I didn't want the world to know what a wonderful place this is, and make it so popular that I can't come back! This was our first trip to Zihua, but we have been to Mexico many times before. This is far and away our favorite. Everyone writes about the stairs (true), the big breakfasts (true) and the wonderful service (also true). I will share some of my experiences that hopefully won't bore you, I write like I talk, and I talk alot. I am 45, travel alot, sometimes with teenagers, sometimes not. This time it was just my husband and I. I have high expectations and despise poor service. Just so you know...
Hotel is old. I was VERY concerned that the rooms would be rundown, dirty, and "authentic". It was none of the above, except authentic in a good way. It was spotless from top to bottom. The maids do a wonderful job, were quick, and seemed to know when we were out. We only saw them once during our entire stay. Our main room was very spacious, The walk-in closet had hangers, shelves and a chest. Could use a mirror to make it a more usable space, especially if you have two women in the room who need to get ready. The bathroom had a large vanity area to store your lotions and potions. The walk in shower was big. Water was warm, pressure good.
The restaurant, bar, grounds were equally as well maintained. Service was excellent. We ate every breakfast (it was included, and delicious). I would get my coffee early as it was a self-service coffee/tea bar, and take it back to the room and sit on balcony, and watch La Ropa wake up. Then we would go back upstairs for the meal. We ate a few dinners there. Very nice setting. There is an ice machine, and filtered water sink on the restaurant level. Totally safe to drink, although it is warm. Get lots of ice!
Activities. I am happy to say that they do not have an activities director! The main activity seemed to be going from palapa to bar to ocean back to palapa. With the occaisional walk down the beach in either direction to people watch and check out the menus of the 15 or so restaurants RIGHT ON THE BEACH.
I am talking toes in the sand dining, whether it is upscale or cafe. We ate at several different places on La Ropa, find your favorites. I think my favorite for a romantic dinner is the Fish of the Day at La Perla. I ordered it on a reccommendation of a "foodie" friend. My husband was jealous, let's just leave it at that.
The palapas at Catalina are the place to be during the day. The only downfall is that they are very strict about the one towel per person policy. The cushions are plastic, and get sandy, and it is hot and uncomfortable. If you can bring your own beach towel from home do it. There were plenty of seats, you don't feel like you have to set the alarm for 6am to get a spot. The pool is almost an afterthought here, which is bizarre, considering it is clean, infinity style, with a spectacular view. It was most busy during the transition time from beach to happy hour. You will never have a problem getting a chair if you prefer pool to beach.
HIGHLIGHT #1: Took a chance and booked a fishing excursion from a vendor on the beach. Marcos Fishing Tour! Met two gentlemen who joined my husband and I. Marcos picked us up at 7am as promised and we spent 9 hours out on the water and at Los Gatos beach eating our catch. We caught 6 tuna, ate one "ceviche style" on board, and had two cooked for us by a friend of the captain at a restaurant on Los Gatos. Total cost for lunch was $50 per person, including side dishes. STEAL. The cost for the whole day was not much more than renting a jet ski each for half an hour. It was the best value. FYI, we had 6 lines going all day. Had a sailfish on, but it jumped and was gone. There was a first mate, too, everything was done for you. Except reeling in the fish!
You may hear that it is dangerous to walk around at night. Not true, in my opinion, but then I don't go looking for trouble. We would usually walk to "town" after enjoying the sunset aka happy hour on our deck. There is a beach path that is unlit and the last hurricane really did a number on the concrete, railings, etc... Don't try it in the dark, without first going in the light to check out what to look out for. Ask someone at the resort how to get to it, you have to know where to turn down from the main road (at the taxi stand, just past the KauKan restaurant). It saves a little bit of main street walking and is an adventure. I don't reccommend walking home, take a taxi. $35 pesos, plus tip.
I absolutely loved downtown Zihua! The main gathering spot is the basketball court by the beach (not the one by the banks, where we waited an hour to meet friends, only to find out there are 2 lighted courts in Zihua, who would have thought?). From the bball court, you can walk in any direction to numerous restaurants, bars, shops. It truly is a fishing village and there are always fishermen on the beach with the days catch.
You def need to try a Tacos Pasteur place - 5 freshly made pork tacos for less than $20 pesos. Unreal. I learned that I loved Pazole, the mexican soup. Its a huge bowl of soup, with tons of stuff to toss in. Like Mexican Pho. The best place we found for it was Tamales y Atole Any. Right next door was another great restaurant, Los Braceros, the cucumber salad was amazing. Do not hesitate to eat from the street vendors. Have a pineapple, ham and cheeseburger with everything. $30 pesos. On Sundays it is family night at the basketball court. There are alot more vendors. Get the corn in the cup with creme, peppers and butter. Heaven. Some locals were rubbing their hands with anticipation over the deep fried quesadillas - like huge mexican calzones. For about $30 pesos.
HIGHLIGHT #2: Our day trip to Las Cascadas Mesas de Bravo. Check out our drivers own website www.bluemorphoecotours.com. We went with 4 others on a private excursion, it was the perfect day. Everything you read and see is true, only better!
Told you it would be a long review. Two more tips: shop at the main grocery store, La Commercial, about 5 min via taxi from hotel. Our driver stopped on way from airport, we stocked up! There is very little selection at the markets on La Ropa and Zihua town. And, there are NO computers for use and NO ATM on La Ropa for the normal traveler, the closest are in Zihua proper. There is WIFI, ask at the front desk.
Enjoy, just don't take my room!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC