Club Intrawest - Zihuatanejo
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Travel Blogs from Zihuatanejo
... drugs. I said no, and he told his colleague to...get lost (my California level of Spanish understood what he really told him).
Zihuatanejo is a lovely looking beach town; the inconspicuous version of it's twin on the other side of the bay - Ixtapa. I came in without any hostel reservations, so was prepared to sleep in el Burro for the night. But, just for giggles, I had a recommended hostel to check out. ...
... heat was getting to me, or too much sun. As the days all too briefly came to an end and my return to Stockholm came closer, I started getting more confused than ever, getting words muddled up and randomly mixing in Swedish with my English and Spanish.
Most of my last couple of months in Zihuatanejo I spent painting and preparing for an art exhibition at LOOT, an awesome "life-style shop" that not only sells cool surf-stuff, but also has ...
... the morning;Leaving San Miguel, we retraced our steps somewhat to spend a bit more time in the interior at Guanajuato (GTO, for short) where Joan had a place to stay with friends from the Spanish school in San Miguel. Before reaching GTO we made a couple of stops in Delores Hidalgo looking at some of the fine and colourful earthenware that is produced in this area. With very animated colors, I find this ...
... offering to him by having Joel puff away on the cigar and blow the smoke into my ear through a piece of paper rolled up into a cone. Then a song was gently sung by her to the spirit, in my ear.
Today I will be returning to make offerings of Mezcal... I'm not sure what to expect, I hope I won't have a mezcal marinated ear drum tonight! But I have faith in Lupita.
I'm actually writing this with a piece of tobacco leaf scrunched into my ear, ...
... I could imagine sweeping it clean, adorning it with pots and plants of my fancy, hanging a “love seat” from the roof to softly swing in, in the late afternoon, with my “bearded man of the sea”, sipping wine and talking about the days adventures).
We went round to the back, climbed into the back “sun-deck” where Cruz showed me the water-tank underneath the floor. The doors to the house were locked, but we could climb up on them ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Club Intrawest - Zihuatanejo
Wonderful resort-Location, Location, Location!!!!!!
My husband and I have been going to Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo since 1992. We have stayed in both places for at least two to three weeks every year.
Club Intrawest was the best accomodations we have had
in either location. It was first class all the way and could find nothing that wasn't wonderful. We will be going back every year to Club Intrawest.
Nice if you don't expect this to be a hotel.
First the good things: The "vacation homes" are beautifully designed by the famed local architect, Mueller. He has designed many other homes and properties in Zihua. The furnishings are comfortable and the fabrics and art art well thought out and lovely. It is particularly nice to have the very useful kitchnette for snacks and drinks. As others have mentioned the dip pool and outdoor shower are very nice. The staff is generally friendly and helpful. You cannot find a nicer beach than La Ropa. A great place to swim with wonderful restaurants up and down the beach. We really liked Elvira's , La Perla and Crocodrillo's. Also the property is well cared for and beautifully landscaped.
The bad: It is completely unbelievable as to why they put the huge 100ft plus reception area roof in the middle of the complex, blocking the views of three of the 8 buildings on the property. Club Interwest was fortunate to aquire a property with about the best view in the area and proceeded to squander it. We were told our almost $300 suite would have a slightly compromised view, when in reallty we could see a tiny sliver of the the water, but had a great view of the gigantic palapa roof, the bar, and a large plaster wall. Many of the units were obviously empty but we were told no others were available. I suspect that the best views are reserved for "members". This was disapointing but the unit was nice so we made the best of it. I suspect that many of the good and bad reviews are generated by the location of the room people were given. Be advised that many are even in a worst location than ours and seem almost dark and cave like. Be very certain that if you book you get and unobstructed panoramic view unit.
There seem to be none of the usual high end hotel sevices available. Room service is not mentioned in the information binder, although a few people ordered food from the restaurant and had it delivered to their unit. The spa service is basically a tent on the beach offering massages. The pool area is small but nice and the swim up bar was fine, however not once in an 8 day stay did anyone ask me if I wanted anything while laying around the pool (including a towel, which I had to go in search of myself). This is quite a small area and it does not seem like it would be a big deal to have a waiter coming around once in a while, so that you could order a drink or snack. If you are on the beach area, forget getting any service. Do yourself a favor and go to one of the beach club restaurants where you can enjoy the beach and get service all day for $6 to $10 in minumum orders.
The exercise room is small with a few pieces of good equipment. Its doubtful you will need any more exercise than than climbing all the stairs and ramps to and from the beach.
The restaurant presents food beautifully, but the menu is bland and overpriced. 2 ot the 3 times we ate there we had stomach upsets, which did not occur at any other restaurants including a shack on the beach in remote Barra de Potosi. It is really popular with guests with children as they have a "kids under 12 eat free" policy. The one time we went to the bar we waited almost 1/2 hour for drinks and 45 minutes for appetizers, this with a total of maybe 8 people in the bar.
The housecleaning seems hit and miss. The bathrooms and bed are maintained spotlessly , however the kitchen area was never cleaned and the unit seemed never to have the floors swept in the 8 days we were there. The sand just kept getting deeper. I think it would be more important to have these areas cleaned than the obvious amount of time that goes into making towel animals, flower petal displays and pleating the ends of the toilet paper.
Be aware that the a/c does not work unless the heavy wood sliding doors are closed. There is no glass in the units, so once the doors are closed it is very dark. This wasn't a problem for us as we only closed the doors at night.
I sound as if we had a horrible time. This isn't the case. I would just like anyone contemplating staying at this rather expensive property to know what they are getting into. If you want a more pampered vacation I would think about the Villa del Sol or the Casa Que Canta. If you want a high priced "summer camp" atmospere be sure to get a unit with a panoramic view.
Gorgeous Beachside property
Truly an amazing hotel. Wonderful service and absolutely beautiful villas. Location is right on Playa del Ropa - one of the best beaches in Zihua. There are a ton of restaurants where you can eat on the beach that are just an arm's throw from this property. Food was excellent athe property, drinks absolutely amazing. The property is not very kid friendly - no elevator or handicap ramp to the pool side or beach area. But it was still worthwile staying here. Kids club is free for children over 5. The villa was gorgeous. We had a two bedroom, three bath (we booked on Costco). All the villas face the ocean and the pool. The design is an open design with the living area partially outdoors. Each 1BR and bigger villa comes with a private dip pool. Staff was very friendly, really one of the best places we have stayed at. Just an absolutely wonderful place to stay.
THis property is also just a stone's throw away from Playa las Gatas - the best place in this area for snorkeling. To get there from this property, you need to take a $3 taxi to downtown and then a ferry to the beach. Instead we just paid one of the waverunner guys and go there for $10 roundtrip for two people. This beach is absolutely amazing. The only access is via the water. There are about 15 restaurants with lounge chairs on the beach and beach/snorkel rentals. It felt like being marooned on a little island with lots of good food and fun activities. A great way to spend a few hours.
We have been to most of the top resort destinations in Mexico and this is by far the one we liked the best!
We just came back from a five day stay at Club Intrawest. the hotel is magnificent, and has a great view!
the rooms are decorated in great mexican fashion BEAUTIFUL local art (which we were advised by intrawest staff, by the way, it can be purchased in a gallery downtown -galeria casa del arte).
The food at the restaurants is magnificent and having coctails in the lounge or by the pool is relaxing. Staff is very friendly and helpful in situations (where to go, what to do), and playa la ropa (where the hotel is located) is kept clean all the time.
The hotel also has a great location, close to downtown- a complete different tourist experience than cancun and cabo, you get to experience more of mexico in this place! Also a great town to purchase affordable mexican art and decor!!
the downside- nothing to do with the hotel, the weather was rainy and cloudy half the time... everything else was great, and we didn't even mind a little bit of rain!
Will definately plan on visiting again sometime in the non-rainy season!
Not for your travel comfort
My wife, son and I stayed here in Aug. We booked (in Janurary) "the best one bedroom vista suite you got" for 12 nights at $319.00+++ a night. This was a very special occaision of 20th anniversary, 50th birthday, and high grades in school. When we arrived we asked about paying more to upgrade to two bedroom for a little more privacy. We were put in a 2 bedroom vista suite that has not been made yet. It them took 3 hours to make the room ready. Upon entering the room we found it cave like and dark even with the lights on, the panoramic view was of the palm trees and the pool with a slight view of the bay, there were no accent rugs or throw rugs to stand on prior to getting into a clean bed so we used a beach towel by our bedsides. Even small sounds bounced off the naked walls and were very loud. No outside dining area or hammock as advertised.
Dinner that night was acceptable but nothing worth the $130+++ dollars it cost after taking 3 1/2 hours to eat our two courses. The Mexican Buffet in the Zi Bar was extremely sad in quality and quanity for $20+++ per person. Virgin drinks were $5.00+++ a piece. My wife is the only person who drinks at all and she thought she had gotten a Virgin drink the first time she ordered.
The brightest thing about the 12 days was the staff. Extremely, got out of there way, friendly.No elevators in a $300+++ night hotel with as many as 5 floors is ridiculous. The Bellmen would come pick you up when called but the design of the turn around area was not made big enough to turn around. Some times it would take as many as 8 to 10 tries to turn the cart around.
Overall the room was dark, bare, and, closed-in, with wooden chest for your clothes that made them smell of mildew and rotten wood ( my wife and son refused to use them because it made their clothes stink), and barely a view of the Bay. Food was fair at best and very over priced for the quanity and quality you recieved. Service very friendly, but slow. I have place three + by the prices because when I checked-out there were so many add-ons, I didn't know where to start-Beware the add-ons.
When in Zih. and you are looking for a luxury place to relax and be comfortble, do your self a favor, stay somewhere else.
My 32 years in the hospitality business with Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Hilton, Marriott and exclusive private clubs did not keep me from swallowing the hook this time.
CSH, DDH, and ESH
Beautiful hotel, with a few kinks to work out
We stayed at the Club Intrawest at Zihuatanejo in mid-February, 2005. The resort is absoutely beautiful, with great attention to detail in the decor and furnishings--very colorful and typically Mexican. The architecture is beautiful too. We stayed in a 1 bedroom suite that had a huge terrace with an expansive ocean view that was incredible. The room was kept very clean by the housekeeping staff, who left flower petals and little towels arranged in the shape of swans or bunnies daily. The room has a sliding wall that can be closed to activate the air conditioning. We needed that at night. The temperature during our stay felt like it was in the 90's every day and was extremely humid. But during the day we left the wall open so the whole suite is open to the view, and at night we closed it. We had a "dip pool" (really the size of a hot tub, only not heated) on our balcony and two lounge chairs, and a breakfast nook . There were two bathrooms, one of which had an open-air style shower that looked out over the beach.
The beach in front of the hotel is really nice, not very crowded, beautiful water, lots of rental activities down the beach if you want to ride a banana boat or parasail, etc. There are several other resorts and restaurants along that stretch of beach, but it never seemed crowded even though it was a holiday weekend.
The staff at the hotel were extremely nice. One note--when we arrived at the airport and were looking to get a taxi, there were a number of people there meeting people from different hotels. They asked where we were going, and when we said Club Intrawest, they pointed us to a man and said, "he's the guy from Club Intrawest". So we went to that guy and he sent us to another guy who wanted us to pay him for the taxi drive and then he would pay us back tomorrow when he would take us on a city tour and snorkeling, etc. It was a big scam and the first guy was not from Club Intrawest after all, although he had an I.D. So beware, just go to the taxi people and get a taxi.
We did have a few problems with the hotel. The set-up is very steep and involves a lot of climbing of stairs and steep hills. The food at the hotel is good, although I thought the Zi Restaurant was too fancy . They had a great children's menu though. We had lunch several times at the Surf Club restaurant, but the last time we ate there, my son and I were both sick later. We also had a wonderful meal at Coconuts, a restaurant in Zihuatanejo, and a couple of good meals in Ixtapa at the Marina area. The second problem with the hotel was that they could not change money. The first time we needed to change money, they could only change $50, and the next time they had no money and I had to take a cab into town to an ATM to change money. The hot water did not get very hot either, but frankly it was so hot outside, we didn't mind that much.
We did a great side trip to Isla Ixtapa--don't buy the packaged one from the hotel for $65 per person; just take a $10 cab to Playa Linda and pay about $4 per person to go to Isla Ixtapa in a boat. The snorkeling there was incredible. And you can sit at a table all day at a restaurant and order very little, and just enjoy the beach.
All in all, we thought the resort was beautiful, but the inconveniences and concerns about getting sick from food or water in Mexico in general make us a little reluctant to go back. But if I were going to go back to Zihuatanejo, I would definitely stay there.
Will be back to Club Intrawest
Our family ( 4 adults) stay at the club for ten days in February. This new resort is located right on Playa La Ropa. the rooms were large ( we had a Studio and a one bedroom ), well equipped, and with spectacuar views of the ocean and beach. We found the staff to be friendly and helpful with everything from restaurant recommendations to taxi rides. The pool area was great! The swim up bar was always staffed with friendly people. We used the pool bar for lunches , but had breakfast in our well equiped rooms. There is a breakfast buffet if you want to have your breakfast prepared. We found the club restaurant ( for dinner) to be lacking in overall vareity and quality for the prices charged. We often walked along the beach ( 15 minute walk) to Zihuatanejo where we found an abundance of places to eat in a wide price range. There are no elevators in the club as the open air design does not lend itself to anything but stairs. We did not find this to be a problem, however if you need assisstance the staff will move you and your luggage with a golf cart. Overall we really enjoyed our stay at the club and will be back in the future.
Great Spring Break in Zihua!!!!
My family and I just returned from a weeks stay at the newly opened, Club Intrawest in Zihuatanejo on Mexico's Pacific coast. I have to say that the place is magnificent. I have stayed at Ritz- Carltons and Four Seasons in tropical places and I liked this resort as much or more. We had a 2 BR Villa with 3 baths which was very spacious, especially for a seven night stay. Keep in mind that The Ritz or Four Seasons are usually only a hotel room, or one BR suite, and the Club Intrawest locations are meant to be vacation homes. The staff, service, and amenities were very good. The location is close to the town center of the sleepy fishing village of Zihuatanajo, and resort town Ixtapa is just a 10 min taxi ride away.
I found the beach (Playa La Ropa) very beautiful and relaxing. It is large and public, meaning the warm and friendly local people have easy access. Also there were other resorts along the beach. The club has very private beach areas for its members and guests. The Pacific surf is calmed by Zihuatanejo bay which is very picturesque.
The staff at the reception area went out of their way to help us find activities and excursions, such as tours, SCUBA, snorkling, shopping, fishing, sailing etc... The staff at the restaurants were very attentive also.
We had breakfast at Zi The Restaurant and lunch was usually at the Surf Club which is close to the pool. We did eat dinner at Zi one night. The menu was just a little rich (fancy) for our taste but the food was good. Our kids like burgers and chicken, but even they enjoyed the meal. There is a bar called Zi Bar for adults only. It is a level above the reception area and provides fantastic views of the beach and bay.
The weather was very nice, warm ( 80 - 86 F) with not even a threat of rain. This is the usual for winter and spring I'm told. The villas are designed to provide outside living in that the many doors are ventilated which allows the cool ocean breaze to flow through. Our A/C was not needed day, nor night. The resort and villas are decorated in a colorful Mexican motif which is very nice.
There were beach massages, Reflexology, adult and family pools, and 24 hour internet kiosks for people who need it. There was also a children's program., and you could exercise at El Pulso. The resort did not have tennis or golf onsite, like the other Club Intrawest locations, but golf and tennis were available nearby.
All in all a great facility which will provide its' members and guest with a great warm weather destination.
Could be great
Stayed at Club Intrawest 3 nights mid February. Spectacular hotel located on LaRopa beach. Checked in at short notice so only room available was a studio at $259 per night.
Room was beautifully decorated and furnished in Mexican fashion with a large terrace overlooking ocean and pool. One word of caution, request a room that is not close to the reception area and bar. We decided to retire early on our first night there, simply because we could no longer listen to the terrible bar band (they play Wednesday through Saturday nights) playing to an empty room. However, on returning to our quarters we find we might as well have stayed since, because of the open air design of the hotel it felt like they were playing right there in our room. Mercifully they finish playing at 11.00pm. To make matters worse, the phone at reception rings incessantly after 5.00am and again it sounds like its right in your room.
There are no elevators in the hotel which means that there is extensive stair climbing involved. However, if you request it staff will take you to and from beach and pool by means of golfcart.
If you choose to have breakfast by the pool, do yourself a favor and grab a pot of coffee as you pass the pool bar, otherwise you could wait 20+ mins for your first cup and forget about refills. There is waiter floating around but it is almost impossible to get his attention even though there may be only a couple of tables occupied. Breakfast itself is buffet style and costs either $8.00 or $12.00 depending on your selections. You are not advised of price differences until you question check.
Staff in the hotel are extremely friendly and courteous but service is terrible. Unlike other hotels we have stayed at in Mexico tipping above the norm does not seem to help.The shower head in our room was completely clogged (understandable in a newly constructed hotel hotel) allowing only one painfully sharp jet of water through. After waiting two days to have it unclogged we finally tackled the job ourselves. However there are some exceptions, bellhops were most efficient and getting a taxi never took more than a couple of minutes. Likewise, chambermaids were very thorough and room were immaculate with some wonderful presentation touches such as flowers on the beds and towels made into animal forms
A couple of other gripes. The cocktails in both indoor and poolbars are about as potent as gatorade even though they seem to use copious amounts of liquor. The sunloungers on the beach are covered with bird poop. How hard is it to stack them away at night or at least wipe them down in the morning? Another tip: If you want to lounge by the pool get down and stake your claim early as most loungers are claimed by 8.30am . This is really maddening since many are not actually occupied until late in the day if at all.
Although it may seem at this point that I hated Club Intrawest this is not entirely true. It is a beautiful hotel with the potential to be one of Zihuatanejo's best. However it does have some teething problems which need to be addressed, particularly in relation to staff training.
It is INCREDIBLE
We just returned from a week long stay at Club Intrawest - it was AMAZING. We had an incredible stay - the resort is right on the beach - the rooms - (we stayed in a 3 bedroom suite) - are magnificent. There are dipping pools in most of the rooms...outside. The views are breathtaking.
The staff is friendly and professional - I give Club Intrawest an A+ and will only stay there when I return to beautiful Zihuatanejo.