Thursday, 14 November 2013


Firstly I would like to say that I made 2 references in my last blog but did not put in the links, so here they are

Hotel Petit Cala Fornells  
Santuari de Lluc  

So moving on in to the wonderful autumn month of October, my birthday! Peter surprised me with a magical and amazing trip to Vienna. This was a complete surprise. We flew on Austrian Airlines, great in flight service, charming staff, journey was seamless. We stayed at the hotel Graben, an old world typical Viennese property. Enjoyed a six course dinner alone in a private room at the Bristol Hotel, candles, champagne, flowers and even a sommelier (I bet no one knows that one of the top sommeliers in the world works at the Intercontinental in Mexico City). To continue…..I was then whisked off in a horse drawn carriage to listen to Mozart and Strauss, magical! Sunday morning was a surprise visit to see the famous lipizzano horses.  Monday I started to do some work, I visited various specialised agencies in the city centre and was amazed to find how interested these travel people were in our Mexico….I then decided to seek out “The Dungl Centre”. Years ago I was invited twice by Austrian Airlines to visit this fabulous place. The original Dr Willi Dungl was the man who literally put Niki Lauder together after his horrific crash, I also at that time was suffering from a Carpel Tunnel Syndrome operation which fabulous Willi fixed me up in seconds. I would urge everyone to seek out this clinic. I intend to return and see if perhaps I can put myself back together again!

Rosewood Hotels

Attended a most spectacular evening at the new Rosewood Hotel in Holborn.

It was truly amazing I was over the moon to see my old friend Julian Haddon at the Helm. Rosewood have the Mayakoba, San Miguel Allende* and also fabulous Las Ventanas in Los Cabos.
Orient Express
I also met in October with may dear friends at Orient Express, Nicola Price and Christine Deeny. Most of my colleague in the Travel Industry work long hours and very hard, these two ladies are no exception to the rule....Goodness knows how they do it but they are so brilliant at what they do.
*I wonder how many people know that the original owner of the Orient Express, Casa Sierra Nevada owned the only lipizzano horses in Mexico at one time.
Royal Christening
As a member of the R.A.C Club in Pall Mall I took myself off to see the Royal Christening at St James Palace. Beautiful sunny day, they all looked stunning.  St James Palace is one of my favourite Royal residences.

World Travel Market

So they day dawned for this famous event! I always loathe the journey to get to Excel, it never gets any better….

Amazingly and talking of Royal Palaces the Mexican Tourist office held an incredible event at the TOWER OF LONDON. Even more amazing this occurred on 05th November. Since this date is famous in England (1606) it revolves around the character Guy Fawkes, who was imprisoned and burned at the stake at the tower of London so I think this was a great P.R success organised by the great and wonderful Lupita Ayala. We even had fireworks!!

The Cancun Convention Bureau held a very lovely evening at the Marriott Grosvenor Hotel. This is an office full of very, very hard working an efficient people headed up by Emma Cashmore, Managing Director of Axis Travel Marketing and also UK Director for Cancun Convention Visitors Bureau. Luisa Uruena, Emma’s right arm. Once again my point as mentioned above as to us labour intensive working females. The Annual Travel Market of Mexico is due to be help in 2014 in Cancun. I am sure it will be a huge success, not least because of the efforts of Emma and her team.

Interesting people I met during World Travel Market….who I think deserve a special mention!!

Ana Ramirez – Regional Sales Manager Europe - Melia Hotels -  

Benjamin Alderson – Account Manager – TTG Media –

Daniel Hawkins – Ticket Office Manager- Royal Academy of Arts

Ian Johnson – Founder and CEO – Out Now Global –

Mestizo Restaurant and Tequila Bar –

Los Cabos

I simply adore this area of Mexico. They gave a fabulous presentation.


I am really looking forward to working in depth with this destination. Follow this blog for more details!

 The City of Mexico

I think everyone who reads my blogs knows what a devoted fan I am of Mexico’s capital city.

“Mexico by Thomson”……….

I am off to fly with Thomson (Dreamliner!) next week, I am really looking forward to it. Please watch out for my next blog….

Thomson will begin their fabulous new flight May 01st 2014 to PUERTO VALLARTA.

Staying at my adored MAROMA, ORIENT EXPRESS -



 I cannot wait to return to my precious, precious Island!  I will tell you all about it when I am back…………..




















Friday, 23 August 2013

CATHY MATOS SAYS..............................Its July and MALLORCA.!!!

It must appear to anyone who reads these Blogs that I seem to be forever travelling!  But it is actually untrue…

I only visit MEXICO and MALLORCA, save for the blessed trip to HERM I made in April!  I have no Travel Bug!
Just like to be in my special places…

I first came to this island of Mallorca when I was 16...People often ask me "Where is the most beautiful place I have ever been?"...Nothing can ever compare with arriving by air to a mass of twinkling lights over the sea.

I thought I was in paradise. Bearing in mind this was the first time I had ever flown, also bearing in mind there were few Hotels.

We arrived at night...I was on a package holiday organized by the famous Harry Goodman who ran the company Intersun.  Who would have believed that all those years later I would be arranging a holiday to Mexico for the great and glorious Harry Goodman. Not to mention the fact that he is a regular visitor to Mallorca.....

I stayed in a Hotel called THE CAPITOL situated in a tiny, leafy, shaded square in the centre of the city.  Needless to say I immediately fell madly in love with the receptionist who was called Cisco Rossello. Not the least bit interested in me and my innocent state!  Even in those days there were a lot of pretty female tourists who were a bit further forward than me.  However Cisco and I remained friends from then to this day.  The tiny square is still there but sadly the hotel is an office block…. But I still shop and walk in this central City area and sit in that square and REMEMBER…

I returned to the U.K. and stayed very briefly, returning to Mallorca .. so began my Love Affair with this island.!!   

 What do I do when I spend time here…?

 I visit my secret Beaches, my favourite restaurants, (I will list below a selection of these).

I have many Mallorcan and Spanish friends.  I am very privileged to include Gabriel Escarrer in this group.  Gabriel is the CEO and Founder of  MELIA HOTELS.  We work extensively with Melia throughout Mexico.  There are also two of my most favoured Melia properties in Mallorca.  The MELIA DEL MAR situated near Illetas’ superb sea front; upmarket hotel, excellent restaurants.

The Victoria, this grand old lady my adored hotel.  I can still remember dancing on the terrace under the stars.  Situated in the City of Palma, simply divine.  The General Manager here as indeed the General Manager of the Melia  Del Mar are both good friends. Miguel Bermudez

Both these gentlemen have been part of Gabriel Escarrer’s team for over 25 years.

I also spend time at La Residencia (Orient Express).  Anyone who knows me or reads my blog will know that it was me that discovered beautiful Maroma on the Riviera Maya in Mexico all those years ago when it was a private home, now belonging to Orient Express.  As of course Sierra Nevada in San Miguel Allende in Mexico.

Another favourite is a hotel in Paguera which will take you back  to a beautiful 1960 era with elegant tourism, the beautiful breaches of Paguera and the wonderful old English villas still there. How different life was then!

I also take off on my own to all sorts of “secret beaches”. There is a campaign at the moment run by the local newspaper “Daily Bulletin” to find and list all the small unknown beaches and coves on the island.

 I spend a lot of time up at the Monastery at Lluc.

It is such a pity so many people associate Mallorca with the quick weekend or stag night visit never knowing of the joys and beauty that Mallorca really offers. In fact how many people know what an upmarket destination this really is?  Barbara Streisand was here, also J.K.Rowling was spotted in Puerto Andratx. The King and Queen of Spain holiday here.

In fact only last week the Queen of Spain visited the area of Andratx where devastating hill fires have taken out acres of woodland.  All started would you believe by someone with a BBQ. 

Now we come to the main reason I am writing this particular blog.  I feel the time has come for me to denounce the person that shattered my dream of making somewhere on the Island my own.  I have a good friend who is an excellent builder, Gaspar Parredes, but I was “persuaded” to take on a Scottish builder.  The details of what happened are still extremely painful so it is still hard for me to talk about it.  It did however inspire me to begin to make a portfolio for Mallorca.  I would like to tell people of the pitfalls that are involved when restoring, building or even renting a property.  There are many excellent British builders, one in particular who will be firmly listed in my new project (see below).

My brochure for Mexico is called “My Private Collection” so I intend to produce a similar product to be called “My Private Collection of Mallorca”.  The person I referred to above formed a new construction company and is still building on the island!  BEWARE.  Anyone who wants the full story of this episode will be able to find it in my new portfolio.  I hope that all the information I have gathered therein will be of use to someone.  Please watch this space for the launch.

Now on to a more pleasant subject.


Top of the list has to be Es Guix – This beautiful and very private place is located next to Lluc the Monastery.
It has a fabulous menu of Mountain dishes all its own.  The word Guix means Grotto and this is exactly that.  A splendid wooded spot with amazing home cooked food.  The owner is also a great wine connoisseur.   His recommendations of local vineyards should never be ignored.  He has a website dedicated to this (Please find in my new portfolio).

I hope some of you remember in a past blog when I referred to “wine tours” that are available to take? This is such a special thing to do and so out of the ordinary.  (Details in the portfolio).

I escape whenever I can to spend two nights at the Monastery thereby being able to have two lunches at Es Guix (Closed Tuesdays).

CALA CONILLS – a dream place located in San Telmo – this is a glorious fish restaurant, wonderful terrace, excellent fresh food.  A perfect day for us is to take all the Sunday papers to the beach at the Cala, sit down for lunch at 2.00 p.m. then back to the beach to fall asleep for the rest of the afternoon!

BARLOVENTO – Your host is Carlos a great bon viveur.  Sit by the edge of the water where the little boats are moored.  You can feed the fish from your table.  An extremely romantic venue.  Again, a fresh fish establishment.  More details in my portfolio.

PIZZERIA LA PIAZETTA–  In the centre of Puerto Andratx.  Economical, very buzzy.  I am very fond of the staff here. 

GALLICIA – Make sure you head for the one next to the church.  Wonderful fresh fish, your host is Toni.  I write more of this in the Portfolio.

LA PLACA – I have many little City restaurants and this happens to be one of them.  All good taverns and reputable places offer what is called “Menu Del Dia” This means menu of the day at normally a very, low cost.  La Placa has wonderful Mallorcan dishes.

Palma is a City which offers a huge array of galleries, museums, gothic churches and tiny roman streets to wander through.  In July it is a hot City but the evenings are divinely cool. Spanish people love to be out, therefore the City restaurants are always buzzing and lots of fun for example LA BOVEDA RESTAURANT.

My last night in Palma was spent at the Es Baluard Museum.  This is housed in the old medieval La Lonja which was the old main trading/customs house for fish in the late 16th/17th century.  

Believe it or not I remember when these were official offices for the Navy.  I had a wonderful friendship at the very innocent age of 17 with an Admiral who had a glorious, high ceilinged, old palace (this is another story to tell another day)!


Well, being in the Airline industry I have my favourites:

Flybe – Out of Exeter – sheer joy. 

Thompson – out of Exeter or Gatwick – Fabulous flights

Monarch – From Luton

Car parking – We recently made a great discovery.  (See Portfolio).

I hope that this has been of some interest to you.  Please do call me if you want to ask any questions. 0208 492 0000.

AND GUESS WHAT?  Off for a long weekend to celebrate Peter’s birthday and guess where???? Es Guix and the Monastery! (longing to take Charlie to the Monastery – he loves Churches!)

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Herm - A Special Treat

A Special Treat!
I finally introduced Peter to Herm!

A very quick visit to make up for me being away so long!

An early start to Gatwick – always a “tricky” journey on the Northern Line especially on a Sunday (there is always a problem on the Northern Line but Sundays can be even more tricky!)

Victoria overflowing at the ticket desk.  Not many staff on duty – why?  Because it was a Sunday!

Did not want to be late for the flight (old habits die hard!)  I have always learned that “it’s bad manners to be late for a flight!

Peter had all his bits and pieces ready to purchase our tickets.  We were late into Airport from the train. 

We were met by a small lady devoid of a smile or any other sign of friendliness!  To be told we had to pay £20.00 per person penalty for not having tickets – welcome to my country!  England!  What joy to be back from my beloved Mexico to the stark world of Southern Rail and its encouraging attitude!

Last time I take that train and last time I ever advise a client to do the same or anyone else for that matter!  Go by road, go by coach, go by Virgin Express.  Just don’t travel Southern! 

Guernsey was a joy – could this be because it literally is another world!  Friendly people,  welcoming tourists.  No trains, no “military attitudes” Call it old fashioned but should we not be doing the same? 

We literally fell into D’Nello’s for a super lunch.  We then took the 4.30 p.m. ferry to my “other paradise – beautiful, peaceful Herm.

Gorgeous sunshine, long walks along shell beach.  Crackling fires in The White House Hotel – Bliss.  We met with some friends on way back.  Chris Roberts a Travel Counsellor and a delightful lady from the Guernsey Skal.

Details of the International conference to be published soon.

Now back to work.  What Joy – Can’t wait!  Cathy

Thursday, 9 May 2013


I departed for Mexico travelling on my adored KLM. Great seat, great food. Nothing is ever too much trouble for the KLM flight crew. My seat neighbour was a very entertaining Italian who also apparently always flies with KLM. He taught me about the CHOCOLATES along with the endless selection of goodies available to eat throughout the flight. He kept disappearing and coming back laden with chocolates. I settled down to watch my movies and was lost in the world of "The Life of Pi". I will be looking for that Tiger for the rest of my life, please watch out for a section of this blog dedicated to all the services available with KLM.
Arrived in Mexico City always a joy. Mauricio of our little meet and greet company FIRST CLASS was there waiting. Off we went to HOTEL DE CORTES a bit of a new venture for me.. I normally stay in Polanco but decided this time to go to this, the Historic district of the City. This will not change now since I was absolutely enthralled with my new surroundings, new from the point of view that I had not stayed here for years. This, reputed to be the oldest Hotel in Central America is now exquisite. Only 28 rooms elegantly decorated and furnished. I entered into the courtyard lit by candles and felt i was home!! My good friend Martin Morales is the General Manager here and does an excellent job.

I always tell our clients that there are three areas to this vast capital, POLANCO (uptown) ZONA ROSA (midtown)and the HISTORIC district (Downtown).... So, off I went next morning walking through the re vamped ALEMIEDA PARK down through the old streets towards the main square...I had breakfast across the road in SANBOURNES. This particular branch is called CASA DE LOS AZULEJOS...the oldest of this famous chain of department Stores. It really takes you back in time to an elegant 1930’s era, the food is delicious. They always say in Mexico that you can buy anything in Sanbournes from a nail file to a Ferrari or even an Elephant.

Shopping, chatting, a visit to the Opticians to order new glasses a visit to the beautiful shops of Pineda Covelin and of course I stocked up on all my toiletries in Sanbournes.

Palacio de Hierro & Liverpool two glorious Stores (not unlike Harrods) for clothes for Charlie, they actually have a full sized Carrousel in the Baby Department....

Lunch with my friends at the Hotel Best Western Majestic. This lovely terrace looks out over the main square and the Cathedral.

Dinner was back at the De Cortes in the courtyard, cocktails on the top floor with a fantastic view of the City... Then off for a visit to Plaza Garibaldi. No one should ever visit Mexico without going to Plaza Garibaldi and not before 11p.m. This is when all the traditional Mariachi music really takes off. The "fainthearted" always go early

Next day I took the Red Bus in front of the Hotel which takes you right thru the City up to Polanco and of course a visit to my ladies! I have been visiting these lovely ladies for nearly 30 years for Hair Nails, Pedicure and a bit of a gossip.

Saturday in Polanco

The Market, an absolute delight, fruit piled high, with peppers, chillies, figs, melon, mangos. Dresses and shoes. A very “hip market” for the residents of the glorious sumptuous apartments in the area.

 Saturday night is “The Night”. Extremely well-heeled Mexicans are out to dinner, by reservation only even ten one often has to stand in line. I am staying at Las Acobas. This hotel is one of the most stunning new properties I have seen in a very long time. 35 exquisite rooms all with butler service and the restaurant has a signature chef. The property is located in the upmarket designer shopping area of Mexico City. I am convinced there will come a time when it will be impossible to find a reservation either for a room or for the restaurant of this hotel. 


 My favourite day in this City. Up here in Polanco overlooking the green Park, the Bell Tower. Its 8a.m. local residents jogging, people walking their dogs, Not a cloud in the sky (Long gone are the old “Smog “ Days!!) just the wonderful Spring Climate of this wonderful City.

The open top Red Tour Bus comes gently by, not to be sneered at, a very good way of seeing the whole City especially at night and a cheap way at that!

I am now staying at

I set off after my breakfast on one of my long walks. All the way down Avenida Reforma, I love this walk. Past the Museum of Anthropology, past the Zoo with its boating lake and acres of green space. Mexico Zoo is huge and marvellous. Years ago Mexican Tours was responsible for helping fly over the Panda from London Zoo to help try and mate. For many years there was a tiny blue sign for “Mexicana Airlines “in Regents Park, how proud that made me, all my own work.

Anyway on with the walk, The Palace of Maximillian stands aloft were we handle private tours. Art exhibition all the way along Avenida Reforma, all traffic banned on Sundays, only bicycles, all can be hired free for a whole day.

My destination is the famous Sunday morning Ballet Performance at the Palace of fine Arts, then off for the afternoon to the Floating Gardens

A perfect Sunday and something that we arrange for our clients. To quote, my good friend Simon Calder. “It’s a long way from the internet to the beach” Take that extra moment and perhaps extra pennies to plan different, exciting and classic tours see “My” Mexico for what it really is, I promise you will not be disappointed

Off to work!!.... The annual Travel Market of Mexico called TIANGUIS was held this Year in PUEBLA!

What absolute Joy to be able to visit and work in this exquisite City. Every treasured corner, church, house, cobbled street is a treasure trove. Like turning back into the 17th century.

I arrived at the gorgeous MESONES SACRASTIA It was raining, so Mauricio (First Class Transportation), his wife Perla and I retreated to the restaurant to sit by the fire and eat the most beautiful lunch… comida casera, this means “home cooked family food”! My absolute favourite. I then went upstairs to one of only the 6 rooms the property has and sank under an enormous quilt and went to sleep…Heaven! This unfortunately would be the last rest I would have for five hectic days!!

Elisa, the General Manager took excellent care of me, so I was sad when I had to move onto another hotel. To have 7000 delegates arrive for this conference is this tiny city was not easy.

My next destination was the MM Grand, a brand new luxury hotel situated on the outskirts in countryside. Sales Manager is Dennis Howard Johnson. A Very good friend of mine…

Talking of managers, let me explain something to you…

At Mexican Tours the Working Management for a hotel are very, very important to us. We do not just “pull a hotel out of a hat”! We seriously study it and normally go with the people we know from the hotel Director to the Sales Manager to the Food and Beverage person, right down to the Reception staff, the Porters and finally the Chef! Our clients are very important to us so therefore we literally choose and build the hotel around the client not the other way around. Not putting a client into a hotel because of some commission structure! I do hope this makes sense…

So people like Elisa at Meson Sacristia and Dennis at the MM Grand are worth their weight in gold. We have to place our client in a pair of SAFE HANDS!!!

Before departing this subject let me tell you that the family of Meson Sacrastia have opened another property in an old mansion a few streets away called Sacristia de Fray Juan

And so to the Travel Market…..

Here is a sample list of everyone I met at Tianguis…The list is endless…

Our dearest Linda and Don Jorge at Amigo Yucatan. We have now worked together for nearly 30 years…

Aeromexico… Sergio Ellard for all the years we have known each other, a good man.

Rosie Necoechea, for Aeromexico… My dear Rosie, without her support and help I do not know what I would do. I simply adore this woman.

Verena and her wonderful property Hotel Xixim.

Linda Baker, Hacienda Xcanatun… my favourite Hacienda in Merida.

Fernando Barbachano, head of the Barbachano dynasty, owner of Mayaland and many other Yucatan based lands and properties.

All my friends and colleagues from Los Cabos and Epic Tours. We are starting to work on some fabulous new and wonderful adventure programmes with this great company.

Los Cabos just has to be explored. Travellers should be spending weeks not days at this destination. To see the whales, to visit the lakes, wild territory and work up to the Copper Canyon area is just a sensational thing to do…

Yes, it’s great to visit the beach but also great to actually visit the country places like Loreto. Watch this space for more information.

Finally it was time to say goodbye to Puebla and Cholula and all the history the City has… remember the 5 de Mayo, well this is where it all happened!!!

I wonder how many people know that you can reach Cuernavaca from Puebla? So this is what I did. Travelling Puebla-Cuernavaca-Taxco (yes lovely, fabulous Taxco. How long has it been since I was here... just like “coming home)”.

And then onto “my other home”!! Acapulco. Yes, glorious Acapulco and Las Brisas. Still fabulous, still incredible value for money, stylish, upmarket, elegant. Travel as it used to be before the “All Inclusive”!! Please visit you will never regret it. Also dear friends out there be aware that the Brisas family have opened a new hotel in Cancun, Nizuk

And so time to return to Mexico City. I came back by bus and alighted literally outside the hotel Marquis Reforma. Another of my absolute favourites. An afternoon spent in the SPA… I often recommend that clients book the Marquis Reforma and pre book their massage for on arrival. Luncheon in the beautiful restaurant with my good friend Alma Lopez the Sales Director.

Restaurant & Tequila Bar
103 Hampstead Rd, London NW1 3EL
Phone: 020 7387 4064

5 de mayo marks the victory of the Mexican army against the French in 1856. The famous battle took place in the city of Puebla, making it one of the most remarkable military achievements in Mexican history.

This hugely popular celebration, marking the victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, comes to Mestizo with a special Sunday brunch menu (from noon - 4pm) which includes the 3 varieties of pozole: red, green and white.

Expect other special dishes as well in the evening's menu plus a performance of Mexican folk dance at 8pm

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

January and Madrid

Off I went to attend the F.I.T.U.R Travel Market.

Beautiful Madrid, always freezing in January was a sizzling 17 degrees and there I was head to foot in my fake Leopard Skin! I had coats, wraps, hats, gloves – you name it!

So much so that I was over laden on the bus to the Convention Centre so someone very inconveniently stole my wallet from my handbag hanging fastened over my shoulder at the time! (May I add that this has NEVER happened to me in Mexico in 32 years!! Sorry, but could not resist that comment)!

F.I.T.U.R is a well organised event – The Mexican stand is huge. I was lucky enough to meet our new Minister of Tourism La Dama Claudia Ruiz. I wish her every success and look forward to meeting her at TIANGUIS (more on this later)…

After an exhausting day I dragged myself over to Paradise! Yes Paradise. I was staying at The MELIA CASTILLA. I was on the Executive floor in the most wonderful suite. Private check in, breakfast, snacks, tapas, pastries available all day and every day. Believe me, I was in Heaven and Home!

Madrid is one of my favourite places and this is one of my favourite Hotels.

Dinner at another of my favourite places Casa Lucio and a big kiss for Lucio although his son did not recognise me! On to Café Chintas, wonderful flamenco

Lunch next day at LA BOLA and this rounded off my total “fix” of wonderful Madrid food.

Caught up with;





(more on this later)

All my buddies from Aeromexico

Flew back on AIR EUROPA (Great service) Good Airline. They also fly to Cuba (more on this later)


I attended this marvellous Travel Exhibition for this amazing Agency (Anna put link in please) at Lords Cricket Ground. What a super venue, super food wine and champagne, great ambiance. Watch this space for the date of this Fair for next year!

We were lucky enough to be on the ONE & ONLY stand, promoting their property in Los Cabos.

Now I am off to TIANGUIS, the piece de resistance! This is MY Travel Market and I am going to enjoy every moment of it starting with;

My journey will be with KLM…I simply adore this solid, reliable comfortable Airline… I travelled with them last year so am really looking forward to the pleasant experience…again…..In this day and age it is not often a Traveller actually looks forward to an air journey with all the hassle it entails…..…

The connection over Amsterdam is completely seamless. and if anyone out there knows me then they know I am a “Super Shopper” so where better to do it than in Amsterdam Airport.!!! When I return I will be preparing a complete package of Fares and Promotional offers and opportunities available on KLM so watch this space please.

This year the Fayre is to be held in PUEBLA. Words cannot do justice to this exquisite City. A four hour drive from Mexico City and magical once there. We work here with the gorgeous boutique property Mesones Sa Cristia where we are lucky enough to have the super Director Elisa Ramirez, who works extremely hard.

I will be looking at a new Hotel we are starting to work with.“Hotel Grand”, I think we helped Mesones Sa Cristia on to the UK Tourist Industry Map so I am hoping that we can do the same with their new property and also with The Hotel Grand.

I will probably drive to Oaxaca from Puebla as there is a direct road and I am also hoping to visit my wonderful Acapulco, Las Brisas and Fairmont and perhaps get to Cuernavaca and the wonderful Hacienda de Cortes.

KLM arrives into Mexico City at 1930 hrs. I will be met by our Ground Operators “FIRST CLASS”. By either one of my good friends Mauricio, Sergio or Ramon and taken to my hotel which is the old and exceptionally beautiful Boutique Hotel De Cortes.

One of the earliest hostelries in the Americas, it has been transformed into a modern Boutique hotel located on the main entrance of Historic Downtown. This jewel of the Mexican baroque comprises 28 rooms and suites, exquisitely decorated and furnished. The historical and cultural elements combine with modern comforts and a passion for service to ensure complete guest satisfaction.

Superb cuisine can be found in the restaurant “1620” and the lounge terrace bar “el Cielo de Cortes”

I will be receiving lots of help from my friend Lupita Ayala who does an amazing job in England at the Mexican Tourist Office. She will be attending TIANGUIS. I think she and I are the hardest working people in England for Mexico! So she will be working her socks off as per usual.

I will tell you all about it when I get back.

Saludos, Besos Cathy




Thursday, 7 February 2013

Christmas Blog, slightly late I hear you cry, but January came crashing in so fast and so busy…..!

Let me first say that we have moved back to our little home. Thanks must go to our builder. We had asked Churchill to have our own company take on the rebuild but along came Mr Gorgeous! James Mangan he and his team were marvellous and I’d never doubt using him again.

During the works we spent 8 months at the Grims Dyke Hotel but, as I have said many, many times, what a hotel, my home from home.

I would like to comment on the service we received from Churchill Insurance, words cannot express how grateful I am with the way they handled everything. However the medal of honour has to go to Crawford’s.

Crawford’s is an independent provider of claims management solutions working alongside the insurance industry. Our direct contacts were David Marshall and the wonderful, Alan Wheatley. At the worst point of our ordeal, the calming and confident words of Alan helped me.... Imagine how difficult I found it to work, manage a company and have this going on in the background, but Alan put salve on the wounds. It is because of these two gentlemen that we will continue to use Churchill for all of our insurance needs.

A Family tragedy occurred on 15th December 2012 (same date that our house burnt down in Christmas 2011) but little Charlie managed to pull us through it, and with Christmas just around the corner he was the light of our lives, at just a year old found everything to be magical.

Business for Mexico began to flow in January. Trailfinders seem to have cornered the market (or “My” Mexican market at least) for Bespoke Tailormade itineraries, It is very gratifying for me personally to witness this since I spend considerable time travelling around the country training Trailfinder Consultants in the art of the Tailormade article. I therefore notice the increase and the “Confidence” of the Consultant branching out to… all sorts of “Off the beaten track properties being requested.
One and Only Resorts

We have been spending time with Caroline the Account Manager Leisure of the One and Only Group, one of her many responsibilities is their resort in Los Cabos, I’ve had a lot of connections with this property, remembering it before it ever came into the group, when it was just a very private, very upmarket country club called Palmilla. The wondrous grounds and gardens are still there and of course the beautiful beach, so different to the other hotels in that there are rocks and coves with exciting and romantic places to visit and wander. The Nicklaus signature Golf course is currently the number 2 resort in Mexico with some breath-taking views of the Sea of Cortez. For children it is quite a paradise of fun and adventure, supports a kids club second to none.

I myself like to concentrate on the whales, One and Only have their own yacht, and, of course we at Mexican Tours arrange visits to Guerro Negro, this is the bay where the grey whales come to calve. It is sad that travellers do not spend time exploring these nature areas.

To journey up to Loreto from Los Cabos is almost a spine tingling experience!  Also how many people realise that they can make a two centre holiday with Los Cabos and the COPPER CANYON! There is a flight and a ferry between the two.

One day when you think “Crowded Caribbean Beaches” Think Los Cabos. Caroline by the way, is one of the best hotel people I work with in the UK.

Received Christmas greetings from my good friend, Camilla Bailey. How many of you out there know Camilla, one of the very best travel consultants and planners in the World. Up there with the greats! Lisa Hilliard, Jack Leaf. Camilla recommended we take on a trainee, so lovely Helen came to us and is brilliant! Helen is the daughter of a family we helped with their visit to Mexico two years ago that Camilla and I organised.

Christmas greetings also from our friends at Viceroy or, to all those old enough to remember IKAAL DEL MAR as it used to be.

This jungle paradise has been around long before the man put his shovel into the sand and Mayakoba was created..!!

This property is truly private and special

Upcoming Fairs where you can find me!

The famous Collett’s Travel Fair, 3rd March, held at Lords Cricket Ground, great venue (especially for me since I am a Lady Tavener!) great ambiance, food and Travel chat. I will be there if anyone needs to talk Mexico!

Off to one of the most important tourist events for Mexico, Tianguis, between 17th & 20th March, This year to be held in Puebla, which is too beautiful for words.

Meanwhile, I have just returned from F.I.T.U.R. the Spanish Travel Fair, I am a huge “Madrid person” I love my favourite restaurants, La Bola and Casa Lucio, plus Flamenco till dawn at Cafe de Chinitas.
Am attaching my video in case anyone wants to see it, I am hoping to be doing another one for MEXICO CITY very soon. Enjoy…

Cathy xx