Thursday, 26 February 2009

New design hotel to open in Acapulco

Acapulco's recent renaissance continues next month with the opening of a newly revamped design hotel. Fittingly, it has a Hollywood connection.

The resort, on Mexico's Pacific coast, had become a time worn place which had seen better days. A couple of decades ago it could best be described as seedy but fascinating, its appeal resting on images of the showbiz stars who flew there for R&R. Say the word and Frank Sinatra - with the rest of the Rat Pack - would beat the birds down to Acapulco's magnificent bay.

The Hotel Los Flamingos became an exclusive bolt hole for John Wayne, who bought it in 1954 with a group of friends Johnny Weissmuller and Errol Flynn, using it to entertain the likes of Richard Widmark and Roy Rogers.

As the glamour faded the celebrated divers who plunge into a roiling sea from its high cliffs of La Quebrada, scampering back up like geckos to collect tips from watching tourists, continued to provide a spectacle etched on the mind.

The hotel re-opening in March is the Boca Chica, which was once favoured by Rita Hayworth. Scenes from The Lady from Shanghai, in which she starred and which was made by her former husband Orson Welles, were filmed there.

It has been been made over by Mexico's Grupo Habita, which is attracting a growing reputation for stunnning "design" hotels, including properties in Mexico City and Playa Carmen. The Boca Chica has been redesigned from top to bottom - and all its 36 rooms have a private terrace or garden.

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