A Quick Visit to Lake Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico – I’ll Be Back!

Jocotepec, Lake Chapala

Nearly a decade ago I was told of a place with perfect weather and a community that was said to be the largest accumulation of American expats in the world.  For many years since I have been flying in and out of Guadalajara confined by a time schedule that never allowed me to take the short trip south to visit this destination.  But last week’s trip was different and after saying goodbye to my group at the Guadalajara International Airport I drove thirty minutes south and ended up on the north shore of Mexico’s largest lake, Chapala.

 

Read more at http://mexico-visitor.blogspot.com/2015/06/a-quick-visit-to-lake-chapala-jalisco.html

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Bella Sirena Resort – A luxurious & relaxing visit in the heart of the Sonora desert

Bella Sirena condos in Rocky Point

During a recent trip to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico I had the opportunity to stay a couple nights at Bella Sirena Resort.  The resort sits on 14 acres located on a stretch of sand known as Sandy Beach; just a couple miles away from the old port.  Driving to Rocky Point from the United States is easy and well-marked and can be reached from San Diego, California in less than six hours.

Mexican Highway 3 from Mexicali leads almost right to the front entrance.  Check-in was in a small office just outside the tall iron gates.  Once inside the hand-laid cobblestone roads give the resort a feel of exclusivity and old world Mexican charm.  Five, 9-story buildings sit close to the beach and one, two and three bedroom condos are for rent and for sale.  Larger villas of up to five bedrooms are located on the beach and around four beautifully tiled vanishing edge pools that rival those in Cabo San Lucas, and offer satisfying relief from the hot desert sun.  The landscaping is beautiful with lush green grass and native desert fauna that is meticulously maintained.

Rocky Point vacation condo

I stayed on the fifth floor in a two bedroom condo that was immaculate and provided all the comforts one would need.  Every rental is individually owned so no two are the same.  The rental I stayed in had décor that was perfectly appointed; comfortable queen and king sized beds as well as oversized couches filled the space. High ceilings, recessed fans and tile floors all added to the already unexpected space.

The showers were big and the deep, round bathtub in the master bedroom had a private ocean view.  Everything from high speed internet, flat screen HD TV’s and air conditioning worked without failure or incidence.  The kitchen was fully equipped and ready for entertaining.  The balcony was huge and outdoor seating and tables were nicely placed.  The view from the balcony across from the pools and out to the Sea of Cortez was crystal clear and blue.

View of the Sea of Cortez

The main pool has a swim-up bar with a small restaurant called Azul.  The price of food and drinks was more than reasonable and the staff was fun and attentive.  I spent most of my time submersed up to my shoulders in the pool closest to the beach enjoying the view of the Sea of Cortez and the warmth of the wind on my face.

I visited Bella Sirena Resort at the end of the off season and the rates were fantastic.  Even during peak season, October to May, staying here won’t do any damage to your wallet.  Expect to pay three to five times more for a stay in a comparable ocean front resort in the United States.

Bella Sirena is not a hotel resort and though there is no room service I felt extremely pampered here and the property is nothing less than elegant.  The resort was affordable and luxurious and I thoroughly enjoyed my stay.  Forget about blood thinners, anxiety medication and heart pills, if Bella Sirena Resort doesn’t reduce the pressure in your veins, nothing will.  I highly suggest a stay at the Bella Sirena Resort;

LENCHO APPROVED!

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About the writer: Lencho is a freelance travel adventure writer with a genuine love and curiosity of the world with a particular affinity for Latin American cultures, people, food, wild spaces, urban places and a seeker of human smiles and laughter.  Lencho.MexicoVisitor@gmail.com

Luxurious condos in Mexico

Bella Sirena poolEditors Note: We would like to thank Seaside Mexico for the complimentary stay for our write and photographer while in Rocky Point. If you are looking for a vacation rentals in Puerto Penasco, please consider Seaside Mexico.

Acapulco’s gets it’s vibe back at Hotel Boca Chica

Boca Chica from the sea

Last week I had the pleasure of a relaxing stay at the newly remodeled historic Boca Chica Hotel in old Acapulco. Mexico’s hip hoteliers, Grupo Habita has pulled off another simplistic yet luxurious small hotel.

The second I exited my taxi, I knew great changes had taken place here. I had visited the hotel about 7 years ago to see what had happened to this legendary resort. Unfortunately, the former fame of visiting Hollywood stars and other celebrities in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s had vanished into a slumbering despair by the 1990’s and into the new century.

The Boca Chica of broken fixtures, sagging beds, and indifference I came to know in 2003 was a nightmare compared to the dream of this chic hotel today. The structure of the buildings and tranquility mirror the past, but the laid back luxury, comfortable rooms, incredible views, delicious food, and outstanding service have transported the princess of Old Acapulco to the future.

Fantastic views abound

From the moment the bellboy opened the doors to my corner second floor room until my checkout three days later, I felt the quality of the service of the staff. Everyone put forth a real smile and seemed to be there when I needed assistance yet were extremely attentive to the times when solitude was desired.

What could be better for an afternoon siesta?

The simple style of my suite was very comfortable. With two walls containing shuttered doors which opened to the sea and Playas Caletilla and Caleta, the view could not have been more impressive. A hammock strung along the balcony provided dream time in the afternoon. The bed and bedding were top notch and designed for a wonderful night of sleep. A flat screen TV and free WiFi were available in the room, but I couldn’t find the time for technology with the swimming, eating and sunbathing I needed to do. In the mornings a stylish, free-standing shower with curtains hung from the ceiling provided for a refreshing wake up to the day’s adventures.

With a wonderful 50’s era pool overlooking the strait between the hotel and Isla Roqueta, taking it easy is simple. You can swim in the pool, with it’s perfect temperature, or dive into the bay from the old steps dropping into the water just below. The hotel also has piped in music throughout the day and you never know when a couple guests might sway to the groovy sounds on the speakers.

For those looking for some daytime activity, there is also a small workout area, kayaks and a motorboat for guest’s use (it’s free). You’ll find sitting areas to relax with a book or enjoy a cocktail throughout the hotel. And for those looking for pure relaxation, they have an excellent spa with ocean views. The spa offers an assortment of body treatments and included time in the glass sauna and round small tubs of varying degrees of water overlooking the ocean.

Dive into Old Acapulco

Next to the pool is the large palapa restaurant and bar. Open to the sea so the patrons can enjoy the view and the breezes, the restaurant is under the guidance of a famous chef from New York. Chef Keisuke Harada specializes in sushi dishes, but his many other seafood plates match the quality and taste. Each day, I enjoyed something new and delicious on the menu.

If you are looking for something authentic and yet stylish, then the 36-room Hotel Boca Chica comes highly recommended. You won’t find an option like this along the rows of high rise hotels at the other end of the bay where most people stay, but you will find great service, culture, comfort and a relaxing energy on a small private cove in Old Acapulco.

Book your stay at http://www.hotel-bocachica.com. Find more information about Acapulco at http://www.mexonline.com/cityguide-acapulco.htm

Ted Donovan