Just got back from 2 weeks with the family (kids 3 and 6) on La Ropa. Will spare the day to day things, but here are a few highlights/observations.
1. Not to beat a dead horse, but no issues regarding safety. We were up and down the coast, and everyone we encountered were polite and welcoming. (Got that out of the way.)
2. I know it is the slow season, but it sure seemed REALLY slow. We pretty much had Playa Larga to ourselves a few days, and even Ixtapa Island on a Sunday was fairly deserted.
3. Ixtapa: What happened? We stayed here on our Honeymoon 12 years ago or so. It was a tidy, lively resort area. This past visit, el centro was in shabby shape, a lot of things for lease/closed etc. I guess to answer my own question, I am sure the AI stuff is keeping everyone at the hotels. The roadways and landscaping is still kept up well all the way to Playa Linda, but downtown is getting a bit scruffy looking.
4. Surfing: Whether or not you have never surfed or just need to rent a board, look up Leon in Ixtapa at Catcha L'ola. He is a great guy, and he has a good selection of boards for rent. He also does lessons and can get anyone up and surfing in a short time. If you are experienced, he can give you a ride to some of the better spots that aren't accessible via bus/taxi. Give it a try....
5. Dining, a few memorable eats: Fish tacos al Pastor at Popeye's on Playa Larga, Regular tacos al pastor at Braceros, Mulcajete at Bandido's is always good. Other than that, the usual suspects.
6. Car rental: Used Dollar, no problems, with liability it came in a bit under $500 for 14 days. I thought that was a fair price. We usually go out and about exploring, so buses/taxis would not be practical.
Once again, everyone was friendly, great with the kids, helpful etc. Hope to return again next year if all works out.