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Las Brisas Acapulco–Acapulco, Mexico

Carretera Escénica 5255, Acapulco, Mexico

A cliffside fantasyland dotted with private pools and terraces, Las Brisas is in most respects the top choice in Acapulco. While there's no beach here, the dramatic views, top–notch suites, and superior service make a stay here an unforgettable experience.

Las Brisas Acapulco

Las Brisas staked out its prime location well before the Love Boat days, opening in 1957 and hosting the likes of JFK, Frank Sinatra, Neil Armstrong, and Clint Eastwood. This is no fading retro relic, however, as it now attracts a new crowd of A–list celebs (Bono and Bill Clinton for a start) and upscale romantics looking for a view to die for. If you find the idea of having your own hillside suite with a pool and large terrace outside your bedroom exciting, Las Brisas Acapulco offers you better odds of a score than nearly any other hotel on the planet. The 231 rooms are casitas accompanied by 210 swimming pools: obviously having your own private place for a dip is not just a luxury for the presidential suite guests.

Billed as a hotel "where children are seldom seen but often made," Las Brisas has long been a favorite of honeymooners and couples celebrating an anniversary. It sprawls up and down a prime hillside with a view of the main bay of Acapulco and the Pacific Ocean beyond. The white, gray, and pink decor is refined and light, elegant without taking away from the blue skies and sea through the glass doors. An aggressive ongoing renovation schedule has kept everything looking new and fresh, from the guest rooms to the completely revamped main restaurant. Apart from the business center and a few boutiques, every space has an expansive view, in some cases with a panorama greater than 180 degrees.

luxury Mexican resortThe resort tries to make up for its lack of a beach with a shuttle van ride down to its private "beach club" five minutes away. Although this is a nice place to while away the day, there's definitely no beach. Instead you swim in a saltwater lagoon surrounded by a concrete deck, swim in the freshwater pool, or have lunch at the restaurant right on the water, with a bay–level view of the Acapulco skyline.

As is fitting for a place where everyone should sleep in late, continental breakfast is delivered to a pass–through box in the guestroom wall. When you wake up, it's waiting for you. Lunch is served at the beach club or at a small deli near reception, while the newly renovated El Bellavista is the spot for dinner. This elegant restaurant offers a choice of terrace or indoor air–conditioned dining, both allowing a view of the twinkling lights of the bay. The menu is firmly Continental, with prices to match. After a night or two of caviar, $15 salads, and foie–gras–stuffed quail, you'll probably want to start taking taxis to the center for some local dishes.

The resort's daytime bar is at the beach club, while the evening one is at the very top of the property, an open hillside space with Bertoia reproduction chairs and more great views. A bit further down the hill is the small Sunset Bar whose opening fluctuates with occupancy levels.

The casitas here are on several levels climbing up the hillside and are the roomiest quarters among the top–end hotels of Acapulco. If you take deck space into account they're about double the space of your usual hotel room and all look out at the ocean, the bay, or both. The lowest–priced standards don't give up much: they just share a pool with another unit. (Only these and the very largest suites are available to those with children.)

Las Brisas Acapulco

All rooms will have been renovated by early apos;08, with the innovative and attractive design featuring a textured stone floor, modern wicker swivel chairs, marble tables, and lights fashioned from driftwood. Large flat–screen TVs with DVD players also feature streaming "romantic" or "chill–out" music. Spacious marble baths have the gamut of amenities, including Gilchrist & Soames toiletries, robes, and slippers. Electronic safes are big enough for a laptop and the minibars are well stocked. For now there's Internet access only at the lobby level, though it will roll out to the rooms in stages.

Las Brisas ResortWith the majority of the casitas and suites, you are assured of your own swimming pool on a private deck. Most of the terraces of the 32 master and junior suites are private enough for tanning in the buff. (But respect the intensity of that southern Pacific Coast sun!) The larger suites have an all–weather daybed, two cushioned lounge chairs, and a dinette set outside. Everything is top–end quality, from the custom furniture to the comfortable mattresses.

Alas, the dramatic hillside location is both a plus and a minus. Every time you leave your room, you must call for a jeep to pick you up for a ride to a restaurant, the tennis courts, or the lobby complex. For the feeling of having your own private pool villa on a hillside, however, summoning a chauffeur each time for a ride doesn't strike most guests as too much of an inconvenience. Plus for those with mobility issues, this arrangement is a dream.

You pay a $20 service fee per day here to eliminate the need for tips, which adds to the feeling that you shouldn't worry about a thing during your stay. For a blissful getaway in aesthetic surroundings with picture–perfect views, this is one of the best resorts on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

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Total Number of Rooms: 251
Published rates: $180 to $1,525 (plus $20 per day service fee)

Review and photos by Timothy Scott

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