Aeromexico to offer chauffeur service for UK passengers, plans Club Premier re-launch

Mexican airline Aeromexico is planning to launch a chauffeur-drive service for Business class passengers travelling on its London Heathrow to Mexico City route, Travel Daily UK has reported.

A fleet of Mercedes vehicles will transfer passengers to and from the airport in both cities, Aeromexico’s regional sales director Europe and Asia Rocio Blazquez reportedly said in an exclusive interview with Travel Daily UK.

The chauffeur service is set to start this week, offering Aeromexico’s Business Class customers the choice and added convenience of another premium service. ‘It will also improve our competitiveness in the marketplace as far as corporate travellers are concerned,’ Blazquez reportedly said speaking on the sidelines of World Travel Market (WTM) in London.

In addition to the new chauffeur transfer service, the Mexican airline is also planning the re-launch of its Club Premier Corporate loyalty programme for business passengers.

As part of the frequent flyer programme programme, five return trips between London and Mexico City would make passengers eligible for a free flight, Blazquez said. The new chauffeur service and revised loyalty programme is expected to make Aeromexico the preferred carrier for business passengers travelling from London to Mexico and further afield to North and Latin America, she added.

The airline currently serves 46 destinations across Mexico, 16 in the US, 15 in Latin America, and three in Canada via its Mexico City hub.

‘Aeromexico is very popular with corporate travellers from the UK and repeat business on the route is 45% because we attract a lot of frequent flyers,’ Blazquez said. ‘Our network is important because 60 percent of passengers flying from the UK transit at Mexico City and fly to onward destinations.’

Aeromexico now operates the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner between London and Mexico City – a route that it launched in December 2012 with three weekly flights.

The Mexican airline is also planning to introduce the larger next-generation Dreamliner (the Dash-9 version) on the London-Mexico City route in order to further increase capacity, Blazquez said.


Aeromexico Commences Operations from London Heathrow to Mexico City

London Heathrow airport has welcomed the initial flight from Aeromexico, a Mexico-based airline, to Mexico City, in Mexico.

The airline has introduced a direct flight between London Heathrow and Mexico City, three times a week, operating a Boeing 767 aircraft.

The airline, a founding member of SkyTeam global airlines alliance, will be operating out of Terminal 4 of the airport. Aeromexico operates over 600 daily flights to 45 cities in Mexico, as well as to destinations in the US, Canada, Central and South America, Europe and Asia.

Andres Conesa, Aeromexico’s chief executive officer, said, ‘Our new flight to Heathrow is a great achievement for Aeromexico and represents clear evidence of the development of the Mexican airline industry.

We are confident that our operations will have a significant positive effect for both economies and will strength our financial and cultural relationship. We are also glad to announce that the route will operate in 2013 with our first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the newest, best most efficient aircraft ever built.’

Passengers on the initial flight were welcomed with the traditional Mariachi band of Mexico, and were offered a memento from the airline.

Colin Matthews, the chief executive officer of London Heathrow Airport, said, ‘We are delighted to welcome Aeromexico to Heathrow. The centre of gravity in the world economy is shifting and Britain should be forging new links with economies like Mexico.

But with this single deal taking four years to complete, the UK’s lack of hub airport capacity is causing us to fall further behind the rest of Europe.’

Live Aqua Cancun takes top spot among resorts in Mexico

Live Aqua Cancun has taken the top position in the rankings provided by Travel + Leisure’s 2012 World’s Best Awards.

The resort was named the best resort in Mexico. The luxury resort is an adults-only oasis on the white-sand shoreline of Cancun. The resort has many features, including a spa and all-new dining options to complement its prime position next to white sands and blue oceanic waters.

The resort has 335 rooms and 36 suites. It also has a unique service delivery model, as it claims to provide luxurious experiences for all five senses of the human body.

The resort’s spa services provide fresh design elements and offer sensuous in-room aromatherapy services that provide an eclectic mix of menus and choices. The hotel claims that the smell and scents of the service are enough to rejuvenate the body and spirit.

Other features offered at the resort include savoury international cuisine, a world-fusion spa, in-house DJ and panoramic views of the Caribbean. The resorts catering facilities were recently upgraded with four new gourmet-dining options, inspired by celebrity chef, Eric De Maeyer.

The Best Resort award is a particularly creditable achievement because the resort was unranked in 2011 and has climbed to the top of the list within a one-year time span. Resort managers said that reaching the top at such a fast rate was due to their keen attention to detail, an innovative multi-sensory concept, and unparalleled all-inclusive offerings for adults.

Alfredo Santamaria, general manager of Live Aqua Cancun, said, ‘We are honoured and humbled by this recognition from Travel + Leisure readers. To be recognised as the best resort, not only in our destination but in all of Mexico, is a privilege we strive for every day.’

Live Aqua Cancun has also been named one of the best hotels worldwide in the Expedia World’s Best-Reviewed Hotels 2012.

Tourism in Mexico Set to Grow with New Hotels

Tourism in Mexico is set to get a boost with UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) intending to expand its brands in the country.

While participating in a trade mission to Mexico with the British Prime Minister, the company announced its efforts to boost tourism in Mexico by opening around five new hotels in 2012. The company is currently operating around 120 hotels in Mexico. These include 10 InterContinental Hotels & Resorts; 17 Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts; 53 Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts; 37 Holiday Inn Express hotels; and three Staybridge Suites properties.

23.4 million international visitors have visited Mexico in 2011, according to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), a figure that gives the country second ranking, behind the US, in the list of favourite destinations for international travellers.

Kirk Kinsell, the company president for the Americas, said, ‘Mexico provides many opportunities to diversify in the hotel business, from resort to business destinations, the country can serve several tastes in regards to tourism – adventure, sun, colonial – and has a growing economy in the trillion dollar range. We see a huge opportunity to grow many of our hotel brands, such as InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites, in Mexico.’

The company recently opened The Presidente InterContinental Santa Fe in Mexico City, offering panoramic views of the Santa Fe area, as well as 111 guestrooms and amenities, including a gym, a boutique, a spa and beauty salon operated under the L’Occitane brand, a terrace bar, the InterContinental Club Lounge and a valet parking service.

Presidente InterContinental Santa Fe Hotel Opens in Mexico City

Presidente InterContinental Santa Fe Hotel, a property from UK-based hotel group, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), has opened in Mexico City, Mexico.

The 111-room luxury hotel includes 26 suites; six meeting rooms; an art gallery; seven stories of office facilities; and six restaurants. The hotel represents an investment of around $35 million, and should provide an additional 350 new jobs to the local economy.

Kirk Kinsell, the company president for IHG, the Americas, said, ‘The Presidente InterContinental Santa Fe is IHG’s second InterContinental hotel in Mexico City and the 12th IHG-branded hotel with Grupo Presidente, which are a reflection of the strength of our long-standing relationship that dates back to 1994. With its ideal location, rich amenities and the famed personalised service of InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, the Presidente InterContinental Santa Fe is in a prime position to attract both international and domestic business and leisure travellers.’

The Presidente InterContinental Santa Fe offers panoramic views of the Santa Fe area, the Valley of Mexico and the Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl volcanoes. The hotel amenities include a gym, a boutique, a spa and beauty salon operated under the L’Occitane brand, a terrace bar, the InterContinental Club Lounge and valet parking service.

Grupo Presidente is operating the new hotel under a license agreement with InterContinental Hotels Group.

IHG currently operates nine hotel brands, including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, and others.

New JW Marriott Mexico City Santa Fe Opens in Mexico City

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, a hotel company and a part of Marriott International, has announced its newest hotel in Mexico City, Mexico.

The new 221-room, JW Marriott Mexico City Santa Fe, is the brand’s second hotel to open in the City.

Rob Steigerwald, the chief operations officer for the Southern Americas at Marriott International, said, ‘Mexico remains one of the most vibrant countries for new development in all of Latin America. We are thrilled to partner with Grupo Diestra on this project, and reveal our second world class JW Marriott luxury brand hotel to Mexico City. This beautiful hotel brings the highest levels of accommodations and service to Mexico and is a great addition to the brand’s growing global portfolio.’

The JW Marriott brand has a remit to offer lavish properties in gateway cities and resort locations.

The JW Marriott Mexico City Santa Fe is offering two restaurants for dining and entertainment, in addition to a lobby bar, 24-hour room service and an executive lounge. The leisure amenities include a fitness centre and a, soon-to-open, Oriental Wellness Spa, which includes five treatment rooms, saunas, vapour rooms, Jacuzzis and a meditation area. The hotel also has around 13,100 square feet of flexible meeting space available for conducting corporate and social events.

Mitzi Gaskins, the vice president and global brand manager for the company, said, ‘We are confident that this unique and visually stunning hotel will become a landmark in Mexico City attracting travellers and groups from all over the world.’

Four Points by Sheraton Colonia Roma Hotel Opens in Mexico City

Sheraton Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, a subsidiary of US-based Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, has announced the opening of a new property, the Four Points by Sheraton Colonia Roma Hotel in Mexico City.

The 90-room new hotel, which is owned and managed by the Sora Group, is the third in Mexico from the Four Points by Sheraton brand.

The Four Points by Sheraton Colonia Roma offers guest rooms with workspace and complimentary in-room internet for its guests. The hotel’s other amenities include a 24-hour fitness centre, a restaurant, and a bar and lounge. Event spaces include around 9,300 square feet of flexible area, which incorporates seven meeting rooms.

Osvaldo Librizzi, the president of the Latin America Division of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, said, ‘The introduction of the Four Points by Sheraton Colonia Roma represents the fifth brand of the Starwood portfolio to open in Mexico City and reaffirms our commitment to growing the options for both international as well as domestic travellers to this key business and tourism destination.

We are delighted to launch this partnership with the Sora Hotel Group and are confident that Colonia Roma is an ideal location for our guests to enjoy the Four Points by Sheraton and all that Mexico City has to offer.’

Brian McGuinness, the senior vice president of specialty select brands for Starwood, said, ‘Four Points by Sheraton enjoys a loyal worldwide following and we’re pleased to offer guests a new lodging option in one of the world’s great centres of culture and business.’

Hyatt Hotels Announces New Hyatt Regency Mexico City in Mexico

Hyatt Hotels, a US-based company that owns and operates 207 Hyatt Hotels and Resorts worldwide, has announced a new Hyatt Regency hotel in Mexico.

The 756-room, Hotel Nikko Mexico, has been acquired by the company from Japan-Mexico Hotel Investment Co, and re-branded as the Hyatt Regency Mexico City, for an investment of USD190 million.

Steve Haggerty, the company global head of real estate and development, said, ‘The introduction of Hyatt Regency Mexico City marks the first step in expanding the presence of Hyatt-branded hotels in Mexico and throughout Latin America. Our substantial direct investment in acquiring this hotel, as well as our plans for 12 new properties in Latin America across our full-and select-service brands, underscores our commitment to becoming the most preferred hospitality brand by opening hotels in key locations where our guests are travelling.’

The hotel is located around 30 minutes travel time from the Benito Juarez International Airport, and offers views of the Mexico Cityskyline. The hotel amenities include a Regency Club Lounge, and a number of fine dining restaurants and entertainment venues, as well as meetings and events spaces.

Myles McGourty, the company senior vice president for Latin America, said, ‘The introduction of Hyatt Regency Mexico City creates a significantly higher profile for Hyatt’s brands in Mexico and throughout all of Latin America. The addition of four of Hyatt’s hotel brands in Mexico over the next few years and our plans for further expansion throughout the region underscores our commitment to enhancing preference for our brands.’

Destination Weddings Gaining Favour In Mexico

The Mexico Tourism Board, a Mexico-based government agency for promoting tourism, is promoting destination weddings at some of the most romantic resorts in Mexico.

In order to promote the wedding destinations, the Tourism Board is hosting ‘Love Mexico’ events in the US and Mexico, for popular wedding suppliers to showcase their offerings designed for hosting perfect weddings at various Mexican destinations.

While 24 percent of US couples opt to go for a destination wedding, around 9 percent of them tend to choose Mexico as the venue, as the resorts are thought to offer good value for money.

The 2012 ‘Love Mexico’ events, to be held in Dallas, and New York, in US, and Riviera Maya in Mexico, are expected to be attended by around 40 vendors from Mexico, including resorts and wedding suppliers, while around 180 wedding planners and travel specialists will also be present.

Eduardo Chaillo, the executive meetings unit director, for Mexico Tourism Board, said, ‘We were delighted with the response to this year’s Love Mexico events; all of the vendors and buyers that I spoke to had great feedback. With its combination of natural beauty, rich culture, world-class hotels and resorts and outstanding service, Mexico is the ultimate destination for weddings, honeymoons and romantic getaways. As the destination weddings market grows and changes Mexico will continue to develop its offering.’

Mexico is also considered to be a promising destination for the gay and lesbian wedding market, which is set to play its part in helping to boost the Mexican economy by USD9.5 billion per year, says a recent study reported by Forbes, a business magazine published in the US.

Riu Hotels and Resorts Announces New Hotel Properties in Caribbean, Mexico and Morocco

RIU Hotels and Resorts, a Spain-based hotel chain, has reported opening of four new hotels in Mexico and Caribbean destinations.

The all-inclusive ClubHotel RIU Ocho Rios is located along the beach of Mammee Bay in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and offers 856 guestrooms. The newly refurbished hotel is offering private check-in, luxurious junior suites, as well as suites with hydro-massage tubs and Jacuzzis, and hotel amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi, concierge service for restaurant bookings; complimentary dining experiences; two swimming pools; and many leisure facilities.

The Hotel RIU Palace Bavaro is a new beachside hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, which opened in December 2011. The hotel is offering 610 guestrooms; 10 restaurants and bars; two swimming pools; a Mini-club; a fitness centre and a spa; along with meeting spaces.

The new RIU Palace Tikida Agadir, offering 444 rooms, opened on March 26, 2012, located next to ClubHotel RIU Tikida Dunas, RIU Tikida Beach, and Riu Grand Palace Tikida Golf properties in Agadir, Morrocco.

The RIU Palace Peninsula beach front property opened in May 2012, in Cancun, Mexico. The hotel boasts 562 rooms, located in a main building and 48 villas; dining venues including six restaurants and seven bars; and a stunning view of the Caribbean waters.

Luis Riu, the company chief executive officer, said, ‘We hope the new Riu Palace Peninsula will give a new push to this destination which recently turned 40 years old. For us, this is another example of the importance that Mexico has in our development plans and the high quality that we seek to offer in this country.’