We just returned from our third trip to Club Med Ixtapa Pacific (9 days, from December 28 through January 6th). It remains our favorite destination for a family vacation. We first went there in January 2010 when our daughter was 4, and returned in 2011 when she was 5. She is a veteran of Mini Club as a “Gekko” (4 and 5 year olds), and this year was thrilled to be an “Iguana” (6 and 7 year olds).
We have traveled a great deal, including enjoyable vacations at Club Med Punta Cana (easier to get to from where we live) and Club Med Sandpiper (traveling with extended family and the Florida location was more convenient). Ixtapa remains our favorite Club Med. For families with young children, this vacation is heavenly.
Hospitality – this is the big Club Med differentiator – Remy (chief of the village) and his team of GO’s are the most friendly, hospitable, festive, hard-working people I have ever seen in my life. Somehow, they make you believe it is not only their job to do this; but that they truly enjoy it and are invested in your happy vacation. It is a remarkable feat of management to pull this off, and we are very impressed by it.
Accomodations - we had a family suite with a balcony overlooking the ocean in the Iguana building. It was very nice- especially the oversized "spa" bathtub and the beautiful balcony overlooking trees that filled with birds (and iguanas) every morning and night. I was worried it would be loud but except for literally 5 minutes of hearing music in the 9-10 p.m. range, it was very peaceful and quiet. The room was immaculate. This is not a super-luxury resort, but extremely nice and comfortable for a family with kids. It could use slight updating but nothing major, and the space more than makes up for it.
Food – consistently for the third time, it was absolutely fantastic. We are relatively healthy and picky eaters (one vegetarian). The food is fresh, with lots of choices and variety for everyone. The fresh Mexican food is a highlight; as is the sushi or sashimi and grilled fish every night. I am a little germ phobic and generally don't like to eat at buffets – this one is extremely clean and appealing. We were also amazed when the main hostess at lunch and dinner (Selene) recognized us and immediately said “Welcome Back”. She was completely delightful and made us happy to be back.
Mini Club - our now 7 year old daughter is a veteran of Mini Club (and has also attended kid's clubs at Westin resorts and on Norwegian cruise lines.) This was her best vacation yet and she adored the whole Iguana team (especially Kari). She generally went to the club during the day and participated in activities (soccer, tennis, circus, archery, swimming, sailing etc). She would then have a little down time with us, and would then want to eat dinner and attend “the show” with her “teachers” from 7 to 9. This was great because it let us have an adult dinner. Club Med really has this down - the facilities are awesome, the staff is loving, safety-conscious and fun, and the activities are great for kids. Our daughter has a very serious nut allergy, and I never worry when she is with the Club Med mini-club team – they are incredibly conscientious and take the time to pay individual attention to the kids. I find this amazing given that they are meeting children for a week or two at a time. You would think your child is their absolute favorite of the entire year from the way they make you feel.
Resort - the place is simply gorgeous. The pool, the beach, the grounds are all spectacular. In general, we vacation to "get away". However, at Club Med it is so easy to meet nice people (especially other parents of young children) that we enjoy connecting with other families. Since Ixtapa is a relatively small resort, we hung out often with a few other families (for example, while the kids were playing in the pool etc). The Club Med approach makes this so low-pressure and so enjoyable that it is now something that we genuinely enjoy.
One more note - our family is a bit unusual - we are an inter-racial lesbian couple (African American and white) with an African American/Latina daughter. We feel completely accepted at Club Med - both by the staff and the other guests, who seem to tend to come from major metropolitan areas. For us, this is very important and is part of what would make us come back, or not, to a resort.
Our only "complaints" are minor:
Wine: I understand the need to keep costs down when you are running an all-inclusive. However this is a French company and the house wine (especially the red) is undrinkable. The premium bottles for sale are at an insane markup (10x the retail rate).I think the resort should either upgrade the house wine or sell at least a few bottles of wine with a reasonable markup. We would have purchased a bottle of wine every night if there had been any that were reasonably priced.
The gym needs to be updated - many of the machines were showing signs of corrosion from the salt air. It could also have some more equipment and clean mats to ease the crowding in the morning.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the wonders of Mexico during your stay at Ixtapa Pacific, a heavenly Mexican hacienda-style all-inclusive resort, elected as one of the ‘world’s best’ family resorts by Trip Advisor. Travel to Club Med Ixtapa Pacific and enjoy a carefree all-inclusive vacation in spectacular sceneries, as the resort is nestled between the Sierra Madre mountains and the shores of the Pacific Ocean. A hassle-free stay for you, an adventure for your kids: practice your favorite sports, indulge at the Spa* or relax on a lounge chair on the breathtaking beach while your children are entertained at Club Med's world-famous Children's Clubs with dedicated activities and sports for children and teenagers, for each age group, and all coordinated by qualified and enthusiastic professionals. Already one of the best family resort for those traveling with babies, this environmentally-friendly hideaway also offers activities for adults. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Club Med Ixtapa Pacific Hotel Ixtapa
- Club Med Zihuatanejo
- Zihuatanejo Club Med
- Ixtapa Club Med