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“the good, the bad and the ugly”

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Club Med Ixtapa Pacific
Ranked #1 of 22 Hotels in Ixtapa
Certificate of Excellence
Manhattan Beach, California
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“the good, the bad and the ugly”
Reviewed January 6, 2006

After reading many recent reviews here of ClubMed Ixtapa, I felt properly prepared for our multi-generational family reunion during Christmas Week. As mentioned in numerous reviews, if you are not part of a family group or do not have children to take advantage of the kids clubs you do not belong at this ClubMed.

THE GOOD:

The G.O.s are simply fantastic. It’s as if they took a sieve and screened out the best camp counselors in the US, Canada, and Mexico – and then hired the top 1% of them. They were tireless and never gave up trying to include the kids in a myriad of activities. Each G.O is a social director and entertainer. They live, eat, and drink among the guests and they are what makes this ClubMed a special place.

The LOCATION is superb. The club was at capacity (800) yet never felt overcrowded. Ixtapa Island and a reef sit off in the distance creating visually dramatic wave breaks. The beach is soft amber sand with good body surfing waves and a powerful undertow. All Mexican beaches are public, so you find yourself saying “No Gracias” quite a bit to vendors – but it’s not as bad as other Mexican Beaches. ClubMed rakes the beach daily, so it’s pretty clean. This attracts locals – but guards keep them off club property. The sprawling property is well maintained and the kids loved the playgrounds and eco-pond with a crocodile and iguanas hanging out on palm fronds.

MINI CLUB. While the Baby & Petit Clubs are very good day care, the Mini Club is actually enriching. When our very social 4.5 year-old decided to go, she loved it. She bonded immediately with her G.O.’s and with the other kids. The activities were imaginative and varied… and the two stage productions she participated in were almost worth the trip. If your kids aren’t the kind that separate easily and likely won’t attend this program – you’d probably be better off at a traditional hotel.

THE BAD:

THE ROOMS are really inexcusable. Think Mexican-themed Motel 6 circa 1975. According to the Head of the Village, this is the only ClubMed not to have been upgraded. Most all housing is in three-story concrete/stucco units. The windows are covered with thick iron security grates, so while the ocean view is obstructed, bugs are not. You’ll want to keep the windows open to let the musty smell dissipate – but not at sunset when the air abounds with mosquitoes. The air conditioning was adequate and repair to the unit was handled quickly. The shower stall and water closet are no bigger than a phone booth, which is fine, unless you’re sick. Then it’s not fine. Consistent water pressure and temperature changed from room-to-room. The beds were the as hard as every review promised. As in any good Motel 6, a hairdryer and toiletries are supplied. Each room has two safes (from the days it was a singles club) and special locks are available for $5. The housekeeping staff does a good job of keeping the rooms clean and extra towels were delivered the one time we asked. Our 1.5 year old learned to take a shower since the bathtub we requested from the Front Desk for three days never arrived (they did deliver an extra crib though).

THE FOOD was just plain bad. Think Soledad, San Quentin, Leavenworth. While it was remarkable how much food was put out for each meal, it was equally remarkable at how simple dishes were barely palatable. I did not have gourmet expectations and I have been to my share of Soup Plantations – so I know it’s possible to make commissary cuisine acceptable. We found it to be like a treasure hunt. Whoever in our party arrived first would do reconnaissance and those arriving later would get the info on anything worth eating. The breads, ice cream, desserts, pancakes, and French toast were consistently good – everything else was a crap shoot- emphasis on crap. Food aside, I will say I was impressed that our group of 16 could always get two prime tables together and there were always plenty of booster seats & high chairs available. Since this is a family club, the dining room/buffet is absolute bedlam and remember to apply bug spray to your legs before dinner.

Surprisingly, THE INFIRMARY is absolutely perfect -- unless you actually need real medical care. After a serious fall in the under-lit theatre, an elderly woman in our party was sent on a scavenger hunt to find exotic medical supplies like ice and Advil. Her first stop? The bar for a bag of ice, then it was just a short limp over to the boutique for some over-priced Advil. The infirmary is staffed by a friendly G.O. – and while assumedly a good dancer with a winning personality -- her Mary Poppins cheer is insufficient to handle anything that ails you. Believe me: there is very little "Med" at this Club.

THE UGLY:

No matter how you slice it, a trip to Mexico comes with the likelihood of getting SICK. Of the 16 in our group 10 got sick, some violently – and others we spoke with met the same fate. As careful as we were, and as “filtered” they claim the Club to be, it’s just impossible not to expose yourself to bacteria. It is recommended that you take a dose of LIQUID Pepto-Bismol daily to help stave off illness. Also, have Cipro & Imodium AD to take if breaks through. Two of our party were too sick leave their rooms for a day…and if you’ve seen the rooms…that means you must be REALLY sick.


Here are some TIPS for your stay:

ON THE BEACH: *If you want shade all day, grab chairs under the palms in front of the Baby Club. Boogie Boards rent for $5/hr, so you may want to bring your own. If you can bring an umbrella, do so. They’re not for sale or rent and consistent shade is at a premium. *Bring (or buy) a string hammock and a couple of lengths of sash cord. Plenty of well spaced palms to hitch it to – but beware of the fire ants. *There is a massage shack on the beach beyond the sailboats/kayaks. $25/hr as compared to $100/hr at the hotel.

AT THE CLUB: *The grounds are sprawling. Take the 20-minute walking tour they offer. During the day, bring a backpack to avoid having to return to your room constantly. Every child should have a backpack of their own for Kid’s Club. Kid’s Clubs are closed on Saturday, when most people are leaving/arriving. *The PUNTA building is beachfront. Top floor rooms have a pitched roof/ceiling so they’re a bit more airy. Middle floor rooms have best stroller access. Rooms 280 – 275 have both as they are in the only two-story unit. Bottom floor rooms have access to tiny patio good for drying clothes.

OFF CAMPUS: *Rather than a private excursion, take a two-minute cab ride to the pier, and take a water taxi ($2) to Ixtapa Island. Rent snorkels for a buck.

DAYPASSES: *ClubMed offers day passes to the club for $42 & $75. This means you can stay at one of the luxury resorts next door and use the club for meals and activities.

OVERALL: Although I can see returning to a ClubMed with grade school kids, we would not return to Mexico. While it’s a close flight from LA, it’s just not worth the risk of ending up sick during our precious six days and dealing with the lingering after effects. However, if you and your family have ironclad stomachs and very low expectations when it comes to food and accommodations, I believe you’ll have a great time.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
54 Thank BeachChair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (527)
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English first
Chappaqua, NY
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2006

My wife and I and daughters 5 and 7 and niece 8 stayed at Club Med Ixtapa between Christmas and New Years. The Club was filled to capacity yet we noticed no crowds and had a fantastic time. Trip Advisor is fantastic as the prior reviews set the stage for what we expected. The folks that had submitted negative reviews either were expecting fewer kids (but this is a kids club) or traveled during the summer and were not aware that while the rooms are air conditioned, they are barely cool enough but were comfortable for sleep at night.

The pros and cos are as follows in order of importance:
Pros:
1. The G.Os are amazing. They are truly happy to be with the guests and the kids and it shows. They genuinely care about what they do and making the kids and guests happy. This is by far the most important factor in making the vacation great. G.Os we loved included - A.B., Johnny, Pedro, Ala, Vick, Maldi, Lidy, Beto, Yoav, Shyan, Martin and many others
2. Johnny - He is in charge of entertainment and you can't miss him as he is at every meal in character. Everything from a policeman to spiderman to a painter, etc. My kids could not wait to get to meals to see what Johnny was going to be next. He was also the G.O for the 8-10 year olds and my kids loved spending time with him in the pool and at the beach/ocean
3. Pacific ocean location was excellent, beautiful beach, great sailing, kayaking, body surfing
4. Shows at night were a lot of fun and entertaining for kids and adults. Kids performed one night and loved being on stage. circus is excellent and the circus trainers are great. Be ready to participate and have fun.
5. Trapeze - kids loved going on the trapeze and watching the trapeze show. Circus show on Friday night was also excellent
6. Pool was just OK and adult pool is too deep for kids to stand. Wateraerobics with Martin was fun
7. Food was better than I expected, lots of variety and quality.
8. sports - Martin coordinated the sports and did a good job. I would have preferred more preset times for organized volleyball and adult sports. Also, should have not allowed kids to play in adult volleyball
9. rooms were good, separate kids bedroom is well received
10. Hammer is chief of village and his staff loves him, he runs a great operation.
11. Most folks from the west coast - speaking as the New Yorker I am, I was happy I was in the minority as NYers tend to be more pushy, impolite and less laid back. the other guests we met (California, Oregon, Vancouver, Texas, Ontario, Illinois, Florida) were nice people and made this trip laid back. for instance - no need to run to the pool to save chairs early in the AM, there are plenty and people were considerate and did not take multiple chairs and not use them.
12. we heard that snorkeling was good but we did not have a chance to do that.

Cons:
1. Not enough sports activities, no variety and activities for adults between 2-4PM
2. Room barely air-conditioned enough. OK for sleep but never cool enough during the day
3. Some rooms are very far from main areas. 10 minute walk to dinner and breakfast.
4. Swimming with the dolphins (off premisis) - this was more like a factory than an enjoyable experience. We swam with the fish in Key Biscayne where it was much less crawded and fun. this was OK in Ixtapa but I would not go back.

Overall a great experience and I would definitely return next year!!

Stayed December 2005
Helpful?
17 Thank DavidHaup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2005

We have no children and were going to go to Cancun prior to Wilma,, but changed our flights and went to Ixtapa. Although we know the club is a family club, we also know the standards they maintain for food and equipment. There were only 180 people the first week we were there so we really had one on one service everywhere. The staff with the children are amazing..

Our room was Punta 155-- ground floor as close to the beach as is possible at this club. We slept with our windows open and lulled ourselves to sleep to the sound of the gentle surf every Night -- A TIp-- They do have mosquitos but by putting Bounce Fabric softener sheets at the window frames we had no problems at all.No ants in our room anywhere..

We took Insulated Thermos glasses and it was great to have cold water/gatror ade etc by your side.

I am very fussy about food, but the selection is amazing at all meals.. I lovesd the Crab Salad. Other reviews have raved about the Ice Cream and with good reason.. It is incredible.

We hired Roberto and cab 190 for a day- His cell number is 755 111 2845. He has a brand new air conditioned cab and speaks impeccable english. He took us to Petalan and Barra de Postili .. we stopped when we wanted and for as long as we wanted.. it was some much better than the organized tour.

We also went over to Isla Ixtapa and had great fun snorkelling. The fish will eat right out of your hand.

The Club Grounds were spotless, the staff amazing and they have the best beach in the area. Long and sandy bottomed.

A great holiday. We wouldn't hesitate to go back again.

if anyone wants more detail, they can email me at ssandulak@shaw.ca

Club Med Fans
Vancouver

Stayed December 2005
Helpful?
25 Thank suzitheshopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Cruces, NM
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2005

We traveled to Club Med Ixtapa with four adults and two children, ages 5 years and 14 mos. The 5 year old was reluctant to go to Mini-club, but after her first day she reported she "loved her school". The staff at the baby club was exceptional and the staff/children ratio was excellent. The location was exceptionally beautiful. The food was good to very good and occasionally excellent. The G.O.'S (staff) were always friendly and helpful.
There were many activities for adults.
We will make Cub Med Ixtapa an annual vacation.

Stayed December 2005
Helpful?
9 Thank megbish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed December 16, 2005

Our family just spent a week at Club Med and what an awesome time we had. The kids club is amazing and I would make sure you get your kids in there as much as possible. They go on a flying trapeze, mini golf, Archery, sailing and canoing (for 8 and up), lots of pool and beach time, and they perform in the shows at night which was an absolute blast! The people who watch after the kids are amazing and really make an effort to get them involved and have fun. I was so impressed with all of them. This gave us parents virtually the whole day to lay by the pool and relax. At any point you could check in on the kids for reassurance. The food was great with plenty of variety. The kids did fine, but after a while they were craving an "american burger". All the tables were for 10 people, so if you are looking for a "romantic meal" this is not your place. In fact, I would not even consider going there without kids. It is definitely family oriented. Also, the rooms are not great. The beds were hard as rocks and the air conditioning barely blew. Apparently from the 16th of December to 16th of January they are at full capacity. I would avoid that time. Make sure you attempt a try at the Trapeze yourself, it is absolutely exhilarating. Also, there really is no need to venture out, but if you do, you might want to swim with the dolphins. It was quite an amazing experience. We can't wait to go back to Club Med. This was a great time for all.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed December 10, 2005

We just came back from a week at Club Med in Ixtapa Mexico and it was fantastic. For parents of small children (we have a 3 year old and a 1 year old) this destination cannot be beat. The team that watches after of your kids is so good and professional that you can relax and enjoy your vacation while the kids are entertained. The structure of the program is designed to you can spend as much time as you want with your kids or spend adult time reading books, exercising, drinking pina coladas, whatever. If you dont have kids or you are expecting luxury I would think twice about coming to this resort. It is really family oriented and the rooms are not great. The beds are kind of hard. But the food was really good. Lots of fresh tortillas and Guacamole. Overall, big thumbs up. Great Value.

Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed November 20, 2005

We just spent a week at Club Med in Ixtapa.(11/12-11/19) Having read many of the prior reviews, I have to admit that I was a little nervous. We went with fairly low expectations and were pleasantly surprised. Remember this is Club Med, not the Ritz-Carlton. It's important to be in the right frame of mind when embarking on a Club Med vacation. If you are looking for fun in the sun, relaxation, lots of sports to choose from, very friendly and helpful staff, tons of food with lots of variety, simple and casual accommodations, fabulous activities for you and your kids, than this is the vacation for you. Our room was "cute" and resembled a college dorm room with stucco and tile. Regarding the bugs and lizards...yes we did have some ants, but they were TINY and were not in the sleeping area. We did see lizards, but they were not in our room at all. We mostly saw them in the evening on the ceilings in the hallways. Again, they were small and did not bother us at all. It's a tropical place and therefore critters do live there as well. I had heard about mold in the rooms and we had no mold whatsoever. Our air conditioning worked well in our room and the beds were not bad (even though it is true that they are mounted on a cement foundation). What I found to be the very best part of Club Med were the G.O.'s (staff members). They are young, energetic, amazingly talented, always helpful and friendly, and really made our week there unforgetable. These people bent over backwards to make our stay fantastic. We have a 12 year old son who had a blast. He met other kids his age, bonded with the G.O's by doing activities and shows with them, and just generally had lots of fun. We've only been home for a day and he is already trying to talk us into another Club Med vacation next year. We really enjoyed the nightly entertainment although some may think it's hokey. This destination is definitly geared for families with children. The kids are often times in the shows which as a parent was fun to watch. Adults are encouraged to participate as well. Other nights the G.O.'s provide the entertainment and they are a very talented bunch!!! I really can't say enough about the staff there. The food was pretty good and very plentiful. The best things there are the chocolate and white chocolate bread. The ice cream is fabulous as well. All in all, it was a great week and we would go back in a heartbeat.

Helpful?
20 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Club Med Ixtapa Pacific

Property: Club Med Ixtapa Pacific
Address: Playa Quieta | Estado de Guerrero, Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo 40880, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Guerrero > Zihuatanejo > Ixtapa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Ixtapa
#1 Family Hotel in Ixtapa
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Ixtapa
#1 Luxury Hotel in Ixtapa
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Ixtapa
#3 Romantic Hotel in Ixtapa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Club Med Ixtapa Pacific 4*
Number of rooms: 300
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 
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Also Known As:
Club Med Ixtapa Pacific Hotel Ixtapa
Club Med Zihuatanejo
Zihuatanejo Club Med
Ixtapa Club Med

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