I recently went to Ixtapa Pacific (returned on Nov 17, 2012) with my family - myself, wife, 6 year old girl , and 20 month old boy. The resort was excellent - we had a phenomenal time - with a few highlights and detriments (which I'll mention below.)
Overall, the rooms are spacious (we had a family room, with a separate room for the kids, and a crib for the kid. The crib is a pack-and-play, but with a washable cover on it, so it's really quite clean. The kids room had a TV and 2 single beds as well. The room was clean and comfy, with separate AC controls for both rooms, and a nice little baby tub for bathing the baby. They also provided us with a stroller for our stay. The room had a mini-fridge.
The Baby Club room had all the kinds of kid stuff you would expect, including 4 types of UHT milk as well as baby formula. We ended up taking milk cartons to our room fridge since we didn't wan to always have to walk back and forth.
The highlight of the resort is really the kids club - which allowed us adults to have a good time as well. The kids club staff were *great* - they really forged bonds with the kids, and cared for them like their own. Our baby had never been in any kind of day care situation before, but he adjusted well. They adapted things like sleeping and eating to *his* schedule, rather than theirs (they do have a set schedule for activities, lunch, nap, etc.) - they were very accommodating, and we could check on the kids throughout the day and check them in/out of the kids clubs to do stuff with us. Our daughter did the trapeze, learned a bit of tennis, and *loved* going sailing almost every day.
Our daughter had a cough on the plane, which worsened once we arrived - we ended up taking her to the doctor at the resort ($50 USD ) who was very thorough and prescribed her an antibiotic. The Club Med staff called the meds into the pharmacy, and they were delivered to the front desk within the hour. The great part was that the folks at the front desk and the nurse remembered us - and Ricardo U (front desk) even came by later to enquire as to our daughters health!
A few other highlights:
- When we ran out of milk in our room, and the baby room was out of it also, Kari (of the Mini Club) actually went out, found milk for us, and delivered it directly to our room (wow!)
- The Mini and Baby Club staff - Kari, Victor, Dora, Vania, and Agustin - just to name a few, forged great relationships with our kids, and had our daughter telling us she wanted to move to Ixtapa and go to Club Med every weekend.
- We ended up going into Zihuatanejo two times during our stay - once to "Bodega" because we forgot some stuff, and once to just shop. Both times, we took the advice of the GO's and took the bus into town (10 pesos each way!), and they gave us great directions (it's one bus - almost impossible to get lost!)
- Melisa (restaurant manager) gave us great directions as to what to do in Zihuatanejo, and even gave us her cell phone number and told us to call any time if we had questions or needed help/advice.
There were only two shortcomings - which were as likely to be sales related issues as resort related ones:
1. The Miramar restaurant was under renovation when we arrived. We weren't notified of this in advance, and the end result was that we were stuck in one restaurant for the whole week. While not exactly boring, there are some repetitive dishes/deserts - and going to the same place 3x a day got a bit boring.
2. The La Luna restaurant was only open for dinner once, and the reservations filled up in under an hour - they should have had it open more than just a single night at least...
3. The kids club restaurant wasn't open at all - we were told it was because there weren't enough kids, but they shouldn't advertise it if they don't plan on having it open.
4. We were sold on booking travel through Club Med because we were told they provide transportation to and from the airport *and* provide child safety seats for the kids. They did provide the transportation, but there were no child safety seats. In fact, I *verified* 3 times, on three separate occasions (including the morning of our departure) that they would provide these seats on the way *back* to the airport, and they did not.
5. The Chef de Village was Christian (normally it's apparently Remy), a couple of GO's told us that Remy runs a "tighter" ship, and things slack a bit when he's not in the village. During our entire visit we only saw Christian a handful of times (mostly at night), and never once spoke with or met him. I'd have kind of expected to see him around a bit more...that's not necessarily a bad thing, but might explain the lack of coordination with the carseats..
I dinged the service and the food one star each because of the car seat issue and the lack of other restaurants being open. It's my understanding that the restaurant renovation (that caused Miramar to be closed) is a "one time" thing, that most other guests won't experience, but we should have been informed of this in advance of our visit.
Tips if you are going:
- Bring a tube of sunscreen for each of your kids (especially if they aren't together in the same group, so it's harder to share.)
- Bring shoes - like sneakers. For things like tennis and soccer, flip flops aren't sufficient. Hats are important also.
- Mosquito repellent is 10 bucks at the resort, and you might like to bring it.
- If you forget small stuff, it's a 30 minute bus ride each way to Bodega in Zihuatenejo (shorter if you head to the small market in Ixtapa.) Bodega is Walmart in Mexico. It's 10 pesos each way (less than 1 USD), and if it's stuff like diapers it's worth the trip.
- They have laundry at the resort (we paid US $40 to wash 40 articles of clothing.), they wash, dry, iron, and fold for you.
- Bring ibuprofen, it's not cheap at the resort, and if you're like me and do stuff like trapeze, you might need it. You can get it at the Pharmacy in Ixtapa (ask for Generico) if you want it cheaper.
- There is a boat service ($8 USD round trip) to Ixtapa island, which has hour-long massages for 250 pesos, as well as snorkeling. Consider that as opposed to the hotel massage (~1000 pesos)
- You can go horseback riding in/around a lake for about 100 pesos, but you have to know how to get there - ask at the front desk..or one of the GO's about it.
- If you go into Zihuatanejo centro (get off at the "Electra" store - it's got a large vertical sign that's hard to miss.) there is lots of good artisan shopping nearby - more so than the Ixtapa market, and seemingly more varied (not to mention cheaper.) Good for souvenirs/gifts.
- The doctor is good, and cheaper than visiting one in the US - if you sense illness coming on in your kids, go sooner rather than later (We went on the second night of our stay, and our daughter improved greatly that night.)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the wonders of Mexico during your stay at Ixtapa Pacific. A heavenly Mexican hacienda-style all-inclusive family resort nestled between the Sierra Madre mountains and the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Travel to Club Med Ixtapa Pacific with your family and enjoy a carefree all-inclusive vacation in spectacular beachfront sceneries. A hassle-free stay for you, an adventure for your kids: practice your favorite sports, indulge at the Spa* or relax on a lounge chair on the breathtaking beach while your children are entertained at Club Med's world-famous Children's Clubs with dedicated activities and sports for children and teenagers, for each age group, and all coordinated by qualified and enthusiastic professionals. Already one of the best family resort for those traveling with babies, this environmentally-friendly hideaway also offers activities for adults. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Club Med Ixtapa Pacific Hotel Ixtapa
- Club Med Zihuatanejo
- Zihuatanejo Club Med
- Ixtapa Club Med