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West Palm Beach...
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Need Help

I work for a Culinary School. My wife and I want to get away. Delta is giving us a free Delta Miles trip to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo.

Anyway, we are looking at hotels and are concerned about a few things.

1) Can we find an all inclusive that serves great drinks and good food.

2) If not the above then how much per night does it costs to eat out. And do they take Credit Cards.

Please help. Out trip is from 8/19 through 8/26 and I hate bad experiences.

you can email me your thoughts at sphunt99@yahoo.com

Thank you.

Spokane, Washington
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1. Re: Need Help

We just returned from 12 days in Zihuatanejo for the International Guitar Festival. We stayed at a wonderful Guest House in Zihua, "El Tamarindo" -- which is just across the street from a beautiful restaurant-lined beach, Playa La Ropa. Here is their website (complete with photos):

http://www.zihua-ixtapa.com/zihngaras

The place was designed and built by four Canadian-born sisters. El Tamarindo has lots of hammocks and internet wireless service available from their front porch. The only disappointment with their place was the lack of a swimming pool (they have a small jacuzzi size "pool"). They serve a continental breakfast in the community kitchen center most mornings. Otherwise, it is an easy walk to the beach which is lined with excellent restaurants that serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. They place tables and chairs in the sand just out of reach of the surf... wonderful experience! The prices for dinner at the beach restaurants range from 80 pesos to 200 pesos for dinner ($8 to $20 in US dollars).

If budget is no problem, Club IntraWest is the most fabulous resort hotel/restaurant in the area. Offering gourmet meals and a swimming pool (with changing light colors at night) at the edge of the ocean.

clubintrawest.com/newci/where/zihuatanejo.asp

It is best to bring an ATM card and withdraw pesos from the ATM machine at the airport or at the bank in downtown Zihuatanejo. To get around, taxis are continually roving the streets and charge 300 to 400 pesos ($3 to $4) to travel within the vicinity of Zihua. The bus runs every 15 minutes and charges 4.5 pesos per person (about 45 cents) -- you have to pay them in coin.

Ixtapa was built as a tourist resort. Zihuatanejo is a mixture of tourist resorts and real Mexicans living side by side. Ixtapa is cleaner and more upper-scale on the whole. But Zihuatanejo gives your a better feel for real life.

We ate at several beach restaurants (Elvira's, Pati's, La Prudencia) and several downtown restaurants (Coconutz, Rick's Bar, El Pueblito, etc.) in Zihua and felt fine. After one meal at Carlos N Charlies in Ixtapa, we came down with Montezuma's Revenge. We've heard many people become sick after eating at CnC's so avoid that place -- even though it is touted as a world-famous tourist restaurant -- the food was very poor quality besides.

Carry hand sanitizer with you at all times and use it often. Also drink only purified water and be aware that there are no minerals in the purified water (which is basically distilled water) so drink gatorade and fruit juices to avoid dehydration.

A local Zihua doctor from New York advises that if you do become ill, wait only 24 hours before taking anti-biotics which are available over-the-counter at the local pharmacy. The pharmacists speak English and will give you what you need. Also take along Immodium for potential diarrhea. Other guests were taking Pepto Bismal on a regular basis.

Apparently, the monsoon season begins for them in May and so you will likely encounter daily rainstorms. Weather.com should give you a 10-day forecast for the Zihua-Ixtapa area before you leave on your vacation.

The only place we found any air conditioning was in a very occasional taxi. So dress to stay cool day and night.

Hope this helps!

Marjie Lewis

Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Cabo San Lucas
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2. Re: Need Help

the words good food and drinks at an all inclusive can`t be used in the same sentence...DOES NOT HAPPEN...It is a buffet...boring same old same old! Get a nice hotel WITH AIR CONDITIONING (you will need it) and come and enjoy all that Ixtaqpa and Zihua have to offer...lots of the less expensive places do not take credit cards due to the 5 or 6% surcharges...so bring bucks!! Let me know if you want some thoughts on hotels...

West Palm Beach...
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173 reviews
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3. Re: Need Help

Hi Travel Judy,

Which resorts do you favor? Why?

vancouver, bf
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4. Re: Need Help

I just returned from there as well - I totally recommend the Sotavento, it's reviewed on this website. Don't go all-inclusive. Yuk.

Food is not cheap, but I found it delicious at most of the places I ate. I totally recommend Puesta del Sol at La Ropa, El Manglar at La Ropa, Coconuts, La Calle el Vieja, and 100% for fruit smoothies. Also on Sundays the street food at the Zocolo is good and very cheap but watch for cleanliness. You have to order your eggs well done in Zihua if you don't like runny whites (gross!)

Use the ATM's in town. There is an HSBC one that I finally found that is fast, a few doors down from Bandido's. The Banamex is very slow and long lines.

Make sure you go to Las Gatas!

Good luck.