Time for a shore meal, at a private villa high above the chic residential villa area of Acapulco. These villas – and their pools – nestle among the lush greenery that flourishes along this part of the Guerrero coast.
The table, poolside but looking far down to the blue Pacific, groans under an antipasto spread that shows why Italian food is so often called the best in the world. We have prosciutto and figs, tomatoes and mozzarella, marinated mushrooms, home-prepared sundried tomatoes, and home-made rosemary-studded focaccia.
The whole focaccia, some two feet by one foot, sits on a marble table back in the villa’s kitchen. Chef Clady Magagna, from Piemonte, made it an hour ago.
Now he is working, with a hand-cranked pasta machine, on ravioli. He shows the gal how to stretch-stretch the dough, and then he lays half of it out, squirts out dollops of spinach and ricotta, puts the rest of the dough on top and squeezes it tight around each dollop, getting all the air out.
Back to the table. The conversation ranges from Cologne to Vegas, college kids to St Bernards (Max, the House Dog, is twice my size). Plates of ravioli arrive, every mouthful is, well, what I think the word ambrosia means. But we have not finished.
Next comes the lightest, most yummy confection of aubergine and skinned tomato chunks – if this is what lasagne means, every meal from now to eternity please. Finally, we are about to finish, with tiramisu….
We get back into the Cadillac Escalade that seems to be the de rigueur car of every luxury resort on the Mexican Pacific coast. We go to about the biggest (resort, not car).
This is the Fairmont Acapulco Princess, an open-middle 20-floor Aztec ‘palace’ instantly recognisable by its rooftop ‘crown’. It was built in 1971 by shipping tycoon Daniel Ludwig.
Today it sits supreme, flanked by a mile of sandy beach and, behind, 480 acres of Robert Trent Jones and Ted Robinson golf, and trees and play areas. Its 1,017 bedrooms accommodated over 3,000 on New Year’s Eve (80 percent of them had driven down from Mexico City).
First, to the Willow Stream spa, for Diana to work on covering my face with Kerstin Florian caviar (guess who slept throughout?). Then we rose to the top floor, to an Aztec-decor suite to look down at the happy garden and beach scene below.
A Seattle entrepreneur, John Goodman, owns this gigantic palace, where Howard Hughes lived for an entire year. He also owns the adjacent Fairmont Pierre Marques, once the private home of J Paul Getty, and the Fairmont Hamilton Princess on Bermuda. He also had time to come here himself, over this New Year, for a round or two of golf. For us, it was time to get back onboard Silver Cloud.