Trip Report - On Zihuatanejo Time

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Posted by MB in Chicago on May 07, 2001 at 15:01:27:

One week in Paradise at Villa Del Sol

I don’t know what it is about Zihuatanejo but two things remain forever etched in my mind. The first is the sweet smell of hibiscus that permeated the Villa Del Sol Resort and the second was the warmth and hospitality extended to us by the people, especially the Zihua-Americans like Rob, Walt of Casa Bahia, and Capt. Andrew of the Nirvana. I got carried away while writing this so I’ll post the written account of our visit to the most beautiful and romantic place on earth over the next couple of days.

Day 1 – The journey is half the fun!
We selected the Zihuatenejo area and Villa del Sol carefully as this was our first vacation alone in many years. We wanted peace and relaxation and we weren’t disappointed! Our vacation started out with a 2 ˝ hour delay at O’Hare airport. Coupled with the fact that we arrived two hours before our flight we spent the entire afternoon at the airport. We landed at the Zihuatanejo airport close to midnight tired and cautious. Our first hint of the demeanor of the Zihua people came at the airport. After collecting our luggage the customs agent has you play the “stoplight” game. You push a button and the stoplight either gives a green light and you go on your merry way or a red light and you win the honor of having your luggage searched. The security guard on duty, an older man, received immense joy from playing the game with the weary travelers. Like a carnival game hawker he eagerly drew travelers into his game of chance with a frivolous smile. As you anxiously went to push the button he held his breath and awaited the outcome with you. Green light and he celebrated with you, red light and he laughed like he just played the world’s greatest practical joke and you fell for it. It was very funny to watch until our turn came. Luckily we got a green light.

The hotel was supposed to have a car waiting for us, but that was three hours earlier and no Villa del Sol driver was to be found. Unabated, we went out and grabbed a taxi to the hotel for $20 US. I thought it sounded high but at that point just wanted to get to the hotel. In the end it didn’t matter because the hotel paid me back. We checked into the hotel and were taken to our room in the darkness and I prayed that the room was worth the small fortune we paid. We were not disappointed! We stayed in a Beach Suite at the south end of the resort. I have never stayed in a more luxurious room. Whoever decorated the room paid close attention to how the lighting offset the architectural details of the suite. The play of light and shadow was masterful and immediately put us at ease. We unpacked and fell asleep to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.

Day 2 – Paradise Found
In the light of the morning the room was even more beautiful than at night. There are doors in the bedroom that slide open to reveal our own private infinity pool and a magnificent view of Zihuatanejo bay. I will attempt to describe the room but can never convey in words the aura of peace and serenity that the suite emitted. It is like trying to explain the color red.

If you visit the following URL: our suite was comprised of the top floor of the clay roofed building on the right. The sitting area is to the left and bedroom (pictured here: ) is to the right. The outside door opened to the sitting room which contained a twisted tree trunk table and beautifully carved wooden chairs, bench seat overlooking the ocean and couch that resembled more of a bed, all tastefully decorated in colors and art befitting the country. There were Aztec sculptures, wood carved furniture and strips of bamboo covering the doors that separated the sitting area from the bedroom. A small private infinity pool was located in front of the bedroom and reflected the surroundings like a mirror.

Fresh coffee and croissants were waiting outside our door every morning when we awoke. We decided to have breakfast in our room in the sitting area overlooking the ocean. The food was quite good and we found the Villa del Sol’s French trained chefs to be quite competent at their craft. Then off to the beach for the day. The Villa del Sol beach is one of the most beautiful on La Ropa. Giant palapas dot the beach and fresh cushions are laid out for you by the beach staff after you select just the right spot. I am not a big fan of the sun so I stayed under the palapa while my wife circled me like a giant sun dial. Ice cold drinks, chips and guacamole on the beach and I was in heaven.

In the evening we decided to go into town for dinner and selected La Sirena Gorda. The food, service, and atmosphere were great. My wife had halibut which was delicious and I had the tuna. Yoni (sp?) serenaded us with a couple of songs, one of which was the Zihuatanejo song of course. He was great and we struggled through some conversation. He came back after our dinner and played another song for us for free, because that is the way people are down there if you show a little kindness. The meal including wine cost about $40US. I would highly recommend La Sirena Gorda and it remains high on my list. We ended the day in our pool in our room overlooking the ocean. Muy romantico!

Day 2 – I could get used to this

We had another excellent breakfast in the restaurant and then back to the beach. The ocean breeze was very pleasant and made the heat tolerable to us mid-westerners. We went from the beach chairs to the pool to walks on the beach back to the beach chairs again. In the afternoon we both had massages on the beach that were incredible. The sound of the ocean in the background added greatly to the relaxing massage. I would highly recommend a beach massage to any visitors to La Ropa beach.

In the evening we went to Casa Que Canta for dinner. The service was great, the atmosphere incredible, but we both thought the food was mediocre, especially for the cost. While at dinner we chatted with the waiter, Javier, about the local Indian tribes that inhabited the area. He told us about a field trip his daughter had taken to the archeological site at La Solidad de Maciel. Before the dinner ended he offered to take us there for a tour and we agreed. The dinner with a bottle of wine cost about $100US. We walked back to our hotel along the beach. We never had any problem and always felt safe walking around Zihua at night. I fell asleep on the couch bed in the sitting room listening to the waves crash and the geckos on the wall chirp. Ahhh.

I'll post Installment two tomorrow dependent upon your comments. Hi Rob!

Mike and Kim

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