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Travel News

By Judy Newell

México News

Resort at Pedregal to Become First Waldorf Astoria in México

The Resort at Pedregal in Los Cabos is becoming a Waldorf Astoria hotel. The property, which was recently acquired by affiliates of Walton Street Capital México, will officially rebrand as the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal in the fourth quarter of this year.

The move would make the Resort at Pedregal the luxury brand’s first property in México. The rebranding also means the property will be part of Hilton’s Honors loyalty program.

All 115 guestrooms and suites at the resort have ocean views, private plunge pools, and a design inspired by the surrounding area’s natural elements, with a neutral color palette, marble floors, and natural accents in wood lamps and tables. Other amenities include rainforest showers, stand-alone bathtubs, outdoor areas with fire pits, and private chefs.

Also on the 24-acre property are three swimming pools, including an infinity pool looking out over the Pacific Ocean, as well as a saltwater pool and a children’s pool. At the Luna y Mar Spa, guests can choose from a variety of organic treatments inspired by the lunar cycle, the sea, and Mexican folk healing.

In terms of dining, Don Manuel is the resort’s signature restaurant. Guests can also opt for ocean-to-table cuisine at the cliffside El Farallon, casual fare at the pool bar’s Crudo, or freshly caught fish at The Beach Club.

Guests can also arrange for a private chef to create personalized meals in their suites or on their terraces. On-demand cocktail carts are also situated throughout the property.

The resort is exclusively reached by a privately owned tunnel where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. Nearby are the Land’s End rock formations and the Cabo Marina, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

International News

Airbnb Luxe Offers a $146K-per-night Private Island

From high-end homes in New Zealand to castles in France to historic villas in Tuscany, you can now book new luxury homes around the world through Airbnb Luxe. Airbnb launched the new tier recently, adding to its portfolio of over six million peer-to-peer listings worldwide.

In 2018, the number of Airbnb bookings for listings worth at least US$1,000 per night increased more than 60 percent, which alerted the company of the need to meet the increasing demand for luxury properties.

Airbnb acquired the luxury-villa-and-home-rental website Luxury Retreats in 2017, which helped to jumpstart Airbnb’s venture into creating a luxury-home platform. The new Airbnb Luxe includes over 2,000 handpicked homes around the world, each passing strict evaluation across 300 criteria, such as expert level of design and premium quality furniture.

Each home also has something unique about it. For example, there’s a Luxe home in Banff, which has a T-Rex skull in the entrance, only one of four of its type in the world. The home also has a gym with a full-sized boxing ring.

The Luxe portfolio contains a variety of dwellings, including:

•Country-based accommodations in New Zealand, 16 minutes from a ski area, for US$1,719 per night

•Beachside dwellings in México with infinity pools and golf carts for US$3,500 per night

•Urban properties in places like Los Angeles, Milan, Paris, and Austin

•A private island in French Polynesia that includes a chef, captain, doctor, and activities coordinator for US$146,246 per night

Ecuador to Let US Military Refuel in Galapagos Islands

Environmentalists and some politicians are outraged by Ecuador’s willingness to let a Galapagos Island airstrip be used by the US military. The Ecuadorian Defense Minister insists the only purpose would be for refueling related to anti-narcotics efforts and that the US will provide for airport upgrades.

Cruise News

New Immersive Experiences with Oceania

The recently reinspired Sirena was originally scheduled to sail to Cuba in late 2020 or early 2021. She will now extend her 2020 European season and then spend the winter-spring 2020–2021 season sailing to some of the world’s most beguiling destinations.

The Sirena Exotic Collection will feature a series of 10–24-day in-depth voyages to the Holy Lands of Egypt, Israel, and Turkey; the Arabian Peninsula; India; Myanmar; and Indonesia. Her ports of call will include some of the most enticing cities on earth such as Jerusalem, Istanbul, Dubai, Mumbai, Bangkok, and even Rangoon.

These voyages are ideal for guests who have an appetite for unique travel experiences. Due to the exotic nature of these sailings, space is projected to go fast.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” —Anonymous

Deal of the Week

St Lawrence Cruise: Half Off Plus No Single Supplement

Save 50 percent plus no single supplement when cruising the Great Lakes, French Canada, and St Lawrence on board the elegant M/V Victory II, which is fresh from a multi-million dollar enhancement this spring.

The 10-day cruise was US$11,599 and now is US$3,750 per person—solo or double. Only three cruise dates are available for the special offer: July 12, July 30, and August 8, 2019.

Perks of this all-inclusive trip:

•Private chauffeured transfers

•All shipboard gratuities

•Open bar

•Free Wi-Fi

•Stylish outside stateroom

•All shore excursions

•Shipboard experts

•Fine dining in two unique venues with free-flowing wine

The unique itinerary offers exclusive shore excursions and special shoreside dining experiences you won’t find on other cruises. Aboard the stylish 202-guest M/V Victory II, this all-inclusive cruise is a delightfully in-depth and intimate exploration of these Canadian and American ports.

The August 8 sailing operates from Detroit to Montreal. The July 12 and July 30 departures operate from Montreal to Detroit. US$429 port charges are extra.

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 custom-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, Car. a Dolores Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website

Sources: Travel Agent Central,

Great Lakes

USA Today, CNN, Oceania Cruisers, Alexander+Roberts


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