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Hotel check: Princess Mundo Imperial Riviera

TESTED BY Benét Wilson

HOW MANY ROOMS? 1,011 guestrooms and suites across the main Pyramid and adjoining Princess and Pearl towers.

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS A four-star hotel resort with beach access located 15 minutes from Acapulco International Airport.

PRICE Internet rates for a Deluxe Ocean View Room start at $174 per night, with a 20 percent discount on the hotel’s website.

CONTACT Costera de las Palmas s/n, Playa Revolcadero, Fracc. Granjas del Marquez, Acapulco de Juarez, Guerrero, Mexico. CP 39890; tel. 01 (800) 090 9900,

VERDICT: The Princess Mundo Imperial Riviera is an acceptable hotel for an Acapulco vacation, but its Pyramid and Princess towers are quite dated. Owner Grupo Autofin has pledged to spend $1 billion to upgrade hotels in its portfolio, including this one. Once it’s fully modernized, it will make a good value that much better.

BACKGROUND: Opened in 1971, the main building on the 161-acre property is a 15-story Aztec-styled pyramid, flanked by the Pearl and Princess towers.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The resort is located in the Diamante zone, about 10 miles away from Acapulco’s downtown area. After passing a gate, guests check in at the Pyramid building’s vast open air lobby with a ceiling that rises 15 stories. It features an intricately etched marble floor and stone water sculptures that also serve as seating for guests.

ROOMS: The design in the Pyramid and Princess Towers is older beach resort, in shades of green and orange. All rooms and suites have large private balconies with sliding glass doors that open up to views of either the ocean and pools or the hotel’s two golf courses.

Large wooden blinds slide back and forth to control light in the room. There are large closets with irons and ironing boards, a safe and a two-room bathroom. Guests can sleep on either a king-sized bed or two double beds. There’s a 37-inch flat screen television and coffee/tea maker. There’s also a table for two that can be used as a workstation or a dining area. The room didn’t have many power outlets. Free WiFi is included in Ocean View rooms and the lobby, but reception can be annoyingly spotty at times.

Rooms in the Pearl Tower have been upgraded with brighter tropical colors, larger flat-screen TVs, iPod/iPhone docking stations, more modern dark wood furniture and marble floors.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS: The hotel’s main Chula Vista restaurant gives travelers the chance to dine on a lavish buffet breakfast with views of the beach and the hotel’s largest pool. The outdoor Beach Club serves various beers, wines, specialty cocktails, appetizers/bar snacks and entrees with the focus on regional seafood.

The hotel’s Italian Tavola bistro offers contemporary cuisine by Chef Antonio La Monica, who uses organic herbs from an on-site garden. Posadita Steak and Seafood Grill offers fresh items from the area, along with seasonal food and a Sunday brunch. Cafe Et Chocolat serves sandwiches, salads, desserts and pastries and has a full Starbucks drink menu. The outdoor Grotto & Palapa Bar serves light food and snacks and signature cocktails while the main lobby’s Laguna Bar serves tapas and a wide variety of beers and wines, tequilas and specialty craft cocktails.

MEETING AND FITNESS FACILITIES: The Tlalli Clinic Spa has 17 massage cabins, a thermal pool and services including aromatherapy, biomagnetism, thermotherapy and mesotherapy. There’s also a team of doctors on staff to do cosmetic medical procedures. The beauty salon offers hair styling, nail care and makeup applications.

The resort has six tennis courts, two golf courses and five pools, including two with swim-up bars. There’s also direct access to the beach, with chairs and covered cabanas available for rent. An exercise facility next to the Beach Club has a full complement of exercise equipment and classes. Access costs $6.50 a day. For events, the hotel has 125,800 square feet of space, including three exhibition halls, five large meeting rooms and a 4,000 square-foot multimedia amphitheater.