After reading many positive reviews we decided to escape the Seattle wet winter to Zihuatanejo. Our room was on the top floor with a balcony, jacuzzi, and sweeping panoramic views of Madera Beach and the entire bay. The views from the room were breathtaking. Based on our observations, almost all of the rooms in the hotel had killer views. The room had two beds which were double size.
Although the beds were on concrete slab, the mattresses were western style pillow-top. We found them to be very comfortable. The maids decorated the beds with fresh flowers each day. They came by at night to turn down the beds and leave small candies. All of the staff were very courteous.
The pool had a large hand made slide that was very interesting for the kids. As with the entire property, the views of the beach from the pool were outstanding. We watched them change the pillows and lounge mats daily. We even saw them change the umbrellas when they started to fade. In short, staff were working around the clock to make this place shine. All of the floors were mopped daily. The entire hotel complex was extremely quiet and peaceful.
The floors in each room had custom borders of embedded stones and shells. The sliding glass doors were optimized for wall to wall views. The deck was furnished with a small table, two chairs, and two We had art on the walls in our room which was changed out at least once during our visit.
Rooms had modern digital air conditioners with remote controls. The air conditioning worked well and was relatively quiet. TV in the room included an assortment of channels in English, Spanish, and some with subtitles.
The bathroom had a tiled tub/shower combination, double sink, and toilet. Water pressure was excellent (even on the top floor) and there was plenty of hot water. Note that the water out of the tap was not potable and the maids left bottle water in the room every day. The room had a small refrigerator, a safe, a small desk, and a dresser. There was a coffee maker and packets of coffee left by the maids each day. The bedside table and cubbies were formed from adobe/concrete. Decor was nice. Beddings were clean. We had a new hammock on the balcony, but chose not to hang it up in favor of more space for chairs. The room included free beach towels for all guests and there were two bathrobes.
Other common areas included two lounges and a restaurant. Although we were able to detect the wireless from our room, it was only possible to access it in the lobby/lounge area. If you visit, ask for the password at the main desk. They had an air conditioned computer room with two PC's with flat panel displays. These both had high speed internet access and were popular with the guests.
The hotel had a small fitness room with a couple of stationary bikes, an inclined treadmill, and other basic gym equipment. Unfortunately, the air conditioner in this room was not functioning, nor was the wall mounted water feature. It was pretty hot by 8AM, so it was necessary to get up early to use this facillity.
Next to the computer room was a game area with a book exchange, ping pong table, and a large carambole (french billiards) table. We played ping pong and plenty of carambole. They had a parrot next to the stairs that could say "hello" and "hola." The hotel had a sea kayak and a boogie board for the guests to use. The kids made use of both of them during our stay.
The hotel had a private beach area with palapas and lounge chairs. Waiters would visit occasionally, but never to the point of being a nuisance. Although the hotel had plenty of guests, the pool and common areas were always very quiet. It had a very exclusive feel. At night, the hotel common areas were lit and the atmosphere was very romantic.
Compared with the other nearby beaches, Playa Madera is the smallest and has the least number of peddlers. We found it to be relatively clean and safe enough to walk around at night. It was one of the most tranquil spots on the bay. Keep in mind, however, that it is a very small beach. Because it is in the bay, the surf is always pretty mild.
The boardwalk which connects Playa Madera to Playa Municipal and the downtown waterfront area. This made it very easy to walk into town for food, shopping, etc. Since we could walk to nearby shops within a few minutes, we never felt stranded or bored (as is the case with some of the isolated all-inclusive resorts). On Thursday, we saw hundreds of school children cleaning the boardwalk and the beach.
As other reviewers have noted, this hotel is on a hill. It does have about five flights of stairs. There is no elevator, so I would not recommend this hotel for travellers who have mobility issues. We welcomed the exercise, especially after a nice meal.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aura del Mar is a boutique-hotel in a Mexican fishing village, known for its hospitality and privacy. It's the perfect choice to get to know Zihuatanejo, relax and enjoy the sea. We offer a privileged location at the seashore in La Madera beach. Walking distance to downtown Zihua. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Brisas Del Mar Zihuatanejo
- Hotel Brisas Del Mar