By Judy Newell
Mexico Travel News
Transforming the arts scene in Mexico City
This fall will bring a new building and public access to the privately owned Jumex Collection, believed to be the largest private collection of contemporary arts in Latin America, with more than 2,600 pieces. The collection’s new home is slated to open to the public in November, housing the collection of Eugenio López, the heir to the Jumex fruit juice and foods conglomerate.
Just next to the upscale suburb Polanco, the new museum is a neighbor of the Soumaya Museum, which opened in 2011 and is owned by the foundation of Carlos Slim, currently the world’s second richest man. The Soumaya Museum, housed in an ultra-modern mirrored building, features European works from the 15th to 20th centuries, including the largest collection of Rodin casts and sculptures outside of France and the world’s largest private collection of his art, the largest collection of pre-Hispanic and Colonial era coins, and Mexican art, religious relics, coins and more.
The surrounding area is chockfull of high-end art galleries, as are the popular areas of Condesa and Colonia Roma. For an up-close look at contemporary Latin American art, the annual Zona Maco Mexico Contemporary Art Fair showcases contemporary works, drawing tens of thousands of collectors, artists, curators and other art lovers. The next show is February 5-9, 2014.
New York City’s largest hotel ending room service
For guests at a landmark hotel in the Big Apple, ordering breakfast in bed that gets wheeled in on a silver platter will soon be a thing of the past. New York Hilton Midtown in Times Square, the biggest hotel in New York City with nearly 2,000 rooms, says it will eliminate room service starting this summer.
The hotel, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has announced that its final room service meals will be served in August. After that point, guests will have to go downstairs to the new Herb n’ Kitchen, a la carte restaurant, for their meals. The move will cut 55 jobs.
Celebrity Xpedition loses Galapagos permit after lobster violation
Frozen lobster tails have stopped Celebrity cruises dead in the water. The cruise line is trying to get permission to once again sail in Galapagos National Park after its license was suspended for 45 days and it was fined US$2,000. Celebrity canceled weeklong cruises aboard the 98-passenger Celebrity Xpedition, starting with the June 2 cruise date.
The Galapagos National Park cited the ship for the transportation and storage of 12 kilograms of frozen lobster tails while out of season. Ecuadorian and park officials impose strict rules on the use of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and other foods by cruise ships to protect the Galapagos’ fragile ecosystem.
Subscribe to a year’s worth of fees
United Airlines announced it will let you “subscribe” to a year’s worth of ticket fees, introducing a pair of subscription programs offering customers either a year-long access to seats with extra legroom in the Economy Plus section of the cabin, or a year’s worth of pre-paid checked baggage fees.
Prices start at US$499 for the Economy Plus subscription and US$349 for the checked-bag program and go up depending on which region of the world you choose (Continental US or beyond) and how many companions you bring along. Travelers may add a second checked bag to the package for a US$50 yearly fee and the bags of one companion for US$100.
United Airlines passengers flying on an economy ticket within the continental US – and to Hawaii or Alaska – currently pay US$25 to check their first standard bag and US$35 for the second bag. The subscription only covers bag fees in the continental United States; adding additional regions will rack up additional fees.
The Economy Plus subscription package starts at US$499 and includes automatic upgrades to Economy Plus seats – when available – in the continental United States only. Adding a companion to the package costs US$200.
Deal of the Week
Golf-themed cruise with Billy Casper
Crystal Cruises is offering a golf-themed cruise with the legendary Billy Casper during a 10-day voyage on Crystal Symphony departing September 16 from Boston to Montréal. Guests purchasing three or more rounds of golf through Crystal are invited to a VIP golfers welcome cocktail reception, welcome kits, complimentary storage and cleaning of clubs and shoes, and private group clinics with the golf pro.
Casper, one of the most prolific tournament winners on the PGA Tour from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, will play with all guests, speak about his life and career, and host an awards party. All-inclusive fares for the New England cruise start at US$3,840 per person if booked by June 28. Fares for the golf club Crystal Adventures start at US$291 per person.
Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys, which specializes in custom-designed independent tours, cruises and travel for singles, couples and friends. Her private small-group trips this year include “Splendor of Turkey,” July 9-22, and “Celebrate Ireland”, September 21-Ocotober 8. Contact Judy by cell phone at 415-111-8765, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the website www.perfectjourneys.net.
Sources: Mexico4Agents, CNN Travel, Fox News, NBC News, Travel Pulse