Undeterred by Mexico's ongoing security woes, tourists still flock to Acapulco. The party destination cum port hasn't been spared narcoviolence: at least 25 people were killed in drug-related bloodshed in the city's outskirts on a single day in March this year, and in April six were slain in a shoot-out on the main tourist boulevard. But while foreign governments advise caution, none has yet urged travelers to avoid the area's popular beaches and pumping nightspots. New restaurants, sleek boutiques and hip hotels continue to spring up.
It's easy enough to shrug off President Felipe Calderón's war on drugs at the retro-cool Hotel Boca Chica, www.hotel-bocachica.com. Opened by the design-driven Grupo Habita, the Hotel Boca Chica inhabits the shell of a classic 1950s-style hotel given dramatic new life by local designer Antonio Pelaez. Having hosted everyone from John Wayne to Rita Hayworth to Elvis himself, the original Boca Chica was a tough act to follow, but its successor is clearly up to the task. Hidden behind its original whitewashed facade, the Hotel Boca Chica's 36 rooms include patios with hammocks, crisp white furniture, handwoven carpets and views of the Roqueta Channel and verdant La Roqueta Island. Down below, a restaurant serves both Japanese and Mexican dishes (think traditional chilaquiles for breakfast and sushi at dinner). There's a tri-level spa an international Zen zone complete with Turkish hammam, Japanese furo tubs and a series of low-lit, cavelike rooms while outside, towering tropical plants stand in luscious counterpoint to the creamy, original terrazzo floors.
Located in the thoroughly residential La Caleta neighborhood, the Hotel Boca Chica is less fancy than its rival newcomers. But with its Old Acapulco vibe, the hotel is classic glamour at its Mexican best. Stay put, and if you must leave the grounds, beware of the odd stray bullet.
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