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The objective observer has to give Acapulco credit. In the face of one tourism setback after another, the destination continues to surge forward with a slate of new hotel builds and extensive improvements to existing hotel product. In a bid to entice more international travelers, Acapulco is embracing its celebrated tourism past while, at the same time, staying thoroughly modern when it comes to hotel amenities and service.
Hotel Boca Chica is a prime example of Acapulco’s fresh approach to accommodations. The project comes from ultra-hip Mexican hotelier Grupo Habita. Hotel Boca Chica reopened last March and is clearly targeting the sophisticated urban traveler. The hotel is located in the Traditional Zone of Acapulco, an area of the city that had its heyday decades ago. For years, the Traditional Zone was mainly visited by cruise ship passengers and travelers seeking a look at the famed La Quebrada cliff-divers of Acapulco. Grupo Habita has partnered with Mexican architects Frida Rojas and Jose Escobedo to fully renovate and restore the property’s 36 guestrooms back to its original 1950’s glamour. This retro beach hotel features a full-service spa, an on-site restaurant and a sushi bar, as well as a nightclub named Coco Wash. Hotel Boca Chica is a good match for the traveler who prefers Playa del Carmen over Cancun and who relishes a weekend in Mexico City instead of shuddering at the thought.
Farther down the beach, in Acapulco’s Golden Zone, is The Grand Hotel Acapulco & Convention Center. Agents may remember the property by its former name, the Hyatt Regency Acapulco. The Grand Hotel Acapulco & Convention Center recently completed the first stages of an extensive renovation and remodeling project that began back in May 2009. Renovations include new room categories and, in December 2009, 200 rooms were completed and made available to the public. The remodeling will ultimately include renovations to the hotel lounges, restaurants and pools, as well as the construction of a new spa.
The Fairmont Acapulco Princess is an Acapulco mainstay. The property recently introduced a top-to-bottom renovation of one of its existing towers. The tower’s $30 million renovation provides a bump up in luxurious accommodations and services as well as access to a private pool. The Fairmont Acapulco Princess also recently introduced the 20,000-square-foot Diamante Exhibit Center for group meetings and events.
For many agents, if you mention Acapulco, Las Brisas springs to mind. The property is set among 40 hillside acres and offers amazing views of Acapulco Bay. Las Brisas recently underwent a $20 million renovation to 263 rooms. The refurbishment included expanded bathrooms, flat screen televisions and new pillow-top beds and comforters. Common areas such as La Concha Beach Club, meeting spaces and the lobby area were also updated during the two phases of reconstruction.
Acapulco’s rethink of how it will market itself doesn’t stop at improving its hotel product. The Acapulco Destination Marketing Office (ADMO) has coined a new word, “honeyteers,” in hopes of gaining a greater share of the honeymoon market. According to the ADMO, “honeyteers” are honeymooning couples that participate in philanthropic activities directly following their wedding. During the months of July through January, honeymooners can take part in a number of benevolent programs that aim to protect the endangered Golfina sea turtles from danger as their eggs are hatched and thousands of baby turtles begin their journey to the sea. Hotels such as the Fairmont Acapulco Princess, Fairmont Pierre Marques and the Mayan Palace Acapulco have developed turtle camps where guests can learn about the importance of the sea turtles and, in some cases, adopt a baby sea turtle before carefully releasing it into the ocean.