Mexico The Princess Mundo Imperial Acapulco hotel, which Howard Hughes briefly called home.

Published on April 16th, 2017 | by Mark Chesnut

The Princess Mundo Imperial Acapulco hotel, which Howard Hughes briefly called home.

Hotel Where Howard Hughes Spent Last Months of His Life is Still a Vacation Paradise

On April 5, 1976, Howard Hughes checked out of a giant suite at the Acapulco Princess hotel and boarded his plane for Houston. He died before landing in Texas. And while the reclusive billionaire may be long gone, the hotel that he called home for the final months of his life in 1976 continues as one of the most popular Acapulco hotel options.

Today, the hotel is officially called the Princess Mundo Imperial Riviera Diamante Acapulco (a management dispute ended the former affiliation with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts; the rather long name refers to its location in the Riviera Diamante, a recently dubbed development area along the beach — note that the word “Acapulco” has shifted from the front to the back of the name). I stayed at this Acapulco beach hotel hotspot while attending Tianguis Turistico, Mexico‘s annual tourism conference. This is a review of my experience.

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THE AMBIANCE: A classic, large-scale resort hotel, the Princess Mundo Imperial has 1,011 guest rooms and sits in the Diamante zone, a beachfront neighborhood that’s closer to the airport than downtown Acapulco. The entrance is quite impressive, passing through a lush green golf course before arriving at a group of towering hotel structures with vaguely Aztec-inspired architecture that provides a nice sense of place.

The main lobby is set in a massive, soaring atrium, with pleasant ocean breezes providing welcome relief from Acapulco’s steamy temperatures. Look up, and you’ll see floor after floor of wrap-around, open-air hallways. At night, the upper floors glow dramatically with continuously changing colors.

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THE GUEST ROOMS: I stayed in room 1631, which is the standard room size with an ocean view in the main tower. The room was spacious, with an especially large walk-in closet. The earth-toned furnishings provided no distraction from the gorgeous view on the balcony. I liked the shuttered, wooden sliding doors, which are an interesting alternative to curtains. The large, armoire-style entertainment center had a space for a minibar or mini-fridge, but there was none. The bathroom included two sinks: One outside and one inside (which could be a nice touch for couples), and the bathroom had a tub with shower.

HOTEL FEATURES: It’s hard not to appreciate the lush grounds at this Acapulco hotel, where flamingos, peacocks and other showy animals wander among the greenery, alongside the multiple swimming pools. The property sits right on Revolcadero Beach, a wide stretch of sand with lots of places to sit, relax and sign up for water sports.

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I enjoyed an extensive breakfast buffet at Chula Vista, one of the open-air restaurants. There are several other restaurants on site that I didn’t get to try, as well as a Starbucks. Since the hotel is not within walking distance of many attractions (and the hotel staff advises guests not to walk across the street to the Walmart shopping center alone, for some reason), it’s a good thing that there are so many venues at the hotel property. A taxi into the main part of Acapulco takes at least 20 minutes, but there are shopping and dining venues in the Diamante area.

Guests can also sign up to play at Turtle Dunes, the 18-hole golf course designed by Tripp Davis, which is adjacent to the hotel property, play tennis at any of eight courts, or work out at the fitness center. The Princess Mundo Imperial hotel also has a supervised children’s program.

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This Acapulco hotel is definitely well designed for meetings, weddings and other events, with 125,800 square feet of meeting space as well as outdoor areas that work well for groups too.

BEST FOR: The Princess Mundo Imperial Riviera Diamante Acapulco hotel is good for travelers looking for a Mexico beach vacation in a large-scale, resort-style hotel at reasonable rates, as well as meeting groups looking for ample event space within a resort hotel setting.

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ROOM RATES: About $134 and up (although you may find rates as low as $106, depending on when you travel — use the LatinFlyer search feature to find the best rates on more than a dozen Websites!)

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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