More about Camino Real Acapulco Diamante
An exclusive, romantic getaway from the hustle and bustle
I first encountered the Camino Real "style" in 1984 at the Camino Real in Ixtapa. Since that time we always seek out a Camino Real wherever we go in Mexico. While they are not overly luxurious, they do seem "exclusive". Part of it has to do with the way each resort blends into the exotic locale surrounding it. The Ixtapa Camino (now the Westin) is probably most extreme, but the version in Acapulco accomplishes its synergy with nature albeit on a smaller scale. The five story terraced hotel blends nicely into the mountainous countryside. The yellow color scheme makes you feel like you are on the Mediterranean in either Spain or perhaps even the Amalfi coast in Italy.
The hotel is located outside of Acapulco in Puerto Marques Bay. In fact, you cannot see Acapulco Bay from this location. However, for those who want to escape the hustle, bustle and noise of the big city, this isolated corner of Puerto Marques fits the bill. Plus it isn't too far from some of the stars of Acapulco cuisine like Casa Nova or Kookabura.
When you first step into the Camino Real off the small driveway, you get the feeling that you have walked into a spectacular Spanish Hacienda. The front desk is immediately to your right, but ahead is a wide stair case leading you to the lobby bar and its spectacular open terrace that faces the bay. When you enter here in the day time, it is truly a spectacular impression. The warm yellow walls practically embrace you.
The rooms are fairly large. Our king bed deluxe had a sitting area and a balcony with a view. As I mentioned, it is not overly luxurious, but you feel like you are in an exclusive place. The bathroom is truly nice. While not overly large, it is tastefully appointed in blonde marble and recessed lighting. I loved the powerful shower head.
The Camino offers a very good dining option for both lunch and dinner. LaVela with its outdoor seating just off the small beach is the perfect dinner or lunch spot. Sitting under the giant white kevlar sail of a roof, one can enjoy fresh seafood prepared with skill and loving care. The other restaurant is the Club Diamante which offers breakfast as well as lunch and dinner. It's located on the third floor with it's own outdoor balcony and view of the bay.
The multilevel pool area once again gives the feeling that you are somewhere in the Mediterranean. The way the pools terrace down to the beach with their cascading waterfalls really makes you feel like you are in an exotic location.
While we really enjoyed our stay and enjoyed the service at the Camino, there are a few nitpicky points that I'd like to point out:
Since they pick yellow as their main color, they have to deal with fading paint. Their painter is the sloppiest guy I have seen. Even a casual observer can see that these guys don't take enough time to do the job right.
This is a very sedate "adult" type hotel. For whatever reason, the management feels the need to cater to noisy Mexican businessmen. It's not enough to have a conference, but it results in noisy organized activities that really belie the resort's theme.
While the hotel is nestled in a corner of Puerto Marques, it seems like the area is ripe for development. There are a lot of exclusive homes in the area that have attracted investors who plan to build large condominium complexes in the mountainside. One wonders how long the Camino Real will remain the lone occupant in this corner of the bay.
Those minor quibbles aside, I would recommend the hotel to anyone wanting to take a break from the big city hassles without getting too secluded. It's not overly luxurious, but it is upscale. Because of its exclusive touches, the hotel is more for adults and not really designed for children.
Great Birthday Gift!
I just came back from the Camino Real last night (2/25) and I wish I could go back today. It was the perfect way to celebrate my 30th birthday.
Here are the highlights:
1 - The hotel is 15 minutes away (or less) from the Acapulco airport. Really convenient, short trip. Take the $8 shared ride; it's cheaper. Avoid the time-share and promotional people hawking their wares at the airport exits. If you stay at Camino Real, you won't see another one of these folks again.
2 - If you're thinking of staying at a hotel that's walking distance from stores, shopping, Walmart - then DON'T stay here. I absolutely loved the fact that in order to get to the hotel, we had to wind down many, MANY a hill. The hotel was nestled in a picturesque little inlet onclave. The hotel is built into the side of the mountain.
3 - Camino Real hotel is away from the noise, pollution, and fray of downtown. It's quiet and restful. If you want to get away, you can easily do it here. Even around the 3 pools and beach, there are NO crowds. It feels very intimate. There were hours where I waded at the beach by myself (go to the section to the left of La Vela restaurant). Note: the beach area is SMALL...not the strip that you may be thinking of. But, it's private and clean.
4 - I should have made this point one, because this is key: The staff, from the people who greet you at the door, and the ladies at the front desk, to the waiters, to the maid service, EVERYBODY was professional, EVERYBODY was friendly. Their service was consistently top-notch. They fulfilled my needs before I even knew I had them - especially with table service! The employees here made my trip! One day, I came to my room to find fresh cut roses! On my birthday, I was serenaded by the staff, and given a delicious chocolate mousse cake.
5 - A little tipping goes a long way - take about $100 (or more, if you'd like) in one-dollar denominations. Your service is good without tips, but better with them!
6 - If you book with this hotel, include the breakfast buffet. It's all you can eat for about $18 U.S. dollars. (By the way, the food is GREAT at this hotel. I am just sad that there's no all-inclusive option). If there's something that's not on the menu that you would like, they'll do their best to accomodate you.
7 - The hotel is 10 minutes away from downtown Acapulco. Taxis into town are about 120-135 pesos, but you can return for less since there's so much competition downtown. Negotiate. You may want to consider buying (and discretely carrying in) your alcohol downtown. It's cheaper to get beers and snacks at the downtown Walmart. Yeah, there's a Walmart in Acapulco. :o)
8 - Speaking of drinks, "Happy Hour" is literally an hour - from noon till one pm. Then, you can get most drinks at 2-for-1 prices, if you're interested.
9 - Seeing the cliff divers is a must. I would encourage you to take a boat tour of Acapulco - follow it up with fresh red snapper at Puerto Marques (look for Sergio! He does boat tours, water skiing lessons, and owns some of the restaurants. There will be folks hawking their wares, though, but there's some cool stuff to be bought).
Absolutely wonderful! : )
Stayed there late January ('05). The weather was fabulous as was the resort. We stayed in the Camino Real Club section and HIGHLY recommend it, not only for the great view from the room but for the turn down service, best breakfast buffet ever (included), welcoming gift of appetizers, robes, nightly happy hour (6p-8p) that included great tequila or almost anything else along with canapes which are perfect to hold you over until dinner. The beach was great and lots of wildlife to look at, recommend renting the jet skis once. The pools were perfect and surrounded with beautiful plants. Have a "pineapple head" at least once, the drink is huge and tastes great. The resort is super clean and almost everyone spoke some english, the front desk is extremely helpful (they will gladly call and book you reservations at restaurants, very nice to have if you don't speak fluent Spanish). The bar staff and housekeeping really appreciated USD for tips. My fiance and I had a great time and found all the restaurants in the Camino area great. Also, hit up the night clubs in the Camino area, we personally thought the Acapulco clubs weren't very good. It is an area of Mexico that isn't very Americanized, so know that from the start. But I would strongly reccommend staying at Camino Real above anywhere else that we saw. Oh, and if you'd like a cabbie that speaks good english ask for David, he's a super nice guy too.
I Can't wait til' next year
We spent a week at the Camino Real in February. We loved it and so did my two year old daughter. The hotel was nice. The rooms a decent size but just the surroundings are extraordinary. I love the architecture of the hotel and everything else about it. We went during the winter break and it wasn't crowded at all. I can't wait to return next Feb. Please keep in mind that the only way to get off the property is to take a taxi to the main strip which will cost you about $25 roundtrip. We didn't mind this and actually preferred to stay away from all that and only visit a few times. You really have to come here.
This exclusive hotel was luxurious without being snotty. Service was friendly, and our suite featured the most incredible outdoor jacuzzi. Our bed was very comfortable, and the bedding was luxurious. Our balcony was so large that I actually slept out there one night and awoke to exotic sounding tropical birds. Both restaurants were great, and we enjoyed the pool areas. Another visitor said that expensive taxis were the only way out of the hotel, but we actually hiked up the incredibly steep hill and caught public busses into town. The hotel doorman looked a little surprised, but my husband and I enjoyed the exercise. This was an incredible stay, and I can't wait to go back.
Wonderful secluded and yet all other areas easily accessible!!!
I stayed here from March 16,2005 through March 22, 2005. I was completey happy with my stay. I must say everyone was helpful and willing to speak with me. English was spoken by most waiters and all front desk staff. You do have to take a taxi from the hotel to town, I found that the taxis in town back were always cheaper as you can haggle a little. The room was a Deluxe room overlooking the bay, just beautiful!!! I went jet skiing, that was pricey I think $70 and they charge less than $50 on Playa Condesa. I had a light bulb flick out, I told the desk and someone within 10 min came and replaced it. They have aturn down service as well, which I think is the best!!! Especially since the top cover was very scratchy!!! Terrace gave a beatiful view with small table, two chairs, and one lounger. The pools must have been heated, very warm but not too warm and they have three so if you don't want to swim with the kiddies you don't have to. I ate at all three restaurants, the fish restaurant down towards the water, diner and pool bar they called it. All great, water and ice no problems here!!! Very happy with everyone , Marco the travel guy, Fernandez I believe it was at the front desk. Best rates on exchange I got was throgh AMEX, either charge it or go to the travel office in town. Happy hour at the hotel is 12-1 and 7-9 I believe. We got two drink vouchers when we checled in. I have to say that this was probably either the best hotel stay or second best hotel stay anywhere that I have had.
My wife and I stayed at this hotel with our 4 teenage daughters in April 2005. It must be the best hotel to stay at in Acapulco. The bay of Porto Marquez is quiet and picturesque, not at all like Acapulco itself. The hotel itself luxurious and the staff friendly. There is some decent snorkelling to be done around the rocks immediately in front of the hotel. With US Spring Break and the Mexican Easter holiday over it was wonderfully peaceful. There is a new hotel being built next door so its best to avoid rooms in the south part of the hotel. The tennis court was allegedly closed for maintenance but I persuaded them to let me use it and it was fine. Be prepared to lose a few tennis balls since it is perched on a hill. The main restaurant (La Vela) is set beautifully over the sea and is not too expensive. Breakfast is exceptional and should set you up for the day.
Thank you to Trip Advisor reviewers for pointing us in the right direction.
Very nice, secluded
My husband and I just got back from a 10 day stay at the hotel. Overall, our experience there was wonderful. This is a secluded area in Acapulco - once we got into town around all the high rise hotels we were so glad we decided to stay at the Camino Real. This is a great place for quiet relaxation, away from the NOISE in town. While you certainly had to pay to get into town (usually 120 - 150 pesos one way) it was worth it to us. Speaking of taxis, you could usually barter with the drivers in town to take you back to your hotel. Or, often the taxis will offer to wait for you while you shop, dine etc. This was a new experience for us - you simply tell them to pick you up in 2 hours after dinner, and they're there waiting for you.
The restaurants were good - we had the buffet every morning , and ate 3 dinners at the 2 restaurants at the hotel. Both very nice (La Vela is considered to be one of the better restaurants in Acapulco). Food was reasonably priced based on other hotels we've stay in Mexico. The service at the restaurants was great.
I found the drinks at the pool rather expensive - around $4.50 for a beer, $3 for a pop and $7 for a pina colada. They do have happy hour from 12 - 1, where it is buy one, get one, so be sure to participate.
We upgraded our room to the "Club Level" upon our arrival. This is on the highest floor of the hotel (which is the floor you actually enter). The rooms are all the same at the hotel, but if you upgrade you get the buffet breakfast daily (which is priced about $13 per person as we left, but $18 per person when we first got there, not sure why the price change), and 2 hours of drinks (6 - 8) at the lobby bar. The upgrade was about $60/day.
In town, we ate at a few memorable places, one called Su Casa (actually it was so nice we went twice!). So we would definitely recommend eating there! Also, a great place to eat is Ika Tako (less than $10 for dinner per person). There is an area along Condesa Beach with seafood restaurants, we have heard they are all good, we ate at one called Paradise, and it was tastey, but the margaritas were strong! Some of the other nicer restaurants in town require long pants for men, and my husband didn't bring any, so we didn't go (you could pick up a pair at Walmart if need be, we chose not to).
We did go see the cliff divers at night, and ate at the restaurant there (I believe it was called La Perla). We did not like the food there, so we would recommend going to see the divers during the day and skipping the dinner show.
Overall, our stay was nice. We did enjoy ourselves, but we found Acapulco to be too much "big city" and not enough "resort." I think there is a happy medium to be reached in this area (like a Puerto Vallarta) but this place
is more like a Miami to me. We are happy we went, but this is not a place where we will visit again. However, I do recommend the Camino Real if Acapulco is in your travel plans.
I will answer any questions you have if you email me. Thanks.
slaybelle's new Acapulco Page
TO GO or NOT TO GO - that is the question
Acapulco - (8 replies)
This is not to discourage anyone, but this place sucks! 2 million people cramped in a place designed for much less. It was next to a nightmare. Noise, hassle, and congestion. Condesa beach looked polluted. The high tide is aggressive. What a nightmare.
[Wed 20 Jun, 23:04]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17) 1. what did you expect?
What did you expect? Probably the original big modern beach tourist area in the world. Did you read anything about it before you went? Go down further south to Ixtapa or Zihuantenejo which are nice or further south to puerto angel or escondido to get away from crowds. Otherwise, go to Rio or Monte Carlo and tell me or your next "surprise."
[Wed 20 Jun, 23:11]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17) 2. jeesh
i keep telling you people to avoid acapulco and tijuana, but noooooooooooo.....
[Wed 20 Jun, 23:21]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17) 3. Uh...
I see quite a few posts concerning Acapulco and Cancun, two places I managed to avoid. To some I suppose these places would do very nicely for a genuine authentic 100% fun Mexican vacation. My reasons for avoiding them were probably sound, for me, but when I was in Taxco I admit to being just a tad curious about Acapulco's charms, which I surmise would be of a beachy nature, not to mention those that ah, visit these beaches. Anyhoo, is it really, really THAT bad? I guess, if everyone says so. Any others think differently? Where are Acapulco's admirers?
[Thu 21 Jun, 00:22]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17) 4. i love it
I bought a condo years ago in Acapulco. It is a city on the beach. Lots of night life, just full of life. I have a car there, so if I want more seclusion, just take a quick day trip down south, not too far. People who have houses and condos there are great. I also bought a house twenty years ago on Isla Mujeres(near Cancun) four bedrooms, on a small bluff overlooking the sea. Only cost me 12000 usd at that time. Love it. My own privacy, great views, great snorkeling diving, etc.. So many people wouldn't be there if it were horrible. Sure, they are crowded, but I love talking to lots of different people. Seems like most people here want to be somewhere where there are not people. Heard that Ted Kazynski's place in Montana is vacant.
[Thu 21 Jun, 07:49]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17) 5. love it too
Go up and stay at the Las Brisas. For $200-$300 p/night you can have a private pool, a great view of Aca. and get pampered day and night. When your in the mood, head down to the hussel-bussel. If you like the smell of Mexico, this city really has all the odors of Mexico.
[Thu 21 Jun, 09:34]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17) 6. yeah,
most of them BAD!
[Thu 21 Jun, 16:53]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17) 7. Not good for everyone
Acapulco is great for rich upclass Mexicans with fancy houses or apartments and yachtes. They enjoy nice pools overlooking the bay, dinning in expensive restaurants and having fun in chic night clubs.
BTW that kind of people don't go to Condesa beach, that's a place for the poor and smelly.
[Sun 24 Jun, 11:44]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17) 8. acapulco
Acapulco sucks unless you're rich. If you're not, you're stuck staying in ***ty hotels in dirty and noisy neighbourhoods. And the water is completely skank unless you go to the beaches out of town (acapulco diamante). Pie de la cuesta has a nice beach but you can't swim because of the undercurrents, and there's nothing to do except lie on the beach. I say, do yourself a favour and skip Acapulco. Of course, many will say otherwise, and Mexicans do love it and descend upon it by the thousands. But the chilangos are used to the noise and pollution.