We stayed at the Presidente from Dec 28 to Jan 11, 2011. The hotel is older, but the room have been updated, especially the bathrooms. When we did have any small problems (doors that didn't lock, safe that didn't work) the maintenance staff was incredibly quick at fixing whatever we needed. The only problem we had with the rooms was noise level. Our friends were given a room which faced the street and Senor Frogs, which has very loud music until very early in the morning. We were given a room which faced the courtyard, where the entertainment stage is located. They have entertainment every night from 9 to about 11:30. so if you like to go to bed early, then I would stay away from the 400 block of rooms. We asked to be moved but unfortunately the hotel was at capacity until after New Years. However, On January 1 we made arrangements to upgrade to a pool view room which was wonderful. It was quiet, and had a lovely view of both the pool and the ocean. Thank you to Erin at the front desk for your special attention to what we wanted.
The food at the resort is fine, but repetitive. This resort differs from others we have stayed in that it does not have one central buffet and then different al la carte restaurants. It has several restaraunts, which offer a variety of specialties in the evenings, however, not all are open all of the time. One difference we enjoyed was that no reservations were required at any of the restaurants, and no dress codes were imposed. Everything is Mexican casual, which means shorts and t-shirts are fine.
This resort appears to be a favorite with Mexican families. I would guess that during our time there the ratio was 80% Mexican to 20% Americans and Canadians. The funny thing was that although there are on-site time share representatives in the lobby, not once did they approach us. They only seemed to be interested in talking to Mexicans, and in fact had an entire area near the pool bar where they would take prospective clients and I never saw anyone who looked like they were from the US or Canada in there. We wondered if they are trying to sell off this resort into time shares for the locals.
The Mexican children were off school until January 10, so the resort was very full until then. On January 10 all of a sudden the pool was quiet, there were lots of deck chairs available, and no line ups at the restaurants. The downside to this was that some of the restaurants were actually closed because of the sudden decrease in guests. If we were to return, we would definitely time our trip to arrive after the crowds have left.
The resort hosts a beach night, where they set up tables and a buffet right on the beach, in the sand. It was very nice, as the weather was beautiful, and the food at this event was very good. On the other hand, the Mexican Fiesta night, which they hold in the courtyard, was not one which I would recommend. Much of the food was deep friend and very greasy. The night we arrived was Mexican Fiesta and there were no available tables, so we had to eat on our laps at a tiny bar table. After that, tjhey held two more Mexican Fiesta nights, at which time we went across the street for pizza.
Speaking of Pizza, across the street from the hotel is a large marketplace area where you can find everything from liquor stores, pharmacy, medical office, tequila shops, an open market, and tons of jewelry and clothing stores. In amongst this shopping area is a place called Frank's Bar and Grill. Frank is a Canadian from Windsor, Ontario, who has lived in Mexico for 13 years, 12 in Ixtapa. His bar has the largest tv screen in town, and he always has football or hockey going. He has a wood burning oven where he makes the most amazing pizza you have ever had. The place is always busy in the evenings, and you can always find Frank stopping at every table to make sure everything is ok, to take pictures, or just to have a chat. If you think there aren't many Canadians visiting Ixtapa, go to Franks - they all hang out there, with good reason. It's fantastic.
The beach at the Presidente, and all along that stretch, is beautiful, but the waves can be big. We had over a week of black flag, which means beach closed, although there were still lots of people in the water. Our kids spent hours in the water "wave bashing" - they are 11 and 13 - but for little kids it's a bit too rough. We all got tumbled by a wave or two. Remember, don't wear anything in the water you don't want to lose. We lost a pair of sunglasses and a favorite hat in the waves! You might also want to make sure your bathing suit fits snugly, if you know what I mean.. . . .
Our Westjet Representative, Wilbur, was a sweetheart and always had a wave and a smile for us. He had just started working for Westjet the week we arrived, but he did everything he could to help us out.
We only did two excursions. The first was a fishing trip which booked with a guy we met on the beach. His name is Benny and he calls himself Big Ben. If you encounter him, STAY AWAY. He gave us a great sales pitch, promising he would take us out on his big boat, fish for 2 or 3 hours, take us snorkelling and for lunch. We paid $300.00 (Canadian) for 6 of us. He told us he would pick us up in his vehicle, but he arrived with one cab, so had to get a second one for all of us. Then he took us to his boat and then left us with a crew who barely spoke English. The crew put out rods and we trolled for about an hour. They never gave us any information, told us what we were doing, where we were going, anything. When one of the rods got a bite, it was a matter of whoever got to that rod first. We caught one small black tuna and my 11 year old caught a very small fish. They took us snorkelling to a very busy spot with many other boats, didn't tell us when we could go. They simply stopped and they all disappeared. I finally asked one of them if we could get off the boat. They had no extra snorkelling gear on board (my son forgot his mask) and we had to ask them to dig out lifejackets, as none were visible or offered. We were only at this location for about 20 minutes so we didn't have time for all of us to go snorkelling. They then took us to Los Gatas Beach, which is supposed to be this secluded location for swimming and where they will cook up whatever fish you catch. The beach was incredibly crowded, hundreds of people. We were introduced to George, who worked at the restaurant, and he showed us to a table. We ordered drinks and were told we would be served lunch. We were not told that lunch would be in 2 hours or that we could go to the beach until lunch was ready, so we ended up sitting and waiting for the entire time. It was very disappointing. To cap off the day, while we were on the boat back to the marina Benny called the crew on a cell phone and told us that we would have to find our own way back to Ixtapa. We are not impressed. We saw Benny several times on the beach after that day, but whenever he saw us he would turn his head or go in the other direction. Lesson learned.
Our other excursion was to Ixtapa Island, which we booked through our Westjet rep. This is a trip worth taking, and you don't have to book it through an agent. We only paid $38.00 Canadian each and that included reliable transportation BOTH WAYS, an English speaking guide, snorkelling (with a guide - if you rent equipment, which was $12.00 per person) and lunch ane one cocktail or beer. The snorkelling was pretty good, although the visibility was not always very good. But the guides will take you to the best spots where the coral is alive and full of fish. The beach is lovely, not overly crowded, and there is shopping and massages. You can either book a tour here or simply take a cab to Playa Linda, and then jump on a water taxi and spend the day on the island.
Ixtapa is very safe, laid back and relaxed. There are no big name American chains like McDonalds and Starbuck, like we found in the Mayan Riviera last year (except for one Subway). It is charming and lovely.
I would recommend this resort to young people who enjoy nightlife, or to those who are looking for an affordable vacation experience. The staff are very pleasant and very efficient. We are undecided if we would return to this resort, but will definitely return to Ixtapa.
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Presidente Ixtapa Hotel Ixtapa
- Presidente Intercontinental Ixtapa
- Intercontinental Ixtapa
- Ixtapa Presidente
- Presidente Hotel Ixtapa
- Presidente Ixtapa