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South Africa in absolute style

Mexico Travel News

Acapulco Gets US$1 Billion Vote of Confidence

Acapulco’s reputation of late has been no secret. High crime rates, plummeting tourism numbers, and disappearances from cruise itineraries have put the city in a dim light. But Acapulco has continued to work at repairing its once golden reputation as the true Mexican Riviera.

The city got a big 10-figure vote of confidence recently from Grupo Autofin, an investment firm that typically pours its money into the automotive, communications, and tourism industries. The company announced that it will invest US$1 billion in Acapulco over the next six years, with projects adding to the city 6,000 hotel rooms, golf courses, entertainment facilities, a zipline, and a hospital that will focus on medical tourism.

Grupo Autofin is the owner of Acapulco’s two crown jewel hotels, the Pierre Mundo Imperial and Princess Mundo Imperial, having purchased those properties in 2014.

The US$1 billion investment will be spread across different segments, from renovations to the Pierre Marques and Princess to the construction of retirement complexes, a tourism university, an adventure/safari park, and the hospital. Most of the projects will break ground in the second half of 2017.

The hospital will be a third-level hospital (offering tertiary care) that would handle all sorts of specialties and operations. Most procedures would be outpatient, with patients transferring to the Pierre Marquis and Princess hotels, which would be outfitted with medical recovery-style rooms and nurses on staff.

Grupo Autofin also has its sights set on a zipline that would connect one side of the Acapulco Bay to the other, as well as a 200-acre parcel of land that will be converted into an adventure safari park.

Acapulco’s international airport is also readying for a new terminal, which will be equipped to receive one million passengers per year. The airport terminal received an investment of US$30 million by Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte and will open in 2018.

The Mexican hotel firm Posadas Group is also putting its money—US$85 million—into Acapulco by starting construction of the Fiesta Americana Grand Acapulco Diamante. The city is also revamping its transportation systems with a macrotunnel to connect the traditional zone, known as Old Acapulco, with the new Diamante district.

International News

Embracing the Strong Dollar—in Russia

Travel can be expensive, there’s no denying that. But those with American dollars have an advantage. The dollar is strong and has been for the past few years. Now is the time to pack your bags and see some of those bucket list countries that were considered “too expensive” in the past.

Russia, the largest country in the world, has become a very affordable destination. Five years ago, the exchange rate was US$1=28 rubles. Today, you’ll receive 67 rubles. From a traveler’s standpoint, now is the time to visit Russia.

The world-famous Trans-Siberian train journey from Moscow, Russia, to Ulan Bator in Mongolia (or vice-versa) is an adventurous trip that many people dream of. A first class ticket will run about 35,000 rubles, which is equal to US$520. Five years ago, you would have paid US$1,250 per ticket. Today, with the savings, it’s better than a two-for-one deal.

Russia has many sites and activities to offer travelers, from the Kremlin and the Red Square in Moscow to the stunning Lake Baikal and Olkhon Island in Siberia. The country is vast and beautiful, and with the strong dollar it’s also much more affordable. In fact, your trip will cost 58 percent less today than it would have in 2011.

Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Arrives in China

The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club is making its debut in China near the city of Wanning with a course designed by Jack Nicklaus. The 244-room Ritz-Carlton Nanyan Bay is on track to open next year.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“You don’t need magic to disappear. All you need is a destination.”– Anonymous

Deal of the Week

South Africa in Absolute Style!

VIP Safari Deal—nine nights from US$3,999 per person!

Affordable luxury is the signature of this five-star safari vacation to Cape Town and Thornybush Game Reserve. You will spend time in beautiful Cape Town, one of Travel&Leisure’s World’s Best Cities, and enjoy big game on safari drives in the Thornybush Game Reserve, situated on the edge of Kruger National Park.

Trip Highlights:

Domestic flights from 38 major US cities to New York (JFK) or Washington, DC (Dulles)

Round trip international economy airfare on the award-winning South African Airways from New York (JFK) or Washington, DC (Dulles) to Cape Town, South Africa

High tea experience in the lounge at the Table Bay Hotel

Helicopter flight over the Atlantic Seaboard and Cape Town

Full-day Cape Winelands tour with stops for wine and olive tastings at La Motte Wine Estate, La Bourgogne Farm, and Franschhoek

Twice daily safari game drives in Thornybush Game Reserve

Four nights at the award-winning Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town

Three nights in luxury accommodations at Jackalberry Lodge in Thornybush Game Reserve

Meals: seven breakfasts/three lunches/five dinners—including one dinner at Camissa Restaurant, one dinner at Gold Restaurant and a bush breakfast at Jackalberry

Valid for select dates from September 2016 to December 2017. Lion World Travel, named a “World’s Best” Safari Outfitter” by Travel&Leisure.


Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for over 40 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She designs journeys that are tailored to suit a client’s interests, abilities and budget. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any Travel News topics; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, Car. a Dolores Hidalgo; hours Mon–Fri, 11am–4pm. View the latest travel specials on the website


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