Family Spa Package Just in Time for Spring Break Offered at Mexico’s All-Inclusive Grand Velas Resort Riviera Nayarit

Sister Property Velas Vallarta Suite Resort in Puerto Vallarta Also Offers Family Special

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (February 17, 2010) – Who said the kids’ spring break can’t be relaxing? The AAA Five-Diamond Grand Velas Resort Riviera Nayarit introduces an all-inclusive Family Spa Package that gives kids and parents alike the perfect opportunity to take a relaxing break in Mexico. Mom and dad receive a 50-minute holistic massage at the 16,500 sq ft Grand Velas Spa, a member of The Leading Spas of the World. Children (ages 4-16) get a choice of one 25-minute treatment from the Kids Spa Menu which includes a chocolate facial, princess or bubbles massage and others. Kids’ treatments take place at the beach spa cabana or in suite accompanied by a parent In addition, children and teens up to 16 years of age stay and eat for free.

Velas Vallarta 1The Grand Velas’ all-inclusive rate includes suite accommodations, meals, premium branded beverages, 24 hr in-suite service, fitness center, kids’ club, activities for adults and children, taxes and gratuities and more. The Family Spa package is valid through April 30th with rates starting at $454 per person, per night, based on double occupancy.  For more information and reservations, please visit or call 1-888-261-8436.

Sister Property Velas Vallarta Suite Resort Also Has Special Family Value Offering

Velas VallartaThe resort’s sister property, Velas Vallarta Suite Resort in Puerto Vallarta, offers an all-inclusive Family Package that highlights a complimentary upgrade from a studio suite to a one-bedroom ocean view suite with terrace.  The package also includes tickets to the Aquaventuras Water Park, a $100 spa credit per room and the resorts deluxe all-inclusive amenities. Children under the age of 12 stay and eat for free. The package is valid through April 11th with rates starting at $210 per person per night, based on double occupancy. For more information and reservations, please visit or call 1-866-847-4609.

About Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit:

In Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Located just 15 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta on Banderas Bay, Grand Velas features 267 ocean-view suites, ultra spacious Spa Suites and two- and three-bedroom Imperial Suites.  Grand Velas Spa is the crown jewel of the resort and a member of Leading Spas of the World. The spa features 20 treatment rooms, over 80 spa treatments, a high-performance gym and exercise room, spa boutique and a beauty salon. Five restaurants, three of which are gourmet, feature stylish decor and a la carte choices for French, Italian or Mexican cuisine. The resort also offers tiered three-temperature infinity pools with iPod minis, tennis court, 25,321 total sq feet of meeting space, special entertainment for adults and kids and a Kids Club.

About Velas Vallarta Suite Resort:

Located on 10 acres of oceanfront in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Velas Vallarta Suite Resort & Convention Center is walking distance from Marina Vallarta Golf Course and just minutes from Downtown Puerto Vallarta’s captivating attractions, activities and landmarks. Situated on the emerald waters of Banderas Bay, Velas Vallarta features a high-tech Convention Center, three swimming pools, a rejuvenating spa, fitness center, multiple restaurants, an inviting lounge, live music and entertainment, and breathtaking views of the surrounding Mexican Riviera.  The family-friendly resort also offers a basketball and tennis court and special entertainment for adults and kids.

Valentine’s Day in Oaxaca

by Ron Mader

It’s Valentine’s Day! Here in Oaxaca for the past few weeks we’ve been working with Mixe (Ayuuk) friends as they’re preparing a special meal this afternoon. Today we’re going to fill our hearts and our stomachs!

14 de febrero (poster for oaxaca)

To get into the spirit, try pronouncing the Mixe (Ayuuk) expressions of love!:

To’k aa tö’k joot
De todo corazón te quiero
With all my heart I love you

Tsokï tö’k aa tö’k joot
Ama de todo corazón
Love with all one’s heart

Akijpxa ja tsojkïn ti yo’oyï
Ama a todos por igual
Love for all in an equal manner

Yï tsojkïn ka’a x’a’ix xpëjkïmpitït
Ama sin condición
Love without condition

President Urges Society to Unite Beyond Differences

Mexico City. President Felipe Calderón urged Mexicans to be capable of understanding and uniting around Mexico.

During the presentation of the Activity Program for the Independence Bicentennial and the Revolution Centennial, the President called for 2010 to be a year of union for all and the start of a new page in national history. “I know, because I experience it everyday in my capacity as Mexican president, that in every governor, mayor and legislator, there is the will and the conviction to help Mexicans achieve a better future. We may think along different lines, but what links us and should link us even more now is precisely, Mexico’s higher interest,” he declared.

Accompanied by members of the cabinet, governors and the intellectual community, the President stressed the fact that differences cannot nor should not constitute a barrier to Mexicans’ enormous capacity for creating a better future. “Now, more than ever, particularly for us, governing means having sufficiently lofty ideals to be able to place Mexico and Mexicans above any interest,” he said.

The Mexican President said that 2,300 events will be staged to celebrate 200 years of being Mexican. These events will be organized by the various governments, the three branches of government, civil society, the media and private enterprise. He stressed that we must unite around these celebrations and urged society to rise above its legitimate discrepancies and differences.

“Without being over-confident and acknowledging the enormous amount that still remains to be done and recognizing our shortcomings and mistakes and understanding our grievances, let us lend meaning to the celebration of the Bicentennial by feeling proud to be Mexican because of all that we have managed to construct but above all, because of all that we will construct in the future,” he explained.

Calling All Writers! Welcomes Writers To Participate In The Second Annual Nick Gallo Award

Acapulco, MEXICO (February 11, 2010)—It’s that time of year again, when sends out its yearly shout-out through the blogosphere for participants in the annual Nick Gallo Award. Created in 2008 to honor award-winning freelance writer Nick Gallo, the award has become a flashpoint for Mexico travel writers from across the globe.

Last year’s winner, Dan Millington, flew off to Puerto Vallarta and enjoyed a stay at the gorgeous Hotel des Artistes, courtesy of partners Aeromexico and Mexico Boutique Hotels. “It was truly amazing—one of the best vacations we’ve ever enjoyed,” said Dan. “But no matter how many great memories my wife and I created during our stay, we’re keeping one very important one alive and well: that of our good friend and colleague, Nick Gallo. The fact that his wife actually created the award plaque made it even more poignant. It holds a place of honor in our home.” Millington, a Southern California native, has provided creative writing and photography to the publishing, advertising, and travel industries for more than 15 years. As a writer/photographer Dan has contributed to many publications such as, Moon’s Baja Handbook, AAA’s Mexico TravelBook, Fodor’s Yucatán Gold Guide, Departures Magazine, Caribbean Travel & Life Magazine, Orange County Magazine, and Horizon Air Magazine. His photography of Mexico and Africa has also been featured in a variety of newspapers.

The award was handed out during the Mazatlán Hotel Association’s yearly breakfast, held at Mexico’s famed Tianguis Marketplace event in Acapulco. “We were very proud to be among such distinguished company for the award ceremony and can’t thank our wonderful partners enough,” said Lisa Coleman, founding partner of “The support of Mexico Boutique Hotels and Aeromexico has been invaluable in helping this award become an important part of Mexico’s tourism industry.”

“We want to celebrate freelance writers who, like Nick, captured the essence of the many wonders Mexico has to offer,” said David Simmonds, also a founding partner of “Nick’s family has come together with us on this important celebration of his life’s work, and we hope to welcome them again in Acapulco when it’s time to hand over the award to this year’s winner.”

The 2010 Nick Gallo Award will be handed out during SECTUR’s Tianguis convention, held from April 25-28 in the Acapulco International Center. This is Mexico tourism’s premier event, a gathering that brings together not only the industry’s buyers and providers, but also a brilliant roster of international and local travel journalists. The winner of the 2010 Nick Gallo award will receive an engraved plaque created by Laurie Brown-Gallo plus a three-night stay for two in a participating Mexico Boutique Hotel property, including air from a U.S. gateway. Entry guidelines will post soon and entries are only open to freelance writers based in the United States and Canada. For more information and details, visit

About Nick Gallo
Nick Gallo, two-time winner of the Mexico Tourism Board’s prestigious Pluma de Plata award, regular contributor to such prestigious titles as Travel & Leisure, Alaska Airlines Magazine, United Airlines Hemispheres, Private Clubs, Northwest Airlines WorldTraveler, father, husband and matchless colleague, passed away iin October 2007 while on assignment in Greece. A touching in memoriam written by fellow writers can be found at

Founded by freelance travel writers David Simmonds, Lisa Coleman and Lydia Gregory—and now home to a cadre of even more award-winning talent— has become a meeting place for those looking to read and write about every aspect of everything Mexico. From tourism and gastronomy to bullfighting and politics (not necessarily in the same sentence), visitors to this one-of-a-kind blog will find unvarnished commentary and differing points of view. In the spirit of tooting their own horn, the folks at MP would like you to know that travel king Arthur Frommer himself gave us kudos Check them out in person at

About Mexico Boutique Hotels:
Established in 1999, MBH is a collection of 46 upscale, independent member properties (located in over 26 destinations throughout Mexico) handpicked for their intimacy, high level of service and outstanding attributes. Some are housed in exquisitely restored buildings, others are paeans to Mexican cuisine, still others showcase the sleekly modern–but they each encourage guests to savor the many fascinating traditions of this vast country, and all offer guests a unique travel experience. Typically less than 30 rooms in size, they are often destinations unto themselves. Based in Puerto Vallarta, MBH is staffed by an experienced team of multicultural—and multilingual—travel and hospitality professionals who both live and work in Mexico.
Book any of Mexico Boutique Hotels’ stylish properties by calling 1-800-728-9098 (US and Canada) or visiting
About AeroMexico:
AeroMexico and its subsidiary, AeroMexico Connect, currently operate more than 600 daily flights through the airline’s new Terminal 2 at its Mexico City International Airport hub to 40 destinations in Mexico, 16 U.S. locations in 11 states as well as major cities that include Tokyo, Paris and Buenos Aires in 12 other countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia. U.S. cities served are Los Angeles, Ontario (Ca.), San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle-Tacoma, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Denver, San Antonio, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, Orlando and Miami. Service will be added to Toronto, Canada, on March 3, and Montreal on April 2. AeroMexico Vacations provides customized vacation travel packages throughout this network. The airline also offers connecting service to other international destinations through its SkyTeam global airline alliance with 11 full member carriers and three associate carriers. AeroMexico has been recognized for its award-winning style of personalized in-flight service, one of the world?s best on-time flight records, the highest safety and quality standards ratings, outstanding reliability and baggage handling performance, and exceptional value based on its competitive fares and superior service. Additional information is available at 1-800-237-6639.

“Friends” Helping Friends: Aniston Hearts Mexico

By Lola

Mexico is so lucky. Jennifer Aniston, that tireless philanthropist, has directed her laser focus onto its many difficulties, and has finally hit on a way to pull it up by its bootstraps and make it all better: she’s going to stay at the One&Only Palmilla in Cabo as long as she can, and she’s going to bring all her friends, and they’re going to spend their money to make a difference. Yessiree, Bob, she’s finally found a way.

And not only is she boosting the country’s tourism industry, but by golly, she’s getting those orphans taken care of, too.

In an interview with Access Hollyood, she explained how she arranged this trip after a male friend (probably Gerard Butler, who happened to be in the same villa), suggested it to her:

“He said to me, ‘You come to Mexico all the time and Mexico is really hurting right now because of the swine flu and the drug trafficking and all of this sort of stuff but it’s not all of Mexico.’ These people survive on us coming down and spending money and coming here to these beautiful places. It sort of made sense to sort of say ‘Hey, let’s help out Mexico.’ Let’s shout out to these kids in Tijuana at El Faro. That’s sort of our birthday celebration this year.”

So she “shouted out,” she certainly did, by taking time out from her $9,000 a night birthday celebration and launching the Farita doll, which raises funds to aid children at the Casa Hogar Sion orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico. (Worthy cause, by the way. Not knocking that one.)

She adds, “I have to tell you when you drive up to this place you see these kids come running out and you hear a chorus of (sings), and they are just bright. These kids don’t feel like they are sitting there going, ‘Oh my life sucks, look at where I live.’ They have been given a lot of love and they’re getting educated, which is the most important thing for them is to have an education and have knowledge of what they can do.”

I know the profundity of Ms. Aniston brings tears to your eyes, as it did to mine. In fact, fellow MP writer, Lisa Coleman, and I, would like nothing more than to be able to help boost Mexico’s economy with a $9,000-a-night stay at the One&Only Palmilla. For a week. And we’ll whole-heartedly support the Farita doll effort. It’s the least we can do.

Violence Numbers Down in Mexico

David Simmonds

Here is something you don’t hear much about: Our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., had a homicide rate of 30 per 100,000 in 2008, while the rate in Mexico City was 9 per 100,000. The most recent stats have popular Costa Rica at around 8 per 100k, Honduras at 58, Jamaica at 49, South Africa is 37, Brazil is 26 and Puerto Rico and Panama are at 19. Mexico is at a fraction of these countries at 10 per 100,00. Funny, I don’t read much about how Americans should stay away from those countries.

Because of  the daily drumbeat by the mainstream media of the drug cartel violence, with the feds fighting the dealers and the dealers fighting each other, the perception is that all of Mexico should be avoided by otherwise sane tourists. As a result, travelers are not going like they used to. And the country is suffering. Tourism dollars account for a good percent of the local economies in many of the popular towns like Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Cabo, Mazatlan and Acapulco.

Tens of thousands of expats now call Mexico home, and they feel as safe as they ever have. I encourage you to visit Mexico soon and you’ll see what I mean.