Walmart+ is offering 50% off memberships — but you’ll want to act fast

The Points Guy 

Ahead of Prime Day, one of Amazon’s main competitors, Walmart, is offering half off a Walmart+ membership for the next 10 days.

The deal for a discounted Walmart+ membership at $49 for one year is valid for purchase through July 18.

Deal basics


What is Walmart+?

Walmart+ is Walmart’s subscription program. It offers select perks to its members, including free deliveries, gas savings from Walmart, Exxon and Mobil, member-exclusive discounts; and Paramount+ access.

New users can sign up for a free 30-day trial, or you can join the program for $12.95 per month or pay $98 for an annual subscription. However, this program is available for half off ($49) through this link from now through noon EDT on July 18.

Those with The Platinum Card® from American Express can receive a statement credit for a Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal). Using your card to pay for the membership will result in a credit of up to $12.95 per month plus applicable taxes. Walmart InHome Plus Up benefits are not eligible.

Bottom line

In addition to many membership perks, Walmart+ subscribers can access the annual Walmart+ Week, which usually takes place before Amazon Prime Day. This year, the sale ran from June 17 to 23 and included free express delivery, double savings on fuel and an additional 20% back in Walmart Cash on flights, hotels, car rentals and various activities booked through the Walmart+ Travel portal.

Related reading:

Walmart+ Week is upon us: Here’s how you can save with a free trial membership
Who knew? Amazon has a travel deals page for Prime Day, and there are some exciting options
8 ways to save money on Amazon orders
The best credit cards for Walmart shopping
Fast shipping battle: We put Amazon Prime and Walmart+ to the ultimate test

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A South Carolina Sheriff Treated His Officers To 17 New Mustang GTs


A South Carolina sheriff has bought 17 brand new 2024 Mustangs for his department.

Sheriff Leon Lott hopes the V8 powered GT fastbacks will help bring cops and the local community closer.

Lott has previously bought Camaros and Challengers for his team.

Cops often have to put up with a ton of abuse from angry citizens just for doing their jobs, but there are definitely upsides, particularly if you’re serving in the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in South Carolina. The force’s Community Action Team (CAT) has just taken delivery of 17 brand new Mustang GTs.

While many police forces insist on spending their budgets only on sensible four-door sedans and SUVs, which the department already has, Sheriff Leon Lott has treated his CAT squad to a fleet of V8-powered 2024 Mustang GT fastbacks. He even ordered them without the the usual roof-mounted light bar system, and left the ‘5.0’ badges on the fenders in place.

Related: Prototype Ford Mustang SSP Is A Foxy Cop Car Ready To Outrun Wallets

Though a fleet of Ford Explorers – which Lott told The State would be no cheaper than the Mustangs – would offer many practical advantages over the two-door coupes, the pony cars have other strengths, and we don’t just mean that their 480 hp (487 PS) V8s haul them to 60 mph (97 kmh) in 4.2 seconds. Lott explains that he chose the cars to help build a stronger relationship between his cops and the community they serve.

“We’re not picking a car just because it’s a cool car to drive, but cool cars attract people to come and build a relationship with us,” Lott told The State. “These are hot cars. Kids and adults see them and like them, and then come up to the car and start talking to the deputy.”

This isn’t the first time Lott has splashed out on a fleet of cars that might motivate more than a few locals to join the police. After creating the CAT unit in 1998 to build links with the community that went beyond just responding directly to crimes, Lott ordered several fourth-generation Camaros, then switched to the Dodge Magnum and Challenger buying another squad of Camaros when Chevy resurrected its coupe in 2010.

Since both the Camaro and Challenger are now dead, the S650 Mustang was the logical place to sink his department’s dough, though images on the department’s Facebook page show that it still has at least one Camaro.

Earlier this year cops across the state line in North Carolina took delivery of their own army of 2024 Mustang GTs. The NC cop cars are slightly more conspicuous than Lott’s fleet due to the black paint being contrasted with silver sections on the sides and tail.

Photos Richland County Sheriff’s Department,

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Why every solo female traveler needs a card with travel insurance

The Points Guy 

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.  

Solo travel has many benefits. It’s a chance to step outside of your comfort zone, meet new people from around the world and spend time doing some inner reflection. However, solo travel also comes with risk, and in many places, this risk is heightened for female travelers.

Accidents, emergencies and unavoidable hiccups in your travel itinerary happen — and these situations can be even more stressful when you’re traveling alone.

This is where travel protections and insurance can help save the day. You can buy comprehensive travel insurance plans from a third-party provider, which is a good idea when you’re doing anything potentially dangerous, like mountain climbing or other adventure sports. But many credit cards also offer base protections that can be a lifesaver when you’re abroad.

Everyone should have some sort of travel insurance coverage when traveling abroad. However, female solo travelers, in particular, should double down to make sure they’re protected throughout their trip, no matter what happens.

Let’s discuss a few solo travel situations and the type of travel insurance coverage that will be most important for your trip.

When you’re traveling somewhere new

Coverage needed: Travel assistance hotline

Unfortunately, there are some destinations that are riskier for female solo travelers, whether it’s due to crime rates, local laws or a mix of the two. When you’re traveling somewhere you’ve never been before (especially if your destination is off the beaten path), access to a travel assistance hotline can be invaluable.

This type of benefit has different names across credit cards. Amex has a Global Assist Hotline benefit, while Chase and Bank of America both call this benefit “travel and emergency assistance.”


A travel assistance hotline can help if you lose your passport or luggage, need an emergency legal referral or need to find reputable medical care while abroad. Traveling alone can be stressful, especially when something goes wrong. A travel assistance hotline can help alleviate some of that stress and let you focus more on your trip. But note that you’ll be on the hook for any charges that come with the assistance.

When your flight home is delayed

Coverage needed: Trip delay reimbursement

It’s an unfortunate fact of air travel: Planes are often delayed. Sometimes, a delay is just a minor inconvenience. However, if you have a connecting flight with a shorter layover, a delay can be the start of a nightmare. Solo travelers could end up stranded alone at an airport overnight or longer while waiting for the next available flight, which can cost hundreds of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses.


In some cases, extra planning can help avoid a missed flight due to a delay. If you know the route you’re flying often experiences delays, you can simply make sure you book a flight with a longer layover. But oftentimes, delays are unavoidable and unexpected. Trip delay reimbursement will offset most, if not all, of the reasonable costs associated with a delay that’s out of your control.

Chase and Amex both have a number of branded and cobranded cards that offer this protection that are worth looking into.

Related: Best cards that offer trip delay insurance

When you get hospitalized abroad

Coverage needed: Emergency evacuation insurance and/or emergency medical insurance

No one wants to think about the possibility of getting injured or sick while on a trip, but it does happen. You could fall while hiking or skiing or catch a nasty bout of food poisoning that dehydrates you to the point of needing a trip to the emergency room.


Unfortunately, your standard health insurance most likely won’t cover any doctor visits, hospitalizations, medical transportation or medications you need while traveling internationally. Emergency evacuation insurance will cover out-of-pocket expenses if you need a medevac or some other type of transportation to get to needed medical help. Emergency medical insurance will provide coverage for unexpected medical costs such as an ER visit.

When your rental car breaks down

Coverage needed: Roadside assistance

Whether you get a flat tire (and don’t have the means or ability to replace it) or have an engine issue, it can be nerve-wracking to be stranded on the side of the road by yourself. This is when roadside assistance can be a lifesaver. If you’re in an area you’re unfamiliar with, calling your card’s roadside assistance hotline will be easier than frantically searching for a nearby mechanic or tow truck.

Depending on the specific provider and coverage plan, services such as towing, winching, jump-starts, fuel delivery and more could be partially or fully covered.

Related: Best credit cards that offer roadside assistance

Choose a credit card with travel insurance

Comprehensive travel insurance with a third party can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of your trip, depending on your travel plans. However, many premium travel cards come with travel insurance included when you use your card to pay for at least part of your trip. Note that coverage and specific benefits vary between cards.


Premium travel cards from Chase, Capital One and Amex offer a nice set of protections that can help you in most cases. When you’re comparing credit cards, take a look at the travel coverage details offered. Additionally, make sure that when you’re booking a solo trip, you’re using a card that offers the benefits you might need.

Related: The best credit cards with travel protections

Bottom line

Travel insurance is something that every traveler should consider before taking a trip abroad, but there are specific types of coverage that solo travelers should look for when choosing a credit card to pay for their trip. Accidents and illnesses can turn into nightmares, especially if you’re on your own in trying to arrange emergency transportation and handling nonrefundable ticket costs. Some of the travel protections offered by premium cards can help provide peace of mind before you set off on your next adventure.

It’s also a smart idea to look into more comprehensive coverage offered by a third party, especially if you’ll be traveling for an extended period of time. Medical coverage and trip insurance that covers more than just approved emergency expenses could come in handy.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply

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Supercharged, Viper V10-Powered Plymouth GTX Takes SRT Back To The ’60s


There’s a supercharged, Viper V10-powered Plymouth GTX up for auction on Bring a Trailer.

Classic 1969 muscle coupe also has methanol injection, a six-speed manual transmission and Viper bucket seats.

The GTX came standard with a 375 hp, 440 cu-in V8 in 1969, with the 425 hp, 426 Hemi a costly optional extra.

Mopar fans have been dropping modern Hemi and Hellcat V8s into classic muscle cars for years, but eight cylinders wasn’t enough for a previous owner of this vintage Plymouth GTX, so he upped the piston count to ten.

And he did it while keeping true to the coupe’s Chrysler roots, stuffing an SRT-10 Viper V10 mill between the shock towers – and then throwing on a supercharger for good measure as part of a wild build that took place in 2010.

Related: Viper V10-Powered Motorcycle With 500 HP Is A True Monster On Two Wheels

The auction listing on Bring a Trailer doesn’t say how much power the car makes, but Dodge listed a stock, third-gen ZB I Viper roadster as making 500 hp (507 PS) and 525 lb-ft (712 Nm) when new, and this GTX’s Paxton supercharger, methanol injection and other upgrades must surely push the power deep into the 700-horse category.

Whatever it makes, the GTX is certainly faster and more powerful than when it left the factory in 1969, and those things weren’t exactly lacking in urge the year Armstrong set foot on the moon.

A more upmarket take on Plymouth’s Road Runner, the GTX skipped the Runner’s base 335 hp (340 PS) 383 cu-in (6.3-liter) liter V8 and went straight to the 375 hp (380 PS) 440 (7.2) that could deliver 6.8-second zero to 60 mph (97 kmh) times.

The legendary 426 (7.0-liter) Hemi was a 425 hp (430 PS) option and mid-year Plymouth added a triple-carb Six Pack 440 that made 390 hp (396 PS). Even allowing for the different way ‘gross’ power was calculated back then, there was still plenty of it available.

But none of those ol’ time motors came backed by a six-speed manual transmission like this one does, courtesy of the same Viper that donated the engine and bucket seats. And they definitely didn’t have Wilwood cross-drilled discs, six-piston calipers and sticky Michelin radials, though the 18-inch wheels look like up-sized versions of the original 15-inch Magnum 500 rims it would have worn.

The seller has promised to add some videos to the auction listing, and I’ll be interested to see them, or more specifically hear them, because I love the noise of a good V8 but I’ve driven a few Vipers over the years and always thought Dodge’s V10 sounded awful: like a tugboat at idle and not much more special on the move.

Maybe this one will be different. It certainly is different from the usual muscle restomod, and although the build was done years ago, it still looks great. If you agree you can check out the full listing here.

Photos BaT

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British Airways Executive Club increases cost of American and Alaska Avios domestic redemptions

The Points Guy 

The British Airways Executive Club program has significantly increased the prices of Avios redemptions for short-haul flights operated by American Airlines and Alaska Airlines — without notice.

This is the second increase of these redemptions in the last 12 months, and this increase is unfortunately even worse than the last, but there are solutions.

What are the changes British Airways has made?

You will now need the following British Airways Executive Club Avios to fly American or Alaska:

Flights up to 650 miles in length: 12,000 Avios in Main Cabin economy (up from 8,250 Avios), or 24,000 Avios in first class (up from 16,500)
Flights 650-1,151 miles in length: 16,000 Avios in economy (up from 11,000 Avios), or 32,000 Avios in first class (up from 20,500)
Flights 1,151-2,000 miles in length: 18,000 Avios in economy (up from 14,500 Avios), or 40,000 Avios in first class (up from 29,000)
Flights 2,000-3,000 miles in length: 20,000 Avios in economy (up from 16,000 Avios), or 50,000 Avios in first class (up from 42,500)


Using your Avios through BA’s Executive Club program to fly domestically with American or Alaska used to be a great points and miles sweet spot. Now, not so much, especially in first class, which we would not recommend redeeming Avios for unless it is operated by a wide-body aircraft.

Related: Reserve premium economy seats for the price of a coach seat on select wide-body domestic routes

Fortunately, there are no changes to flights over 3,000 miles in length, which mainly covers long-haul flights operated by American Airlines (Alaska does not operate long-haul flights).

Are there alternative options to pay fewer points and miles?

American Airlines AAdvantage program prices domestic awards starting at 7,500 miles in Main Cabin economy or 15,000 miles in first (though occasionally you can spot web specials as low as 6,000 miles in economy class). At these lowest prices, it is a much better option to book with AAdvantage miles rather than Avios. However, because AAdvantage prices awards dynamically, in peak periods, these prices rise sharply, so Avios could still be a better option as they will be fixed prices, if available.

The best option to book American or Alaska domestic awards going forward, especially if you have transferable credit card points, is to redeem them through the Qatar Airways Privilege Club program, which also uses Avios as its loyalty currency.

While the program may eventually follow BA’s increased pricing, for now, you can book the following:

Flights up to 650 miles in length: 6,000 Qatar Airways Privilege Club Avios in Main Cabin economy, or 12,500 Qatar Avios in first class
Flights 650-1,151 miles in length: 9,000 Qatar Avios in economy, or 16,500 Qatar Avios in first class
Flights 1,151-2,000 miles in length: 11,000 Qatar Avios in economy, or 22,200 Qatar Avios in first class
Flights 2,000-3,000 miles in length: 13,000 Qatar Avios in economy, or 38,750 Qatar Avios in first class

These Qatar Avios prices are all now significantly cheaper than booking the same flights with BA Avios.

Related: A review of American Airlines in first class on the Airbus A321neo from Philadelphia to San Francisco

Another option is to consider redeeming Avios through Finnair Plus instead of Executive Club, another program that uses Avios as its loyalty currency. Finnair Plus charges a flat 11,000 miles for domestic flights operated by American or Alaska in economy class, regardless of length. While before this BA devaluation, Finnair Plus was only a better deal for longer domestic flights, you’ll now pay less for all domestic flights through Finnair Plus than BA’s Executive Club program.

Remember that you can transfer Avios between British Airways Executive Club, Qatar Airways Privilege Club and Finnair Plus at a 1:1 rate as often as you like in either direction.

Bottom line

Loyalty programs that increase certain prices without warning (or “devaluations,” as we call them) are an unfortunate but unavoidable reality of the points and miles industry. Sometimes, programs give, say, 30 days notice before increasing prices to allow members to book any planned redemptions at the existing rates.

Unfortunately, British Airways Executive Club did not give its members such a warning, and using Avios through the British Airways program to book domestic flights on American Airlines and Alaska is now no longer a good deal. Fortunately, the prices through the Qatar Airways Privilege Club program and Finnair Plus, which also use Avios as their loyalty currency, remain much more reasonable, and you can transfer Avios between the programs easily at a 1:1 rate in any direction.

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10 Ford Mustangs Recalled For Brake Warning Light That Won’t Turn Off


Ford recalled 10 Mustangs because a brake fluid warning light in the cluster won’t turn off.

The fix related to a software update to the body control module.

The automaker has already recorded at least five warranty claims related to the problem.

The imagery of a car “lighting up like a Christmas tree” evokes a sour stomach in some. Imagine how a few new Ford Mustang owners must feel though. They’re driving around in a spanking new pony car with a brake fluid warning light that won’t go off. Now, Ford wants them to come in for a recall that’ll fix the problem.

This issue popped up back in late April but it took almost two months for Ford to launch the recall. Perhaps the very limited recall population of just ten cars had something to do with that. Either way, the automaker found on June 11 that it had dealt with five warranty claims regarding the issue and two field reports. As such, it’s recalling the ten cars in question here for a software update.

More: Ford Blames The Machines For F-150 Windshields That Might Fall Off

Evidently, these Mustangs have an incorrect body control module software update that causes the brake malfunction light to come on and stay on. While this might sound like a very strange reason to recall a car just consider this, countless people drive around every day with a check engine light on. In the same manner, a person who drives around with a brake malfunction light on might not realize when there’s a real problem.

Obviously, driving without brake fluid or an otherwise improperly functioning braking system is bad news for customers. As such, Ford will update the BCM software in these cars and that should solve the issue. The automaker says it notified dealers on June 28 and that owners will receive a notice about the recall no later than July 12. Those with a Mustang can call their dealer or check NHTSA with their VIN to determine if they’re in the recall population.

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Would You Save This Flooded Ferrari Purosangue?


Flood-damaged Ferrari Purosangue for sale on Instagram.

Extensive repairs likely needed, could cost over $100,000.

Risky purchase, but could be a bargain if repairable.

Dubai was hit by huge floods in April and given the dizzying array of exotics that call the city home, it is no surprise that many were damaged in the freak weather event. This Ferrari Purosangue is one of them and it’s now looking for someone to save it.

This Purosangue has been listed for sale on Instagram and is in a very sorry state. Repairing it may be possible, but it will probably be extraordinarily costly and isn’t a project that an untrained individual should attempt.

Read: Keyvany Wants To Build The Wildest Ferrari Purosangue Yet With Close To 1,000 HP

The eye-catching Ferrari appears to be finished in Nero Purosangue, which, under some lights, looks like a deep shade of black, and from other angles, it has a lovely dark purple hue. Contrasting the dark purple are several bright yellow accents.

Vehicles damaged by floods in the U.S. are typically listed with a line that shows how high the water went. This Purosangue doesn’t seem to have such a water line, meaning it’s difficult to know how deep the water was.

The cabin apparently is bathed in a thick layer of dirt, dust, and soot, likely because it has been stored outside, in the desert, and with the windows cracked open. It appears some of the interior trim pieces have been removed, although it’s unclear why.

Buying a flood-damaged vehicle like this without first inspecting it is extremely risky as it’s often impossible to tell what needs to be repaired without disassembling the car. As a result, only those willing to spend over six figures fixing this Purosangue should even consider it. While risky, it could pay off, particularly if the car hasn’t suffered any mechanical damage.

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2025 Nissan Rogue Rock Creek Wants To Make Every School Run An Overland Adventure


Nissan’s 2025 Rogue lineup includes a new overland-themed Rock Creek edition.

Rock Creek adds all-terrain tires, a camera-based transparent hood feature, and water-repellant synthetic leather.

Rogue SL and Platinum buyers now get option of hands-free driving on certain freeways.

Nissan’s Rogue has engaged ‘off-road’ mode on its rotary selector and crawled its way up onto the overland bandwagon. That’s the one full of other urban SUVs and crossovers that have suddenly sprouted tough-looking off-road trim levels and special editions. Nissan’s is the Rogue Rock Creek, and it’s new for 2025.

There’s certainly no chance of mistaking the Rock Creek edition for a regular Rogue SL. The gloss black front grille and Lava Red lower bumper accents see to that. A standard roof rack, gloss black door mirrors, and 17-inch satin black wheels wrapped in 235/65R17 Falken Wild Peak all-terrain tires complete the look.

Related: US Probes Nissan Rogues That Might Airbag You For Slamming The Door

Inside, Nissan sticks with the trail-ready theme by equipping the Rock Creek’s heated seats with water-repellant leatherette upholstery, which could really prove worthwhile for any owners who give themselves a pant-wetting scare after mistakenly thinking some knobbly tires have suddenly turned the Rogue into a Moab weapon. The seats also feature Lava Red stitching to mimic the flashes on the nose, and Nissan has added piano black trim to the dashboard.

The Rogue’s 201 hp (204 PS), turbo 1.5-liter, CVT-backed powertrain might not be the ideal off-road hardware, though all-wheel drive is at least standard. But the Rock Creek does have one piece of tech on it that could prove useful whether you’re creeping over rocks in the wilderness or just trying to navigate the urban sprawl. An Off-Road view on the Around View Monitor system lets you see ‘through’ the hood to the ground below at speeds of up to 12 mph (19 kmh).

Hill descent control is standard but Rock Creek buyers can add more equipment by optioning the premium pack that brings a wireless charging pad, heated steering wheel, four-way power passenger seat, motion-activated power liftgate, and more.

One new-for-’25 Rogue feature the Rock Creek doesn’t have is Nissan’s ProPilot Assist 2.1 cruise control system. Available at extra cost on the SL and Platinum, it lets drivers pilot their SUV hands-free on certain roads, providing they keep their eyes on the road.

Prices for the Rock Creek and the other 2025 Rogues will be released closer to the on-sale date.

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Boutique beachfront escape in Mexico: A review of the Mystique Holbox by Royalton

The Points Guy 

[circuit type=review circuit_id=”20420182020″]

Mystique Holbox by Royalton, A Tribute Portfolio Resort, is a small, contemporary beachfront resort overlooking the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The property opened on Mexico’s Holbox Island in May 2019 and is the first points hotel on the off-the-beaten-path island. 

Quiet Isla Holbox sits at the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and is teeming with wildlife and surrounded by protected nature reserves. I have had this destination on my radar for years, so I was excited to see a points hotel pop up on my recent search for a place to stay.

Still largely undiscovered by American tourists, the island is quite popular with European travelers seeking a relaxing escape and authentic experiences. Although taking it easy on the beach is a prime pastime, there are also local markets, outdoor activities and nature tours, so there’s always plenty to see and do. Plus, the island has a history as a fishing community, with many watermen still active today, so local restaurants offer up fresh and delicious sea-to-table fare. 

Here’s what it was like to stay at the Marriott-affiliated Mystique Holbox by Royalton.

What is Mystique Holbox by Royalton?

View from my room on the third floor. BECKY BLAINE/THE POINTS GUY

This hotel offers inexpensive room rates and access to beautiful white sand beaches along with beachfront dining and a beachside spa cabana. 

With only 38 accommodations, the boutique, all-suite property fits nicely on the island, nestled between other small local hotels, beach clubs and restaurants. It has a small pool with just eight deck chairs, but walk just past the pool and you’ll be at the beach where you’ll be met with two dozen lounge chairs, white cabana tents and Fresco, the property’s beachfront restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The streets of Holbox Island on the west end of the island are quiet and about a 10-minute walk to Centro, where most of the bars, restaurants and shops reside.

Note that while many Royalton hotels in resort areas are all-inclusive — such as Royalton Antiqua, An Autograph Collection Hotel and Hideaway at Royalton Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic — this particular property only offers a la carte pricing.

How to book Mystique Holbox by Royalton

I was able to book the hotel directly through the Marriott website. I paid $208 per night, including taxes and fees, by choosing a Marriott Member Exclusive rate. If you want to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for your stay, award redemptions are available starting from 28,000 points per night.

The resort is also bookable via American Express Travel. You’ll earn 5 points per dollar spent if you book with The Platinum Card® by American Express. It is not a Hotel Collection or Fine Hotels + Resorts member, so the complimentary breakfast perk and other amenities do not apply here. Rates when booking through Amex Travel start at $243 or 34,761 Membership Rewards points per night.

Chase cardholders can earn 5 points per dollar spent on travel booked through the Chase Travel℠ portal. Rates for stays booked through this portal start at $218 per night, including taxes and fees. Holbox Island wasn’t easily searchable in the Chase portal, so keep in mind that you’ll have to specify the hotel name to find it.

Getting to the beachfront paradise


Getting to Holbox Island is a bit of an adventure: First, you’ll need to fly into Cancun International Airport (CUN). From there, it’s a 2 1/2-hour bumpy shuttle ride to the ferry station in Chiquila. Shared rides start at $42 per person, and I recommend booking this ahead of time. The $12 ferry ride to the island takes about 20 minutes. Once on the island, you’ll need to hail an all-terrain golf cart taxi for around $12 to reach the hotel.

The golf cart taxi will ask if you want to be dropped off “a la playa” (at the beach) or “recepcion” (at reception or the front entrance). Most pickups and drop-offs are done from the beach entrance because an access road runs between the beachfront restaurant and the back of the main building of the hotel. (During my visit, the main road at the hotel’s front entrance was impassable by golf cart due to a recent storm surge. You could walk, but parts were still a bit muddy.)

Once you arrive, however, the location, with direct beach access and an ocean view, can’t be beat.

Make sure to plan time to relax on the beach, where you can order food and drinks directly to your lounge chair. The vibe of the resort and the island, in general, is laid-back and friendly.

Modern rooms with a beachy flair


During check-in, each guest is given a bracelet that serves as their “room key” (a first for me!). You hold it up to your door sensor to enter your suite. I could also scan my bracelet at the restaurant to charge my meal to my room. 


The guest rooms have a neutral color palette with white plaster walls and concrete floors. The whitewashed wood furniture added a beach flair, as did the wood coffee table fashioned from a tree trunk. There was also a vinyl sleeper sofa that was very easy to clean after tracking in beach sand.

I have Marriott Gold Elite status and sometimes get upgraded if available at check-in. This time, upon arrival, I was upgraded from a deluxe junior suite to a premium junior suite (measuring 466 square feet) with sea views and a large patio with a table and chairs. Stairs inside my suite led to a rooftop deck with two lounge chairs. I noticed all the third-floor suites down the length of the building had the same upper rooftop patios. 


Most suites have balconies with garden or ocean views, as well as swinging wicker egg chairs to enjoy. There is also a “swim-out” suite option on the first floor that comes with a small personal pool on the patio, but the suites face the beachside access road and could potentially be loud at times with the golf cart traffic going by.

My room had a long desk with a 55-inch flat-screen TV hanging above it. A Nespresso coffee machine was on one end of the desk (since the website says there are no coffee makers in the room, this was a nice surprise). The king-size bed had luggage storage drawers underneath, but I didn’t need them since the bathroom, which also doubled as the closet and dressing room, was so large that I could have my luggage out on the luggage rack and still never run into it.

The bathroom’s floor-to-ceiling sliding closet doors concealed the room safe, clothes storage and minibar with minifridge. Behind frosted glass doors were a separate rainfall shower and a water closet (toilet). The large double vanity offered ample counter space for travel and cosmetic bags.

The fan and air-conditioning system near the bedside table took a few minutes to figure out. I kept trying to use the wall panel to turn off the fan, but that only reduced the fan speed. Instead, a button next to the bed by the light switch served as the on/off switch for the fan.


If you opened your patio doors, the system was also triggered to conserve energy by turning off the air conditioning.

Fresco Bar and Grill

Entrance to the Fresco Bar and Grill and the beach club. BECKY BLAINE/THE POINTS GUY

Mystique has one restaurant, Fresco Bar and Grill, that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It sits beachside with excellent sea views. I dined here for two breakfasts and one dinner.

The first morning I ordered avocado toast with a poached egg ($12). The bread was very thick but not toasted so it became soggy quickly. I wish it had been a bit more toasted, and I would have preferred not to have lettuce and tomato on top, but I appreciated the generous amount of sliced avocado.

My colleague, Emily Thompson, was traveling with me and ordered the chilaquiles ($11) — her breakfast of choice every place we dined on the trip.

The second morning, I opted for two fried eggs, sausage and hash browns ($11). I’m convinced the sausage was a hot dog, and the hash browns were a bit overdone and too crunchy for my liking, but the service was quick and attentive. Not to mention, the cappuccino ($5) was expertly prepared.

Emily and I popped into the restaurant for a quick dinner prior to our night kayaking tour. We opted to split a Mystique burger and fries ($21), as we weren’t ravenous and it was still early. The burger was cooked to our requested medium temperature, and the fries were seasoned nicely. 

Service from the hostess, servers and managers was consistently attentive and friendly each time we dined at Fresco, and the views were always outstanding.

Beach club and cabanas


The main restaurant houses the bar that serves the beach club’s lounge chairs and cabanas. The cabanas can be reserved through the restaurant or at the hotel’s front desk. On the day Emily and I rented a cabana, we ordered the mango and strawberry margaritas, both of which were very refreshing. 

Towels were provided on every chair, and the servers came around often to check in with guests. Around 4 p.m. the staff came around singing, clapping and dancing, wearing sombreros and handing out nonalcoholic fruit smoothie shots and snacks, creating a festive, playful atmosphere. The entire staff was a joy to interact with.

Fitness center

Located on the second floor, the fitness center is nicely equipped with free weights, bikes, a treadmill and a bench press. For a hotel with only 38 rooms, the property is definitely a generous size and offers plenty of equipment for guests to enjoy a solid workout during their stay. 

Relax to the sound of the sea

Massages are provided in a private beachfront hut where you can unwind while listening to the sea. Since there isn’t any information on the hotel’s website about spa services (other than the property having a spa), you’ll need to call the hotel before you arrive for advance bookings. However, the spa cabana wasn’t busy during my stay, and it was possible to book a last-minute appointment.


The spa menu includes massages (reflexology, deep tissue and aromatherapy, to name a few) and an after-sun treatment. Prices start at $69 for a 25-minute reflexology massage and go up to $165 for an 80-minute Mystique massage that is customized to your preferences.

Additional amenities

The hotel has a small lobby boutique that sells beachwear, swimsuits, flip-flops and sunscreen. It was open for a few hours each day but seemed to be staffed by the front desk employees nearby.

Nexus Tours is also on-site with an outpost in the lobby — the company arranged our airport shuttle and transfers on the ferry and golf cart taxi. The group’s communication via the WhatsApp app was efficient and helpful. I suggest calling the hotel directly to request their on-site contact for Nexus Tours and to arrange transportation. The company also provides tour options for the island, but we had booked a three-island boat tour and nighttime kayaking adventure ahead of time on Viator.

Reasons Mystique Holbox by Royalton might not be for you

While I enjoyed my visit to the rustic paradise of Isla Holbox, I realize it might not be for everyone. Here are a few things to know if you are considering a visit:

It definitely takes some planning to get to Holbox Island and the hotel, so if you are looking for a destination or resort within 30 minutes of an airport, this location would not be an option for you. It’s more than three hours of travel time from Cancun’s airport.
The streets all around the hotel and the island, in general, are not paved. There was quite a bit of mud and storm damage from a previous weather event, causing golf cart taxis to take a detour to the beachside hotel entrance for pickup and drop-off. If you are looking for a more manicured resort town experience, then consider a stay elsewhere.
If you are looking for a larger hotel or resort with multiple restaurants or bars, look at other destinations like Cancun or Tulum. But if you are willing to go a few blocks in either direction, you can find wonderful local restaurants to enjoy here.
If you travel with your pet, be aware that this hotel does not allow pets. Only service animals are permitted.


The hotel does have accessibility features, including an elevator, ample interior hallways and wide doorways. There is a concrete ramp from the street to the hotel’s main lobby entrance, but the beachside entrance has a flat, paved sidewalk; guests can request that golf cart taxis drop off either beachside or at the hotel lobby.

Fresco Bar and Grill’s beachside tables and palapa dining area. BECKY BLAINE/THE POINTS GUY

For any guests requiring a wheelchair, know that to access the hotel’s only restaurant, Fresco, you have to cross beach sand to reach a handful of dining tables (shown above), and the restrooms at the restaurant would require climbing three stairs to enter the palapa and main dining area. The closest accessible restrooms would be off the main lobby (where there is one step up to enter the lobby) or your suite.

As for the suites, accessible features include closed-captioned TVs, kits for guests with hearing impairments, lower bathroom vanities and self-closing doors.

Checking out


Service at the hotel was amazing, attentive and friendly. Everyone I encountered during my stay was helpful and genuinely hospitable, and the majority of the staff, especially at the front desk and the restaurant, spoke English.

Throughout my stay, the housekeeping staff was very friendly and prompt each day with service and refreshing rooms while I was out. And Ari, the hotel’s general manager, was out and about — and always visible — checking in with staff and chatting with guests.

Holbox Island is a little rustic, but it’s a slice of paradise nonetheless. I can’t wait to return (hopefully over the summer season when I can swim with whale sharks).

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Koenigsegg Chimera Is Part Agera RS, Part Jesko, Part CC850


This one-off Koenigsegg creation is owned by the president of the FIA.

The boutique manufacturer has installed a unique transmission with a gated shifter, an automatic mode, and paddle shifters.

Mohammed Ben Saluyem has a car collection that is thought to be worth more than $75 million.

By the end of this year, Koenigsegg will be producing three different model lines for the first time in its history; the Jesko, Gemera, and CC850. Despite this, its engineers have somehow found the time to develop and build a unique one-off dubbed the Chimera. It is based around an Agera RS but uses parts from the Jesko and the CC850.

The car is owned by Mohammed Ben Saluyem, the president of the FIA. He has owned his Agera RS for six years, and when Koenigsegg unveiled the CC850 with its unique manual transmission in 2022, he decided he wanted to make his hypercar even more special. He approached the Swedish marque with the idea of modifying his Agera RS with the Jesko engine and the transmission of the CC850. Christian von Koenigsegg obliged.

Watch: The Koenigsegg CC850’s Part-Manual, Part-Auto Transmission Will Blow Your Mind

Top Gear recently had the opportunity to drive the car and speak with Christian. The Chimera proves that if you have an open checkbook, almost anything is possible in the world of hypercars.

Modifying Ben Saluyem’s Agera RS was no easy feat. As the Agera was launched a decade ago, its electrical systems are much older than those found in the Jesko. As such, Koenigsegg had to overhaul the wiring in addition to fitting the 5.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8. This engine is also used by the CC850, but in that guise, it has been detuned. For the Chimera, it gets the full 1,280 hp of the standard Jesko on pump gas and 1,600 hp with E85.

Then there’s the transmission. The unique shift-by-wire system used in the CC850 includes a gated shifter and offers both traditional manual and automatic driving modes, thanks to Koenigsegg’s engineering wizardry. Ben Saluyem wanted the carmaker to take his car to the next level. As such, the transmission of the Chimera doesn’t just feature a gated manual shifter and the possibility to drive it in fully automatic mode, but it also features paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, meaning there are three ways to move between the gears.  

The car joins an incredible collection of supercars and hypercars owned by Ben Saluyem. His collection is thought to be worth over $75 million and includes a Ferrari LaFerrari, Bugatti Chiron Super Sport, Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Strassenversion, Aston Martin Valkyrie, McLaren Senna, Pagani Huayra BC, Porsche 911 GT2 Strassenversion, and two McLaren Speedtails.

Screenshot via Top Gear

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