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Grand Hotel Acapulco 3.5

Acapulco, Guerrero, Pacific Coast

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Gorgeous beach with thatch cabanas, lounge chairs, and amazing bay views
  • Walkable to Walmart and Starbucks 
  • Two sprawling ocean-view freshwater pools, including a chlorine-free children’s pool 
  • Bright rooms with king or double beds, flat-screen TVs, and ocean-view balconies 
  • Four restaurants serving seafood, Mexican, a buffet with themed dinners, and snack 
  • Incredible buffet breakfast with custom fresh squeezed juice and live cooking 
  • Huge gym has classes, machines, free weights, treadmills, stationary bikes and ocean views
  • Kids' club with bounce house, ball pit, Nintendo Wii, and sing-along stage
  • Executive Floor includes private check-in and a lounge
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel 
  • On-site synagogue, ritual bath, and Sabbath elevator upon demand 

Cons

  • Fees to use chairs, umbrellas, and thatch cabanas on the beach
  • Room walls are thin and neighbor’s snoring or alarm clocks audible
  • Standard Rooms are dated and overdue for an update
  • Many stairs to get from the lobby area to the pool and beach
  • Fee for valet parking
  • Wi-Fi can be slow 

Bottom Line

Grand Hotel Acapulco is a sprawling, three-and-a-half-pearl family-friendly hotel at the very end of Acapulco’s gorgeous Playa Icacos. It’s 537 air-conditioned rooms range from dated Standard Rooms to posh Suites with marble accents, flat-screen TV with cable channels, and private balconies with gorgeous ocean views (although some are partial-ocean views). The hotel’s three restaurants (buffet, seafood, and Mexican) get mostly positive reviews and a poolside snack shack opened in 2017. Other hotel amenities include two freshwater pools (one is chlorine-free), a kids' club, a huge ocean-view gym, and a full-service spa. There's a sandy beach with thatch cabanas, but they cost a fee to use. For a family-friendly oceanfront option in central Acapulco, a gorgeous beach, two pools and a big water slide, its worth pricing out Krystal Beach Acapulco.

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Scene

Family-friendly hotel with an artsy, tropical vibe and gorgeous ocean views

The 22-story Grand Hotel Acapulco opened in 1971 and was part of the Hyatt family until becoming the independent, Mexican-owned Grand Hotel. It was renovated in 2009 and some areas of the hotel are due for an update. Grand Hotel’s lobby has a soaring ceiling with a geometric sharp-angled dome and a light pastel mosaic border. Degas-esque brass sculptures of young women and colorful paintings fill the lobby and hotel hallways. Grand Hotel’s grounds are full of blossoming flowers and palm trees. Near the ground-floor Mexican restaurant, there’s a 10-foot tall waterfall tumbling over faux boulders into a shallow pool. The hotel’s huge pool deck is filled with multiple pools and has amazing views of Acapulco Bay and its sandy, crescent-shaped oceanfront. In general, the hotel’s pretty quiet during the off season and fills up during high season when its four restaurants are open and nightly entertainment includes live music and karaoke nights. Hotel guests are mostly families in from Mexico City, but we also saw a few Europeans and retirees enjoying the hotel’s amazing views. There’s lots of hotel security and a guard is usually positioned near the elevators and calls the elevator for guests. 

Location

Playa Icacos location, close to a Walmarket, restaurants, and a short drive to Acapulco’s nightlife

Grand Hotel is located at the far end of Playa Icacos, the last and westernmost beach in Acapulco’s gorgeous, crescent-shaped Acapulco Bay. There’s a Walmart, convenience store, and a casino across the street from the hotel (a three-minute walk away). Within a five-minute walk of Grand Hotel are restaurants serving pizza, Mexican, sushi, and Italian cuisines. There’s also a Starbucks coffee shop a seven-minute walk away. La Diana, an open-air artisanal market that’s probably the best place in Acapulco to buy crafty gifts, is a a 10-minute drive from the hotel. It’s an 11-minute drive from the hotel to an oceanfront bungee jumping attraction. The same area is also full of bars and nightclubs. Papagayo Park, with its winding walking trails, small zoo, and games for kids is a 17-minute drive from Grand Hotel. The Palma Sola archaeological park is full of 2,000-year old rock carvings and drawings created by the Yopes people, and is a 40-minute drive away. Acapulco’s most famous sight is La Quebrada, where cliff divers plunge 80-feet into the churning Pacific Ocean and a 45-minute drive away. General Juan N. Alvarez International Airport is a 30-minute drive from Grand Hotel. 

Rooms

Rooms with flat-screen TVs, marble bathrooms, and private balconies with ocean views

The rooms at Grand Hotel are a mix of Standard and Grande Rooms -- all with ocean or partial-ocean views. There’s also a handful of Suites and Family Rooms. Standard rooms are the simplest option and could use an update. Their double or king beds have wood headboards carved with colorful fish and seahorses, dated white wood furniture, and a tan trim running along the white textured-cement walls. Grand Rooms are the most recently-renovated option and much more modern. Their singular king or two double beds have cayenne and mustard-colored bed runners and matching throw pillows, fluted wood headboards, nightstands, entertainment centers, and teardrop-shaped glass lamps. Standard amenities include air-conditioning, 42-inch flat-screen TVs with cable channels, alarm clocks, and safes. Wi-Fi is free, but it can be spotty. There’s also an executive floor with its own private lobby for check-in and -outs and a suite with a private bar.

The marble-floored and walled bathrooms are pretty fabulous. They have huge floating mirrors framed by a metal lattice of vines that are open to the bedroom, marble-walled stand-up showers with rainfall shower heads and a separate sprayer head, hairdryers, scales, two water bottles, and illuminated beauty mirrors. Toiletries include facial bar soap, body bar soap, body lotion, bubble bath, shampoo, conditioner, and cotton swabs. All rooms have private balconies with either ocean or partial ocean views and two metal or rattan chairs.

Features

Gorgeous beach, two outdoor pools, four restaurants, two bars, spa, and a kids' club 

Grand Hotel’s location at the far end of Acapulco Bay means its beach is often less crowded than other Acapulco beaches, and it has stunning views of the crescent-shaped bay. The beach is lined with thatch cabanas and plastic lounge chairs, but there’s a fee to use them. During high season, there are also lifeguards on duty (most hotels do not offer this service). The hotel’s two sprawling pools have ocean views and one of them is chlorine free, shallow, and perfect for children. 

The hotel’s restaurants get mixed reviews and during our visit two were closed for renovation. Grand Hotel’s oceanfront eatery, El Pescador, has a soaring thatch roof, amazing views, and specializes in seafood and a Mexican-fusion international cuisine. El Isleno is the pool-side snack restaurant. Zapata y Villa serves a traditional Mexican menu. The hotel’s buffet restaurant, La Ceiba, has one of the best breakfast buffets in Acapulco. In addition to tons of food options and live stations, there’s a live-juice station for creating custom juice blends. 

Grand Hotel has two bars. El Capitan bar is located next to the seafood restaurant and has a thatch roof and beautiful ocean views. The lobby bar has flat-screen TVs playing music videos and concerts. During high season, guests enjoy entertainment like live music and karaoke on weekends. The hotel’s huge spa, Alory Spa, is almost cavernously big with a minimally Asian theme. It offers salon services, massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures. There’s also a whirlpool tub, steam room, and a sauna. The hotel’s gym has ocean and pool views and is big enough to have an echo. The space is stocked with Life Fitness treadmills, many types of weight machines, free weights, and stationary bikes. Fitness classes like yoga and dance are offered (for a fee) and there’s free water. The kids' club has big, colorful walls and Nintendo Wii game consoles, lots of board games, a ball pit, and an inflatable bounce house. 

Grand Acapulco is the only Acapulco hotel with a synagogue.The full-size sanctuary has gorgeous, Marc Chagallesque stained glass windows and stadium seating. The hotel also has a ritual bath and a Sabbath-observant elevator that stops at every floor from Friday nights until Saturday evenings (upon request). 

Visitors with rooms on the top-level executive floors get access to the executive center with its private bar and private check-in desk. There hotel also has a business center and nine meeting and conference rooms. In the lobby, a travel agent can arrange tours, private guides, car rentals, and confirm flights. The hotel can arrange babysitters and laundry service. The only parking option is valet for a fee. There’s also free Wi-Fi throughout, but it's spotty.

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Address

Costera Miguel Aleman # 1, Col. Icacos, Acapulco, Guerrero 39869, Mexico

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