A birthday celebration… in Mexico
Cox & Kings’ Latin America specialist Arturo arranged a spectacular trip to Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico for my 60th birthday. In addition, I was extremely touched by Cox & Kings’ gift of beautiful flowers on my birthday.
We flew Aeromexico in Premier Class – a pleasant surprise, as was the Dreamliner. The main flight was exceptional and we arrived on time. We were met by our local guide, Ian, on arrival, and although the hotel could not find our booking for some reason, Ian was extremely helpful in resolving the issue. His knowledge of Mexico – both current and historic – was most welcomed.
The hotel Quinta Real in Guadalajara was beyond lovely. It was such a nice change from a Holiday Inn or Marriott. This hotel has character, is exceptionally pretty and provided a wonderful oasis among the chaotic city. Our very comfortable room had an avocado tree nearby and hummingbirds regularly visited the bush on our little patio.
Quinta Real, Guadalajara
On Sundays they have a splendid brunch buffet of Mexican delights and a pianist plays. Apart from the hiccup upon arrival, the staff were exceptionally helpful and very friendly. We also appreciated the follow-up call from Cox & Kings to make sure everything had been sorted out satisfactorily.
In Guadalajara, the vintage José Cuervo Express train to the town of Tequila was a memorable day and highly recommended to any future clients. As we were the only English speakers in our wagon, the tour guide made an extra special effort to make sure that we had understood everything, and spoke to us again afterwards.
José Cuervo Express train
We visited the neighbourhood of Tlaquepaque, which is highly recommended for its boutiques, general atmosphere and great restaurants. The Cabañas Cultural Institute in the centre of Guadalajara is also a must, although make sure you visit every room in case you miss something!
We also went on a trip to Lake Chapala, an hour’s drive outside of Guadalajara, for a fabulous day. We visited the small town of Ajijic, and enjoyed lunch at a very special restaurant called La Nueva Posada.
The drive from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta took around five hours. On the way, Ian shared his knowledge of the area, the vegetation and some suggestions for what we might like to do when we got there.
The Casa Velas boutique hotel has regularly been commended for its service, and it was clear why. It is fairly small and therefore personal, and extremely professionally run. The food is exquisite and its standard of cleanliness and efficiency was exceptional. We were so glad Arturo recommended it to us.
Casa Velas hotel
Upon arrival we were delighted to have been upgraded to a room with a pool on the balcony, which overlooked the golf course and was surrounded by palm trees and bougainvillea. The hotel also has a Beach Club a few blocks away: a beach location with an infinity pool, a lovely, intimate feel and the same delicious food. This facility is freely available to hotel guests and a shuttle service operates between the two.
Casa Velas beach club
One evening, on Ian’s recommendation, we tried the Rhythms of the Night excursion. It was an evening spent on an island with a candlelit dinner and a Mexican-themed pageant, plus entertainment on the boat on the way home. I highly recommend it.
Rhythms of the Night performer
Mexico is a very beautiful country. The people are friendly and welcoming. It wasn’t too much of a problem that we couldn’t speak Spanish, and we didn’t feel unsafe at any time in either location.
All in all, Cox & Kings, you certainly did us proud. Thank you so much for arranging such a perfect and memorable milestone birthday trip. We shall never forget it.
Celia Greensitt travelled on a tailor-made itinerary to Mexico >