Photo by Keri MadonnaThink pink at Las Brisas.
Silver-screen stars jetting off to exotic locales to frolic in the sun and commit indiscretions outside of the glaring eye of Hollywood is nothing new. One of the destinations favored by celebrities since the 1950s is Mexico—close but not too far away. One of their original cities of choice was Acapulco.
Rita Hayworth, John Wayne, Delores del Rio and Cary Grant, among many others, made Acapulco the spot for a quick getaway or a discreet home away from home. Elvis Presley’s 1963 movie Fun in Acapulco sealed the deal, though, forever marking this Pacific-side resort town as the beacon of ’60s kitsch. And who could forget in the 1970s and ’80s, when it was glamorized as one of the most frequent ports of call for The Love Boat.
The great thing about present-day Acapulco is that, despite what you read in the newspapers, it is safe. And a great number of classic structures from the mid-century modern era still exist—namely hotels that have been either refurbished or preserved to retain their original glory.
If You Go …
Stay Amid Beach Chic
Miles away from the 1980s urbanization of Acapulco, this renovated gem is nestled in Playa Caletilla, a casual beach-side enclave about 15 minutes from downtown. Each room features a white and seafoam-green color palette and an exposed circular shower. Some have hammocks and private gardens. The Hotel Boca Chica, designed by Antonio Pelaez in the mid-1940s, was the place where Rita Hayworth and husband Orson Welles stayed while filming The Lady From Shanghai. In 2010, Grupo Habita, Mexico’s leading design hotel operator, reopened the property with a trendy sushi restaurant and tons of vintage knickknacks, which make it outlandishly quaint. The breakfast is phenomenal. Try the chilaquiles rojo or verde and the fresh-squeezed OJ. Boca Chica also offers guests spa facilities and 24-hour room service. Room rates $95 to $275 per night, Hotel-BocaChica.com.
Find out What’s in the box
If you love pink, you will love Las Brisas. Perched on a mountainside, this resort is swathed in the color that symbolizes good health and life, and prides itself on its long list of celebrity clients, so much so that each of the pink jeeps used to usher guests around the property are signed by someone important. (For a true Vegas experience, request the Robin Leach jeep). Opened in 1957, Las Brisas is the epitome of mid-mod chic. Most of the rooms are done in the casita style and have their own pool and terrace. If you want to go big, the In-and-Out Suite features an indoor-outdoor pool and a rock shower. While there, pick up a copy of Las Brisas: History of an Icon so you can fully understand the property’s rich roots. The best part of any stay at Las Brisas is the “magic box.” Each room has one, and every morning it is filled with goodies. Room rates from $291, BrisasHotelOnline.com.
Grab a cocktail
If you are really interesting, you drink Dos Equis, but if you are really cool, you will drink a tamarind margarita or martini. The tropical plant (also known as an Indian date) is plentiful in these parts and used in numerous ways, one of the best being in liquor. For a chic spirit, visit Hotel Encanto, designed by Mexico’s most progressive architect, Miguel Angel Argones. HotelEncanto.com.mx
Shark Tamale, anyone?
For a diverse selection of seafood-inspired dishes, visit La Cabana de Caleta, adjacent to Hotel Boca Chica, Tamales, quesadillas and tacos come stuffed with a variety of marine delights. For those who are more conservative, you are always safe with guacamole.
Traveling to Acapulco is relatively simple. American Airlines offers the easiest routes (from $389) that connect through Dallas and go direct to Acapulco.