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Reviewed 23 March 2011

We ended up choosing Acapulco for our annual winter vacation after our previous plans to the Playa del Carmen area unexpectedly fell through. We had just over three weeks to choose a new destination, and there were few desirable flight options remaining at so late a date. We've been to Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Tulum, Manzanillo and Huatulco, so we decided to give Acapulco a try, despite some concerns about stories of recent drug-war violence in the area. After extensive research on TripAdvisor (thank you, ACA Forum experts) and elsewhere, we finally chose Las Brisas over the two Fairmonts (too large) and the Banyan Tree (too remote). We were intrigued by its history, admired its mid-century architecture, and were encouraged by its #1 ranking on Tripadvisor and the numerous other accolades it's received from various travel magazines and organizations over the years (the many celebrity endorsements didn't hurt either). We booked a Brisas Beach Club Private Pool Casita because we liked that it would be more private than most of the other casitas, and we liked that there would be fresh flowers in the room and pool, and hors d'oeuvres and wine delivered each afternoon.

Before our arrival I had several questions about the resort which were quickly answered via email by Brenda Ortega in the reservations department. I was consistently impressed by Brenda's prompt responses, her excellent English and her professionalism. She also arranged for our private transfer from the airport to the resort (spotless, modern SUV with a friendly driver offering cool towels and bottled water). Thanks to poor flight connections through Delta, our arrival was delayed three times, and each time I emailed that information to Brenda from my BlackBerry she was very quick to put me at ease and reply that someone would be waiting for us at our re-scheduled arrival time (which ended up being almost midnight instead of 1:15 PM as originally booked). It was quite a relief to clear customs and see our driver waiting for us with my name on a sign. Due to the late hour traffic was light, and in about 20 minutes we were at the resort.

Check-in was very quick. We were not offered the signature pink margarita while filling out the paperwork (perhaps due to the late hour), but were given a pink fruit punch instead. Within 10 minutes we were on our way up, up, up the winding hill to room 444. We were immediately impressed by how immaculately maintained the resort was, and even though it was night there was sufficient dramatic mood lighting to create an appealing effect. They've used the old fortress on which the resort was established to inspire a lot of the architecture (complete with turrets, canons and even gas-lit torches), and it's absolutely stunning! I was glad we had booked the Brisas Beach Club level, as it did appear more private than some of the lower level casitas in the 300s and 200s, which could be overlooked by many casitas above.

The room was modern but still retained a lot of the charm from the era in which the hotel was built. I really liked the decor: mostly white with hits of their signature pink, grey stone floors and accent wall, driftwood lamps, mid-century styled chairs and outdoor furniture. The room was very clean, although the pink accent wall is probably ready for a fresh coat of paint. There were two robes and one pair of slippers (a second pair can be requested through housekeeping if desired). We had a rather sad plate of canapes and a very small bottle of wine (500ml, I believe) waiting for us in our "secret box."

The bathroom was small but very clean and in good repair. The floor, walls and counter were fashioned of marble slab. The shower was a good size (no tub), but unfortunately no matter how carefully we closed the glass door water would still leak into the bedroom area. The toiletries are of excellent quality (Gilchrist and Soames) and included two types of soap, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner and a shower cap. The towels appeared newer and were large and luxurious. Cotton balls are also offered in a glass jar on the vanity table in the bedroom area, where you can also find tissues and a small hair dryer.

We were impressed by how much storage there was in the room. We tend to over-pack, but we still found more than enough room with the six bureau drawers and very large closet with lots of hangers so we could empty both suitcases and also store the suitcases away out of sight. Adjacent to the closets is a small wet bar: sink, bar fridge and shelves with items available for purchase (very pricey). I was surprised no complimentary bottled water was offered.

The king sized bed was a little firm but still comfortable, with decent pillows and good quality sheets. The LCD television offered only three English channels (CNN, a film on a 24 hour loop, and "America Network"), but we don't tend to watch a lot of television on holidays so that was okay. There was also a clock radio with a dock for an MP3 player (unfortunately it didn't accommodate my BlackBerry). The air conditioning worked very well, although there is a constant refreshing breeze so we used it sparingly. It was nice to sleep with the patio doors open at night and just the ceiling fan on above the bed.

When we first stepped through the sliding doors onto the terrace outside I'm sure we both gasped– the view was truly stunning. In retrospect, it was nice arriving at night because we had our first glimpse of the dramatically-lit night skyline of Acapulco Bay, then the next morning we got to be surprised again by the gorgeous blue ocean and the Sierra Madre mountains. I imagine most casitas have good views, but we really felt ours was perfect! Some do face out to the Pacific, however, so if you want a view of the iconic Bay, be sure to request that when you make your reservation.

We enjoyed using our pool (it was larger than plunge pools we've had at other resorts) although it was a little chilly. Each day new hibiscus blossoms would be scattered on the water's surface– such a lovely touch-- and it was kept spotlessly clean. There was a built-in padded concrete bench with large toss cushions for lounging, two deluxe padded loungers (this style was exclusive to the Beach Club casitas and suites), and a small table with two chairs and adjacent umbrella for dining. Most of the pool (closer to the room) was totally private. The edge of our terrace was overlooked by maybe 4 of the junior suites in the "el Fuerte" section above us (a gorgeous area of the resort that I would definitely look into booking on our next visit). Still, the resort didn't seem to be anywhere near capacity during our stay, so privacy was never an issue. We enjoyed eating out on the terrace most mornings; however, the included complimentary breakfast is a little scanty: pot of coffee, four pastries, one banana, two slices of watermelon, two slices of cantaloup or papaya. I was disappointed to have to make do with non-dairy creamer instead of real milk or cream for the coffee. Most mornings that delivery was enough for us, although three times we did enjoy the breakfast buffet at el Tulipan (approx 400 pesos or so for two of us-- I think it's more on Sundays when they have live entertainment). The buffet included a variety of cereals and yogurt, some mediocre pastries, a few selections of fresh fruit, pancakes or French toast, bacon or ham, and some traditional Mexican savoury dishes. The buffet also included cappuccino or espresso, freshly squeezed juices, smoothies and made-to-order eggs and omelettes. The view is (of course) terrific and the service is spot-on.

Speaking of food, we found the food at Las Brisas to be better than we anticipated and not as expensive as we expected. Lunch at La Concha Beach Club could be casual fare by the pools or a more gastronomic experience at the beach restaurant. We enjoyed two dinners at Bella Vista (good food, outstanding views, wonderful ambience, outstanding service), and ordered room service a few times (prompt delivery, elegantly set up). There is also a "Deli Shop" for sandwiches, but I never saw anyone in there the whole week, and when I stopped in once to see what was on offer I found it rather uninspiring.

And speaking of uninspiring, that brings me to my only criticism of Las Brisas: the drinks. I was quite surprised by the mediocre quality and high prices of the cocktails and wine offered throughout the resort. The wine delivered to us each afternoon was undrinkable (too sweet and a strange, bold taste)- we left the unopened bottles in the bar fridge after trying it twice. A 750ml bottle should be included with the Beach Club rooms. An L.A. Cetto zinfandel would be the perfect choice: it's pink, it's Mexican, it's refreshing, and it's reasonably priced. We were also surprised that you could not order a glass of a sparkling wine anywhere, like a prosecco or a cava (only full bottles of Champagne and spumaso)-- we've never had that experience at any other beach resort. The cocktails at La Concha were the biggest letdown of all. For example, a margarita or a pina colada is 960 pesos, and it's served in a small styrofoam cup! I understand why it's not safe to use glassware around a pool, but any other 5-star resort I've stayed at has managed to use reasonably stylish acrylic tumblers, margarita glasses, wine glasses, etc. Drinks were not garnished with anything but a straw, there were no special cocktails offered in hollowed out coconuts or pineapples– very disappointing. We stayed at Brisas Las Hadas in Manzanillo and the drinks were outstanding– I'm not sure why there's such a discrepancy among resorts in the chain.

There were lots of staff at La Concha, but unlike at other resorts of this calibre, they did not periodically circulate to offer little snacks, or a cold towel. There was sometimes a complimentary drink offered during a "Happy Hour," but you would have to go to the beach bar and ask for it– they weren't being freely offered or promoted. La Concha is an absolutely gorgeous setting and we spent a lot of time there during our week, but we felt there was definitely room for improvement to make it a much more luxurious experience.

Continuing with La Concha, it was much larger and nicer than I'd expected. There are three areas for saltwater swimming (mostly enclosed ocean pools). It's like swimming in an aquarium: clear water with lots of fish– just watch out for jellyfish and sea urchins. There's even a floating dock in the bay you could swim out to, but I didn't see anyone attempt this during the entire week we were there. The heated pool was a popular hangout spot for families (frankly, I was surprised to see children at all when the resort's slogan is "Where children are seldom seen but often made"), but there were always lots of loungers available no matter which section of the beach club you wanted to relax in.

Where Las Brisas consistently shines is with customer service. At times it seemed like there was a 1:1 employee-to-guest ratio! Everyone we encountered was smiling, polite and very professional. We rarely had to wait more than a few short minutes for one of their iconic pink & white jeeps to whisk us up to our room or down to the lobby. There was constant evidence of workers improving things in and around the resort: painting, planting, cleaning, pruning; it really was pristine. The twice daily maid service was terrific and never intrusive (we liked the little tin sign on your gate you could use to ask for privacy). Turndown service in the evening was always nice to return to: used towels replaced, sheets turned down, linen mats laid down beside the bed, television turned on to soft music, and a couple of Godiva chocolates made with the Las Brisas logo left on the night stands. Terrific!

So this review has grown far too long, but I love traveling and I love hotels, so when I find an exceptional one like Las Brisas, I like to share the experience in as much detail as possible! Overall we found Acapulco to be a wonderful surprise. Not once did we feel unsafe off the resort, and we did not see the heavy police or military presence we expected. We found the city to be actually rather chic and cosmopolitan– not at all "dirty" or "past-its-prime" as some have said. We enjoyed wonderful meals (Bella Vista, Su Casa, Zibu), we met some very nice people (John and Josephine from Scotland, Leonardo at the Sunset Bar), and we browsed around a beautiful shopping mall worthy of Las Vegas (La Isla). We spent an afternoon at a very deserted, very beautiful beach (Pie de la Cuesta), and we marveled at luxury villas as we hiked up into the Las Brisas hills to the Capilla de la Paz (worth the trek). The weather was absolutely perfect: one carbon copy sunny day after another, with highs of 85-90 degrees, and breezy evenings in the low to mid 70s so we could always dress nicely for dinner yet still be comfortable.

Las Brisas is a very special, unique place like no other resort we've had the pleasure of visiting. We loved it so much we even bought the coffee table book (a pictorial history of the resort) that is for sale in the "Pink Shop." It's definitely on our short list of places to return to again for future winter vacations-- it's been my pleasure to "Habla bien de Aca," and of Las Brisas!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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15  Thank Beyond_YXU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TULIP50, Guest Services at Las Brisas Acapulco, responded to this reviewResponded 1 April 2011

April 1st, 2011
Sunny & Breezy 86º

Greetings from beautiful Acapulco:

On behalf of all the staff at Las Brisas Acapulco, we would like to thank you very much
for taking the time of sharing your wonderful comments on Trip Advisor.

We have taken note of all your observations and constructive feedback regarding the wine and drinks served at La Concha, please be sure a follow up is taken on them. Good news! we have new english t.v. channels.

Thank you for your nice words about our team members specially Brenda and Leo, your comments are the best reward for all of us here at Las Brisas as they show us we are on the right direction in guest satisfaction.

Thank you again for posting and we all look forward to the pleasure of hosting you again in the-not-too-distant-future. Warm regards.

Sincerely,

Dixie Elvia Gonzàlez C.
Guest Services

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2011

We were driving to Mexico City from Puerto Escondido and wanted a hotel in Acapulco for one night, and found Las Brias Acapulco on-line. Absolutely everything about this hotel was first class. We speak little Spanish, but the staff made everything easy and very pleasant. The room with the little pool outside overlooking Acapulco Bay at sunset felt too good to be true. We had dinner and breakfast at the restaurants and enjoyed the complimentary shuttle service. The food was wonderful and you could not ask for better service. Our only regret is that we didn't have more time to enjoy the rest of the resort.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank dlflan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TULIP50, Guest Services at Las Brisas Acapulco, responded to this reviewResponded 17 March 2011

March 16th, 2011
Sunny & Breezy 84ºF

Greetings from beautiful Acapulco !

Thank you for your wonderful review and for choosing Las Brisas Acapulco. Also we appreciate your sending the amazing photos taken from your casita of Acapulco Bay during the day and Sunset.

We are pleased to hear you enjoyed your short stay with us and appreciate your comments about our staff and service since our commitment is to give unique experiences to all our guests.

Thank you for posting and for sharing your thoughts, we look forward to have the opportunity of hosting you for a long stay in the not-too-distant-future.

Sincerely,

Dixie Elvia Gonzàlez C.
Guest Services

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Reviewed 11 March 2011

We arrived in Acapulco after a ten day cruise through the Panama Canal. We had chosen Las Brisas because it had good reviews on this site.
The staff there was exceptional. Any request had an immediate response. The front desk, concierge, housekeeping, transportation and room service all provided excellent service.
We had a private pool casita and enjoyed the continental breakfast on the balcony. The breakfast was a simple selection of bread/muffins, fruit (usually cantaloupe, watermelon and banana) and coffee. We found it adequate.
The Beach Club was pleasant with two salt water areas and a fresh water pool. Initially we did not realize that you could order food in the pool deck areas. We went to the Conch Restaurant in the Beach Club for lunch.
If you want to walk to restaurants, stores and entertainment, this is not the hotel for you.
We were ready to enjoy the view, and some privacy so it was perfect for us.
We had hired Ismael Silva to pick us up at the pier, give us a city tour and drop us at hotel. This also was perfect. We would highly recommend Ismael as a trusted, professional driver. We used his services throughout our stay there for additional sightseeing, restaurant visits, and rides to airport.
Although there is definitely a very visible police presence, we never felt in danger.
It's a shame that Acapulco is getting such bad press. Take the chance and visit, you won't regret it.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mmsoko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TULIP50, Guest Services at Las Brisas Acapulco, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2011

March 11th, 2011
Sunny & Breezy 84ºF

Greetings from Sunny Acapulco!

Thank very much you for taking the time to post a review of Las Brisas Acapulco. We are very happy to know you enjoyed your stay with us as well as the view and privacy.

We really appreciate your comments about Acapulco and of course regarding our service and staff, since they are without hesitation the best reward for all of us here at Las Brisas.

Thank you again for posting and we look forward to the pleasure of hosting you again in the-not-too-distant-future. Warm regards.

Sincerely,
Dixie Elvia Gonzàlez C.
Guest Services

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2011

This was our fourth time staying at Las Brisas and this time surely was the best time that we have had yet. The service was outstanding, the room selection wonderful, the entire staff made us feel as we were staying in our home. The news certainly doesn't demonstrate the truth about what is actually happening in Acapulco, it is safe and the staff at the hotel will certainly ensure that. I hight recommend Las Brisas without hesitation

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank mandmsilverman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TULIP50, Guest services at Las Brisas Acapulco, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2011

March 10th, 2011
Sunny & Breezy 84º F

Greetings from beautiful Acapulco !!!

Just a short note to thank you very much for taking the time to write a review regarding your recent visit to Las Brisas Acapulco.

We are happy to read you enjoyed your fourth stay with us. Your comments are without hesitation the best reward for all of us here at Las Brisas.

Thank you again for posting and we look forward to the pleasure of hosting you again in this your home-away-home.

Sincerely,

Dixie Elvia Gonzàlez C.
Guest services

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Reviewed 7 March 2011

We have been staying at Las Brisas for the past 16 years and we try to make 2 trips/year. This past year we "cheated" and instead went to Cancun; the whole time there, we missed Las Brisas and Acapulco in general, so we agreed that we'd slip away in March for 4 nights to get our Acapulco and Las Brisas "fix", and I'm so glad that we did. No point in repeating the positive things that other guests and have said (or challenging the negative ones), but since we have an interesting perspective as repeat guests, I wanted to point out a few observations from our latest visit.

The hotel is perfectly maintained and the service, as always, is impeccable. Housekeepers remember your name (and believe it or not, actually remember birthdays), servers remember how you like your guacamole (from previous visits), even the pool maintenance person came running over to our casita when he spotted us to welcome us back. All this for a fraction of the price you'd pay at a comparable resort anywhere in the world, let alone a resort city like Acapulco. I always look for subtle changes each trip we take to see if anything is slipping (or improving), especially in light of the decrease in tourism from the negative press which Acapulco finds itself in these days. I'm happy to report that the resort is just as well run as ever, the food just as delicious, the bed as comfortable as I remember, all with views which can't be touched.

The only negative thing to report is not with the hotel, but with the transit police in Acapulco. Sadly, if you rent a car, you will likely be pulled over for a non-existent traffic infraction as you drive from the resort into the city; there is just no way around it. Hold firm, speak only English and under no circumstances offer to pay anything; instead, offer to go to the police station. This can be unnerving but it did save us quite a bit in bribe money which we otherwise would have had to pay. All can be avoided by taking taxis, by the way.

Finally, none of the overhyped violence in Acapulco affects the perfect weather which the area is blessed with; you can't beat 88 degree days and 70 degree nights in March with almost guaranteed sunshine. All in all, a trip to Las Brisas is always a predictably perfect vacation.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank gallesram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TULIP50, Guest Services at Las Brisas Acapulco, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2011

March 14th, 2011
Sunny & Breezy 84º F

Greetings from sunny Las Brisas Acapulco !

On behalf of all of us here at Las Brisas, we would like to thank you very much for sending to Trip Advisor an amazing review of your recent stay with us.

We are happy to know that we fulfilled your expectations since your comments are without hesitation the best reward for all of us, as they show us we are on the right direction in guest satisfaction.

Thank you again for posting and we all look forward to have the pleasure of hosting you again and again in this your "home away home". Warm regards.

Sincerely,

Dixie Elvia Gonzàlez C.
Guest Services

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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