Acapulco's Second Act


Mexico's original beach town has reclaimed its old-school allure.

Long before Cancún or Los Cabos or the Riviera Maya were even specks on the tourist map, Acapulco reigned as Mexico’s coastal queen. Acapulqueños have recently worked hard to restore Old Acapulco and the Costera, and posh resorts and malls have risen in the newest neighborhood, Acapulco Diamante. The result is a thoroughly modern vacation destination rich in culture and history. Now is the time to visit—or revisit—the place where Mexico’s tourism fame was born.

OLD ACAPULCO

In the early Hollywood days, Playa Caleta and Playa Caletilla, on the western shores of Acapulco Bay, saw the most action. Today, the ’50s have returned with the restoration of the beachfront Hotel Boca Chica. The designers faithfully retained the mid-century architecture and the tiny Coco Wash disco, which has become the hippest hangout in town. Chef Keisuke Harada creates platters of sushi and Kobe burgers for happy hordes at the hotel’s restaurants; on weekends, locals pull their yachts up to the dock and linger for hours over mescal martinis.

With Boca Chica grabbing attention, travelers are also being lured to the palapa-shaded fish shacks on Playa Caletilla. Here families gather beneath blue umbrellas, and water taxis take swimmers to the clear waters off Isla Roqueta, just 10 minutes away. At the nearby Plaza Alvarez (also called the zócalo), elderly gents study their newspapers at sidewalk cafés as kids scamper around the filigreed bandstand. Across the street, fishermen lay out their nets beside docks where party boats collect passengers for sunset sailings.

In the winding streets high above Old Acapulco, sightseers gather at La Quebrada to witness the famed clavadistas, or cliff divers. During the show, a lone diver poses atop a jagged, precipitous cliff. Below, waves crash against rocks before settling into a small swirling pool. In the blink of an eye, the diver swoops toward the sea. Onlookers applaud as he emerges from the water, and another duplicates his feat.

THE COSTERA

Most visitors to the Costera devote the sunlight hours to lounging poolside, browsing in arcades and malls and playing in the bay. Pint-sized fun-seekers enjoy the rides at Papagayo Park and the waterslides at CICI waterpark.

As evening sets in, families head to the Hard Rock Cafe for burgers and ribs. Partygoers seek out tables at Paradise or Beto’s, among the best of the clubs on the sand, or retire to high-end restaurants and discos in the hills. Horse-drawn calesas (carriages) clomp along the Costera, delivering dancers to Baby ’O, one of the best-known discos. And fireworks and laser beams shoot over the bay from the hilltop clubs until dawn.

ACAPULCO DIAMANTE

Perhaps the best evidence of Acapulco’s resurgence lies in the burgeoning Diamante neighborhood. Stretching from the Costera up the steep, winding Scenic Highway, Diamante has legendary discos, championship golf courses, lavish resorts, a concert hall and a shiny new mall.

Several large timeshare resorts are also found on the beaches of Acapulco Diamante, close to attractions like the La Isla shopping center at Punta Diamante, which has lured some of the Costera’s well-known establishments (including the family-friendly yet rowdy Carlos’n Charlie’s). Kids can head to the mall’s Aqua Planet, with bumper boats and mini-golf, as well as displays that teach about water conservation. And at Mundo Imperial, an enormous development with a convention center and hotel, the stars of today appear at the Forum, a state-of-the-art concert hall. With the three sides of Acapulco all in a state of transformation, Mexico’s coastal queen is once again the biggest star on the map.

 

Comments (0) »

Aruba


We had additional points left at the end of the year 2 years ago. We've always heard that Aruba had great beaches and a friendly safe island. But the high season starts at the end of December. We traded our points for a vacation just before the Christmas rush to this Island and found the off season great. There were no great crowds, the restaurants really appreciated our business and so did our resort. The weather was slightly cooler than later but we don't want to burn anyway! We had a great trip and found other people who appreciate the off season travel times. What a wonderful trip, we were able to stay across from one of the best beaches, could walk to a lot of activities and enjoy the activities at our resort and the local area. I'm open to trying new vacation resorts in areas we haven't explored in the past! We can't say enough about the benefits we have with our timeshare.

 

- Anthony B. from Magnolia, DE

Comments (0) »

Thanksgiving with the Christel House Cousins


Becky A., Director, Christel House

By: Becky A., Director, Christel House

 

My first real job out of college was at RCI.  I started as a vacation guide 22 years ago.  As a small town girl from the middle of Indiana, working for RCI opened my eyes to different people and cultures and created a broader view of the world for me.  I learned to embrace and celebrate cultural diversity.  After all, isn’t that part of the magic of traveling to a new place?

 

In my role at Christel House, I love working with RCI and all of the timeshare companies that support our efforts.  But, my favorite thing is spending time with our kids. I personally know most of the young people you’re hearing from this week on the blog.  Some of them have been to the U.S. to attend a summer leadership camp and have stayed at my house on numerous occasions.  They are part of my extended family and like all families, we have special traditions, including an annual Thanksgiving feast.  Only, our feast takes place in August at the end of camp and green bean casserole is nowhere on the menu.

 

We give thanks the Christel House way, with Indian flat bread, guacamole, curry, tacos and other “family” favorites from the across the globe. The kids each pick a food from their home country that they would like to share with their Christel House “cousins”.  That’s what they call each other – they may be from different countries, but to them, Christel House is home and we are all family. 

 

The kids do all of the cooking.  My job is to make sure no one cuts themselves or burns the house down – they aren’t used to sharp knives or cooking on a stove that has more than one heat setting.  The end result is a humble meal made from the most basic of ingredients.  Yet to me, it is far better than a gourmet meal in any five star restaurant.  It isn’t just about the food.

 

Just like with lots of families, some of the best conversations take place around my kitchen table.  The kids take so much pride in sharing their unique customs and traditions with each other.  It is something we all have, regardless of whether we are rich or poor.  They also love to find the common threads that run through all of our cultures. That’s what happens when people of different backgrounds come together through travel or over a shared meal; it breaks down barriers and promotes mutual understanding and respect.  And, that is the magic of what happens in my kitchen each August.

 

A photo of me and the “cousins” cooking our Thanksgiving dinner.

A photo of me and the “cousins” cooking our Thanksgiving dinner.

 

Comments (0) »

Thirty years and more!


Thirty years and more!

We became RCI subscribing members over 30 years ago when a very young family struggling to make a living after moving to Queensland for a life-change. Our daughters and then grandsons grew up loving the annual week at Don Pancho Resort at Bargara where we watched turtles laying eggs and hatchlings emerging. Over the years we have travelled the world with RCI. Now retirees, we spend much of our time planning "Where to next?" As we tell everyone - we are definitely Timeshare Junkies!

- Eileen W. from Queensland, Australia
Comments (0) »

Many Trips


I have been an RCI subscribing member for over twenty years. I have used my week to exchange and to stay at my home resort. I love my RCI membership. I have used my exchanges to travel all over the world plus many fine resorts in the U.S. I have so many wonderful memories of the places I have been with my husband, my family and my friends I could not possibly pick one. If there is ever anyone at the pool talking timeshare and RCI I am the one promoting the virtues. I would never have been able to stay at these fine resorts if I had not been an RCI member.

- Marlene M. from Nisswa, MN
Comments (0) »

RCI Subscribing Members for over 20 years…WOW!


Helen F. - UK and Travel Destination NewsFor Joan K. from Northamptonshire, England, an RCI subscribing membership unleashed her inner adventurer and she has enjoyed two decades of travelling the world with RCI. Joan has always been passionate about travel and this independent divorcee made sure her son, Mark, grew up with the same appreciation for the wonders the world holds for the curious mind. For Joan, a week’s timeshare in Antigua was the perfect gift for Mark. “I wanted to enable him to see the world and to share the experience with friends,” she explained. “Through travel I’ve discovered that I have a real sense of adventure – not for me lying around on a beach all day! I want to get out into the local communities to experience different cultures and the different ways of life the world over.”

After joining RCI in 1991 when she bought a week at Club Tarahal in Tenerife on the Canary Islands, Joan immediately exchanged for a week in Acapulco in Mexico and loved it so much she bought a second week of timeshare, there and then at the resort. Joan shared some of the most exciting and memorable moments of two of her RCI exchange holidays in the European edition of Holiday, The RCI Magazine. Her story (read it here!) sees her on safari in South Africa where she witnessed a ‘kill’ first-hand, and sharing a quiet bathing spot in a hilltop lagoon with monkeys in India. Of course, she got some much needed R&R in fabulous RCI affiliated resorts along the way to recharge her batteries!

This week on the RCI blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos from those of you who have been RCI subscribing members for 20 years or more. Be sure to check back to hear about all the great places our members have traveled over the years.

Comments (0) »

RCI’s UK "Holiday" Magazine Gets a Makeover


Claire W. - UK and Holiday Magazine UpdatesWhen you received your last copy of Holiday magazine you may have noticed we’ve had a bit of a revamp. Like it? We hope so, because many of the ideas came from you!

At the end of 2009, we sent out some member surveys, and we got so many great ideas and feedback from you that we decided to incorporate them into the magazine (updates were also made to RCI North America’s subscribing member publication Endless Vacation® Magazine – you can check those out here) . And as someone who is very involved in the management of Holiday magazine, I can tell you that feedback is always very helpful!

One of the things you told us is that you find travel and vacation tips, RCI information and hearing from other members very useful.  So we now have an all-new, revamped member section called Your Holiday. This is where you’ll find details about your membership, all the latest RCI news, new timeshare resorts for you to try, exclusive offers, recommendations and stories from other members, and much, much more.

We’ve also introduced a new regular feature, Ask the RCI Experts, where you can send us your vacation queries and travel questions to be answered by us.

From the October issue we will be including a Member Travelogue  featuring interesting travel tales from RCI members (we’ve already heard from one member who slept in the same bed as Bill Clinton on holiday – albeit two weeks apart!).

And we’ve introduced regular food features as you told us you like eating out and trying new foods on holiday. (Who doesn’t!?)

We hope you love the new-look Holiday magazine and we’re really keen to hear your opinions and feedback. Let us know what you think by commenting below.

Comments (0) »

My Niece's 21st B-Day Gift to Aruba


I was wondering what I could give my niece and godchild for her 21st birthday. I really wanted to make her birthday memorable as it's such a milestone in life. I decided the only gift that she would remember for the rest of her life was an RCI vacation. I was able to deposit my week and she requested a week in Aruba. Typical soon-to-be 21 year old, she was very specific on the week and chose only 2 resorts in Aruba. It came down to the wire but just 2-3 weeks before her chosen date, I got a call from the RCI guide to let me know RCI was able to accommodate LeeAnne and her mom (my sister) the actual week they wanted in August at the resort in Aruba that was her number one choice. I was a hero to my niece!

My niece, LeeAnne, invited a friend and her mom to join them on this adventure and according to all 4 they had a blast. It was a great mother/daughter bonding trip and no one wanted the week to end. They said they were treated great by all the staff and the RCI exchange was the best vacation they have had! Needless to say, my sister now wants to buy my timeshare and wants to be a member of RCI so that she can travel every year with minimal hassles. Thanks so much for helping me make my niece's 21st birthday a memorable one.

- Abigail V. from Cave Creek, AZ
Comments (0) »

My Birthday 2009


I had not had a real birthday party in a long time, so I decided to throw myself one! Fortunately, I found a Last Call vacation through RCI at the beautiful Kings Creek Plantation resort in Williamsburg, VA. It was very reasonably priced but when I got there, I thought, "Oh my, I should have paid waaaay more for this." It was so nice to have my family come with me. We had enough room for everyone! One of my husband's gifts to me was 'Guitar Hero' and my family and I had a blast taking turns playing it on the big screen television! I was skeptical at first because we are fairly new to the whole timeshare thing, but now that we're confident that RCI will do their best to accommodate our needs, we won't travel any other way! As a matter of fact, we're leaving Monday for a week in Walt Disney World...yippee!

- Steven B. from Suffolk, VA
Comments (0) »

LOS CABOS TRIP 2007


Our family vacation to the Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort in Los Cabos in 2007 was amazing! Both of our adult daughters were so impressed by the resort that they took the timeshare tour onsite to get more information about becoming an RCI subscribing member someday when their finances become more stable. Anytime we have vacation plans booked through RCI, they try to get some time off work to join us no matter where we stay! We all are definitely impressed with all of the resorts we have stayed at! Just wish we could have done this type of travel when our children were young! RCI is the BEST!!!

- Mary M. from Ada, MI
Comments (0) »

Baseball Spring Training in Florida


For the last three years my wife and I have traveled to Orlando for vacation. We first went to Walt Disney World and other activities in the area. We went to three Braves baseball games during the March spring training. The next year we went to nine baseball games but included the Astros to our game plan all in the same Orlando area.

Well, last year we used our RCI subscribing membership and traded into five weeks of timeshares for 31 spring training games in 34 days. It was a lot of fun and we got season tickets at the Nationals and the Astros parks. We had the same seats every day so the people we were sitting with became friends and we will do it again this year. What a great way to spend a vacation and enjoy friends that we have met in past years.

- Robert W. from Hayes, VA
Comments (0) »

Mexico Trip 2005


I took a trip to Cancun with my wife. The all-inclusive options made us feel safer as we didn't have to venture out much from the resort. The resort had a special RCI check-in area for us and we were treated very well by the staff. RCI made booking our vacation quick and easy, which made it a lot easier to enjoy our vacation. We never had to worry about misplaced reservations or language issues between us and the resort since neither of us speak Spanish. I recommend RCI to all of my friends who own timeshares and wish to travel to other destinations. We've enjoyed our membership these past few years and hope to continue our RCI subscribing membership.

- Ryan S. from Kingsport, TN
Comments (0) »

RCI celebrates 37 years!


Phil B. - Timeshare Exchange and Resort Vacation NewsThis week marks the 37th anniversary of RCI. 37 years! We have definitely come a long way since 1974, when our exchange requests were kept on index cards! Since then we have reached so many milestones, some of them including the launch of the resort directory (1975), our website (1996), the RCI Points® program (2000), and Enhanced Search Online (2008). And during the last year alone, we introduced the RCI Points Platinum® membership tier, enhancements to the RCI Weeks program with more transparency, and a bunch of ways to stay connected with RCI in social media including a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, a Twitter handle, an iPhone® app, and this blog. And trust me, there will be more to add to this list this year!

First of all, we’ve already launched a cool new version of our “Share Your Vacation” Facebook app. This version allows you to compete against your friends and other users and to earn fun online trophies – all based on the information you enter about vacations (you can check out the app on our Facebook page by clicking on the “App” tab). Also, the RCI app is now available on your iPad® (with the RCI Affiliated Resort Directory, RCI TV and RCI SnapBook features) and you will see the Endless Vacation® magazine app for the iPad in a few weeks! This is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more to come as we continue to completely transform your timeshare experience.

This week on the RCI blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos with you from RCI subscribing members who traveled to celebrate an anniversary. Be sure to check back. And if you have an anniversary story of your own, please feel free to share it by commenting below.

The RCI Blog is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc.

Comments (0) »

Las Vegas Trip 2009


We went to Las Vegas and stayed at the Grand Desert Resort. The accommodations were super. The room (large king size bed), large Jacuzzi tub, large bathroom, living area with dining room, and equipped kitchen were awesome. The resort had an adult and a family pool, great food and we even used the work out room. We utilized the outside hot tub every morning. The area was so pretty and clean. We were close to the strip but it was so great to get away from the hustle and bustle and have some quiet time. The free shuttle was clean, air conditioned and believe it or not ON TIME!!

The only thing that would have made this trip better would have been to win some money! I love my timeshare. It has enabled me to stay in places I would have never stayed and travel much more often. The quality vacations I have gotten to take because of RCI have been numerous. I can't wait to plan my next trip!

- Kelley B. from Winchester, KY
Comments (0) »

Timeshares and Family Reunions Go Hand in Hand


Karen P. - RCI Social Media and Marketing NewsI attended my first family reunion 3 years ago and I have to say, it was an experience I will never forget. It was located in the heart of the Poconos in Pennsylvania, and members of my extended family (including a famous magician, who shall remain anonymous!) traveled from across the country to spend a weekend together. Looking back on all of the preparation that went into that weekend, I can definitely see how owning a timeshare can make the planning of a family reunion both easy and fun.

Keep reading our blog this week to see stories from RCI subscribing members who have planned family reunions themselves using their exchanges through RCI. There was even a family that coordinated a reunion for 23 people!

Do you have a story about a family reunion at an RCI affiliated resort? If so, please share your story here!

Comments (2) »

Dan The RCI Guy Takes on Marbella, Spain


Dan "The RCI Guy" - Vacation Travels with RCI TV's Dan "The RCI Guy"I never get tired of visiting Spain. It is a beautiful country that can differ greatly by region. Recently, I stayed in Marbella on the southern coast while attending a conference where resort developers from around Europe come together to discuss the latest trends - which is why I attended this conference…to talk a bit about RCI TV. As a timeshare owner myself, I have to say that Marbella is where I want to exchange into next.

Marbella is built around a beautiful bay with sandy beaches and soft winds that come off the Mediterranean Sea. The mountains rise sharply as you travel inland and one of the areas you really should check out is the historic city of Ronda. It has an awesome Roman aqueduct and bridge that ushers you into its gates. There's plenty of shopping and eating to be done... or just spend your time exploring! In fact, one of the videos on RCI TV features Ronda - check it out on the Destination Reviews online channel on RCI TV.

Have you ever visited Marbella or another city in Spain? What was your favorite part? Comment below and tell me about it!

Comments (0) »

AZ for Xmas


All five of us - myself, my husband and our three children ranging in ages from 17-10; went to Arizona for Christmas in 2008. We stayed at the Camelback Resort. I have to say we had a wonderful time. There was so much to do driving and hiking on the scenic trails. Swimming in December was the best and it was the last year my daughter was traveling with us due to her college plans. So it was very important to me that everyone was happy with our choices of activities. We had the great weather, interesting shops to explore and wonderful staff at the resort.

The next week we spent New Year's Eve in Sedona at another RCI affiliated timeshare. Just when I thought things couldn't get better it did. We had the same great experience at the resort and the beauty of our surroundings. We did a jeep tour, went to the Grand Canyon and explored the area. We even saw fireworks on New Year's Eve at a local Casino on a Native American Reservation. I think this was an example of a great itinerary and perfect timing. All the kids had a blast and we were extremely happy with our choice of places to explore during the holidays.

- Carol G. from North Haven, CT
Comments (0) »

Our Goal…High Fives By The Pool!


Phil B. - Timeshare Exchange and Resort Vacation NewsA few months ago, I blogged about the fun and exciting tools we created to help you learn about RCI and our affiliated resorts. Well, we are adding to the list!

We recently launched an RCI Facebook page and Twitter account (we're @RCI_Timeshare) and we’re also planning big additions to our RCI app for the iPhone®. All of these are fantastic ways to stay in touch with RCI, but Facebook and Twitter are great ways to meet and interact with other RCI subscribing members. Which brings me to today’s topic: What are we trying to accomplish with all this social and online stuff?

Simply stated, we’re giving you more useful information in a setting where you can hear from other folks who love to travel. I love the idea of creating a tight-knit community of RCI members who share travel ideas and tips and wish each other well on vacation travels. I can see a day where someone may spot an RCI hat or beach towel at one of our affiliated resorts, and approach that person and say, “Hey, are you an RCI member? So am I!” (This is where the high five comes in.) “This is my wife. How is your vacation going? Have you tried the spa yet?”

So jump into Facebook and Twitter and start hanging out with others who are passionate about travel. While doing so, you’ll find fun and informative updates from RCI – like vacation tips, polls, trivia, updates on our affiliated resorts, and suggestions on FS2D (Fun Stuff to Do) when visiting destinations.

But more importantly, you’ll see what other members are saying about their trips and you can post your own suggestions and tips. And the best part of our Facebook page? Our new app called Share Your Vacation by RCI! It lets you plot all of your vacations on a map and see where your Facebook friends have been. Or, you can just see where other RCI members are traveling to get an idea of where the new hot spots are. Now that’s cool!

If you like hearing from RCI, but prefer to keep it short and sweet (like 140 characters or less short and sweet), then follow us on Twitter.

And by all means, if you’re at one of our affiliated resorts and hear someone talking about RCI, introduce yourself and jump into the conversation. And give them a high five!

iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

Comments (0) »

New England 2008


New England has always been one of the top places we've wanted to visit in the fall. Last year with the help of RCI, we were able to make our dream come true! We traded our timeshare for one at the VILLAGE OF LOON MOUNTAIN LODGES in Lincoln, New Hampshire at the end of September through the beginning of October. It was the perfect location that allowed us to drive near the resort and also farther away to see so much of the area and the autumn beauty. One of my favorite highlights was visiting the home of the great American poet Robert Frost. His work has been so inspiring to me and being able to walk through his home, stroll the grounds and see the view of the New Hampshire mountains that he saw made me feel like I knew him just a little bit better. With a view like his, it's not hard to understand why he was such an amazing writer with so much inspiration, right in front of him. We also traveled to the Lake Winnepesaukee region where one of my favorite movies, "On Golden Pond" was filmed. On other days, we took drives to see the Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory and the VonTrapp Lodge in Vermont, as well as driving many of the scenic highways in the area to take in the gorgeous natural surroundings.

- Nancy H. from Phoenix, AZ
Comments (0) »

Dan the RCI Guy: Off to Asia!


Dan "The RCI Guy" - Vacation Travels with RCI TV's Dan "The RCI Guy"On my way to Asia — for the first time!

Traveling has been a part of my job description for the past 20 years. And while I have been to dozens of different countries and to every state in the U.S., I have never been anywhere in Asia…until now!

I'm packing my bags and heading off to Bangkok, Thailand and Nha Trang, Vietnam to film a beautiful timeshare resort and to film another episode of our RCI® TV travel show, "New Ways to Play." The travel show will take place in Bangkok and the timeshare resort is on an island off the coast of Nha Trang. Villas overlook the sea and have their own plunge pool right outside your door. They have a renowned spa and feature ancient, traditional Far East massage treatments. Sounds perfect to me!

In Bangkok, we are going to meet up with one of the city’s most famous tailors to have him make my own custom silk suit in just 24 hours (I've been told I clean up fairly well). We're also taking a bicycle tour of the city with a company whose name says it all: "Grasshopper Adventures."

I've always admired the rich history of the many cultures that make up Asia and I cannot wait to experience a part of two of them in the coming weeks. What places have you visited in Asia? Any tips you can give me for my travels? Or timeshare locations you can recommend? Please comment below to let me know!

Comments (0) »