On our third of five glorious days in Zihuatanejo, we took the 40 peso/pp boat ride from the pier in El Centro to Playa Las Gatas. The ride is under 10 minutes, the water reasonably calm - we went around 10am to avoid whatever 'crowds' there might be. Fortunately for us (but unfortunately for businesses on the beach) there were few people on a late January Tuesday.
Based on a recommendation to 'find the place with the fuscia colored tablecloths' from another couple at our hotel, we ambled past 10 or so places (each with a guy stationed on the beach, inviting us to 'have a seat, amigos") until reaching Otilia's towards the western end. Franko (he's been mentioned in other reviews) greeted us and was a FANTASTIC host. The guy has been doing this for decades and knows how to treat customers right - there when you need him, not too pushy, great conversation at times - but still he lets you relax and soak in sun and surf all the same.
The lunch and drinks we had were very good (coconut shrimp, fresh toptopos, salsas, cervezas, a ridiculously ornate pina colada (in pineapple)). The sun angles were lovely and the views across the bay were as well. We are not snorkelers, but we enjoyed the warm waters for occasional soaking and splashing - all in all spent about 5 hours here in the most relaxing way.
The only demerit I give (why 4 stars and not 5) is the beach itself is LOADED with coral and sharp rocks, both of which make wading with shoes or sandals a MUST. We met a group of 4 who almost turned around and left on the first boat back to town once they tried going into the water. We were OK, but only after being shown a 'clearer' path, one with alittle more sand than rock. So be prepared...
Otherwise, enjoy the sun, the gentle surf, the uncrowded beach (there were relatively few vendors strolling and hawking their wares) and look for shady palapas and good service such as we found at Otilia's.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.