Posted by Sue Schwenn on March 24, 2001 at 18:47:30:
I'm going through withdrawal--haven't been away from Paradise for 24 hours yet! Just returned from a week at Qualton Club (all-inclusive) just North of Ixtapa. Had a wonderful time. This is our 2nd trip to Ixtapa. Last year my husband and I stayed at Presidente, which we really enjoyed. This year we weren't going to take a vacation-but at the last minute I couldn't stand it, saw an Apple special for Qualton, and jumped at it. I admit, at first, I was a little worried about the Qualton. I keep up with Rob's website and hadn't heard too many positive things about Qualton Club. I'm happy to report to any one who is interested that they should not be worried-we had a wonderful vacation. Actually enjoyed Qualton a little more than Presidente-as it is a smaller property, a little quieter, and more laid back. It is off the hotel strip in Ixtapa, which I preferred, but a short bus ride in to town if you needed to go.
Qualton has about 150 rooms and is a very pretty property. The grounds are laid out very well and are cared for beautifully. Many wonderful palm trees, flowering plants, etc. I was very pleased in how pretty and clean everything was. The architecture is not high rise buildings. (Thankfully! The Melia Azul is next door, and it really didn't interest me in the least. I'm sure it is brand new and very nice, but to me it has absolutely no character-just an over-sized hotel on a small parcel of land). Qualton has what I consider 2 story motel-type units. They are freshly painted on the outside with wooden doors and the room numbers are outlined with colorful painted birds. Has a Mexican flavor to both the inside and outside. The rooms are smaller-nice tile floors, have brand new air conditioner units which work very well, we had king bed, dresser, 2 night stands, patio (as we were on 1st floor) vanity/sink area and separate shower area. There is a small closet and in-room safe ($10 pesos per day for safe). Rooms also have a small table and 2 sitting chairs. The rooms were very clean and quiet. We had plenty of hot water and water pressure was excellent. (I did hear other folks complain that they didn't have enough hot water-but luckily, we didn't have this problem). Our room was 6103. We didn't have ocean view. We spend 12 hours per day by the pool or the beach, so we didn't need the view from the room-as we weren't in it except to sleep and freshen up.
At Qualton there was a real mix of vacationers-singles, young couples, older couples and families traveling with small children or teenagers. There are 2 pools - 1 adult pool with Berny's swim-up pool bar. The adult pool is right next to ocean wall and beach, so could lay at pool and see the waves and beach-best of both worlds for me. Children's pool was separated by flowered shrubbery-this was really nice. Children's pool activities were kept separate and this was awesome for me. Seemed to be plenty of pool lounge chairs. I was probably the only jerk who put a towel down in the morning to reserve a certain chair. Most folks didn't even come down to the pool until mid morning. I'm early riser so was always down by 8:00 a.m. The adult pool had music, but was very relaxing and not "busy" with activities. Qualton also has a beach club that is right on the beach with umbrellas and chairs so folks who prefer to be in sand and on the ocean could enjoy that option. I've heard some folks mention that the beach wasn't what they expected. It is a darker, harder sand beach. There were all kinds of shells if you like to go shelling. If you walk across the dock area where folks take the ferry to Ixtapa Island, there is Playa Linda beach where you can walk for miles and do horseback riding etc. I liked the beach area at Qualton. In the morning there were so many pelicans in the ocean. I sat on the beach or ocean wall and watch them diving for bait fish. Very beautiful and relaxing. It was wonderful to get up early and sit on the beach wall in solitude, watch the pelicans and just reflect. Many times other vacationers didn't get moving until later so and Rich and I were the only ones walking the beach and shelling before that time. It was very peaceful, romantic, and relaxing.
As far a activities go, if you have teenagers or want to be active there are plenty of options at this resort-sand volley ball, bikes for check out, an ecological tour, ping pong, life sized chess, shuffle board, pool in the lobby bar, water kayaks, sailboards, boogie boards. Can take the kayaks over to Ixtapa Island-not a bad paddle at all. Also at the resort they have hair braiding, kids club, nightly entertainment. On the beach you can do parasailing, sign up for fishing, etc. There is an area just outside the Qualton Club gates that has about 10-12 huge crocodiles and turtles-they were kind of neat to see. There is a small open air market with a fair amount of booths right next to the crocodiles-got really nice t-shirts for $5 US.
The staff at the resort was awesome-so friendly and helpful. Yazmin, Norma, Javier, Imer, Alberto, and Jose-they really made our trip--lovely folks. There are so many options of things to do, if you're in to that. Rich and I like to just relax and chill out. We did the pool for hours every day. Went in to Ixtapa once for some shopping. Rich golfed one day. I shelled on the beach every day and just relaxed, watched the pelicans, read a couple good books. We met 3 other couples that were absolutely wonderful. We spent time with them around the pool, did dinners together, etc.-I miss you Ron, Gloria, Tom, Jenny, Ed and Lynn-great memories!!!
Food at Qualton is plentiful and they offer a lot of variety. Breakfast is awesome-cereals, yogurt, always fresh fruits, juices, made-to-order omelets, French toast, pancakes-my favorites were always the Mexican dishes. Resort has the best homemade sweet breads, muffins, and croissants. Because some of the hot dishes are in buffet dishes and in open air buffets-food can be colder-just put it aside and go back for warmer stuff.
At lunch can have made-to-order grilled sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, salad bar, fruit, always had Mexican dishes, sometimes pizza, quiches, chips, salsas-awesome guacamole! I never though I'd say it, but I think I'm guac'd out.
Dinners were theme buffets. Italian buffet was my favorite. Sautéed the noodles in olive oil, garlic, onions and had different sauces to choose from. Every evening had a fresh carve setup where could get fresh carved beef or pork, plus really good soups, buffet items, salad bars, fruit, etc. I usually took tortilla and the carved me and made my own little sandwiches.
Qualton has 2 specialty sit-down dinners-1 Monday and 1 Thursday evening-in addition to the buffet of the evening. Need to make reservations for sit-down dinner at the breakfast restaurant. They have 3 different seating times. This was tasty.
We went in to Ixtapa for dinner on our own. Bus is only 4 pesos per person. Cab is 40 pesos total (one way). Had lobster at JJs Lobster House -which was very tasty and fun. Next time, I would still do the all inclusive, but would probably do more dinners outside of hotel because there are so many good restaurants to choose from.
Tips-Remember to bring lots of sunscreens and lotions, and bug spray for the noseeums.
Well-this is probably about as much as anyone would ever care to know about Qualton Club-next time anyone asks, this will be in Rob's archive. Ixtapa/Zihua is such a wonderful place that we will return every year!! I enjoy reading all the posts on this board and thank Rob for keeping it going for us!!! Can't wait until next year!