Trip Report 11/23 to 11/30 at the Barcelo

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Posted by judy beal on December 09, 2000 at 18:50:41:

IXTAPA IS BEAUTIFUL. Our week started by leaving -20 C temperatures behind in Toronto. All inclusive trip booked thru World of Vacations for 1 week. Flew AirTransat with stopover in Huatulco (approx.1 hour) - believe stopover due to low season. Arrived in Zihu - beautiful HOT weather. Check in at Barcelo fairly quick - people on the desk/reception most pleasant. Had requested oceanview but resort full - American Thanksgiving & many Mexicans there as well. Moved to oceanview Sunday. Mountainview room & oceanview identical with exception of view. All inclusive had some exceptions - minibar - no liquor, large water, imported water, candy, coffee packs included (coffee maker in room) - Corona, local beer & pop only inclusive. Oceanview must nicer - surf pounded sand 24 hours a day - black flag up all but 1st 2 days of stay. Beautiful, clean, safe beach to run or walk on. Service at Barcelo excellent - staff friendly & courteous. Breakfast buffet excellent - fresh fruits, juices, pasterized milk, rolls, toast, bacon, ham, enchilladas, etc. Made to order waffles, pancakes, french toast & delicious omelettes. Both lunch restaurants outdoors and again excellent food - pizza & grilled chicken better then anything back home. Also had salads, guacamole, grilled fish, hotdogs, hamburgs, soup, salds, etc.
Dinners (2 a la carte) were all very tasty - they had a pasta night, grill night, fiesta night, etc. 1st a la carte by candlelight by the ocean -seafood, shrimp, steaks, all very good - with help yourself salads, desserts & don't let me forget wine. 2nd a la carte was inside - only complaint I had all trip was I didn't get my Veal - main dish - they were very apologetic. My daughter did get her main course (chicken in wine) - it was excellent - so were the appetizers. However, not all items on menu are included so check with the maitre de before ordering.
The pool area was wonderful - lots of chairs poolside and on the beach. If poolside, extra umbrellas are available. Pool bar service excellent. You can eat right at the poolbar too. Lots of activities, pool basketball, volleyball, waterpolo for adults - seemed to be lots for children to do as weel - miniclub with pottery, pool games, etc. Beach volleyball also played daily. Towel service free - no problems getting towels or chairs.
Things to do - parasailing $20 US for about 12 minutes - my daughter loved it. Takes you high above the resort area around marina, ocean. Jetski's were $35 & up for 1/2 hour. Massage on beach. Only had a couple of people walking the beach selling silver? but many selling trips to Ixtapa Island, etc.
Shopping across from Fontan - flea market & also a mall. Prices OK but better in Zihu. Beware exchanging your money at the bank as there exchange rate from US to Pesos was less than the money marts in both Ixtapa Mall & Zihu, i.e. 9.2 bank, 9.24 moneymart. No problem with ATM's - still trying to figure out what I got for what though!!! Check out the parrots at Tucan restaurant & see Yeyo at the jewellry store - the 3rd store down behind Tucan.
Taxi to Zihu 30 pesos (+10 peso tip). Make sure you go & walk Las Gatas - beautiful, peaceful setting, lots of shops, restaurants, etc. Also wander the town & see the sites. The flea market there has at least 50 stalls - lots to choose from & barter fairly. Buy your liquor in Zihu too - Kahula at the liquor store there 90 pesos, rum 78 pesos. Sorry Rob didn't make it to see you or Lupita - next trip.
We did a tour with a personal guide to Petatlan & Barra de Potosi - go to both of these places if you can. The church in Petatlan is magnificient, lots of gold vendors and friendly people. Barra de Potosi is unblemished natural Mexico - there are a few places to stay and some large homes. There are a good number of outdoor restaurants with hammocks, good food, fresh coconut milk, etc. Tour the lagoon - it is tranquil. Unfortuantely I heard that this area is probably next to be tourism developed.
In summary - we will return to Ixtapa/Zihu/Petatlan again - it is truly magnificent, friendly and not as commercialized as the Mayan Riviera. PS - don't forget to tip even if you are all inclusive - the staff wages are a sin!!!!!!!!
Thankyou to the Barcelo staff, Yeyo and the Mexican people for making our trip to Mexico the most memorable yet.

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