The Acapulco Princess hotel, built by U.S. billionaire Daniel K. Ludwig and $45 million, is a splendid ziggurat rising from 200 acres of Mexico's gold coast 12 miles north of Acapulco. The luxurious hotel crowns a setting on the brink of the Pacific that ancient kings might envy. Sixteen tiers diminishing skyward brim with more than 150,000 flowering bougainvillaea plants reminiscent of the hanging gardens of Babylon. It took 15 architects to create the Acapulco Princess, which has 777 rooms, six penthouses, 2,000-plus employees, a one-acre kitchen and a water purification system that daily produces a million gallons of "the best water in Mexico." Rainbows shine everywhere throughout verdant gardens, and landscape artist Julian George, who likes a colorful scene, explains the phenomenon this way: "The waterfalls were especially designed so that I can have rainbows exactly where I want them throughout the day." In all of this sybaritic atmosphere, however, the serious tennis player will not suffer. Bill Sweeney, the resident pro, has seen to that with his domed, air-conditioned courts ready for day and night play.
The freshwater pools and saltwater lagoons at the Princess' feet are not ordinary swimming holes. One pool has underwater music to swim by while another boasts a 25-foot waterfall over a small bar.
Two of the eight courts at the Acapulco Princess are in an air-conditioned building with translucent domes and grandstand seating for 1,000. Bill Sweeney says, "I had carts blanche from Mr. Ludwig to build the finest indoor tennis facility in the world, and I did."
In new-fashion tennis wear, Evelyne Faase watches as Christina Ferrare, in the pink, waits for a serve. Sweeney says of Christina, "She adds luster to my game."
Bill Sweeney, tennis pro at the Acapulco Princess, puts in long hours teaching, but these pretty are his workmen's compensation.
WALTER IOOSS JR.