When we were looking for an inexpensive trip south for January, we immediately booked the Irma (air/hotel) through Belair Travel/Sunquest since the reviews at Tripadvisor spoke so highly of the quaint, friendly, Mexican style of this hotel and everyone seemed to rave about the ocean front rooms.
We absolutely loved this trip and will be back to Zihua and Irma; however; think it important to share some of the good and the bad.
Firstly, we booked our trip through Belair Travel/Sunquest in Toronto. We had read in many of the reviews that when you book at Irma it seemed relatively easy to switch to a better room. We must say this was absolutely NOT our experience. Sunquest only booked inside rooms (keep in mind that almost all the rooms at Irma are oceanfront are there are actually very few inside rooms). As part of the CDN contingent we arrived around 1:00 pm. Our agent advised that our room was a standard room but requested an oceanfront, balconly and king size bed (my boyfriend is 6'4") and based upon the reviews we thought if we didn't get a great room, we could likely switch. Needless to say the front desk people were NOT helpful, they absolutely refused to let us check in one minute before 3 pm. Our first room was what seemed like the basement across from the laundry on the inside and absolutely no view, double bed, etc. We spent probably 2 hours arguing, negotiating with the front desk who were completely unwaiving...they refused to move us, said they had no other available rooms even if we would pay extra. After a couple of hours and finally tracking down the manager, they finally gave us a room one floor up, two double beds and at least a partial side view of the ocean. We decided that we didn't want to argue the whole week away trying to get a better room but were EXTREMELY disappointed in the room that we ended up with and disappointed that we couldn't take advantage of one of the reasons that attracted us to this hotel but the oceanfront views, etc. In addition, as it got closer to the weekend it seemed that some of the local Mexicans started to book in...they as well were booked in the inside/side rooms so it got very busy with some partying/louder music, children. Because of the location of the room, we could not leave our door open to hear the ocean and also because people were consistently walking by we couldn't even leave our curtains open. With the ocean front rooms you could easily leave your door open to hear the ocean, would not have to worry about keeping your curtains closed and would have had a wonderful view of the Zihua bay.
Now for all the good. The hotel otherwise was just as people had described it..very quaint, Mexican style, outstanding view of the bay, nice pools. Although it's not at beach level, the view is absolutely stunning and one of the key advantages of staying at this hotel. The beach below, Madera yes was not the best in the area but a great place to walk into town via Fisherman's Walk. La Ropa, very nice beach was only a short walk away, short walk into town, etc.
Area attractions: make sure to get around to see the various beaches; Madera great for walking, La Ropa...short walk away, nice for spending the day/walking, Playa Pescador (Ixtapa)...short bus ride away (very easy to get around by bus) and only a $5 taxi ride away, Playa Linda (to catch the water taxi to Ixtapa Island for great snorkelling, check out the birds/alligators. The location of the hotel was great for walking to town, catching the water taxi to Las Gatas (great snorkelling, just relaxing), breakfast, dinner, etc. We would go into town in the evening for dinner, then stop at the town square, get some ice cream and watch the local basketball/volleyball team or local musicians. There are a ton of activities in close proximity to town and the hotel and really don't cost alot. The Mexicana Commerciale (Mexican Walmart) was even only a $2 cab ride away. Go there if you want to stock up on water, snacks, cooler, etc.
Eating Out: this was one of the best parts of the trip. You are very close to many, many restaurants and the local restaurants are excellent. The best place we thought was Casa Vieja (just down the street...no oceanfront view) but without a doubt the best food. Second best we thought was Daniels..closer to town on the beach...very romantic..on the beach...food was excellent. We thought these restaurants had 5 star meals at 2 star prices ($8 - $15). Be sure to go to Casa Cafe (owned by husband/wife from Seattle)...on the way to town...great coffee/lattes/cap/breakfast and very friendly. It is well know so can be busy but well worth it. We also heard great things about El Faro...up on top of the cliff overlooking Ixtapa beach. The view was spectacular and thought the best but the food wasn't close to the other restaurants...regardless, well worth the price just for the view. We also did a few other restaurants..one on the corner close to the hotel, very quaint, very good, plain food...nice quiet atmosphere...others up the hill on the way to La Ropa...lots of restaurants with great views but we didn't think the food was the quality of Daniels or La Vieja.
Overall, we had an absolutely wonderful time and didn't want to leave. The only word of caution is if you are CDN, expect to receive the substandard rooms as part of the Sunquest package and don't anticipate being able to change. I suspect what has happened is with the great reviews this hotel is getting, it's getting much more popular and very difficult to book. It seemed when we were there, all the oceanfront rooms were taken, so don't have high hopes about changing once you're there.
Any Zihua, absolutely loved it and will be back!
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, Hotwire, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly, Cancelon and Evoline ltd so you can book your Hotel Irma reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Irma Hotel Zihuatanejo
- Hotel Irma Zihuatanejo
- Irma Hotel Mexico