Please pardon me in advance as I have a feeling this will be a very long-winded review, but hopefully it will convince to look no further for places to stay in Z....
14 reasons to stay @ Sueno Del Mar:
1. Great location: a few minutes walking distance to Playa La Ropa, great restaurants, and short taxi ride to El Centro (downtown Z).
2. Absolute gorgeous condo: The entire complex is beautiful, but the way that Harriet/Ron decorated this place is amazing. You feel like you are in Mexico as they embrace the traditional Mexican artesania (arts/crafts). My friends stayed in condo 701 which is beautiful, but this condo definitely feels more "homey".
3. Most comfortable beds that can exist: We've consider ourselves frequent travelers and have been fortunate to stay at some high end hotels. The Ritz has nothing on these beds! I woke up in the middle of the night and saying to myself, "Oh may goodness, I've never slept in such comfortable bed with such comfi pillows"! Must be tempur-pedic!
4. Harriet is extremely flexible, easy to contact, & attentive : Taking care of the logistics was so smooth via email. She was also very accomodating with our group (she also helped our friends in condo 701 since she manages that one as well). She also was very attentive to our friends in other condo when they had a bad incident.
5. The condo is safe/secure: security is there around the clock and they patrol the complex. Each room has a safe.
6. Each room has A/C, but you still feel like you're in the jungle: It's great to have the open living room where you feel like you're away yet you have the comfort of cooling down in the bedrooms.
7. Has everything you need: Everything you would want in a kitchen, bathroom, ect. is there.
8. The views are spectacular: You have the best views and take the best pictures from the balcony in Master bedroom and living room.
9. Super clean: Housekeeper, Yolanda keeps this place really clean which she comes about 3 times a week (make sure to tip her well, she takes an hour to arrive to the condo and another one back home).
10. This is a place away from home: As soon as you walk into the condo, you'll feel at home. I felt so at home that this is the first time ever that I unpack my entire luggage (immediately). We went grocery shopping and I felt like this was our place...I was ready to email Harriet to tell her we want to buy this place from her, seriously (wishful thinking). There are also fresh flowers when you arrive and the beds are decorated beautifully when Yolanda leaves.
11. The pools are phenomenal: The pictures do not show how amazing the views are from the pools. First, they were always clean and they are truly whatt you call infinity pools. Second, the "laying out" chairs are plentiful and have nice cushions...always clean. As soon as it sprinkles/rains, maintanence personnel or security guards will remove them so that they don't get wet/dirty. Lastly, they are truly what you call infinity pools.
12. The condo has surround sound: It was so great to be able to listen to music in the condo.
13. Satellite TV/internet: Harriet/Ron have this place hooked up. You have options if you want to just stay in and do what you would do at home...watch TV or get online.
14. Exercise anyone?: My husband and I are exercise fanatics and we didn't know the office (near the pool) has some exercise machines that sit on the balcony facing the pool. Not sure if that was in the guide, but we didn't realize that until our last day. However, the walk/run to the beach is nice...if you really looking for a workout, just hike back up the hill from the beach. It's great.
15. Zihua guide: The Zihua guide that Harriet created is in the living room along with other useful resources. We read the guide in advance and also printed it, but it was great to have hers there handy when calling security/taxis &/or Eliezar (condo manager).
Hope this helps, feel free to contact me to ask questions about Zihua (everything that Harriet mentions/recommends in her guide is quite accurate). Below is more for Harriet to read, but maybe it will convince even more to stay here.
Thank you again for sharing your beautiful home. I know you regularly hear how great it is, but this place held a special place in my heart as soon as we saw the pictures. As you know, we went with friends/family and we were going to stay @ Preciosa in one condo, but I was so happy that it worked out to stay in yours. I admire that you decorated with Mexican artesania and embrace our culture. Our house is also colorful with artesania from all over Mexico. I felt like I was in Mexico in your condo and it felt like our home. I saw the inside of other condos in the complex. The layouts were great and seemed bigger than yours, but they were decored plain and didn't have the warm feeling. I admire that you and Ron put valuable pieces as well as personal belongings. Thanks for your trustworthiness towards your guests. While we didn't use the boggie boards/board games/kitchen amenities, it was so great to have options. It was the little things such as having a variety of CDs to choose to play in the surround sound system...having the Mexican lime squeezer (our favorite tool at home)...purified water tank in kitchen & bathrooms...beach towels...the list goes on. Again, thank you for trusting us. I hope no one takes advantage of that.
The guide was so impressive. Aside from being helpful, it says a lot about you. It doesn't focus so much on rules and regulations, but rather it's a tool to make sure that people embrace your condo as well as Zihua. We definitely plan to return and hope that you're condo is open to us again. We also refer friends/family your way.
In case you want some more reviews for your "Eats" section, here are a few:
La Perla (went 8/2008, last year): My husband and I were recommended to this place by locals and based on reviews through tripadvisor.com. We were very disappointed as the food was below average and more expensive than similar restaurants on Playa La Ropa. We ordered several things since we were hungry (1st meal in Zihua), none were good. For example, I ordered the Huachinango with chipotle sauce (red snapper). It literally tasted like bbq sauce. The ceviche has no flavor even after putting lime.
Patys (went 9/2009): Our group of seven ate breakfast there and we all loved it and it was very reasonable. We had "hotcakes", french toast, chilaquiles, omelette with chorizo, huevos rancheros...everything was excellent, including the service.
Rest at La Mexicana Hotel (don't know the name): We had drinks appetizers there (tacos, ceviche) and it was also delicious and reasonably priced.
Atoles AnY (forgot the entire name): This was a big hit with our entire group and also very reasonably priced. The coffee is awesome (traditional Mexican coffee, "de la hoya")...tamales (not the super tamal, but try pork/chicken in chile verde or rojo), sopes (carne molida/ground beef), chile rellenos, chilaquiles, and last but not, the pozole is the bomb! I craved it everyday (try blanco o verde, both are delicious). FYI, the one in Ixtapa changed owners and is now called Mex Cal. The locals say it's the same menu, but it's not. The food was good at Mex Cal, but they didn't have the selection like in Zihua.
La Sirena Gorda: The tacos and good and so was the "aguachile/ceviche/campechana (basically seafood marinated in lime), but it was overpriced and the service was mediocre.
Los Braseros: Good tacos al pastor and asada and very reasonably priced. Nice place to grab a quick bite while on the run.
Bandidos (went 8/2008 and 2009): We love this place. The prices a bit higher compared to the other restaurant, but it's worse it. It's nicer (traditional Mexican colors with equiple furniture. The service is great and ambiance is fun. They have music and TVs and a live band on the weekends. Try the huachinango enchiladas en chile verde (red snapper with green sauce)...best enchiladas I've ever had. The molcajete chicken or shrimp is super delicious.
Il Mare: Pleasantly surprised that the italian food was good. We were a bit apprehensive to go based on other reviews, but everything was delicious and the service was good. The views were amazing. This was our most expensive dinner (my husband and I), but it was reasonable comparable to U.S. dining. We had drinks, an appetizer, and two entrees for $80.00. Not bad.
Artesania shopping: Highly recommend Artesanias "Rey" @ Mercado de Artesanias Local 14. Rey is a young man who makes beautiful arts/crafts along with his Dad. He customed made some vases last year as well as other things for us things year (I'll attach pictures). He's going to college to get his degree in tourism, he's very talented. Let him know Evelyn referred you.
In case you don't have it in the guide, you may want to mention the small exercise machines in the office.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A luxury beach view vacation rental condo overlooking La Ropa beach at Casa que Ve al Mar. Both the master bedroom and the living room open directly onto the killer view. The two bedrooms have king-sized beds and air conditioning, plasma TV???s with satellite and DVD players. The gourmet kitchen is fully equipped and a dining area that seats 6. The sound system is wired throughout the house. There is whole house water purification. ... more less