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“Lovely hotel, but beware”

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Hotel Cinco Sentidos
Ranked #27 of 77 Hotels in Zihuatanejo
Reviewed February 5, 2008

We just returned Feb 2, 2008 from Hotel Cinco Sentido,
suite # 3. When we arrived we loved the hotel, there are
only 5 suites, so little or no people at the pool. There are
58 steps to suite#3 so if you have a problem with steps
this is not the place to stay, we would walk to the beautiful
beach La Ropa, which has very good restaurants, then would
take a taxi back up the hill to the hotel. We prefer Zihuatanejo
over Ixtapa as it is more old Mexico where Ixtapa is a tourist
town built by the government for American and Canadian
tourists. We were having a wonderful vacation, enjoying the
hotel and my husband did very well fishing, 9 sails 2 marlin,
catch and release. Then the 3rd day everything everything went down hill, Hieko the owner was having people at his office after 10 PM every night and talking very loud, which kept us awake.
Then Hieko decided to clean the water in the pool and said it would be ready in an hour......it was finally ready three days
later an hour before we left for the airport, for anyone who has been around pools you will know it does not take 3 days to clean
a pool...very disappointing.
If you plan to visit the Hotel I would suggest not taking unit #3
as it is too close to office noise at night and make sure they
are not going to clean the pool while you are there.
It is too bad such a beautiful hotel is not being handled unprofessionally. There was another review for Dec. 12, 2007
with the same complaint, wish I had read all the reviews before
going.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank luvmexico65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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206 - 212 of 237 reviews

Reviewed January 5, 2008

Our first week was spent with 20 coworkers in Ixtapa, we spent our last two days in Zihuatanejo at Cinco Sentidos, Finally I am relaxed, I based my stay from reviews on TripAdvisor, however prior to leaving, I read a not too favourable review but decided to keep the reservation. When we arrived, I was very happy to see that we made the right decision.
Meeting Haiko was the highlight of our arrival. his personality and attention to details was what you'd expect at the best 5 stars
hotel. We instantly felt welcomed and relaxed. The hotel moto
don't worry be happy is all you need to have a great time. It is obviouis Haiko puts his heart and soul into the hotel.
The restaurants recommended by Haiko was better than any in
Ixtapa. Finally we had some good meals. Il Mare simply wonderful, perfect pasta and sunset view, Pati for breakfast on the beach, fresh OJ, good service...Ziahuablu, also another great restaurant/night club, Haiko called ahead so the were expecting us and treat us like VIP's. the owner Edmund came to greet us. Other guest were also very friendly and also enjoying their stay. There were no complaints.
Now I am home, it's cold and raining and wishing I was back in
our private jacuzzi, looking out at the beautiful bay, it is truly a touch of heaven. I recommend this place highly, it's one of a kind.
Carol Carlson-Ives

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Marin1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2008

We visited Zihuatanejo for the first time for a week in December and we luckily chose Cinco Sentidos as our hotel (largely due to the wealth of information on TA). We were drawn to Cinco Sentidos from the user reviews, user photos of the rooms/views, and the fact that each room had a private infinity pool on the balcony. We probably looked at every picture that was taken of the hotel, and let me just tell you that even the best pictures don't do the actual view from the hotel justice. The views are simply amazing.

We stayed in Room #3, which had a comfy king sized bed, a large wrap-around couch, private infinity pool and padded lounge chairs on our patio, and views of the ocean through the window by the shower. The room was beautiful, with such nice touches as hand inlaid stones around the edges of the floor, and a vaulted, wood beam ceiling. It was hard to leave the room, and always a pleasure to return.

Heiko, the on-site manager, was awesome. Always happy to help no matter what we needed. He frequently called cabs for us when we wanted to go downtown, and we never waited longer than 1 minute for a cab, literally. Most were there within 30 seconds. He's an interesting character, we liked him right away.

All in all, we really loved our stay at Cinco Sentidos. The property is amazing, the people were friendly, helpful, and unique, and the view is spectacular. I can't leave out the fact that the hotel is at the top of a steep hill, but if you can walk up a few flights of stairs without keeling over, you'll be fine. Plus, at the end of the hill is your very own infinity pool to cool off in. If you're looking for a cookie cutter, big resort experience, don't stay here. But if you're looking for a unique and memorable stay, Cinco Sentidos is your best bet.

I strongly recommend this hotel (but please keep it on the down low so we'll be able to reserve a room when we return :) )

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank MTDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2007

I’m a travel consultant who also sends clients to a broad range of international destinations and leads group tours through the Caribbean, Micronesia, the South Pacific, and other island destinations. I use Trip Advisor often in selecting in which hotel I will book my clients. I depend on the reviews of other travelers because in general they are more helpful in the selection process than any guidebook. I got a “wild hair” to go to Zihuatanejo at the last minute in mid-December.

My selection process amounts to getting the best-rated hotel with the most affordable price, all else being equal. And in my research, only a few days before my departure, Hotel Cinco Sentidos matched my criteria because it also was at Playa La Ropa. I made the necessary reservations with Araceli before my departure from home via e-mail. I later called the hotel and talked to Heiko who told me how to arrange transportation from the airport.

I’ve noticed it is true in Cozumel as well that hotels can’t pick up their own guests due to a “union” of van or taxi drivers that have a monopoly on transporting arriving passengers, and you pretty much have to use them unless you are willing to walk away from the airport and catch a cab “down the road a piece.”

To get a “cab” from the airport, you come out of the baggage area and take a right and at the very end of the terminal on the right, there is a desk where you buy your ticket for the cab and then go outside with it to present it to a guy who will assign you to a cab. Don’t pay them any tip because it is included in the fare. Same for the normal cabs you take in Zihua.

After an enjoyable 10 minute drive or so, we arrived at Hotel Cinco Sentidos, which means 5 senses. Because of its vertical placement on the hillside, it was difficult at first to see the rooms or layout from the road, but as you climbed the steps, the loveliness of the architecture and the layout of the property opened up to view and simply made my whole heart smile. I knew instantly I had found my home in Zihua.

Not only was the hotel lovely, the view is to die for. It is absolutely inspiring and difficult to quit admiring. It was even a bit difficult to leave the hotel because the place was laid out such that the rooms are very private from each other, and that view just kept me captivated. The architectural simplicity and continuous curved staircases walls, wall niches, and walkways present a continual visual surprise on the hotel grounds. The curves are carried through to the pools as well, tying the similarity of style of the rooms to the water’s edge of the infinity pool. A rectangular pool would not have worked well here, so this one works beautifully the way it is. All in all, the architectural elements of Hotel Cinco Sentidos exhibit pure elegance.

There are only 5 rooms – a grand suite and 4 “regular” rooms. Heiko let me see the Grand Suite, and it was grand with essentially a 180-degree view of the bay and surrounding mountains. Even so, I thought my room was fantastic and enjoyable in its architectural simplicity. With my own private infinity pool and patio, and an air-conditioned room with the spectacular view, I really just wanted to hunker down and stay there and not leave.

It wasn’t just the rooms that were captivating, but Araceli and Heiko (the owners) both played a significant role in the comfort of my stay. My e-mail request for availability and subsequent booking was taken care of by Araceli most expeditiously, and while there I found her to be most gracious, kind, and helpful. She told me of a special culinary treat I could get at Paty’s on the beach down the hill a 10-minute walk from Cinco Sentidos called tiritas. It is Zihautanejo’s own version of ceviche comprised of fish (most commonly tuna) marinated in lime and cut in strips along with tiny slices of red onions and serrano chiles. I was quite absorbed with the flavors flashing on my tongue in exquisite delight. It was easily the best new taste treat of my adventure to Zihua, absolutely magnificent, and eaten as it was under the shade of huge palm trees right on the beach, I certainly felt I’d found heaven in Mexico. So I am ever grateful to Araceli for telling me about tiritas.

Heiko is onsite essentially all the time. He came from Germany, hired as a chef at what is now the Tides Hotel. That was 22 years ago. He gave up the culinary arts to do the hotel thing, and his dedication to his guests is plain in his always attentive but never intrusive care.

Whatever you want, he can either get it or tell you where it can be found. He was “Johnny on the spot” whenever I had a question or needed guidance about where to go or what to do. With a great sense of humor and a sincere interest in making sure his guests have a great time while in Zihua, I felt like I was indeed in great hands with Heiko. And when I simply felt like not leaving the hotel but still wanting to find out more about the area, I just sat at Heiko’s desk and chatted with him and enjoyed the view. He has a great sense of humor that kept me laughing too.

Heiko is so tuned in to helping his guests, he doesn’t make a phone call to get you a taxi, he has one of their own radios, and no exaggeration, he can get a taxi for you in less than one minute. I saw him do it over and over for me as well as for other guests. Heiko keeps some menus at his office for your convenience so you can pick a restaurant for the evening.

One example of Heiko's helpfulness was I wanted to go to a specific restaurant one evening, so Heiko let me look at their menu, made the reservation, even told them what I wanted to order, and arranged for a specific waiter for me and gave them my name. When I arrived by taxi at the restaurant, I was greeted by name at the door and shown to a small table overlooking the water and the twinkling town lights of Zihuatanejo town. The meal at the open air Zihua Blue, perched on a hillside, was great and the service by Ferrari the waiter was impeccable. I enjoyed a very tender filet mignon for $18. I will say the music is too loud at Zihua Blue. They keep it cranked up for folks who want to dance on a lower level dance floor, but the noise was still very loud up in the dining area.

Places I enjoyed eating: Tamales y Atoles Any in town, Paty’s on the beach, and right next to Paty’s was Elviras that was highly recommended by another visitor though I didn't eat there myself. But my favorite place was Poccolo’s (sp?), an Italian restaurant in town close to the artisan market. Don't expect anything fancy. Here it is the service and food you'll appreciate. Fernando and Oscar treated me like royalty here, and it might have been because I told them Heiko sent me, or it might not. In either case, the service and the food were really great. The guacamole and garlic bread were mouthwatering as well. The onion soup, made by Oscar, was brilliant, and best of all, the cheese on the bread was not like the rubbery nightmare I always seem to find on French onion soup at home. It was Mennonite cheese of all things, whatever that is. It didn’t matter because I stuffed myself here and it cost me very little. Fernando and Oscar were so kind and friendly I can’t wait to go back.

I would go to Zihuatanejo again in a heartbeat. My trip to Zihuatanejo was a bit of a fluke, a last minute notion with no thought to a return trip in my lifetime because I simply don’t go to places where the scuba diving isn’t fantastic. Even so, more than anything, Hotel Cinco Sentidos and Heiko, with all his kind helpfulness (and he really went out of his way to make sure I took home some Mexican coastal architectural treasures) and the kindness of Araceli, has me already planning another trip to Zihuatanejo. I will definitely stay at Hotel Cinco Sentidos again.

If you want a restaurant in your hotel or if you have kids, don’t stay here. This hotel is not for people who aren’t able to climb a few flights of stairs to get to your room. One of the blessings of the hotel is its solitude (read no loud kids wrecking the quiet of your hillside sanctuary). Be aware the hill is steep going to the beach, and walking down is easy enough, but coming back up I found if I stopped and rested a couple times, it was just fine. I kept doing it, so the hill wasn’t much of a disincentive for me. Most places to eat are reachable for a $3.50 cab ride.

Hotel Cinco Sentidos is an intimate hotel with a fantastic view and comforting visual appeal, great service, solitude, privacy, and a very romantic setting with nearby good and cheap food. I’ll be back for sure.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled solo
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9  Thank nafanua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2007

We stayed at Hotel Cinco Sentidos for 7 nights in the grand suite and truly enjoyed our stay. Before selecting Cinco Sentidos we did lots of online research and considered other hotels (Amuleto, La Casa Que Canta, Villa del Sol/The Tides, etc.) that were much more expensive. Ultimately, we were very happy with our choice in terms of price, location, and general accommodations.

First, the price of the grand suite is quite reasonable given the prices of other hotels in the area. Cinco Sentidos is easily several hundred dollars less expensive than the others listed above yet still a very nice hotel.

Second, while it is not directly on the beach as some others are, every inch of it has spectacular views. And, as others have noted, the walk to the beach is literally 5 minutes although we preferred to spend more time on our balcony and in our private pool. It is centrally located in the hotel/resort area so it is close to good restaurants.

Third, we were really impressed with the grand suite and its size and accommodations. We spent afternoons napping on the chaise lounges, the sofa, and then the hammock--all of which were comfortable. In this suite the bedroom can be closed off to keep critters out and air conditioned as needed. Others have complained about bugs and geckos and there are indeed things crawling around in the open-air areas of the rooms. Remember: Zihuatanejo is a tropical location and so this goes with the territory. I wouldn't say we were exactly prepared for this, but it didn't detract from our experience.

A couple of other general comments.
-Heiko and Araceli were gracious hosts and did their best to meet our needs always. It is evident that they have lots energy invested in the property. Generally, I would much prefer to stay at a locally-owned and operated hotel like this over a place that lines the pockets of already wealthy conglomerates.
-Restaurants that I would recommend include: Il Mare (our favorite!), Zihua Blue, Elvira's, and Bananas (downtown). We also ate at Amuleto one evening and while the food was outstanding we were eaten alive by mosquitoes and were forced to cut our evening short.
-Things I would recommend doing: Take the water taxi to Los Gatos for a day of swimming or snorkeling and renting bikes for the nature preserve trail in Ixtapa. Both were lots of fun for different reasons.

Overall, Hotel Cinco Sentidos was a great find, suited our needs well, and delivered on the Zihua experience.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank DeDeOregon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2007

This is a very nice hotel. We stayed in the Grand Suite and it was beautiful. The view, the room, the location -- everything was nice. The beach is a short walk from the hotel but be warned: IT'S A STEEP HILL. No joke. Heiko is very charming and helpful (and he's VERY concerned about his reviews on Trip Advisor!) Housekeeping was a little lax in some areas (some strange animal "poop" kept appearing in our room and it wasn't cleaned up until I brought it to Heiko's attention on day 3. The living room is exposed to the elements and you never know what animal(s) visit at night while you're closed off in the bedroom...). Bath towels were not refreshed daily (as we were told they'd be, which isn't actually something we cared about) but instead we came back to the room to find them "drying" over our balcony, which was strange.

To Heiko's credit, I was starting to get a cold/cough and he sent out for cough syrup at 9 pm and delivered it to our door within 30 minutes.

Zihua is a beautiful place to visit and Cinco Sentidos is a very good option both for comfort and price. I'm not as enthusiastic as other reviewers b/c I thought management could have been more professional when dealing with the issues/concerns we had (mostly sloppy housekeeping, but a few personality clashes, too). All in all, though, this is one of the best choices on Playa La Ropa.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank msp132
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2007

We visited Cinco Sentidos in November and experienced the best vacation ever. Lots of good food close by so bring your appetite The hotel offers an intimate atmosphere and lots of fun. Sport activities are easily arranged so check out Captian Oscar and La Isla Ixtapa. The service is wonderful as you sit waterside to drink and eat, or chose to either swim or feed tropical fish. Ask for Oscar, the waiter, to receive five star service. Captain Oscar knows him and can refer you. Hope you have as much fun as we did.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank Mannyx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Cinco Sentidos

Address: Calle 8 | Playa la Ropa, Zihuatanejo 40895, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Guerrero > Zihuatanejo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Zihuatanejo
Price Range: $195 - $267 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perched on a hillside by la Ropa beach overlooking the very center of Zihuatanejo bay, Cinco Sentidos is a small boutique hotel ideal for those seeking tranquility. The private terraces of the suites feature infinity mini-pools, perfect for soaking up the spectacular vista. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cinco Sentidos Hotel
Cinco Sentidos Zihuatanejo

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