Trip Report -- married in Zihua

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Posted by Cara (and Michael) from (?) on Monday, December 24, 2001 at 14:08:53 :

My new husband and I were married in Zihua on December 1, in the company of 16 friends and family members. It was such a wonderful event -- I can't imagine a more magical place in which to begin our lives together! I'll try to keep the newlywed gushing to a minimum, and give as much good info as I can. A little background -- we're from Seattle, and this was our second trip to Zihua. We go to Mexico about once a year; we've been to San Jose del Cabo and Puerta Vallarta, but now we're hooked on Zihua. :)
1. Villa del Sol versus La Casa Que Canta: a recurring topic on this board . . . we stayed at both hotels during our trip. Both spectacular but very different. VDS is on a gorgeous stretch of beach, the service is fantastic, rooms are all nice (but the lower-priced rooms can vary widely -- i.e. some are small and/or above the kitchen, others are large and bright with two balconies). VDS is a busy hotel -- many people walk up from the beach to have a meal or drink, and there is lots of activity. I enjoyed VDS so much, I did not want to move over to La Casa Que Canta. But once we checked in, I changed my mind! CQC has fewer rooms, and does not allow non-guests into the hotel before 6:00pm, so it is much quieter and more private than VDS. This could be a plus or a minus, depending on how much activity you like. The pools are absolutely fantastic. Once we jumped into the saltwater pool, I did not miss the ocean at all. You can easily walk to the beach if you like, but we didn't want to leave the hotel most days! Service is very good -- a bit more formal than VDS. The feeling at CQC is that you are bothered as little as possible, which adds to the privacy of the place. We were so lucky to be able to sample these hotels, and I must say again that both are wonderful. CQC is more dramatic in terms of architecture and decor, is very quiet and private, and the pools and views are amazing. VDS has the best spot on the beach, a huge staff, more choices in terms of restaurants/bars, and where else can you eat a white-linen lunch right on the beach? That's my two cents.
2. Restaurants: don't miss Villa de la Selva in Ixtapa; ask for a table on the deck. Amazing view, wonderful service, ceasar salad made tableside, be sure to look over the deck and watch for raccoons! Kau-Kan is still our favorite -- we had our reception there and it was unbelievable. Great staff, food, locat1on . . . be sure to sit upstairs. Beccofino has very good pasta -- we didn't think we'd want to eat pasta in Mexico, but the urge hit so off we went. Sirena Gorda was a disappointment. We liked the fish tacos (appetizer), but everything else was mediocre. I had heard such raves on the board -- maybe it was an off night? Also had a bad experience at La Perla this year. Loved it last year -- this time, we waited almost an hour for our food, even though the place was nearly empty. Plenty of waiters but no one really paid attention to us. Food was so-so. Again, this could have been an off night, but it was frustrating. La Casa Que Canta has a new dinner menu -- still very good, and such a romantic setting. Did not have dinner at Villa del Sol but breakfast and lunch are great and give more bang for the buck.
3. Sotavento/Catalina: we had four guests staying there (we stayed at Catalina last year and recommended it) and we spent a few nights at the Sunset Bar. The new infinity pool at Catalina is a big hit. Our friends really liked the hotel, but as the place got busier, things took a frat house turn. Examples -- guests spilling drinks in the pool, and ashing or putting out cigarettes in the pool; throwing full beer cans and trash off balconies into the pool (while people were swimming); copious vomiting in the urinal of the men's bathroom above the Sunset Bar. I guess that behavior is unavoidable when traveling but it seemed out of place in Zihua. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has seen this "Animal House" thing at Sotavento- Catalina? Might have just been a raucous bunch.
4. Practical info: the ATM at the airport is not in service.
Taxis to the airport are 90 pesos without A/C, 150 with A/C.
There were portuguese man-o-wars in the water for a few days this year, and washed up on the beach as well -- watch where you step in bare feet!
I had read some postings about trash on the beach and/or in the water -- did not see anything unusual. A can or a piece of plastic washed up on the beach once in awhile, that was it. It all looked gorgeous to me!
5. Other random thoughts: saw Rob and dropped off a bunch of school supplies, it's always a pleasure to see the "man behind the board!" This bulletin board keeps that Zihua feeling alive during the l-o-n-g winter months.
Isabel Pais was our wedding coordinator and I can't say enough good things about her. She helped bring everything together, which allowed us to relax on the beach and enjoy Zihua!
All bags are searched at the Zihua airport before you depart. Very efficient, not a long wait. We arrived at the airport about 1-1/4 hours early and had plenty of time.
Every single one of our guests was simply blown away by Zihuatanejo. The weather, the bay, the people, were all so memorable and many guests are already making plans to return! Michael and I will be there next year to celebrate our first anniversary -- we can't wait!

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