Attention travelers, and those who live in hurricane-threatened areas: The Weather Channel's website is counting down to the end of Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends on November 30. While most of the Yucatán Peninsula, for example, has escaped substantive damage thus far, the threat still looms. For those willing to hedge their bets, it's a good time to start thinking about traveling to Mexico before winter season prices set in. There never seems to be a shortage of offers to Mexico -- it is so popular and so easily accessible to the U.S. -- but we've found some of the most noteworthy ones.
Barcelo Resorts (tel. 800/760-3308; www.barcelo.com) has offers for some of its Mexico properties, starting from $140 per night for Costa Cancún, which is on the bayside of the Caribbean overlooking Playa Linda. At all-inclusive Costa Cancún, the rate is valid for travel through November 30 for a standard room, taxes included. Barcelo Tucancun Beach, another all-inclusive property, is also included at this rate, and it is valid for the same travel period, with the addition of a 20 per cent discount on spa treatments. For a little bit more money, just south of Playa del Carmen, both the Barcelo Maya Beach and the Maya Caribe Beach the Mayan Riviera are available for $180 for stays any night of the week, valid for travel through October 31 and comes with a 10 percent discount on a spa treatment. Along with two other sister properties, the hotel is surrounded by a sizable natural park. The other two sister properties, Maya Tropical Beach and Maya Colonial Beach, are available for $210, with a ten percent spa discount, valid for travel through October 31 for a standard room, any night of the week. You can stay any night of the week for the company's offers, but there is limited availability.
Blue Bay Getaway in Cancún (tel. 800/BLUE-BAY; www.bluebaycancun.com) has a special rate of $70 per person, per night, valid for travel now through December 20. The price reflects a savings of about 30 percent, and the rates are all-inclusive so meals and beverages and resort activities, along with taxes and service charges, are all covered. Please note that the URL will take you to the page for both Blue Bay Getaway and Blue Bay Club; the latter is the family, all-inclusive resort, and the former is an over 21, adults-only property, and that's the one offering the promotion.
Book it (tel. 888/782-9722; www.bookit.com) has a number of specials that just expired, but one of them is still available, at Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancún, an all-inclusive adults resort. The special rate starts at $251 per person per night, a savings of $100. The rate includes all meals and drinks, all gratuities, 24-hour room service, luxury accommodations (think pillow menu and double Jacuzzi), wireless Internet, bottle of wine upon arrival, and free tours of nearby Isla Mujeres, snorkeling, or jungle tour. There are no blackout dates, but it is only valid for travel through December 23.
Elan Resort and Spa (tel. 888/400-ELAN; www.elanresort.com), situated on its own peninsula in Cancún, has an offer of up 43 percent off regular rates for travel through the holidays. The resort is a luxury all-inclusive destination (no, that's not an oxymoron), with special rates from now through December 20, where a deluxe room for two is only $300. The price includes all meals and beverages, all transfers, nightly entertainment, water sports equipment, use of fitness center, tennis courts and, of course, the beach. A half-hour massage is even included, along with your taxes and service charges. If you're interested in traveling December 21, it is priced at $500, and the rate for the special will climb to $450 for January 3 through March 28, 2008. The resort is designed to resemble a Mexican colonial village; with just 95 rooms, it has a smaller profile than some of the typical resorts in this part of Mexico. However, there are eight restaurants to choose from, two private beach areas, two swimming pools, and an authentic temazcal, or Mayan sauna.
Though it can be sometimes persnickety to use, it's worth considering the sale that Orbitz (tel. 888/656-4546; www.orbitz.com) is offering, with up to $200 off on select international bookings completed by September 30. At a glance you can see how much it costs for the average nightly rate, or airfare plus three nights or airfare plus five nights; the latter two are calculated based on double occupancy. There are plenty of options for Mexico destinations, whether it is $488 per person for airfare and three nights at the Hyatt Regency Cancún, or the recently renovated, all-inclusive Viva Wyndham Maya in Playa del Carmen, available from $573 per person for airfare and two nights. The airfare and room rate packages are based on late November travel from Dallas- Ft. Worth to Cancún.
Travelocity (tel. 888/872-8356; www.travelocity.com) has a sale on Mexico's Cancún and Riviera Maya areas, with flights plus four nights available starting from $508, for the Marriott Casa Magna Cancún Resort. Other destinations are included such as Dreams Cancún Resort and Spa, an all-inclusive property priced from $626 for the flights and four nights, but kids 12 and under stay free, and you'll also save 30 per cent. Travel a little further south than Cancún to Riviera Maya for a few options -- Azul Blue Hotel and Spa, an all-inclusive resort priced from $829 for four nights and airfare, or H10 Hacienda Maya, another all-inclusive resort, priced from $784 for four nights and airfare.
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