Mexico's Value Season

Feeling Free in Cabo

Los Cabos — with its dramatic landscape at the confluence of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez — has been attracting Hollywood celebrities just about since Hollywood started making them. Back in the days when the likes of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra would hold court along its beautiful beaches, Los Cabos was little known save to diehard fishermen or those with a private plane, and accommodation choices were slim — there were just three hotels. Today Cabo welcomes visitors from around the globe and presents them with an array of choices: Budget or ultra-luxury resorts? Party time or artistic retreat? Scuba diving or big-game fishing? ATV tours or 18 holes? Even the two towns that anchor the area offer a contrast. San Jose del Cabo tends toward artsy and historic, while Cabo San Lucas is more pulsating and modern.

So whatever your passion, you can indulge it in Cabo, and now you can do it for free (well, partly free, that is.) Pueblo Bonito Oceanfront Hotels & Resorts — a leading operator with four luxury resorts in Los Cabos and another in Mazatlan — has voted to provide a "Stimulus Package" featuring the fourth and seventh nights free. Stay three nights and receive the fourth free, or stay seven nights and receive the fourth and seventh free. No two Pueblo Bonito resorts are alike, though excellent service and elements like pillow-top beds are consistent. The Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Holistic Retreat is adults-only, Zen-inspired with a boutiquechic experience that is centered on spa and cuisine. The Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort & Spa cascades dramatically from hilltop perch to shore, features only spacious suites and is family friendly. Both the Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos and Pueblo Bonito Rosé properties front Playa Medano, the best swimming and water-play beach in the region. Whatever your style, Pueblo Bonito has a match. Now that's stimulating indeed.

Long Name, Simple Pleasures

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is a beautiful destination where verdant hillsides stretch languidly into sandy beaches and a sparkling cobalt Pacific. Though its name is rather long, its pleasures are of the simple and elegant sort. For starters, the food is fantastic. The seafood in particular is considered the best in Mexico (some would say the world.) The lifestyle is decidedly alfresco, with flower-draped patios and tree-shaded terraces abundant in seemingly every home and business. With the new Loma del Mar Resort, Ixtapa now has the distinction of holding the first Thalasso Spa on Mexico's Pacific coast, wherein the treatments and therapies utilize sea water. A member of the esteemed Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection, Loma del Mar features just 16 exquisite suites, two excellent restaurants, and a genuine hospitality possible perhaps only in an intimate resort setting such as this. For special savings, check out the Golf, Family and Romance packages.

Dream Weavers

With properties on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Mexico, Dreams Resorts & Spas is making waves in the travel world by providing a vacation experience that adeptly combines the no-surprises pricing of an all-inclusive format with the highest levels of luxury and ambience normally reserved for traditional resorts. They call it Unlimited-Luxury, but guests just call it an amazing vacation at a great value. Whether in Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, Huatulco, Cancun or the Riviera Maya, each of the eight Dreams resorts in Mexico features sumptuous suites with stunning views, 24-hour room service, daily-refreshed mini-bars, an array of gourmet dining options and countless activities. Current specials include "Kids Stay, Play and Eat Free," which surely is a dream come true for a family of four wanting to experience Mexico in true style affordably.

Nature Calls

Nestled in a 326-acre nature park along a beautiful stretch of Riviera Maya coastline, the new Hacienda Tres Ríos is a luxury all-inclusive eco-friendly resort featuring lush landscapes, architecturally acclaimed accommodations, tasteful entertainment and a world-class spa. Though the resort's practices put an emphasis on ecology and sustainability throughout, guests are certainly not left wanting. Each of the 273 gorgeous suites includes fine Egyptian linens, a pillow menu, a flat-screen TV, Internet access, 24-hour room service and oceanview balconies. Dining choices range from casual to gourmet, with both a sommelier and tequila experts ready to take your experience up a notch. It's no surprise that activities and explorations — both above and below the water — are copious: The resort is, after all, situated in a nature park. Spring specials include Family, Golf and Wedding packages.

Romance by the Caribbean Sea

If you're looking for romance, join the club. When you find it, however, it'll likely lead you to the ocean. If you're lucky, that ocean will look something like the vibrant turquoise Caribbean as seen from your oceanfront suite at the Ceiba del Mar Resort & Spa, a fantastic little hideaway at the edge of sleepy Puerto Morelos, just 20 minutes from Cancun International Airport. What could become of all this romance? A wedding! And the specialists here don't disappoint. Whether an intimate ceremony for two or a lavish celebration with friends and family, Ceiba del Mar's incredible setting and warm, attentive service (plus its indoor ballroom and spacious terraces) create perfect weddings. Special savings packages at press time include Rest & Relax 4th Night Free, Golf & Spa, Romance Experience and more.

Maya Inspiration Sea

Though many resorts in the Riviera Maya region can boast of beautiful beachfront locations, very few can add the brag of holding an actual preserved Maya ruin – like that at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel & Spa in Akumal. Here, a rich Maya history is the backdrop for a thoroughly modern vacation experience. The resort is an all-suite all-inclusive format, and it recently unveiled an opulent new Spa offering unique services such as a floating massages, Thalasso Therapy, and Temezcal — a traditional steam-bath and purification ceremony dating back to pre-Aztec cultures.

Haute Hideaway

One of the most beautiful things about Playa del Carmen (the now bustling little beach town that is the hub of the Riviera Maya area) is the mix of people who live, work and visit here. With influences from Europe, South America and the U.S., Playa del Carmen is a melting pot that is increasingly not just following the latest trends, but setting them. Case in point is the Le Reve Hotel – a beachfront hideaway located just at the edge of town. Featuring only 25 custom suites and bungalows (no two are alike), Le Reve melds beach-chic with innovative design and outstanding service to create an ambiance that is sophisticated, creative and comfortable. For special savings, check out their "Dream" packages such as Lucid Dream. Timeless Dream, and Lover's Dream.

Offshore Delights

Cozumel has been attracting romantics, nature lovers and scuba divers to its sandy shores ever since Jacques Cousteau first turned his lens to the wonders of the underwater life surrounding the island. Today golf fanatics come too – thanks to the beautiful Cozumel Country Club, a Nicklaus-design environmental showcase course that plays a healthy 6,734 yards from the backmost black tees. Adjacent to the course and fronting the ocean is the El Cozumeleno Beach Resort, a casual property with a particular distinction in that it faces west. This affords guests consistently wonderful sunset vistas, perfect for a wedding, anniversary or any celebration for which a sunset is most desired (for example, "because it's Wednesday and I'm on vacation."). Since visiting Cozumel without going underwater is nearly sacrilege, El Cozumeleno also has an on-site dive center for its guests. Golf discounts and special packages are available.

The heart of Cozumel is the beautiful main square in town, where locals linger to socialize while visitors enjoy the many shops and restaurants around the square. Just a mile away, the Hotel Cozumel & Resort affords guests an easy proximity to the entertainments of town. It features 181 comfortable rooms, the largest swimming pool on the island, meeting facilities for groups, a beach club, and an onsite dive center. Right now, the resort is offering an incredible scuba diving value package featuring 7-nights all-inclusive accommodation plus 14 dives starting at just $522. With savings like this, the famed reefs of Cozumel have never looked better.

Whether seeking scuba adventures or spa pampering, right now is an ideal time to discover the charm and value of Mexico.