Acapulco on the Rise – Again

The story of Acapulco has a bit of a phoenix-like tinge to it, as it seems to rise from its own ashes every so often.

Once in a while, though, there are hiccups in a self-declared renaissance and things seem to stall, then gather steam again and march forward. But there’s just something about Acapulco. Is it its glittery history of movie stars and nightclubs, or its enviable location, perhaps, that always helps it bob right back up?

“Acapulco is truly the city that never sleeps, what with its abundance of nightlife, shopping and open-air restaurants,” says Christina Favre, product manager at GOGO Worldwide Vacations. “Nestled in between the Acapulco Bay and Sierra Madre Mountains, clients can choose from a variety of three- to five-star properties on a wide array of beaches in this beautiful destination.”

Fresh and refreshed properties keep popping out throughout the city and yet there’s still plenty of the classic pleasures that have drawn visitors for decades. “Acapulco is one of the oldest destinations in Mexico and is full of culture and excitement,” adds Favre. “Take a tour in the Fort of San Diego Museum located in downtown Acapulco, or head over to watch the daring cliff divers at La Quebrada as they dive from cliffs bearing torches…into a rocky cove.”

Acapulco makes our Editors’ Hot List for managing, against many odds, to stay afloat as a popular destination and continue to grow and attract more hotels of every caliber, with an equal array of price ranges for all types of travelers. Its variety of accommodations alone—coupled with its natural attractions—make Acapulco one of those places that fit many a bill.

the newer crowd The most obvious proof that Acapulco is still appealing after all these years is the fact that hotels are getting updated, nipped and tucked. Hotel Boca Chica, now part of Grupo Habita’s family, has led the pack since it re-opened in March in full retro style, with its own nightclub (Coco Wash), 36 chic guestrooms and suites, and a sushi bar. The 1950s icon—which once hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra—showcases the beauty of Acapulco Bay and Roqueta Island while offering privacy in the form of landscaped gardens, a private cove with dock and an amoeba-shaped pool that looks out to sea. The entire effect has an air of the Caribbean mixed in with Mexican, right down to the latticed brickwork, and the spa, while small, includes tried-and-true favorites in scrubs and facials plus a massage cabana by the pool. Rates start at $95 per night.

Another classic that has enjoyed a multi-million dollar renovation of late is Las Brisas, an all-around favorite that has never gone out of style. In fact, this is one of Mexico’s definitive stays, awash in tropical splendor and perched majestically over the Pacific. Acapulco Bay and Las Brisas, in fact, have made it to “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.”

The legendary property, which has welcomed everyone from Liza Minnelli to Steven Spielberg, snakes along dozens of hillside acres facing the ocean and has retained its pink-and-white motif (we wonder if Molly Ringwald has ever been here) while refreshing its bungalow-style rooms, expanding its bathrooms and adding more modern accoutrements throughout, including new pillow-top beds. Yes, pink and white is the name of the game here, beginning with your pink frozen margarita when you arrive and those adorable Jeeps that transport you to your casita or elsewhere throughout the property—to the private La Concha Beach Club, perhaps, or Las Brisas’ saltwater and freshwater swimming pools. The (pink) room service box built into the wall by each room reveals a fresh Las Brisas breakfast each morning—coffee, fresh fruit and assorted breads and pastries.

Newer hotels in town are also creating a buzz, including Hotel Encanto. Sitting pretty atop a cliff in Punta Diamante, this streamlined property has gone glam with neon lights and whites, custom furnishings and just 44 suites. This hotel, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, has stepped it up even further with its own library and private movie theater, as well as canopied day beds for stylistic lounging and a spa with Natura Bisse products. One of its most talked-about features, however, is its signature restaurant, Flor de Mar 360°, the brainchild of one of Mexico’s most lauded celebrity chefs/culinary authors, Monica Patiño. She has combined Asian and Mexican elements with great attention to the freshest of ingredients. Some of her signature treats are available for sale at Hotel Encanto’s boutique, La Tienda. Rates start at $375 per night.