Travel Weekly's Mexico E-Letter: Oct. 15, 2003

OCCIDENTAL HOTELS & RESORTS is giving its properties in Mexico, Costa Rica and the Caribbean new names in an effort to differentiate its three all-inclusive brands: Royal Hideaway, its top-of-the-line brand; Grand, its five-star flag; and Allegro, its price leader. "We are introducing these new resort names to help distinguish and identify our all-inclusive resorts by their respective brands, each of which brings different amenities and experiences to the table for guests," said Jorn Kaae, senior vice president, Occidental Hotels & Resorts. In Mexico, the new names are: Allegro Cozumel by Occidental [formerly Occidental Allegro Cozumel]; Allegro Playacar by Occidental [formerly Occidental Allegro Playacar]; Grand Cozumel by Occidental [formerly Occidental Grand Cozumel]; Grand Xcaret by Occidental [formerly Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret]; Grand Nuevo Vallarta by Occidental [formerly Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta]; and Royal Hideaway Playacar by Occidental [formerly Occidental Royal Hideaway]. To kick off the new titles, guests of any newly named Occidental resort who have changed their name -- excluding for marriage or divorce -- within the last year will receive a complimentary 30-minute massage. The promotion is in effect through Nov. 15. For details on the properties, visit www.occidental-hoteles.com/home.html.

MEXICO'S AVALON RESORTS launched a Sweet Deal promotion with rates starting at $65 per person, double, through Dec. 23. The promotion is in effect at the all-inclusive Avalon Grand Cancun and Avalon Reef Club in Isla Mujeres and at the EP Avalon Baccara in Cancun. Children 12 and under stay and eat free when sharing a room with two paying adults. All-inclusive rates include meals, domestic alcoholic beverages, tips, taxes and airport transfers. The Baccara EP rate does not include taxes and gratuities. All transfers are included. For information or to book, call (800) 261-5014 or visit www.avalonvacations.com.

PLEASANT HOLIDAYS partnered with the Sheraton Cancun Resort & Towers to offer the third night free to guests who stay now through Dec. 23. In addition, children 15 and younger stay free. Three-night, land-only packages start at $144 per person, double. Prices include roundtrip airport transfers, accommodations and all hotel taxes and surcharges. Pleasant also is offering its popular ValuPak deal this fall, featuring two-for-one promotions to all customers who book Cancun travel packages through Dec. 22. The ValuPak, with up to $120 in savings, offers discounts on excursions to Chichen Itza and Isla Mujeres, among other options. For information or reservations, call (800) 448-3333 or visit www.PleasantAgent.com.

AEROMEXICO VACATIONS launched a Fall Beach Bargains promotion, offering up to $240 off per booking to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Los Cabos and Ixtapa. The promotion includes reduced rates, free upgrades, free meals and other value-added components. The promotion is valid for bookings made between through Nov. 14, for travel through Dec. 18. Packages include roundtrip air on AeroMexico; four nights' accommodations; roundtrip airport transfers; and 24-hour traveler assistance. Prices at the Holiday Inn Puerto Vallarta (with a $50 food and beverage credit) start at $394 per person, double, from Los Angeles. Prices at the all-inclusive Blue Bay Club in Cancun (with an upgrade to a junior suite) start at $454 from Atlanta. Prices at the Melia Cabo Real in Los Cabos (with an upgrade to a deluxe oceanview room) start at $454 from San Diego. To book through VAX VacationAccess, visit www.vaxvacationaccess.com, or call (800) 245-8585. Electronic bookings earn a 1% commission override.

FUNJET VACATIONS said it will offer nonstop charter air service from Columbus, Ohio, to Cancun. Seven-night packages departing Rickenbacker Airport will be offered seasonally from Feb. 8 to Aug. 8. Packages will start at $859.99 per person, double, including air fare. Travel agents can access Funjet Vacations through VAX VacationAccess or by calling (800) 558-3050.

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