15 December 2008

Pretty in Pink

Jeeps

Does the image of this Jeep (not again!) conjure up good memories?  If so, you’ve probably stayed at the Acapulco resort hotel Las Brisas!  I did!  These cute pink and white striped Jeeps drive you up the hills to your casita and back down again to the beach.   The view of Acapulco Bay from the hotel is phenomenal and strategic, as well.   Las Brisas was actually built on what was once a Mexican fort – and the ancient walls and cannons can be still be seen today.

 

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Built on a curving beach, in front of tall cliffs, Acapulco is today a resort town filled with modern hotels and condominiums.  Famous for it’s trendy night spots and cliff divers, this town was once THE place to vacation in Mexico.   But, stiff competition from newer resort towns and Mexico’s crime rate has taken it’s toll on Acapulco.   Things appear to be changing though.   During the 90’s Mexico tackled the problems of Acapulco’s  infrastructure and replaced all the sewers and undertook a massive cleanup of the beach, spending over $1 billion on the project.  Spring breakers started to come back in droves – after a decades long infatuation with Cancun Mexico on the Gulf of Mexico coast.   While Acapulco will never be the hot spot that it once was, it is still a place of remarkable natural beauty with a wonderful climate, year-round.

 

 

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One of the best known hotels in Acapulco is the Las Brisas.   Over 50 years old, Las Brisas has maintained its reputation for romance and charm.   Built into the cliffs, the hotel is famous for it’s pink casitas (rooms) that all have private (or semi private) pools.   These private pools have made Las Brisas world famous with honeymooners.   The property is  surrounded by lush landscaping and flowers are everywhere, especially hibiscus which are placed floating in the private pools each day by the attentive staff.    The Acapulco Las Brisas is the star of the Brisas hotel chain, which has recently completed a massive remodeling of the pink palace.  Over $2o billion was spent on the renovations, bringing the resort up to date.  The reviews have been very positive.

 

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With the major renovation completed, the emphasis is now on the pink!  If you don’t like pink – don’t come!   The hotel is utterly romantic – so  much so that it’s motto is “A place where children are rarely seen, but often created!”    The resort is often cited as the most romantic hotel in the world.   While that is probably stretching it, it IS a wonderful place.  The property is over 40 acres and there are just 251 casitas, allowing for much privacy and quiet relaxation.

 

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The line of pink and white striped Jeeps waits to take you up and down the hills.  Aren’t they the cutest?   The view of the Bay of Acapulco is the main attraction at Las Brisas.

 

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This picture was taken from a casita.  Since the Pacific faces west, the sunsets are spectacular.

 

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Even the gift shop is themed pink, although I do spy a blue and white striped t-shirt in there!  Everywhere are pink hibiscus – the Las Brisas logo. 

 

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The casitas are flat roofed and are reminiscent of  mid century modern design.  The flat roofs allow each casita a clear view of the Pacific.

 

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In this picture you can really see the ancient fort walls and the lookout posts on the top left.

 

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The amazing night view from a casita – taken by a guest.

 

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Each casita has it’s own swimming pool.  I love that banquette in the corner!

 

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 All the casitas were renovated to great reviews and each one is just a little different from the other.   This casita has a pink wall with a limestone floor.

 

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 This casita has a stone wall and onyx floor.  Look at that sunset!  On the table – Bienvenidos, or Welcome in Spanish is spelled out in flower petals, a Mexican tradition.

  

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This casita has a living room and dining room.  All rooms have a bar and a refrigerator filled with goodies.

 

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 The bathrooms are made of travertine and rock with rain showers and skylights.  The basket on the right stores pink and white striped towels.

  

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 This room is surprisingly free of pink!  Notice the lamps – the bases are made of wood, probably faux wood – but still very attractive.

  

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This suite  has an indoor pool that opens to the outdoor pool!  Perfect for honeymooners.

  

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Every morning you are greeted with two things:   first, your pool is filled with fresh hibiscus!

  

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And second, through a small door, your coffee and Continental breakfast is waiting.  This way, the staff doesn’t have to wake you up!

 

 

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This picture is from Flickr.com – a guest took it of their room, praising the 1000 thread count sheets!  This shot looks remarkably as good as the hotel’s press photographs, which is always a good thing.

 

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 The pools all overlook the Bay of Acapulco.  Well, I should say, ALMOST all pools overlook the bay – but I’ll save that story for last!

  

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There are lots of destination weddings at Las Brisas. 

 

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There are a few restaurants at the hotel – this one overlooks the bay, of course.

 

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Or, you can order a romantic dinner at your casita – gorgeous!!!

 

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Everyone hangs out at the bar at night, overlooking, the bay, of course!

 

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 During the day, the most fun is at the La Concha Private Beach Club which is  where the hotel’s swimming pools are.  There are three swimming pools, one freshwater and two saltwater tide pools that lead directly to the bay.  Everything is, of course, pink even at the beach club.    The club is just minutes from the grounds and the Jeeps take you there, down from the cliffs. 

 

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The saltwater tide pool at La Concha. 

 

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The tide pools are actually built around the bay.  Even the rocks are painted pink!

 

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The freshwater pool at the La Concha Beach Club is preferable if you don’t like fish in your swimming pool.

 

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One of the saltwater tide pools.

  

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The restaurant at the La Concha serves great grilled seafood. 

 

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And after you are tired of swimming and shopping and discotequeing – no trip to Acapulco is complete without seeing the famous cliff divers.  This is extreme diving – the water is shallow and  they dive into a small cove.    I saw these divers years and years ago when I was a little girl.  The first airplane trip I ever took was to Mexico City and Acapulco – where  we saw this famous stunt.  Hopefully, these are not the same men!

 

Alright, so how do I know that some casitas do NOT face the Bay of Acapulco?  Well, a looong time ago, before I was married, my best friend was a travel agent.  As an agent, she traveled the world for free on what was known then as Fam Trips - trips that travel agents took to familiarize them with the product.  She treated me a few times to some wonderful places, one of which was Acapulco.   The cute pink and white striped Jeep drove us up to our casita and we were thrilled!   We had our own swimming pool – the whole nine yards.  Except, our casita was facing the cliffs behind the hotel, NOT the bay – not even a hint of the bay!     We were  young and really didn’t care that much, in fact, I don’t think we cared at all!    I didn’t even realize what we were missing until right before we left for home, we went to the hotel’s restaurant and experienced the breathtakingly beautiful view of the bay.  Only then did we realize that the hotel had given us  probably the worst casita on the property, the one casita that faced the cliffs.   But of course, it was all free!   Well, almost free.   You see, unbeknownst to us, my older, single cousin was also in Acapulco.   I don’t remember how we met up with him, but somehow he ended up barging in on our free vacation.   Every night he would raid our room’s refrigerator and eat the expensive Toblerone chocolate candy and lots of other goodies from the bar.  We ended up having to pay for all that PLUS his La Concha Beach Club private membership that he joined on our expense tab!  Actually we had a great time and many laughs over the Toblerone candy, which whenever I see it today, I think of that vacation.    Seeing this romantic hotel, all fresh and remodeled, really makes me want to go back, not with my friend and cousin, but with my husband!

 

If you are interested in learning more about Las Brisas, their web site is here.    Also, reading tripadvisor.com is great advice before taking any vacation these days.  The reviews of Las Brisas are mostly outstanding.  The renovation is said to be wonderful, though of course the resort is over 50 years old, which is part of  its charm and history.  If you desire brand spanking new, this resort probably isn’t for you.   Also, a few reviewers do point out that driving around Acapulco in a rented car is not advisable and state that it’s best while vacationing anywhere in Mexico, to stay close to the resort.