Surprise! Like a pinup girl bounding out of a birthday cake Hotel Boca Chica, part of Grupo Habita, livens up the Acapulco scene with a smile and a shimmy and more than a few tricks up her sleeve.

First opened in the 1950s, the original Hotel Boca Chica became an icon of its time before declining, then finally closing in 1997. Another legend from the fifties, Mexican architect Antonio Peleaz, was contracted to bring the shell back to life.

In another moment of authenticity, Hotel Boca Chica hired Japanese chef Keisuke Harada to update the hotel’s restaurant which was the first sushi restaurant in Acapulco when it originally opened. The current menu honors its Japanese roots with fresh sushi as well as regional and international dishes.

Harada’s influence can be seen and felt in the hotel’s 1,000 square foot spa as well which offers stark black soaking tubs in a range of temperatures, a sake bar, and even a contraption that enables a masseur to walk on your back. Especially impressive is the spa’s steam room which includes one wall of glass eliminating the claustrophobic feeling steam rooms can have, replacing it with views out over the water.

The completely re-imagined hotel re-opened in March of 2010 with 36 rooms and suites. Most have a sea view and every room has a private balcony with a decidedly chic black hammock strung across it.

Bathrooms feature Dr. Bonners soap and body wash (no shampoo, conditioner or lotion, though) and flatteringly tilted full-length mirrors (something of a Grupo Habita Hotel hallmark). Rooms also have startling plastic-y white walls and textured black flooring. The elevator says “Get higher.”

You get the idea. The vibe is pure cool. Cool enough for Elvis, in fact. The 1963 movie “Fun in Acapulco” starring Elvis opens with a shot of the Hotel Boca Chica neon sign which is still in operation today.

The Caleta Beach neighborhood of Acapulco, home to the hotel, is a bit grungy and you may even think you’ve taken a wrong turn as you near the hotel. But any misgivings disappear the moment you enter the open air hotel lobby with its 50s furnishings and fresh sea breeze. Once you’re checked in there really is no reason to leave this hip haven that provides blessed relief from the hubbub that is Acapulco.

“People say ‘I’m going to Boca Chica’ not ‘I’m going to Acapulco,’” says general manager Mario Nadal. While the rest of Acapulco hums along like a Mexican version of the Vegas Strip Hotel Boca Chica invites you to laze away the days in the pool, enjoying the kayaks in the hotel’s private cove, using the petite waterfront open-air gym or just napping in those hammocks listening to the sound of the waves.

If you do get the urge to wander, the white arc of Caletilla Beach curves itself invitingly just below the hotel and makes a fine spot for a stroll or a bite at any of the dozen or so beach palapa restaurants.

During a recent stay, the hotel did make a few newbie missteps: the A/C in my room dripped like a St. Bernard, reception staff had very limited English and the lack of drawers in the rooms make unpacking a bit tricky. However, I’m sure Elvis wouldn’t mind and, at the end of the day, neither did I.

Rates start at: US$95
Playa Caletilla
Acapulco, Guerrero
Mexico 39390
+52 744 482 7879


Our review of this hotel was originally published by iTraveliShop

Visit our Travel Features page and our Hotel & Restaurant Reviews page to see all of our freelance travel stories.

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