Published on April 29th, 2010 | by Mark Chesnut
HOTEL REVIEW: El Encanto, Acapulco
After some nine years with no new openings, the city of Acapulco has welcomed no less than three new upscale properties within less than a year’s time: The villa-style Banyan Tree Cabo Marques, the retro-chic Boca Chica (which is where I’m staying now — more on that later) and El Encanto. So even as Acapulco has contended with negative coverage about crime, the destination offers more stylish, secluded getaways than ever.
The first new hotel I visited on this trip was El Encanto, where it seems like nearly every aspect was planned for maximum visual impact. This 44-room luxury property, which opened in 2009, is a sleek white confection that sits like a museum on a hill overlooking the bay. Nearly every part of this property made me stop and notice either the view or the dramatic shapes and angles of the architecture itself. There is no art on the walls of the public areas or the guest rooms. Halls run into dead ends with stunning views that demand to be photographed. Bizarrely shaped openings in walls frame the surrounding ocean and hills. My camera didn’t get much of a rest at El Encanto; it’s a visually exciting place.
Located in an isolated area called Brisas Marquez, El Encanto is a secluded, hilltop retreat in grand minimalist style, with glistening marble floors leading to guest rooms that feature few pieces of furniture but luxurious amenities and amazing vistas. The 20 villa rooms have a larger private terrace with plunge pool.
The main swimming pool is large and scenic and surrounded by comfortable, lounge-like furniture, and just steps away from the lovely open-air restaurant (where we sampled tasty shrimp tacos and fetuccelli with tomato sauce), bar and even an oval-shaped library room that’s about to open. There is also a spa and gym.
At night, the hotel takes on a different visual effect, as colored lights illuminate the buildings and outdoor areas — I wasn’t able to visit the property after dark, but even from my hotel room across the bay, El Encanto still stands out.
$275 and up.
BEST FOR: Upscale travelers who appreciate contemporary minimalism, a secluded location and amazing views.