We stayed at the Park Royal Ixtapa from Feb 22 to March 3, 2011. We visited Mexico numerous times & Ixtapa once before in 2010 & decided to try the Park Royal Ixtapa this time.
The GOOD: Staff are all friendly, curtious & eager to please. We were impressed, especially with one of evening waitresses, Alicia. Many of the staff speak some english & they always have a smile & "Hola!" for you. The pool area was meticulously cleaned every evening. Room is average size, each with small balconies, some larger than others. Every room has an ocean view. Hotel is centrally located on Playa El Palmar (beach). Beach is amazing at day or night, clean & lots of waves to play in. Chill-Out Lounge is nice for after hours drinks & a fun, comfortable place to literally "chill-out" & dance or just relax from 9pm to 2am. Lots of daily activities poolside, one swim up bar & another bar close to the pool/beach. Main lobby is a great retreat from the heat with cool breezes flowing through daily. We played cards in the main lobby most evenings. The live Mexican band are amazing professional musicians & offer some great traditional music & some upbeat music with a Mexican flair. Very impressed with them.
The BAD: Food. It's not all bad, but bad. There's a buffet open from 7am to 11:30am then 6:30pm to 10:30pm. Large area to eat either in air conditioning or outside in the breeze. We stayed for 10 days. There's a 7 day cycle for the menu, which is logical. We noticed food was being recycled from one day to the next after we started getting sick (sick 5 days out of 10). The food from "Oriental" night was recycled the next evening on "International" night. We clued in when the oriental rice from the night before was served the following evening as international rice which now included (i kid you not) hot dog weiners, spinach & clams added to the same rice. We noticed this same trend throughout our stay. That was disappointing.
There is a Italian restaurant on site that requires reservations which can only be made daily from 12pm to 4pm. If you don't make reservations before 12:30pm or 1:00pm, it's usually full. Don't bother eating there either. We ate there twice hoping the food would be freshly made. Not. Lasagna is made with raw dough (seemed like pizza dough), not lasagna noodles (seriously). Tuna fillets & Chicken Parmesean are not good either. We both got sick immediately after eating there, twice. Good salad bar, no question, just the food was always questionable about how it was prepared. It's like they tried to make the food look like it's supposed to, yet they don't quite understand the correct ingredients that should be in the dish. Spring rolls made with taco shells, for example, it looked good, but was kinda weird tasting & just not right.
We would have paid extra to have more eating choices or restaurants at the resort but we found we had to go off site to eat good local food.
Drink are watered down, no question. Now that's not neccessarily bad, as we see it. You can have several drinks throughout the day & never get drunk or a hangover. And you rarely see any guest very drunk, which is good & more enjoyable for everyone, in our opinion. We would have liked to have the option to purchase full strength beer or drinks, if we choose, but had to go across the street for that. Again, we clued into the watered down drinks when we had two Corona's across the street (they do not serve Corona by the bottle at this resort, only Cervesa on tap).
The resort main lobby is crawling with Time Share people throughout the day. That got a little aggravating & old after day two. Beware when walking on the streets: There are also Royal Resorts van that literally trawls the streets that will hound you persistently to come to the Park Royal about time shares, even after you explain that you are already staying at the Park Royal, they still hound you 5-6 times during a 1 hour walk. Kinda creepy really.
We stayed in Mexico before, so we expect the room to be "not-so-perfect", and that's fine with us. Our Park Royal room had a few things we didn't like. No fridge. That really sucks when you want to have a cold bottle of water or refreshments in your room, when you want it. We would have payed extra for a fridge, just not available. No in-room safe so hang on to your passports & cash. Beds are hard & uncomfortable. Same with pillows. We requested mattress toppers at the front desk on the morning of day two & were assured we would get them. Mattress toppers were a "no show". After a few more days of requesting, we never did get them. Shower handle literally fell off when you tried to use it. Reported but never fixed so we just dealt with it. "Hot" is "Cold" & "Cold" is "Hot" apparently in both the shower & the bathroom sink. Water pressure varies, sometimes a 20-30 minute wait for water pressure. Always lots of hot water though. Patio door handle was broken on outside, door could not lock. Curtain rod was broken making opening & closing curtains a challenge.
Room had funky moldy smell too. Again, we've experienced this moldy smell at other resorts in Mexico & you sort of get used to it after a day or two. But that intense funky moldy smell just didn't go away at this resort which was disappointing.
There only three elevators for the 200+ room hotel, all located in the main lobby. Our room was on the top floor (Room #2306). Getting from the top floor to the main lobby (or visa versa) was sometimes a 10-15 minute wait, or walk 13 flights of stairs. At least one elevator was being serviced every second or third day, leaving only two elevators for 1000+ guests.
We like to think we fairly easy going people who are not hard to please at all, but there were so many things about this particalur resort that compelled us to write an honest review of our experience. We read ALL the reviews on TripAdvisor before booking our trip & read about many of things we commented on, but thought to ourselves "These people are all way too picky & must be hard to please". No, actually, many of the comments are very true. I'm sure others will disagree with us, but this is our humble opinion, so take it as you will.
We love Ixtapa/Zihua. The weather is perfect all the time. We will not stay at the Park Royal Ixtapa again. We would rate this resort as a 2 to 2.5 star.
Ask for Mattress toppers & hope to get them. Rooms facing the south are quieter from pool noise...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.