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Casa Kau-Kan
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Reviews (44)
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Reviewed October 12, 2008

I'm a bit reluctant to write a good review. The reason is, I'm selfish and don't want the word to get out about this little gem! Selfishness aside, here goes:

This place is amazing!! We spent 1 week here with absolutely no agenda. It was perfect.

One small snag- there was to be an arranged taxi to pick us up at the airport. After discovering they didn't show up, we were on edge. It actually worked out better since there are swarms of taxi's just waiting to take you to your destination. It was actually cheaper than the arranged taxi would have been through Judith Whitehead's company. We arrived at Casa Kau Kan quickly, safely, and ready to relax.

The second we pulled up to the front gate, Antonio was sitting on the ledge waiting for us to arrive. From that point forward, we knew we were going to have a great vacation.

Our bags were quickly whisked to our ocean front honeymoon suite. Incredible views! Even the evening shower bursts were perfect! It did bring more mosquitos out (hey, it's tropical, what do you expect), but with Antonio's help, we beat them at their own game. Antonio arranged for Bernie, taxi driver extraordinaire, to take us to town. We stopped at the local market (kind of like a Wal-Mart with groceries), bought some bug repellent and Raid repellent burning coils. The repellent was a brand that started with an "A"- Acuna, or something like that. This stuff worked great! We bought the cream, as well as a few cans to spray around the bed. It actually has a pleasant odor (think flowery) and works wonders. One mistake we made was to light too many Raid coils. The first night, we smoked ourselves out! We found the secret recipe- light 2. Put 1 on the balcony, and another on the little table by the doorway to the balcony, spray around the bed, and put the cream on your body. Perfect! We also asked for a second fan. This also helped keep the mosquitos at bay.

The food was great! We had the luxury of having Chef Rodriguez (a kind, gentle man who beamed when I told him how pleased we were with his hotel, Antonio, and the service) cook for us each night! He gave us the opportunity to order off menu and would cook us anything our hearts desired. We had to pick our menu in the morning as all ingredients must be brought from town. This ensured the freshest fare we've ever had. The large, plump, sweet shrimp are to die for. Use your imagination, the chef will prepare them any way you want.

If you're the kind of person who constantly needs to be entertained with activities, this place is NOT for you! If lazy days watching waves is more your bag, you'll be in heaven. The biggest decision we ever had to make was which chair to sit in, next to the clean glistening pool, or ocean side. The undertow is extremely strong, so don't think you can swim on Playa Larga, even if you're an Olympian.

Take a short 10 minute walk down the beach, and you will find about a dozen local restaurants. All serving fresh seafood. They look deserted (and a bit scarey), but don't be fooled. They're all open all day long.

For trips to town, Antonio will arrange for Bernie to pick you up. He'll take you anywhere you want to go, hold your bags, and pick you up right on target. He's great and won't screw you. He'll never charge more for any extra stop. We monopolized him all afternoon, and the charge was the same as when we went to town with only 1 stop. He'll also take you off the beaten path and show you some GREAT local taco vendors. If you're lazy (like we were), Bernie will deliver tacos to Casa Kau Kan, no delivery charge afixed. Tip this man well- he truly deserves it!!

Beware, if you go into Ixtapa- the time share people are out of control! In our opinion, not worth the trip. We wished we would have stayed at our slice of paradise. We were extremely relieved we didn't choose to stay in Ixtapa!!

We are already daydreaming about our return trip! Oops, I mean, it's terrible, don't waste your time ;)

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Brnidgrl29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2008

Sorry such a late entry but after reading various reviews of other properties I felt like this one deserved some attention. I spent 1 week in the honeymoon suite, an unbelievable deal--it was beautiful! The view from the private balcony jacuzzi was amazing and like no other I've seen. The taxi ride from the airport to the hotel was a little scary as you turn off the interstate onto a deserted dirt road but upon arrival, we were greeted immediately by Pedro, the mgr, with cocktails and lunch overlooking the beautiful ocean. The staff is GREAT. The food was fantastic--my fav being breakfast. We went out to dinner 2 nights which I highly recommend--Kau Kan (the restaurant) with breathtaking views and even better food and also Casa Que Canta (hotel from When a Man Loves a Woman)--also fantastic food and view! I would also recommend a private fishing excursion which you can book in town at the main pier. We went fishing and then to a nearby island (aprox 1 hour boat ride) to snorkel as our catch was prepared for us. Also did a private swim with the dolphins (Ixtapa) which was an experience I will never forget (booked online). Overall, Casa Kau Kan was awesome if you like seclusion with nearby (20 min taxi) activities. You won't regret your stay! Room, food, staff, price---all worth it!

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank judejonah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2008

First time to Mexico for me and my bride. Don't know hardly any Spanish. Watch out when you get off the plane and need a cab, they'll swarm you. Don't go for the "great deal" unless you want to go to some sales pitch later on. To much worry about whether they would follow through with their end of the bargain, and then a waste of time when you have to go here the "not-a-time-share time" share presentation. Moving on.....

if your driver takes the shortcut to Playa Larga, don't worry, the trash dissipates. Once your driving down the road near the beach, your mind will be set more at ease. Arriving at the Casa Kau Kan, thing got better. Our luggage was taken from us by a old gentlemen who came from across the street. Antonio and Carlos took over from there, talking our luggage to our room, getting us a drink, letting us relax by the pool. Then they showed us to a room that was no the honeymoon suite that we booked.....rrrrrr. After a couple minutes of broken-english conversation, the situation was rectified. We got the poolside honeymoon suite with in-room infinite pool and good AC. It was huge! Firm bed, lots of space. I recommend this suite over the oceanview suite, as it is newer and the windows are sealed, not allowing those bloodthirsty bugs in at night.

We only stayed for two days, as we knew that it was secluded, and we booked the rest of our week in Ixtapa. That way we got the best of both worlds! For those that didn't realize how secluded it was, oops! next time do some more research.

Food there was good. Antonio and Carlos are wonderful, very friendly and attentive. The Kau Kan restaurant was great. Antonio arranged for a cab. Cabbie was very pleasant. Took us downtown, picked us up when and where he said he would, made good recommendations to us, kept our shopping bags safe, and dropped us and picked us up from Kau Kan right on time. You can't get that kind of service for 30 dollars (including tip) in the US. The Kau Kan restaurant was superb. Carlos had made reservations for us, getting us a great table on the terrace overlooking the bay. We got a double bonus as we saw a sunset and rainbow while dining. It was a little slice of heaven....

Overall, wonderful experience, and will certainly be going back.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank origineous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2008

We normally stay in Troncones - Manzanillo over Christmas. Oddly this year it was booked up after 12/24 so we had to find another hotel to stay for the second half of our trip and ended up in far south Zihuatanejo - Playa Larga to be specific. Going in, we had never stayed in Zihua before so from the start it was a new experience. We were unaware of two things, one that Playa Larga (where Casa Kau Kan is located) is 20-30 minutes from anything - depending on traffic. Literally Casa Kau Kan is the only place to eat or stay in Playa Larga, so if one wishes to mix things up a bit one must spend $20-$30 round trip to get to town for a restaurant or to visit another beach.

The second thing we learned on arrival, which surprised us, is that it is prohibited to swim in the ocean anywhere on Playa Larga because the surf is rather wild - there is a dangerous undertow there. In order to swim in the ocean again we had to take a cab ride into town to get to Playa La Ropa. So, we ended up with an additional cabbing bill of about $150 over the 5 day span of the second part of our trip.

All that surprising stuff aside, Casa Kau Kan is a lovely and worthy place to stay in Mexico. It is very slow and still there, the ocean is gorgeous, and the hotel itself is situated down a long lane filled with lush cocnut palms - I felt as though I was entering the jungle forest in Vietnam when we first arrived. It has a remote and exotic feel.

The grounds are located behind a high wall, the place has the air of a private villa. The entire courtyard is situated around a large swimming pool which provides the centerpiece for the hotel. There are plenty of comfortable loungers and an outdoor kingsize lounging bed poolside.

The staff are well trained to respond to the guests every need - that is as best they can. They are very friendly and kind and eager to help. Antonio the manager of the hotel and the staff is a kind and very helpful concierge who got us reservations at our two favorite restaurants now in Zihua. We ate at Sirena Gorda in Playa Principal our first night, and on Christmas night we ate at Il Mare perched high on a hill above Zihua - with the most spectacular view, and the most delicious meal I have had in ten years. It was a truly special night thanks to the kind guidance of Antonio.

We had the second floor honeymoon suite, which I believe is thought to be the best room in the hotel, ocean front, and I was surprised at how large it was. It was very comfortable and the housekeeping staff kept it impeccably clean while we stayed there. The bed was firm, the linens were fresh.

There were three basic things I wished they could have thought of at the hotel - which seem very essential to me, and which may not even be a thought to another traveler with different tastes.

One, when we come to Mexico in the dead of winter in search of the warm balmy air, we relish sleeping with the windows open, to the sound of the crashing surf. At Casa Kau Kan this was not possible, as none of the windows have any screens on them and the beds - at least in the honeymoon suite, have no mosquito net - nor any ceiling fan. Casa Kau Kan, like everywhere in Zihua - is beset by hoardes of blood thirsty mosquitos at nightfall, and the only way to deal with that with their current set up, is to turn on air conditionaing and batton down all windows and doors, and also coat one's self with DEET before bedtime. Screens, which cost nearly nothing, and a mosquito net, would avoid these necesities, but when I asked about it the staff just said they didn't know why there were no screens,

Second, the pool. Being that one cannot resort to ocean swimming at Playa Larga, the pool is the main source of refreshment during very long, lazy hot days at Casa Kau Kan. They did not clean the pool the whole time we were there, and I couldn't bring myself to swim in it with the debris I saw floating in it and the partially clouded water, I really felt like that should have been a priority, as the centerpiece of the place. At our regular Troncones digs they cleaned the pool every morning, which actually woke us up every day - but the pool was clean and never gave a moment's thought to it being clean.

The food was very good at every turn. They have a huge, pristine kitchen at Casa with a great chef who has been trained by Ricardo Rodriguez, the owner of the hotel and also the restaurant in town of the same name, Casa Kau Kan.

As other reviewers have observed, construction noise. There was construction going on all day every day we were there - both at Casa Kau Kan and at the large home next door to Casa.
Most of the time we and the other guests just ignored it but I recall once or twice wishing they would stop construction for just one day (maybe on Christmas day?) just for a break from the hammering and sawing. It didn't wreck our trip in any way - but peace is a premium they could better capitalize upon by perhaps giving guests a day reprieve from the noise every now and again over a week's time.

Also, and all the other guests expressed the same experience in dealing with the reservationist employed by Judith Whitehead to make reservations at Casa Kau Kan - we had a devil of a time dealing with her and making a simple 5 day reservation was like trying to sign the Geneva accords. The woman is cantankerous and downright unwilling to help - and at one point I contacted Senor Rodriguez to make sure we actaully had a place to stay after we had paid them upfront for the whole stay.

When I spoke with Senor Rodriguez all concerns were immediately allayed. He is a gentle kind and very hospitable gentleman who treats his guests like gold. I had the privilege of meeting him during our stay and he couldn't have had more grace and generosity. Really, he saved the day and allowed us to relax and know that while at Casa Kau Kan we would be well looked after - and it was true.

All in all it was an incredible stay and we would recommend Casa Kau Kan highly. We have memories of walking on the endless sand beach, seeing the horses run past at sunset, the black, still night with palm trees swaying in the wind. It was magical.

Every one of the guests there, and us, were sad and not ready to have to leave when it was time. I could've stayed another week, no problem.

  • Stayed: December 2007
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1  Thank quieromexicomucho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2007

If you are looking to stay in a room that is comfortably air conditioned with cool running water in your shower, then DON'T go to Casa Kau Kan. Yes, the place looks great online but it's not what is advertised. The area is VERY remote and not where you want to be if you travel to Zihua or Ixtapa. You will be surrounded by the poor locals and their shody restaurants so you'll need to have a car to get the heck away to Zihua proper or Ixtapa for a decent meal. Taxis are hard to find there and they have NO main desk with a phone. There's one guy who you'll have to depend on as your "host" and he speaks poor English and carries a cell phone. Scary! God forbid something happens to you in the middle of the night because he's gone home and some other guy is there, out of reach, just watching your car.

The food at the "resort" (and I say this very loosely) is sub par. Basically, aweful. One nice thing to say is that the room we stayed in was pretty with a great ocean view. The A/C system didn't do the job. We had to take 3 showers each in order to stay cool throught the night. Maybe it had to do with the palapa roof that allowed the coolish air to leak out or maybe the A/C unit just sucked. I think the latter. However what you could feel was the mosquitos - they ate us alive. I think the our worst complaint was the fact that the B&B gave you no sense of heat relief due to the poor A/C. I would NEVER go back there again. It looks good "on paper" but when you get there, boy, are you disappointed. Service there was OK but it didn't make up for the lack of comfort we thought we'd get for the money. It's not cheap to stay there either. High season is about $200 USD a night and low is $150. Our advise - DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!! Go to a large resort or spend more on a nicer B&B.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank unhappypersona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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