Travel News

Mexico Travel News

Grazing in Mexico City

Mexico City’s new Mercado Roma, a three-level space on a previously forlorn block in the rapidly gentrifying Roma neighborhood, has become the city’s latest culinary hub. The market is a labyrinth of stalls where you can graze on pork belly canapés and duck sashimi alongside stylish locals. Stop by Tlaxcalli Amantolli for classic antojitos; Oli to try Basque-Mexican tapas; and Lactography for a range of Mexican cheeses.

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo gears up for one of its busiest winter seasons ever

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is gearing up for what it hopes will be one of its strongest winter seasons ever. New international flights are increasing the destination’s connectivity. Most recently, Delta Airlines announced new service from Los Angeles with five departures a week, beginning December 20. WestJet launched its winter season with thrice-weekly service out of Calgary through April 25. On December 11, Sunwing Airlines, which offers flights from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton, added flights from Winnipeg, Kelowna, and Regina-Saskatoon through April. The destination recently expanded and modernized the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport (ZIH). A plus for travelers flying into ZIH is its close proximity to both destinations. Zihuatanejo is just 10 minutes west of the airport and Ixtapa an additional 10 minutes via a four-lane highway.

All told, the dual destination boasts more than 7,000 hotel rooms. The newest addition to the region is the all-inclusive, all-suite Azul Ixtapa Grand. Located approximately 20 minutes from ZIH, the property is part of the US$80 million Hotel Zone II Ixtapa development plan.

Zihuatanejo, a diminutive fishing port, epitomizes Old world Mexican charm, while Ixtapa has garnered a reputation as a modern world-class resort destination. Zihuatanejo’s hotels are smaller, ranging from economy to grand luxury properties situated on La Ropa Beach or overlooking the bay.

International News

Next up for Yotel: more micro-hotels in the US

Micro-hotel brand Yotel plans a global expansion that includes bringing its newest capsule-type accommodations to San Francisco, Brooklyn, and Miami. Yotel will add 200 cabins⎯which is what the company calls its super-compact rooms⎯to the Grant Building at 1095 Market St. in San Francisco. It also will open a 250-cabin hotel in downtown Miami and a 110-cabin hotel in Brooklyn. It’s part of an expansion plan which includes opening a fourth airport Yotel at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport in mid-2016 and a Yotel Singapore with 600 cabins in the city’s commercial area.

Yotel currently operates hotels in Heathrow and Gatwick airports in London and Schiphol Amsterdam Airport in the Netherlands. Its lone non-airport hotel near Times Square in New York City has 669 rooms and opened in 2011. The company says it’s in “advanced negotiations” to bring new sites to Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, and other US cities. It also has its sights on Dubai, London, Milan, Barcelona, Sydney, and Hong Kong.

India allowing visas on arrival for US tourists

The Indian government has added the United States to the list of countries whose citizens can receive a visa at the destination airport after applying online, according to a Wall Street Journal article. This openness comes after the election of new government officials, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who promised less entrance hassle for tourists, businesspeople, and those with Indian heritage.

Single-entry tourist visas are valid for 30 days and can be applied for twice a year. According to the Indian government, the main purpose of the trip must be sightseeing, recreation, meeting friends or relatives, short-term medical care, or casual business. Travelers’ passports must be valid for at least six months and they must have a ticket out of the country, along with sufficient funds for the stay.

Cruise News

Richard Branson to enter cruise business

British entrepreneur Richard Branson promises to shake up the status quo of the cruise lines with a fresh approach to the multi-billion dollar business. Branson’s Virgin Group announced that it has formed Virgin Cruises. With the backing of Bain Capital, it plans to start the new cruise line by building two “world class” cruise ships. That suggests that the first sailing of Virgin Cruises won’t take place for two years or more. The company said it is withholding details about the start of operations for competitive reasons. Virgin Cruises will be the first major new entrant in the cruise business since Disney Cruise Line was formed in 1996. Branson’s track record running businesses such as Virgin Airlines gives him instant credibility in seeing the new start-up succeed.

Deal of the Week

“Joie de vivre” in the south of France

Six-day itinerary starting at only US$1,695 per person. A stay in Vence includes such pleasures as the perfumed air of Provence, a relaxed yet sophisticated home base, local cuisine, twentieth century modern art collections, charming hilltop villages, and chic seaside towns.

Package pricing includes five nights accommodation at La Maison Du Frene; private guided walking tour of Vence; local olive oil or wine tasting tours depending on season; small group half-day tour to Monaco, Eze, and Turbie; welcome package; a welcome or a farewell dinner in Vence; and compact car rental with automatic transmission.

Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys, which specializes in designing independent tours, cruises and travel for discerning travelers. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any of the Travel News topics; cell phone 415 111 8765, email, or view the latest travel specials on the website where you can book your hotels, tours, and cruises online.

Sources: Travel Industry Wire, Travel Pulse, Condé Nast Traveler, Los Angeles Times, Travel Weekly, USA Today, Eurobound


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