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“Fantasy world”
Review of Embarc Zihuatanejo

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Embarc Zihuatanejo
Ranked #11 of 81 Hotels in Zihuatanejo
Certificate of Excellence
Notre-Dame-de-l'Ile-Perrot, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Fantasy world”
Reviewed May 26, 2008

Upon our arrival, we were handed a wet towel and a bottle of water, a nice gesture after a long trip and a dramatic change of temperature. One of the staff brought us to our room with the golf cart. He carried all of our luggage to our room without any complaints. We ha reserved a room with two bathrooms.
The room itself was fabulous with an open space concept facing the ocean. We even had our private little beach, a hammock, dip pool and plenty of chairs to sit on. Our room was located seconds away from the pool and the beach.
The weather was nice all week long but really hot for our taste. Other than walking along the beach or go in the pool, we did not feel that we had enough energy to do anything else. We heard of people that tried to play golf or tennis but they could not complete either because of the hot weather.
That being said, the beach was cleaned every day and was very enjoyable except for some jelly fish. There were locals around but other than peddling some of their products they have not disturbed us in any way.
The pool environment was also spotless. As we were there during the low season, we did not have any problems finding chairs and enjoy the scenery. You could sit in the sun or under a gazebo. The only unpleasant experience was people leaving their towels to reserve chairs and not come to the pool before late in the morning.
The zi restaurant favors casual clothing and the food is quite respectable for such a place. True, they did not have lobster or lamb, but all the other plates we quite appetizing and very good overall. Furthermore, if you do not want to climb the 137 steps to go to the zi, the same menu and more is available in your room, including wine. Service was very courteous and delivery was surprisingly quick.
The il mare restaurant, located steps away from the resort provide us with a good dinner and was well worth the change of pace.
As to bugs, we have seen a few salamanders, termites, ants and some cockroaches. We called the office and they sent someone to spray our room and left us a can of Raid. Regardless, bugs of that type are to be expected in such a tropical climate.
The only negative was our request for a full daily clean-up. It was done but afeter many phone calls. At the end, though, after talking to the housekeeping manager, all charges were waived.
Overall, a very pleasnt experience from all aspects and we would certainly go back.

  • Liked — The oceanfront view
  • Disliked — Bugs
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lookingretired
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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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (161)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver
1 review
Reviewed May 20, 2008

MY family and I stayed at the resort in early May and had a fantastic experience.
Everything met or exceeded our expectations.

The Club staff were the best and great with the kids. Many of them remembered and used their names.

We all loved the beach. There happened to be a lot of Jelly fish but I think was a rare occurrence. Busy on the weekend but not too crowded.

The meal plan was great deal and the Z restaurant was consistently great food and service for both breakfast and dinner.

We will never forget it

THINGS TO DO

Dolphins, This was a highlight of our trip. It's not cheap and the photos cost about $10 each if you want one and the DVD is $70 but well worth it.

10 minute walk down the beach from the club there is a small lagoon along the beach with crocodiles!

Splash- Great food great entertainment and music.
Use your mealplan card

Snorkeling
Ixtapa Island was lots of fun.
There is actually lot's of fish around the rocks in front of the resort
Just bring some water shoes, and your own mask

Tour
The club booked a tour guide for us and he was the great and had a very comfortable suburban. His name is Mauricio Lopez
www.ixtapaimc.com

Grocery
On the way to the resort next time I will stop by the Mexicana grocery store to get fresh fruit and drinks

Stayed May 2008
Helpful?
Thank jetlagjunkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2008

The resort definately does not meet 5 star rating. The limited public beach is overwhelmed with local people, i.e gangs of 20 grown men who play soccer agressively between your seat and the water's edge, even hitting the guests with the ball, kicking sand into your food and drink and no security is available to intervene, so you must resort to the only safe place which is the swim up pool/bar which was overpopulated and rather unsanitary. The Zi restaurant had no lobster and no lamb although they were clearly cited on the menu both online and at the location itself. The surf and turf gave you a delicious beef cut but only two small scampi, so when you buy the prepaid meal program expecting certain high end plates and you get local versions of Eggs Benedict more appropriately called Eggs Moutarde, your expectations exceed your experience. Our view was minimal and faced the entrance to the Zi restaurant which gave us noise and no privacy. As well, we were consistently approached by those wanting to sell their own timeshare privileges ( which by the way meant you did not benefit from Intrawest's special programs so beware). For those whose 5 star experiences are limited, this resort may meet their needs, but when you compare this property to those other luxurious properties in Ixtapa and the Tides nearby who offer Chateaubriand, lobster and lamb, well you see what your money can buy in Mexico. Do the research, see the light brainwashing behind the Intrawest experience and don't pay for what you don't get. We had little choice but to accept the accomodations, ants and all, and felt sorry for the local politics that gave Intrawest little bargaining power. Our stay failed to leave us rested and instead we were often awakened at 2 A.M. by loud and rowdy guests, smoking cigars on no smoking properties and wailing drunkenly all the way up their 7 floor walkup, a la spring break. The resort manager was often unavailable to deal with the pressures that the local employees could not handle and the whole week left us feeling that despite the local employees best efforts to make the Intrawest resort a good experience, we prefer to stay in a regular hotel where your complaints and requests are not turned down helplessly, but met with solutions worthy of a 5 star experience. What came to a $ 5000 bill for the week was really a $ 999 experience, all inclusive. Check your bill upon departure as the taxi that Intrawest had arranged to meet us at the airport which had a driver ask if he could pick up his wife who worked at the airport, drive her to the local daycare on the way to the resort, charge us the $ 40 fee, ehich was interestingly enough charged to us on the check out billing so we spent ten minutes arguing about not paying the same charge again. You must go there with lower expectations and you will be satisfied, especially if you bought your membership years ago and pay for the best accomodations, then the plush towels and expensive amenities may complete the illusion. If you are not a member, and do not mind being sold by members who seem to want to get rid of their ownership, as indiscretely as they did, then you may fit into the program, which is to rave about the quality of your experience, but to pay so much for an off season week and be subject to not so private member complaints to management about double billing, minimum two day stays and hear women resisting being called "Hey Lady" by employees asking them to pay their massage and bar bills and other almost comedic interactions, well, usually I say live and let live, but I'd rather dine where the staff aren't eating right next to you in their uniforms at a table with a better view, as I think there is a time and a place for familiarity, especially being touched repeatedly by male staff who probably think it is acceptable practice, and mean no harm but still cross the line of what is a personal space. On a safety note, there are broken bottles in the rock area, what appears to be decomposing matter in the water which is usually cloudy with rogue unidentified green and white mucousy matter and we returned with mild diarrhea and sore throats, much better than some guests who needed antibiotics. The downtown area was largely empty of tourists and had adequately armed military presence which did not comfort us. We were offered beautiful items at bargain prices by local merchants who seemed desperate for income, and saw empty restaurants and bars. All in all, a sad experience for Mexico has lost it's appeal for those who can afford the Caribbean. To take two days, two flights, an overnight hotel stay in LA each way, in order to find a dysfunctional reality, where tourists are made to feel that strong denial is hiding an unknown reason for hostility to the presence of tourists, well it is an at your own risk ambience that prevailed in what once was a good quality for the money experience. Adios Mexico.

  • Liked — AC
  • Disliked — Ants and lack of high end menu items such as lobster and lamb
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Westmontgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 11, 2008

My family and I just got back from Club Intrawest Zihuatanejo. We had the most amazing time. The weather was perfect and the hotel was amazing. The architect is like no other. We had a 3 bedroom unit for 6 people and it was HUGE! The condo was fully equipped with a washer /dryer, dishwasher, full kitchen and more. We also had free Internet connection through a computer desk and a plasma TV with DVD and CD player. We had 3 balconies and one probably was over 1 thousand square feet with a hammock, lounge chairs, dip pool and dining table. Also, our main deck had the most amazing view of the ocean. The resort has excellent customer service and I can say that confidently as I am an avid traveler. You ask for something and they deliver even with the language barrier. When we first arrived they greeted us with cool lavender clothes (temp change was overwhelming) and a bottle of water. Check in process was smooth and the woman went over details of the hotel and activities. The first night we ate at their Zi restaurant which was fantastic, but portions were a tad small for the price, but overall excellent. Most of our vacation was spent lounging around their amazing adult pool, with a swim up bar. Every day they had happy hour at the sound of a trumpet. The bartenders and servers were all amazing and really made an effort to make people feel at home. Some would even try to learn your names and were great with the little kids. (One of the best servers was Eloywen. He had a great personality, spoke amazing English and just had fun with people.) You can tell they all love their jobs and make the best of it b/c they work such long hours every day. We saw the same faces everyday for 12 days straight! The food service at the beach was also great and the food was very good and very large portions. We were a little apprehensive about eating in Mexico, but all the food and water was fine at the resort and nobody got sick. By the end of our trip we were getting braver and were eating vegetables, fruit, beef, and even drinking the tap water and it was fine! They take extra precautions in resorts like this because they can not afford for people to get sick. So, if you stick to the large hotels and recommended places, you will be fine! The beach was very pretty and well maintained. The resort had endless lunge chairs, some in the shade and some not and we never had a problem finding seats. One added bonus is that there is always security visible around the resort 24/7 and they try to familiarize themselves with the guests. This made us fell safe, especially when we had young children. Also, unlike other places in Mexico, there were little panhandlers and they do not harass you like the ones in other places. You say no, they walk away. Finally, you should like the outdoors if your going to stay here. Very open rooms, and some bathrooms without windows. Some reviews complained about bugs and we did experience some ants, but only when we were messy with food. We told the desk that it was getting worse into our stay and they spraid right away for us and the ants were gone. You have to remember it is a tropical place. There are lots of birds, geckos, and so on. Overall, a very beautiful hotel and even better people. At the end of our trip we were so sad to leave the resort and all the people we met. How many places do you go where the staff give you a hug goodbye and know all of your family members names. Not very many. I think that may be one reason why people continue to return to the this resort.

The negative: Sometimes the humidity was a bit much, but the condo had A/C thank goodness. We also wish the bar and surf club restaurant would stay open later than 6pm. Not for a rowdy drinking crowd thing, but I think they would do a great business and it would add a little more socializing during the evening. Its hard to get kids dressed to go to a nice restaurant after a long day at the beach. Also, the fancy restaurants including the ZI restaurant don't always have food the appeal to young children and that can be difficult. This was the only downside of not staying at an all inclusive. However, one night they had an evening barbecue and that was amazing! Just a small complaint in that regard.

Oh and make sure you go to Il Mare restaurant and order the chicken Parmesan....to die for. It is a 2 min walk away with a breathtaking view!

  • Liked — The resort is well maintained and beautiful, amazing design, and amazing service!
  • Disliked — Pool bar and Surf Club Hours
  • Stayed May 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank VancouverBeachBum_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2008

Review – Club Intrawest.
My husband and I stayed at Club Intrawest for a week at the end of April 2008. It was an absolutely wonderful stay and our first at a Club Intrawest. The staff was very pleasant and always ready to answer questions. There are lots of stairs to get around the resort (built into the side of a large hill) so make sure you consider this if you’ve got any issues with steps!
We stayed in a 1 BR 2 BA partial ocean view, room 703. We both thought this was the perfect height as it was two flights to get back up to the reception level and three flights to get down to the beach and bar area. The room itself was clean, airy and very comfortable with a wonderful deck with two lounge chairs and a dip pool. The dip pool is kind of pointless, it is just a giant tub of cold water and didn’t look all that great. There was a small galley-style kitchen with plenty of implements for small meals. The ice machine and washer/dryer was just one flight of stairs up from our room. We went to the Central Market on the first day and got beer and essentials. The taxi ride back should be no more that 40 pesos.
We turned on the AC a few times but it smelled pretty moldy so we kept it off and the fans going full speed. The first morning we were there, they watered a giant palm tree on the deck above us and the excess water came POURING onto our deck via a drain pipe that emptied directly onto our breakfast area. Pretty stupid planning if you asked me. At 7 AM, it was like waking up to Niagra Falls. We asked them not to water the plant again while we were there and they complied. It can also get pretty noisy so bring ear plugs if you are a light sleeper, the rooms are all very open so the noise from all over the place will really carry.
We had some ants crawling around, nothing major. The resident crows will swoop into your residence and steal food if you leave it out. Make sure you clean up all your crumbs after yourself or little bugs will make off with what you leave behind. The open airy nature of the rooms means that nature can come in so don’t be messy. We did have rat poop on the deck on the last day, major yuck but we also had a bit of left over pizza on the outdoor table.
The food was good, of excellent quality and reasonably priced for hotel food, the Surf Club which serves the beach and pool area had lots of tasty appetizers to choose from. Room services was super quick, I’m thinking because we were one flight down from the back door of the restaurant so I can’t comment for the other buildings.
The beach area was great with lots of lounge chairs and straw umbrellas to provide shade. The beach itself was lovely during the mid-morning but got progressively busier as the local kids got out of school for the day and Saturday was a MAD HOUSE! You also need to get down early to get good lounge chairs in the shade as the best ones go quick. We didn’t have any problems with non-club members swiping chairs, there are lots of staff members who are eager to help out should any issues arise. Watch out for all the peddlers who try and sell you stuff. You can find the EXACT same stuff in town for half the price. Don’t believe any BS stories about how the guy makes it himself. Also be careful about booking activities from non-club vendors.
This was my first time in Mexico so I was a little inexperienced at first and knew next to no Spanish. I bought a phrase book and practiced, the locals were VERY nice and always tried to help you figure things out. The one thing that is a major pain is having to bargain for everything. It was fund the first day and annoying for the rest of the time. I’m just not used to it.
Getting around – you can have Club Intrawest call you a cab with AC which is 40 pesos ($4) into town or just walk up the hill and grab it for yourself for 25-30 pesos (no AC). Or you can hail the bus which says Las Playas Ropa on the front for 5 pesos per person (50 cents) which will take you into town. Always ask “how much” to take you to your destination and always bargain.
We ate at Il Mare which was really disappointing and very expensive. The shrimp scampi features overcooked pasta, rubbery shrimp and TONS of dried oregano sprinkled all over everything (bruscetta and tomato salad). La Sirena Gorda and Coconuts in town were both excellent semi-touristy places.

  • Liked — Great staff, beautiful beach
  • Disliked — Slowwwww service, average cleanliness
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Sarah_Travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Snohomish, WA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 24, 2008

Beautiful view. We started our trip just my husband and 3 kids, ages 13, 11 and 7. We stayed in a 2 bedroom 2 bath over the kid pool area. We found that there wasn't a lot to do for the kids other than play in the pool and paint ceramics. It was hard due to how hot it was and trying to keep the kids from getting fried. Used the highest spf possible. We LOVED the beach. Way cleaner than any other Mexican beach we have been to. The staff was great, especially Eloywen(sp). He was so friendly and knew everyone's name. MOST of the staff was very friendly and accomodating. We had a ant issue in our room and tried to explain it wasn't just one or two. They were marching in one by one from a vent in the ceiling to the kitchen. The staff kept sending someone to spray but I did not like the idea of continuing to do that. Under the kitchen sink it flooded because of improper pipe plumbing. It was slow but day after day of use, it caught up and started leaking on the floor. So check the plumbing. The room we had was loud. This was due to being right over the kids pool. The pool hours are to start at 10am but many guests had their children there as early as 8am...screaming. That was not fun. On the 6th day my family left and 4 of my girlfriends joined me to celebrate my 40th. We were moved to a different room on the opposite side, the "adult" area. WOW! that was great. So quiet. We could enjoy the ocean waves. The room though was worse than the other in regards to malfunctions and cleanliness. Lots of bugs in kitchen. I understand it's the tropics. BUT whoever had been "cleaning" it was doing a very poor job. It was gross. We found rat poop by the fridge, behind the bed cushions, in the utensil drawer. It was not a mouse. It was a rat. Our toilet flooded out the handle if you didn't put it in a certain spot. My biggest concern was that if they don't stay on top of cleaning and maintenance, this beautiful resort could fall apart.

The restaurant was good but pricey. We had a great time at Banditos. We went to eat at La Casa Que Canta. WOW! That was an amazing sunset and meal. Worth every penny. We did go into town and ate at a restaurant that I manage to forget the full name, but it sounds like Annie. I know that sounds weird but if you say Annie's, they will know exactly where to take you. It was so yummy and inexpensive.

Lots of stairs, but we loved the exercise.

  • Liked — View
  • Disliked — BUGS and dirty room
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank savvy12000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange, CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 23, 2008

Stayed at this club in early April and had a wonderful time. We had a one bedroom, 2 bath unit that was set further back on the property but we still had a great view of the ocean. Our unit had a huge balcony with a outdoor shower, dipping pool and lounge chairs with umbrella. The only complaint we had about the room was the very hard bed. We took the lounge cushions in every night and put them under our sheets.
The swimming pool was very nice with a swim up bar and lots of shade everywhere. Umbrellas are set up in the pool if you want to use them. The pool must have a salt system because you never smelled chlorine. You could look over the edge of the pool and watch people parasailing on the beach. Nice restaurant on property called Zi and also an outdoor eating area near the pool. As mentioned in other reviews, there are no elevators at this property. The walk to the pool is okay but getting back is rough. I counted 110 stairs from our room to the pool. But no problem if you don't feel like taking the stairs, they will call for a golf cart to pick you up.
We went into town several times by Taxi. The downtown shopping area is called Cinco De Mayo. It is fun to look at all the goods for sale. Our favorite restaurant was IL Mare which is just a 5 minute walk from the club.

  • Liked — The outdoor balcony
  • Disliked — beds
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank cbornman
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:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Zihuatanejo
#8 Family Hotel in Zihuatanejo
#9 Spa 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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