Have you ever been totally happy just to stay put in your hotel?
That was our experience recently at the Banyan Tree Cabo Marques in Acapulco.
We’d booked the Banyan Tree – one of the best Acapulco resorts – for a couple of days following a cruise that ended (for us) in Acapulco.
Banyan Tree Cabo Marques
After sailing from Vancouver, we’d called in at San Francisco (where we huffed and puffed up and down hills from the Embarcadero to Telegraph Hill and everywhere in between).
We then visited Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea and cruised expedition-style for several days in the Sea of Cortez (snorkeling, hiking and zipping off on Zodiac excursions).
We disembarked in Acapulco, where we made a beeline for the Banyan Tree, Acapulco, hotel.
Will Acapulco’s star rise again?
But before we get into our Banyan Tree review, let’s talk a little about Acapulco.
Part of the reason for feeling no urge to explore beyond our hotel was because of what we’d seen on the taxi drive from the Acapulco port to our hotel. Boarded-up shops. Empty beaches.
It all looked a little, well, down-at-the-heel.
It was sad, really, because Acapulco Bay itself is stunning in its natural beauty – green jungle-clad hillsides cascading down to a dazzling sea.
Acapulco was once the hot vacation spot for celebs and international leaders like Liz Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.
But it’s no longer the tropical darling of the international jet set. Over the years, tourism has suffered as a result of reported drug violence.
On the flip side, we saw many construction cranes, suggesting people believe in a brighter future for Acapulco.
And we’ve heard that Carlos Slim, Mexico’s top billionaire (and the world’s richest man) is investing in the city’s restoration – like rebuilding the waterfront where the famous cliff divers put on their daily shows.
Cruise ships are returning too.
Maybe there’ll be an opportunity to revisit Acapulco again in future and spend some time exploring the resort city? Sometimes first impressions aren’t the right ones.
Having enjoyed the Diego Rivera Museum in Guanajuato, we’d love to see Diego Rivera’s mosaics at Casa de los Vientos.
(We’ve only read about this art museum and cultural center in Acapulco, once the home of Rivera’s one-time mistress, Dolores Olmedo.)
One of the best hotels in Acapulco
But back to the hotel and our Banyan Tree Cabo Marques review…
The bigger reason for not wanting to venture out was because the Banyan Tree is just so darn gorgeous.
Tucked away within the affluent gated Diamonte area, this luxury hotel in Acapulco boasts 45 deluxe villas, all with private pools.
The smallest villas are 2,000 square feet in size!
From our pool, perched high up above the bay – with a smashing ocean view, by the way – we watched squawking parrots in the trees above us and feasted our eyes on fiery orange sunsets.
Sometimes a hotel buggy would whisk us to the resort’s main infinity pool, also with a drop-dead ocean view.
There’s also a more intimate pool nestled by rocks washed by waves at the bottom of the cliff (where there’s a great lunch restaurant too).
And speaking of food, we drank lychee martinis and ate delicately spiced Thai delicacies at the resort’s signature Saffron restaurant.
Why would we want to leave?
Want to escape to the Banyan Tree?
What it costs:
You can get a hillside pool villa about half the cost of an ocean-view villa.
For all-day sun with full-on ocean views, ask for Villas #408 to #411.
Close to the airport:
It’s only a 20-minute drive from Acapulco’s international airport to the Banyan Tree. Snag a direct flight, and the Banyan Tree is perfect for a romantic three- or four-night getaway.
Is Acapulco safe?
Yes, you should be cautious if deciding to visit Acapulco. It’s hard to ignore the city’s high murder rate. But the violence is mainly drug cartel focused.
You’re not likely to get into harm staying at the Cabo Marques hotel though.
For more information, read the following and check your government’s advisories regarding travel to Acapulco.
- In The Telegraph: “On Holiday in Mexico’s Murder Capital: What It’s Really Like Down in Acapulco”
- On Journey Wonders: “Is Acapulco Safe? What to Do and See in Acapulco”
- Government of Canada advisory on travel to Mexico
Experience more of Mexico!
Read our essential posts on:
Mexico’s colonial cities | The colonial Cities in Mexico are a necklace of gems – we’ve got guides on San Miguel de Allende and Morelia
Puerto Vallarta | Check out the best boutique hotels in Puerto Vallarta and the best Puerto Vallarta restaurants
Riviera Maya | Discover 22 totally awesome things to do in Riviera Maya (and the Grand Velas Riviera Maya is catnip for foodies)
Zihuatanejo | There are beautiful beaches in Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa!
Getting around | Get the scoop on the the best Cabo airport transfers from the Cabo San Lucas airport and riding the first-class bus in Mexico (like flying business class, really!)
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Photo credits: 6 and 8 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | Remaining photos Banyan Tree Cabo Marques (except where noted)
Our magazine story on this 5-star Acapulco hotel
There’s more we can tell you about the lovely Banyan Tree in Acapulco. You just have to read our Banyan Tree Cabo Marques review, published in TravelAge West magazine :-). Click on the image below to read a PDF of our article (or see here for the online version).
About the authors
Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.
Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!
Wednesday 21st of June 2017
First off, you are NOT in the real Acapulco. You are not even in Mexico. Second, you have to stay in your hotel because it is so far from everything else, very remote. You miss some of the sensational restaurants like Linda Vista on the other side of the Carretera Escenica or Carmenere near Walmart in the old city with the best chef in the city.
Janice and George
Thursday 22nd of June 2017
You're probably right on all accounts :-). It would have been nice to try some of the local restaurants, but our time in Acapulco was short, so we were happy just to chill at the resort. Also, for many visitors seeking a secluded upscale getaway, the Banyan Tree Cabo Marques has everything they'd want if they only have a few days' holiday... Maybe we'll get to see more of Acapulco in future :-). We've explored much of the "real" Mexico elsewhere in Morelia and Guanajuato... And we love Mexico!
Sunday 29th of November 2015
I would not want to leave either! It looks fabulous!
Wednesday 25th of November 2015
Yikes on the prices! Beautiful though. Interesting about Acapulco, It's a place where Canadians would flock on all-inclusive holidays. But the last few years there have been a few stories in the media of muggings, rapes and murder and it doesn't seem to be a preferred spot anymore.
I love Guanajuato! Not enough people visit the towns in Central Mexico, they're the highlight for me.
Tuesday 24th of November 2015
Monday 23rd of November 2015
I can see why you wouldn't want to leave that infinity pool! I do hope that Acapulco's fortunes improve, it looks like a beautiful bay