Category Archives: Mexico

Articles written about Mexico

Mexico City’s Ravishing Renaissance

Big and gritty and complex and glamorous, Mexico City defies categorization. El Distrito Federal or DF, as the city is commonly called, is far more nuanced than many of the country’s famous resort towns, where the tourism bubble stays easily intact.

Here, you are in it; it’s real life in a real, big city. This is where people work, live, eat… and, yes, party. Spending a few days among DF’s 20 million people, you’ll discover a vibrant culture, delicious food, a hoppin’ gay scene, and a colorful whirlwind of unexpected surprises…

*Read my full article published in EDGE by clicking on the photo below:

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Filed under Gay/ LGBTQ, Hotels, Mexico, Publications

Cyber Monday Travel Deals


Few things appeal to me less than being trampled by a half-priced mob on the day after Thanksgiving.  I will go on record admitting I have never understood the appeal of Black Friday.  On “the biggest shopping day of the year” I prefer to sit at home in my Snuggie, turkey leg in hand.

Still need a shopping fix?  Relax.  Our modern world-wide-world now offers a side dish of savings from the comfort of your home or office.  This Cyber Monday—online shopping’s answer to Black Friday—resorts in Mexico, Costa Rica, Aruba, Curaçao and Puerto Rico are warming up the season with more than just leftovers.

Remember, these deals must be booked on the Monday following Thanksgiving–CYBER MONDAY, November 28, 2011.

Offer: Book your 2012 vacation on Cyber Monday and pay $99/night + tax, plus get a $50 resort credit and free room upgrade (subject to availability)
Savings: 65%
Details: Valid for travel Feb. 16, 2012 – March 31, 2012
Reservations: Visit and input promo code D50

Offer: Book your 2012 vacation on Cyber Monday and pay $179/night + tax, plus get a $50 resort credit and free room upgrade (subject to availability)
Savings: 58%
Details: Valid for travel Feb. 16, 2012 – March 31, 2012
Reservations: Visit and input promo code D50

Offer: Buy 2 nights and get 2 nights free
Savings: 50%
Details: Rates start at $359/night. Valid for travel from April 22, 2012 – December 21, 2012.
Reservations: Visit and enter promo code D52

Offer:  Book your 2012 vacation on CyberMonday and receive $79-$129 nightly rates.  $79.00 plus tax per room/night at Courtyard San Jose Escazu (standard room) and Residence Inn San Jose Escazu (studio); $99.00 plus tax at Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose (deluxe room); and $129.00 plus tax per room/night at Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort (standard room)
Savings: From 35% – 55%
Details: Valid for travel from January 1, 2012 – December 20, 2012, except for a few blackout dates.
Reservations:  Visit and enter promo code PR5 

Offer: Buy two nights and get third night free
Savings: 33%
Details: Valid for travel through Dec 23, 2012.  Black out dates: Dec 24, 2011 – Jan 02, 2012
Reservations: E-mail reservation request to or call 877254 3106 and request Black Friday special

Offer: Receive 30% off all reservations
Savings: 30%
Details: From $132 per night. Bookings cannot be combined with any other offers. Valid for travel through Dec 24, 2011 and from April 10 – Sept. 30, 2012. Not valid for groups of 10 or more rooms.
Reservations: Visit and enter promotional code D3Q


(*Lodge Kura Hulanda)

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Filed under Caribbean, Events, Hotels, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta: Vacation Versatile

Activo o Pasivo?  Regardless of your preference, Puerto Vallarta will satisfy.  Whether swinging through treetops above mountainous jungles or cruising hidden coves off Mexico’s Pacific rim, Puerto Vallarta provides a vacation of complete versatility.  Flaunting its natural beauty, colonial charm and cosmopolitan sophistication, Mexico’s premier gay destination will quench both your thirst for adventure and desire for relaxation.

Read the full article on Fuerte Men by clicking on the photo below:

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IQ on the Radio!

IQ is the featured travel expert on Toronto’s Proud FM “Your Morning with Richard & Chris.”
Click on the link below to listen:

Proud FM: Puerto Vallarta

And click here to learn more about gay Puerto Vallarta.

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Filed under Gay/ LGBTQ, Mexico

A Vacation Package For You, Princess

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride? Don’t worry. Someday your prince will come. Chances are, however, it won’t be on April 29. So as Kate Middleton becomes the newest member of the British royal family, forget about letting down your hair, Rapunzel, or laying down for a nap, Ms. Beauty. Instead, power up that computer with a little 21st century independence, and book yourself a royal vacation at one of these amazing beach destinations.

*Important to note, these deals can only be booked on “Williamton’s” special day, April 29, 2011.

Offer: In celebration of England’s Royal Wedding, CuisinArt Resort & Spa is offering the “Royalty in Paradise Package.”
Package includes:
– 4 Nights in a beachfront junior suite
– 1 Romantic beachfront dinner for two
– 1 Bottle Veuve Cliquot champagne
– 1 Couples Rendezvous spa package:
– Couples massage
– Floral bath soak
– Anguillian coconut pineapple scrub
– Swiss duet rain shower
Rates: From $2,250 (A $925 savings)
Valid for Travel: April 30 – November 22, 2011. Based on availability, blackout dates apply.

Offer: In celebration of England’s Royal Wedding, the CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort is offering the “Royal Romance Package.”
Package includes:
– Transportation from and to the Cancun Airport
– Daily breakfast buffet for 2 adults
– One bottle of sparkling wine per stay
– Free upgrade to Ocean view (room already upgraded at the time of booking)
– 40% discount on Spa treatments
– 20% discount on food and beverage, and gift shop purchases
Rates: From $149 USD per night
Valid for Travel: May 1 – November 20. Based on availability, blackout dates apply.
Reservations: Visit and input promo code L9Z

Offer: In celebration of England’s Royal Wedding, the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa is offering the “Royal Romance Package.”
Package includes:
– Transportation from and to the Cancun Airport
– Daily breakfast buffet for 2 adults
– One bottle of sparkling wine per stay
– Free upgrade to Ocean view (room already upgraded at the time of booking)
– 40% discount on Spa treatments
– 20% discount on food and beverage and gift shop purchases
Rates: From $189 USD per night
Valid for Travel: May 1 – November 20. Based on availability, blackout dates apply.
Reservations: Visit and input promo code L9Z

Offer: The “Royal Treatment Package” includes three night accommodations in a Deluxe Room and a half-day of pampering at the spa for two guests. Spa treatments include a 50-minute relaxing massage, 60-minute food reflexology and your choice of a Mini Facial or Gentleman’s Total Care Facial
Rates: Three night package: $1,180
Valid for Travel: Now until Dec 23, 2011
Reservations: Call 877-264-3106 or email

Offer: Enjoy a royal getaway to the Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida, when you book the “Royal Romance Berries & Bubbly Package.”
The package includes accommodations in a luxury room or resort suite category of choice, champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries on the night of arrival and complimentary breakfast for two each morning. A package savings of over 20 percent!
Rates start at: $299 per night
Valid for travel: April 29 through December 30
Reservations: Visit and use promo code ROYAL in the Corporate / Promotion box, or call 1-877-726-3111 and ask for promotional code ROYAL.

Offer: The “Royal Bliss Package” includes accommodations in room category of choice, bottle of champagne and rum punch drink upon arrival, welcome gift, $200 food and beverage credit per room for entire stay and breakfast buffet for two each morning. A package savings of 20 percent!
Rates start at: $288 per night
Valid for travel: April 29 through December 30
Reservations: Visit and use promo code EAT in the Corporate/ Promotion box, or call 1-800-524-2000 and ask for promotional code EAT.

Offer: In celebration of England’s Royal Wedding, St. Kitts Marriott Resort is offering a free room upgrade and bottle of sparkling wine with the “Escape! For Two Package.” Package includes:
Accommodations (automatic room upgrade)
1 massage per person (per room, per stay)
1 facial per person (per room, per stay)
Breakfast buffet for two, daily
1 Bottle of sparkling wine
Spa amenity basket and welcome gift
Rates: From $238 per room/night, inclusive of tax and gratuity. Based on double occupancy. Subject to availability / blackout dates.
Reservations: / Promo code ES8

Offer: The “Royal Escape Package” includes complimentary breakfast for two and a bottle of champagne and strawberries upon arrival.
Rates: From $239 per night
Reservations: Call 305.374.3900 or visit; use promotional code ROM

Because when Prince Charming does come… you’ll look much better with a tan!

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Filed under Caribbean, Europe, Hotels, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta Gets Tastier

If variety is the spice of life, gay Vallarta just got tastier.   Casa Cupula (, the decidedly upscale, boutique gay hotel in Puerto Vallarta, has opened its new restaurant Taste to the public. Perched on a secluded hillside, overlooking the Bay of Banderas, Taste is all about options. Choose to dine in the newly redesigned intimate dining room or under the sunshine/moonlight on the adjoining terrace.

What are you hungry for? Taste is prepared to satisfy all your culinary cravings— serving a sampling of Mexican, American, Asian and South American cuisine, available in both entrée and tapas (or “taste”) sized portions. With options including Shrimp Stuffed Ancho Peppers, Lamb Lollipops, Chicken Curry Samosas and Traditional Peruvian Ceviche, “you can Taste your way around the world in one meal, perfect for people on vacation who can’t return frequently,” says restaurant manager Erick Martinez.

Also, for the first time, the Sunday Mimosa Brunch previously enjoyed exclusively by hotel guests, is now open to everyone. The casa will keep the bubbles flowing, while you chat with old friends or make new ones at the community dining table. Afterwards, you are invited to work on your tan poolside while Casa Cupula hosts its weekly Sunday Pool Party for the boys (and girls) of Puerto Vallarta.

*This  article was originally published in Out Traveler:

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Filed under Gay/ LGBTQ, Mexico, Publications, Restaurant

Puerto Vallarta: Mexico’s Premier Gay Destination

Traveling IQ is published in EDGE

Bay of Banderas, Puerto Vallarta

Doomsday predictions, economic woes and natural disasters got you down? Take a breath, relax and try to remember that you will never be as young as you are right now. So stop texting, disconnect the Blue Tooth, and activate your “Out of Office” reply. It’s time for a well-deserved break in a place where Blackberries are fruits, not handhelds; and handholding a fruit is a Public Display of Affection not a Personal Digital Assistant. Welcome to Puerto Vallarta!

Mexico’s premier gay destination is booming with new restaurants, fresh sights and revamped classics. In Puerto Vallarta you can relax by the beach, explore the great outdoors, savor gourmet meals and party all night long.

You like these options, don’t you? Come on. Stop and smell the flowers and discover why this sweet, sexy town is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Charm and Sophistication

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre Mountains, Puerto Vallarta combines the charm of colonial Mexico with the sophistication of a cosmopolitan, gay destination.

Start with a tan at the Blue Chairs Beach, truly the gay hotspot of the Mexican Riviera. Enjoy food and drinks served chair-side while you sizzle with the beauties of gay Vallarta.

Wind down your beach day with an unobstructed view of the sunset, hot strippers and zany drag queens on the rooftop deck of the Blue Chairs Hotel.

For those looking to explore the outdoors, Puerto Vallarta offers a little something for everyone. Take a walk on the wild side with the new GO GAY! Jungle Adventure Tour . Feel that heart pumping as you soar 250 feet above the jungle terrain on a 500-foot long zip-line. Perfect for both Tarzan AND Jane, this full-day expedition revs you up and cools you down.

After your adrenaline rush, chill with a tequila sampling, traditional Mexican grill lunch, and a splash in a private waterfall and swimming hole. Created by My Own Concierge, Vallarta’s premiere gay concierge service, this tour will leave you a little wet and dirty – just how you like it.

“You will leave happy and come back.”

Too intense for you? Unwind on Diana’s Tours full-day gay cruise. Your morning starts with continental breakfast and continues with an open bar as you glide on the Bay of Banderas and through its hidden coves. Later, debark on a snorkeling excursion and lunch on shore before heading back from your sun-soaked day.

I hope you are hungry because Puerto Vallarta’s restaurants are cooking up some of Mexico’s best meals. First, say yes to the new kid in town: No Way José delivers on a simple promise, “You will leave happy and come back!”

Winner of Virtual Vallarta’s Reader’s Choice Award for “Best New Restaurant 2010,” José serves contemporary Mexican cuisine that combines tradition and ingenuity. Savor the secret family recipe of Sopa Montezuma, a cactus soup with deliciously seasoned shrimp, before enjoying the grilled Mahi Mahi Carlotta, served on a bed of sautéed pumpkin flowers with a creamy mango sauce.

“Best Mexican Restaurant” Five Years in a Row

A quick-climbing classic on the Puerto Vallarta dining scene, gay-owned El Arrayán has won “Best Mexican Restaurant” five years in a row!

El Arrayán’s authentic Mexican menu blends pre-Hispanic ingredients (chile, cactus paddles, bean and corn) with European-introduced elements (pork, beef and cheese) now considered to be Mexican staples. Embark on a culinary tour of the country’s regions – Plantain Empanadas from Veracruz, Chapulines Tacos from Oaxaca, Cochinita Pibil from Yucatan – while sipping on their trademark margarita, made with tangy arrayán fruit.

It’s party time. Find some romance in the thriving gay nightlife of Zona Romantica. Ease into the evening with a martini at the relaxed lounge, La Noche, before hitting the dance floor at the new and improved, Paco’s Ranch.

That’s right, after fifteen years, Paco has moved across the street to an exciting, renovated location. Mingle with the locals on the dance floor or enjoy the show from the upstairs mezzanine.

Like things a little bigger? Club Mañana, the largest gay nightclub in Puerto Vallarta continues to expand with its latest indoor “Barcito,” providing a cool, air-conditioned break from your steamy Mexican night.

Don’t stop till you get enough: If you are craving a more personal encounter, make some new friends with the dancers at Picante and Anthropology strip bars.

Casa Cupula

You must be exhausted. It’s time to retire to your suite at Puerto Vallarta’s premier gay luxury boutique hotel, Casa Cupula. Yes, Puerto Vallarta has many gay guesthouse options, but none are as fabulous as Casa Cupula.

Just a ten-minute walk from the Blue Chairs Beach and the nightlife hot spots of Zona Romantica, Casa Cupula is close to all the action while providing the exclusivity of a hillside hideaway. It’s rare to find a gay hotel with five-star amenities. Enjoy the Cupula classics: chill by any of the three pools, snuggle in the seven-man (or woman) hot-tub, sweat in the full-service Pump Gym, or delight in a sunset-lit dinner at the newly unveiled Taste restaurant.

Serving American, Asian, Mexican and Italian specialties, in both entrée and tapas-sized portions, Taste is Casa Cupula’s latest temptation for a satisfying vacation.

Beware: once you check-in, you may never want to leave. And with free WiFi, delicious meals, spectacular sunsets, and the best accommodations gay Vallarta has to offer, you may wisely choose to make Cupula, your casa away from home.

Feel better? Recharged? Ready to conquer the world? Good. A little break in Puerto Vallarta does the body a lot of good. Now get back to work so you can plan your next visit.

This article was originally published in EDGE.  Click on photo below to visit their website. 

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Filed under Gay/ LGBTQ, Mexico, Publications, Restaurant

12 Days of Travel

Photo courtesy of Aruba Marriott

This holiday season, trade your partridge-in-the-pear-tree for a taste of paradise!

The good folks at Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean & Mexico Resorts and are partnering to give you the “12 Days of Travel” holiday giveaway via Twitter.

The “12 days of Travel” begin Wednesday, December 1 and end at noon on Monday, December 13, 2010.

Within these 12 consecutive days, followers of both the @CheapOair and @MarriottResorts twitter accounts will have the opportunity to win one of nine different hotel stays and CheapOair gift certificates, with a final grand prize of hotel accommodations and round-trip airfare for two.

Here’s how to play and qualify to win:
1-Follow @CheapOair and @MarriottResorts on Twitter
2-Check the CheapOair contest page each of the 12 contest days, starting December 1 for the daily tweet
3-Tweet the designated phrase

Consumers can enter once a day, all twelve days, for the chance to win.  Winners will be randomly selected from the day’s entrants each 24-hour period.

The daily giveaways will be awarded as follows:
Day 1: Three-night stay at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino*
Day 2: Three-night stay at the Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino*
Day 3: Three-night stay at the CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort*
Day 4: CheapOair $75 gift certificate
Day 5: CheapOair $75 gift certificate
Day 6: Three-night stay at the Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort*
Day 7: Three-night stay at the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa*
Day 8: Three-night stay at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino*
Day 9: Three-night stay at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino*
Day 10: Three-night stay at the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa*
Day 11: CheapOair $75 gift certificate
Day 12/Grand Prize:  Three-night stay at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort and roundtrip airfare for two

*Each hotel giveaway will also include a $25 gift certificate from CheapOair

In addition to the Twitter “12 Days of Travel” contest, there will also be a separate Facebook sweepstakes with an additional chance to win a trip giveaway to any one of the nine participating Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean & Mexico Resorts.

To enter this contest, simply:
1-“Like” both Paradise by Marriott and CheapOair on Facebook
2-Anytime during the “12 Days of Travel” (December 1, 12pm EST – December 13, 12pm EST) post a comment on the CheapOair blog post stating which of the nine Marriott and Renaissance resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico you would most like to visit
3-A randomly selected winner will receive three free nights to the resort they pick in their blog comment

So swap the snow for sand, and give your lords-a-leaping or maids-a-milking a little warmth this holiday season.

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Filed under Caribbean, Hotels, Mexico

The Perfect 10/10/10

Aruba Marriott Resort

October 10, 2010 is the perfect day to book your next vacation.

First, the folks at Marriott know that changing leaves and cooling temperatures inspire a yearning for tropical paradise.  To keep you happy and fill their resorts during this typically slower “back to school” period, the Marriott & Renaissance Caribbean and Mexico Resorts are offering the “Power of 10” promotion.  During this 24-hour offer, book a room at the regular rate and have the option of booking additional nights for $10/night (up to 3 additional nights for a total of 4 nights).  The offer is good for travel from October 11-December 20, 2010, when using promo code X77  at   You can enjoy a little fun in the sun at this very discounted rate, at any of  these participating hotels:

  • Aruba Marriott
  • Aruba Renaissance
  • JW Marriott Cancun
  • Casa Magna Cancun Marriott
  • Curacao Marriott
  • Grand Cayman Marriott
  • Puerto Vallarta Casa Magna Marriott
  • St. Kitts Marriott
  • Frenchman’s Reef Marriott

In an effort to stay one step ahead of its sister properties, the St. Kitts Marriott Resort is sweetening the deal with a unique Twitter offer:  On 10/10/10, the first 10 people to tweet @StKittsMarriott with the hashtag #SKM10 will be able to book up to 10 nights for $10/night.  Those who qualify will be notified directly by the resort via twitter.

If your style is more classic sophistication than Twitter innovation, try the toll free number of the Kura Hulanda Resorts.  These two luxurious properties in the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao are offering a room upgrade for only $10.  Stay near the culture, shopping and nightlife of the island’s capital at the  Hotel Kura Hulanda Spa and Casino; or overlooking the Caribbean Sea at the Lodge Kura Hulanda and Beach Club.  Call 1-877-254-3106 to claim your upgrade, valid for stays between October 15-December 23, 2010 and January 3-April 16, 2011.

Remember all these deals must be booked on 10/10/10.

Lodge Kura Hulanda

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Filed under Caribbean, Hotels, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta: CasaMagna Tequila

Ivan Quintanilla is published in Travel Squire‘s column “The Ultimate Takeaway.”

Read about the perfect souvenir from the Marriott CasaMagna Resort and Spa in Puerto Vallarta by clicking here.

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Filed under Gifts, Hotels, Mexico, Publications