Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: Oct. 27, 2004

Alaska Airlines said it applied for DOT approval to start nonstop service between Los Angeles and Loreto, Mexico. The carrier said the service will be supported by a marketing partnership with the Loreto Bay Co., a major developer in Loreto. The twice-weekly flights would begin Feb. 17 and operate Sundays and Thursdays. Alaska plans to use MD-80 aircraft on the route seating 12 in first class and 128 in coach. Loreto would be Alaska's eighth destination in Mexico. The airline currently serves Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo/Costa Alegre, Cancun and Guadalajara. As part of the new service, Alaska Airlines Vacations would offer packages to Loreto. Loreto, located about 300 miles north of Cabo San Lucas, was among five Mexican communities selected by the Mexican government in the 1970s for tourism expansion. The others were Cancun, Huatulco, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and Los Cabos.

Pleasant Holidays launched its Mexico product brochure for 2005 featuring dozens of new properties and new destinations. The brochure includes details on 154 hotels, including 31 new resorts in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Acapulco, Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos. Also included are 15 properties in new destinations: Aguascalientes, Chetumal, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Merida, San Miguel de Allende, Zacatecas, Mexico City, Monterrey and Costa Alegre. Special icons highlight condominiums for couples or families, all-inclusive properties and resorts with children's programs, spas and honeymoon packages. To order a brochure or for information, call (800) 448-3333 or visit www.pleasantagent.com.

Sol Melia Hotels & Resorts' Paradisus Riviera Cancun was awarded the AAA Four Diamond Rating for 2005. The company said the Paradisus Riviera Cancun is one of three all-Inclusive Four Diamond-rated properties in Mexico and the largest all-inclusive property to receive the honor. The resort's suites are part of Leading Hotels of the World. For information or reservations, call (800)-33MELIA or visit www.solmelia.com.

 

The Iberostar Paraiso Maya will open the first week of December on Playa Paraiso between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The 432-suite resort is being marketed as the highest-tier member of the Iberostar family of properties in Mexico. The resort will feature personalized sit-down check-in with no front desk, luxury room amenities and a spa. Iberostar Paraiso Maya joins Iberostar Paraiso Beach, Iberostar Paraiso del Mar and Iberostar Paraiso Lindo. In 2005, a new shopping center, spa and fitness center and 18-hole golf course will debut at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya and Iberostar Playa Paraiso resort complex. Visit www.iberostar.com.

The Presidente InterContinental Mexico Cityis offering a reduced rate $125 a night when customers purchase the Frida Kahlo Experience package. The package costs an additional $245 per person and includes two days of museum tours, including the Palace of Fine Arts, Diego Rivera Mural Museum, the Dolores Olmedo Museum and Casa Azul, where Kahlo lived and painted. All tickets to museums, lunch at traditional Mexico City restaurants, transportation and English-speaking guide are included. Reservations should be made through Presidente InterContinental Mexico City's concierge one week prior to arrival. In addition, guests can choose two complimentary options, including daily breakfast, room upgrade, city tour or complimentary children's meals at the hotel's Frutas y Flores Restaurant. A two-night minimum stay is required and the discounted room rate is only available Thursday through Sunday. The Frida Kahlo package is available on Friday and Saturday. For information or reservations, visit www.intercontinental.com.

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