Thursday, 16 May 2019

Mexico Trip April 2019

MY TRIP!!            MI VIAJE!!           APRIL 2019

United Airlines -

Simple, non-stressful check in. Delightful girl (Sharmer)

Good food – afraid I succumbed to the ice-cream (Sundae) no one makes them like United!

The salad was fresh with great orange!

EWR (New York) as always friendly, welcoming but beware!!

Give yourself plenty of time for the connecting flight.

The gate for the flight to Mexico City will always be in terminal C. You disembark the aircraft and go through to immigration, if you are in possession of an ESTA this will speed things up for you, do tell the person in charge and she/he will direct you to the special area for ESTA holders. You then deposit your suitcase with the “connecting flight baggage drop” and proceed to get the train to terminal C. Once there you will go through security to get to your actual gate. This can take up to 1.5 hours. Everyone at United is extremely helpful and kind.      

Mexico City

This is my special place, never ever ceases to amaze me! Within 10 minutes of arrival at the gate I had my luggage (thanks to United), I was through customs and out! This is such an enormous airport and yet faster than London has ever been (my personal opinion).

Mauricio  - First Class Transportation - was there as always to meet me…

First Class is an excellent transportation company for Mexico City and sightseeing. We took Charlie to see The Pyramids of Teotihuacan then to one of my favourite inexpensive local restaurants…

Casa de Tono…

Hotel Camino Real Mexico City - 

This was my own personal choice of place to stay. My World of Mexico has always included this fabulous Hotel. This unique City landmark is situated on acres of land surrounded by gardens, tennis courts and swimming pool. I had forgotten how family orientated this property is. Perfect for my young  Grandson’s first visit to this enormous city. The wonderful Polanco shopping and restaurant area is within walking distance. We were in the Executive Club Rooms  which were a delight. The food as in all Camino Real Hotels is sensational. I have worked with Ignacio Perez Cardenas Director General Camino Real Hotels most of my working life, he is a Legend.

I must also pass on my grateful thanks to Veronica Sanchez Medrano, Director of Sales for her invaluable help in making this trip possible.

Friday Morning in Mexico City

This huge, vibrant Metropolis – truly something to behold. When I first saw it I was 22 years old and I was completely overwhelmed and me a born and bred Londoner so used to a big city!

No visit to Mexico for me would be complete without a 3 night stay at least, in my glamourous Mexico City…I simply love it! From the tree lined Avenues to the gorgeous old Mexican Mansions.

Then off to Acapulco and my adored Las Brisas -

Arriving by road in time for sunset and “My” room 508 nothing could be more perfect!!!

This hilltop hideaway has been a paradise for literally hundreds of celebrities for the past fifty years! In fact Cathy Matos Mexican Tours began very special weddings here which were some of the first to be seen in the UK. I spent my own honeymoon in room 508, 22 years ago! Nothing has changed it has just got better and better. We spent two glorious days here.      


I must praise the excellent presentation given by Carlos Mackinlay. Carlos is the Secretary of Tourism for Mexico City.  I have been proud to know this man for so many years, his dedication to his craft is phenomenal. No one knows Mexico more than Carlos...I as many people know am an enormous fan and supporter of this fabulous city and state.. I know Carlos will make a big difference and give huge effort, he has my full and whole hearted support.

Held this year in its traditional destination Acapulco.

Always a joy to attend, I see so many old friends and colleagues.

Here is a sample of some of them…

Oaxaca – wonderful Mephi of HOSTAL DE LA NORIA

Tepotzlan – Alejandro Camarena of Posada Del Tepotzteco – Already scheduled to be in portfolio “The Private Mexico of Cathy Matos”

Celestun – Sergio Vazquez – one of my most favourite in The Whole Wide World!! And the equally lovely Verena from their unique and beautiful Hotel Xixim

Yucatan – Jorge Escalante of Amigo Yucatan

Copper Canyon – Jesus Mesta – I would very much like to promote Chihuahua in the UK

Presidente Intercontinental - Merida

The Fives

The Palm

Pilar Arizmendi – Palladium Hotel Group

Bumped into my old dear friend Servando Gonzalez a great past Director of “The Mexican Tourist Office”

Magda Monroy – Camino Real and Quinta Real

INTERJET AIRLINES - This Airline has certainly taken over from where Mexicana left off.....As everyone knows I was proud to represent Mexicana in U.K. for over 26 years.....I have watched the Airline grow and grow.... ..It has gained huge respect throughout Europe

My Dearest Reyna Luna of the fabulous Ritz Hotel, Acapulco

Hacienda de Cortes, Cuernavaca -
Private Suite (24) buried within the gardens and surrounded by green lawns…simply exquisite. We are in room 1.

Remember all the words I use are my own , I am not reading from a travel book.

I have always loved this property; ever since I can remember. When Juan Corral took  command many years ago, I was over the moon.

He has developed this special property into a paradise, mixing the dark Spanish history of the 15th century with a modern day hotel that is seamlessly run with friendly professionalism.

I consider the Hacienda to be a sanctuary; peaceful, tranquil  gardens so exquisite you cannot stop being amazed at them The birdsong, the pool and  spa, all just perfect.

The dining room is a spectacle, especially at night when it assumes fairy tale proportions.

We stayed for a magical 3 nights.  There is a lot to see in Cuernavaca but you need to spend at least a week here.  Initially to absorb, the atmosphere  relax and then concentrate on sightseeing.

Cuernavaca is the City of eternal Spring so the climate is glorious.

We were lucky enough to be there during one of the legendary weddings hosted by the Hacienda, sitting in the gardens with the Mariachi and Peter eating probably the best steak he has ever sampled!!

How I would love to see the “old Taxco Trail routes come back”, making Hacienda de Cortes a base and  visiting the famous silver city, and to see the outlying villages of Mexico as they really are! Far away from the “All Inclusive” market place!!

Hotel Casa Del Balam -

“My home”!!

The first Hotel I ever visited in many years ago.... I then always returned to  to what I considered to be Mi Casa!!!

The original former Home of the Barbachano Pioneer. It has lost none of its charm and cozy feeling. We were there for 3 days Charlie spent every hour of those three days in the Pool!.....

Ya’ax Boutique Hotel -

In complete contrast to the old fashioned feel of Casa Del Balam.  This perfect boutique property, previously a painter and sculptor's gallery, was restored by artisans using traditional techniques and local materials to preserve its Yucatecan heritage.  I will be writing more on this property later.

Amigo Yucatan DMC -

This wonderful company has been part of my life, it seems forever.  I do not know what I would have done without them and indeed now that I am changing my track to some extent I need them more than ever...

For Don Jorge Escalante the Founder and C.E.O. nothing is too much trouble especially for the upmarket well-travelled client.

Jorge so understands  the world of Cathy Matos Mexican Tours. He has excursions far from the ordinary “run of the mill”... He fills his vehicles with wonderous video’s thereby giving the client history at the same time as their tour.....

It was Don Jorge who arranged our Son Y Lumier at Chichenitza,  in a very special way.

Chichen Itza and The Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows -

Anyone who knows me has heard the story of me, The Barbachano Family and the archaeological sites of The Yucatan. I thought I knew all there was to know….well I was wrong…what Fernando Barbachano has done in The Mayaland Hotel is just simply spectacular. The rooms are stunning, we were lucky enough to have suites overlooking the famous observatory structure.

We arrived again to a beautiful sunset…The Son y Lumiere was enchanting and spectacular. The private entrance to the Mayan site just makes the whole experience magical and so reminiscent as to how it used to be all those years ago when I had just begun my career.

Food is authentic and great. Congratulations to everyone who make this oasis perfect!

After trying to initiate Charlie into the wonders of this Archaeological Site...we spent a blissful afternoon , huge super this lovely property.

Kin Sol Soleil –

I will never forget the look on Peter’s face when we arrived at this complete paradise, he had been dreaming of this part of the trip.

This idyllic, 9 suite Hotel has a really unique style. We were  lucky to have  suite “Angela 1” with a super private pool and complete privacy all round. Walk in external shower, massive bed and of course “all mod cons”, wi-fi etc.

Owners, Jose Luis Moreno and his wife Sally were  past owners of “Maroma” now Belmond and  indeed it was Jose Luis who designed and built the original hotel.

We spent part of our Honeymoon on this very beach so it is so special for us!

KIN SOL SOLEIL  is truly as it says in the brochure “ The vision of one family which believes in small, boutique hotels”.

Guests can visit the delightful restaurant  here from other hotels and they provide a romantic, private, candle lit beach dining experience.

The Cuisine is superb, and breakfast is legendary!

If you are driving yourselves to this paradise  you enter via the Maroma Resort but call first for directions, it is literally tucked away in the jungle.

KIN SOL SOLEIL is something that should be on everyone’s “bucket list” , an experience not to be forgotten .

Grand Velas Riviera

Well!! What an experience....located on the Mexican Caribbean with over 200 acres of natural beauty from the white sand beach to the lush jungle and mangroves. The resort features stunning spaces for guests of all ages plus tranquil areas for adults only.  

These words are taken from Velas brochure…the following are my words…

This has to be the supreme All Inclusive in all Mexico.  This beautiful chain of properties literally take your  breath away. We spent the day on the 18th April visiting all areas from the Zen rooms to the most luxurious private pool suites. This is almost like a city in itself…sheer bliss!! I will be writing more on Velas properties later.   

Joanne John and Charlie stayed at this property...It is such incredible good value for money... Very family orientated.  The rooms are comfortable with huge bathrooms.  The entertainment staff are great and work very hard, especially on children's activities.  For the first time ever Charlie joined a kid's club, lured in by promises of water fights in the pool, camping and roast marshmellows on the beach followed by cinema - yes on the beach!  Food is great and lots of it.  Staff superb!

Sadly it came…time to leave.... Amstar provided super comfortable transfers.....More on this....

REMEMBER…These are all my own words I am not reading from a tour book!!!

CATHY  MAY  2019