free fourth night stay when customers book three nights at the hacienda-turned-hotel from Oct. 28 to Dec. 15. Prices start at $850, single or double, a savings of 33% compared to regular prices. The package includes accommodations in a Deluxe Suite, daily continental breakfast and a welcome cocktail. For information or to book, call (888) 883-3633 or visit www.xcanatun.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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