Travel Weekly's Mexico E-Letter: December 2, 2002

IT LOOKS LIKE Los Cabos will soon be getting the royal treatment; the Royal Hideaway treatment, that is. Occidental Allegro Hotel Corp. will expand the Royal Hideaway brand by opening a second upscale, inclusive resort that will fly the Royal Hideaway flag. Teresa Alfonso, managing director of the Royal Hideaway Resort and Spa in Playacar, said construction of the Royal Hideaway resort in Los Cabos is scheduled to begin next summer, with an official opening planned for fourth-quarter 2004. The Royal resort will be built near the Presidente Intercontinental. The rooms will be priced at about $400 a night per person, double, compared with the $400 a night per room, double, that the Royal Hideaway in Playacar charges. For additional information or to make reservations at the Royal Hideaway Resort and Spa in Playacar, travel agents should call (800) 999-9182 or visit the Web at www.royalhideaway.com.

CUSTOMERS WHO NEED to rent a car in Mexico City can leave the driving to a chauffeur if they choose Avis. Avis offers chauffeur-driven rental cars at its nine locations in the Mexican capital. Isabel Solis Preve, regional sales manager for Avis Mexico, said the company has been offering the service for the past two years. "This service was launched for the comfort and safety of the customer," Preve said. Avis is the only car rental firm that offers the service in Mexico City, she said. Prices begin around $80 per day, which includes insurance and unlimited mileage. Fuel and taxes are extra. Commission is 5%. The chauffeur is on an eight-hour shift, but the rental car is available to the customer for 24 hours. For information or reservations, call (800) 331-1084.

MEXICO CITY'S Hotel Marquis Reforma added two meetings spaces that can accommodate a combined total of 2,400 people. The meeting spaces are part of the first phase of a two-part, multimillion-dollar renovation that will include a new business center and a spa and fitness center scheduled for completion next year. According to a hotel spokesperson, the new meetings rooms triple the hotel's meetings space. In addition, the hotel upgraded its existing meetings facilities and added amenities that include dataports to its rooms. The new spa, which is scheduled for completion in early 2003, will complete the first phase of the expansion. The second phase of the expansion will include the business center and an upgrade of rooms. For information or reservations, call (800) 235-2387 or visit www.marquisreformahl.com.mx.

PLEASANT HOLIDAYS added six resorts to its Mexico product line for 2003. The properties are highlighted in a 52-page brochure the company said has been made more user-friendly for travel agents. The additional resorts bring to 109 the number of properties in the firm's Mexico line. New for next year are the Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret, Cancun; JW Marriott, Cancun; Club Hotel Riu Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta; Marriott Casa Magna, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta; Occidental Grand Cozumel; and Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta. Also new for next year are four-night, air-inclusive packages to all destinations except Cancun and Cozumel, which offer six-night packages, and the largest selection of airlines the company has ever offered, including Aeromexico, Alaska, American Trans Air, Delta, Mexicana and US Airways. At the 449-room JW Marriott Cancun, a four-night, land-only package costs $764 per person, double, including airport transfers, taxes and surcharges. For information or reservations, call (800) 448-3333 or visit www.pleasantagent.com.

US AIRWAYS VACATIONS is offering up to 25% off its regular rates under its Sunshine Savings Sale to Mexico and the Caribbean. The promotion is in effect for air-inclusive bookings through Dec. 2 for travel from Dec. 13 through April 15. The operator's participating Mexico destination is Cancun, where prices begin at $477 per person, double, for three nights at the Imperial Las Perlas. Packages include roundtrip air fare on US Airways, hotel, airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges. For information or reservations, call (800) 455-0123; bookings also can be made through VAX Vacation Access or via the major GDSs.

THE FOUR SEASONS RESORT Punta Mita launched two pre-holiday packages. Through Dec. 20, the Gateway to Heaven Package features a complimentary fourth night stay, a $150 resort credit and free use of the Kids for All Seasons program. Rates start at $590 a night, double. The resort also designed a package for golfers who want to come to Puerto Vallarta for golf's World Cup, Dec. 10 to 15. Offered those same days, the World Cup Golf Package has a three-night minimum-stay requirement and includes one round of golf per person daily at the Vista Vallarta Golf Course, with transportation, unlimited practice range privileges and golf clinics, daily breakfast for two people and room attendant gratuities. Rates start at $306 a night, double. For additional information or to make reservations, call (800) 332-3442.

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