Promotions, discounts, free-night offers abound

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MEXICO CITY -- Mexico hotels, tour operators that package Mexico and airlines that fly to the destination are making news with increased lift and promotions to heat up winter bookings.

The following is a sample of what's happening:

Apple Vacations and the Huatulco Hotel Association are offering a "Sunshine Guaranteed" promotion to all Apple clients from Dec. 15 to March 31. Under the promotion, if it rains for three or more consecutive hours on any given day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. during these dates, clients will be reimbursed $50 per guest, up to a maximum of $100 per room, per day. The reimbursement will be in the form of cash or credit applied to checkout charges. All hotels in Apple Vacations' Huatulco product line are participating. For information or reservations, call (800) 365-2775 or visit www.applevacations.com.

Classic Mexico and Brisas Hotels & Resorts paired up to offer four nights for the price of three at four Brisas resorts: Las Brisas Acapulco, Las Brisas Huatulco, Las Brisas Ixtapa and Las Hadas Golf Resort. The promotion is valid for bookings made by Dec. 16 for travel through Dec. 20. Prices at Las Brisas Acapulco start at $272 per person, double, including daily room service breakfast; prices at Las Brisas Huatulco start at $227; prices at Las Brisas Ixtapa start at $216; and prices at Las Hadas Golf Resort start at $221. For information or reservations, call Classic Custom Vacations at (800) 221-3949.

Pleasant Holidays is offering a Palace Passport for clients who book the all-inclusive Aventura Spa Palace or Moon Palace Golf Resort & Spa in Cancun through Dec. 31. The Palace Passport entitles customers to unlimited tours during stays of three nights or longer at any of the resorts; a $50 certificate for a round of golf; a $15 certificate for spa or salon treatments; and a $25 coupon for a car rental. Seven-night, air-inclusive packages at the Aventura Spa Palace start at $1,507 per person, double, from Los Angeles and $1,547 from San Francisco. Seven-night, air-inclusive packages at the Moon Palace Golf Resort start at $1,487 per person from Los Angeles and $1,527 from San Francisco. Packages include roundtrip airport transfers; hotel taxes and surcharges; and on-site assistance from a Pleasant customer service representative. For information or reservations, call Pleasant at (800) 448-3333 or visit the Web at www.pleasantagent.com.

Mayatour, a tour operator/wholesaler specializing in Mexico and Central America, added the Freedom Paradise resort to its product line for 2004. Freedom Paradise is the new resort 70 miles south of Cancun that bills itself as the world's first resort for plus-size vacationers. The resort's motto is "Live Large, Live Free." Mayatour is offering a rate of $120 a night per person. For information or reservations, call Mayatour at (800) 392-6292.

Aviacsa Airlines launched daily nonstop flights from Miami to Monterrey, with connecting service to Mexico City, Guadalajara and other major Mexican cities. The flights depart Miami at 4:15 p.m. and arrive in Monterrey at 7:15 p.m. Return flights leave Monterrey at 11:15 a.m. and arrive in Miami at 3:15 p.m. In addition to Miami, Aviacsa flies between Mexico and Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles and has its sights set on other U.S. cities.

For the frequent traveler, Aviacsa offers a free roundtrip ticket after customers have flown five roundtrip flights. For information, visit www.aviacsa.com.mx.

Frontier Airlines on Nov. 22 began operating three weekly nonstop flights between Denver and Puerto Vallarta, its fourth Mexican destination. On the same day, Frontier increased its frequency to three other Mexican destinations. Service between Denver and Los Cabos increased from one to three weekly flights; service between Denver and Mazatlan increased from two to three weekly flights; and service between Denver and Cancun increased to seven days a week from six. For information, visit www.frontierairlines.com.

To contact reporter Jorge Sidron, send e-mail to [email protected].

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