Monday, 19 June 2017

May 2017


THE CRUISE – TUI DISCOVERY

My  first ever!!   Having been more or less “Born “on an Aeroplane!!! With 27 years under my belt with Mexicana Airlines……!

I was a bit apprehensive…….

My Criteria was   it had to be   THOMSON and it had to be departure from PALMA…

The  itinerary was not top priority…… So we set off on what felt  a bit like a Mystery Tour!!

I was “Blown” away by how efficient it all was… The Boarding was seamless…..We found ourselves in what felt like minutes on  deck 8  in a cabin with balcony…..With a Bath!! I was   in heaven, having thought it would be a shower…..

DAY ONE     AT SEA……I spent the day running around the deck, in the SPA  and  eating…!!

The Spa services were excellent I could not fault them…Jeanette  was probably one of the best

Masseuse I have ever had….. There was even a Mexican  Facial Specialist  on the team Erik Bierge. I felt completely at home !!..

A great Japanese Acupuncturist Toyohari.

Evening was enchanting.. We ate in the Italian where we met wonderful Antonio MaƮtre D

( He gave me his recipe for Limoncello) for which I will always be grateful…

Danced the Night away until the early hours…..There was a wonderful couple introducing

all kinds of jive, Ballroom, Salsa; you name it they were doing it and in Jimmie Choo Heels!!!



DAY TWO:   MESSINA…. I knew my way around so we took the 52 Bus..!! More to be told here; another time another story.

DAY THREE: NAPLES…….Took the train to POMPEI..I was last here for the ABTA Convention

In 1985 !!   My Goodness it has developed.. I love my MAYAN ruins but this Italian Masterpiece is sensational….

The rest of the days just blended into more and more relaxation and calmness.  I just could not get over how helpful everyone was both on board and within all the docking areas….

So different from the stressed Airport environment!!

We did not take any organised excursions, simply because we had been to most of the places

and hopped on trains and buses or walked…..

 Finally a very special word for Jonathon………..Hotel Director…..who’s patience with me was

 Infinitesimal ……!

Captain Hugh for being so charming and   handsome to boot!!

 Also to Tomislav Babic Chief Engineer, for hosting us at dinner for hosting     



So from Cabin 8058……..



Thank You…                                         

Cathy Matos








Friday, 5 May 2017

April Blog




MEXICO to attend TIANGUIS. The Mexican travel market...Traditionally held every year in ACAPULCO...

 K.L.M. www.klm.com
Fabulous….I travelled in Comfort Class which I love….Plus I flew from Bristol. .which I love even more!
Check out K.L.M fares, they have to be seen to be believed…
Arrival Mexico City via Amsterdam, smooth and efficient as always…..
Met by my wonderful Mauricio. “ FIRST CLASS” This company take such excellent care of our Clients.

FOUR SEASONS http://www.fourseasons.com/mexico
“Blown Away” by this gorgeous Hotel. What a transformation this property has had…..
It has become a National Treasure and iconic masterpiece. Comfort and cosy mixed together.
I always say I like a Hotel that I look forward to returning to in the evening!….You don’t actually have to “return”, Everything you need is here. PoolSpa…such pretty gardens…..
Much more to be written on this subject.
Oscar Olocer and Rene Aguado Director of Sales and Marketing.

Slick, sophisticated, trendy, elegant small Boutique hotel.
A visit to another of my favourite properties.
To see my good friend Michael Chichen.

No visit to Mexico City would be complete without Oblisk.

Believe it or not I actually visited  the Museum of the Cornish Pasty!! In Real Monte. How many people out there know that the Cornish Miner took his famous food to the Miners of Mexico taking silver from Cuernavaca!!

CARLOS CORNISH - DENTIST
Simply the best!!

EDMUNDO GUADARRAMA
COSMETIC SURGEON – Tel: 00 5272 3182 Email: eddworld@mac.com
Yes I have a facelift on the horizon!!

Travelled to CUERNAVACA and my “second home”!! HACIENDA DE CORTES..
Arrived in time for the famous Saturday Buffet. This simply cannot be beaten. Lovely memories from these gardens and pool area. At night a Romantic Escape from reality…!  Call me at “My Private Mexico” or "Cathy Matos Mexican Tours" for more details of this lovely property

From Cuernavaca I travelled by Bus. ESTRELLA DE ORO….. Another treat that cannot be beaten.
Glorious comfort, T.V. Snack, toilet and reclining seats, excellent service…4 hours to Acapulco…..
Sheer joy…..There is a new platinum service available.


LAS BRISAS…ACAPULCO…..
My very favourite Hotel in all the World. Room 508…Room service sublime

TIANGUIS, THE TRAVEL MARKET.
Attended a few functions of the World Famous Chef, Susanna Palazuelos, this woman just gets better and better….In fact “Nobody does it Better!!!

Invited by my good friend Vincente Salas, the Director of the Mexican Tourist Office U.K.
Vincente does an excellent job and he was just the perfect host for me in Acapulco.

My APPOINTMENTS.

ZACATECAS…soon to be a new  destination for me… I intend to promote and develop this beautiful and slightly unknown destination to the UK travel industry.

INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS
My good friend… Eloisa Vadillo, concentrates on properties:
MERIDA.COZUMEL.CANCUN…..
As everyone who knows me knows…I adore COZUMEL….

A very private very, very special Hotel situated between Merida and Celestun on the coast…
New equally unique Hotel WUYAM is the sister hotel.  Jaime Solis is the “main” man!!!

ROSAS Y XOCOLATE www.rosasandxocolate.com
This gorgeous Hotel in Merida.  they were not in attendance but I intend to work a lot with this property in the future.

Bumped into my old friend Alvaro Zubeldia who now owns Hotel Palomar in San Miguel Allende.

Posada del Tepozteco - I hope to working a lot more with this property in the future.

As most people know I have the Offices in U.K. for this small Airline. Great frequent flights to Cozumel from Cancun, between Cancun and Chetumal.
As the title suggests Mayair literally connects through to major Mayan Sites throughout the Yucatan. Carlos Martinez is the man at the top!!
  
FLAMINGO HOTEL- CANCUN www.flamingocancun.com
New find for Cathy Matos…..Perfect for the one or two night stopover for our clients en route to Tulum/Merida etc.

OAXACA
I met up with all my friends from this fabulous region…
Mephi HOSTAL DE LA NORIA www.hostaldelanoria.com
 Laura Martinez Iturribaria - Director Tourist Promotion for Oaxaca www.oaxaca.gob.mx

I Love ACAPULCO...being the eternal Romantic that I am. ..I so enjoy the history of this place. In the 50’s …

The Hollywood stars flocked here .Sinatra had a home, also Merle Oberon( Most people reading this would not have a clue who Merle Oberon was)!!!

How sad that so much bad press has almost destroyed this authentic Mexican resort….but not for me. I still enjoy the peace of the place the tranquillity and the sheer “Mexicaness “ of it. The sophistication and most important of all STYLE!!

“Come to know my Private Mexico “…………………………………(As it really is)…….!
The Travel Market was a great success - en hora Buena Acapulco.  See letter below

  

April 2017.


Dear Cathy Matos,

We wish to express our gratitude and appreciation for your participation during the recent 42nd Tianguis Turistico that took place in Acapulco last March.

We are pleased to inform you that this Tianguis edition concluded very successfully and would like to share with you some of the most relevant figures:

There were 705 Exhibiting Companies in 545 Business Suites with more than 3,000 Exhibitors as well as the presence of more than 1,600 Buyers from 88 different Countries carrying out  more than 37,000 appointments.

These numbers are the result, among others, of your presence and enthusiastic participation in this Premier Mexico Tourism event.

Thank you very much again and look forward for your participation in tin Mazatlan for Tianguis 2018!

Cordially yours,

Ghyslaine Richaud

International Trade Director

APRIL IN PARIS!!!
Yes.. We actually went to Paris in the month of April…….. How wonderful is that and how wonderful it was….
We travelled on glorious EUROSTAR...The best!!...I don’t think I will ever fly to Paris again….
The  Eurostar Customer Service here in London was second to none. The journey short and sublime. Loads of champagne and I bought strawberries...
Arrived: walked across the street to our previously booked table at  “Terminus  Nord” Masses of Oysters, more
Champagne and steak Tartar !!
Stayed at Opera Faubourg….which in fact is very close to a Florists called. Liliane de Matos…!!.
Comfortable and cosy Hotel.. Inexpensive…..http://www.hotel-opera-faubourg-paris.com/
We just walked, ate and slept….

LONDON IN APRIL.
On the subject of food…Visits to lovely Eva and Patio Restaurant Shepherds Bush….. http://patiolondon.com/

Lots of swimming with Charlie (Now 5 going on 50!)

Art Exhibition at Jean Dennis. Jean is the absolute expert on Beryl Cook paintings.http://www.gallery105.co.uk/

Association of Women Travel Executives…. I have been a member for more years then I wish to admit to. 
This is a great association. I am proud to have been a Member for so long….. .. Going through a difficult personal time as I am at the moment, apart from the professionalism of A.W.T.E. I find comfort and support in the comradeship.
Sadly the current Chairmanship of  Debbie Dee….. has come to an end…..Good Luck to her.

F.A.A. FOREIGN AIRLINES ASSOCIATION .
Another long time Association for me…. Lots of meetings and discussions…


Attended an airline reception hosted by EMIRATE AIRLINES https://www.emirates.com/uk/english/  (Voted Best Airline in the World) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  Food superb.  Caught up with a lot of old Airline buddies including Zoila Taveras, American Airlines.  This lady will go far!

The main highlight of my Mexico visit was lunch with one of my favourite people in the world...to remain anonymous!

Hasta pronto


Thursday, 12 January 2017


My Journey to Paradise!

Part 1

My journey began Sunday 13th November at Heathrow Terminal 4 late evening. I boarded Aero Mexico direct flight to Mexico City. Friendly check-in.  Seated next to a young mother with 3 year old twins and a 7 year old!
Why Aero Mexico! aeromexico.com Well this is one of the reasons....Stewardesses: Sweet and caring, they helped this single mother with her 3 children so very well .This was all in Economy. Friendly service and smooth flight.
This is "My" Mexico! so I like to travel with my fellow Mexicans......
.
The journey takes approximately 13 hours give or take arriving at 4.30am into terminal two Mexico City, Smooth connection with a 7am departure onto Los Cabos. A one hour 50 minute flight, what a joy to see the sun break through the clouds to land in this amazing temperature.  Arriving would you believe and ready to check into Hotel by 9AM. This of course, with the help of our D.M.C. (Ground Handlers) EPIC they are without a doubt superb, there is nothing they do not know about this incredible part of Mexico.

www.epic.com.mx

You would not believe what there is to see and do here, not just the whales...to find out more you have to ask me..........................................!

SHERATON GRAND HACIENDA DEL MAR. www.sheratonhaciendadelmar.com

Before I begin to describe this property let me tell you the many facets of a Hotel that I look for. I need always to "look forward to coming back every evening" I need to know and be able to work with the Director either in house or Sales.
Ricardo Iriate ticks all the Boxes. He is a great Sales Director and loves his property. (see later special deals for My Private Mexico!!)

So, to return to my "Journey" The room, bearing in mind I checked in at 9am was not only ready but exquisite, I collapsed on the gorgeous bed and looked at the fabulous view of rolling sand dunes, golf course and endless beach. I also looked in envy at the Margaritas being served at the swim up bar!! However not for us as we were off on our familiarisation Tour! We at Mexican Tours have been offered a fantastic rate from The Sheraton. We also offer a 25 minute massage to be taken any time during clients stay.


First stop...My adored CASA NATALIA www.casanatalia.com

We have been working with this lovely small property for over 20 years.
Nathalie the Owner runs this 16 room gem with style and an incredible energy... She looks fabulous and is a great friend. Taking care of our special clients in such an amazing way. Her husband Chef and Owner of MI COCINA  is known as the Jamie Oliver of Mexico!! They now have an Oyster Bar sheer Bliss!!!

We then set off on the ART TOUR of San Jose.
A new feature for us.  Stopping off at famous "Lupita"......My type of Street Food.......
Everything straight from the Sea. Crabs, Shrimp, Lobster et al.
Lots of Tequila and Ice cold Mexican Beer.
One has to admire at all times the fantastic climate here, always a breeze and dessert sunshine.....
It never seems to be oppressive
I was here in this Paradise to attend THE ANNUAL SUMMIT Meeting. Organised and arranged by my good friend Manuel Diez Cebrian........The whole event was perfectly orchestrated.

Apart from the Summit Meeting I was here to see my favourite properties plus up and coming new hotels such as...

Mar Adentro Hotel & Residences www.maradentrocabos.com
This hotel has to be seen to be believed! A white structure beautifully designed, Italian furniture and an outstanding bar and restaurant area. Again very, very important Director. As I mention above one of the features I look for when working with a property has to be the fact that I know personally the director of a property.  

One & Only Palmilla Los Cabos www.oneandonlypalmilla.com
WOW! WOW! WOW!
Me who thinks I know everything there is know about "My Mexico" was totally blown away!! I went for an inspection visit to which I allocated 20 minutes for and was there for two hours and still did not see, touch and feel everything! In my opinion this the top of the tree. Yes it is beyond five star and yes it is expensive. If you want the absolute best in ultimate luxury then this is it! No question!

Grand Velas www.velasresorts.com

This is the new property of this company. I stand by what I have always said “Velas is the most up market all  inclusive” on the market.




This is an amazing place situated nearer to the famous arch in Cabo San Lucas.

The views are simply spectacular… and the food!! We had a Japanese Mexican Fusion Taster menu...Words fail me.!!

My good friend Jorge Villarreal (ex One and Only is the man in charge)



Capella Pedragal www.theresortatpedregal.com

Peter Bowling turned this property into the great success it is. Peter as I have afore mentioned is now Managing Director for One & Only Palmilla.


My emotional return to Las Ventanas Al Paraiso www.rosewoodhotels.com
This property is Iconic, opened by The Wonderful Ed Steiner, it remains the same, standing there like a great Shrine to the man!

By the way I am also travelling with Jennifer Ponton of GTA Travel.
Very soon to be the new “Me” what she does not know about Mexico. .Nobody does..!! (except me of course!)

ABOUT THE RESORT OF LOS CABOS IN MY OWN WORDS:
Firstly the climate - it is just the best! Always a breeze, no humidity, blue clear skies and miles and miles of beech. A dessert landscape surrounded by The Sea of Cortez and The Pacific Ocean, simply spectacularly beautiful. A land of constant exploring. If I were planning an itinerary for you the client this is an idea of what I would include:
- Snorkelling (see Epic)
- Fishing
- Horse Riding: I revisited my good friend Don Francisco who has a ranch across from Las Ventanas. I actually wanted some advise about my own horse which he very kindly gave me.
- Hire a car www.hertzmexico.com and travel to La Paz (Seafood Heaven) or even onto totally unspoilt little Loreto. There is a new road from Los Cabos to La Paz so it is a two hour journey. This can be done as a day trip from Los Cabos but I would suggest that you turn it into a separate small extension tour and visit the whales from this area.


Hotel El Ganzo www.elganzo.com
I have saved this hotel until last! Remember my comments  ref hotel Directors, well they do not come any better than our very own Ella Messerli, the  epitome of a hotelier. Ella will take care of you from morning until night attending to your every  need  and request. They even have their own Recording Studio and all that goes with that….
El Ganzo an art gem - quirky, barefoot luxury, so tucked away it is almost a "secret"!!!
Situated by the marina of San Jose It even has a swimmable beach area. Just so different, it literally breaths art, music and creativity.  Available for art exhibitions. Food simple and sensational, I tasted my first ever “Pastry la Opera “!!!
Rates are surprisingly low, ask me!
Fabulous Wedding venue. Has its own Island with snorkelling !!


18th November......

Sadly said farewell to Los Cabos and back to Mexico City...



I have just walked from The Intercontinental Hotel to the top of Reforma to the glorious residential area of Las Lomas. Sunshine, lovely manicured gardens, the zoo situated in Chapultepec Park. This is Mexico - Beverley Hills eat your heart out!



I love to be  in the capital at the weekend..! Such a Happy Family environment..... I always take a stroll down Avenue Reforma to look at the Art exhibitions and of course to walk in the Park and visit the famous Zoo..!!

I made a visit to some of my favourite properties.

OBELISK.... Situated in the upmarket district of Polanco - www.suitesobelisk.com

This is a rare and very special property. They are apartments and excellent value for money. Kosher kitchen available.  


MARQUIS REFORMA...situated on the Avenida Reforma. I always refer to this as a "Woman’s Hotel" It is so stylish and elegant , also very pretty....
www.marquisreforma.com



HOTEL BUSUE... Only 11 rooms...Also situated in Polanco...One of my absolute treasured Private Residences
www.busuehotel.com



Then the pinnacle of my favourite things. HACIENDA DE CORTES.... www.hotelhaciendadecortes.com

I have written so much about this adored place...I love to be here amongst the tranquil lovely old gardens... to relax by the pool under the gorgeous climate of Cuernavaca.. and of course the food is fabulous...