We stayed at the Sunscape Dorado from Jan. 4 - 11, 2014. We have stayed at other AM Resorts, being Dreams Punta Cana twice (once when it was a Sunscape property, then became Dreams), Now Larimar in Punta Cana and Secrets Capri in Mayan. We loved all properties, each offering its own kind of uniqueness. Great food at all, wonderful service, wonderful people. The only "bothersome" part of AM Resorts is their "membership sales" but that never affected our overall vacations.
I'll mention a couple of overall impressions of AM Resorts and then get to Sunscape Dorado.
1. Wonderful having not to wear bracelets
2. Love the fact that no reservations are required for supper
3. Very good food
4. Great service
1. We have found that a gentle no thank you suffices when it comes to the "membership sale" pitch (except at Now Larimar where they were quite pushy and bothersome)
2. My husband is a Canadian rye drinker which was fine at all of the AM Resorts we have been to EXCEPT for Suncape. The only Canadian rye that was available was Canadian Mist which my husband is the worst he has ever had - Cuba has better rye. In speaking with one of the lobby bar personnel, he was advised that Canadian Club was "illegal" - whatever that might mean. We did notice on our trip in town that the liquor store also did not carry anything except for Canadian Mist. Sunscape had other top shelf liquor which made it even more confusing. The fact that my husband couldn't enjoy a decent rye drink did not ruin our holiday, but it certainly left a bad impression. My point is that there is an expectation for uniformity in a chain and we are curious why Sunscape lacked in this area.
Now unto Sunscape itself.
1. It's a highrise obviously. This is not our particular favorite type of accommodation but that seems to be the norm in Ixtapa. The elevator issue that people talk about is not as bad as it seems. It's true that sometimes not all elevators are operating at the same time (for whatever reason) but it doesn't take that much time out of your holiday to wait a few minutes.
2. Absolutely wonderful location and weather. My husband and I are in our 50s and now find that from Dec. to April, pool water at all resorts (we have been to DR, Cuba, Mayan, Cancun, Jamaica....many times) is on the cool side. Not in Ixtapa!! We were in the pool by 9:00 am, no problem. Pacific ocean water was warm too - didn't expect that. For you beach lovers out there, we have never seen such a clean and inviting beach. Absolutely no weeds, pebbles, shells anywhere, from the beach to and including the ocean floor. The weather was hot, hot and hot.
3. Pool - pool and surrounding always kept very clean. This is not one of those resorts where the staff leave empty glasses and other trash left behind by lazy tourists. Waiter service at the pool was wonderful too. There is a swim up bar plus another bar near the pool and snack bar. Staff very friendly and helpful.
1. Food - good and not so good. We personally like having the choice of a poolside snack bar/grill plus a buffet for salads, etc. The poolside grill here had a very limited choice of food (hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, and some days some kind if rolled, fried chicken filled something). The buffett was only open once for lunch. The only other option was an a la carte which had very tasty food but the service was apalling. I don't care to wait anywhere from 1 -2 hours for lunch. One day, our order was given to another couple! Getting a 2nd glass of wine during that 2 hour lunch "break" was an ordeal.
We had supper one night at the Oceana - not impressed. The location of that a la carte is nice with a beautiful view of the ocean but the "restaurant" looks more like what a lunch "barefoot" outdoor grill should look like. The food was nothing to get excited about.
The Mexican fiesta night didn't leave us impressed either. Maybe we were spoiled at Secrets Capri in the Mayan by their idea of a Mexican fiesta night but I'm not a picky eater and I had a hard time.
Here's a bit of comedy. The a la carte restaurant I meantioned above where we went for lunch ...we went there one night for supper. The soup was amazing. I then ordered what was entitled "vegetable symphony" for my main meal. What I got was a dinner size plate completely filled (decoratively I might add) with brocoli and cauliflower - enough to feed a family of 4 with leftovers perhaps. I love brocoli and cauliflower but I never envisioned being served a platter for a meal - they didn't have other vegetables??
Overall we had a good vacation. Here's some add'l info.
1. Across the road is a variety of shops, restaurants, etc., to walk through. We felt very save and the people we encounted trying to sell tours, etc., were very nice - no hassels if you said no thank you.
2. A must do - there is a restaurant called "Frank's" - owned for the last 15 years by a Canadian. Just a short walk from the hotel. We met him - very nice. His menu is quite extensive but we went there for the pizza - delicious (take note, you will not find pizza at the resort). He bakes it in a stone oven (firewood and all). It cost us $27.00 for a large pizza, 1 beer and 1 (nice size) glass of wine. More than worth it.
3. Love Ixtapa. Hope to go back but I don't think it will be to Sunscape. FYI - we walked the beach and ended up at the Barcelo - met a nice couple who told us they were enjoying it but the food was just OK.
4. Rooms are average - great large showers - sometimes the waterflow would stop in mid-shower and it was few minutes before it came back. My husband lost hot water a few times. We've never experienced that before. We had excellent service with our mini fridge - we drink a lot of bottled water and they certainly accommodated us in that area, as well as beer, juice and pop. We were on the top floor (21st, but they start counting the room floors at #10 and #13 is left out, therefore there are really 11 floors). From our balcony we could see the beach, pool, town and mountains....WOW. It was wonderful.
5. This seems to be one of "those" resorts where you need to get up at 6am to reserve your chairs with towels. I hate that practice but I don't think it's the resorts fault...it's the tourists. It was also very noticeable that people would reserve their chairs and then leave them all day unused!! All I can say is that people who do this must think they are pretty special and much more important that any of the other vacationers.
6. Most of the staff were wonderful - helpful and very pleasant.
I think this resort has a few things to improve in order to live up to the AM Resort experience that we are used to.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The resort offers families, couples and singles an Unlimited-Fun® escape. Each of the 285 guest rooms and suites, located in the 11-story tower, offers a private, furnished balcony with stunning ocean views.The Unlimited-Fun®, vibrant getaway begins with one shimmering pools with two waterslides and a swim-up bar, an Explorer’s Club with a playground, gourmet restaurants, relaxing bars serving premium brands and tons of daily activities. Ideally situated just 10 minutes away from the town of Zihuatanejo, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy fantastic golfing, shopping and nightlife for all ages and interests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sunscape Dorado Pacifico Ixtapa Hotel Ixtapa
- Hotel Dorado Pacifico
- Dorado Pacifico Ixtapa