Trip Report - Radisson/Dolphin's/Gatas + more w/ kids!

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Posted by Mike in CA from (?) on lunes, enero 19, 2004 at 14:59:52 :

Having received many great tips and suggestions before our trips in the past from this site, I wanted to summarize ours in the hope of providing some insight into what future guests may decide what to, and what not to, do.

I will briefly summarize below and will gladly respond in detail to any questions if requested.

6 Days in Zihua/ Ixtapa January 10-15, with our 4 and 1 year olds. Our third trip in 2 years.
Great internet fares direct from San Francisco on We did have to pay full fare for my 4 year old, though. Still, $218 round-trip direct N/S.

Stayed at the Radisson - Ixtapa. Our second time there. Incredible rate on the room. Did not do the all-inclusive, or drinks included, as we enjoy exploring the area. Booked it through the RCI web site ( We had 2 double beds. The room decor sure must have been something in the 1980's. The room was great for the price though, comfortable and somewhat clean. They provide you with a remote control for the TV and a mini bar key at check in. The mini-bar can easily hold more food and beverages as you need during your stay. 3 of 5 lights did not work or operate in the room. Make sure you let them know if you need a non-smoking or smoking room. The walls are paper-thin and sound, as well as smoke, travels between them. Pool area is great for kids. I would not recommend eating at the hotel. Pool Drinks are expensive if you're paying for them (vs. all -inclusive). Manuel at the activities desk is a gem and can offer ideas of what to do in the area w/ or without his service. Bring many $1 bills as we felt we had to constantly tip everyone there (bellman, housekeeping, porters, etc.)
Happy hour is from 7-9 pm in the lounge and they had live music as times. The hotel purifies all of its water.

40 peso taxi ride to Zihua, 65 peso ride to La Ropa. Traveling in taxis with kids proved easy albeit w/out car seats. We''ve taken the bus in the past as well. local buses cost $5 pesos.

Ate at La Perla and received lousy service. Our taxi driver suggested Rossy, further down the beach instead. Next time. Regardless, our 4 year old has a blast on the beach while we dine with our feet in the sand next to her.

Our kids mostly ate Quesadillas, rice, tacos and fish at all of the places we went to.

Sunday nights on the Playa Municipal is the place to be. Music, food, many people. Good times.

La Sirena Gorda has incrdeible smoked tuna tacos in a great setting in front of the Mexican Naval post in Zihua.

Casa Arcadia on the South End of Playa Municipal has the least expensive beer deals I had found. $10 pesos and they bring it out in a bucket.

The walk to Playa Madera at night is romantic (even w/ kids). Dessert at the Brisas Del Mar overlooking the beach and bay was nice on Playa La Madera.

Amador's on Playa Las Gatas was awesome. He has the second to last restaurant on the beach. Not too expensive and a Corona commercial-like setting. The kids could play in front of us. Amador's had a bucket of 3 baby turtles that they were fostering until they were big enough to set them free. Small fish swim all around in the shallow waters in front of you. Shrimp taco's were to die for. This came reccomended by several friends. Our kids did not need boat passes.

We ate at Il Boffone's in Ixtapa. Good food. The original owner, I hear, is now back in charge of the place. Frank's in Ixtapa had the best Tortilla Soup I have ever tasted.

Casa Bahia was scrumptous in Zihua. Nice views of the bay up near the gas station. Afterwards, it was a nice walk back into town for dessert, even with kids.

A couple of mornings we ate at Restaurant Solieado across from the Raqdisson hotel. Breakfasts ran about 200 pesos for 4 of us. Great coffee, egg dishes and juice. Nice people too.

As an FYI, La Casa Que Canta does not accept children and has a dress code. Same with Kau Kan.

We have avoided the para-sailing, or anything that could put ourselves at risk in Mexico, in the past due to several 'accidents' that we witnessed or had heard of. Inquire for more if interested.

The Mercado in central Ixtapa is great for waters, juices, beer, yogurt and baby items. Floatable turtle-swim-things are more expensive in Mexico than in the states as an FYI.

The day trip to Barra De Potosi is well worth it.

DO NOT DO THE DOLPHIN Thing. I had shared with my 4 year old when we got there that the Dolphins should be in the ocean and that they would prefer not to be in a swimming pool. If she really wanted to go see them we could head out on a boat and see them in the ocean (Zihua Bob's suggestion). However, sadly, they have strategically placed bill boards throughoput the town and the pool with the dolphins is visible from our room at the Radisson. So, she stated, "I want to go hold the Dolphins to let them know it will be okay." Sorry Rob, we succombed.

Booked it through Manuel at our hotel with a substantial discount (20%) for a 10 am swim for 30 minutes for my duaghter and I on our last day there. Manuel confirmed the reservation the night before. My daughter was beaming with excitement and anticipation. Thursday morning comes, they do not have our reservation and do not even have a class that morning as they 'need at least 4 people to go'. They told us that they do not have a record of us making a reservation and that Manuel may have made a mistake. I shared with them that Manuel confirmed the reservation with them in front of us the night before. I knew we were being played at this point and offered to pay double the regular price to simply get my daughter into the pool. Not a chance as they told the instructor not to come in that morning (or they simply did not show up). The only class available was that evening at 5:30. Our flight left at 4:45pm.

We were not pleased and not happy. Also we had a devastated 4 year old daughter. I shared my displeasure with the reservation person and politely said that we would not be back and would suggest that others avoid the experience altogether. Perhaps fate intervened, Zihua Rob? It's defintely a business and I feel even worse now for the dolphins.

It cost us $150 Pesos for the taxi to the airport from the Radisson.

Of other note, obtained a brutal case of the tourista that lasted 2 days while we were there, vomitting and diarrhea. My mid back area still is painful when I move. Someone suggested taking Sulfa which worked after 6 hours. My 1 y/o got sick in the airport 30 minutes before the flight which made for a long flight home and my wife came down with it 2 hours into the flight. Ourr aplogies to anyone who was on the flight with us.

We bought most of our gifts in the airport itself to save time and transporting the stuff. Although they say they don't, they do barter at the stores in the airport.

Overall, a nice trip that we look forward to again. Our kids enjoyed the pool and playing in the waves in front of the Radisson (with the floating turtle-swim-thing). The Radisson could use some major updating and a motivational speaker for their staff. Although, for the price, I won't complain. The people in the town were genuinely friendly and often enjoyed having our young children at their establishments.

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