18-hole golf course includes water hazards on 12 holes
88,000 square feet of flexible meeting space
Pets allowed for a fee
many rooms is old-fashioned and lifeless
Limited dining and entertainment options within walking
check-in and check-out times during peak hours
The Princess Mundo Imperial, formerly Fairmont Acapulco Princess, is a four-pearl resort located on a large, garden-filled property, seven miles from downtown. The hotel’s 1,011 rooms and suites are located in three towers. Rooms in the Pearl Tower are gorgeous, while those in the other two are in need of a refresh. The resort offers a dizzying array of restaurants, pools, and entertainment options, particularly if you count the facilities of its two sister properties, which guests can also use. The resort itself is buzzing with activity, yet some may find its location too far away from the downtown nightlife scene and there’s virtually nothing within walking distance. It’s worth considering the Fiesta Americana Villas Acapulco for its more central location, or the neighboring Pierre Mundo Imperial for its more intimate atmosphere.
Busy mega-resort with facilities that are
luxurious in some areas, and dated in others
Originally named the Olinyala Princess, the first two towers of the Princess Mundo Imperial were constructed in 1971. The hotel served as a setting for TV shows like “Love Boat” and “Remmington Steele,” and billionaire Howard Hughes spent his final days in one of its suites in 1976.
The hotel was among Mexico’s first mega-resorts, and there’s no denying that it still makes a memorable first impression. Its central building, the Pyramid, is modeled after an Aztec pyramid. The grand lobby includes elegant water features, as well as floor tiles decorated with a huge mask design. The atrium stretches up 14 stories, culminating in a stunning skylight. On the left of the Pyramid building is the Princesa Tower, and on the right is the Pearl Tower.
The resort’s pools are gorgeous, as are the modern rooms in the Pearl Tower; however, other areas of the hotel are showing signs of age. The enormous pools, extensive meeting facilities, and glamorous setting attract a mix of business travelers, couples, singles, and families. With such a diverse guest market, it’s no surprise that the hotel can and does get extremely crowded. Guests who love having plenty of choice are spoilt for options with five pools, six dining venues, and dozens of activity options, in addition to access to the hotel’s sister properties; however, those seeking exclusivity and tranquility may be overwhelmed by the sprawling grounds and hectic atmosphere.
Secluded location in Acapulco’s upscale Diamante
The Princess Mundo Imperial is set on the southern outskirts of Acapulco, a 20-minute drive from downtown. The hotel is located on 480 acres of landscaped grounds. There are a number of shopping and dining options found along Boulevard de las Naciones, the closest main road, but they’re too far apart from one another to explore on foot. La Isla Shopping Village can be reached in an eight-minute drive and Acapulco International Airport is a 10-minute drive away.
The resort backs onto a picturesque stretch of Playa Revolcadero, and it’s also less than a 15-minute drive to Playa Puerto Marques and a five-minute drive to Playa Diamante.
Pearl Suites are inviting and contemporary, but
the other room categories need an update.
Guest rooms in the hotel’s Pearl Tower are bright and beautiful, offering iPod clocks, 37-inch flat-screen TVs, marble flooring, and sleek dark wood furniture. Rooms feature padded lime green head boards, striking blue accent walls, and purple bolster pillows that match the chair cushions. Patchwork bedspreads pick up the various colors found throughout the rooms, pulling together the overall color scheme.
Bathrooms are equally fashionable, painted in the same daring blue as the accent wall in the bedrooms. Long countertops with square sinks are stocked with Rose 31 bath products, which are produced by American perfumer Le Labo. Rooms also feature private balconies with garden, pool, or ocean views. The balconies vary in size, but all are furnished with tables and chairs, and some include loungers.
We were only permitted to photograph the Pearl Suites during our visit, but a peek inside the rooms in the hotel’s other two towers revealed dramatically different decor. These rooms and suites are old-fashioned with dull floral cushions and bed skirts, light wood and wicker furniture, and drab bathrooms. Some suites feature kitchenettes, dining tables, refrigerators, and separate living areas. Rooms are tidy and all include big closets as well as balconies, but the decor doesn’t reflect the level of luxury that most guests would expect from a four-pearl hotel.
Five gigantic pools, six dining venues, and access
to the facilities of the hotel’s two sister properties
The Princess Mundo Imperial offers five massive freeform pools, including one salt water pool as well as two pools with swim-ups bars. One of the pools includes graceful waterfall features and rope bridges. The pools are surrounded by lounge chairs and plant-life, but shade is minimal. The hotel’s beige-sand beach offers more shelter, with rows of square orange tents protecting wicker lounge chairs. Playa Revolcadero is a nice enough beach, but vendor tents typically block the views of the coast.
The open-air lobby bar, Laguna, picks up on the lobby’s interesting Aztec theme and faces towards the hotel’s pretty salt water lagoon. Nearby Café et Chocolat offers grab-and-go style meals as well as Starbucks coffee, but there’s a simple, open-air seating area just outside for those who want a place to dine.
Posadita Steak & Seafood Grill is a seasonal dinner restaurant, while Chula Vista is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Both restaurants are relatively basic and open-air, offering pleasant views of the pool and coast. The Beach Club restaurant exudes more character with its palapa roof and deep blue accents. Overlooking Playa Revolcadero, the Beach Club serves light fare for lunch and dinner. There’s also a snack bar found near the hotel’s golf pro shop.
Tavola Restaurant is by far the most distinct dining venue, with bold red pillars, brick accents, and a chic display case of wine bottles. Black-and-white photography and wine barrels act as decoration. It’s a fairly textbook design for a restaurant specializing in Italian cuisine, but attractive nonetheless.
Willow Stream Spa offers facials, massages, aromatherapy, thalassotherapy, and body wraps, as well as salon services. Treatment rooms are simple but appealing, and the palapa-roofed relaxation areas include soothing water features and lush plants.
The large Willow Stream Fitness Center offers an excellent selection of free weights and cardio equipment. Personal training services and fitness assessments are also available. @ Play Kids' Club is a tad dated, but features a cute nautical theme and a supervised activities program, in addition to books, play equipment, games, and Apple iMacs.
The Princess Mundo Imperial offers a program called “Stay in One, Play @ Three,” which provides guests with access to its sister resorts, the Pierre Mundo Imperial and Mundo Imperial Resort. For an additional daily surcharge, guests receive day passes to the other two resorts as well as discounts on services and dining at all three. It’s a scenic 20-minute walk along the beach to reach Pierre, or all three resorts are connected by a free shuttle service. For additional fees, guests can use the resort’s private Turtle Dunes Country Club, which features an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Ted Robinson.
The hotel encompasses more than 88,000 square feet of meeting space, including 27 meeting rooms of various sizes as well as an amphitheater. It also offers wedding planning services, and pets are welcome for an additional fee. Wi-Fi is available for a surcharge.
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