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Elcano Hotel 3.0

Acapulco, Guerrero, Pacific Coast

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Tidy guest rooms feature appealing navy-and-white color schemes and furnished balconies 
  • Direct access to picturesque Playa Icacos
  • Central location, with numerous shops, bars, and restaurants found within fast walking distance
  • Outdoor pool overlooks the beach
  • Inviting open-air restaurant and bar with views of the coast
  • Some suites feature jetted tubs and two floors of living space
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Business center with printer and computer

Cons

  • Decor could use a refresh in some areas
  • Breakfast not included in the room price
  • Small pool for hotel’s size
  • Limited equipment in fitness center

Bottom Line

Elcano Hotel is a three-pearl property on a prime location in Acapulco’s Golden Zone. The rear of the hotel faces towards popular Playa Icacos and the front opens onto the buzzing bars and shops found along Avenida Costera. Opened in the late 1950s, the hotel exudes a certain nostalgic charm, but its no surprise that the retro lobby and 180 guest rooms show their age. The hotel features an outdoor pool, restaurant, and bar, all of which are relatively standard but do offer beautiful views of Acapulco Bay. The nearby Emporio Acapulco Hotel and Crowne Plaza Acapulco offer similar amenities in the same price category, so it’s worth comparing rates.

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Scene

This busy beachfront hotel straddles the line between retro and just plain dated

With its powder blue pillars, boldly patterned floor tiling, and brown wicker chairs, the lobby’s 1950s-style decor immediately distinguishes the hotel as one of Acapulco’s Golden Age relics. However, Elcano doesn’t look like the kind of glamorous place that would have attracted Elizabeth Taylor or Frank Sinatra even in its heyday -- from the simple pool to the modest restaurants, the hotel’s facilities are distinctly mid-range. At best, it’s cute and low-key and at worst, it borders on too old-fashioned.   

The guests we spotted during our visit were mainly families, although the hotel’s diverse meeting facilities and proximately to the Acapulco Convention Center would make it a solid choice for business travelers as well. There are countless bars nearby for guest looking to party, but revelers might find the atmosphere too mellow at the hotel itself.

Like the other hotels clustered along the Costera, Elcano’s main selling point is its location with numerous beaches, restaurants, and shops easily accessible on foot. The hotel’s smaller size and long history give it a bit more character than most of the other three-pearl hotels in the area, although this smaller size also translates into a less impressive pool, limited fitness center, and fewer on-site dining options compared to its competitors.

Location

Downtown location in Acapulco’s main tourist area, surrounded by entertainment and dining options

Elcano Hotel is located along bustling Avenida Costera Miguel Alemán in the city’s lively Golden Zone. The Costera is a wide, busy, overdeveloped road with closely packed shops, restaurants, and bars found on both sides of the street. The back of the hotel faces towards iconic Acapulco Bay and Playa Icacos. It’s less than a 15-minute walk to neighboring Playa Condesa as well as to El Rollo Acapulco water park and the Acapulco Convention Center.

The Galerias Diana Shopping Center can be reached in six minutes by car, and Acapulco International Airport is 12 miles away. It’s less than a 30-minute drive to La Quebrada, the Fort of San Diego, and the Zocalo. Parking at the hotel is completely free. 

Rooms

Bright rooms include flat-screen TVs and private balconies with ocean views 

With navy-and-white bedding, floor tiles, chairs, and curtains, guest rooms at the Elcano evoke a slightly nautical vibe and are truly spacious. The colorful beach sketches that decorate the walls are charming, but the fake plants and clunky teal furniture look drab. All rooms include flat-screen TVs, as well as long balconies furnished with wooden tables and chairs. None of the rooms have minibars or kettles for making coffee and tea. Some suites include two floors and include jetted tubs, small separate dining areas, and multiple bathrooms. The Penthouse is the largest and arguably, best room in the hotel.

No-frills bathrooms are in need of an update, with their old-fashioned fixtures and areas of yellowing visible on the marble countertops. The tiny sink area is stocked with hotel-branded bath products. Spartan showers are separated from the rest of the room by a thin shower curtain. 

Features

Direct access to scenic Playa Icacos, lovely pool, and open-air restaurant

The hotel features a rectangular pool overlooking the beach. It’s surrounded by plastic white lounge chairs and a few palm trees, which provide limited shade. The pool is attractive but slightly small for the hotel’s size -- it can fill up quickly during peak times.

Bambuco Bar is found just to the side of the pool, and offers open-air seating under umbrellas or an elegant white shelter. The restaurant is simple but pretty with cut-outs in the tiled flooring filled with sands and rocks, as well as palm trees, which blend gracefully with the shelter’s pillars. The back of Bambuco Bar opens up into larger Bambuco Restaurant, which features the same deep brown chairs in addition to views of the coast. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Packages are available for breakfast, otherwise it costs extra. The hotel’s third dining venue, El Timon Lobby Bar, is open seasonally and was closed during our visit. Guests can get pizzas delivered to their room and there's an ice machine on every floor. 

The hotel backs on to a pleasant stretch of Playa Icacos. Seating is offered on a few lounge chairs, which are set on a small deck overlooking the beach. Like the other beaches along Acapulco Bay, the sands of Playa Icacos are coarse and vendors often solicit guests; however, it’s typically less crowded than neighboring Playa Condesa.

The hotel offers a utilitarian fitness center with only four pieces of equipment. There’s also a cramped business center with two personal computers and a printer, as well as a beauty salon and medical center. The hotel features several meeting and event spaces which can accommodate groups of up to 500 people, and free Wi-Fi is available throughout. 

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Address

Avenida Costera Miguel Aleman 75, Acapulco, Guerrero 39690, Mexico

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