ACAPULCO, Mexico Las Brisas, the legendary resort, is looking
better than ever. With its romantic casitas edging down a hillside
overlooking Acapulco Bay, the hotel is still at the top of its game
after nearly a half-century in operation.
Like the old part of town, Las Brisas is a flashback to the
Acapulco of yesteryear, when smaller hotels dotted the cliffs and
ocean views were a necessity since air conditioning was a novelty.
There are still slatted shutters in the rooms, cool marble floors
and ceiling fans, but now there is air conditioning, too. And
mini-bars, hair dryers and safes, and as many pink and white
touches as possible in line with the resort’s signature colors.
But the piece de resistance is still the private pool found on
many of the casita terraces, which are lovingly filled with
hibiscus blossoms each morning by an attentive staff, as well as
the stunning views of Acapulco Bay.
Las Brisas, which means “breezes” in Spanish, has always been a
magnet for honeymooners and celebrities, synonymous with glamour
and exclusivity since its creation in the 1950s. The hotel has
hosted European royalty, U.S. presidents and various heads of
state. Apparently, it became so popular with American astronauts
that the Las Brisas flag was once taken on a trip to the moon. It’s
also the only Acapulco property that is a member of The Leading
Hotels of the World.
The resort is located on 43 acres on the eastern side of the
bay. Its 263 casitas and suites have private or shared pools.
Privacy is a signature amenity here; guests expect it and revel in
it. The rooms and suites have been designed to enhance this effect,
with private walkways and dense flowering vegetation. The casitas
meander up and around cobblestone roads framed by cool coconut
palms and named after world-famous avenues like Fifth Avenue and
For honeymoon clients, there’s the Brisas Beach Club in a
secluded no-kids zone next to the ocean. The posh suites have big
white beds draped in soft white mosquito netting, which creates a
dreamy, intimate feeling. The one- and two-bedroom suites near the
top of the hill, have a Jacuzzi or an indoor/outdoor private pool,
terrace, living/dining area with fully stocked bar and an
For many years, the hotel advertised itself as a “total escape
from civilization” and refused to install TVs or radios in the
rooms. Times have changed though, and now, with more non-honeymoon
FIT and group business, TVs and radios are standard features.
What’s also standard is a no tipping policy. Instead, a $20 per day
service charge is added to the room bill. Las Brisas became a
trendsetter with its “magic box” breakfast, which other hotels have
since copied. Around 6 a.m., a complimentary Continental breakfast
with generous portions of fresh fruit, home-baked sweet rolls and a
steaming carafe of hot coffee is discretely delivered to a small
chamber connected to the room by a little door. No phoning for room
service, no dressing to rush to the restaurant. Just throw on a
robe and take your breakfast to the patio.
Pink and white striped jeeps, which rent for around $75 a day,
are another Las Brisas innovation. Some have been signed on the
tailgate by celebrities that rented them, including Kurt Russell
and the late icon of the Mexican film industry, Cantinflas.
The jeeps, manned by drivers in spiffy tropical whites with pith
helmets, also serve as on-site guest shuttles between the various
One of the most popular spots come lunchtime is La Concha, the
seafood restaurant next to the Beach Club, with its freshwater
pool. The Bellavista, on a hill overlooking the bay, features a
creative mix of Mexican and international fare and was the first
restaurant in Acapulco to use sterling silver table settings.
The restaurant puts on a food festival once a month featuring
cuisines from around the world. A deli near the reception area
provides sandwiches and soft drinks for a quick snack when you’re
on the run.
On Friday evenings in December, the hotel puts on a lively
Fiesta Mexicana with flashy folkloric dances, mariachis and
fireworks. There are also jeep safaris to Tres Palos Lagoon, a
small rustic village near Acapulco, where guests can practice
watersports, enjoy a tropical buffet and sun themselves at a
private beach club.
It’s miles away from the congestion and traffic on the
well-visited coastal hotel zone and like stepping into a page of
The hotel also has a spa, tennis courts and access to golf.
Since a resort can’t live on its reputation alone, a
multi-million-dollar renovation is under way and includes the
addition of high-tech amenities such as wireless high-speed
Internet access in order to attract more business travelers.
Several meeting rooms have already been added to the property.
Las Brisas Acapulco
Clemente Mejia Avila 5255
Acapulco, Guerrero, C.P. Mexico 39867
Hits: According to Silvia Lira Bouchan,
national sales manager for the property, what sells Las Brisas is
“its private pools, the spectacular vista of the bay and the food
and service.” Also the privacy and no tipping policy.
Resort has four rooms for handicapped guests.
Misses: The long jaunt down to the freshwater
Be Aware: There can be a wait as long as 20 to
30 minutes for the jeep shuttle. Plan accordingly.
Plugging In: Rooms have seven electrical
outlets, as well as high-speed Internet access.
Clientele: 30 percent are honeymooners, 20
percent are groups and the rest are FITs.
Rates: A room with shared pool starts at $283;
a suite with private pool starts at $354.
Rates are good until Dec. 22. Package deals for two to seven
nights start at $410 for a shared pool and $510 for a private
Commission: 10 percent