Resorts, operators offer discounts

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MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's resorts and tour operators are looking to heat up off-season business with reduced rates and value-added promotions.

The following is a look at some of Mexico's best deals this summer:

• Funjet Vacations is offering $100 off per reservation during its Big Summer Cool Off Sale to seven Mexican destinations in July.

The promotion is valid for air/hotel bookings of four nights or longer to Acapulco, Cancun, Cozumel, Ixtapa, Los Cabos, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

A minimum purchase of $1,800 is required, and bookings must be made by July 31 for travel through Nov. 30.

Agents must book via VAX VacationAccess using the promotional code SUMMFJ.

Packages include roundtrip air fare, hotel accommodations, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and 24-hour traveler assistance.

In Puerto Vallarta, seven-night packages start at $969.99 per person, double, at the all-inclusive Sierra Nuevo Resort from Atlanta via American Airlines. This price is valid for Monday departures from Aug. 22 to Oct. 31. In Cancun, a seven-night package at the Occidental Grande Flamenco Xcaret starts at $1,094.99 per person, double, from Houston via American Airlines. This price is valid for Monday departures July 12 to Aug. 18.

For other prices and reservations, contact Funjet at (800) 558-3060.

• Runaway Tours is joining forces with Starwood properties in Mexico to offer discounted rates and value-added features. The promotion is available through Oct. 15 and is based on a minimum four-night package.

In Los Cabos, prices start at $570 per person, double, at the Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar Resort and Spa. The package includes one free night and a $50 beverage credit.

In Puerto Vallarta, packages start at $451 for a studio room (kids under 12 eat free) and a $30 food and beverage credit. In Manzanillo, prices start at $965, including daily breakfast for two. The lead price in Cancun is $614 at the Westin Regina.

Rates include roundtrip air fare (the prices listed are from Los Angeles) and airport transfers. For reservations, call (800) 622-0723.

• Pueblo Bonito Hotels and Resorts, the chain of all-suite boutique properties in Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan, is offering a Stay and Save program through 2003.

The hotel company gives clients a choice of a fourth night free when they pay for three nights, or a sixth and seventh night free when customers pay for five nights.

Sweetening the offer is a daily $20 food and beverage credit per room, free spa admission and, with a seven-night stay, a free massage.

Pueblo Bonito's resorts are the Pueblo Bonito Rose, Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos and Sunset Beach, all in Los Cabos, and the Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan and Emerald Bay, both in Mazatlan.

Stay and Save rates start at $195 per person, per day, double, at the Pueblo Bonito Rose and Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos, and $165 at the Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach. Rates at the Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan and Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay start at $165.

For information or reservations, call (800) 990-8250 or visit www.pueblobonito.com.

• Pleasant Holidays and the Villa del Palmar resort in Puerto Vallarta are offering a fourth night free to guests who travel through Oct. 31, and the sixth and seventh nights free to guests who travel through Dec. 20.

Four-night, land-only packages start at $148 per person, double, while seven-night, land-only packages start at $251 per person, double.

Packages include roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and surcharges and on-site assistance from Pleasant's customer-service representatives.

To book, call (800) 448-3333 or visit www.pleasantagent.com.

• The 395-room Presidente InterContinental Los Cabos Resort began offering a European plan (EP) option on July 1, becoming the only resort in San Jose del Cabo to offer both EP and all-inclusive pricing, according to the resort.

As a result, the resort will open its restaurants to non-guests in an effort to elevate the status of its restaurants and attract locals. Guests on the EP plan, meanwhile, will have access to more restaurants, including Da Antonio Ristorante.

The hotel's EP rates will range from $150 to $250 a night, depending on the category of room and the season.

The resort recently opened a fifth restaurant, Napa, serving light California-style dishes.

For information or reservations, call (800) 327-0200 or visit the Web at www.intercontinental.com.

• To help families planning their summer vacations, the Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort is touting its Hilton Vacation Station program.

Vacation Station is offered free to all guests traveling with children through Sept. 1. As part of the program, the resort offers a Toy Lending Desk with a wide selection of age-appropriate toys and games.

As a welcome gift, kids ages 4 to 12 get a canvas carrier that can hold a portable CD player or electronic game and up to six CDs or DVDs. It features an extra pocket for a book or coloring materials.

The resort also allows kids 18 and younger to stay free in their parents' room.

For reservations, call (800) 774-1500 or visit www.hilton.com.

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

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