JULY 2018
#55 – Don Julio, Buenos Aires: among the city’s best steakhouses (parrillas), it showcases Argentina asado with beef from grass-fed cattle raised outside the city cooked on a traditional “V” iron grill
Photo courtesy Don Julio
#60 – Tegui, Buenos Aires: eclectic international food with an open kitchen and wine cellar from Chef Germán Martitegui, co-host of Argentina’s edition of “MasterChef”

#64 – Sud777, Mexico City: a casual setting with unique takes on Mexican cuisine from the chef who founded the Mexican Food Trucks Association

#79 – A Casa do Porco, Sao Paulo: a focus on pork-based dishes, with all meat from Brazil, plus delicious desserts from the winner of the academy’s Latin America’s Best Pastry Chef Award

#87 – Maní, Sao Paulo: Brazilian-European cuisine on the lighter side from Helena Rizzo, named the World’s Best Female Chef in 2014
#99 – Leo, Bogota: little-known Colombian ingredients and local food traditions for “modern Colombian with a twist” from celebrity chef Leonor Espinosa

#100 – Lasai, Rio de Janeiro: farm-to-table Brazilian food – many of the ingredients come from the chef’s own farm – in a historic house

Academy voters come from around 1,000 industry experts from around the world, including chefs and restaurateurs, food writers and what the academy calls “well-traveled gourmets.” William Reed Business Media compiles the list and awards. 

More Screening of Carry-On Powders
The U.S. now requires additional screening of powdered substances begin carried onto international flights bound to that nation. The new testing and inspections cover quantities of more than 50 millimeters - about the size of a soda can, and includes ground coffee and food.
Robotic Luggage
Would you prefer to have your suitcase follow you around, instead of lugging it? The Airwheel SR3 will do just that, using visual tracking and sensor technology to identify you as its owner, along with obstacle-avoidance capabilities, a mobile app and a removable battery to power it all. Airwheel calls its latest suitcase “robotic luggage,” and it’s not too far from the truth. It can be set to sound a voice alarm when it gets too far away from you (and ring your mobile), and includes automatic locking and Bluetooth connectivity. Plus, the battery is a power bank that can charge USB devices. The suitcase is a standard 20-inch carry-on with a lightweight, hard outer shell.
Photo courtesy Airwheel
Hotel News
Hyatt Hotels launched a new World of Hyatt credit card with Chase. The card offers bonus points for spending on Hyatt hotel purchases, restaurants, airline tickets, local transit and commuting, as well as the new bonus points category of fitness club memberships.
Marriott Caribbean & Latin American Resorts launched a new augmented reality app , named Portal to Paradise, which allows users to virtually walk around the company's resorts in the region, with 360-degree views of rooms, restaurants, beaches, pools and spas.

Beginning in September, plastic straws and drink picks will only be available by request in Hyatt hotels around the world.

IHG launched a new upscale brand, Voco , which it will initially launch in Australia, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Marriott unveiled a planned revamp of its Sheraton hotels, which will include revamped public spaces with soundproof booths, a community table, areas with partition screens and studios, as well as a designated community manager for each property.

AccorHotels will acquire 50% of hotel, restaurant, nightclub and residences developer SBE Entertainment Group.

Amazon launched Alexa for Hospitality , which will allow hotel guests to use its Alexa digital assistant (via devices in their rooms) to obtain hotel information, contact guest services, play music in their room, control lights and more. It will initially launch at select Marriott International properties. 
Hilton opened a dual-branded property (with two hotels in the same space) in Apodaca, Nuevo León, near Plaza Comercial Sendero La Fe, around 14 kilometers from General Mariano Escobedo Airport. The 96-room Hampton by Hilton Monterrey Apodaca and the 69-room Homewood Suites by Hilton Monterrey Apodaca each has its own lobby and dining areas, and share meeting space for up to 100 people, a 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor pool and a basketball court.

Riu Hotels & Resorts reopened the Riu Tequila in Playa del Carmen after a renovation of common areas, gardens and rooms, as well as an expansion of its restaurant offerings. 
Central America
The Bahia Grande Panama Hotel in Panama City will become a JW Marriott in September. Located in the city’s Punta Pacifica neighborhood in Central America’s tallest building, the property includes 369 rooms, a conference facility, three restaurants and a bar. It opened in 2011 as a Trump hotel, but has operated as an independent since March of this year. 

La Veranda Bar courtesy Riu Tequila
Bahia Grande Panama Hotel courtesy Bahia Grande Panama Hotel
Airline News
United Airlines opened a new United Polaris lounge for international business class travelers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas. Located in Terminal E next to Gate E12, it includes private working spaces, complimentary Wi-Fi, power outlets and USB ports, valet services, a private dining area, private daybeds and showers. 

United updated its mobile app to offer more flight status information, including information on flight segments booked on other Star Alliance airlines.

Global jet charter marketplace Victor launched a frequent flier program for private jet charter flights, called Alto. The company’s customers earn points for every dollar spent, which can be redeemed for future flights through the company.

Private jet services company JetSmarter introduced non-member access (it had been available only by membership) for booking seats on shared charter flights. Non-members must purchase a flight's minimum number of seats, but can then re-sell them to others who want to join the flight.

JetBlue flights to Puerto Rico have returned to pre-Hurricane Irma levels, with as many as 48 flights daily to the island from the U.S. and other Caribbean nations. 

Polaris Seating Lounge courtesy United Airlines
New Codeshares in the Region
Aerolineas Argentinas & Aeroflot – launched a reciprocal codeshare covering routes between Madrid and Argentina and Russia

Azul & Beijing Capital Airlines – launched a reciprocal codeshare on flights between China and Brazil via Portugal

Avianca Brazil & Alitalia – began a codeshare with flights between Italy and Brazil and Chile
New Airline Routes
(All routes are round-trip, nonstop unless otherwise indicated; if service has not already begun, month of service start is indicated in parentheses)
South America  
Barranquilla, Colombia – Mexico City : LATAM Airlines Colombia (July-August, charters)

Fortaleza, Brazil – Orlando , Florida (U.S.): LATAM Airlines (started July 5)

Santiago – Dubai , United Arab Emirates: Emirates (started in June)

Belem – Brasilia : Avianca Brasil (started June 21)

Belem – Sao Paulo-Guarulhos : Avianca Brasil (started June 21)
Mexico City – Philadelphia (U.S.): American Airlines (started July 5)

Monterrey – Orlando , Florida (U.S.): Aeromexico/Delta (June-August)

Monterrey by Rodolfoandredorantes
Central America
Guatemala City – Houston –George bush Intercontinental airport, Texas (U.S.): Spirit Airlines (September)

San Salvador, El Salvador – Houston –George bush Intercontinental airport, Texas (U.S.): Spirit Airlines (September)

NEW!  2018’s Top Latin American Billionaires : With personal net worths of more than US$1 billion, this group is made up mostly of bankers, miners and beverage makers, with a few digital entrepreneurs in the group. 

NEW! Top Trade Partners : India saw total trade with Latin America grow by 30% and China advanced its relationship, while the U.S. lost ground.
Editor: Rochelle Broder-Singer
Editorial Assistant/Production Manager: Leslie Gutiérrez

Copyright © 2018. All Rights Reserved.

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