Will Acapulco return to its golden age?

Within the Nineteen Fifties, 60s, and 70s, Acapulco represented the last word in luxurious and glamour.  Hollywood royalty and “the wealthy and well-known” flocked to its unique resorts. Celebrities purchased houses and resorts. All people who was anyone spent their free time on this tropical paradise. 

Acapulco lies on a stretch of rugged cliffs, surrounded by lush jungle with golden sands, calm azure waters, and distinctive climate – unique and movie-set excellent for a resort space.

The Duke of Windsor – briefly the King of the UK till he abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson – was the primary of the jet setters to find the great thing about Acapulco within the Twenties. A number of many years later it was found by Hollywood royalty.

Hollywood royalty discovers Acapulco – a tropical paradise

In 1947, when Australian Errol Flynn first flew all the way down to Acapulco along with his buddy Teddy Stauffer – the Swiss musician-turned-hotelier – it was little greater than a handful of buildings surrounded by jungle. However Stauffer noticed the potential in what he described as “a wonderful tropical paradise”.

Rita Hayworth and her husband Orson Welles got here to Acapulco once they starred within the 1947 movie The Girl from Shanghai – a movie which comprises some gorgeous photographs of Acapulco’s seashores. They each turned frequent guests.

Acapulco lies on a stretch of rugged cliffs, surrounded by lush jungle with golden sands, calm azure waters, and distinctive climate – unique and movie-set excellent for a resort space. (Canva)

Former president of Mexico Miguel Alemán (1946 – 1952) had a particular place in his coronary heart for Acapulco and was the driving power behind the development of the Avenida Costera Miguel Alemán – a six-lane thoroughfare alongside the ocean which attracted nightclubs and eating places that now bears his title.

Los Flamingos turns into the primary luxurious resort for Hollywood elite

In 1954, Bo Roos – a high Hollywood enterprise supervisor – and his buddies John Wayne and Johnny Weissmuller (finest identified for his starring flip as Tarzan) bought Resort Los Flamingos, a cliffside spot with a spectacular view of the open sea. Roos then imported their Hollywood posse together with Cary Grant, Fred MacMurray, Errol Flynn, Richard Widmark, and Crimson Skelton to spend time on the lodge which turned a haunt for the “Hollywood Gang” – a gaggle of macho main males led by Wayne and Weissmuller.  

It’s stated that Weissmuller invented the bar’s signature drink, the Coco Loco, which was served in a coconut with hibiscus flowers floating on high or festooned with a colourful miniature umbrella hat.  After his days of fame and fortune pale, Weissmuller lived out the remainder of his life on the lodge which turned often known as “La Casa de Tarzan.”

Villa Vera and Las Brisas add to the glamour and glitziness of Acapulco

Ten years after his first go to Stauffer opened Villa Vera Resort and Racquet Membership.  Its quaint villas and personal swimming swimming pools instantly turned a preferred vacation spot for celebrities. In 1957, Elizabeth Taylor married Mike Todd on the resort. Frank Sinatra hid out at Villa Vera when the mob was after him. 

Judy Garland, Dustin Hoffman, Engelbert Humperdinck, George Hamilton, Gina Lollobrigida, Liza Minelli, Ava Gardner, and Brigitte Bardot stayed on the resort. Zsa Zsa Gabor created a stir within the enclave when she plunged into the pool bare. Lana Turner lived at Villa Vera for 3 years.

The recognition of Villa Vera was rapidly adopted by Las Brisas, in-built 1957, which hosted others from the leisure trade’s A-list. The resort had the basic class of Nineteen Fifties Hollywood. Constructed on 40 acres of land on the cliffside surrounded by jungle, the resort boasted 250 casitas, every with its personal non-public swimming swimming pools, pink and white jeeps for transportation, and a spectacular full view of the bay.

Extra eating places and resorts opened.  The introduction of discotheques supplied one other type of leisure and decadence.  The primary disco hotspot was Armando’s LeClub. The disco Studio 52, an homage to Studio 54 in New York Metropolis, additionally turned a stylish place to bop the night time away. (Canva)

Las Brisas was the last word in luxurious. The resort sported its signature “energy pink” and a palette of varied shades of white all through together with the employees uniforms. From the second a celeb was whisked up the hillside in a pink and white jeep (each named for a celeb), they have been ensconced in class. The lawns and gardens have been meticulously manicured, the casitas impeccably clear, and contemporary hibiscus petals have been scattered throughout the floor of the non-public swimming pools. Every casita had a Magic Field with latched glass doorways inside and out of doors the place employees would depart a steaming pot of espresso and a basket of freshly baked candy rolls each morning.

Diversions and glitzy events abound

Whenever you have been uninterested in lounging round your pool, there was the Sundown Bar, or you could possibly go to the swim-up bar in considered one of their two saltwater swimming pools. For a full breakfast, there was El Tulipán, the resort’s sky-high restaurant with a spectacular view of the bay.  For contemporary fish and Mexican specialties, you could possibly have dinner at La Concha.

Different sights included going to La Quebrada to look at death-defying cliff divers plunge from 135-ft cliffs into the Pacific Ocean, or boarding a jeep for a safari to a coconut plantation at Cayaco, a picnic on the seashore, or becoming a member of burro races or paddle canoes up a jungle river. At night time there was the extremely popular La Perla nightclub or glitzy events.

One of many hostesses with essentially the most memorable events was Dolores Olmedo, “The Grand Dame of Acapulco.”  Her house, La Casa de los Vientos, hosted Mexico’s largest assortment of Diego Rivera work. She was Rivera’s muse, and he or she so admired the artist she constructed a studio for him adjoining her home. When Frida Kahlo died, Rivera lived his remaining 4 years of life in her Acapulco house.

Hollywood turns into infatuated with Acapulco

Elizabeth Taylor honeymooned in Acapulco after seven of her eight marriages (she married Richard Burton twice). Mexican actress Dolores del Rio, who had affairs with each Orson Welles and Errol Flynn, met her future husband American millionaire Lewis A. Riley in Acapulco and constructed a palatial house on the high of the rocky cliffs as did Orson Welles and Johnny Weissmuller. Jack and Jackie Kennedy honeymooned in Acapulco. 

Within the 60s and 70s, Las Brisas turned the retreat of alternative for the wealthy and well-known who needed exclusivity and privateness attracting luminaries Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Costner, Sophia Loren, Johnny Carson, Buzz Aldrin, and Elizabeth Taylor. After their journey to the moon, the Apollo 11 astronauts relaxed there with their households. Lynda Hen Johnson honeymooned at Las Brisas.

Hollywood was infatuated with Acapulco luring a brand new technology of star energy together with Robert Wagner, Stephanie Powers, Farah Fawcett Majors, Joan Collins, and bestselling writer Harold Robbins.

The 1963 movie “Enjoyable in Acapulco” starring Elvis Presley and Ursula Andress launched a broader viewers to the great thing about Acapulco.  By the Seventies Acapulco was at its zenith and La Costera was a diamond necklace ringing the bay. 

Extra eating places and resorts opened. The introduction of discotheques supplied one other type of leisure and decadence. The primary disco hotspot was Armando’s LeClub.  The disco Studio 52, an homage to Studio 54 in New York Metropolis, additionally turned a stylish place to bop the night time away. 

Merle Oberon, who hosted legendary events, made information worldwide in 1979 when she gave the Shah of Iran – Mohammed Reza Pahlavi – momentary refuge at her house.  Howard Hughes spent the previous few weeks of his life at a penthouse that encompassed your complete high flooring of the Acapulco Princess, an Aztec pyramid-shaped luxurious lodge in-built 1971. The unofficial photographer of the wealthy and well-known, Slim Aarons, captured iconic poolside pictures and images of actors like Kirk Douglas and Ronald Reagan alongside style designers Oscar de la Renta and Emilio Pucci. Within the 50s, 60s, and 70s everyone who was anyone was seen in Acapulco.

Acapulco begins to lose its luster

By the late Seventies, Acapulco’s glamour started to fade. Like an growing old diva, the glamour took on the look of seediness and decadence. The Eighties noticed an explosion of high-rise resorts, mass tourism, elevated air pollution, and crime which drove away the jetsetters. The glamour and glitz of yesteryear ended, forsaking solely legendary tales of what as soon as was.  Nevertheless, the pure great thing about Acapulco persevered, and the resort continued to draw vacationers and honeymooners.

The newest devastation by Hurricane Otis took its toll on town. Will Acapulco – like a Phoenix rising from the rubble – as soon as once more turn out to be a glamorous and glitzy vacation spot?  With sufficient authorities and personal funding, the resort can expertise a renaissance.  It is going to be thrilling to look at as this tropical paradise goes by one other transformation.

Sheryl Losser is a former public relations govt, researcher, author, and editor. She has been writing professionally for 35 years.  She moved to Mazatlán in 2021 and works part-time doing freelance analysis and writing. She may be reached at [email protected]

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