Sunday


Banyan Tree Cabo Marques

Acapulco, Mexico

 


Blvd. Cabo Marqués, Lote 1
Col. Punta Diamante
Acapulco, Guerrero 39907

+ 52 744 434 0100

+ 52 744 434 0101



 

"Don't be sad because it is over, be happy because it happened."  --Anonymous


 



It's hard not to be sad when you leave this magical place on this earth called Banyan Tree
Cabo Marques resort and villas in Acapulco.  It's hard not to be sad when saying "adios" to the new friends and warm smiles from the people who work here that greet you daily. 




It's hard not to be sad when packing away the few items you need to bring to this resort while also packing away the memories of new friends we've met from around the globe who all want to keep in touch.  But ultimately, it is the raison d'etre for traveling, the gift of a trip to The Banyan Tree that will make us happy it happened to us.

 

When we asked our American Express travel agent for information on Acapulco, her response was, "Acapulco?  No one goes there anymore."  She couldn't have been more wrong and we’re so happy that we heard on the drumbeats of the travel industry that Acapulco is gearing up for its third reincarnation.  We pushed forward to explore this once sleepy fishing village and now thriving beach playground of over one million full time residents and oodles more travelers from around the globe. 



This twinkling city of eternal sunshine and beach fun during the day, and nighttime partying is coming back into the international limelight. Miami and Waikiki couldn't begin to compare to the endless hotels and condos that line the equally endless beaches of Acapulco. 




Having written that, there is really only one place to make your home when traveling to "Aca" and that's at the enchanting and magical Banyan Tree Cabo Marques.

 




New to Acapulco for less than five years, this architectural gem is located in the "new" and third area of Acapulco, on a protected and gated peninsula of Cabo Marques (once the hiding place of pirate Francis Drake as he secreted himself for attacks on Spanish ships carrying gold back to the Mother country) that not even James Bond could get into without proper authorization. 




Once the hiding place of pirate Francis Drake as he secreted himself for attacks on Spanish ships carrying gold back to the Mother country, the location sports a prime view of the original Acapulco without having to be in the mix. There are only 45 villas on approximately 100 acres of land, and so the Banyan Tree founders’ mission to build a better society for all while bringing a lush and inspiring environment is clearly effectuated in this unique property.

 




After driving for miles down a private lushly landscaped road trimmed with stone walls, we arrived at a huge open lobby that jutted out onto the point and consumed us with sweeping, jaw-dropping views.  We were greeted at the entrance by the genuine smiling and beautiful Mexican people who worked here and the check-in process was less of a "process" and more of a visit accompanied by a refreshing hibiscus tea and a siesta from the rush of life. Unlike all of the other hotels in Acapulco, we were literally the only folks in the lobby and it immediately created a feeling of being unrushed, unhurried and de-stressed.  We had arrived.

 




While we sipped on our tea and took in the magnificent vistas all around us in the open-air lobby, our bags were swept away without us even noticing.  A few more sips of tea, and in no time we were on a virtually silent golf cart jetting down one of the many charming narrow paths that circumnavigate this property.  All of the villas are separated for privacy and named after flowers or fruit, which also sets the tone of what's beyond the stone walls.  Although honestly all of the villas have different stunning and magnificent views, in our opinion, we were fortunate enough to be in what we feel was one of the two best situated villas.  We highly recommend trying to reserve Girasol (or number 408) or Noche Buena (number 407), the name for Christmas Eve and also the Mexican word for poinsettia.  The views from both are simply enthralling and sport a direct sunset position as well as a side view of the city lights across the bay to Acapulco.

 


This inimitable and exclusive property is a perfect combination of the enchantment of Thailand and the warmth of Mexico.  Built with a clean, contemporary design of glass and steel on cliffs of rocks to the ocean, our villa is approximately 2,000 square feet which includes the interior space as well as the exterior patio area. The sun set every night into the Pacific ocean directly in front of our villa and the Acapulco sunsets are glorious artworks of nature providing a show each and every evening with a mélange of changing colors like shifting colored sands in the sky.

 




Totally private, we had our own infinity plunge pool that was jutting over the side of the cliff and appeared to be spilling into the Pacific ocean. The blue color of the pool water would meld with the changing azure blue waters of the sea, and when the sun set the colors bouncing off of both became a mesmerizing canvas of nature's art. 

 




The patio was both an Asian stone and indigenous teak wood, and it comfortably sported two lounge chairs with an umbrella for shade, a dining table and chairs, a couch and the most wonderful hammock one could imagine.  In fact, when relaxing in the hammock, there was an optical appearance that we were rocking directly over the ocean.  There were so many other lounging options during the day that frankly it was difficult to ever leave the privacy of our own villa where swimsuits stayed in our hotel drawers. The couch and the hammock are located under an outdoor "sala" or room and it provides both shade and another alternative for reading, relaxing or taking another siesta.  It's presence as an additional edifice quietly summons you to take some time and enjoy the space and the moment in life in which you have arrived.

 


Dipping in and out of our own pool was not only sultry and relaxing, but totally private. A flick of a switch in the villa insured that no one would enter the main gate at the top of the hill. One day we sat at the end of the suitably shallow pool and watched the hawks sail overhead as well as below us on the nearly vertical cliffs, diving in and out just over head, as the warm winds ruffled our hair and the sun melted like butter on our skin.  It seemed like we could have done that for an eternity as time all at once stood still in our otherwise consumed lies. With only the sounds of the crashing waves below, it was one of the most peaceful surroundings we've ever experienced.

 




The Villas are of an extraordinary contemporary architecture with an Asian flair and buttresses that are a reflection of its Asian roots.  The villas are simply built of walls of glass on three sides and since we were perched on the edge of the cliff, we felt like we were on a boat when inside the villa.  With views out of every part of the villa, it is nearly impossible to shut your eyes to go to sleep.  In order to actually find a way to do so, the breathtaking views can be shaded by breezy white drapes that flutter in the gentle winds; and for more darkness, a touch of a button quickly lowers a series of black out shades in a brief instant. 

 



The floors are of the same soft-colored Asian stone that lend a distinctive warmness to the modern structural design. The furnishings are a combination of Asian and Mexican design, with a Mexican tapestry framed above the bed on an earthy-colored accent wall behind it. The accent wall and stone bring the natural colors into the otherwise black lacquered and white painted environment.

 

In addition to the enormous king bed (it's larger than any other king bed we've experienced, and remarkably comfy),there is also a day bed up against sliding glass windows that is there for sitting, eating, contemplating life, meditating or just hanging.  The bed and remarkably soft pillows are covered in crisp white sheets, and a variety of interesting hand-crafted throw pillows adorn the day bed.  All the functions in the suite are modern, and the mornings become an exciting event of triggering the remote to electronically unravel the blackout curtains to reveal yet again another magnificent day in Acapulco.

 

Above the bedroom area (and also in the sala area outside on the patio) the ceilings are like being in the inside of a pyramid, so the volume of the Villa is both extensive and visually appealing to the senses. There is also a writing desk, a mini-bar and a rather smallish closet; but the real lesson on the small closet and few drawers is that you truly do not need much clothing at this resort or anywhere else in Acapulco, so leave the massive amount of clothing at home and bring just the bare minimum.  In fact, it is only at the fine-dining Saffron (more on that later) that you need a long pair of pants; otherwise shorts are acceptable absolutely everywhere.

 



Between the bedroom and the bathroom, huge pocket doors slide open to reveal a bathroom with two sinks and a large soaking tub in the windowed corner of the room for full viewing pleasure at the end of the day, or any time for that matter.  Banyan Tree thoughtfully provides bath salts, bath gel and bath oil to make your pensive moments seem as if you're in a spa.  The shower is separate from the toilet, and both are private with sandblasted glass.  The shower is a rain shower high up on the ceiling and it feels like we were continuing the spa experience in our own villa.  The entire space is strikingly airy and minimalist with open floor-to-ceiling doors, creating a blend of nature and modern living. They have also utilized indigenous materials throughout the villas (and the property) including small roof tiles which reflect contemporary Mexican elements and colors, yet maintain a distinctly pervasive Asian theme.

 

There is also a great attention to detail in the villas such as the placement of fresh incense each day, and the arrangement of a different fresh fruit each afternoon for snacking (it’s amazing how doing absolutely nothing can make you work up an appetite). There is a mini bar with many courtesy items such as juices and bottled water.  The housekeepers thoughtfully put water into a container with ice each day as they meticulously clean and prepare the villas for our return (we love these housekeepers who are amongst the best we've experienced in our travels).

 




Flowers are caringly placed upon the vanity in the bathroom, and candles are left throughout the villa. At night there is often a little present on the pillow made of Mexican handicrafts, accompanied by a lone flower to remind you of the day to come the next morning.  The products in the bathroom are beyond delicious and whilst using the soaps and lotions, there is a distinct aroma of jasmine or frangipani, reminding us of visits to Thailand and Southeast Asia many years ago.  They are so appealing that we managed to wash our hair about ten times a day and slop on more lotion than we needed.  These same products are used in the spa (more about that later) and although provided in hand-hewn jars in the villas, you can purchase them at the Spa to take home for olfactory memories.

 

This is really a remarkable property and if you can tear yourself away from the villas and the privacy that they afford, a phone call will summon an always handsome Mexican young man clad in a dashing hat and riding in a golf cart to sweep you to your heart's content (at least as far as the property goes, so don’t fall in love).  Back at the main lobby building and to the side of it is located the La Nao restaurant and beyond that patio, the main swimming pool area.

 




One of the things we loved about staying at this property is that even during full season of Christmas we felt like we were nearly the only guests here.  After going to Maui for every Christmas where a visit to anywhere in Hawaii entails huge beach crowds and reserving lounge chairs early in the morning, this experience is the antithesis.  When we arrived at the main pool at about eleven in the morning the first day, we were the only people there.  Enormously long, this infinity-edge pool screamed for us to swim in it, yet ever so gently so the waves of water could gently wash over the imperceptible edge with but a whisper of a sound. 
 




The pool is surrounded by private cabanas with fluttering drapes and each with gripping views out and into the ocean and over to Acapulco bay. At a point, the breeze gently washed over us like homemade lemonade on a hot summer’s day.  
 


The entire scenario was so stunning that honestly it is difficult to capture into words for this article.  It was a photographers' dream providing vistas and drama provided at every turn of the eye.  The water was deliciously warm, and the woman who helped with the cabanas had a broad white, welcoming smile that was genuine, unrushed and unhurried.




It wasn’t about “manana” at all; it was about ahorita…right now, in the moment.  Since all gratuities are included in the very end of the stay, it's a pleasure not to have to stumble over emptying your pockets or having to sign for things.  It's just there for you to enjoy, now, later, tonight and tomorrow; and enjoy we did.




There's so much more coming in Part Two, including reviews and luscious pictures of The Banyan Tree's fabulous:


La Nao Restaurant
Saffran Restaurant
Las Roccas Restaurant and Beach Club and
The Spa


and there will be a piece on
Touring Acapulco with a touch on a side-trip to enchanting Zihuatanejo


So until then, enjoy another stunning sunset from our villa at Banyan Tree...


Hasta Pronto,


Michael and Scott
The Dining Duo

Posted by The Dining Duo | 6:46 PM | , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

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