Monday, 31 October 2016

Hello Everyone, Long time ‘no speak’
Lots been happening
Mexico News:
Long time since I have heard from Las Ventanas but I have certainly spent a lot of time at Rosewood in London
 The gorgeous dining room at Rosewood is my favourite eating spot
I am actually going to Los Cabos in November so I really look forward to visiting Las Ventanas.

Oh what wonderful memories from this hotel situated in Zihuatanejo….. Mexico at its best! Beautiful, very private suites built into the cliff side. No children under 16. Contact us for details as we have special privileges for our clients. This hotel has bags of style!

LE REVE. My little gem, hidden along the coast of the Riviera Maya. Contact us for details or better still visit WTM to meet Julieta the Sales Manager. Find her on the Mexican Stand, she will be there every day.

Casa Natalia – Los Cabos
I am over the moon to have been invited to the Summit to be held in Los Cabos. This will give me an opportunity to see my good friends at Casa Natalia

Hacienda de Cortes - Cuernavaca
Our dear friends Juan (Director of the Hacienda) and Alma came to London to visit. My wonderful Assistant, Dominic (their son) sadly returned to Mexico with them! So I lost my valued Admin Man!! Hopefully he will come back soon!

Copper Canyon
Also visiting us was Gaby and her son from the Copper Canyon
We had a lot of fun showing them around. Harry Potter, Buckingham Palace etc.  Did a lot of shopping especially at one of my favourite places situated very close to both Palaces, Buckingham and St.James (please see ‘London’ section)

 My adored Island. Who could have believed I would switch on my TV a few weeks ago to see  Cozumel spread all over the screen. I was in Heaven!! Me who NEVER watches sport !!! ever!! A bit of Cozumel news, the Intercontinental (one of my favourites) is undergoing total refurbishment.
The lovely Aura Hotel - I can’t wait to see.
My most wonderful friend Don Nassim sadly died a few days short of his 100th Birthday in the Summer. He was truly MR COZUMEL.

We have resumed working with Amigo Yucatan I am so pleased – I simply adore Don Jorge. His knowledge of the Yucatan is second to none. I could not live without him and value him as one of my ‘best’ friends in Mexico. Anyone out there who needs help planning an archaeological tours please seek help from “Amigo Yucatan”
For all those special “secret places” ask for me !!!

Heard from my Dear friend Reyna Luna from the Ritz
Dearest Reyna always keeps me in touch with what is happening in my wonderful Acapulco. How I love this destination.
Sadly Reyna told me that our good Amigo Tim Campion, original Manager of the Ritz had died! My goodness the fights he and me used to have!! There were times when the Hotel was completely full with our Clients. My endless telephone calls from London to Tim in the middle of the night checking up on things used to drive Tim mad! But boy did we have fun ‘making up’!

One of the most beautiful and treasured hotels in all of Mexico and possibly the World in my opinion! How I long to return. I could write a book on Las Brisas. “Maybe I will” one day.

Tianguis is returning to Acapulco next year!

Las Velas - Puerto Vallarta
Met with my dear friend Lupita Ayala the UK director of Velas properties in the UK.
They have recently added a new Hotel to their Portfolio. Details to follow.

Obelisk and Las Alcobas. Can’t wait to see my friends at these two beautiful properties when I’m back in November. With us at Mexican Tours it is all about style. If it hasn’t got style I don’t work with it!

News from London
Well! The most important event was Charlie’s first day at Big School.
“What did you have for lunch” I enquired on his first day! “Abu” he said “there was rice, pasta, baked beans and couscous” – “so what did you choose?” I said…… "Abu I had it all, I was hungry!!!” That’s my boy

Needless to say when all my visitors from Mexico were here we did a lot of shopping – I made a visit to one of my favourite shops, William Evans
The Customer Service was second to none. Vanessa Scaccia is a joy to shop with.
I am hoping to return with my Father Christmas hat on soon.

John’s Birthday
John Wales CEO of Encore Theatre tickets (my son in law) was celebrated at The st Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Excellent entertainment was provided by Fiona Mcelroy and Big Mamma’s Door.

Tea at Fortnums – Wonderful as always

Believe it or not I am sitting writing this in the glorious gardens of the Grimsdyke Hotel on this fabulous Autumn day with not a cloud in the sky. The birdsong is wonderful
We stayed here overnight for my Birthday. My goodness how well deserved are chef Darren’s A.A. rosettes.  All our Mexican visitors Juan, Alma, Gaby and Benjamin stayed at the Grimsdyke

Also as a treat for my Birthday we went to see Carlos Acosta at the Royal Albert Hall. Viva Cuba!! The catering presented by Rhubarb was outstanding.

September 22nd  - I attended the Worldwide Cancer coffee morning at our favourite Gastro Pub ‘The Rising Sun’

Foreign Airlines Association (FAA) celebrated their 70th Anniversary at Lords Cricket ground. Beautiful evening sitting high above the pitch with the sunset alongside a very Dear Friend (he knows who he is!)
I was Chairperson for a couple of years, my Vice Chairperson at that time was the lovely Sandra who was then Royal Brunei Airlines. We had such fun doing this job together. Looking forward to the Christmas function which will be held at the Melia White House. I’m so hoping that me good friend Gabriel (CEO of Melia Worldwide) will pay us a visit.

Lots of visits to one of our favourite places The Bay Leaf 

Also, lots of visits to Seawise  
in Camden Town.

Another of our favourite restaurants, the lovely Patio Restaurant, Hammersmith.  Telephone 0208 7435194. My lovely Polish friend Ewa K Michalik.

Spent a lot of time at The Ivy , Kensington High Street.  Lots of style, great food, my kind of place!

News from Devon

I visited the famous Widecombe Fair
as I do every year, dating back to the 11th Century.  My good friend Jez Wilkinson was there signing copies of his book, ‘The Well-Watered Land’.

one of our favourite places. Ask for Joe the ‘Manager’ good bloke!

This is a fabulous couple, always working, always helpful. We actually ring ahead from the Motorway on our way down from London to Devon.

And finally, enjoyed a sensational evening and a performance of La Traviata. We stayed at a dream of a place Overton Manor
This is truly the most fabulous Bed and Breakfast I’ve ever stayed in.

Spent time for my birthday at my favourite restaurant Es Guix.

Also spent time with my friend Juan Sanchis, CLINICA IBO
CAMINO DELA VILETA, 30, Palma de Mallorca
He operated on my eyes 10 years ago with laser surgery and correcting a lazy left eye.  In my opinion he is the best eye surgeon in Spain.  Since the operation I have never looked back!

I flew to my lovely island with Flybe – what joy it is to depart from Exeter Airport.  Great airline, great crew!

Another favourite airline, Monarch.  Congratulations to you all – thank goodness!

Adios and Hasta Pronto

See you all at World Travel Market


Monday, 25 July 2016

Summer News

Long time since I’ve said anything on my blog!! So much has been changing and going on in my life!!

So let’s begin……
In April I took Andrew to attend the Mexican Travel Fair called "Tianguis". This year it was held in Guadalajara.

Andrew Russell is an experienced and exciting travel entrepreneur who approached me in November last year to help him put together bespoke programs featuring “My Mexico” and Central America generally. I’ve been looking to change direction for a while and I’m also very interested to pass on my 35 year’s experience and knowledge of arranging tailor-made experiences for elite guests in Mexico, Guatemala Belize and Cuba.
So, you’ll be pleased to know, I hope, that I will be staying around for a while to ensure that our usual high standards continue to be met and the reading my blog for a while longer.
Please refer to my website in the meantime until our new joint one is completed and launched.
"Let us design your perfect trip to our wonderful Mexico"

So Cathy will stay but will be working together with Andrew and his team. I know I’m placing my legacy in safe hands!
I’m busy at the moment producing a new portfolio of amazing places to stay & visit in Mexico both on line and in print. We’ll be ready with it shortly. I’ll let you know, when, Apart from Tianguis, this was the reason I was in Mexico with Andrew.

I flew into Mexico on United Airlines – absolutely excellent service, fun happy cabin crew (I should know as a used to be one) !

Arrived at my adored Mexico City, raining as usual. I don’t think I’ve ever arrived in Mexico City other than in a rain cloud. It always seems to when I arrive. 

I was met by Maurici
of the Transfers /Tours Company “FIRST CLASS”. He has been meeting our Clients for over 25 years....Super comfortable limousine. We also booall our very special excursions through this great companyFor example……
CITY TOUR/ SATURDAY BAZAAR (My own personal favourite!!) This wonderful old area of Coyoacan epitomises the old Mexico , the era of the 1920´s elegant old homes and glorious Gardens.
Years ago Mexican Tours used to host a Tour every Wednesday called HOMES AND GARDENS OF MEXICO

HOTEL BUSE  ( previously known as CASA VIEJA)

Andrew and I then drove to CUERNAVACA.... to be welcomed at the fabulous HACIENDA DE CORTES.....   This property is an authentic 16th century home, originally built by Hernan Cortes as his own residence. Lovely Courtyard Rooms.... Food sensational...Sunday Buffet is legendary ! 

From this point our client can travel onto The Silver City, TAXCO... and then onward to ACAPULCO.

We then proceeded to fly from Cuernavaca to Guadalajara.....Yes even here there is a tiny Airline and modern Airport to help the Tourist explore the country. 
Andrew and I managed to have a few hours to explore the Historic downtown area of this old Colonial City...

I do so hope that with the help of the new Team we can devise some Tours ..There are fabulous places to see ..The Folkloric Art here is second to none, with the Hotel Mendoza. being another step back to the glorious Belle Epoque.  

More to follow...

Friday, 1 April 2016

Mallorca February 2016

Dedicating this Blog to my Beautiful Island…………………………….
I arrived here at the age of 16 and thought I had arrived in Paradise!  It is still Paradise so many years later….
I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me during the past month…”I never knew Mallorca was so glorious”!!
Why? Because of the recent T.V. series “The Night Manager”…filmed above Pollensa…
Of course it is glorious this is why I spend a lot  of time here…. In February the Island is pink because of the millions of almond trees covered in blossom. Cold and Cosy at night , sunshine during the day …Winter time spent with friends at our favourite Restaurants….
GALICIA  run by the same family since the 70’s.. fresh fish.  I had the absolute honour on this last visit, my dear friend Toni made a Paella just for me..!! Authentic Paella cannot be prepared for less then  two people so no restaurant offers this special service…!
LA PIAZZETA  also in Puerto Andratx… Italian super dishes…The lovely Martin who always makes me feel so welcome…
BAR CENTRAL…. The largest Gin and Tonics in the World served by sexy Jose!!
ES MOLI (owned by Maria)…in San Telmo… My wonderful friend (Maria) has now taken over another old established Restaurant on the front  by the Beach… called XALOC……….
Maria owned a restaurant in Cala Connils which sadly had to close.   
This is going to be “The Place to be and be seen!!”  I have already  made my table reservation for July. The large private Yachts moor here to visit the Restaurant so it gets very booked……….
Made one of our regular visits up to the MONASTRY OF LLUC and another beautiful (very private place) Es Guix….
Everything sourced from these lovely hills overlooking Pollensa…Goat, Suckling Pig…Roast Lamb…Just Divine….
A natural spring Pool in Summer a warm fireplace in winter…..
A visit to my Dentist and Beautician…. Juan and Cristina……
And talking Health. I am a devoted “Fan” of SANITAS.. This is a Private Health Care Company… I am a long standing Member so cannot speak more highly of their services…..Ultimate state of the Art Hospitals, Specialists, and of course Dentists!!
Sanitas are planning a new project for Foreign Residents on the Island… Care in Mallorca by Sanitas, Bupa in U.K. a combination Policy… for more details you can contact me if you wish as I am supporter of this fabulous idea…….
So back to the cold and rain of London but believe it or not I went directly from the Airport to have lunch with my good friend Julian Haddon at the Rosewood Holborn… we ate in the Brasserie…. I don’t think I will be eating anywhere else for a long time!! Simply wonderful…………….

Monday, 22 February 2016

New Year


I begin to write this Blog today...This is a very important date. HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY…27th January 2016……..Lest we forget…..!

There are many very prominent Jewish Families throughout Mexico.  I have had the pleasure of working on some fabulous Jewish Weddings.

Mexico City has many   centrally located synagogues. Plus Hotels with Kosher Kitchens. One such property is a particular  choice for me.  Suites Obelisk. Situated in Polanco. This Hotel is firmly featured in “My Private Mexico”

September is the last  time I wrote a Blog…..  So a lot has happened since then!!

October began with my Birthday... and what a Birthday!!… I did not know until the morning in question that we were to leave at 9.30a.m. for PARIS…. Everything had been arranged by our good friend Mike Clark.
All a total surprise to me….The journey was fantastic!!!… I threw together a picnic …which was completely unnecessary since the food sold on board is super not to mention the great wines.…Nothing can compare with the
Comfort, luxury and total no hassle of this travel..!! No Airports,  No Crowds. .Bliss! We walked to our little Hotel…personally selected by my Dear husband was immediately off shopping of course what joy I was within walking distance of Galeria La Fayette! Our evening was just an explosion of excitement and Romance!!! This is the only way I can describe it all!! A Dinner Cruise but not just any cruise…My oh my it was out of this world….Yachts de Paris…..I was in heaven!!……..The Next Day my same Dear Husband insisted… we visit a Restaurant by the Gare de Nord!!!I thought “Why on earth would he choose here!!… I argued of course because I had wanted to visit Le Petit Zinc a blast from my past!! but No he would not budge we were going to go here  adamant!!  Guess why…. As we sat there in the glorious sunshine with our Oysters and Champagne who should be running across the road but my adored little Charlie with his Mother and Father!!All the way from Kings Cross!! I have no words!!

I cannot wait to do this all over again..!!

EUROSTAR TICKS ALL MY BOXES..! Thanks to Sarah Gaze for all her efficient help.
We attended this Industry Travel Fair expertly put together by the great LIZZIE COLE.….

LGW/CUN THOMAS COOK… Excellent Service. Excellent Flight…….

Met by our Ground Handlers MAYALAND TRAVEL… lovely Car. Gorgeous Pink Roses….I have worked with Mayaland for 30 years! Owned by Fernando Barbachano, My dear Friend. The Barbachano Dynasty…..
A Story all its own to be told another day!  
LE REVE….Arriving just as the sun was setting….. at this my treasured Boutique property… Cocktail awaiting … Room Gorgeous!  Dinner a small triumph. Toni and Julieta have made this Gourmet all inclusive plan something really special ……My Home from Home……
Many visits to The Private Mexico Hotels Collection …made very difficult by the fact that I had by this time managed to break my Leg!!! Not knowing it was actually fractured I literally walked through the pain and just drank loads of margaritas!! 
Attended the grand opening of this property. Daniel Mellado (probably the best Sales Director in the World!!) had asked me personally to attend so broken leg or not I was determined to go!! Journey made easier by the fact that lovely Eugene Rybeki owner of AMSTAR had us chauffer driven there

All these Hotels have been personally chosen by me to be included in “My Private Mexico”!!

COZUMEL… yes of course I went over to “My” Island… to see my Dear Friend Nassim Joaquin… I can never be too far away from Cozumel….!  How wrong people are about this my adored place. It is not just a “Cruise “destination it has beautiful, rolling, undisturbed beaches  ...My good friend Rita Morales introduced me to “Aura” owned by Rafa Nadal!! Not a lot of people know this!! …..
SCUBAFEST……This is an event held every year in Cozumel...

I was put to absolute shame complaining of my Leg when I met this marvelous man!! Leobardo is the World champion disabled diver who lost his leg to cancer 7 years ago…..The man is a genius. He honed his craft growing up on Cozumel…….Learning from the Master…Jacques Cousteau!!!
Please come to know this idyllic place……

Before my Broken Leg incident I was due to travel to Mexico City and onto CUERNAVACA...

I have a small selection of favoured Hotels in Mexico City:

This was originally known as the CASA VIEJA. Still with same Owners.  A true hidden Gem situated in the elegant Polanco district.  A delightful tree lined street and completely “different”.

Also situated in Polanco, as I have mentioned it is a favoured Hotel for Jewish functions. Great Apartments, extremely elegant but excellent value for money.

Anyone reading my blogs will know I love this out of Town Hotel. Situated very close to the Diego Riviera/Frida Khalo museum so a good stopover for the touring visitor.

STARA SUITES. Have now opened a new property in the ZONA ROSA DISTRICT OF Mexico City…
You will be reading more on this property in due course…………………

I intend in my next Blog to talk in depth ref Food/Restaurants…Meanwhile my readers might be interested to know that from the 50 BEST RESTAURANTS IN THE WORLD…three are based in Mexico City!!!  Not forgetting of course my absolute favourites

THE ICING ON THE Cake! What a glorious, wonderful place to visit.  Originally the former 16th century home of Hernan Cortes who conquered Mexico!

I long to revisit here soon… I love this area. Cuernavaca known as the City of Eternal Spring. To some extent overlooked these days by the Tourist…How sad since it is so beautiful.  Many Mexico City Dwellers have their weekend homes in Cuernavaca.  When I first began to work with Mexican Tours the circuit of MEXICO CITY/CUERNAVA/TAXCO was a regular weekly departure. And then always onwards to glorious ACAPULCO…So overlooked these days…

We now have an added attraction to see in Cuernavaca...


I will also be designing for “My Private Mexico” a sample of the specialised Bespoke Itineraries  we put together to cover lots of these “Off the beaten Track Mexican Trails” Covering the entire country.
For example “THE COPPER CANYON” I wonder how many people heard the Radio 4 programme on the Tarahumara Indians  based in the COPPER CANYON  mountains…. No Blood pressure,  No diabetes  They just run!!!

So we came to the famous event hosted at EXCEL… All very well attended… Mexican stand as always one of the very best.

I found it all somewhat difficult trying to get around on crutches!!

2015… WENT OUT WITH A Bang... So welcome to 2016…and “My Private Mexico”…..


Attended a terrific event at DUKES HOTEL…Our hosts were my good friends from Fitzpatrick Hotels… What wonderful memories I have of the great Paddy Fitzpatrick what a character… For years Mr. TWA!!…Then he even became the Guatemalan Ambassador for Ireland. His daughter continues in his famous footsteps plus Grandson….

I have stayed at the Hotel…I cannot praise the property enough… and the food!!! I died and went to Heaven!! Their Hotel in NYC is perfect and guess where it is?...almost next door to Bloomingdales….Paradise for me!!!

F.A.A.  (Foreign Airlines Association)…..First meeting of the Year always held at MELIA WHITEHOUSE…


Wishing everyone a very late HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

More to follow late February /March. I am going to dedicate my next Blog to Mexican food. Mexican restaurants/Mexican daily life….My absolute favourite Mexican Restaurants! Meanwhile take note one of my Favourite Restaurants in London…