Friday, 25 September 2015

A Summer Blog

July 2015

Hot as hot can be in Mallorca so it was back to the coolness of England!
First stop was to the annual summer fair held at Shallowford Farm, Devon. This event is to help raise funds for the continuation of work done by Shallowford to help inner city people experience life on the farm. It was a joy of a day, a typical English summer day. Our dog Radiby won the competition for the “Best looking”! There were lots of tea, strawberries & cream, cakes etc to be enjoyed! 

Back to London where, as normal it was sweltering & sticky. As always I had hundreds of meetings lined up & first off was to meet with Vanessa, my new business partner & friend to discuss my new venture “My Private Mexico!” 
Another meeting was with the Global Account Manager the lovely Eva Marie, Global Account Manager Luxury SalesMelia White House Hotel London, one of my favourite places. It serves great Spanish food. As many of you know I work with many of the Melia properties throughout Mexico.  I am hoping that Melia Paradisus will be featured in “My Private Mexico”
One of the highlights of being back in London was that I took Charlie for his first Knickerbocker Glory at Fortnum & Mason! My mother took me as a child & I used to take Joanne, so now the tradition continues. I love to shop here not only for the products but for the great customer service. I would especially like to mention Michael for his continued good service.

 August 2015

Off we were again to Mallorca for a flying visit for the “Lluc a Pied”, the pilgrimage walk up to the beautiful Monastery. I have only been able to persuade my husband to do this once, so now I do it alone, all 40km of it!

A favourite topic of mine… Food! So here are a couple of places I have visited recently.

A wonderful summer lunch at Grainger & Co. in Kings Cross. I cannot praise this restaurant highly enough it is truly sensational. Great food, a wonderful ambiance, light , sunny & trendy.

A visit to my favourite Indian Restaurant Bayleaf. This is always a lovely treat, very pleasant surroundings and great food.

I have a new, part time trainee assistant Dominic Corral. Dominic is the son of a very good friend of mine, Juan Corral, Director of Hacienda de Cortes in Cuernavaca. A lovely property and a most definite candidate for “My Private Mexico”

Cancun Travel Mart

I am currently in the process of making Travel Plans to attend this Travel event.

I hope to also include a visit to my beautiful Cozumel, it is here on this wonderful Island, where it began all those years ago for me.

Talking of Cozumel, they are holding a wonderful event called SCUBA FEST. The new program has been established by COPARMEX Cozumel (Mexican Chamber of Commerce) and the organization board. This new festival edition aim is to promote Cozumel Island as a first class worldwide dive destination. This is why we are very honoured to invite the divers from all over the world as well as the local population to celebrate the underwater marine life and to honour men and women who defend our oceans meanwhile they will discover and dive on the New Jean Michel Cousteau’s Scuba Fest Route from the 9th through the 14th of December.

This fabulous event is hosted and organized by Pedro Joaquin, why not pay a visit to World Travel Market, 2-5 November 2015 & visit the stand of Mexico here you will find all the information on Cozumel and of course you will find me plus Pedro will be there in person.

I will be staying at various hotels during my visit to Cancun all situated along the Riviera Maya

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Let me tell you about this wonderful property, Grand Velas Riviera Maya. It has taken me 25 years to appreciate the "all inclusive" hotel. We at Mexican Tours have always specialised in the small boutique, off the beaten track & very private located properties.

Now I have discovered Grand Velas Riviera Maya, all inclusive & luxury beyond compare, “My Private Mexico” will be working with this great property. GRAND VELAS RIVIERA MAYA  all inclusive luxury beyond compareThe location and the restaurants have to be seen to be believed. Let me give you an example, I was recently invited to…

“Experience the flavours of Mexico” 

Frida, The acclaimed Riviera Maya restaurant at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, came to London to celebrate the dual year of commerce between Mexico and the United Kingdom; Executive Chef Ricardo de la Vega recreated a taste of the award winning Frida Restaurant.
Let me tell you it was some of the best Mexican Cuisine I have ever experienced. The desserts were simply mind blowing.

Come and visit Grand Velas Representatives at the Mexican stand at World Travel Market to find out more about this, wonderful property.
Come and visit the Grand Velas representatives at the Mexican stand at World Travel Market to find out more about this, wonderful property.


I will be doing a complete new blog when I return from my trip.



Friday, 3 July 2015

May 2015!
London Calling…
A little bit of Mexico came to London, I was invited by the Mexican Tourist Office to Selfridges for an evening of fine modern Mexican gastronomy. One of the top chefs from Mexico, Javier Plascencia prepared a delicious & innovative five-course tasting menu. Javier is regarded as one of the most prominent names is the industry & his style of cuisine is a combination of Mexican & Mediterranean, known as Baja Mediterranean cuisine. He uses local ingredients from the Baja California region. It was also an opportunity to meet the new Director of the UK & Ireland, Vicente Salas, who hosted the dinner. 
I was invited to a glorious reception to be one of only 60 travel companies given by Mélia Hotels at the beautiful Mélia Me. There is no other hotel terrace like this in Europe, it is just spectacular! (
I was able to meet with my good friends Eva Varela and Ana Ramirez, I rely tremendously on Ana, she is a pillar of strength for me at Mélia Paradisus in Playa del Carmen. (
Talking of Playa, I have had various conversations with reference to future business with Escencia ( and Le Reve ( two of my very favourite boutique hotels.
I have recently had the pleasure of enjoying a fantastic photoshoot with my gorgeous Grandson (Nieto) Charlie, executed by the brilliant Vanessa Champion, I am looking forward to doing more work with this very talented woman in the future. (
The Tower of London…
I have grown up with this Historic Palace, passing it almost every day on my way through London, visiting as a child with my parents, the odd school trip, taking guests visiting from abroad and also taking probably the entire total of Mexicana Airlines  employee’s over the years. So, when Joanne suggested we take out little Charlie to the Tower, I did not think I was in for many surprises, well, how wrong could I have been! It is a sensational place to visit, so interesting & with so many new things to do & see. The animal exhibition is incredible, how many people I wonder know that there is an elephant, lions, tigers, monkeys and a polar bear all within the walls of the castle! So, if you get the opportunity then please re visit, you will thank me for my suggestion! (
Is there anywhere more beautiful on earth to be in the month of May than on Dartmoor, Devon. I am lucky enough to be able to visit this exquisite area on a regular basis as this is where I keep my horse Ricardo. He lives at a stunning livery stable called Babeny Farm ( Babeny not only offers some of the most wonderful riding available in the heart of Dartmoor, but the proprietor Dee Dee is now able to offer horsey holidays wherein you can bring your own horse to stay & discover the undiscovered. Travelling between London and Devon is easy by train, I consider myself to be 100% a Great Westerner! I am not always lucky enough to travel first class but on my latest trip I did and it was superb, actually it is in fact the best way to travel! (
Two for the Road…
We decided to drive my tiny smart sports car to Barcelona then to take the ferry to Mallorca. I was dreading this drive which was a total of 1200 miles but it ended up to be most enjoyable.
We set off from London on a beautiful sunny morning and headed for Dover and DFDS ( We had priority boarding and also access to the sea view lounge. The services were excellent and the journey exceptionally pleasant.
We disembarked at Dunkirk so, there we were with no satellite navigation system and just four pieces of paper on which Peter had written some instructions. I being the navigator had to match this up with the huge map of France we had purchased, as you can imagine this proved to be a disaster! Three hours later, after a terrifying, continuous circle around Lille where there were massive trucks bearing down on my tiny vehicle, we ended up in the middle of nowhere! It was now 7.30pm, unlike Spain or even Paris, dinner in France is not served late! So after some discussions and my hopeless map reading we arrived at a little town called Laon. We discovered the most delightful six room Inn called La Besace ( There was a sumptuous dinner being prepared for the guests, but with only six rooms they were full. The proprietor offered us a little room in the garden but with no shower or toilet, I thought this might be a little tricky, Peter by this time did not care as he was so hungry but I suggested (wrongly) that we continued onto Reims. After some more of my non-existent map reading skills we eventually arrived in darkness to this city and proceeded to look for a room. There were none! They had a huge medical conference taking place so everywhere was fully booked.
We proceeded to return to the motorway where upon Peter informed me we were running out of fuel! It was at this point I gave up the will to live! We limped along at 5km an hour and eventually came across a service station where I brought some cheese and bread to make sandwiches in the car. I do have to say however, that motorway service stations in France bear no resemblance what so ever to ours in the UK. The incredible pastries, fresh produce and excellent selection of wine available where second to none! Not a limp sausage roll or dried up corned beef sandwich in sight!
We drove on towards Lyon to a place that I will not mention because I never want to see it again where we stayed in an Ibis. Arriving at 2am and leaving at 7am! The morale of this little story is that I can’t wait to return to the wonderful little La Besace Inn where we should have stayed in the first place!
So after a few hours’ sleep we started on the road again heading for Narbonne, Peter on his miserable four pieces of paper had omitted to make the important map reference of Marseilles hence hours and hours of driving round in circles, what we had overlooked was the heat, this part of the journey was only cheered up by the welcome sight of a Riverford Farm Truck which thundered passed us. After lots of waving & light flashing I felt a bit more cheerful.
Our arrival into Barcelona was spectacular on account of the fact that Peter had forgotten to write down on the infamous four pages the junction number of the road to the port.
Anyway, all’s well that ends well, we arrived safely and in plenty of time to catch the Balear ferry to Mallorca. Another fabulous ferry crossing and joy of joy Spanish food!
Back on Dry Land…
Meanwhile back in the office I continue to work on my new project “My Private Mexico” with the help of my wonderful assistant Lisa. Please watch this space for developments.
Once again we were off to Ladies day at Ascot, there is nothing like this anywhere in the world, it’s the quintessential English scene! Anyone who knows me knows that I am very fond of horses so what better way to spend a gorgeous sunny day than at the races enjoying a picnic with loads of Champagne & Pimm’s! A chance to wear a terrific hat & all in the great company of my daughter.
Well I guess that’s enough from me for now so I’d like to wish everybody a great summer!

Monday, 11 May 2015

My Trip to Acapulco...

Acapulco 2015 

The reason for my trip to Mexico was to attend Tianguis Touristico, this is the tourism fair that has been hosted in Acapulco for the past 40 years.

I set off from Mexico City by road passing beautiful Jacaranda, Orange Blossom and many other spring tree’s in full bloom. Our first stop was Cuernavaca where we had lunch at Hacienda de Cortes where my dear old friend Juan Corral, the director of this beautiful property was there to greet me.

After lunch we headed for Taxco the famous silver city now appointed as a national treasure. Always eat Pozole! (Especially on Thursdays!) We arrived at glorious Las Brisas around early evening just in time for the famous sunset. This wonderful 1950’s Hotel epitomises Acapulco you can’t have on without the other!

The view of the bay is one of the last things I want to see before I die!
Joy of joy’s I was once again in Room 508, the room I love so much, my bed was exquisitely decorated with hibiscus petals and candles arranged along the two private terraces. A Bottle of wine, canapés and my family sign outside the door. I had arrived in my own personal piece of heaven!
This particular room offers immense privacy but is also close by to the church situated at the top of the hill. I always love to visit here as there are many “ghosts” for me, I find it perfect to sit and remember all the special times and memories that have been created over the years by the many weddings and honeymoons that we at Mexican Tours have arranged including my own honeymoon 15 years ago!
I had friends staying, Deirdre & Nick, who were simply enchanted with Las Brisas.  I introduced them to “downtown” Acapulco, to the Divers and onto to the wonderful Los Flamingos, which began as a fishing lodge and general “secret” haunt for John Wayne, Alan Ladd, Sinatra and Johnny Weissmuller and to this day remains a quaint and very special place.

Moving on… Dinner at Bella Vista (Las Brisas) is an absolute must, as is Zibu this establishment is owned and run by Eduardo, who is the son of famous Chef and my dear friend Susanna Palazuelos.
So after my wonderful 4 days in Acapulco it was back to Mexico City.

Farewell to friends, Enrique the night manager at Las Brisas and my friend for 30 years!

Reyna Luna of Hotel Ritz ( and not forgetting my friends Lumi and Pal Kepeneyes.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Having returned from one of my favourite cities Madrid, where I attended FITUR, the Spanish Tourism Market held at the end of January, I have finally caught up with things so I can tell you all about it…

FITUR is a global meeting point for tourism professionals and the leading trade fair for inbound and outbound Ibero American markets. The exhibition itself is extremely well organised and I was able to catch up with many good friends of mine. My most important meeting was with Omar Ramos of Las Ranitas ( this eco-boutique hotel is situated in Tulum, Mexico and is one of the last remaining original properties in this area. New hotels appear around Tulum on a regular basis and I love Las Ranitas as it retains the “old feeling” of this area.
Another of my good friends, Eduardo Llamosa attended, it was great to catch up with him and discuss plans for the future to work with his new hacienda. I cannot wait to tell people all about it!  More on this later...

So, during my trip I managed to stay at my two favourite hotels one being The Ritz ( and the other being The Melia Castilla ( I have so many wonderful memories of times at the Melia, and with the penthouse floor being such a comfortable environment boasting exclusiveness and luxury it is excellent value for money!

When I travel to Madrid it’s not always about work!  I was lucky enough to have the time to visit two my favoured restaurants, firstly was a trip to La Bola, ( situated in Calle La Bola, in the centre of Madrid. It sits in front of the royal palace, therefore making it a joy to explore this scenic area. La Bola is well known for offering the best of castillan cuisine to all their customers! Secondly off to the famous Casa Lucio, ( and there was my dear friend still working!

I have a fabulous hairdresser called Gemma at Salon Est Lion situated in the city and I always try & make time for an appointment as she is one of the best colourists in town!

So there you have it…

Madrid = Great Food – Great Hotels – Great Shopping and Clear Blue Sky! In my mind it was absolute heaven!

Moving on to more recent events, I attended two fabulous functions in London, one being The Belmond Reception and the other being The Relais Chateaux event.

The Belmond reception was held at the beginning of February at the exquisite 17th century Dartmouth House. Belmond is a collection of iconic hotels, trains & river cruises worldwide. These hotels include my adored Maroma ( with its beautiful white sandy beach and flower filled gardens, nothing could be more tranquil. Believe it or not, Peter and I won a prize of 3 nights at the Belmond property on the Amalfi Coast Italy, ( a beautiful former 11th century palace set on cliffs looking over the Mediterranean Sea, yet to take. So, I can hold my hand on my heart when I say that each of the Belmond properties around the globe are exceptional experiences.


Not many people realise that at Cathy Matos Mexican Tours we also handle Cuba, only offering quite upmarket tours of Havana and Trinidad and of course we always like to promote the wonderful Melia properties on the beaches.  It is quite amazing that for the first time in my entire career we have received a message to say that Cuba is full until the end of April!  Just goes to show!

My next trip will be to Mexico for Tianguis.  If any of my amigos are reading this I will see you there.  Joy of joys this event is returning to its "home" Acapulco.  I for one am so very pleased.  I will be visiting my wonderful Las Brisas.  When I have made my travel arrangements I will let you all know how I am arriving!


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to Everyone Y Féliz Navidad

Well, I have been very busy. It would appear that I have not written since back in the summer, so where shall I start!

World Travel Market came & went and I saw all my good friends:

Wilma from Mayaland, our ground handlers & who are also part of the consortium Premium Yucatan

Alma Lopez from Marquis Reforma, my favourite hotel in Mexico City, with one of the best Sales Directors ever.

Nallely from Las Ranitas, soon to be my favourite property in Tulum with their refurbishment plans due to be finished by summer 2015.

Tatiana from Le Rêve Hotel & Spa, another of my favourite people & my most definite favourite property along the Riviera Maya.

Juan Velas of Las Velas, only one of two properties that I would endorse for the “all inclusive” at the very top end of the market the other is a secret!

Rienk de Jong from Karisma Hotels, wonderful man & good friend with a great team.

Also I bumped into Mark Carney MBE British Consul for Cancun & Riviera Maya, who also heads up Grand Residences.

So you see all the best people were there! The Good & the great of the Mexican Travel Industry.

The “after party” hosted by the Mexican Tourist Office was out of this world! Held at the Natural History Museum, the theme was “the cuisine of Mexico” all the top chefs of the country were there including my dear friend Susana Palazuelos and her son Eduardo who owns and runs two of the best restaurants in Acapulco.

A lot of our Mexican visitors for WTM stayed at the Grim’s Dyke Hotel this stunning country house hotel, originally the home of Gilbert & Sullivan opera fame. This is, believe it or not, very conveniently situated on the Jubilee line, so one can luxuriate in glorious countryside after working hard at Excel with WTM.

I personally stayed at my favourite club, the RAC well what can I say, I was in heaven!

I forgot to mention the other wonderful reception, Cancun, as always beautifully put together by the lovely Emma and held at the glorious Marriot Grosvenor house.

November & December are the busiest times at Mexican Tours, customers clamber for reservations around the Christmas period and of course there is never space at the Inn! People always forget that Mexico is an enormously wealthy and family orientated country so long holidays are taken in their own country.

So here we are with 2015 looming and as we all know there are great things happening within Mexico & the UK, here is an insight from the Embassy’s web page:

In order to promote a deeper understanding between our societies, the Governments of Mexico and the United Kingdom have decided to celebrate throughout 2015 the "Year of Mexico in the United Kingdom" and the "Year of the United Kingdom in Mexico". We believe that this Dual Year is a right way for many more productive businesses to capitalise on the level of interaction that has been achieved between our two countries and to promote further bilateral exchange and cooperation.

For me personally 2015 holds a new and exciting concept, I am launching a new company to be called “My Private Mexico” I will be doing something that I have always wanted to do, endorsing and promoting only hotels and destinations that I truly love, respect and enjoy working with. Watch this space for more news on this project, I promise you will not be disappointed.

I am now off to find The Three Kings (Los Reyes) in the hopes of finding some more presents!

With warmest thoughts and love from Cathy and 3 year old Charlie.