Posted by Rich from Portland Or. on January 25, 2001 at 15:40:25:
I am going to take a different approach in my report. Most of the reports try to give you details of hotel and restaurant ratings. I am going to try to give you a report on expectations so you can make a better decision on how to use the information in the detailed reports on hotels and restaurants. I hope it is helpful and you enjoy it.
First I must tell you that this was my first trip to Mexico. We were there from Jan. 6 to Jan 21. I loved every minute of it. I had no understanding of the people or area except what I learned from this message board and people I know that have traveled to Mexico. I made the decision to be open, explore and enjoy what I found. So here is what I found Ö
Those of you that are looking for a top cabin experience you will find it at any of the large beach resort facilities. They seemed to all provide the service and amenities that you would expect at any fine resort. The entertainment might not be as diverse as you would find in a larger resort community but there is enough to keep you busy. They range from Cuban productions and dance to Jazz clubs. The Ocean is great at all the beaches though everyone has there favorite. You will find that after a couple of days there will be a beach cabana restaurant that you will fall in love with and make your own. If it is relaxing you want you have come to the right area, nothing or any one is in any hurry, so turn off the demand clock and enjoy the slow relaxed life style you have arrived in. You will be able to indulge that First-class itch from the Luxurious Resorts on Playa Linda in the north all the way to the Fine Resorts in Playa La Ropa in the south.
Those of us that do not require first class or want more of the feel of the Mexican people can find there fondest desire here also. I saw lodging in both Ixtapa and Zihua that offered clean desirable facilities at modest cost. I can only comment on the Hotel I stayed at. I said I was going to give general comments of an expectation flavor so please bear with me for just a moment. We stayed at Villas Paraiso in Ixtapa. A Mexican owned and operated Hotel with the homiest atmosphere anyone could ever want. The rooms and beds were clean and comfortable. Each room was a suite. One or two bedrooms with a Kitchen and sitting room priced at $75 USD for one bedroom and $110 USD for two bedrooms. The management spoke English and was quick to respond to any need we had. Finding the locally owned and run Hotels may take a little more investigation on your part but I believe that the results will give you a much richer experience enjoying the flavor of small town Mexico.
Everyone has to take a Taxi ride to somewhere just to have the experience and get your heart started again. There could be not survival if everyone driving didnít ignore every rule of the road at all times. Of course I have never been to a place where speed bumps on the highway was the main speed control. Please donít tell your driver that there are 10 pesos extra in it if he can get you there first. Your heart canít take the experience. (Might be able to use it as cardio vascular exercise)
There are many places to go on side trips. The Hotels can get tours lined up for you but with a little ingenuity you can sometimes do it cheaper on your own. During your first days, find a taxi driver that speaks enough English to make you comfortable and drives inside your limits. Get his name and number. Most of them will help you work out trips that are customized to what you want to do and see for less then the regulated tours.
I found the restaurants to serve the finest food I have seen in one location. I just wish the restaurants in my hometown tried to serve the quality that I had during my visit. I printed out all the trip reports for two months prior to coming south. (I made this site my home page) I had my list in hand and tried every place that I could. My report is: it was great!!!! I had one meal that left something to be desired in the whole 15 days I was there and Iím willing to say he just had a bad day. I ate at the expensive and the very inexpensive. I had steak, barbeque (yes BBQ) ribs, chicken done every way possible, fish and shrimp from Italian to Mexican local. It was just delightful. Price did not have any relation to the quality or flavor. If you are looking for the European style elegance then price is what you are paying for. But if you are looking for fine dining experiences (selection, quality and flavor) you can find this at the most modestly priced cabana in town. I had Italian that was as good as the finest Iíve eaten in the States. And paid $90 to $180 pesos for the privilege. The seafood was to die for. How much fresher can you get it? I would ask the adventurers to go into the restaurants that normally donít get a lot of tourists. One that comes to mind is Pollo Feliz. Taxi driver said is the where you wanted to go. We said yes. People stopped and looked at us when we got out and went inside. No English spoken but we managed to get a half a grilled chicken, drink and sides for about 32 pesos each. Now this is not gourmet but the experience and the local food was really enjoyable.
OK Rob, I know I have over run all the parameters you have set for the board but let me see if I can conclude briefly.
Every one that goes to Ixtapa/Zihua should have the vacation of their dreams. Those wanting to be pampered and enjoy the first cabin will find just what they are looking for. Those wanting to relax and enjoy the beaches, fishing, snorkeling, shopping and exploring will also find it to be just what they are looking for. Those on a budget can have a marvelous experience. Then there is the strange bird like me that wants to know who these people are and what they think and do. To try to understand their life style and understand what makes this part of the world tick. Well I had a most wonderful time also. Thanks go to all you wonderful people that use this board, file reports, and all of the advice I got before I went south. (Some say I went south years ago) Thanks Rob, for your board and taking time to keep us informed.
So it all boils down to your expectations. If you know that all expectations can be fulfilled on vacation in Zihua and you donít judge others for their differing expectations all can go home with the most wonderful memories and dreams of the next visit. Donít Change Anything!!!!!!!
I shall return Ö