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) »

Once In A Lifetime


My boyfriend of three years and I decided to take a spontaneous vacation in July. We were in our early 20's and living together for a little less than a year. We found a fantastic deal and booked a trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Our excitement was palpable.

As a young couple in love, off we went to Cancun International Airport on our first trip to Mexico, to an all-inclusive resort and to a beach not on the US eastern coast. We were thrilled to just be away together in such a lovely place.

After settling into a room, squeezing in a little pool time, and enjoying a delicious dinner at the buffet, we decided to take a walk on the beach. Hand-in-hand we went as we took a seat on two loungers under a tiki hut. The stars twinkled above us on this dark night, the ocean lapped the sand, and we enjoyed the silence that surrounded us in this peaceful moment.

I said to my boyfriend, "What a perfect place, what a perfect dinner, what a perfect night." At that moment he replied "It's the perfect time for me to ask you to marry me." I stared in awe as he got down on one knee and opened up a box showing my sparkling engagement ring. I smiled and cried tears of joy as I replied "Yes!” We shared an emotional and happy moment under the romantic sky.

As it turns out, he had done an impressive job asking my parents for their permission, receiving the delivery of the ring, and getting through the airports' security and customs departments. I was excited, beaming, and still in shock when we went to the lobby. We celebrated with champagne as we watched the live Mexican band play along with couples and children dancing about...

We immediately got moved to an oceanfront room and spent the rest of our vacation in bliss as we relaxed, got massaged, sunbathed, dined, drank, danced, and laughed together. During our remaining days, we frequently visited Jack and José who shared in our happiness as a newly engaged couple and new timeshare owners. This was a very special vacation for us and I will never forget the once in a lifetime memories that were created at Ocean Maya Royale.

-Erin D. from Blue Bell, Pennsylvania

Comments (0) »

It'll never top Mexico


Our first RCI vacation took us to Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula. We were excited to be able to exchange our timeshare in the Berkshires for a vacation outside of the US in order to give our two young boys some exposure to other cultures. We rented a car so that we could explore the surrounding countryside and possibly see some of the Mayan ruins while in Mexico. The resort was nice enough and offered a number of activities... The food was great; we tried a number of different options and the kids even tried some new things (a small miracle). The resort’s many pools provided some variety as we spent a chunk of time swimming and joining in on some resort-sponsored pool football...

-William H. from Coventry, Connecticut

Comments (0) »

Timeshare is the best thing we have ever owned


For Christmas four years ago, we took both of our sons and a significant other to Kauai, Hawaii. We spent the whole week taking helicopter rides, which was awesome. The best way to see the beauty of this gorgeous island. We also went snorkeling, to a luau, toured every inch of this gorgeous island, took a boat ride around to the Na Pali Coast, swam in waterfall pools, the list goes on. The resort had a lanai for both rooms that overlooked the Pacific Ocean. We hated to go to sleep and woke up very early every morning to sit on the lanai to watch the sunrise. The weather was absolutely perfect and the resort was wonderful. It was a Christmas dream vacation to be in the most beautiful place in the world with our grown children and friend. We want to go back and recreate the whole week because it is the one trip that we can never forget. Owning our timeshare is the greatest purchase we have ever made. We have been to all of the Hawaiian Islands and Kauai has been the most special.

-Richard K. from Bells, Texas

Comments (0) »

Good eats on the island of Maui


Dan "The RCI Guy" - Vacation Travels with RCI TV's Dan "The RCI Guy"Last year, my best friend asked me to join him in Hawaii to celebrate his birthday. He was going to be staying at a beach house in Paia on the north shore of Hawaii. Since it was still a bit chilly where I live in Salt Lake City, the answer was easy... "yes"!

I've been coming to Hawaii since I was 10 years old...at first it was always the island of Oahu, but over the years I've been able to visit almost all the islands – Kauai (where I own a timeshare), Oahu, Maui and even Lanai.

Our flight landed in Kahului and the beach town of Paia is only about 10-15 minutes east along the north shore. We arrived at night, so I really couldn't see anything, but I could sure hear the surf from the beach house we were staying at. There's something magical, almost mesmerizing about the listening to the ocean surf, especially at night. For me, it easily lulls me to sleep. My first morning was beautiful, the ocean was only 50 feet off the back porch and there were shallow tidal pools where the locals loved to go fishing.

When I go on vacation I love to go off the beaten path and Paia is exactly my kind of place – a local surfing town with VERY friendly people and lots of little, funky shops and restaurants. Some of my favorites were the Paia Fish Market - try the mahi mahi burger with onion rings. Cafe Des Amis serves up great crepes with a fun, outdoor patio. No matter what, take the time to check out Mana Foods. It's the local health food/grocery store and it has the coolest items that you won’t find anywhere else. It seems almost everything in the store is organic – really fun. And if you go during the day you should check out their hot and cold deli. We bought a bunch of the buffalo wings...seriously some of the best wings I've ever had! Finally, perhaps the most famous restaurant on the island is just a couple of miles east of Paia. Mamma's Fish House has been right on the beach for about 40 years and the food is amazingly good. The atmosphere is hard to beat and the service was impeccable. I ordered the wild boar and mahi mahi – fantastic! My friends ordered the macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi stuffed with crab - mmmmm good! Your meal starts with fresh baked bread and a complimentary "shot" of the soup of the day. Mamma’s Fish House may be pricey, but it is well worth it!

Another great spot on the island is Wailea. There are three or four great beaches but my favorite was Big Beach – just ask any of the locals how to get there. Look for local food trucks selling everything from shaved ice to shrimp scampi along the way. Big Beach is just that... BIG! It stretches along the west coast for almost half a mile - the sand is soft and the waves are perfect for boogie boarding or body surfing.

Also on the west coast, but further north, is Ka'anapali. There are a lot of beautiful beaches here and my favorite place is Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop. It's about five miles before you get to town, look for it on the right, and it is HEAVEN! Yes, their pies are incredibly good, but so are their sandwiches and pot pies...everything is amazing!

I LOVE Maui - hope you do too!! Come back to the RCI Blog this week to read stories and see photos from RCI subscribing members who have also visited Maui. Trust me, these photos will not disappoint!

Comments (0) »

I Love Cabo!


I want to tell you about Cabo! I just loved it there! I was amazed by all the cactus and foothills surrounded by the gorgeous deep blue water. The rock formations and the Arch in the Sea of Cortez are spectacular! Locals said that it only rains approximately 11 days a year. Since I live in Florida, I noticed the lack of humidity and enjoyed it immediately. It was true desert conditions, in the 80's during the day and cooled nicely each evening. This was a timeshare trade for me, staying at the RCI Gold Crown, five-star resort Pueblo Bonito Resort at Sunset Beach. The resort is situated on the Western side of the tip of Baja, on a hillside overlooking the Pacific. This spectacular getaway provides incredible views from hacienda-style villas overlooking a magnificent expanse of private beach and sparkling deep blue sea. This has to be the most fantastic resort I have ever experienced. The luxurious all-suite accommodations along with five ocean-view pools was amazing. Even though the beach there is non-swimmable because of the strong currents, walks on the beach and listening to the pounding waves was breathtaking. There is magnificent dining on property but be certain to make reservations. All the restaurants are very popular, The Spa massages and facials were relaxing and delightful. The resort provides complimentary shuttle golf carts to escort guests around the property. They also offer a shuttle bus to adjacent Pueblo Bonito Pacifica, and nearby (10 minutes) to Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos as well as Pueblo Bonito Rose where you can enjoy full use of all amenities and restaurants. These properties are adjacent to each other and are located on one of the best swimmable beaches in Los Cabos, Medano Beach. This is also near downtown and within walking distance to many shops and restaurants. Be sure to try the tortilla soup at The Office. Best I have ever tasted! And you can dine with your feet in the sand! The marina is also located nearby providing boats for diving, whale watching, deep sea fishing and glassbottom boats with boat tours for spectacular views of Lover's Beach and the Arch.

The Los Cabos International airport is approximately 45 minutes from the resort and is near the quaint town of San Jose del Cabo. I recommend arranging transportation with the resort in advance of your arrival. If you rent a car be certain to drive approximately 30 minutes up the Pacific coast to Todos Santos to visit the famed Hotel California and many other interesting shops and sights in that area.

As you can tell I definitely enjoyed Cabo and certainly recommend that you experience this destination for your next vacation. The people are extremely friendly and accommodating and do everything possible to make your vacation a wonderful memory!

- Janelle A. from Clearwater, FL

Comments (0) »

First timeshare experience


When I received a brochure about 25 years ago inviting me to a free weekend in a villa at Big Canoe, Georgia, I thought there must be some catch to it. I called and asked numerous questions. Everything seemed on the up and up, so I made my reservation and packed up everything I thought I'd need, and took 4 kids with me for the 3 hour trip. When we arrived we were so impressed with absolutely everything. The unit even had games & cable TV. The kids played squash. Free. To the pool or the lake for canoeing: free again. The kids wanted to play tennis. It was free. I did rent a bucket of balls for $1. That was all I spent the entire weekend. And I bought my first time share to begin a lifetime of vacations!

- Phyllis G. from Auburn, AL
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) »

Puerto Rico 2009


San Juan turned out to be a great town. My plans were to cruise for a week then stay in Puerto Rico for 6 more days. The Sol Melia Resort turned out to be the most beautiful place we could have chosen. It was a very modernly designed facility from the check-in areas to the rooms themselves. The pools were magnificent, huge, clear, blue, and the perfect temperature. The most special part of staying in this timeshare was that we were in such close proximity to the only rainforest in the U.S. National Park Service. It is worth a million dollars to see and experience this magnificent treasure only in Puerto Rico. We had such a fun and adventurous time. I recommend it to everyone. It's only about one hour from San Juan and the airport.

- Angela G. from Middle River, MD
Comments (0) »

Mazatlan


We stayed at the Royal Villas and loved every minute! It was all inclusive with really great food at all times. Some days at the pool, my kids would order up to three large pepperoni pizzas with no issues, then order room service for dinner or go downstairs for the seafood platter. Ask for the breaded shrimp! The omelet station was wonderful as were the pancakes. My daughter dropped her fork and three servers instantly handed her another one. The drinks were strong and plentiful. Our beds were pillow soft! Pool slide was enjoyed by the children. Nice glass elevator. Easy check in and check out. No timeshare hassle. The malecon was wonderful. The statues in the water and the tower at sunset were unreal. Beautiful fountain too. Carlos'n Charlie's was fun and loud, danced on the tables. One of the best trips ever!

- Ginger R. from Dalton, GA
Comments (0) »

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
Comments (0) »

Hilton Head 2009


We were fortunate enough to visit Hilton Head for the first time through our timeshare using RCI. Our trip was fabulous. The condo was very spacious and had more than what we needed to have an enjoyable week. Our kids enjoyed swimming in the pools. The beach was fantastic and we spent a lot of time riding our bikes along the miles of trails on the island. Thank you for making it possible to experience a wonderful vacation. We look forward to many more!

- Trina T. from Mechanicsville, VA
Comments (0) »

Our Williamsburg Trip


One of our more memorable family trips was to Williamsburg with a timeshare exchange to the Kings Plantation resort. The units and resort amenities were perfect for a young active family. The children enjoyed the pool and mom took advantage of Fitness and Spa-type services.

It was easy driving to the great historical sites to visit nearby. We went back in time at Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown. Came back to modern days for great fun and amusement at Cypress Gardens. A short drive to the coast and we were set for another grand beach day for a family reunion. That summer vacation is in our book as one of the top favorites. We'd love to go back again.

- Joseph B. from Cleveland, OH
Comments (0) »

Hawaii 2007


While planning my wedding, my husband and I were trying to figure out how we could afford to go on a nice honeymoon. My father then gave us their RCI week as a gift to use for our honeymoon. We were so excited that we would actually be able to go somewhere beautiful. We decided on Maui, Hawaii. Our timeshare unit was perfect! We even had a waterfall in the pool. We were close to Lahaina, our favorite spot and Whalers Village.

We had the most romantic trip ever and we will forever remember how special that week was to us. We owe special thanks to not only my father but also to RCI for providing the opportunity to exchange our timeshare week in CT for an amazing and romantic place in Hawaii!

- Dana A. from Middletown, CT
Comments (1) »

An Australian Adventure


We stayed in a one bedroom timeshare at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. A bus picked us up at the timeshare and took us to the dock where the boats took us our for scuba and snorkeling experiences.We had a wonderful pool at the apartments and bright sunlight each day. It was an awesome place!

- Phyllis R. from Blacksburg, VA
Comments (3) »

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) »

Arizona 2009


Last year we went with my parents to Cornville, Arizona. It was the best timeshare we had exchanged for. Very well laid-out and great pool for the grandkids to play with their Granna and Papa. We saw great Indian ruins, the Grand Canyon, relaxed, hiked in Sedona, and enjoyed the warm weather away from the cold Alaska winter. Thanks to RCI for providing great resorts!

- Leo G. from Stillwater, MN
Comments (0) »

Stone Ridge Resort in N. Idaho


In 2005 we purchased a Last CallSM week for Stone Ridge in N. Idaho. Our first trip to N. Idaho. We were worried about what we would do for a week in such a remote (we thought) area. Well a week is not enough! The resort offered day trips to explore the area plus activities everyday and a wonderful indoor recreation center plus a 19 hole golf course which was only $25 that first year which included a cart and a bag of range balls. Lake Coeur d'Alene is a quick drive to the south and to the north Lake Pend Oreille and Priest Lake and so much more all around.

We continued to return each fall, bringing family and friends, either through exchanges, Last Call vacations or Extra VacationsSM getaways. Being just a seven hour drive from Portland, we planned a family reunion with 19 of us in six units. That year two of us picked up weeks through RCI and then rented two through the rental pool. We will continue to visit this beautiful area. Last Call weeks provide the opportunity to explore out-of-the-way places without the financial investment. We are again using Last Call vacations this month to pick up a week to add to our own timeshare in Puerto Vallarta. Thank you RCI.

- Kari S. from Beaverton, OR
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) »

Hilton Head 2009


We were fortunate enough to visit Hilton Head for the first time through our timeshare with RCI. Our trip was fabulous. The condo was very spacious and had more than what we needed to have an enjoyable week. Our kids enjoyed swimming in the pools. The beach was fantastic and we spent a lot of time riding our bikes along the miles of trails on the island. Thank you for making it possible to experience a wonderful vacation. We look forward to many more!

- Trina T. from Mechanicsville, VA
Comments (0) »