Sunday, November 29, 2009

Going to Acapulco

In a couple hours, I'm going to Acapulco. I'll be staying at the new Hotel One Acapulco. From what I've read, Hotel One is a fairly new semi-luxury hotel chain in Latin America. Acapulco, located about 4 hours south of Mexico City on the Pacific Ocean, was the first resort city in Mexico. In the 50s and 60s it catered to the Hollywood jet-set crowd (Elvis made an Acapulco movie that, not surprisingly given the low quality of many of his films, was not actually filmed in Acapulco), but since then, it's gone downhill as other new resort cities (Puerto Vallarta, several hours north of Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas on the Baja Peninsula south of California, Ixtapa, a quiet resort town a a few hours north of Acapulco that my family and I enjoyed, Cancun, the over-the-top city on the Yucatan Peninsula in the Caribbean and the more serene Riviera Maya a few hours south of that) have sprung up.

Prices for certain thing can be outrageous in Mexico, including telephone and internet service, imported electronics, and the lady who has a monopoly on laundromats in my neighborhood (to wash and dry 3 loads of my own laundry costs me $17 US). The bus lines (which I'll be taking today) and wealthy drivers take instead a very nice highway to Acapulco that rarely has traffic. The problem: a one way trip on it costs $50 US in tolls. That being said, if you have 3 or more people in your car, even counting gas and tolls, it's cheaper to drive a car than take a bus. Here's an interesting article on that highway. There are back roads that one can take to Acapulco for free, but they take about 9 hours instead of the 3.5 to 4.5 hours on the expensive super-highway. This highway is owned by a private company. Though the price is annoying, it is good that taxpayers don't have to subsidize a road used primarily by wealthy people.

One really interesting thing to me is from all the hotel reviews I've read, it seems nearly all the hotels in Acapulco, even the ones associated with good brand names, are in desperate need of renovations. I think the hotel chains have sort of ignored Acapulco since more foreign travelers are now going to the other Mexican resort cities. Nowadays it is a very popular college spring break destinations for the Gabachos from up north. Certainly what keeps Acapulco popular is that it is the closest resort city to Mexico City. Wealthy Mexicans still go there a lot, but many of them stay in their own vacation houses there. Given the recession and the fact that it's not a busy season for the hotels, prices are really cheap right now for hotels (though flights to Acapulco and Mexico City are almost twice as much as what they were in better economic times, when I'd imagine more flights were being scheduled).

Anyways, I'm very excited, I haven't been to the beach since I got here over 4 months ago.

Heading home for a month in Naperville starting December 8th!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Free Hit Counter