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Ixtapa vs. Zihua

Bonney Lake...
Level Contributor
256 posts
76 reviews
Ixtapa vs. Zihua

Hi all,

While counting the days until my trip in December, i love looking at google maps, checking out restaurants I want to visit, etc. (30 now and adding up)

I always stay in Z, but often wonder what a resort in Ixtapa might be like.

Today i was looking at hotel reviews in Ixtapa, and i like to sort by newest, and lowest, just to see the comments from those that were dissatisfied.

Read a TON of reviews for Park Royal, Krystal, Sunscape, Emporio, and Holiday Inn.

I am so surprised how many negative reviews there are for almost every resort i looked at.

Granted, there are literally hundreds of good reviews as well, but the negative reviews, and the amount of negative reviews, just blew me away.

As many of you have seen, i love Hotel Aura Del Mar, and of course I did the same thing there, i sorted their reviews by "negative" and there are literally 2 negative reviews. (Granted, there are only 102 total reviews, as compared to over 1000 at some of the Ixtapa resorts) but the ratio speaks volumes to me. (Plus previous stays there obviously)

Not trying to be super negative here about Ixtapa resorts, but based on what I've read, I would have a very difficult time choosing a resort in Ixtapa.

Would love to hear feedback from those that have stayed multiple times there and had great experiences, as it looks so nice at some of these resorts!

This year, I am going to at least walk that beach and check out some of the pools/bars etc. for myself.

4 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
6,432 posts
12 reviews
1. Re: Ixtapa vs. Zihua

If you parse out the negative review, I would say that you are going to find a couple of key repeaters.

1) People that are used to the big sprawling AIs on the east coast like Riviera Maya.

2) What is served up as "food" at some of the AI's

3) The ever present Towel Saving Chair Game at most of the AI's.

We used to stay exclusively at the Dorado Pacifico until 2011 when it was taken over by AM Resorts, Americanized into an AI and is now a property that is antagonistic to smokers.

We now stay European Plan at Las Brisas twice a year.......until something "happens" there, and then ti may just be on to Playa Blanca/Playa Larga south of Zihuatanejo.

We just are not quite yet ready to give up Room Service!! lol


Trail, Canada
Level Contributor
3,921 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Ixtapa vs. Zihua

The exercise may be skewed by the unequal expectations that people have about normal hotel type lodgings versus resorts that provide food and drink and possibly entertainment. This whole effect can be heightened by the higher costs of the all inclusive resort. At your hotel you realize that food and drink costs are your responsibility and quality and price choices are just that, choices.

Even the larger size, alone , can lead to less personalized service because staff are not allowed service flexibility in a larger system.

We seem to stay in even smaller 5 or 6 room places and have very few complaints.

Bonita Springs...
Level Contributor
2,851 posts
123 reviews
3. Re: Ixtapa vs. Zihua

We now split our time there between hotels/condos in Ixtapa and Zihua. We are there for the beaches, weather, friendly locals and great food experiences. The lodging is way down the list of importance to us. Roof over my head, a good shower, clean room and a moderately comfortable bed is all that we require. Up until 7 years ago we owned a timeshare and stayed on the south end of the beach in Ixtapa at the Pacifica for 22 years. We meet and made friends with a number of other annual tourists there from the states, Canada and South Africa.

Many refused to believe we were owners there because they rarely saw us spending much time lounging at the pool, only passing through the property, taking the 2 mile beach hike, heading across the street to the commercial area or to catch a bus or taxi for one of the other numerous destinations, restaurants or activities in both Ixtapa, Zihua and the surrounding area.

My point is, if you're looking to anchor yourselves to lodging for the food and amenities, choose carefully. Otherwise don't overthink it.

Year 31 coming up and our Zihua stay will be in another 1st time property there.

Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for Riviera Maya
Level Contributor
14,883 posts
60 reviews
4. Re: Ixtapa vs. Zihua

I think personally I'd be disappointed in most of the AIs in Ixtapa as they are smaller and older and lacking in a lot of the amenities you can find at the mega AI resorts on the east coast and Cuba where I've stayed in AIs before.

I don't stay at AIs very often but when I do, I tend to have the attitude of 'go big or go home' when it comes to picking one. So if I am going to be spending a few days or a week at an AI, I want it to have three or four pools, swim-up bar, maybe a swim-out room, and 7 a la cartes, etc. haha. I'm not sure any meet that description in Ixtapa? Maybe the Azul comes closest, or the Club Med? I guess if people used to those types of AI resorts stayed at one of the smaller ones in Ixtapa, they could be let down.

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