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“Same Old, Same Old”
Review of Embarc Zihuatanejo

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Embarc Zihuatanejo
Ranked #10 of 80 Hotels in Zihuatanejo
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Same Old, Same Old”
Reviewed January 1, 2013

December 2012, was our third trip to this resort, and we have been Club Intrawest members for many years. The location is beautiful, and the staff are so great and can't do enough for the guests. We had a large, two-bedroom unit with the same teeny, dysfunction kitchen as in the smaller units. In the smaller unit, we had a two-burner hot plate if you wanted to cook soup, but in this kitchen, not even that. There is a tiny bar fridge, and a microwave under the counter which you have to crouch down to use. Our daily cleaner, Francisca, kept the place spotless. The Zi restaurant has good food, but the staff is as disorganized as ever. We had the meal plan so were committed to having some of our meals there. One afternoon I went into the restaurant to make a reservation for dinner for the three of us for that evening. There were no other reservations on the list, and I requested a table along the railing. When we came for our reservation, sure enough (this has happened to us on previous trips) our table in the almost completely empty restaurant, had been given to another family. The same guy who had taken my reservation put us at a table for two along the railing, and gave us a complimentary bottle of water and glasses of wine. Because of the ineptness of the staff, we have had free drinks every time we have stayed at the Club in Zihua. This cannot be blamed on "Mexico". I made reservations at Mar y Cielo, and at Espuma, even asking for a specific table, and there were no problems at all in receiving what we had asked for. Another morning we were having breakfast in the Zi Restaurant and I ordered the omelette with spinach. When my omelette came, instead of spinach, it was full of green bell peppers. When I asked the waiter if there was no spinach in the kitchen, he checked, and brought me a side of cooked spinach. So, WTH? On the menu was a spinach omelette, they had spinach, but put peppers instead? If we stay at the resort again, we will not buy the meal plan. Also, I must mention the many selfish guests who would go down to the pool area or beach area and "claim" one of the loungers by putting towels and other personal belongings, then disappear for hours, not evening using the loungers, but not allowing others to use them either. Our visit was over Christmas and the resort was pretty full, is it was frustrating that we paid so much money for airfare, eating, and being Club Intrawest members, and day after day could not get a lounge chair, even though they sat empty and there were four people in the pool. This has been a problem on our other visits as well. Also, the mosquitoes this year were horrendous, especially in the evening when it is dark and everybody has bare legs while sitting in outdoor restaurants. The Club did make us sign a note which said we knew about mosquitoes, but they really should notify people with reservations before they arrive, to have a good product with you, such as OFF, and apply it before going out.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lynleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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503 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (161)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
62 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2012

This club is one of the most exotic in the Intrawest lineup . The employees are superb, Luis, Elias and Huber were outstanding. Remember tip on your arrival, this will get you little extras...
(Not that these guys Hinted at being tipped, far from that) Reception was exceptional. The resort is built on a cliff so three is little grounds but you are on the beach. The decks are so large with a cooling tub and the view so unbelievable, some people don't leave their room!
You must do the dinner on the beach, especially if you are served by Elias, most professional.
Visit to the market and cooking with the chef is most entertaining. You can get starfruit, pineapple or guavas and more tropical fruit for $1. We made smoothies in the blender provided.
Boat trips can be organized right off the beach. A day in Ixtapa (resort town) is a change from the little fishing village.
Coconuts restaurant is a must in town.
Food is excellent at the club. You can even get casual food to your room if you wish not to leave your room/deck.
$20. massages on the beach will soothe and relieve all stress! Remember to tip, the locals can use the help, don't take advantage please..
Yves

Room Tip: Building 4 has great views, One bedroom w/ two bath have best locations.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ross086
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, BC
Level Contributor
57 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2012

We spent a week here in a three bedroom villa. Fist off, I have to say the accommodation was exceptional; spacious, tasteful and comfortable. There are however some things that you need to know if you are going to stay here:

1/ Our accommodation had a kitchen - we should have used it more! Drinks and food are expensive at tis resort, and over the course of a week we could have easily saved a few hundred dollars just by having a supply of beer in the fridge as well as some breakfast items for the mornings. We were two adults and two children and we spent around $250 per day at the resort.

2/ Service in the restaurant is S L O W. The staff is nice enough, but there is clearly a real problem with management so you can end up paying big city prices for back woods level service. This can be really frustrating, and who wants to be frustrated on their holiday?

3/ Always check your bills carefully. I found we were over charged about half the time!

4/ DO NOT TAKE THE MEAL PLAN. Prepaying for food and drinks really ties you to the resort, and when the service is painfully slow and you want to try somewhere else you are stuck. The meal plan seemed attractive because it offered "18%" off our food and drinks, but here's how it really works: you pre pay in your local currency, then when you arrive they convert that amount to pesos at an exchange rate that works great for them, so your savings really aren't that great at all.

I must say, room service was reliable and efficient, and never over charged us.

This is a really stunning hotel, right on the beach, and if I had just known some of the points above I think we would have had a better stay. Hope this helps :-)

Room Tip: The crashing of the waves is pretty loud at night, and our outside doors and windows only had shutte...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Liketospend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brea, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2012

This is our 4th time at this location and we will be back. The service from the minute you arrive until you leave is impeccable. We had the beachview 2 bd rm unit that made this trip exceptional!! The private beach area with the bed and palapa was out of this world!!
The resturant Zi and their numerous meal packages is the only way to go! The food is excellent and great variety. (if you eat 3 meals or so, at the hotel it makes it very relaxing and convinient.)
At this time of year it is not very crowded and also not very hot! We love the "shoulder" season.

Room Tip: The rooms with an ocean view or beach view are the best!!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rguilin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mesa, Arizona
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2012

I'm not sure where to start! We travel to Mexico every year and as man times as we can. This was our first trip to Zihuatanejo and we had been eyeing the property for years. When an opening showed...we took it and are so glad we did. Not a complaint from check in to check out.

Our room 507 was amazing! Very clean and bug free. The view..."To die For" We had a spa tub on the deck, while not heated it proved to be about the right temperature if you were sunbathing on the deck. Although we spent most of time in the sun right down at the pool bar. David was great, fun and made the best Margaritas of the bunch. They did have Happy Hour while we were there. You'd hear the horn right around 3:00 and it would last for one hour. You had only two choices of discounted drinks though...would have liked to see those margaritas on special at least once.

The beach in fantastic, clean and fairly free of vendors. A nice walk every morning with plenty of food options along the way. A watch for baby sea turtles. We saw several and even got to release some at the resort one evening...that was too cool. The resort helps save the populatio by harvesting eggs just laid in the sand and keeps them in a safe nest on property. Once they hatch, they are released back to the sea by the guests if you are lucky to be there during a hatch.

The food on the property is very good. Chef Edgar is very talented and mingles with the guests. he also teaches cooking classes which received raves poolside. We went to the beach with him on "Market to Table" Buffet day at 6:00am and watched him select the fish we were to eat that evening on the beach. Great fun and a delicious buffet. Put in some bug spray on your legs though...got bit up by some sand flies. Breakfast is a bit pricey but well executed.

We were there in mid November and the mosquitos were not a major issue. The weather was a perfect 89 degrees almost every day and the evenings pleasant. Lots of stairs to climb at this resort as it is built on the side of a montain. We'll do it again.

No time share pressure at this resort which was refreshing...hate spending a vacation dodging salesman! We went to the welcome meeting on Monday morning and met Chef and Club Manager Marie Cummings. This was something new for us in Mexico...a property manager who was visable and approachable. She was always around the property and was very attentive and responsive to any and all comments. We liked that very much.

Zihua is a great little town, the folks are friendly although we didn't find too many cab drivers who spoke English. The streets are clean...the waiters are very friendly and the shop keepers were polite and spoke good english. The Central market was pretty cool and the shrimp and fish were amazing. We will go back and if we are lucky enough...we will stay with Marie and the staff at Club Intrawest.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank David N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsford, New York
Level Contributor
234 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2012

the staff at this place makes it easy to be there. they try so very hard to keep you smiling and relaxed. more on that later. the accommodations we were in was a 3 bedroom villa in building 4. what a view, 3 balconies, 4 bathrooms, full kitchen, with most of what you need. the villa, and the entire property was spotless, and maintenance is performed when issues are spotted. there was just nothing broken or out of place anywhere on the property. there is a staff member at the key card access only beach gate, leading into the property. despite the reputation, we never felt unsafe anywhere. common sense is the key, especially after dark, whether in another country or at home. the beach was great, nice for swimming or body surfing. no trash or debris anywhere. while getting up early to watch the sun come up, one look oner the balcony rail revealed a beehie of activity. an army of folks scrubbing every table and chair, and the entire surface in and the outer areas of the pools. there were staff members at the beach bar, meeting, and going over the days' game plan. the hallway areas and every one of the hundreds of steps were all well swept throughout the resort, before most folks are up and moving. the steps - if you are not stable on your feet, or can't do a lot of steps, this resort may not be for you. there is no elevator, and the steps can take their toll. but if you are able, then it is so worth it.

the surf club pool bar has some tasty bar food, and reasonable. drinks can sometimes take a lot of time, but sometimes right away. that is a crapshoot sometimes, especially if you order ice cream drinks. the 2 pools are very nice, clean, and warm, almost oo warm for some. i loved it.

there are a host of activities you can sigh up for, tequila tasting, some art classes, cooking classes with world class master chef Edgar Navarro.

yes, that's right, look him up. he studied under another seasoned world renowned master chef, Bernard Leprince both in the U. S. and abroad. you will not be disappointed. his Zi Restaurnat is the highest quality of fresh ingredients and the skills of preparation are quite evident in every offering. since i dine out relentlessly, and follow great chefs, and great food, the adventurous and exciting menu Edgar lays out, along with some signature dishes, did not surprise me . he is most personable and incredibly talented, and i was fortunate enough to get to spend most of a day with him. you must eat there a few times at least, during your stay. and the brunch is quite fascinating, with some standard fare and a host of entrees and detail foods you must at least give a try. what may look ordinary at first glance may by an extrordinary find for you.

it has been said that high end Mexican cuisine is enjoying a re-birth, under the watchful eyes of talented young chefs like Edgar Navarro, who uses the best of fresh local, in season, available ingredients. Edgar personally goes to the docks, at 6:00 am, and hunts for the "perfect fishes" and all the other seafood. i know, as i was there watching. it seems that their key to success, in my humble opinion, is that they can take these ordinary ingredients, and add a brave or subtle twist, or chage in preparation or cooking, to re-invent something you have always loved, and so reveal a new masterpiece.since it is often the food that brings so many different peoples and cultures together, it is no wonder that a master chef such as edgar finds himslef happily engaged as such an integral and important player in that wonderful and tasty process.

back to the staff. Marie Cummings is the club manager, and is a caring and friendly person, and has all the traits of a successful and strong administrator. she is not tucked away somewhere in an office either. she has a desk in the main open air lobby, and is accessible to all, staff and guests. i can not imagine a finer host. she readily and happily engages with all, and must work a 14 to 16 hour day. Marie, along with Hugo Abarca, the guest experience manager, seem to be everywhere, all the time. they, along with some of the staff, are trained and certified in sea turtle rescue and release, and egg collection. Marie and Hugo gave a little history and question and answer, on the beach at dusk, on our last evening, as we prepared to release 81 baby sea turtles, by hand by mainly guests, into the sea. the event was just so cool and there is such great caution and care taken with the baby turtles. it was anexperience that most people will never witness. i am very fortunate.

this is not some cookie cuttrer resort, and is not priced as such, however, if you can afford it, the resort, the community, the nearby city of ixtapa, sunset cruises on a giant catamaran, the breathtaking landscape, the rich tradition of a small mexican town, and the local markets are an experience you wil treasure always. i don't know when i will return, but it is certainly on theislanddog's list of "must repeat" someday.

Room Tip: there is some construction on one side, which will not go on forever, but i could see where it might...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank theislanddog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2012

The club continues to be my favorite s...
Good staff...eager to help...
Good food....
Great location...
Great new manager.. very engaged with customers..
F&B could be more authentic and more reasonably priced... overall good
Also appliances like TVs should always be working.
Seafood buffet on the beach is over priced and the selection was average considering zihua has such fantastic shell fish...better buffets available nearby...

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HWood_54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Embarc Zihuatanejo

Property: Embarc Zihuatanejo
Address: Camino Escenico a Playa la Ropa | Zona Hotelera, Zihuatanejo 40880, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Guerrero > Zihuatanejo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Zihuatanejo
#8 Spa Hotel in Zihuatanejo
#8 Family Hotel in Zihuatanejo
#16 Romantic Hotel in Zihuatanejo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Embarc Zihuatanejo 4*
Number of rooms: 63
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Oceanfront Villas on the Mexican Riviera Club Intrawest is a private vacation club. From time to time, Guests are invited to stay at the Club on a nightly, cash basis. The Club is located on Playa la Ropa – the most exclusive beach in Zihuatanejo. Vacation Homes cascade down the hillside offering panoramic views of Zihuatanejo Bay. Enjoy casual dining by the infinity pool or in the restaurant under the giant palapa roof. Club Intrawest – Zihuatanejo reflects its spectacular oceanfront location in a stunning open-air design and innovative architecture. Terraces offer sweeping ocean views from every angle. Uniquely designed villas feature hand-cut tiles, wood furnishings and bright fabrics, all locally crafted to reflect the rich culture of the region. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Club Intrawest - Zihuatanejo Hotel Zihuatanejo
Hotel Intrawest Zihuatanejo
Intrawest Zihuatanejo

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