Posted by Jenn on January 15, 2001 at 12:34:58:
We just got back from seven wonderful days in Ixtapa and since I enjoyed reading other trip reports posted here before I left, I thought I would return the favour.
I think the greatest thing about Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo is that it has something to offer everyone. With that in mind, my trip report outlines what worked for us but may not be what works for everyone.
The "we" I keep referring to is my brother, my boyfriend and myself. My brother is 20, I'm 24 and my boyfriend is 32....Ixtapa was perfect because it allowed all three of us to do what we enjoyed.
My brother and I had been to Ixtapa last Christmas so we knew what to expect from Ixtapa in general...it was everything we remembered and then some!
We flew Air Transat direct from Toronto. The flight there and back was fine but I'm not too fussy when it comes to airlines as long as I get there in one piece, I'm happy. We went through Air Transat Holidays and got a pretty amazing all inclusive deal to Hotel Fontan. I was a bit apprehensive about the hotel because it was only rated a 2 star and because I had read some negative things about it, but since I had such low expectations I was pleasantly surprised to find the Hotel Fontan was a decent property. Granted it wasn't a five star (we stayed at the Dorado the year before) but the facilities were clean and comfortable, the pool area was huge and not really that crowded. The beach was the same beach that most of the hotels in Ixtapa are on so that was perfect! There were plenty of lounge chairs and towels available every day and the staff was friendly.
When we first checked in we were given a room in the blue tower. The view was of the street and the room was kind of small and a little musty. While it would have served our purpose since we rarely spent time in the room except to sleep, I still asked to be switched to an ocean view room. They switched us about ten minutes later and the room in the yellow tower was much nicer. It was bigger, had a better view and was recently redecorated. The moral of this is to ask for a room in the yellow tower if staying at the Fontan.
We were on the all inclusive plan which worked well because my brother and boyfriend are cerveza connoisseurs. Also, we stayed all-inclusive at the Fontan for less than we would have stayed at any of the other hotels that weren't all-inclusive....actually it was quite a bit cheaper. The food at the hotel was okay too. Breakfast was great because you had made to order eggs and lunch was pretty good at the beach snack bar...they had the best hamburgers, nachos and fries. Dinner was only okay. They had two theme nights, a fiesta and a beach party, where they went all out on the decorations. Both looked amazing! They also had an a la carte restaurant (La Hacienda) and a meal there was included in our package. It was excellent! Besides the two fiesta nights and the dinner at La Hacienda, we went out for dinner. As many people have pointed out, the restaurants in Ix and Z are fantastic and pretty affordable. Even with the nights we ate out, we still figure we came out ahead going with the all-inclusive.
The best night out in my opinion was the night we went to Casa Elvira in Z. It was on the pier and had amazing food. I had the quesidillas and then the chicken fajitas which were excellent. The meal was great and the owner's son even came by to make sure we were enjoying ourselves.
Another night we went to the Marina district in Ix and ate at Beccofino's. I wasn't as impressed with my meal there but I don't eat seafood and I was told that the seafood was really terrific. The atmosphere was good though and the service was tremendous.
Another night we went to JJ's in Ix where my bro and boyfriend had lobster that they raved about. We sat practically on the sidewalk and had the best view of all the action on Ixtapa blvd. It was great!!
The nightlife in Ix isn't as active as in Acapulco but we did spend some quality time at Senior Frogs. My bro went to Christine and Millenium. He thought Christine overrated but Millenium was really cool. Apparently, neither club was as busy as Frogs, probably because they both charge the guys a hefty cover.
The Fontan had entertainment every night. While we didn't stick around for much of it, I heard complaints from older people that the band played too late into the night. The Fontan does seem to attract a younger crowd and so while I found it to be a lot of fun, I can understand why others would think it was too noisy etc...
One day my boyfriend and I went snorkelling on Ixtapa Isla and found it was quite nice. I wasn't use to the shallow water and ended up scraping my knee on a piece of coral but I did get to see lots of cool fish.
As for shopping...I didn't really do too much. I went to the market in Z once and bought all that I wanted and then made another very quick trip through the market in Ixtapa. The markets in Z have nicer stuff and in some cases, better prices.
This year I didn't parasail but I did last year and the guys between the Dorado and the Krystal are great. My brother and I talked to them a lot last year and even went out with them one night. They are a friendly group and are great at what they do. If you're down there you'll have to ask for Ivan or Richard.
We spent most of our days laying on the beach. The weather was almost perfect (one cloudy day and a little (gasp) rain one night. Every day the flags were red but the ocean didn't seem that ferocious. We went swimming and rode the waves everyday we were there!
All in all we had a terrific time in Ixtapa this year. I don't think we were disappointed by anything except that the week went by way too fast! While there are still many, many places I want to see, I hope to go back again one day. I can already hear the ocean calling me!
Wow! This is longer than I expected. Sorry!!