By: Lisa Coleman
I’m spoiled. Having worked in Mexico for so long, I’ve had the unique privilege of staying at some the country’s finest resorts in the most beautiful destinations. Over time, you find your favorites and sort of stick to them. It’s not so much location, it’s something more intrinsic that reaches into your soul and stays there. Pretty profound, huh? Not really… just true. For me, Acapulco is one of those places. It’s electric and relaxing all at once. It’s tradition and sophistication blended into the perfect mix. It has a special magic. I have been making an annual trek to Acapulco for the last twelve years, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
This is the birthplace of Mexican tourism. It all started here. Tequila poppers, cliff divers, swim-up bars, all-night discos and parasailing made their debut in this undisputed queen of the Mexican beach resorts. Acapulco began to attract vacationers from Mexico City as early as the late 1920’s when a highway (if you could call it that) was completed between the two cities. By the 1940’s, the international crowd was beginning to arrive. The decade of the fifties turned Acapulco into a hot bed for the Hollywood elite. It wasn’t unusual to see Cary Grant, John Wayne, Liz Taylor and Frank Sinatra making the rounds and sipping some tequila. With such a high profile guest list and more stars on the way, glamour was lurking on the horizon.
To borrow one of my favorite movie quotes… “If you build it, they will come.”
And they did. In December of 1957 the face of Mexican hotels changed forever. Las Brisas opened its doors high on the cliffs above Acapulco Bay and forever established the standard of luxury in Mexico. With intimate hillside casitas instead of rooms, pink jeeps in lieu of elevators, and private pools throughout, the world of hospitality had never seen such a place. I know I had never seen such a place. I have been lucky enough to stay here many times, and every visit is extraordinary.
In 2008, the hotel finished $20 million in renovations. Wow, is all I have to say. Updated and chic, Brisas can compete with any hotel, anywhere. If it makes sense, they made all the necessary changes yet stayed exactly the same… which is just what the hotel needed. Striving to always stay on the cutting edge, Brisas recently stepped into the world of social medial to try their hand at Facebook marketing. I have seen a few promotions on Facebook, but nothing quite like this.
The “Brisas, Chicas and Margaritas Girlfriend Getaway” campaign was aimed at both giving away a trip for four friends as well as raising funds for Fondo Para La Paz, a group that helps rural communities in remote parts of Mexico. They invited U.S. residents over 21 (who were “fans” of Las Brisas) to upload a photo of an item that best described what friendship meant to them, along with a description of why they chose that item. Xochi Martinez of San Francisco was chosen as the winner of the contest for her entry of the flower from the Mexica calendar as a symbol that represents the bond of friendship that she and her friends share. “The flower requires multiple stages before reaching full bloom, just like our friendship that has grown throughout the multiple stages of our lives,” Xochi wrote on the Brisas Facebook page.
I met Xochi and her three friends, Erica Ceballos, Karla Ranero and Elsa Amaya, for dinner at the Bella Vista restaurant at the hotel. Their faces were pure joy. As General Manager, Javier Aluni, pointed out to me, “People come here for an experience. They come to create history and return so they can remember it.” And so it was with the “Chicas.” No doubt Brisas hit a home run with this campaign. It was so much fun to listen to them talk about their suite, their private pool and everything this trip meant to them. It was the Brisas “experience” personified. It’s interesting and rewarding to watch memories being made. What they felt is what Mexico is all about, it’s what Acapulco is all about, and certainly what Las Brisas is all about. Now they’re spoiled too!
My sombrero is off to you Las Brisas!