MANDARIN ORIENTAL HOTEL GROUP will operate its
first property in Mexico and Latin America when the 128-room
Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya opens here in the fall of 2005.
Developed by Desarrollos Marinos del Caribe, the property will
feature a 20,000-square-foot spa and several restaurants. "Visitors
will find a level of privacy and intimacy rarely experienced at
luxury resorts, while enjoying award-winning levels of service for
which Mandarin Oriental is known," said Edouard Ettedgui, the hotel
company's group chief executive. Hong Kong-based Mandarin Oriental
operates 18 luxury hotels worldwide, including 12 in Asia. Five
other hotels are under development: Washington (opening this
spring); Chiang Mai (opening later this year); Hong Kong (opening
in 2005); and Tokyo and Boston (opening in 2006).
MEXICO'S CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS, including its
many museums and archaeological sites, welcomed a record number of
visitors last year, according to Mexico's Ministry of Tourism. In
2003, more than 10 million tourists, many of them Mexicans, visited
the 200,000-plus archaeological sites around the country, an
increase of 4.47% from 2002. Mexico has more than 13,000
archeological sites, although only a small percentage has been
fully excavated. Museums throughout Mexico also boasted higher
numbers last year, with 7.6 million visitors from Mexico and 2.8
million from abroad.
SPEAKING OF MEXICAN CULTURE, Boston's Institute
of Contemporary Art is showcasing the "Made in Mexico" exhibition
until May 9. The exhibit, which spotlights Mexico's influence as a
contemporary artistic center, displays the works of 20 artists
whose work features Mexico or was created there, including
photography, sculpture and video. After Boston, "Made in Mexico"
will relocate to the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles from June 6
to Sept. 12. For more information about the exhibit, call (617)
266-5152 or visit www.icaboston.org.
RUNAWAY said it is offering reduced rates to
Mexico. In Cancun and Riviera Maya, for example, four-night
packages that include air fare start at $645 per person, double, at
the Gran Melia Cancun. The rate is based on departures from
Sacramento, Calif. For reservations, call (800) 622-0723.
PLEASANT HOLIDAYS is offering reduced room
rates and a fourth night free at the CasaMagna Marriott Resort
Puerto Vallarta through April 4. Four-night, land-only packages
start at $330 per person, double, reflecting a savings of $464 per
couple. Prices include roundtrip airport transfers, accommodations,
and all hotel taxes and surcharges. For information or
reservations, call (800) 448-3333 or visit www.PleasantAgent.com.