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

HOPING TO RECOVER MOMENTUM after a particularly damaging hurricane season, hotels throughout Los Cabos are offering winter packages that include such things as free room nights, dinners and 18 holes of golf. Most of the packages are in effect through mid- to late-December, although several resorts are offering discounts well into next year's winter season. For information about participating hotels, call (866) LOS CABOS or check out www.visitloscabos.org. The following is a sampling of some of what's available:


• The Casa del Mar Beach, Golf and Spa Resort extended its Value Season promotion until Dec. 20, offering a four-night package for $1,336, double, a 36% discount over traditional winter prices. The package, which was to have expired Oct. 15, includes accommodations in a deluxe oceanview room, daily breakfast, roundtrip airport transfers, shuttle service to Cabo San Lucas and all taxes and service charges. In addition, to boost agent business, Casa del Mar raised commissions to 12% on all new booking made by Dec. 20. For information or reservations, call (888) 227-9621 or visit www.CasadelMarMexico.com.
• The Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort is marketing four- and seven-night Winter Holiday packages that include three daily meals. A four-night package costs $275 per person, double, while a seven-night stay costs $426 per person, double. The package, available Nov. 1 to March 31, also includes roundtrip airport transfers. For information or reservations, call (800) 752-3555 or visit www.hotelbuenavista.com.
• The Hotel Finisterra offers a Fall/Winter Special" priced at $70 a day per person, double, with a minimum three-night stay in an oceanview junior suite. Available from Oct. 1 to Dec. 25, the package includes a bottle of wine with dinner at the Blue Marlin restaurant and all taxes and gratuities. For information or reservations, call (800) 347-2252 or visit www.finisterra.com.
• The Hotel Hacienda Beach Resort will throw in two free nights when clients book a minimum of five as part of its Fun in the Sun promotion. Prices start at $109 per night, per person, double, including taxes and service charges. The package is available through Dec. 19 and Jan. 4 to 31. For information or reservations, call (800) 733-2226 or visit www.haciendacabo.com.

CONTINENTAL AIRLINES said it will introduce daily nonstop service between Houston's George Bush Airport and Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico, Dec. 17, subject to government approval. Ciudad del Carmen would be the 23rd destination in Mexico served by Continental, and the service would start on the same day as Continental's previously announced service from Houston to Manzanillo. Continental Express would operate 50-passenger jets on the nonstop service to Ciudad del Carmen, located 130 miles from Campeche City in the Mexican state of Campeche off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula. The flight would depart Houston at 9:20 a.m. and arrive in Ciudad del Carmen at 12:22 p.m. The return flight would depart Ciudad del Carmen at 2:45 p.m. and arrive in Houston at 5:33 p.m.

MAYATOUR launched a weeklong Yucatan Reef and Ruins tour that combines three days of exploring the culture and archaeology of the Maya with four days at one of the Yucatan's beach resorts. Guests spend one night in Valladolid and two nights in colonial Merida. Three daily meals are included during the Maya tour portion of the itinerary, which includes visits to Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Kaban, Labna and Sayil. On the fourth day, customers are escorted to their chosen beach destination, which can include Cancun, Isla Holbox, Isla Mujeres, Tulum, Playa del Carmen or Cozumel. Land prices start at $974 per person, double. For information or reservations, call Mayatour at (800) 392-6292 or send e-mail to [email protected].

CANCUN will kick off its second annual Gastronomic Festival of the Mexican Caribbean Nov. 1. The 15-day event will feature special menus prepared by about three dozen of Cancun's restaurants, as well as visiting chefs from the Yucatan. A number of special events and activities are planned for Cancun's Kukulcan Plaza, including wine and tequila tastings, as well as food tastings from the participating restaurants. The festival culminates on Nov. 15 with a recipe contest and cook-off between several of the best young chefs in the region. For details, visit www.cancun.info.

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