Mexico is a perennially popular destination -- just don't go there in the dead heat of the summer because it's hot, hot, hot. Those seeking a fiesta may want their travel to coincide with Cinco de Mayo -- which happens to fall on a Saturday this year and commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla; some parts of Mexico recognize it. In the United States there is not as well-developed consciousness about it, unless you live in a city with a significant Mexican population and/or heritage. The cynical side of me says that someday we will just take over the holiday entirely and in our blindly egalitarian way, a la St. Patty's Day, everyone will be entitled to celebrate it, no matter where you are from. Ah, America.
If you want to stay in Puebla, the city that among other things is known for the dish mole poblano, check out Real Adventures (tel. 617/338-1020; www.realadventures.com), which lists a number of properties throughout Mexico, including Hotel Hacienda del Molino (tel. 52 222/404-6030; www.haciendadelmolino.com), a colonial style property located in a residential area of Puebla. Rates are listed from $70 per night and the hotel's site shows availability the weekend of Cinco de Mayo. The very old (built in 1592) Hotel Posada San Pedro (tel. 52 222/246-5077; www.hotelposadassanpedro.com.mx) was renovated in 2000; it's good for families and is conveniently located downtown with advertised starting from $115 per night. You must book through the hotels directly; while Real Adventures provides the listing, it doesn't make the reservations.
Cheap Caribbean (tel. 800/915-2322; www.cheapcaribbean.com) has a special for $100 off for trips to Mexico for bookings for hotel and air packages made before April 30. Included are properties such as Presidente Intercontinetnal Los Cabos, four all-inclusive nights $579; Viva Wyndham Maya in Cancun, six all-inclusive nights from $699; and Samba Puerto Vallarta, five all-inclusive nights from $639. Most of the packages offered are all-inclusive, which covers airfare, accommodations meals, activities, and gratuities. Just make sure you use coupon code MEXICO100 during checkout.
Expedia (tel. 800/EXPEDIA; www.expedia.com) has a special running for Mexico's Pacific Coast from $95 for hotels, or air and five nights from $518 for travel through May 17. You must book by April 26. Choose from either Puerto Vallarta or Los Cabos, and there are offers at more than a dozen hotels listed. Prices for airfare are listed from Los Angeles and some of the properties listed have special offers on top of whatever savings Expedia advertises, such as the four-star Fiesta Americana in Puerto Vallarta, which gives you two nights free if you stay for seven nights.
Mexico Boutique Hotels (tel. 800/728-9098; www.mexicoboutiquehotels.com) has a special Cinco de Mayo promotion that is valid for May bookings: if you book four nights at select locations you are eligible to receive a fifth night free. Properties include Casa Natalia in Los Cabos, Casa Sandra and Xaloc on Isla Holbox, Hacienda los Laureles in Oaxaca, Hacienda Xcanatun in Merida, La Mansion delos Suenos in Patzcuaro, Meson Sacristia de Capuchinas in Puebla, Quinta Real Huatulco, Villa Ganz in Guadalajara, and Villa Montana in Morelia. Rates range $90 per night for Xaloc, the most inexpensive property, to Hacidenda San Angel, whose most luxurious and exclusive rate goes for $565 per night. Many of the mid-range properties offer rates between $200-$300 per night and overall, you can expect to save about 20 percent.
Occidental Resorts (tel. 800/858-2258; www.occidentalhotels.com) is having a special wherein kids eat and stay for free at its all-inclusive Allegro properties in Mexico, valid for May first through December 22. Rates start from $54 per night based on double occupancy in June and will vary somewhat depending on when you travel, but the rates include taxes and gratuities. There are locations in Nueva Vallarta, Cozumel, and Playacar.
United Airlines (tel. 800/864-8231; www.united.com) is having a worldwide spring fare sale called "Savings in Bloom." Rates from Denver to Puerto Vallarta start at $129 one way, Los Angeles-Mexico City from $129, and San Francisco to Ixtapa/Zihuatenejo from $119, for example. You must book by either April 6 or April 9 for Latin destinations in order to receive the sale price and there are minimum stays depending on the location. Also you must travel on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday and the fares are valid for travel until June 30, although travel dates vary depending on the destination and there may be some blackout dates. More specifically, the Mexico beaches sale shows you similar rates but much fewer restrictions: travel is valid any day of the week, and there are no minimum or maximum stays. Sample one-way fares include Chicago-Cancun from $166, Seattle-Cancun from $199, Seattle-Los Cabos from $152, Los Angeles-Puerto Vallarta from $139.
Some of the Westin (tel. 888/625-5144; www.westin.com) properties in Mexico have packages available designed for two people looking for an escape. Rates start from $179 per night for oceanfront rooms, a massage, and daily in-room continental breakfast for two, along with an array of seafood canapés and a bottle of wine delivered to your room upon arrival. Choose from locations in Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun; the package is valid through June 30. You must stay a minimum of two nights but cannot stay more than seven.
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers on our Mexico Message Boards.