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Travel News

Paris Getaway

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Marriott and Hilton to Open 88 Hotels

Over the next three years, the Marriott and Hilton hotel brands are scheduled to build 88 new hotels in Mexico.

Mexico Secretary of Tourism Enrique de la Madrid said that 44 of the new hotels will be operated by Marriott and the other 44 by Hilton, but he did not reveal the locations or estimated cost of the construction projects.  The new hotels will be in beach areas and city destinations throughout the country, including Mexico City and Guadalajara.

Marriott already owns 77 hotels in Mexico under the Courtyard, JW Marriott, and The Ritz-Carlton brands, and Hilton owns 55 facilities. The new openings over the next three years will add about 10,000 new rooms for the companies.

International News

Costa Rica 8 Days from US$739

This is the perfect program for families and individuals looking for a combination of adventure and beach relaxation—eight days in Costa Rica’s tropical paradise.

The tour includes three nights at Arenal at Magic Mountain; four nights in Guanacaste at Tamarindo Diria; a zipline tour; sunset sailing and snorkeling, seven breakfasts and one lunch, all transfers.

Take advantage of these low-season rates from May 2 to Jun 30 and Aug 1 to Oct 31, 2018 (rates are per person in US dollars):  $896 in double occupancy, $789 in triple occupancy, $731 in quadruple occupancy, $213 per child under nine years old, $1291 in single occupancy.


High season rates are available from Jul. 1–30, 2018.

Going to Pawhuska, Oklahoma?

The Pioneer Woman Boarding House has opened with eight rooms in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

“It has been such a fun project from start to finish, and we’re so excited to be welcoming our first guests,” wrote Ree Drummond, host of “The Pioneer Woman” on the Food Network, in an Instagram post.


Cruise News

Burma Coastal Voyage

Experience 10 nights sailing between Rangoon and Kawthaung aboard a classic motor yacht with exciting stops at the old coastal ports of Moulmein, Mergui, and Tavoy. In addition, explore several little-known islands with opportunities to snorkel or kayak up rivers into the mangrove forests.

These lively coastal ports, so evocative of Kipling, Maugham, and Collis, are full of architectural interest, whether colonial or Buddhist. The majority of the islands visited are totally deserted with pristine white beaches, coral and diverse bird and sea life, and the occasional giant monitor lizard.

There are just four Burma Coastal Voyages of 10 nights: Nov 5–15 and Nov 18–28 in 2018 and Jan 5–15 and Jan 18–28 in 2019.

From US$4,450 per person, aboard the MY Andaman Explorer with just 10 deluxe cabins.  Price includes excursions, local drinks, meals, crew gratuities, snorkeling and kayaking equipment, and expert guides.


The Mighty Mississippi

Be transported back in time aboard the authentic paddlewheeler, which is the largest, most opulent steam-powered paddlewheel boat ever built.  It is the only authentic paddlewheel steamboat in America.

With an atmosphere of Antebellum charm and modern conveniences, enjoy included shore trips, one-night premium hotel stay and transfers before your cruise, Broadway-caliber entertainment nightly, all onboard meals, wine and beer with dinner, Wi-Fi/Internet service and daily lectures by the Riverlorian.

Save up to US$1,600 per stateroom on a 22-day southern heritage cruise from New Orleans to Minneapolis on Jun 23, 2019, or save up to US$1,200 per stateroom on the 22-day reverse itinerary on Aug 11, 2019.

Discounts are variable according to the stateroom category selected.  The June 23 cruise has fares from US$5,999 per person, and the August 11 cruise fares are from US$4,399 per person.

Other Mississippi river cruises throughout 2019 are nine days in length and have fares from US$2,099 per person.

Air News

Virgin America Brand Retires

The Virgin America brand disappeared on Apr 24, when Alaska Airlines redirected traffic from the Virgin America website to Alaska Airlines’ website and supported only the Alaska Airlines-branded web app and call center. Updated flight numbers and airport branding also reflected the change.


Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.” —Oscar Wilde

Deal of the Week

Deluxe Paris Getaway Special Offer

The Deluxe Paris Summer Special is a five-day package starting at US$1,309 per person, double occupancy, and includes:


  • Deluxe hotel accommodations for four nights at the boutique, 4-star Villa Opera Drouot
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • Round-trip airport transfers by private car with chauffeur
  • Half-day city tour of Paris by private car with professional driver-guide
  • Special gift with purchase from the Galeries Lafayette


On this special getaway, travelers will experience Paris luxury with a four-night stay at the boutique, four-star Villa Opera Drouot. The Villa Opera Drouot hotel is situated in the heart of the Right Bank theater district, near well-known attractions such as the Folies Bergère and the Brasserie Chartier.

While in Paris, travelers will experience the sights that France’s capital has to offer, with an included half-day city tour seeing the Palais Royal, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the designer shops along the Champs-Elysees, the tree-lined avenue completed by Louis XV that is full of cafés, theaters, and shops.

The price is per person, land only, based on double occupancy and must be booked with deposit by May 31, 2018.  It is valid for departures from July 8 to September 3, 2018, and Oct 26–31, 2018.

A selection of different hotels, room categories, additional nights, transfers, and optional tours are available. The program’s validity and/or some included features may vary. Rates are not valid during certain blackout periods and are subject to availability.

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 your interests, abilities, and budget. Please contact Judy for further information on Travel News topics and around-the-world travel; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949-300-3682; email Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, Carr a Dolores Hidalgo.  View the latest travel specials on the website


Sources: Travel Pulse, Costa Rica Dream Adventures, Today, Pandaw, American Queen Steamboat Company, Forbes, Central Holidays


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