Value Watch: Tropical Delights at Casa Cupula
Casa Cupula in gay-friendly Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is offering several cool deals, if you're angling for warmer climes. This gay boutique hotel, with views of Banderas Bay and the surrounding green mountains, provides a natural and romantic environment that is small enough for attentive service, but large enough to provide plenty of privacy.
Amenities include a clothing-optional heated pool (three pools in all), Jacuzzis, a home theater in every room, a gym, and a spa. With 24-hour gourmet dining, concierge service, personal massages, and free internet access, Casa Cupula resembles a self-sufficient town and the only reason to step out for a few hours is to enjoy the local color of Puerto Vallarta.
Check the hotel website's last-minute travel deals, where you can currently get deluxe queen and king rooms for US$158 a night -- and rates have gone as low as US$98 a night. If you're sure of your reservation and aren't planning on needing the hotel's "No Worries" cancellation policy that's fee-free up to a month before arrival, you can book under the new "No Refund" reservation at 10 percent off the regular rates. With the dollar gaining momentum, the exchange rate is now more than 13 pesos to the dollar, making Mexico even more affordable.
Money-saving tip: When exchanging money, banks often have better rates. If you're in the airport and need money urgently, exchange only a small amount at the on-site kiosks, because, typically, their rates are not as good.