Brand-new Oaxaca Hotel is a working mezcal distillery and more Travel news

Brand-new Oaxaca Hotel is a working mezcal distillery and more Travel news

Mexico News

Brand-new Oaxaca Hotel is a working mezcal distillery 


El Silencio is a hotel completely rooted in mezcal. Mezcal El Silencio, the largest purveyor of mezcal in the United States, is the brand behind this property. 


The property officially opened on September 15 when its founders unveiled the six-room hotel on their distillery grounds in Xaaga, 30 miles outside the capital.


In breathing life into Casa Silencio, they sought to emulate boozy destinations that put guests in the heart of production—the vineyard hotels of Napa, the distillery lodges of the Scottish Highlands. 


Their research paid off. The Casa Silencio experience is a full-blown immersion in mezcal. Before it became a hotel, this was one of three El Silencio distillery facilities in Oaxaca, and it is still very much producing mezcal. 


The six suites are outfitted with abstract copper-and-glass light fixtures and handmade rugs—plus a bottle of El Silencio and a serving of mezcal-infused gummy worms waiting for new guests. 


Oaxaca is also well-known for its food and drink; the restaurant and bar scene is a major reason Travel+Leisure readers voted it the No. 1 City in the World in last year’s World’s Best Awards. 


Cruise News

Crystal best offer ever


There is only one month left on the best offer ever aboard a Crystal Ocean Cruises. Cruise roundtrip from Miami starting at US$1,999 per guest when you book by October 15, 2021. 


Sail with exclusive fares and save up to US$1,400 per couple—Crystal’s best offer ever on the world’s most-awarded luxury cruise line. This all-inclusive, limited-time savings on select itineraries includes a series of seven-night luxury Bahamas escapes.


Crystal’s expanded Crystal Clean+ protocols include a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all crew and all eligible guests. 


Choose from six spectacular seven-night voyages aboard Crystal Serenity, with fares from US$1,999 per person. Dates: October 4, 11, 18, and 25, and November 1 and 8. 


Aviation News

Miami is first US Airport to Use COVID Sniffing Dogs


Miami International Airport (MIA) announced that is collaborating with the Global Forensic and Justice Center at Florida International University and American Airlines to install a trial program of COVID-19 detecting dogs at the airport.


The airport will host the two dogs—Cobra, a Belgian Malinois, and One Betta, a Dutch Shepherd—for a 30-day pilot program.


The dogs are potentially able to detect and alert to the virus in public spaces. The virus causes metabolic changes in a person that produce compounds excreted by a person’s breath and sweat, which allow the dogs to alert to the virus.


If the dogs are able to detect a person who may be carrying the virus, security will pull the person aside to get a rapid COVID test.


According to Miami International, the dogs were able to accurately detect COVID during their training sessions at a rate from 96 to 99 percent. 


While Miami will become the first U.S. airport to use the dogs, others internationally have been using them for some time, including Dubai’s main airport.


Deal of the Week

6 Nights in Botswana + up to 5 nights free in Cape Town and Victoria Falls 


Botswana is considered one of the best safari destinations in Africa. The Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to 530 bird species.


Enjoy water-based safaris in the delta on a traditional mokoro canoe. These traditional boats were once made from a carved out tree trunk; however, now they are made of more environmentally friendly fiberglass.


You’ll visit Chobe National Park, which has the most elephants in all of Africa; you can literally feel the ground shake as a large herd moves by. Also visit Moremi Game Reserve, with the most diverse habitat and animal populations in Botswana. 


Great Safaris offers six nights in Botswana, staying at Belmond prime five-star properties—Savuti Elephant Camp, Khwai River Lodge, and Eagle Island Lodge. This includes all meals, local beverages, and safari activities, as well as light aircraft flights from and to Maun and between the lodges, departure taxes, and national park fees in Botswana (VAT and taxes included). 


For the same price, you will get three nights for free in Cape Town, including two full days of private sightseeing and transfers in low and shoulder seasons. This includes a day trip to Cape Point and Boulders beach to see African penguins.


It also includes a tour of Table Mountain and the Bo-Kaap with a private guide (all entrance fees are included). The Queen Victoria Hotel, in the heart of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, makes the ideal location for leisure shopping and soaking up the beauty of the Cape of Good Hope. 


If you travel in high season, as an added bonus, Great Safaris will add two more nights at the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe at no charge, plus a sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi River and a guided tour of the Falls. 


The booking window is until December 3, 2021, for travel through December 31, 2022. 

  • Low and shoulder seasons, from US$7,595 including three nights for free in Cape Town 
  • High season from US$13,995 including three nights in Cape Town and two nights in Victoria Falls.


Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for 50 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She custom designs journeys that are tailored to suit client’s interests, physical abilities, and budget. Please contact her for further information on Travel News topics and around-the-world travel. Cell phone 415 111 8765, Vonage 949 300 3682; email


Sources: Travel+Leisure, Crystal Ocean Cruises, Travelmarket Report, Great Safaris