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Reviewed February 3, 2006

We came here on a business trip with about 200 people. There were some glitches but they Princess more than compensated. The sevice was outstanding. The grounds are absolutley beautiful and the beach is awesome. There is a little hut with a mini flea market just off the property on the beach. We bought several silver items there and it saved us a long trip to the bigger flea market in town, which is about a 1 hour cab ride each way. Some in our group ate on the property at the restaurants and said the service was not good at all. The waiters were rude and rushing the people at the table. However, we ate every night at restaurants in town and the service and food was exemplary. The Mexican locals are very kind and can not do enough to please the tourists. We ate at Su Casa, Linda Vista, Kookaburras and each experience was wonderful. We actually went back to each place twice. Our groups favorite was Linda Vista. EZ was our waiter and the owner comes out to make sure all is well. At the end of the meal, the owner comes out and offers more food-FREE!- and they are good to their word. The seafood is the best in Acapulco. We were in Acapulco 15 years ago and stayed downtown. I hated it and never cared to go back. After staying at the Princess I can't wait to go back. This is the first time I never wanted to leave a vacation. The rooms are clean and spacious. Be very careful about taking a cab off the property. The cabs on the property and the drivers are clean and the cabs are roomy. You really don't know who you are getting if you don't stick with the Princess's cabs. They were all very good drivers. Another tip, the cabbies will come back in two hours or you can call them to come back and pick you up. That is a nice thing to do. Otherwise you are getting in a cab and you don't know who you are with. Make sure you tell the cabbie not to wait for you while you are out. They will charge you and you will end up paying alot. One of our groups was charged $60.00 because he said he waited. First of all, you don't know if they are really waiting (which I doubt). They all are very good at estimating how long a meal takes. With four or more people it is an average of 2 hours. The views at the aforementioned restaurants are incredible. It is expensive so don't go thinking you are getting any deals. In my opinion, it is worth saving up for. I would go back.

  • Stayed: February 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank topo24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2006

The architecture, pools, grounds and lush vegetation at the Princess were as impressive as imagined and the adjoining beach quite satisfactory. But the rest left much to be desired.

The guestrooms are vintage 1970’s, seriously outdated and poorly maintained. Our bathroom fixtures and tiles were encrusted with mold and crud. The room reeked of air-conditioning mold. The TV is a sad-looking Zenith 19” model with 22 channels of which only 5 are in English. Our room had no minibar, no coffee maker, a broken ice bucket, missing drinking glasses, a broken clock-radio that wouldn’t stop flashing. The list goes on and on. Remember, this is supposed to be a 5-star luxury hotel and is priced accordingly.

At night the magnificent 20 storey open-air atrium became an acoustic nightmare. The Mexican musicians in the open-air ground floor lobby bar would resonate throughout the atrium into all the guestrooms until 10 pm. Once the Mariachi racket stopped the revelers continued. One night drunken louts were screaming until 1:00 am in the morning. Obviously hotel management doesn’t care too terribly much about guest comfort.

The food offerings were disappointing. The main dining facility is the open-air Chula Vista buffet (breakfast US$22, lunch/dinner US$40 plus tips.) Food was standard hotel fare, generally okay but terribly boring after a few meals as the menu is the same day after day after day. Plus, who wants to return home 5 pounds heavier?

There are also two “upscale” restaurants at the hotel, the Hacienda (Mexican “specialties”) and Vivaldi (Italian food.) Both have a buffet, but we tried the à la carte menu at both places. Dinner for 4 at Vivaldi cost US$200. Food was okay but overpriced for what it is. The acid-rock background music blaring on the sound system one night was completely out of place and downright annoying.

The Hacienda restaurant features staff dressed in colorful traditional Mexican-themed uniforms and features a good strolling Mariachi band. We expected this to be the hotel’s signature Mexican restaurant and were looking forward to enjoying fancy enchiladas, burritos, tacos, tortilla soup and the like. Instead all Hacienda offers is standard hotel food on a fancy plate: Alberta beef, French-style rack of lamb, Chilean sea bass, red snapper and the like. This could have been any hotel menu anywhere in North America. Cost for 4 including wine was US$200. For good authentic Mexican food you have to leave the hotel and venture into town.

The beaches in Mexico are all public, so you are always confronted with pesky peddlers. Fairmont has cordonned-off a section of the beautiful beach in front of the hotel, but the peddlers come none the less. Rental of a torn tent with 3 rusty lounge chairs costs $20 a day, but charges will be waived if you order at least that amount in beachside food and drink from the hotel.

At the entry to the Fairmont complex (10 minute walk from hotel lobby) is a new shopping center featuring a Wal-Mart Supercenter, McDonald’s, Subway, Domino’s Pizza, Radio Shack etc. The hotel does not permit you to bring outside food and drink into the hotel, so you have to sneak it in. The hotel has the gall to post a sign in the lobby asking guests to refrain from bringing in outside foods “for reasons of hygiene.” This is pure BS as the hotel readily serves their lackluster overpriced food throughout the public areas in addition to offering 24 hour in-room dining. At any time of day we always saw hotel guests walking to and from the shopping center with “backpacks” and “beach bags.”

As for the hotel the grounds are quite nice, and include two 18-hole golf courses shared with the adjacent but smaller Fairmont Pierre Marques. The entire complex is in a rather isolated oceanfront location far away from the center of Acapulco. It takes 35 minutes by cab (US$15 one way) to get into the downtown tourist strip. The strip is several kilometers long and full of tacky restaurants, garish bars and souvenir junk shops. Sidewalk touts compete with one another trying to get you into their establishment or to sell you junky trinkets and souvenirs. Acapulco has very much become a “poor man’s Vegas,” catering largely to Mexican nationals (it is the beach destination closest to Mexico City’s 20 million plus habitants.) The newer resorts like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Ixtapa are better suited to savvy international travelers. The luxury hotels there are newer and better run.

Acapulco was okay for what is, but I will not be returning there nor to the Fairmont Princess any time soon.

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
25  Thank athonykovic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Toronto, Ontario
118
Reviewed January 19, 2006

I couldn't agree more with the traveller from IN who called this place a ripoff. Things started off badly for us and went downhill from there. We arrived on December 22nd and waited in line at the front desk for over an hour to get our room keys.

Unfortunately we do not speak Spanish, because the definition of "all-inclusive" in Mexico means that you can eat all the buffet meals you want but most a la carte items are extra. There's no shade on the beach unless you rent a tent-like structure for $20/day. Unlimited domestic drinks means a maximum of two and not after 11:00PM (can you believe that Kahlua is not on the list of included domestic drinks!!!).

Our rooms were in the main building and were very "tired". The shower faucet leaked and the walls of the bathroom could have used a good scrubbing. The TV remote rarely worked. At precisely 10:00 every night, the idiots who run this joint provide extremely loud "entertainment" in the main lobby. As all rooms in this building face the lobby, the noise is unbearable! My 9 year old son was unable to sleep until after the shows ended (11:00-11:15) and I had to yell in order for my wife to hear me - and that was with the doors closed! We finally demanded that our rooms be switched to another building and we finally were able to get some rest in the evenings.

The hotel had a New Year's Eve party at a cost of $199.00 US per person! If you did not purchase tickets to this event, most of the grounds of the hotel were off limits for that night.

As another reviewer mentioned, the food is ridiculously over-priced. For example, the lunch buffet is $20.00/person and dinner buffet is $40.00/person. These are reasonable prices for excellent food, but the Princess' food was average to good at best.

One night we ate at the Kukkaburra in town. The meal was outstanding, the view spectacular and the service was exemplary. Dinner for 5 of us cost $260.00 including taxes and tips. Buffet for 5 at the Princess would have been $200.00 for food and service that is eminently forgettable.

Despite our experience, the hotel is well-maintained and the beach is pretty. You can go for very long walks along the beautiful white sandy beach. If you're thinking about going, DON'T stay in the main building. Be prepared to reach for your wallet on a regular basis. Forget the term "all-inclusive" - it is not! The Wal-Mart is a great place to get large bottles of water for $0.56 (1/2 sized bottles of water cost $3.50 at the Princess), snacks and waterproof watches for $10-$15!

Paul

  • Stayed: December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
18  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2006

I absoutley loved this hotel. My husband and I actually went in May, but I have been reading some of the negative reviews and felt obligated to give mine. The resort is beautiful, the grounds, the pools, waterfalls, etc. are stunning, but the entrance and lobby are just beyond amazing. I do agree with people saying that the food and drinks are expensive, but that should be expected, it is overall an expensive resort. I was aware of that before we went, so didn't expect cheap food or drinks. The food was delicious and the drinks were superb. There were not any "scheduled" activities, but again, I do not view it as that kind of resort. I feel it is more of a romantic, private resort. However, there are several people there to help you with booking excursions around Acapulco (highly recommend the city tour with the Cliffdivers) if you are looking for something to do. I don't recommend the Princess for childre, I think they would get bored. My Husband played golf and loved the golf course, we live in Pinehurst, North Carolina, so that is giving the course high praise. I did a half day spa treatment, it was great. I thought the staff was fantastic, people were falling over themselves to help you, especially the "bell hops" in the lobby, a lot of times we had to tell them that we could handle our shopping bags upon returning to the resort after shopping. The bartenders were very attentive, especially at the pool bars. The Mariachi Band at the beach bar was great. The view from the beach bar is just breathtaking. The only negative thing I can say about the Princess, is that food and drinks are expensive, but I think that is to be expected. And if you don't want to pay a lot to eat, it is a $10 cab ride to Senor Frogs. We went there twice, had dinner, desert and left drunk and bill was never over $40. All and All and great place.

14  Thank klab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2006

My wife and I took our honeymoon trip to Acapulco in Jan from the 7th-14th. First I'll tell you about our experience, then give some pointers at the end of this post. Upon arrival we experienced anextremely long wait at the check in counter (about 30 minutes). We told the worker that we were on our honeymoon and our package through worry free vacations entitled us to a free bottle of champagne. The worker did not provide us with the champagne or recognition of our honeymoon. As you arrive at the princess you are amazed by the beautiful open air lobby. The pictures on expedia or tripadvisor do not do the lobby justice. It is amazing. My wife and I stayed on the first floor (garden view) of a tower building. We would have rather stayed in the central building, because it is much more scenic. The room was disappointing, but clean. The shower and toilet did not work when we arrived, but the guest services sent a repair man to our room within 10 minutes and fixed the problem within 45 minutes; we were not compensated in any way for our troubles... afterall this was our first night of our honeymoon. During the week there was a large convention of atleast 400 people staying at the hotel, which was a little annoying.

The mariachi band is wonderful and plays everynight. However, the prices of food are outrageous. Margaritas are $7 each, beers $5, and a one liter bottle of water costs $6.50! The dinner buffet at chula vista is $40, breakfast $23. My wife and I were forced to eat at outside restaraunts, at their deli, or at the Beach restaruant because we had a budget ($1400 for food/tours, cabs, etc. during the week). I would recommend that couples plan on spending well over $1000 during their stay.

The pools are awesome. However, they are a little chilly despite the temperature being in the high 80's all week.

The beach was also awesome. The water was extremely clear (half the week). Again, however, there was a few downfalls... We arrived to ACA during the end of the holiday season (new years) so there were an alarming amount of people on the beach (mostly locals and vacationers from mexico city). I am not saying that there were too many "Mexicans in Mexico" rather the beach was overcrowded. I could hardly walk to the water, because there were so many tents set up all over the beach. Honestly they were in rows all the way down the beach, that went three or four rows back from water. I was very disappointed to see that. By monday many of the tents were down and number of people on the beach had decreased significantly. My wife and I enjoyed body boarding $10 for 2 boards for 2 hours. The waves were awesome. Near the end of the week the tides changed and and the water was no longer clear. It was green, brown and had a green foam. Nevertheless my wife and I went to go body boarding again, but were immediately detoured by a black and yellow snake that washed up on the beach from the big tides. Another tourist said she saw the snakes 3 other times during the week. My wife would not go back in the ocean. She also thinks she saw a small shark next too me (in a wave) while I was body boarding.

TIPS:

Go outside the gate to take taxis, because they are cheaper. $8 to Senor Frogs/Palladium; $9 to Cici Waterpark; $12 to Carlos N Charlies; $15 to La Quebreda.

Do the city tour ($30) as early in your trip as possible offered by Maritur Tours located in the Princess lobby. Talk to Mario he works from 4-10:30 at night everyday; great guide, lots of info, good english.

Skip the Fiesta Bonanza sunset cruise if you are planning on a booze cruise. its family oriented, but entertaining. ($23)

Swim with the dolphins at Cici Water Park. Awesome experience! $120 per person. Free transportation one way.

Definately eat at Linda Vista for a nice dinner overlooking Acapulco Bay. We had the surf and turf... shrimp lobster steak all for $40 each. By far the best meal I have ever had. It is also much more affordable than Bella Vista, Madeiras, Casanova, etc, which are much more expensive.

Most importantly, if staying at the princess hotel. Bring a large back pack like a hiking pack and go to Walmart to buy water, beer, and snacks. The hotel does not allow outside food or drinks so you have to sneak them in. We rented a fridge in our room for $6 per night and it was well worth it. Saved a ton of money. Water at Walmart 50 cents, at the princess $6.50. Buy the same brand products like Corona, Pepsi cans, coke cans, Evian water, and then you can drink it at the pools without them noticing that you did not buy it from them. We left our housekeeping woman a good tip everyday... 2 or 3 dollars, in hopes that she would not report our large quantities of beverages, but then again we hid some in our suitcases and put them in the fridge as needed. They can't prove anything if you have the same brand drinks!

We ordered a Domino's pizza and the hotel manager said we could not eat it in our room. They almost made us dispose of it. He handled it appropriately and allowed us to eat it in the lobby. They really want to suck you dry of all your money. But the facility is very nice, rooms average, and weather perfect. I would go back, but next time with a larger budget!

I will add photos later...

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17  Thank Yamahakart17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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