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Where to Stay in Acapulco
The City of Acapulco stretches along the north shore of Acapulco Bay, which has a south-facing mouth spilling into the Pacific. Most of the area’s hotels are situated on or near the bay shore, but the long and snaking shoreline connects two distinct neighborhoods.
The peninsula that forms the west shore of Acapulco Bay is home to Acapulco Viejo, the oldest resort area that was once a favorite getaway of Hollywood stars. Much of the historic charm remains, but this neighborhood hasn’t seen much of the modern development that has affected the rest of Acapulco. If you want character, you’ll find it there, but don’t expect state-of-the-art spas and swimming pools.
The north and northeastern bay shores constitute Acapulco’s main Zona Hotelera, or Hotel Zone. Resorts are tightly packed here, and the long strip is the center of activity and nightlife in town. Visitors who choose these centrally located and usually cheap hotels in Acapulco can easily walk to restaurants, nightclubs and shopping destinations.
Southeast of the city, through the neighborhoods of Guitarron, Punta Diamante and El Marques, the resorts are much larger and more luxurious. These sprawling properties are 10 to 30 minutes from the city by car.
Acapulco Hotel Tips
Most accommodations in Acapulco embrace the modern beach resort model, including virtually every lodging option in Zona Hotelera. In Acapulco Viejo, many hotels retain the design and aesthetics of 1950s beach resorts; hotel towers tend to be shorter and standard rooms are often smaller than their modern resort equivalents.
The resorts southeast of town are the most lavish, and are generally designed to keep guests on the resort grounds as long as possible. Dining, entertainment, recreation and pampering are put right at guests’ fingertips. Private beach houses and other such vacation rental properties are mostly confined to this region, as well.
Acapulco Hotel Recommendations
While the deep blue Acapulco Bay is the area’s original crown jewel, opulent mega resorts southeast of town are now the reasons why many visitors come to Acapulco in the first place. Perfect examples include the Fairmont Pierre Marques and its next-door sister property, the Fairmont Princess. Their styles and layouts make it clear that these are two completely separate hotels, but guests of either hotel have access to all the amenities of both. These include multiple pools, fine dining restaurants, championship golf courses, spas, tennis courts, fitness centers and watersports. The fine rooms of the Acapulco Princess are housed inside enormous pyramids, while those at the Pierre Marques are more varied and exclusive; suites, villas and bungalows allow guests to choose from several levels of luxury and privacy.
For a great value on excellent accommodations in Zona Hotelera, check out Fiesta Americana Villas Acapulco, which offers studio, suite and villa accommodations, all with bay front views. You may also like Calinda Beach, known for having some of the most modestly priced rooms among the major resorts.
If you’re traveling on an especially tight budget, Hotel Los Flamingos is a smart choice. The rooms are simple yet comfortable, and the quirky, well-maintained 1950s décor makes for a memorable stay.
Most visitors to Acapulco rely on taxis to get around, as they’re quite inexpensive and seemingly everywhere. In fact, there are so many taxi drivers in Acapulco that you may find yourself declining several offers of rides if you’re just out for a scenic walk. Acapulco’s taxis are not metered, so you should expect to negotiate the rate with your driver after you get in but before you take off. Many drivers speak enough English to make negotiations simple even if you speak no Spanish, but it wouldn’t hurt to learn a few simple and useful phrases in anticipation of these exchanges.
Taxis line up at the airport, waiting to carry away visitors after their flights to Acapulco. The airport is located several miles southeast of town, so you should expect a somewhat more expensive ride if you’re going all the way to Zona Hotelera.
Acapulco lacks true public transportation, but multiple private bus companies serve the city and constantly circuit through the tourist areas. Fares vary but are even cheaper than those of the taxis. Most drivers are happy to help with directions if you tell them where you’re headed upon boarding.
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