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 (www.lasranitashotel.com) 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 (www.ritzmadrid.com) and the other being The Melia Castilla (www.melia-castilla.melia.com) 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, (www.labola.es) 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, (www.casalucio.es) 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 (www.belmond.com/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, (www.belmond.com/hotel-caruso-amalfi-coast) 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!