Trip report 10/20/17 - 10/27/17

by Craig AKA the cruise ship guy @, Monday, October 30, 2017, 16:58 (22 days ago)

Second anniversary trip in a row to the Azul Grand as we just cannot find anything close to this for the price. Direct air out of LAX and 7 nights for only $1,750 usd total for both of us. It's an out of the way location to much of anything but with the price I don't have too much of a problem paying for taxis. Hotel was great except for the front desk at check in only. Reserved this 10 months in advance so was not happy when told there was no king bed for us. There was a Harley convention at the hotel when we got there so it was way more busy than last year. After complaining and asking if he could talk to the manager about cutting me a deal on a king suite, he came back 5 minutes later and had a king room for us. Got to love the games played in Mexico. Room ended up being perfect and was the exact same room we had last year except one floor lower. Made one reservation for an a la cart restaurant for the week as I prefer to get out and actually see Mexico. I called our taxi driver that we hooked up with last year for the last 4 days but it appeared to be not working so off to the taxi line to have someone overcharge me. From the hotel the driver wanted $310 mxn to go to El Mare on La Ropa so off we went, ended up just going to Ixtapa as it began to rain so saved El Mare for the next day. Ate at Mamma Norma and was good as usual, grabbed some ice cream near by afterwards and back to the hotel.

Day 2 was breakfast buffet, massages on the beach for $200 mxn each, pool and room service for lunch. Later I tried our taxi friend again and got an answer so we were set for the week, really good honest hard working guy that knows every place in the area. Over the week we ended up doing the following:
3 dinners at El Mare, can't beat the view and price. Actually only wanted to go twice but Kau Kan was closed on our last day.
1 dinner at Taqueria El Pastorcito, just down from Papa Locas but I like the pastor better here.
1 dinner at Captain Ramon's wife's pizza restaurant just down from Lety's. Was actually pretty good pizza and very cheap. Her sister has a Mexican restaurant attached so next year I may have to try some kind of combo. When I was told the price by Ramon's wife I included a tip and she acted like I was from another planet. Guess these types of no name restaurants do not expect a tip.
1 day on the way back from fishing stopped by La Flechita for some barbacoa tacos to go, made for a nice lunch on our balcony. No complaints for going fishing when I come back with killer tacos.
2 partial days fishing with Ramon Olea (his info can be found on this site), wife doesn't do very well on the ocean and likes to sleep so I had him come in by noon both days. Not really the best time of year to fish and I was not interested in going a long ways to find roosters. We just went to white rock and gave it our best shot. Plenty of bonita to have some fun with and as always a good time hanging with Ramon. His middle son was the deck hand this time so we were having a contest to see who could catch the most bonitas. I was smoked the first day but got him back on the second day. Had Ramon filet a couple of bonitas for my taxi driver as one of his taxi buddies wanted to make tiritas. He said they were delicious so next time I'm going to try to invite myself in on this.
3 massages on Playa Linda, I'm not much of a massage guy but at these prices why not.
Free bike tour from our hotel. Did this last year also and was fun to get out on the path, very thankful the guide brought repellant as when we stopped the mosquitos were on us!
Went to the pool everyday except our last full day, wife said she was done with the sun. Ended up going to the movies at the new Cinemex in Zihua. Saw Flatliners for $40 mxn each, very nice theater. Then our taxi guy took us to his pollo asada place for lunch, good stuff and a 1/4 chicken meal for $45 mxn, asada tacos were very good here also.
Didn't have to take the wife shopping this year as she bought a leather vest at the hotel when the Harley convention was there.
One day we dropped off stuff to Lupita, had lunch at Dona Licha near plaza kyoto, went by SPAZ to see all the dogs and kitties, buy the wife a new shirt and leave a small donation. Many thanks to Lupita for all the time and effort she puts into helping out so many people, I'm sure that Rob helps too.

I know that it doesn't seem that we got our money's worth out of the AI but we did breakfast 4 times, lunch 4 times, dinner once, had sodas at the pool most days and drinks at the lobby bar every night. The rooms are very nice here with perfect sunset views so at about $125 per night for both of us it was still a great bargain but still allowed us to experience Mexico. Not American tourist season at all and did not see another American couple until our last day at the hotel.

I know this sounds funny but having the same taxi driver made the vacation so much easier for us, I really hate hassling with some of these guys. At Dona Licha we asked our driver to eat with us and we almost had to drag him with us but as the week went on he got a little more comfortable with it and he actually went into the movies with us. His English is just ok but with the subtitles he was able to keep up, he told me that it was the first time that he had been to the new theater. We have plans next year for him to take us out bike riding the entire path. He did tell us that he had to get to the line at least 45 minutes before our pick up time before the other drivers would let him in and I believe he had to pay a fee to take us to the airport. I did not ask if it was ok to give out his name and number so that is why it is not included in my report.

You would think that a Harley convention at your hotel would put a damper on your vacation but it was no problem at all. Almost none were at the pool or the bar in the early evening, never even heard a motorcycle except for when we were at the lobby. Later there was a dental convention which took up some pool space but nothing to really complain about at all. Room service never took any longer than 15 minutes even though they told you 30 - 45 minutes. Enjoyed this time of year as it did not rain during the day, was perfect pool weather and not crowded at all in town (same as last year). Didn't see any tipping at the hotel except for us, felt bad for the workers. Never had such good service at the lobby bar or towel animals in our room. Not at all worried about safety here, much better than the area I work in from what I could tell. Already talking about plans for next year if I can't find a deal for Azul Grand maybe we will try a condo at BVG instead.

Trip report 10/20/17 - 10/27/17

by midalake @, Monday, October 30, 2017, 18:14 (22 days ago) @ Craig AKA the cruise ship guy

Very Nice!

PS....got the BVG condo for you! ;-)

Dave

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What it's all about!

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, October 30, 2017, 18:21 (22 days ago) @ Craig AKA the cruise ship guy

:worthy:
Thank you, Craig, for the wonderful trip report and for the donations. Lupita was overwhelmed with your all's generosity. She's been extremely busy performing all kinds of... well they can only be called miracles because I don't know how she does so much for so many with so little. Your donations came at the perfect time. Lupita says "¡muchísimas gracias!"