Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: October 19, 2005

NEW RIVIERA DIGS: Barcelo Hotels and Resorts said two new five-star, all-inclusive hotels -- the Barcelo Maya Colonial Beach and the Barcelo Maya Tropical Beach -- will open on the Mayan riviera on Dec. 1, joining the adjacent Barcelo Maya Beach and Barcelo Maya Caribe Beach properties.  Together, the four hotels comprise the largest resort on the Riviera Maya, surrounded by a 123-acre nature preserve less than 50 miles from Cancun's airport. Both new resorts have 474 guest rooms and suites, eight restaurants and six bars. All-inclusive plans at Barcelo's resorts include full meal service and house cocktails in restaurants and lounges; free mini-bar refreshments; land and water sports and activities; fitness and spa services; and all entertainment. Contact Barcelo at (800) 227-2356 or www.barcelo.com.

ONLINE DEBUT: Palace Resorts' new adults-only, all-inclusive Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancun, open since August, launched an interactive Web site at www.leblancsparesort.com. An expanded navigational tool bar on the site includes categories such as About Le Blanc; Transportation; Latest News; Golf; Spa; Weddings; Meetings; FAQs; and Tours, which highlights excursions available through onsite travel agency Chaza Travel. The site also features an online booking engine. Le Blanc packages for 2006 range from $482 to $662 per room, per night, including all-suite accommodations, food and drinks, entertainment, taxes and gratuities. For more, call (877) 753-2526 or, for group sales, (877) 853-2526.

AWARD-WINNING: Speaking of Cancun, the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards Latin America (VMALAs) will be held tomorrow at the Grand Tlachco Theater in eco-archaeological park Xcaret south of the city. The event will mark the first time the 3-year-old event will be held outside the U.S. The VMALAs will air in more than 24 countries on Oct. 20 at 10:00 p.m. EST, hosted by Mexican rock band Molotov and will feature performances by the Foo Fighters, Shakira and Sean Paul, among others. For more on Cancun, visit www.cancun.info.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Mexico Tourism Board today put clear glass Mexico Mobile Display promotional buses -- depicting various vacation scenarios south of the border -- on tour for the second time across North America through Dec. 10.  Last year's bus tour reached more than 2.2 million people. The buses visit 18 locations in the U.S. and Canada in eight weeks, including Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Denver; Kansas City, Mo.; Milwaukee; Minneapolis; New York; Philadelphia; Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City; Seattle; Toronto; Vancouver; Victoria, B.C; and Washington.  New bus displays this year depict spa, eco-tourism and adventure vacations. For more bus stops, visit the Mexico Mobile Displays calendar, to be posted Oct. 25, at www.visitmexico.com. Or, contact a local Mexico Tourism Board office: For Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Minneapolis, call Denny Solorzano at (312) 228-0517, ext. 14, or e-mail: [email protected]; for Colorado locations, Miriam Beer at (713) 772-2581, ext. 109, or [email protected]; for Portland, Salt Lake and Seattle, Melani Bruce at (310) 282-9112, ext. 23, or [email protected]; for Baltimore, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, Zamar Vives at (212) 308-2110, ext. 103, or [email protected]; for Toronto, Dionne Rial at (800) 929-4555 or [email protected]; and for British Columbia, Veronica Rivas at (604) 669-2845 or [email protected].

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