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Boca Chica, Acapulco

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Acapulco, Mexico, North America
Playa Caletilla
Old Acapulco
Mexico 39390
Tel: 52 744 484 7879's insider take:

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

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Acapulco hasn't felt this groovy since the 1963 Elvis movie Fun in Acapulco, which featured the Hotel Boca Chica in the opening credits. Grupo Habita, the hoteliers that helped define South of the Border cool (Mexico City's Habita Hotel), restored the 1950s building with a striking mosaic from Diego Rivera pupil Francisco Eppens. The hotel is in Old Acapulco's Playa Caletilla, where fishermen haul in their catch and locals head to market. The 36 rooms, done in a white minimalist decor, have organic bath products, mini-bottles of mescal, and a hammock for lounging. There's no sandy beach, just access to a rocky cove, but the hotel is filled with cozy spots to take in the views across the water. Weekends are busy with a fashionable crowd from Mexico City enjoying seviche of fresh local catch and expert sushi prepared in the restaurant's poolside palapa. No need to head into town for dancing: The on-site Coco Wash nightclub gets pumping late. For a special treat, the stylish little red cigarette boat moored off the pier will ferry guests to watch Acapulco's famed cliff divers, or across the bay to the Las Brisas area, where high-end restaurants serve spectacular meals with a view. —2011 Hot List

Which room to book: A bargain at $150 a night, No. 105 has direct garden access, just steps from the pool.

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