Travel Blogs from Zihuatanejo
Heavy clouds hung threateningly in the evening sky, it had just stopped pouring rain, but by the looks of it there was plenty more to come. Silver lightning spread a web across the heavens from time to time, followed by a deep rumble.
Once in a while you could hear people blowing into conches to make the rain go away. It filled the night between the sound of the thunder with that wonderfully eerie and distant sound which gives me goose-bumps as it haunts me but ...
A few days ago the sea was extraordinary. It was quiet and calm, almost mirror-like at the surface, just a few soft movements the evidence of its pulse. On the beach there were a few dead fish as no waves came to pick up what previous ones had left. It almost felt foreboding in an eerie way. I couldn’t help thinking this calm was because not too far from here, furious gales were busy causing another ocean to throw a tantrum in ...
I’ve been mugged!
That is about the only “exciting” thing that has happened lately. (And may I begin by adding that this is a MOST UNUSUAL experience in this otherwise SAFE and wonderful corner of Mexico.).
I’m not saying otherwise life has been uneventful, the days are so good and full of beautiful moments – the kind of moments and people I mentioned in the beginning of this blog, the treasures… I have my pockets so full ...
I could hardly breathe, the heat was so over-powering and the humidity almost suffocating. All I could see was small illuminated spots of skin, gleaming with sweat as Lupita's voice filled the space with prayers and songs for our physical and spiritual well-being.
I briefly wondered what I had gotten myself into, as I lay there like a blob of melting flesh, heart pounding against my chest. What was I thinking last Tuesday when I agreed to join this traditional ...
Some people have told me they think I’m deep.
I am also sure some people think I’m shallow (it’s just not something most people would say out loud). I know I’m not deep, I really try not to be. I don’t think I have the intelligence, also I think it suits old bearded men with squinty eyes better. Add a pensive voice and veined hands, the scent of incense and the sound of chimes too if you wish… Also, my voice is waaay ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Amuleto Zihuatanejo
As good as it gets
Amuleto is quite possibley as perfect a hotel as I have ever been to (and I have stayed at 5 star hotels all around the world). From the rooms to the pool, bar, breakfast, every detail was pure perfection. Highlights to the trip included: our room, suite #4 with private shower gardens, and private wading pool. The veiw from every spot in Amuleto is breathtaking. Food was amazing. Always service with a smile and if you're lucky the owners will be there to entertain you as well. This hotel offers first class accomodations with a great deal of intimacy. Look no further!
The Mediterranean Meets Mexico....Amuleto and co amazing experience
Ahh the Amuleto....this luxurious yet friendly hotel will forever have a place in our hearts. Let me start by saying that over the course of 7 days we spent 3 great days at the Intrawest and then 5 amazing nights at the Amuleto.
When you first walk into the Intrawest you feel like you have really hit the jackpot. Beutiful views, great rooms, friendly staff (the general expectation from an Intrawest resort). However, once we had migrated to the hotel on the hill (Amuleto) we experienced what I can only call a decrompression (and this is coming from the Intrawest).
We were staying in room 5 (fantastic plunge pool and epic deck....not to be beat). The outdoor shower with a view of sunset while getting ready for the evening was such a delight. The room was as airy and sunny as you would like or as cozy, cool and dark as you need. We were fortunate to have booked the entire Amuleto out for our wedding reception and had the feeling that we were staying at a great Uncles mansion on the hill (the Uncle being Ricardo). From the flawless service of Pablo and Sacramento to the evening bed turn down from the girls (every night the team turns down your bed and creates a unique pattern of flowers on the comforter highlighting your experience for the day....candles and rose petals the night of our wedding were just an example of the attention to detail).
During the day we listened to the chill house music that resonated from the speaker system....drinking mango margharitas in the pool (offically dubbed the KAZ margharita!!) only getting out to enjoy the Four Seasons'esque shrimp tacos (yes it is possible) and the grilled chicken over mixed greens.
While some may say that the loaction on the hill overlooking the entire bay is too remote...I 100% disagree. With a $3-$5 cab ride away from pretty much everything...the Amuleto is for the have's....while Playa La Ropa is for the almost had (trust me in this).
With having spent time in Greece, Southern Turkey, Southern France and Croatia....the Amuleto experience ranks right up there with them all.....and it's Mexico. If you are expecting the Cancun'esque Mexican experience then this hotel (and city) is not for you. The Amuleto is a slice of the millionaires lifestyle...with out the attitude and snobbery.
Thanks goes out to the mastermind of the Amuleto...Ricardo (with a feminine touch from Neglia). They have captured the experience in all it's glory and the newly wed Gleeson's can't wait to get back (if you could keep room 5 open for the week of March 25 07' we would appreciate!!!)....
Cheers mate and thanks again for the amazing memories.
(Tim and Kaz)
Breathtaking Views, relaxing atmosphere, great food
When we first walked into the Amuleto, we gasped at the view. We weren't alone either, as we have watched person after person also take a deep breath upon walking in. The view is that amazing.
This was our second stay at the Amuleto and we spent a lot of time at our private pool in the palapa reading and enjoying the ocean breeze. When we felt social we ventured out to the infinity pool and had lunch, read, or just talked with the other guests. The staff provides prompt, professional service, but the architecture and setting creates a very soothing and relaxed environment. It is a unique combination of class and comfort.
We were never let down by mother nature which provided perfect weather and memorable sunsets every day during our dinners - which were fabulous. We love our New England home, but welcome the escape from the cold-weather. We'll be back next year for sure.
An Incredible Oasis
This is unquestionably the finest and most exceptional hotel in Zihua with unsurpassed attention to detail. Amuleto seems like our home away from home, thanks in no small part to Ricardo (with his unforgettably "dry" sense of humor) and the gracious, beautiful Neglia. Bud (Wiser) and Adrienne (AJ), other hotel guests, were an intriguing, highly original and disarming couple who made our Xmas vacation even more memorable. The owners' friend, Michael, also contributed to our many zany conversations at the bar overlooking the bay each evening at sunset and late at night.
Spectacular cuisine for us foodies was prepared by Mexican and French chefs in an open kitchen so we could admire what they were creating. Quiet, serene ambience--fantastic views and rooms. Don't forget margueritas, guacamole, and totopas late every afternoon by the side of the infinity pool! If you are staying here, than you have the impeccable good taste and karma to have been spared the soul-less reception of Casa que Canta in town.
Muchas gracias por todo, Ricardo and Neglia!
The Paul Family (Diana, Doug, Keith and Maya)
Like staying with those friends with the coolest house!
Having spent numerous hours of research online deciding where to stay for our first trip to Zihua, my wife and I settled on Amuleto, merely because we were so intrigued by finding so little about it on the internet. Let me say that we discovered a jewel! Amuleto is the perfect location to settle down from a fast-paced world and just enjoy luxury living. We were greeted upon arrival by the excellent Ricardo and his staff, who then tended to our every need, including serving those amazing margaritas (watch out, they pack a punch!). Each room in Amuleto is accessed by its own private staircase, so we felt as if we had our own private wing of the hotel. The decor and architecture was stunning; we continued to gawk at how beautiful the place is up until our departure. We opted for an air-conditioned room (a must) without the private pool, but because most of the other rooms had their own pool, the main pool became ours! Sitting along the infinity edge while enjoying a drink with my wife and watching the entire bay of Zihua is something I will never forget. Breakfast is amazing and HUGE- enchiladas, huevos racheros, fresh fruit, and homemade granola is all fresh and made to order!
All the rooms are wired for internet access, but there are no phones or televisions to interfere with the atmosphere. The hotel is secluded from the rest of Zihua, but when cabs are quick and cost $3 to anywhere you want to go, who cares? We did grab a cab to the beach one day and spent $3 renting chairs and an umbrella so we could be bombarded by merchants and others pressuring us to pay for water sports the entire day. If you want to jet ski or parasail, then the option is there, but we kept longing for our peaceful chairs and clean pool at Amuleto. On the flight home my wife said she staying at Amuleto felt like staying with good friends who have the coolest beach house, and I couldn't agree more! Go stay at La Casa Que Canta or Villa Del Sol and be annoyed with the pretension and high prices. I'll be at Amuleto enjoying more personalized service, a nicer room with a better view, and hundreds of extra dollars in my pocket!
Amazing hotel, staff and view, but a few things to keep in mind
My fiance and I spent 9 days at Amuleto and were married and had our honeymoon there. The hotel is beautiful and the views are not to be beat. The staff is warm and gracious and attended to our every need. The room was clean and spacious and beautifully designed and decorated. We enjoyed sunsets in the infinity pool and had our own little hummingbirds who graced us with their presence as we enjoyed our own private patio. The location in the hill above the bay allowed us to experience some views of nature we will likely never see again: we were able to watch a storm approach us from town and heard about a school of dolphins swimming in the bay. The food was amazing and expertly prepared and presented. Every morning we were treated to a 3 course breakfast. We had dinner there a couple of nights and felt that the food we had there was some of the best we had enjoyed in any number of cosmopolitan cities we had visited in the past.
I hate to burst the bubble on this site, but I honestly felt that there is a downside to staying here: the hotel is somewhat isolated at the top of a very steep hill. We tried walking into town one day but felt unsafe navigating the 30-40 minute walk with the many dump trucks and other construction vehicles winding their way up and down the hill. It is the rainy season in July and for part of the walk down the hill there were no sidewalks, so we dodged cars and trucks by jumping through garbage-filled mud puddles. This is an area of Zihua that is under development, so it wasn't exactly peaceful and because of the construction the area around the hotel wasn't conducive to a stroll or a hike. Also, the hotel rooms do not have phones, TV, radios or internet access. While I thought this would be an advantage, I actually found myself longing for some access to the outside world. It is true that taxis are easy to get into town and relatively inexpensive, but after a few days, I felt somewhat isolated and a bit claustrophobic there and didn't want to rely on the hotel staff if I just wanted a weather forecast or snack. If you are looking for a retreat away from the world in a first class hotel, Amuleto is the place. But if you need a little more action and more easily accessible modern conveniences, you may want to find a hotel with these options or one closer to town.
I'm going ahead and giving the hotel 5 stars anyway, because they did excel in all of the categories described.
Incredible, beautiful, romantic, spectacular...
We just got back from our honeymoon and stayed at Amuleto -- and we could not be happier with our choice. This was our first trip to Zihua so we did a TON of research and read up every big hotel there -- del Sol, que Canta, Troppo, las Palmas, Intrawest, etc. In the end we picked Amuleto for the privacy and views and crossed our fingers. From the moment we arrived, we were absolutely thrilled!!
If you're planning on spending the entire day at the beach (dodging the roving necklace salesmen and the guys yelling at you to sit at their palapa), this may not be the place for you. But if what you're looking for is a romantic spot to relax, eat like a king, sleep in, take the most beautiful pictures of your life, and have a romantic vacation that feels like a real vacation when its over, try Amuleto.
There is no debate -- the best views of the bay are from Amuleto. Night after night we watched couples come down the stairs for dinner and gasp as they took it in for the first time. We had to smile silently -- we woke up to that view each morning and enjoyed it all day long! If you go, consider spending the extra pesos for one of the upgraded rooms -- they have the infiniti pools and private patios, and you'll love them. The open air bathrooms are so neat and the atmosphere just can't be copied by one of the huge multiplexes in town. If it's going to be humid, consider whether or not you'll want A/C - the Palapa Room, magnificent as it is, doesn't offer it.
Other quick points: breakfast is included, and is AMAZING (and only for guests); two words -- lime pancakes. The distance from the beach: no biggie, as taxis are very quick and cheap. At the end of a long day when you're tired and sticky, you'll love the drive up the side of the cliffs to your sanctuary. The staff: top notch, pleasant, and detail-oriented (we left out loose change, they stacked it into a neat pile!) -- the maids will turn down your bed in the evening with flower petals and take care of your every need (Ricardo the owner is also fantastic). They even loaned us a local cell phone with emergency numbers, taxis, their phone, etc. for use during our stay.
The only reason we could even think of not picking Amuleto over every other hotel in Zihua would be if you were coming with a group or small children; neither would be appropriate here. Otherwise it's perfect.
Beautiful View, Nice Rooms, Great Service
Amuleto sits high above Zihua, with stunning views overlooking the bay - probably the best views of any hotel we have ever stayed. It has 5 rooms. The three more expensive ones are a bit larger, have the best views, and small private "plunge pools," but the other two rooms are nice too (and will save you around $150 per night or more, depending on the season). The rooms are nicely decorated, great bathrooms, terraces, hammocks, fans and A/C. The outdoor spaces are nicely decorated too, and the whole place is architecturally interesting. Everything is kept very clean by a diligent housekeeping staff. The main swimming pool is an "infinity pool" overlooking the bay - great view - seems like you can swim right off the cliff. We enjoyed a nightly margarita sitting on the terrace overlooking the bay. (Ask for the mango margarita, made with fresh mangos grown nearby). We could happily have spent our entire trip without leaving Amuleto - reading, looking at the view, having a drink, enjoying the breeze. (But of course we did not do that, since there's much to see and do in Zihua). Amuelto's breakfast included yogurt and granola, fresh fruit, juices, and mexican specialties such as enchiladas, omelete with oaxaca cheese, huevos rancheros, etc. We enjoyed starting every day with a leisurely breakfast. Amuleto is a little isolated and not on the beach. You can walk to Las Gatas and to La Ropa - maybe 25 minutes walk to either - but its better to take cabs which are very cheap and readily available. Amuleto will call you a cab and it will be there in 2 minutes. About $3-4 to anyplace in town, or the beaches, etc. We liked the isolation -- spent our days on the beaches or in town and then returned to the quiet refuge of Amuleto. If you want a beach hotel, Amuleto is not the right choice since its not on a beach -- you might want to try Villa Del Sol or, if you want something cheaper, perhaps Catalina (on La Ropa) or Casa Sun and Moon (on Madera). Service at Amuleto was superb -- anything you want is no problem for Ricardo (the Brazilian owner) or his staff. The restaurant (about 5 or 6 tables) is leased out to the operators of Kau Kan for the evening meal. We ate at Amuleto one night and it was the best meal we had in Zihua. (In fact, I thought it was better than Kau Kan itself). Great food and you can't beat the view at sunset time. Dinner for 2 with drinks was less than $100. There's good food to be had in Zihua at a far lower price, but we thought a dinner at Amuleto -- even if you are not staying there -- was well worthwhile. Amuleto doesn't allow kids, and it wouldn't be a good place for kids anyway -- but for a couple that wants a relaxing vacation at a quiet, high quality place, Amuleto's a great choice.
Incredible Views & Service
Amuleto is owned by Ricardo Amuleto -- a wonderful and gracious host. His hotel currently has only 5 suites, but each is very special. I highly recommend suites 3 & 4. We also stayed in the Palapa Suite which is an incredible experience in and of itself, but this suite ( the only one without AC) was a bit noisy because it is open air. Suites 3 & 4 and the Palapa Suite have their own shaded infinity pools. Suites 1 & 2 do not have private pools, but all of the suites are just steps away from two other infinity pools on the property. The view from the hotel is stunning and the small bar is the place to be to watch the sunset. Amuleto has a fabulous location if you are looking for a quite and relaxed experience. If you want more action, the beaches and downtown are a short taxi ride away. Amuleto costs hundreds of dollars less a night than the more well known hotels in the area, but it is just as charming.
The Ultimate in Perfection!
As I mentioned in another review, we "ran away from home" (from another hotel) to Amuleto for our final night in Zihuatanejo. We had drinks (killer margs) and a delicious dinner poolside at Amuleto and immediately fell in love. It was the third in a series of hotels we visited during our stay that have been designed by the fabulous architect, Enrique Zozaya.
We had come across Amuleto in our research of hotels and thought it beautiful, but too far from the beach for our taste. Boy, did we make a mistake! What a wonderful place.
You will be astonished at the unparalled views from this hotel, but the view from our room made me feel like I was in an eagle's nest (Room #5?). Stunning. The room was absolutely gorgeous, bedding to die for, privacy (private pool and open patio), beautiful birds... the experience was just stunning. It is the #1 hotel experience that I have ever had and I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy it.
Ricardo (and his wife that we didn't get to meet unfortunately) has proven again that it's not just the beauty of a place that makes it special, but the people who run it/live there/work there. Ricardo is very gracious and has chosen his staff very well. He also adds a European flair to the hotel that is refreshing. I only wish we had the ability to stay at world-class Amuleto longer and we would have if we didn't have holiday/family travel plans. Thank you Ricardo.
As for the distance to the beach - take a cab, pay $25US for a palapa at Villa del Sol and return to your perch above Zihuatanejo Bay to enjoy a superb margarita and magnificent sunset. You'll never forget it.