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Claudia Austin Travel is a luxury travel agency that specializes in executing personalized travel itineraries. Our trips are tailored to client's tastes and requests. We understand how important your time is and therefore eliminate the stress of research and planning. We want you to focus on the amazing experience ahead.

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5 Days in Mexico City

Mexico City is a great combination of history, delicious food, great museums, and amazing people.  It had been on my travel list for some time and now that I'm back, I can't believe I waited so long to visit this amazing city.  Here is how I spent my days getting to know this wonderful destination.

Day 1: Arrived in Mexico City and was met by my Airport Concierge outside of customs and was introduced to my driver who would be with us during our stay in the city.

I got in early so I was prepared to not be able to check into my hotel room.  But what a surprise it was when I was given keys!  Because I took a red-eye from San Francisco and was surrounded by kids kicking my seat, I did not sleep and was exhausted.  Thank you Four Seasons Mexico City for letting me get some rest before meeting up with my colleague.


Usually on Day 1 of a trip I like to relax.  The biggest plan for that day was dinner at Quintonil.  And what a fun experience that was!  I highly recommend the tasting menu with drink pairings if you can handle it all.  This place was my favorite dinner from this trip.



Day 2: Time to explore the city with our private guide!  We were picked up at the hotel in the morning and started with a visit to Chapultepec Castle where we learned about Mexico's historical heritage through times of the conquest, the Empire, the Independence, and the Revolution.  Did you know that Chapultepec means "at the grasshopper hill"?  So don't be surprised when you see a fountain with a grasshopper in the middle!

After our tour I was craving some tacos!  Our guide Daniel took us to a casual place in the city centre and I had my favorite, tacos al pastor.  A must try if you're here.



We made our way through the busy pedestrian streets of the historic center and ended up at El Zocalo, one of the biggest squares in the world.  This is also a place of historical significance; it is in this square where the Aztec sun stone was buried after the Spanish conquest and later discovered during the reparations of the Cathedral.  The Aztec sun stone can now be seen at the National Museum of Anthropology.

We stopped by the Palacio Nacional to take a look at one of Diego Rivera's famous murals which tells the history of Mexico from his perspective.  There is a lot to look at and our guide gave us a great explanation and breakdown of it.



Ended our day with dinner at Merkava, a great little Middle Eastern restaurant in Condesa.  Start with one of their many hummus dishes.  Great spot, mostly locals, make a reservation!

Day 3:  I'm not a morning person but I will be ready by 5:30am for a hot air balloon ride!  Our driver Alfonso and our guide Daniel were waiting for us and we headed to Teotihuacan.  It took about 45 minutes to get to our location, nice time for a quick nap.

The moment I learned that you can take a hot air balloon over the Teotihuacan pyramids, I knew I had to do this.  It's such an amazing experience and worth the early morning wake up call.


While having some coffee, you can watch all the balloons getting ready for take off.  There were quite a few in the area with take off locations all around us.  A couple of people were nervous but once you're in the basket, it's such a smooth ride.

How amazing is this view?!

Teotihuacan
Temple of the Moon


Landing was smooth and we celebrated with sparkling wine followed by breakfast.  It was the fuel we needed to continue our touring of the pyramids.  This time, we were up close and personal.  I was not prepared to actually climb up the Pyramid of the Sun!  But I did my best and almost made it to the top.

The name Teotihuacan was given to this area by the Aztecs when they found the city in the 1400s.  It means "the place where the gods were created".  In 1987 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Teotihuacan
Pyramid of the Sun


 

After all the stair climbing we ended our visit with a glass of pulque.  Pulque is an alcoholic drink made from fermented sap from agave that goes back to the Mesoamerican period.  It was used in many different festivals and I learned it was given to sacrificial victims to ease their suffering.

Now it is not a highly consumed drink.  The production of beer was a cause in the decline of its consumption.  But I still felt I needed to at least try it!  You can have the original drink or have it infused with a fruit such as guava.



Tonight ended with dinner at Pujol!  I sometimes feel that this trip was based around having dinner at this popular restaurant which is ranked as the 20th best in the world.  Can you blame me?

I went with the Mar tasting menu.  There are two choices: Mar or Maiz.  My friend went with Maiz because she prefers a vegetarian menu.  Favorite dish for me was the baby corns that looked like carrots!  And the octopus served with pickled carrots and a carrot puree.  All delicious.  Overall, the whole dining experience was fun.  Especially while we anxiously waited for our next dish to come out.





Day 4:  Today we headed to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo's House Studio Museum.  I had been looking forward to this day trip.  If you're a fan of Frida and loved the movie, you can see some of the filming locations here.  Diego and Frida are known for their tumultuous relationship so it made sense that they each had their own studios next to each other but separated by a bridge.


 


Our wonderful guide Daniel, Deanna, and me!

We then headed to the pretty colonial neighborhood of Coyoacan where Frida's childhood home is.  The Blue House is now dedicated to her life and works and you can also see some great family photographs.  It is one of the most popular museums in Mexico City.  You should definitely have tickets in advance.  We were able to walk right in without any wait, thanks to Daniel with Journey Mexico!

If you want to take pictures while inside, you do need to pay an additional fee.

Coyoacan
Skip the line with a private guide!
Frida's brushes.

Frida Kahlo
Frida's last painting.

Coyoacan is a charming neighborhood and one that you should take your time to explore.  We wandered through the market, had some churros, tried quesadillas, and did a little shopping. enjoyed sitting at a cafe, and ended up at the Fuente de los Coyotes.  The name Coyoacan means "place of coyotes".


The original quesadilla.  One of these was with carnitas and the other with chicharron!

After our lunch we headed to Xochimilco.  This area is known as the place where flowers grow.  It's filled with canals and "floating gardens".  Some people compare it to the canals of Venice!  It's easy to see why.  You can take a colorful trajinera (gondola) and glide through the canals which are filled with food vendors, musicians, and other groups of people just having a fun time.  It's such a great way to entertain or celebrate with a group of friends and family.  All I could think of was how to bring back a group next year to celebrate my birthday on one of these trajineras!  We passed by groups of people celebrating birthdays, groups of teenagers having fun, families having a meal; so much was going on!  It's a place that is extremely popular with locals during the weekends.

Xochimilco
Trajineras



Xochimilco
Mariachis

This was a full day of fun!  We actually cancelled our dinner reservations because we were so tired.  And there's nothing wrong with just going to your room and enjoying room service!




Day 5:  This was my last day.  My colleague Deanna had an early flight to catch.  I had the whole day before my evening flight so I slept in.  At noon I had plans to meet up with Daniel and a couple of his friends for a tour of the Museum of Anthropology.  I loved how convenient the location of the Four Seasons was.  You're right on Paseo de la Reforma, minutes away from the entrance to Chapultepec Park, and super easy for me to get around on my own.

I met Daniel at the museum and spent 2 hours seeing the highlights.  It's quite a large place and you can easily spend half a day in there!  The great thing about being with my guide is that he showed us the most important pieces while explaining what everything meant.  And here is where you get to see the famous Aztec Sun Stone, also known as the Aztec calendar.



This was a great way to end my trip!  Mexico City is amazing and I can't wait to send clients there.  I know a few people have concerns about safety but I felt safe the whole time.  Part of that is having the right guides and having a driver.  A great thing that the Four Seasons offers is a car service that will take you to your dinner reservations and pick you up!  We never had any issues with having our servers call the hotel to arrange for our driver to pick us up once dinner was over.  And the fee was not crazy!  This was a service I took full advantage of.

Exclusive Preferred Partner Amenities with Four Seasons Mexico City:
*Daily full American breakfast for 2, served through in-room dining or the hotel restaurant.
*Food and beverage credit of $100
*Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in.


CLICK HERE TO PLAN YOUR TRIP TODAY!


Mexico City is a great combination of history, delicious food, great museums, and amazing people.  It had been on my travel list for some time and now that I'm back, I can't believe I waited so long to visit this amazing city.  Here is how I spent my days getting to know this wonderful destination.

Day 1: Arrived in Mexico City and was met by my Airport Concierge outside of customs and was introduced to my driver who would be with us during our stay in the city.

I got in early so I was prepared to not be able to check into my hotel room.  But what a surprise it was when I was given keys!  Because I took a red-eye from San Francisco and was surrounded by kids kicking my seat, I did not sleep and was exhausted.  Thank you Four Seasons Mexico City for letting me get some rest before meeting up with my colleague.


Usually on Day 1 of a trip I like to relax.  The biggest plan for that day was dinner at Quintonil.  And what a fun experience that was!  I highly recommend the tasting menu with drink pairings if you can handle it all.  This place was my favorite dinner from this trip.



Day 2: Time to explore the city with our private guide!  We were picked up at the hotel in the morning and started with a visit to Chapultepec Castle where we learned about Mexico's historical heritage through times of the conquest, the Empire, the Independence, and the Revolution.  Did you know that Chapultepec means "at the grasshopper hill"?  So don't be surprised when you see a fountain with a grasshopper in the middle!

After our tour I was craving some tacos!  Our guide Daniel took us to a casual place in the city centre and I had my favorite, tacos al pastor.  A must try if you're here.



We made our way through the busy pedestrian streets of the historic center and ended up at El Zocalo, one of the biggest squares in the world.  This is also a place of historical significance; it is in this square where the Aztec sun stone was buried after the Spanish conquest and later discovered during the reparations of the Cathedral.  The Aztec sun stone can now be seen at the National Museum of Anthropology.

We stopped by the Palacio Nacional to take a look at one of Diego Rivera's famous murals which tells the history of Mexico from his perspective.  There is a lot to look at and our guide gave us a great explanation and breakdown of it.



Ended our day with dinner at Merkava, a great little Middle Eastern restaurant in Condesa.  Start with one of their many hummus dishes.  Great spot, mostly locals, make a reservation!

Day 3:  I'm not a morning person but I will be ready by 5:30am for a hot air balloon ride!  Our driver Alfonso and our guide Daniel were waiting for us and we headed to Teotihuacan.  It took about 45 minutes to get to our location, nice time for a quick nap.

The moment I learned that you can take a hot air balloon over the Teotihuacan pyramids, I knew I had to do this.  It's such an amazing experience and worth the early morning wake up call.


While having some coffee, you can watch all the balloons getting ready for take off.  There were quite a few in the area with take off locations all around us.  A couple of people were nervous but once you're in the basket, it's such a smooth ride.

How amazing is this view?!

Teotihuacan
Temple of the Moon


Landing was smooth and we celebrated with sparkling wine followed by breakfast.  It was the fuel we needed to continue our touring of the pyramids.  This time, we were up close and personal.  I was not prepared to actually climb up the Pyramid of the Sun!  But I did my best and almost made it to the top.

The name Teotihuacan was given to this area by the Aztecs when they found the city in the 1400s.  It means "the place where the gods were created".  In 1987 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Teotihuacan
Pyramid of the Sun


 

After all the stair climbing we ended our visit with a glass of pulque.  Pulque is an alcoholic drink made from fermented sap from agave that goes back to the Mesoamerican period.  It was used in many different festivals and I learned it was given to sacrificial victims to ease their suffering.

Now it is not a highly consumed drink.  The production of beer was a cause in the decline of its consumption.  But I still felt I needed to at least try it!  You can have the original drink or have it infused with a fruit such as guava.



Tonight ended with dinner at Pujol!  I sometimes feel that this trip was based around having dinner at this popular restaurant which is ranked as the 20th best in the world.  Can you blame me?

I went with the Mar tasting menu.  There are two choices: Mar or Maiz.  My friend went with Maiz because she prefers a vegetarian menu.  Favorite dish for me was the baby corns that looked like carrots!  And the octopus served with pickled carrots and a carrot puree.  All delicious.  Overall, the whole dining experience was fun.  Especially while we anxiously waited for our next dish to come out.





Day 4:  Today we headed to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo's House Studio Museum.  I had been looking forward to this day trip.  If you're a fan of Frida and loved the movie, you can see some of the filming locations here.  Diego and Frida are known for their tumultuous relationship so it made sense that they each had their own studios next to each other but separated by a bridge.


 


Our wonderful guide Daniel, Deanna, and me!

We then headed to the pretty colonial neighborhood of Coyoacan where Frida's childhood home is.  The Blue House is now dedicated to her life and works and you can also see some great family photographs.  It is one of the most popular museums in Mexico City.  You should definitely have tickets in advance.  We were able to walk right in without any wait, thanks to Daniel with Journey Mexico!

If you want to take pictures while inside, you do need to pay an additional fee.

Coyoacan
Skip the line with a private guide!
Frida's brushes.

Frida Kahlo
Frida's last painting.

Coyoacan is a charming neighborhood and one that you should take your time to explore.  We wandered through the market, had some churros, tried quesadillas, and did a little shopping. enjoyed sitting at a cafe, and ended up at the Fuente de los Coyotes.  The name Coyoacan means "place of coyotes".


The original quesadilla.  One of these was with carnitas and the other with chicharron!

After our lunch we headed to Xochimilco.  This area is known as the place where flowers grow.  It's filled with canals and "floating gardens".  Some people compare it to the canals of Venice!  It's easy to see why.  You can take a colorful trajinera (gondola) and glide through the canals which are filled with food vendors, musicians, and other groups of people just having a fun time.  It's such a great way to entertain or celebrate with a group of friends and family.  All I could think of was how to bring back a group next year to celebrate my birthday on one of these trajineras!  We passed by groups of people celebrating birthdays, groups of teenagers having fun, families having a meal; so much was going on!  It's a place that is extremely popular with locals during the weekends.

Xochimilco
Trajineras



Xochimilco
Mariachis

This was a full day of fun!  We actually cancelled our dinner reservations because we were so tired.  And there's nothing wrong with just going to your room and enjoying room service!




Day 5:  This was my last day.  My colleague Deanna had an early flight to catch.  I had the whole day before my evening flight so I slept in.  At noon I had plans to meet up with Daniel and a couple of his friends for a tour of the Museum of Anthropology.  I loved how convenient the location of the Four Seasons was.  You're right on Paseo de la Reforma, minutes away from the entrance to Chapultepec Park, and super easy for me to get around on my own.

I met Daniel at the museum and spent 2 hours seeing the highlights.  It's quite a large place and you can easily spend half a day in there!  The great thing about being with my guide is that he showed us the most important pieces while explaining what everything meant.  And here is where you get to see the famous Aztec Sun Stone, also known as the Aztec calendar.



This was a great way to end my trip!  Mexico City is amazing and I can't wait to send clients there.  I know a few people have concerns about safety but I felt safe the whole time.  Part of that is having the right guides and having a driver.  A great thing that the Four Seasons offers is a car service that will take you to your dinner reservations and pick you up!  We never had any issues with having our servers call the hotel to arrange for our driver to pick us up once dinner was over.  And the fee was not crazy!  This was a service I took full advantage of.

Exclusive Preferred Partner Amenities with Four Seasons Mexico City:
*Daily full American breakfast for 2, served through in-room dining or the hotel restaurant.
*Food and beverage credit of $100
*Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in.


CLICK HERE TO PLAN YOUR TRIP TODAY!


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Barefoot luxury and some agent 007.

Hidden amongst Jamaica's St. Mary Parish district is the ultimate place for a laid back, luxury vacation: GoldenEye.  This was once the home of Ian Fleming and the place where he wrote all 14 of his James Bond novels.  Today it is owned by Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, known for shaping the careers of famous names such as Bob Marley and U2.

In 2011, GoldenEye opened as a resort and is home to hidden coves and private beaches.  You can choose from a few different styles in accommodations: The Original Villas, Beach and Lagoon Villas,  Lagoon Cottages, and Beach Huts.

We stayed in one of the Beach Huts and found it to be extremely spacious and comfortable.  Mornings hanging out in our private verandah with coffee was the best way to start the day.


                              .
We were steps away from Shabeen, our favorite spot to grab a cocktail and play some foosball.  There's also a lounge where you can relax and watch a movie.

                                                                                                                                                                     My favorite drink, the GoldenEye Cocktail!  It's a blend of Blackwell rum and pineapple juice.


When you first arrive, you are welcomed with a blended drink but I prefer mine shaken.  Definitely make sure you try the Blackwell rum.  My favorite way to have it, other than in this cocktail, is poured on top of coffee ice cream.  If you're eating at Bizot Bar, ask for this!

On property you will never get bored.  There are many activities such as paddle boarding, snorkeling, tennis, yoga, and kayaking.

You can also tour the Fleming Villa if it's unoccupied.  See Fleming's desk where he wrote his Bond books and just take in the atmosphere that helped inspire him during his moments of writer's block.  The villa is great for families, with a private pool, and gorgeous outdoor showers!





Fun Trivia:

- Sting wrote Every Breathe You Take here.
- Bob Marley once owned this place.
- It's where Bono wrote the theme song to the GoldenEye film.

Exclusive amenities for our clients:

* Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
* Full breakfast daily
* $100 USD Resort credit per room, once per stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash    value if not redeemed in full)
* Early check-in / late check-out, subject to availability


CLICK HERE TO PLAN YOUR TRIP TODAY!


Bizot Bar
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