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Go to magicofmexico.com, where you’ll ﬁnd everything you need to become a Mexico Specialist
The flight is short. The dollar goes further. The fun is endless. It’s time to discover the Mexico Specialist Program. Free interactive e-learning campus, open 24/7. Increase your knowledge and expand your expertise selling travel to Mexico!
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Discover Puebla’s Treasures CONNIE SKOOG
his “most European of Mexico’s cities” offers culture, history, charm and gourmet dining, all for a fraction of a trip to Europe. Puebla may not be on everyone’s favorite Mexican destination list, but its boutique hotels, adventurous restaurants and historic charm will soon be discovered. Introduce your clients to the next “in” spot. Do you know Mexico pretty well? How many The Church of our Lady of Remedies – framed by one of Puebla’s four volcanos – tops the largest pre-Columbian clients have you sent to pyramid in the world, Tlachihualtepetl in Cholula. Puebla, capital of the state of Puebla? Just 85 miles from Mexico City, this colonial The Spanish, however, were not the first to leave their imcity of 3.5 million was declared a World Heritage Site by UN- print on this part of Mexico. Archeologists have found eviESCO in 1987. Classic Mexican dishes such as mole poblano dence that the valley was first inhabited between 1500 and originated in this city, famous for its haute cuisine restau- 2000 BC. The largest pre-Columbian pyramid in the world, rants. Several of Mexico's top universities are located here. Tlachihualtepetl, is a must-see attraction in nearby Cholula; Puebla was meticulously planned in 1531 by a Spanish city though excavation is incomplete, visitors can walk through a designer; visitors have designated it "the most European of maze of tunnels inside the mountainous edifice and climb to Mexican cities." Despite its great charm and importance in the top where the Spanish built the Church of our Lady of Mexican history, Puebla has not made a name for itself in the Remedies in the 16th century. travel world. Most North Americans clamor to Mexico's faPuebla is known as the most Catholic of Mexican cities, a vored destinations such as the Riviera Maya, Baja, Mexico conservative place that has carefully preserved and protected City and Puerto Vallarta. You can offer your clients another its cultural and architectural heritage. It prides itself for its Mexican experience, though, one that rivals a European va- safe, clean streets and just about anyone you meet seems to cation. know its history and folklore. Clients attracted to narrow cobOffer Puebla to clients who would love a European city ex- bled streets and dining al fresco while people watching will perience for a fraction of the cost, who want to learn Spanish thank you for introducing them to this charming colonial city. at one of Puebla’s schools, who know they'll need an urban break after a few days at the beach, who live to cook and/or Tesoros: Treasures of Mexico eat, who enjoy places that feel "real" without hordes of The Mexico Treasures Quality Club (El Club de Calidad tourists, or to your clients who just love Mexico—its culture, Tesoros de Mexico) is a group of properties that focuses on people and food. preserving both historic boutique hotels and the classic cuisine of Mexico. Accommodation in this group must be loLayers of History cated in traditional buildings which have been carefully preHistory buffs can tour magnificent sites such as the served; restaurants—also located in historic buildings—offer Cathedral, San Francisco Acatepec and Tonanzintla, visit top- dishes recaptured from Mexico's culinary past. Of the Tesoros rated museums and Franciscan monasteries or wander group's 44 hotels and 28 restaurants, 15 properties are located through narrow streets lined with colonial buildings con- in the state of Puebla, 11 in the capital city of Puebla. structed in the 16th century. Seventy-six churches grace the Standards for authenticity and service are high; many propcity of Puebla. It boasts 2600 historically important buildings. erties that have tried to join the Tesoros group were rejected. 22 • DECEMBER 2009
www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News
MEXICO One member of the Tesoros group, Meson Sacrista de la Compania, (www.mesones-sacristia.com) was the first boutique hotels in Puebla according to its General Manager. "We started as an antique store," GM Leobardo J. Espinosa Lopez explained. "My family has always been in the antique business. My father got the idea that we could rent some rooms out, and we expanded from there. We still only have six rooms and two suites, and we are still an antique gallery!" Indeed, staying at the Meson Sacrista de la Compania is living in an antique store. Everything is for sale; everything is beautiful—sometimes weird but always wonderful. The colorful Mexican décor inside this 18th century mansion accentuates its European and Mexican antiques perfectly. Another attraction at the Meson Sacrista de la Compania is its traditional Mexican cooking class. National Geographic recently recommended this class in Traveler Magazine. The hotel offers special packages that include a week of 3-hour classes and accommodation as well as tours of the city and restaurants. Students need not stay at the hotel to attend classes. They can be arranged for anyone, from one class to a week or more. With its excellent food, live music, and fun, eccentric atmosphere, the Meson Sacrista de la Compania should on any itinerary for a Puebla visit….as accommodation, restaurant, antique store, cooking class, or all of the above. Rack rates range from $100 to $125 plus tax. Hotel Boutique Casona de la China Poblana is another Tesoros property located in the heart of the historic downtown area. It offers five rooms and five suites, ranging from around $150 to close to $300. Imagination and design permeate this 17th century mansion turned boutique hotel. It was supposedly the home of a legendary heroine in Puebla history: China Poblana, a mystical ex-slave girl from India who captured the hearts of the people. Its décor is a skillful combination of antique and modern accessories, all for sale. All of the Tesoros properties in Puebla provide easy access to the old town with its museums, churches and restaurants. Each has a character of its own. The owner of El Sueno named each room after a famous woman poet or painter; Restaurant El Mural de los Poblanos features a mural depicting famous denizens of Puebla. Each place is indeed a treasure that will be more than just a "place to stay"; each property is a destination itself.
New Architecture Mexican Style La Purificadora, a Habita Group hotel, is another Puebla property with its roots in the past. Deigned by Richardo Legorreta, this hotel reaches new heights in design and creatively linking the past to the future. Once a water purification and bottling plant, the hotel offers a breathtaking lobby that is open to the sky. Purple couches draped with wool blankets surround fire pits; a bubbling waterfall cuts through a Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com
Chef Alonse Hernandez teaches a willing journalist how to make an authentic Mexican red sauce.
mammoth staircase. Stairs, the swimming pool, even floors are fashioned from glass—unnerving for those with vertigo. Recommend that your clients drop in for a drink in the third story bar, even if they chose to stay elsewhere. This property must be experienced. Rack rates start at $130US per night.
Tours In and Around Puebla Special-interest travel is a natural for Puebla and its surrounding area. Monica Hernandez Garcia of Tip Tours (firstname.lastname@example.org) works with travel professionals in the United States to arrange architectural tours, antique trips, cooking classes and visits with famous chefs, guided tours of ruins and churches, or any other personalized tour. Tip Tours will either pay agents a commission or will work with agents who want to price the personalized trip themselves. Several nearby towns are worthwhile destinations: The town of Atlixco claims the “best climate in the world.” If clients stay with Armando and Gabriela, owners of Antigua Alqueria de Carrion Boutique Hotel, (and they should) they will feel that they are visiting friends. Armando Saldana Flores happily takes his guests to a gorgeous 18th century hacienda where, if they are lucky, they can meet its enchanting French owner who will regale them with stories of her long eventful life in Mexico. She and Armando work to restore 17th and 18th century paintings that have been languishing in homes and churches in the area. Armando shows his guests some of these treasures, priceless works of art that are not yet on display to the public. Armando, Monica, or any of the owners of the treasured properties in Puebla will provide your clients with warm personalized care and a unique Mexican experience they will long remember.
http://www.tesorosdepuebla.com DECEMBER 2009 •
Agents Can Now Become Mexico Specialists by Learning – and Earning – on the Web, Compliments of the Mexico Tourism Board
he Mexico Tourism Board has developed an interactive learning resource for travel agents and tour operator partners. A storehouse of knowledge and instruction, resources, and sales insights is open and ready for use 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year round. The award-winning Magic of Mexico Campus helps visitors gain the knowledge and confidence to make Mexico a most popular and profitable leisure destination. Departments include Online Lessons, Webinars, FAM Trips, Resources (maps, videos, etc.), and Mexico Up-to-Date News. Whether one is a novice or a true Mexico expert, www.magicofmexico.com displays Mexico’s stunning beauty, historic grandeur, and unique attractions. Selling trips to this southern neighbor will be utterly simple. From 6,000 miles of sun-kissed shore, to 30 centuries of cultural heritage, Mexico is fascinating, close-by and easily explored.
Specialist status By completing the free interactive online study course, agents can receive “Mexico Specialist” status from the Mexico Tourism Board, exclusive benefits, and a fully updated “Magic of Mexico” Sales
24 • DECEMBER 2009
Guide in PDF format. There’s also a diploma to certify one’s expertise and continuing education credits. Ongoing support, rewards, and enticements extend beyond course completion. The Magic of Mexico Specialist Course makes it very good business sense to sign up via the website for this free and profitable trove of information and education. Graduates are eligible to attend any of the Mexico field inspections. Programs are currently offered to Cancun, Acapulco or Puerto Vallarta, with more coming soon. (Fees and restrictions apply.) Graduates will secure “continuing education credits” from The Travel Institute (US) and CITC (Canada), towards earning professional designation as “Certified Travel Counselors.” At the interactive campus, visitors are granted access to electronic (PDF) versions of the entire Magic of Mexico Study Guide (12th edition)—available on demand, in full-color, and ready to email or print for clients. Graduates receive colorful collateral
items (a color diploma and table tent) upon completion, ready to display, adding credibility and recognition.
Bulletin Board and Chat Course users are able to chat with other users via an innovative online bulletin board/chat room, in order to expand one’s knowledge and make friends with other Mexico-selling agents.
Consumer Leads The Mexico Tourism Board has an online database on its website, giving consumers an opportunity to search for their nearest “Mexico Specialist.” In addition to the current courses in the Mexico Specialist Program, Specialized Destination Programs as Cancun Tourism Institute, Acapulco Academy, Los Cabos Expert, Mazatlan Mazters and Puerto Vallarta Pro are available at www.magicofmexico.com
Mexico Tourism Board, www.visitmexico.com, www.magicofmexico.com
www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News
Cancun Travel Mart Mexico Summit J U D I T H G LY N N CANCUN VISITORS & CONVENTION BUREAU
Over 2300 meetings took place during the Mart’s three-day event. CANCUN VISITORS & CONVENTION BUREAU
26 • DECEMBER 2009
Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, Rodolfo Elizondo, and other tourism dignitaries open the Cancun Travel Mart. CANCUN VISITORS & CONVENTION BUREAU
t this year’s Cancun Travel Mart Mexico Summit sponsored by the Cancun Hotel Association, approximately 2,300 individual and pre-scheduled appointments between tour operators, buyers, meeting planners and suppliers took place during the threeday event (October 14-16, 2009). Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, Rodolfo Elizondo, inaugurated the Mart along with Quintana Roo Governor Felix Gonzalez and other dignitaries. Included in this year’s 550 registered exhibitors were many Mexican destinations, not limited to Quintana Roo, the Riviera Maya and the Mexican Caribbean. William H. Coleman, Inc organized the three days of business appointments between buyers and sellers. The company is based in Jacksonville, Florida and has over 40 years’ experience in event management, 22 of which have organized the Cancun Travel Mart. “This is a strictly-business event,” said Bill Coleman at this year’s Mart. Every applicant goes through a qualifying process with some suppliers being turned away. Select Match helps both buyers and suppliers manage their time and interests by arranging 15-minute appointments, pre-scheduled one week prior to the event. Additionally, many attendees scheduled hotel site inspections. Almost 20 countries were represented at the event. Coleman noticed that this year’s marketplace was cautious. There was a lot of negotiating going on with more aggressive pricing in play. Mart participants revealed to him that they had to be more creative than in the past. However, hotel and service providers were cautious not to lower prices. Instead, they remained the same, some even raised 5%, and added values were offered. A previous experience where prices were lowered to attract business after a natural disaster took years to increase them again. Indicators suggest that Cancun and the Riviera Maya are recovering from the double and devastating impact of a declining world economy and health concerns that hit the area, as well as most of Mexico. And last-minute bookings are on the rise; a behavior that today’s traveler is more flexible. “Our December to April 2010 incoming flights are up 1% from the U.S. market,” said Jesús Amaguer, general director of the Cancun CVB, adding that commercial flights now outnumber charters. The bureau is aggressively marketing to all groups and not only visitors age 25 to 50 who typically travel to Cancun during its high season. Baby boomers and older retirees who stay three or more months are of particular interest to the bureau’s marketing team. Two major transformations are in place for the Cancun area. One is the beach recovery project, which replaces lost beach sand between Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc. The other is
Jesús Amaguer, general director of the Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau and Rodrigo de la Peña, president of the Cancun Hotel Association are pleased with the Mart’s success.
the recent opening of the second runway at Cancun Airport, complete with a new control tower and a taxiway bridge. “We’re ready when the crisis is over,” said a top government official referring to Cancun’s ability to rebound and its continued growth evidenced by the two major improvements.
Cancun Travel Mart, cancuntravelmart.com www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News
UNLEASH YOUR SECRET PASSION Now is your chance to enjoy the luxuriously pampered life you deserve, in a purely all-inclusive, adults only, intimate resort that answers to no oneâ€™s interests but your own. Come and experience award-winning service that puts the best of the Mexican Caribbean in your hands.
800.232.8316 | valentinmaya.com
What’s New in Cancun J U D I T H G LY N N
he buzz at this year’s Cancun Travel Mart Mexico Summit held October 14-16, 2009 had to do with several projects either completed or beginning in Cancun. All benefit the region and every visitor.
Cancun International Airport Completion in mid-October of the Cancun International Airport’s $67 million second runway allows for simultaneous takeoffs and landings on both runways. It’s Mexico’s first airport to have that ability. Capacity is expected to increase to 28 million passengers per year for the almost 150 domestic and international airlines that use the airport. Additionally, a new 315-foot control tower and taxiway bridge were built. According to Airports Council International, Cancun International Airport is the best airport in Latin America and among the top five in the world.
Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa.
meals can be taken a la carte in all six restaurants (only one buffet restaurant) and international premium liquor brands are served. A variety of inclusions are: salsa lessons, Spanish lessons; Kids’ Explorer Club, fitness center; aqua aerobic classes, movies on the beach and honeymoon suites are oceanfront. Confirmed weddings for 2010 already number 120.
AM Resorts – Dreams Riviera Cancun, www.amresorts.com
Xplor Quintana Roo Beaches Get New Sand It’s not true that Cancun beaches have lost their sand. And to dispel any doubt, plus recover any lost during storms, a three-month-long project has begun to replenish Cancun’s seashore. Approximately seven miles of coastline between Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc are slated for renewal (Playa del Carmen and Cozumel included) and will include 1.3 billion gallons of sand. One factor in the planning stages was for long-term environmentally conscious results. The sand chosen won’t get hot with the sun. Its high density is compatible with the current sand and will have a low volume loss in case of a meteorological event. The beach restoration project should be completed in January 2010 and will not affect Cancun’s visitors. Beachgoers are required to use biodegradable sunshine lotion at all times throughout Cancun’s beach and water attractions.
Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa This Mexican Caribbean all-inclusive 485-room resort, which is a luxurious addition to the Riviera Maya, opened in early October 2009. Its location is within a national park and close to Playa del Carmen and tiny Puerto Morelos. Add in only a 25-minute drive to the Cancun International Airport and the resort is a winner. “Everyone is a VIP here,” said Hagen Sommer, sales manager at Dreams Riviera Cancun, when referencing the property’s all-inclusive branding. That label often denotes poor quality: all meals are buffet, most liquor is sub-standard and colored wristbands determine a guest's level of service. At Dreams Riviera, no one wears a wristband; well-prepared 28 • DECEMBER 2009
Four top-notch activities take about six hours to complete in this all-inclusive underground adventure park that opened July 2009 on 149 acres. They include 11 zip lines that cover two miles; underground rafts that sail among stalactites and stalagmites; amphibious vehicles that travel on water, over winding jungle roads or through caverns and a 437-yard stalactite river swim. The park accommodates 1,200 visitors and early attendance records show this number will be reached soon. The median age, to date, is 25-35 years of age. The minimum age allowed in the park is eight with adult accompaniment. The maximum per-person weight is 300 pounds. Some activities are not recommended for pregnant women, persons with heart conditions, diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, hypertension and claustrophobia. The park uses first-class equipment and technology, considered the world’s best and safest. The staff has First Aid knowledge. A paramedic and doctor are on the premises at all times. Lifeguards are along the way for the river swim. Double-wired zip lines a distribute a person’s weight better than one line and are standard here. Unlimited servings of natural fruit beverages (no soda or alcohol) are available in the park. Meals are 70% vegetarian and created to help attendees continue their activities unhindered by a poor diet. Admission covers all four activities, plus meals. Life jackets, helmets, harnesses and hand paddles are free to use, as are lockers and dressing rooms. Xplor is located 35 miles south of Cancun International Airport and 4 miles south of Playa del Carmen.
Xplor, www.xplor.travel www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News
Only for Top Travel Agents
WIN THE PERFECT VACATION YOU DESERVE AS A TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL Sell at least 5 room nights for stays dated between January 1st and April 30th, 2010 and enter the raffle for a 20,000 USD first-class vacation. Your vacation package to the Riviera Maya includes: rRound flight in private jet (pick up in selected airports) rSeven nights all-inclusive accommodation for four people rTours to Chichen Itzá, Tulum, Río Secreto and Canché rMassages and spa treatments for four people All sales must be made between November 1 st, 2009 and Januar y 31 st, 2010. The raffle will take place in June 15 th and the results will be published via email and in specialized magazines. Only members of Golden Club can par ticipate.
REAL LUXURY COMES NATURALLY Environmentally responsible all-inclusive luxury resort, nestled in the midst of a nature preserve, affording tranquil beaches, eco-adventures, and experiences unlike any others. MX 01 800 262.9268 ~ USA 1 800 224.4231 email@example.com / www.haciendatresrios.com Hacienda Tres Ríos is not reliable for errors or omissions contained in this publicity.
MEXICO EDUARDO CHAILLO ORTIZ NAMED RECIPIENT OF KEVIN FORDE SPIRIT AWARD
Eduardo Chaillo Ortiz pictured with Site CEO Brenda Anderson and Site President Patrick K. Sullivan.
During the Site International Conference in Aruba, the association presented the Kevin Forde Spirit award to member Eduardo Chaillo Ortiz, Regional Director USA & Canada of the Mexico
30 • DECEMBER 2009
Tourism Board in recognition of his integrity, strength and leadership. Ortiz is an advocate and ambassador for his destination and is a respected leader in the global motivational experience industry. Mr. Ortiz rose to meet challenges during a time when Mexico has been tested by world heath warnings, unbalanced media coverage, and natural disasters. Eduardo’s response to these challenges was to stand firmly and continue to be a collaborative leader and champion of his destination, Mexico, by honoring commitments and keeping business moving. The Kevin Forde Spirit Award is awarded to a Site member who exemplifies the traits that Kevin Forde was known and respected for: generosity of time and energy to those in the industry who needed help or advice; representation of the motivational experiences industry within a professional role endorsing one’s destination; volunteering with Site and giving back to the Site global community. Site, with more than 2,200 members in 87 countries with 34 local and regional chapters, is the only global authority connecting motivational experiences with business results. The community of Site professionals brings solutions, insights and global connections to maximize the business impact of motivational experiences regardless of industry, region or culture. Site, www.siteglobal.com
www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News
MEXICO BRAND NEW WEDDING CHAPEL AT THE GRAND PALLADIUM IN THE MAYAN RIVIERA
Located beachfront on the popular Mayan Riviera, the Grand Palladium complex recently inaugurated the brand new chapel “Nuestra Señora de las Nieves.” Designed to meet increasing demand for religious wedding ceremonies, the chapel holds up to 160 people and features a charming Colonial-style architecture that blends in perfectly with the resort complex. Perfect for those opting for a destination wedding but not wanting to sacrifice the religious element of the ceremony, the Grand Palladium Resorts in the Mayan Riviera are the perfect option for a fairytale wedding. Luxurious, five star all-inclusive resorts with beachfront locations in some of the most desirable destinations (Mayan Riviera, Punta Cana, Montego Bay and Riviera Nayarit), Palladium Hotels & Resorts are ideal for a family vacation, wedding, honeymoon or event. A wide variety of facilities and services combined with The Palladium philosophy of low-density construction allow guests to truly get away from it all and submerge themselves in the breathtaking, natural surroundings of these exotic destinations. For even more luxury, there’s The Royal Suites by Palladium. These ultra-exclusive and adults-only resorts, located within the grounds of the Grand Palladium Resort complexes, feature butler service, gourmet restaurants, top-shelf drinks, personalized service and much more to satisfy even the most discerning guests. Fiesta Hotel Group, www.fiestahotelgroup.com
Opened in November 2007, Valentin Imperial Maya is the first resort developed outside of Europe by Valentin Hotels, a family-run hotel business that began in 1966 in Mallorca, Spain. Inspired by grand Spanish haciendas, the 540-suite Valentin Imperial Maya Resort blends classic style and contemporary sensibility. The resort has six categories of suites overlooking the Caribbean sea, and a 900-foot meandering swimming pool surrounding three island pools. A variety of treatments and spa rituals are available at the Spa at Valentin Imperial Maya. For couples planning their weddings, the resort is home to an official Roman Catholic chapel, the only one of its kind located within the entire destination of Riviera Maya. A multi-religion wedding gazebo and a dedicated wedding concierge are additionally available for couples. Besides unlimited access to nine restaurants offering gastronomy from Italy, France, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico and more—and eight bars including cigar lounge and sports bar, the all-inclusive resort provides two tennis and two paddle ball courts, non-motorized water sport equipment, fitness center, live entertainment nightly, a fully equipped business center and complimentary high-speed Internet access. Valentin Imperial Maya Resort, www.valentinmaya.com
VALENTIN HOTELS INTRODUCES RIVIERA MAYA RESORT Valentin Imperial Maya Resort, a luxurious all-inclusive, adultonly resort property on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, is a secluded ecological paradise where visitors can indulge in nature’s splendor. The resort is nestled along a half-mile stretch of white sand coastline aptly named Playa Del Secreto (Secret Beach). Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com
DECEMBER 2009 •
MEXICO SITE HONORS RODOLFO ELIZONDO, MINISTER OF TOURISM MEXICO, AT SITE NITE 2009
Rodolfo Elizondo flanked by Site CEO Brenda Anderson and Site President Patrick K. Sullivan during the award presentation at the Site Nite event.
Over 550 Site members and friends gathered at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago in September to celebrate and support the Site International Foundation. The main highlight of the evening was honoring Rodolfo Elizondo, Minister of Tourism, Mexico, with the Site Solidarity Award. Acknowledging the strength of collaboration with partners in government, the Site Solidarity Award is given to the government official who integrates the mission of Site into their tourism efforts and goals. Site CEO Brenda Anderson presented the award stating, “It is important that everyone from individuals to government officials speak up on behalf of our industry and keep the message strong about the value of motivational experiences. We applaud the efforts of Mr. Elizondo and his office and are thrilled to offer him this recognition.” During the event, the Foundation announced the addition of Site Nite Europe on the evening before IMEX opens, May 24, 2010. Site Nite North America will return in October of 2010 again with the Motivation Show. Generous help came from Site Nite’s Jade sponsor, InterContinental Hotels Group, and from the design team from Extraordinary Events. A complete list of Site Nite sponsors, is available on the event page of Site’s website. Site, siteglobal.com/sitenite, www.siteglobal.com
LAS BRISAS ACAPULCO, LAS BRISAS IXTAPA CHOSEN 2009 EXPEDIA INSIDERS’ SELECT™ HOTELS Two of Brisas Hotels & Resorts’ properties, Las Brisas Acapulco and Las Brisas Ixtapa, have been chosen as Expedia Insiders’ Select™ hotels for 2009. The annual award recognizes the very best hotels as judged by the experiences of Expedia’s customers. Based on hotel reviews submitted by customers, Las Brisas Acapulco and Las Brisas Ixtapa were identified as consistently delivering superior services, exceptional guest experiences and notable value. 32 • DECEMBER 2009
“The Expedia Insiders’ Select™ list represents the top one percent of the nearly 80,000 properties offered by Expedia. The hotels chosen on the annual list are recognized for consistently delivering excellent service, a great overall experience and a notable value to guests who booked their stay through Expedia. Las Brisas Acapulco, with its distinctive “white and pink” color scheme and the charming bungalow style rooms known as ‘casitas,’ has been a favorite among travelers for over 50 years. Favorite tourist outings include cliff diving at ‘La Quebrada’ where people can jump over a 100-feet-tall cliff and browsing for handcrafted treasures in the market. Las Brisas Ixtapa, 866-221-2961, www.brisas.com.mx; Las Brisas Acapulco, 800-223-6800 (Leading Hotels of the World), 866-RELAX-MX (735-2969) [group sales], www.brisas.com.mx; Expedia’s Insiders’ Select, www.expedia.com/insidersselect
SANDOS PLAYACAR, MEXICO, ENHANCES GETAWAY FOR COUPLES To enhance the appeal for couples seeking a getaway in the Riviera Maya, Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa offers adults-only accommodations, exclusive services and amenities, as well as a complimentary romantic package. The special section of adults-only accommodations is comprised of Select Club Ocean View suites, all with a king-size bed, marble bathroom with shower and hairdryer; air conditioning and ceiling fan for optimal climate control; satellite plasma TV; telephone; in-room safe; clock radio with alarm; iron and ironing board; coffee maker; and balcony with a view of Cozumel. Sandos Select Club guests receive additional in-room amenities including bathrobes each can use during their stay; welcome fruit basket; nightly turndown service; an expanded complimentary stocked mini-bar; additional toiletries. Sandos Select Club guests also enjoy private check-in; concierge service; late checkout (subject to availability); preferential reservations at all on-site a la carte restaurants; and access to the Select Club lounge area offering complimentary Internet access, canapés and beverages. Couples who choose the Select Club Ocean View suites enjoy added VIP services and amenities: a “child-free” partitioned section on the beach with waiter service, massage palapas, hammocks, daybeds and upgraded chaise lounges. All couples booking a Select Club Ocean View Suite are eligible to add on a complimentary Romantic Package, which includes an in-room romantic toast each evening, aromatherapy gift set, 15percent spa discount that can be used throughout the stay on all treatments in the new spa facility, 10-percent discount on motorized sports including banana boat rides, jet skiing and parasailing, and a framed photo of the couple. The package must be added to the reservation at time of booking. Sandos Hotels & Resorts, 866-887-5601, www.sandoshotels.com www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News