Travel Weekly's Mexico E-Letter June 4, 2003

STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS said it will open its long-anticipated W Mexico City in August in the Mexican capital's swanky Polanco neighborhood. The 26-story 237-room hotel will be the W brand's first hotel in Latin America. "This will certainly be our most avant-garde hotel yet. The design is sophisticated, vibrant, sexy and full of surprises, which fits in well with Mexico City, and particularly the Polanco neighborhood," said Starwood chairman Barry Sternlicht. The hotel is situated on the corner of Campos Eliseos and Andres Bello in the heart of the upscale Polanco neighborhood. In keeping with the Polanco's trendy image, the W Mexico City will include Rande Gerber's first Whiskey bar outside the U.S., a signature restaurant, a full-service spa, nine high-ceiling "loft" suites and a business center. The hotel's rooms will feature walls and ceilings painted in "cherry red" in contrast with all-white beds, terrazzo floors and built-in shelving. In a departure from the norm, bathrooms will be located at the far end of rooms -- away from entrances -- and will have windows. All rooms will be equipped with standard W amenities like two telephones with voicemail, high-speed internet access, CD players, 27-inch color TVs, coffeemakers with W's own blend of coffee and W bath products.

PLEASANT HOLIDAYS teamed with the JW Marriott Cancun to offer special discounts on vacations through June 30. Guests also will receive a $100 spa credit during their stay. Seven-night, air-inclusive packages start at $1,095 per person, double, from Los Angeles and $1,135 from San Francisco, representing a savings of $281 per couple. Included are roundtrip air fare, airport transfers, accommodations, all hotel taxes and surcharges, and on-site assistance from Pleasant's customer service representatives. Call (800) 448-3333 or visit

DELTA AIR LINES launched a fare sale to several Latin America destinations, including Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City, all in Mexico. Tickets must be purchased by June 12, and travel completed by Oct. 31. Sale fares must be purchased on a roundtrip basis, do not require an advance purchase and are nonrefundable. Travel must originate in the U.S., except for Mexican destinations, where fares are valid either way. From Atlanta to Guadalajara, the one-way fare is $209; $104 from Chicago to Monterrey; $135 from New York (Kennedy) to Mexico City; and $149 from Los Angeles to Guadalajara.

IN OTHER AIRLINE NEWS, America West Airlines on June 1 launched the only daily nonstop service between Phoenix and Cancun. The airline is operating the service aboard A319 aircraft with room for 112 in coach and 12 first class seats. The flight from Phoenix departs at 9:14 a.m. and arrives in Cancun at 3:51 p.m. On the return, the flight departs Cancun at 5:45 p.m. and arrives in Phoenix at 8:18 p.m. In addition to Cancun, America West flies to Guaymas, Mazatlan, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Acapulco, Hermosillo, Guadalajara and Mexico City.

IN CONJUNCTION with the new service, America West Vacations partnered with 17 hotels and resorts in Cancun and the Riviera Maya to offer vacation packages. To help boost family travel, America West Vacations is marketing the Kids Stay and Eat Free package at several of the resorts. From Phoenix, a three-night package with roundtrip air fare starts at $368 per person, double, at the Costa Real, including accommodations and meals for kids ages 2 to 12. Prices are for Monday and Tuesday departures August through September. Call America West Vacations at (800) 356-6611 or go online at

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