It’s been a quiet couple weeks since my parents and Dora visited, and I keep finding myself looking at the photos from their trip. When they were here, we spent a few days at our apartment in Mexico City, and a long weekend in Acapulco (5-hour bus ride). Unfortunately, I was very ill during the Acapulco trip (a doctor even had to make a housecall to rescue me from dehydration) and I’ve been a little upset ever since: I really wanted to swim in the Pacific Ocean. The scenery was lovely, but hard to enjoy from el bano.
Anyway, enough of my sob story. We decided to stay at the affordable Los Flamingos Hotel, in “Old Acapulco.” Here are the things I/we liked about it:
- Amazing view of the Pacific Ocean — you can see the curve of the world from the hotel. In the winter, you can see whales cavorting. Also, fantastic sunsets.
- Perfectly landscaped grounds, with ripe mango trees, almond trees, coconut palm trees and flowers everywhere. You seriously have to watch out — fruit was falling all the time while we there, landing loudly in the background, splattering in the shady nether areas behind the pool. We all liked the large, weird cactus in front of the pool.
- Friendly staff. Miguel (aka “Cheetah” — inside joke) at the front desk was exceedingly helpful and polite.
- Fun history. Los Flamingos used to be a popular hangout with Hollywood starlets in the 1950s (like Tarzan) and even through the 80s. There are pictures of them hanging in the main entrance.
- The Tarzan room. Four to six adults can stay in this private circular structure located off the swimming pool. It has its own cliff, private walkway and seating areas, hammocks and generally uber-relaxing vibe.
- The restaurant was affordable and good. They don’t overcharge.
- The pool is small, and in need of some small repairs, but gorgeous.
What I didn’t like:
- The rooms need a lot of work/repair. We all stayed in air conditioned rooms — and there’s only a few of those room available. The a/c’s were ancient (but they worked). I can’t imagine staying in one of the non-a/c rooms this time of year — I would not recommend it. And, we had a variety of insects (including this large black scorpion in Dora’s room) and geckos sliding in through the many large openings in the screened windows and front door. I don’t mind reptiles, but large, poisonous arachnids are a bit much, even for me.
- We didn’t have much hot water or water pressure the entire time. Try suffering from gut-wrenching, painful stomach flu and then find yourself standing in a shower, with just a cold trickle coming out of the nozzle. Oh god, it’s the worst.
- The hotel is not within walking distance to anything, not even a beach. However, not too far in a taxi and a ferry ride is Isla de la Roqueta, which has several beaches. If you go on a weekday, it’s probably tranquil, and even on crowded holidays weekends, there are walkways that take you to some lovely, secluded beaches. But the main beaches on Isla are like Times Square, with sand and babies swimming in diapers-and-floaties.
- Tourists on cruise ships stop by on weekend mornings for a quick drink and tour of Los Flamingos. There’s nothing like having a quiet breakfast with your husband and best friend when you’re suddenly surrounded by 400 very old, very naive American tourists murmuring that “Mexicans are a very hospitable people.” (I’d add “patient.”)
I very much want to return to Acapulco, when it’s not quite so steamy outside and the marine mammals are on vacation, too. I don’t think we’ll ever stay at Los Flamingos again — but I’ll go back for the view and have a drink above the ocean…while the whales are at play.
(Photos by: Dora Naughton, Betty & Don Victory)