Trip Report (Dorado Pacifico)

[Archives Home] [Zihuatanejo Ixtapa Home] [Zihuatanejo Ixtapa Troncones Message Board]

Escrito por John Fern desde ( el día viernes, 23 de febrero, 2007 a las 16:31:48 horas :

What a great trip it was, although, at first, it didn’t seem like it would be. When we booked it back in December, we told our travel agent we preferred something on an upper floor, as far from the pool as possible. She informed us there is no guarantee, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, so she sent along the information to our hotel: the Dorado Pacifico.
After the flight, we decided to skip the bus and take a taxi instead, in hopes of increasing our chances to get the room we desired by being there before they filled up.
I remembered reading something on this board that timeshare vendors would be outside of the terminal, but we had one all over us before we made it to the door. He appeared to be associated with the taxi service, but when he went into his spiel and opened up the laminated brochure, we beat a hasty retreat for our ride to the hotel.
Upon our arrival, our dreams of the ideal room came crashing down around us when the desk clerk informed us our room was on the lowest level (fifth floor) and it was also directly in front of the pool. I asked if there was anything else available, and was told there was not, since we had booked a junior suite. He did, however, tell us that if we could wait until Sunday, a lot of guests would be checking out, and there would be something then.
We told him that would be fine and went to our room to unpack. A short time later, there was a knock on the door. This would be my first encounter with the small gentleman carrying a little wooden toolbox. His nametag read, “Pepe.”
“You have leak?” he asked.
“I don’t think so,” I replied.
“Housekeeping said you have leak in bathroom,” he said.
I went into the bathroom and checked the faucets and toilet but found no leaks. I went back and told Pepe it must be a mistake. I thanked him and he left. The room was a bit warm, so I set the thermostat for maximum cool. While hanging up my shirts, I heard the sound of water splattering onto the floor in the bathroom. Sure enough, there was a leak after all…coming from the ceiling. I ran back into the hall to find Pepe, but he was long gone. I went to the front desk and told another clerk about the problem. While I was there, I mentioned the plans to change rooms on Sunday and he told me it wasn’t possible.
“But, the other guy said there would be more available tomorrow,” I said, holding back my tears.
“No, you have to wait until Monday,” he said. He told me he would send maintenance back to our room to check the leak. As I rode the elevator back up, my enthusiasm was sinking down. Would they have to do a major plumbing repair? What does it mean when water is coming from the ceiling?
Pepe arrived a short time later with his little wooden toolbox under his arm. He looked at the water dripping onto the floor and went directly to the thermostat, turning it off.
“Hose broke,” he said, before retrieving a small stepladder from the hall. Now I knew why there was no leak when I checked. Housekeeping must have turned down the air, and when I turned it back up, the water came through the broken hose of the air conditioner system.
Pepe replaced the hose and we were back on track. We were still pretty grungy from the trip, so I jumped in the shower to wash away the grime. That’s when I noticed the water wasn’t draining. I dried off and got dressed.
“My turn,” my wife said. “I can’t wait to get cleaned up—”
“You’ll have to wait,” I said. “The drain is plugged. I’ll let them know.”
Once again, Pepe came to our rescue. I didn’t see a power snake in his little wooden toolbox, and I must admit I had my doubts, but he pulled out a small plunger and went to work. He plunged that drain like a man possessed, and a few minutes later he was exorcising mountains of sand from the pipes. It was music to my ears when I heard the water drain, and I knew then and there that I would never doubt Pepe again.
We settled back to relax when out of nowhere, the sound of a voice yelling through a bullhorn rattled the glass doors. The words were in Spanish so we didn’t understand what was being said.
“What is that?” my wife asked.
“I’m not sure. Maybe Mexican rebels are taking over the hotel! Let’s hope they let Pepe keep his job.” I ran to the balcony and looked down toward the pool. It wasn’t a bullhorn, but a PA system set up for some kind of game they were playing. When the yelling stopped, the music started…with a nice heavy bass beat that couldn’t be ignored.
“I really hope they find us something higher up,” I said, and we left to go get something to eat.
We tried the hamburgers out at the snack shop near the beach and felt better after getting some food in us. We then took a nice walk along the beach and stuck around for what would be the first of many that week: a beautiful sunset that had us captivated right up until it disappeared into the ocean.
When we returned to our room, the pool party was over so we thought a short siesta was in order. That is until Santana music came blaring up from the lobby of the hotel. I called and asked how long do they play the music, and they told me right up until 11:00.
“I really, really hope they find us something up high,” I said.
I realize that many guests have no problem with this and consider it all part of the vacation, but we like to think of the room as a quiet sanctuary away from the noise and parties. Once the music stopped, we were able to drift asleep listening to the waves washing up on shore. Some of the bigger ones crashed so hard, you would almost swear it was thunder. Now, that was music.
I woke up early to get a cup of coffee and play the cabana game with the other husbands migrating out to the beach and pool. After making my choice with the already limited selection, I sat down to drink my coffee and look out at the ocean.
The pelicans were flying in formation until one or two split from the group, breaking into a kamikaze dive directly into the water for his breakfast. The rest followed suit whenever they would spot their prey from above.
The blackbirds were always hungry as they bounced across the sand in between the cabanas in search of French fries and potato chips. I was surprised how close they came as they stopped to give me an intense glare with those piercing eyes as if they just stepped off the cover of a Carlos Castaneda book.
The breeze coming off the ocean was both cool and warm at the same time as the waves crashed into the shore, always catching the shore walkers wearing socks and shoes off guard. All I could think was how beautiful it was out here, but I had to tear myself away to go back to the room where my wife was waiting.
We had breakfast at the Castaneda café and tried the express menu. We went with the omelet, but before the week was up, we tried it all. It was good food, and the service was excellent. After that, we got our room ready for the maid, and went back to the beach with our books. It’s so nice to read for a bit, then just stare out at the ocean or take a walk along the shore. I tried to stay in the shade for the most part, but still ended up with a touch of sunburn. Nothing I couldn’t live with, but it gave my wife a chance to say, “I told you so.”
That night we received a message from the front desk; we would be moving to the 12th floor in the morning! The music coming from the lobby wasn’t quite as loud as the night before, but we still couldn’t wait to get onto a higher floor with a better view.
It was kind of fun packing up our stuff when you know you aren’t going home yet, and we wanted to be ready when they gave us the word. At first, they said it would be around 10:00AM, but I kept riding up to the room to see for myself. Every time I checked, the maid’s cart was still there right in front of our new room.
About 11:30, her cart was gone, but the door was open. I walked to the room, and there on the floor holding the door open was…Pepe’s little wooden toolbox.
Riding down to the old room, I asked myself, “What’s the problem? Will there be more things to fix? Could it just be a maintenance check?” Whatever it was, I knew Pepe would take care of it, and told my wife it would be a little longer.
The next time I checked, it was ready so I went back down and exchanged keys. Riding up to our new digs, we looked down through the glass elevator at the lobby that was drifting further and further away until we were on floor 12. However, our excitement was short-lived when upon entering the room, the smell of stale cigarette smoke almost knocked us over. Neither of us smoke, and although it doesn’t bother me much, my wife got an instant headache.
“Keith Richards must have stayed here this week,” I said, sliding open the balcony doors. That is when I first saw the spectacular view and knew the nicotine smell was a small sacrifice. The other balcony of our suite offered a not so lovely view of the construction on the new hotel next door. I was a tad worried about the noise from the workers, but compared to the pool activities, and the lobby music at night, the construction noise was nothing. You would hear the occasional hammer, not banging or pounding, but almost a ‘tinkering’ sound like little elves were building toys.
We called the front desk twice to see if they could send up some air freshener for the room, but they never showed up. I checked with the maid, and she just held up a bottle of floor polish with an air freshening fragrance.
By the next morning, the room was better and we got a taxi to spend a day shopping in Zihuatanejo. I wanted to get some footage on camcorder so I could put together a music video for a song I wrote. It was too hard to put the name “Ixtapa” into a song, but Zihuatanejo has a melody all its own. We also stocked up on souvenirs and had fun checking out the atmosphere. The vendors weren’t overly aggressive, and for the most part, everyone was very friendly.
The rest of the week fell into a beautiful routine of the morning ritual of saving a cabana, followed by breakfast, beach time, checking out the local shops and hotels, a siesta, dinner, and a long walk on the beach in time to catch the sunset. When darkness fell, we relaxed in our room until drifting off to sleep to the sound of the waves.
In spite of the set backs, we had no regrets about the trip, and now that we’re back home, we really miss it. Especially this weekend when the forecast calls for 10 to 16 inches of snow.
God, how we miss it!

(If you're interested in checking out my song and video, I have it up on YouTube. I'll enclose the link.)

Follow Ups: