Just back from a one week’s stay for our anniversary at the Viceroy Zihuatanejo and had a very enjoyable time. We have spent our last four beach vacations on Anguilla and were looking for a change of pace from our usual Caribbean vibe. While Zihua was a welcomed change of scenery, we decided in the end that the resort and area had distinct disadvantages beyond the breathtaking Pacific coast scenery.
Check in was a little scary as, although our airport transfers were in place, the Viceroy did not have our room reservation (booked through United Vacations); however, this problem was rectified quickly and we were taken to our Lagoon Suite (ground floor). Despite communication with the concierge prior to arrival, the resort did not have our reservation, nor was anything special done for our anniversary or to recognize that we are Viceroy repeat guests.
The Lagoon Suite was a very spacious room with a king sized bed in the middle, a nice sitting area with coach, coffee table and desk, a huge bathroom with double sinks and a walk in shower, as well as an outdoor plunge pool (cool) and additional seating (table and chairs and a double chaise lounge). View was of vegetation and the lagoon; the patio was quite private due to plantings around. Very tasteful art and tiling in a black/beige color scheme throughout the room. The room had ample closet space and frigid AC. Television selection was poor in English which was fine by me.
Note for improvement: while the toiletries provided were of nice quality, it would also be nice to have bug spray, hair spray, and sunscreen available in room for guests.
Our room was a short walk to the adult pool and beach. All common areas were well-maintained and all parts of the resort were an easy walk. The resort is completely flat, so no climbing stairs or hills. Perhaps due to the rains, the resort was very buggy while we were there (ants were EVERYWHERE, even in our croissants in the morning), but not sure if there’s anything the resort can do about this. During our stay, the resort’s Mexican restaurant was under repair due to damage from Hurricane Manuel which meant there was only one restaurant open to guests (although menus were alternated); this also led to construction noise on the beach and at the adult pool.
Staff and Service:
As has been said by many others, the service throughout the resort was exceptional – not only efficient, but warm and caring. Landscaping is lovely and immaculate and maintenance was non-stop. Because the resort was nowhere near full while we were there, seating at the beach, pool and restaurant was not an issue. Teak chairs were covered in towels and placed under palapas (which are unfortunately disintegrating). Beach service was available by flag and fast and friendly. Bartenders were exceptional and room service (including ice delivery) was fast. The hot stone massage at the resort’s spa was the best I’ve ever had and a relative bargain at about $85 for an hour. Maid service was also extremely good (twice daily).
Food & Beverage:
Besides the simple continental breakfast delivered to the room each morning at your chosen time (do try to hot chocolate – delicious!) a full breakfast menu is available until 11:30, and included standard American breakfast items (eggs every way, waffles, French toast, etc.) as well as over a dozen Mexican specialties. Fresh hot rolls were served with fresh jams and a fresh-squeezed juice that changed daily. Everything we tried was fresh and delicious and negated the need for lunch. We ordered room service one evening and it was also fast, fresh, and delicious.
Note for improvement: Viceroy should include cold bottled water as part of the general restaurant service and around the pools and beach. It would be much appreciated.
General Resort Notes:
The resort sits on the nicest portion of the middle of the beach at La Ropa. Besides the adult pool there are two additional, smaller pools. The attraction here is the beach, the location, and the views. The beach water was very warm, and fairly wavy while we were there, leading to good body surfing. Unfortunately, the rains had also stirred up sediment so the water was not very clear. There also is quite a bit of trash in the water, especially on the weekends when the beach is filled with local day-trippers.
The resort is surrounded by cheaper hotels, beach restaurants, and many, many vendors. A walk down La Ropa is a lesson in “no, gracias” – pitches are made for restaurants, beach massages, hair braiding, and water sports (including boat trips, sailing, banana boat rides, parasailing, and jet skiing) and are relentless. Folks are selling all manner of junk: necklaces, cheap silver, beach apparel, hammocks, low quality pottery, marijuana, and mariachi music. While we understand that these folks need to make a living, it did make walking the beach much less enjoyable than it could be.
The Viceroy beach sits behind a low fence and vendors do not pass this barrier; however, they do solicit guests from their side of the fence.
A great overall improvement at Viceroy would be to provide water sports and some resort activities to guests as part of the room rate. This is the first 4-5 star resort that we’ve been to in some time that offers no free activities to guests (sail boats; floats; snorkel equipment; manager’s party, etc.). Because there is not a whole lot to do or see beyond the beach and water in and around Zihua, some organized activities would be welcomed.
General Impressions of Zihua:
We went into town most evenings to see what was going on near the basketball courts, to have meals, to shop, and just to hang out with the locals. We felt perfectly safe at all times. The touristy parts of town seemed very slow as high season does not begin until mid-November. Many restaurants were closed and those that were open were sparsely populated. There was virtually no night life. However, we did have the good fortune to celebrate the Day of the Dead and Halloween with the town which was a lot of fun and included a great deal of trick-or-treating followed by somber yet energetic Aztec dancing.
Although we spent many hours wandering the town, and during celebrations were pretty much the only gringos in evidence, we felt perfectly safe. There is a visible yet not overwhelming police presence and the town while we were there was full of families enjoying an evening out.
Sharing Halloween with local families; a fishing/snorkeling excursion that ended with freshly caught and cooked fish at Playa las Gatos; fabulous dinner at Amuleto, and many wonderful sunset happy hours at the Viceroy bar. And of course, the Viceroy beach with its “Corona commercial” appeal
In summary, while we managed to spend a very pleasant week in Zihua and at the Viceroy, we will probably not return. There simply is not enough activity or sights to warrant a return from the East Coast to this location, although we certainly understand its charm, especially to those who can easily get here on a direct flight from the West Coast, Mid-West, or Canada.
Lagoon suite was great, and private, but choose top floor for ocean views.
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.