This is our 4th Club Med vacation, 1st in Ixtapa. So our review will reflect both our expectations (high) and our experience (good).
First off, we spent 2 weeks on grounds which is longer than anyone else we met while there. Most people either come for an extended weekend or a full week. During our first week (Thanksgiving), the chief of the village, Remy, was on his own vacation. We could tell. The whole club had a very lackadaisical feel. G.O.'s were scarce when not at their posts, the food wasn't up to par, and enthusiasm was in short supply. The second week was noticeably more in tune with our past experiences (although still not as sharp as Cancun or Punta Cana).
The grounds are beautiful, if a little run down. The beach is dark sand, almost muddy, but the views are incredible. We dabbled with the various sports offerings but spent most of our time at the trapeze. The guys there were fantastic. Gareth was a hoot, but he left a few days after we did, Brazilian Joe is a ham, gives the kids a lot of quality attention, and is always showing off for guests ;) Mexican Joe is a sweetheart, very earnest and professional, and Rolando is a little shy but no less attentive. All-in-all the best circus team we've come across.
Be sure to check out the sailing shack. The winds and bay are very favorable for beginners, and the guys are very easy to talk to. Diego is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly, and Marcel can't stop smiling.
Excursions from the Discovery Center are a bit pricey (sorry Polo and Sandy), a snorkeling trip to the island (5 minutes by boat) was $40 each for about 2 hours including prep and travel. That said, there was a lot to see, and we did have a guide to point out the things we would have missed on our own.
The rooms are spacious and relatively clean. They share a bathroom which was our only complaint, but we never felt squeezed for space. Ours had an ocean view but no balcony so it was something of a wash.
The food was the biggest disappointment, and I mean that only in the context of our previous Club Med experiences. For one, they have a Mexican station for almost every meal. This was a surprise, given that Cancun had many more French options and almost no Mexican food. There are always several main courses in the buffet so it wasn't a problem so much as a limitation (yes, yes, I realize it's Mexico, what else would you expect). We were also stuck in the buffet for all but one dinner (make reservations for Miramar as soon as you can) due to renovations and low occupancy.
Lastly, on the day of our departure, they shipped us off at 11:30 for a 2:20 flight (30 min drive to the airport). This might make sense in Atlanta or Chicago, but the airport has 4 terminals, and you have to walk out onto the runway to get to your plane. We spent over 2 hours sitting there and were jealous of the masses who came 10 minutes before the flight and were no worse off for it.
In summation, if you like to travel with your kids, want to try new things (our kids are trapeze addicts), don't mind the campy shows, and want a tan, you can't go wrong. Club Med is unlike any other resort concept we've come across. On the flight home our kids were already planning our next trip, one wants Club Med in Malaysia, the other wants Club Med in Bali. We're hooked.
We stayed in Iguana and found it ideally situated. It's close to the trapeze, the soccer field...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 20, 2012
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Thank you for sharing about your experience at our Club Med Ixtapa resort. We're so glad you had a terrific vacation and that you found our facilities and activities to be splendid. Please know we are currently addressing the concerns you mentioned and greatly appreciate your feedback as we are always looking for ways to improve. We're thrilled you had an awesome vacation, and we can't wait for you to visit again!
Your Club Med Team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.