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.

 

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Branson


I had visited a resort in Branson, Missouri as a guest, not realizing I would have an opportunity to own a timeshare. It was so beautiful, tranquil and welcoming I had to own it. Later I learned how wonderful the area is for sunning, swimming and golf. Many historic cities are nearby to explore. I love my timeshare! It is truly a gift to share with family and friends.

-Barbara H. from Anderson, IN

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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.

 

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It’s Christel House Week on the RCI Blog


Christel DeHaan - Christel House News and Updates

I am thrilled to welcome you to the very first Christel House week on the RCI Blog.  As the founder of Christel House and co-founder of RCI, it gives me immense pleasure to witness the outpouring of generosity that RCI and its employees have shown to the children of Christel House.

 

I could never have imagined what was to come when my family’s living room served as the first RCI “office” in 1973.  As the timeshare industry evolved and business grew, so too, did RCI’s reach.  We rapidly became a multinational company with offices spanning the globe.  And, our corporate culture, including a strong belief in giving back to the communities where we did business, quickly transcended international borders.  That rich culture of social responsibility continues to be a hallmark of RCI’s business today.

 

After the sale of RCI in 1997, I was in the unique position of being able to focus my time and resources on making a difference in the world.  Christel House is my way of doing just that. We opened our first learning center for impoverished children in Mexico City in 1998.  Four more centers in India, South Africa, Venezuela and the United States soon followed.  And, fourteen years later, we continue to grow.  Most of our learning centers are strategically located in third world countries where RCI had much success during my tenure.

 

It also is important to recognize that you, the RCI subscribing members, have played an important role in this story since day one.  Without your patronage of RCI throughout the years, none of this would be possible.  For that, I thank you. 

 

This week, you will have an opportunity to read blogs from some of our students, teachers and even a few RCI employees who have visited our learning centers.  You will also have an opportunity to join RCI in supporting our work.  True to its culture of giving back, RCI will match all donations made to Christel House in 2012 by its members up to a cumulative $25,000.  I invite you to join us as we transform young lives.

 

A photo of me and Christel House students in South Africa

A photo of me and Christel House students in South Africa

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Carlsbad, CA


Even though we are residents of Southern California, we exchanged our timeshare to stay close to home. We stayed at the Grand Pacific Palisades Resort in Carlsbad, CA. This is a very nice resort for families. Everything you could possibly need is nearby. We went about 10 minutes down the road for a nice family day at the beach. LEGOLAND is about a hop, skip and a jump away. Couldn't ask for a better location!

 

- Lori W. from Sun City, CA

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28 years and counting


Mark your calendar for week 29 next year. We're all going on vacation to Hilton Head. We bought a timeshare. Those were the words my mother-in-law said to me 28 years ago. I didn't know when week 29 was, nor did I know what a timeshare was but 28 years later, I have come to appreciate, understand, and anticipate week 29. Over the years, we have met perspective spouses, watched our babies grow, celebrated birthdays and anniversaries, and even shed tears caused by family deaths on that beach at Hilton Head. The proverbial circle of life with week 29 as a backdrop. No matter the severity of the winter weather, sunny week 29 was waiting. No matter the stress of our day-to-day jobs, relaxing week 29 was waiting. No matter the 51 hectic weeks between trips, mellow week 29 was waiting. Last year my mother-in-law could not go to Hilton Head because of cancer, but this year she was back stronger than ever. She was ready to treat everyone, especially her new great granddaughter, to ice cream. What lies ahead? Who knows? But what we do know is that week 29, our timeshare, and the Hilton Head beach will be there to soothe our jangled nerves.

 

- Submitted by: worldtraveller

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Family Reunion in Williamsburg


As I write this, we are returning from our first, and hopefully, our annual family vacation with our daughter and her family and our son and his fiance. We stayed at the Powhatan Plantation in Williamsburg, Va. and had an absolutely amazing time. The resort was everything we hoped it would be. The staff was incredibly helpful and we were very pleased with our accommodations and the amenities. The location was convenient for Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, and the outlets. The kids had as much fun as the adults and everyone had their own unit which made vacationing together so easy. I only wished we had bought our timeshare sooner so we could have been doing this for years. Hopefully, we will have many family vacations together in the future.

- John M. from Greenville, NC
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Virginia Beach


I had both my daughters and their husbands together. It was relaxing even though it was in the spring and not very hot yet. Walking and riding rented bicycles on the boardwalk was relaxing. Exploring the areas together was great. The whole reason I own a timeshare is to be able to have adventures with my girls and their families and to keep all the grandchildren connected. One family lives in Maine and the other family is in the Air Force. Family time is too important! What better way to keep the family together than with a timeshare vacation!?

- Roy J. from Mansfield Center, CT
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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
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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
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Shawnee


Our timeshare has been in the family for 3 decades. Our most cherished time is spent in the Poconos at Shawnee. We love the feel of the cold, crisp air as we enter River Road. The beauty of the Inn and its surroundings gives us a peaceful feeling. The townhouse near the river is the best. We light a fire, take walks along the Delaware River and spend time with family. The smell of the turkey cooking on Thanksgiving while we play board games and converse with each other is so relaxing. After our rather big meal a family favorite is to walk to the Inn and to sit by its fireplace. The kids love going swimming and then partake in the best hot chocolate around. We go back the next day and sit by the fire, read our books and watch the employees of the Inn put up the Christmas tree. It is grand and stands by the winding staircase. This vacation is one of peace and tranquility!

- Denise M. from Lower Merion, PA
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Mexico Trip 2007


Our family usually vacations with our good friends. Our first trip to Mexico, was at a spot of their choice. We decided to go back in 2007, using our RCI deposited time. The wife was very hesitant about staying at a "timeshare resort" as her past experience was poor. However, we stayed at the Mayan Palace on the Riviera Maya. Well, safe to say, she was very impressed and no longer worried about the timeshare horror stories. Our friends were also on hand for our 2009 Cancun visit to the Moon Palace Golf and Spa, which was also an exchange through RCI. I do not think we will be able to go anywhere now without them. Thanks RCI, and our friends thank you too.

- Lee J. from Redding, CA
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Puerto Nuevo 2007


Thanks to RCI we were able to exchange our timeshare for a two-bedroom unit at the Mayan Palace Nuevo Vallarta which allowed us to bring our whole family on vacation with us. We took our twin boys who were 11 months old at the time and their grandparents and two aunts with us so we were able to have adult time, as well as share the boys' first experiences playing with the sand and waves. All of us had a great time. It was truly an unforgettable and beautiful vacation.

- Felicia D. from Los Angeles, CA
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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
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Cape Cod Memories 2009!


Gary S. - Travel Tips and InformationWe drove from our PA home to check out Cape Cod for the first time and were not disappointed. The fresh seafood and beautiful coastal scenery experienced on that late August drive, was just a small indication of the wonderful time in store for us! We stayed at the Harbor Hill resort at the very tip of the cape in Provincetown. Entering our timeshare unit was like walking into a palace in terms of luxury and size! The resort was surrounded by water on three sides with magnificent views of the town and the beaches from nearly every vantage point.

There were many activities to keep us busy: whale watching, swimming at the one of the many beaches and exploring the unique culture of Provincetown. The weather was picture perfect every day of our stay.

A most memorable day was our trip to Martha’s Vineyard. We parked and rode the ferry; had a great lobster for lunch at Coop de Ville, and after an informative bus tour of the island, we browsed through the shops on Circuit Avenue while scoping out a dinner spot.  Outside one of the restaurants we had earlier considered, a motorcade pulled up, and from beyond the gathering crowd, we made out President Obama and family entering the restaurant. We barely missed having dinner with the President!

After checking out, we drove to Boston, explored Faneuil Hall, the New England Aquarium and then dinner at La Famiglia Giorgio’s, with ample portions of expertly prepared Italian food “where everyone is treated like family”. A perfect way to end a perfect vacation experience!

Check back on the RCI blog this week when we share photos and stories about Cape Cod from RCI subscribing members.

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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
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The Inn at Otter Crest, Oregon


A spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean from the deck of our timeshare at the Inn at Otter Crest which was booked through RCI for a family reunion.

A spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean from the deck of our timeshare at the Inn at Otter Crest which was booked through RCI for a family reunion.

- Gayla G. from Jonesboro, AR
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Algarve, Portugal 2007


In August of 2007 our family spent a week of vacation at a wonderful RCI affiliated resort property in the Algarve region of Portugal. Our view from the balcony was not only of the beautiful pool and palm trees but beyond that we could see the fabulous beach and rock formations. Hundreds of colorful umbrellas dot the sand while sun worshiping tourist stroll up and down the shoreline. We enjoyed a fun family night buffet out at the pool with entertainment by performing "Parrots" and dancing to a live band. Our regular timeshare is at the amazing Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, but this visit to Portugal gave us the advantage of visiting relatives and having a great vacation at the same time. We love the options that an RCI subscribing membership gives us to fully utilize the benefits of time-share ownership. Thanks RCI.

- Julie J. from Corcoran, CA
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Sedona


Our trip to Sedona was incredible! We took a side trip to the Grand Canyon and were truly amazed! Sedona was beautiful with amazing red rocks and creeks to swim in. Each hike was a new adventure for our children and us. If not for our timeshare and RCI we would not have had this fantastic family trip!

- Timothy G. from Carlsbad, CA
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Disney Trip 2009


We had a wonderful summer vacation at the Disney Saratoga Springs Resort. Not only was the resort one of the best that we ever exchanged for but our two daughters age 19 and 14 realized how wonderful our RCI affiliated timeshare really is. They talked about how when they are married they want to vacation together and use our timeshare as a way to build onto their great vacation memories. It was so nice to hear that not only do they look forward to our vacations together but also that they see the worth of our timeshare and how they want the same experience for their families in the future.

- Ronald R. from Park Ridge, NJ
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