Acapulco, MEXICO (April 27, 2009) – As he made his rounds in the air-conditioned bustle of the Acapulco Convention Center during 1999’s Tianguis Marketplace, John Youden found himself in a very unique situation. An avid traveler and entrepreneur, the publisher of travel and lifestyle magazines and websites, John had long been on a quest to find unique boutique accommodations for himself and his wife, Florence, during their frequent trips through Mexico. He eschewed chain hotels, preferring those that held themselves to their very own high standards of service, providing guests with a sense of intimacy that translated into unforgettable getaways. Word of his “vacation research” got out, and during this Tianguis, the biggest gathering of travel service providers in Mexico, he suddenly realized he had become a sort of middleman between great boutique hotels and travel agents looking for the best place to send their clients. Hotels that, in fact, had mentioned at one point the desire to pool their money together and market themselves as a group. “See a need, fill a need” came to mind, and Mexico Boutique Hotels was born.
MexicoPremiere.com, Mexico Boutique Hotels and Aeromexico Announce the Winner of the 2009 Nick Gallo AwardApril 27, 2009
Acapulco, MEXICO (April 27, 2009) – In October 2007, freelance writer, husband, father, son, and friend, Nick Gallo, died while on assignment in Greece. It was the blow felt around the world—Nick had friends in high and low places, had garnered the respect of his colleagues and the many publications he wrote for and was welcome pretty much anywhere he laid his backpack. He had many more trips left to take and many, many great articles left to write. In his honor, the folks at MexicoPremiere.com decided to create the Nick Gallo Award, a recognition of freelance journalism specifically connected with one of Nick’s favorite countries: Mexico. “Now that the Pluma de Plata no longer exists, we’re hoping journalists who share Nick’s passion for Mexico will find themselves recognized for their efforts through this new award,” said Lisa Coleman, co-founder of MexicoPremiere.com.
As the idea evolved, MexicoPremiere.com partner, Mexico Boutique Hotels (MBH) was asked to come on board, “and we immediately accepted, and gladly,” says Sylvie Laitre, Director of MBH. “Nick really knew how to capture the spirit of Mexico on paper—without a doubt, I can say he was one of our favorite writers.” The award was announced at the 2008 Tianguis in Acapulco, a call went out on MexicoPremiere.com, and the entries began to pour in. One year later, they’ve reunited once again in Acapulco—together with Aeromexico, the airline sponsor—to announce the winner.
Congratulations, Dan Millington, for your fantastic article highlighting the best of Loreto, titled “The Lure of Loreto,” published in Horizon Air Magazine. Millington, a Southern California native, has provided creative writing and photography to the publishing, advertising, and travel industries for more than 15 years. As a writer/photographer Dan has contributed to many publications such as, Moon’s Baja Handbook, AAA’s Mexico TravelBook, Fodor’s Yucatán Gold Guide, Departures Magazine, Caribbean Travel & Life Magazine, Orange County Magazine, and Horizon Air Magazine. His photography of Mexico and Africa has also been featured in a variety of newspapers.
For the past 12 months, MexicoPremiere.com editors sifted through dozens of published articles sent in by freelance journalists in North America, chose three top articles, deleted the author names and sent them to a panel of judges: John Youden (Director General, Mexico Boutique Hotels), Thelma Goucher (Aeromexico District Manager, Phoenix), Jorge Gamboa (Director, Mexico Tourism Board/Los Angeles) and Greg Custer (Owner, Destination Ventures). Their vote was unanimous. According to John Youden, “…the author makes good use of his allotted space, and the images go with it very well. It captured my attention and made me want to go back! As well, it is well documented with the important information a traveler would need if so desiring to make the trip.” In the words of Thelma Goucher, “the one that ‘took me there’ was The Lure of Loreto. The style of the writer is such that it transports you there. He captures the reader’s imagination by creating a story to describe the sites, sounds, history and people of Loreto. Quite frankly I’ve never thought of it as a place to vacation, now; it is in my to do list for 2009!”
The award was presented at the Grand Hotel during the April 27th Mazatlán destination breakfast, an event that highlights one of Gallo’s favorite seaside towns. “I had the good fortune of knowing Nick personally and enjoyed his outstanding work throughout the many years that I’ve been in the business, including his articles on Mazatlan,” said Javier Páez, Marketing and PR Manager for the Mazatlán Hotel Association. “We’re very honored to have been chosen as the event to present this award, and look forward to its continued progress in the years to come.”
Dan Millington received a handmade linotype created by Nick’s widow, artist Laurie Gallo-Brown, plus a three-night stay for two in Punta Mita’s Hotel des Artistes and two roundtrip tickets from Aeromexico.
On May 1, 2009, the contest officially opens once again to welcome entries from freelance journalists based in Canada and the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.MexicoPremiere.com
About Nick Gallo
Nick Gallo, two-time winner of the Mexico Tourism Board’s prestigious Pluma de Plata award, regular contributor to such prestigious titles as Travel & Leisure, Alaska Airlines Magazine, United Airlines Hemispheres, Private Clubs, Northwest Airlines WorldTraveler, father, husband and matchless colleague, died in October 2007 while on assignment in Greece.
Founded by freelance travel writers David Simmonds, Lisa Coleman and Lydia Gregory—and now home to a cadre of even more award-winning talent—MexicoPremiere.com has become a meeting place for those looking to read and write about every aspect of everything Mexico. From tourism and gastronomy to bullfighting and politics (not necessarily in the same sentence), visitors to this one-of-a-kind blog will find unvarnished commentary and differing points of view. In the spirit of tooting their own horn, the folks at MP would like you to know that travel king Arthur Frommer himself gave them kudos http://www.frommers.com/blog/2007/10/if-youre-mexicophile-youll-want-to.html.
About Mexico Boutique Hotels:
Established in 1999, MBH is a collection of 46 upscale, independent member properties (located in over 26 destinations throughout Mexico) handpicked for their intimacy, high level of service and outstanding attributes. Some are housed in exquisitely restored buildings, others are paeans to Mexican cuisine, still others showcase the sleekly modern–but they each encourage guests to savor the many fascinating traditions of this vast country, and all offer guests a unique travel experience. Typically less than 30 rooms in size, they are often destinations unto themselves. Based in Puerto Vallarta, MBH is staffed by an experienced team of multicultural—and multilingual—travel and hospitality professionals who both live and work in Mexico.
AeroMexico and its subsidiary, AeroMexico Connect, currently operate more than 600 daily flights through the airline’s new Terminal 2 at its Mexico City International Airport hub to 40 destinations in Mexico, 16 U.S. locations in 11 states as well as major cities that include Tokyo, Paris and Buenos Aires in 12 other countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia. U.S. cities served are Los Angeles, Ontario (Ca.), San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle-Tacoma, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Denver, San Antonio, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, Orlando and Miami. Service will be added to Toronto, Canada, on March 3, and Montreal on April 2. AeroMexico Vacations provides customized vacation travel packages throughout this network. The airline also offers connecting service to other international destinations through its SkyTeam global airline alliance with 11 full member carriers and three associate carriers. AeroMexico has been recognized for its award-winning style of personalized in-flight service, one of the world?s best on-time flight records, the highest safety and quality standards ratings, outstanding reliability and baggage handling performance, and exceptional value based on its competitive fares and superior service. Additional information is available at 1-800-237-6639.
Mexico Boutique Hotels has discovered four more properties to add to its roster: El Chante (Chapala), Hotel des Artistes (Punta Mita), Sitio Sagrado (Tepoztlán) and La Siranda (Pátzcuaro).
One of our greatest pleasures is bringing together discerning travelers and fantastic properties. These four hotels all represent the best of Mexico, running the gamut of destinations from the colonial town to the countryside, lakefront and the seashore. They’re a terrific addition to our group and we know our guests will agree.
EL CHANTE – Lake Chapala
With a world-class spa, matchless views of Lake Chapala and charming accommodations, El Chante elevates rest and relaxation to new heights. Its 19 rooms—most with lakefront views—are spacious, comfortable and beautifully decorated with locally made furnishings and the vibrant artwork of well-known Mexican artists. Double lounge beds and hand-woven hammocks surround the hotel swimming pool; al fresco dining is a delight under a large pergola. Spa spaces are designed and decorated according to the origin of a particular treatment. The professional Spa staff—all of whom undergo continual training—offers excellent service and the latest in renewal treatments. Its proximity to Guadalajara—the second largest city in Mexico and a captivating colonial destination—gives guests the option of a combined rural/metropolitan vacation.
HOTEL DES ARTISTES – Punta de Mita
Upscale accommodations—including two- and three-bedroom suites with marble floors, LCS TVs, WiFi and spacious ocean view—coupled with the tantalizing gourmet delicacies of renowned chef Thierry Blouet at the on-site Café des Artistes del Mar make the Hotel des Artistes a unique beachfront luxury property in Punta Mita. Stylish, fully equipped kitchens allow guests to create their own feasts with fresh local ingredients. Perfect for couples or families looking for a spectacular getaway in one of Mexico’s premium beach destinations, just 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta.
SITIO SAGRADO – Tepoztlan
“Sitio Sagrado” translates into “sacred site,” an apt name for this 23-suite haven. Inspired by simple pleasures of life, Sitio Sagrado draws on the natural beauty of the land surrounding Tepoztlan. Decorated in soothing earth tones and boasting magnificent views, the suites are located around an inviting central area, complete with a heated pool, decadent daybeds and bar service with snacks. A hydro-spa is tucked away in the picturesque terrain, offering guests unique treatments that blend ancient indigenous therapies with cutting edge techniques. The restaurant tempts the palate with a fusion of fine French and Mexican cuisine prepared with organic ingredients.
LA SIRANDA – Patzcuaro
A private, exclusive gem located just steps from main square of Patzcuaro, La Siranda hides five splendid suites behind richly hued walls. Interior designer and owner Isabel Lange redesigned an 18th century home, filling it with antiques gathered from around the globe. At La Siranda, Old World style meets 21st century technology; fine dining and a stupendous wine cellar tantalize the senses; and the service is truly exceptional. Outside, the charms of the colonial town of Patzcuaro await the curious traveler with cobblestone streets, well-restored period buildings and shady squares.