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Acapulco + Zihuatanejo Hotels

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Amuleto
9 Calle Escénica
Playa la Ropa
Zihuatanejo
Mexico
Tel: 213 280 1037 (U.S.)
reservations@amuleto.net
www.amuleto.net

Architect Enrique Zozaya, whose million-dollar homes grace hillsides all along the Pacific Coast, used boulders, bamboo, tree trunks, and palm fronds to create this aerie above Zihuatanejo Bay. The six suites, housed in a grand villa, take full advantage of the natural setting. Pillow-covered couches in open-air living rooms face the sea; rock-walled outdoor showers splash like waterfalls amid vines and fronds. The low-key but luxurious decor incorporates rustic, handcrafted wood furniture with antiques from India and China. Silky 800-thread-count sheets and herbal toiletries—and a conspicuous lack of television—may make you want to linger in your room, but then you'd miss the multilanguage social scene around the infinity pool at sunset, the lush grounds where hammocks swing among cascades of scarlet bougainvillea, and the 30-seat restaurant, which is one of Zihua's best (advance reservations are a must). You can walk down the steep paved road to Playa la Ropa in 20 minutes—and if the sun and sea tucker you out, grab a taxi for the ride back. Children under 16 aren't allowed, unless you rent out the entire house.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués
Cabo Marqués Boulevard, Lote 1
Acapulco Diamante
Acapulco
Mexico 39907
Tel: 800 591 0439 (toll-free)
Tel: 52 744 434 0100
banyantree.com/en/cabomarques

Perched on rocky hillsides above a secluded bay, this resort's 45 villas look like origami tree houses blending with boulders and vines. Even the smallest villa ("small" being relative, at 2,200 square feet) is decked out with a chin-deep tub behind glass and a soothing horizon pool in the outdoor sala. The cliff-side location means all views are outstanding, whether from each bedroom's fainting sofa or the poolside lounge chairs draped in soft terry towels. Those views extend to the restaurants as well. Ruby teardrop lanterns glow in shade trees above the terrace at La Nao, the casual outdoor dining spot, and similar sapphire fireflies lead the way to Saffron's cozy decks, booked solid by local gourmands craving authentic Thai. Though there's plenty of room for sunning and swimming at the meandering main pool, privacy seekers prefer the miniature lap pool tucked above a pocket beach at the base of the hilly property. The location also means lots of steep walks. Not to worry—cart drivers whisk guests up and down winding pathways from the lobby, villas, and spa.—Maribeth Mellin

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Boca Chica
Playa Caletilla
Old Acapulco
Acapulco
Mexico 39390
Tel: 52 744 484 7879
www.hotel-bocachica.com

Hip fresas escape Mexico City's smog to puff away on Havanas in seafront cabanas at this Acapulco classic. The hotel is pure retro, with camped-up touches like vintage fridges, radios, and bikes scattered about the lobby and lounges; there's even a red and white Ford Thunderbird–like motorboat to take you for a spin. The rooms themselves are minimal, with puffy duvet-wrapped beds a few steps from mint -green curtains encircling showers. Glossy white shutters open to sky and sea with glimpses of Isla La Roqueta across the bay from Playa Caletilla, a crowded, shabby, gringo-free beach packed with multi-generational families. Or, take in the view from the balcony, where black-string hammocks are perfect for swinging. Chef Keisuke Harada oversees the kitchen's killer burgers and sushi menu, which are complemented by an extensive sake and mescal list. Things heat up at night when the tiny dance club Coco Wash gets going, but a sexy music mix whispers around the pool all day long.—Maribeth Mellin

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Capella Ixtapa
Paseo Playa Linda
Ixtapa
Mexico 40880
Tel: 52 755 55 51100
Tel: 877 247 6688 (toll-free)
www.capellaixtapa.com

The cliff-clinging buildings that make up Ixtapa's Capella cascade down like an architectural waterfall to a cove away from Ixtapa's overbuilt resort center. Along the way are six floors with 59 handsome suites geared to couples, each with a compact-car-sized pool and breathtaking Pacific views (and all served by a quietly attentive staff). A small pebble beach provides seclusion, if not expanses of sand (the latter can be found at a nearby public playa), and the hotel's funicular railway car runs between the elegant figure-eight infinity pool and the rooms to help guests negotiate all this verticality. Although the decor is fairly standard, the hotel has a refreshing way of elevating ordinary objects to the level of art: On one wall, in an hourglass-shaped grouping, is a collection of local ceramic plates; on another are 30 stone pestles; and clusters of fresh coconuts serve as accents in the hallways. At the rustic outdoor restaurant, Las Rocas, which also hugs the cliff, guests choose their dinner from a display of local catch; the menu at the more refined A Mares includes novel dishes such as red snapper with a chorizo crust and sushi with a nip of chipotle.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Fairmont Pierre Marqués
Playa Revolcadero
Granjas del Marqués
Acapulco
Mexico
Tel: 888 441 1414 (toll-free)
Tel: 52 744 435 2600
aca.reservations@fairmont.com
www.fairmont.com/pierremarques

When wandering garden paths to beachside bungalows, dodging indolent iguanas, you can imagine what J. Paul Getty had in mind when he chose these mango and lime groves beside Bahía de Puerto Marqués for his tropical retreat on the east side of Acapulco. Back in 1957, when oil was gold and Getty was called "the Richest Man in the World," his colony of midcentury-modern bungalows beside a rock-walled house and small pool was an escapist's delight. The Pierre languished over time, until Fairmont Hotels poured millions into a complete renovation in 2001—and today, you can once again lounge here in poolside glamour. The 335 rooms, suites, villas, and bungalows are now comfy rather than flashy, with sandy colors and lots of cool marble and glass. The Mexican fusion cuisine at Tabachin includes dishes like Baja lobster with fried noodle soup. Two golf courses provide a sprawling green barrier between the hotel and reality, and guests have use of the facilities—including a Willow Stream Spa and the Yuca Club disco—at the adjacent Acapulco Princess, another Fairmont property. The long beach is virtually deserted save for joggers, wanderers, and clutches of sunbathers. However, the surf is usually too rough for swimming.—Maribeth Mellin

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Encanto
51 Jacques Cousteau
Acapulco Diamante
Acapulco
Mexico 39390
Tel: 52 744 446 7101
www.hotelencanto.com.mx/inicioss.html

Parrots squawk in treetops beneath glass-enclosed suites at dawn at Encanto, an architectural stunner in Acapulco's sophisticated Diamante neighborhood. Architect Miguel Angel Aragones is known for his creative lighting schemes, and every night the mod-minimalist hotel is bathed in swirling purple and aqua. But the 44-suite hotel is at its best in natural light, when shafts of sunshine stream through portholes and slits onto white angled walls. Guests get to play with the room color as well, from bedside controls that also close blackout shades and cue up music and movies from the TV perched on a platform between the bed and sky view. Design beats out function, in some ways; it can be hard to feel cozy and comfy in the high-style setting. Out by the pool, beautiful guests lounge beneath sail-like awnings while sipping iced chai with tequila and nibbling celeb-chef Monica Patiño's ceviches. Come evening, there's a sexy lounge scene, so you can experience Acapulco's legendary glamour without ever hailing a taxi.—Maribeth Mellin

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
La Casa Que Canta
Camino Escénico
Playa la Ropa
Zihuatanejo
Mexico
Tel: 888 523 5050 (toll-free)
Tel: 52 755 555 7030
information@lacasaquecanta.com
www.lacasaquecanta.com

La Casa Que Canta (The House That Sings) is crawling with lovebirds. There's good reason: The 25 cliffside suites have views of Zihuatanejo Bay and balconies that are perfect for sunset-watching, private plunge pools, and patios with white hammocks and cushioned loungers that invite snuggling. Each suite also has a pink marble bathroom, a complimentary minibar, and lots of folky-chic Mexican art. Pathways lead down the rocky cliff-side to an infinity pool, saltwater pool, spa, and gym—as well as to Playa la Ropa. Here sit two separate, superposh beachside villas, El Murmullo and El Ensueño, which come with private butlers, concierges, and chambermaids (Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, and Karl Lagerfeld have been among the occupants). In order to keep the general honeymoon-ness of the place intact, no children under 16 are allowed.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Las Brisas
5255 Carretera Escénica
Acapulco
Mexico
Tel: 52 744 469 6900
brisa@brisas.com.mx
www.brisas.com.mx

Blushing brides—such a charming and antiquated concept!—fit right in at this venerable honeymoon hotel perched on a hill high on the east side of town overlooking Acapulco Bay. Various renovations over the years have updated the property since its 1950s heyday, but this grande dame isn't into trends. Bathtubs are scarce in the 260 spacious but simple casitas, and the linens and towels feel more Fieldcrest than Frette. Still, old-school panache abounds. Waiters balancing room-service trays (complete with flower vases) steer pink and white jeeps from the hotel's kitchen each morning to deliver breakfast to each casita's door. A shuttle leaves every 20 minutes to bring guests to the beach club at the foot of the hills, where pools are set like glassy ponds amid boulders and palms. (You can always be lazy and float in your casita's private plunge pool instead.) A sunset dinner at the French-Mexican Bellavista restaurant is the perfect way to end the day.—Maribeth Mellin

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Tides Zihuatanejo
Playa la Ropa
Zihuatanejo
Mexico
Tel: 52 755 555 5500
reservations@tideszihuatanejo.com
www.tideszihuatanejo.com

The Tides Zihuatanejo launched Mexico's beach-chic movement in 1978, when it was known as the Villa del Sol. The hotel was made over in 2007 by hip-arbiters the Viceroy Hotel Group (of Viceroy Palm Springs and Avalon Beverly Hills fame), which kept some of the spirit with original folk art but modernized the design with white-on-white linens and upholstery and couples-size infinity pools on the suite terraces. Streams trickle beneath bridges and beside bamboo groves between the adobe-inspired buildings that house the resort's 70 guest rooms; softly lit trails lead to the beachfront restaurant and La Cava, a wine-cellar dining room. The hotel is located on Playa la Ropa, Zihuatanejo's most popular stretch of sand, but a roped-off lounging area provides privacy and beach-butler pampering; mayordomos care for any other needs and preferences. The small spa features a yoga wellness program and a yoga pavilion on the beach.—Maribeth Mellin

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.