We stayed six days at the Azul Grand after staying South near Ixtapa for the first 1/2 of our vacation. We had a great first impression of the big, shiny, Vegas-style hotel. The lobby was sparkling clean and filled with friendly staff who were happy to help. Our check in was very quick and the representative who helped us was one of the only negatives of our entire stay as she was very unfriendly and didn't crack even a smile. We received all the hotel information we needed and directed to the restaurant and activity representative right after check in. We were able to make restaurant reservations for our stay and get activity info. We booked a master suite (some have referred to this as a one-bed suite. It was huge and comfortable. There was a grand foyer with a small quarter bath, a living area, the bedroom had a large jacuzzi tub, a sauna and was spacious, in general. The terrace was double what a typical Mexico balcony is and had an incredible view of Playa Linda, Playa Quieta and Isla Ixtapa. The resort had three pools: adults-only, activites pool and an infinity pool. A swim-up bar was located inside a grotto area off the infinity pool. The infinity pool was my favorite for beauty but we often relocated to the adults-only in the early afternoon when Grand guests can order drinks at the bar (Azul Ixtapa) also. One thing I didn't like about the bar or drink service was that cocktail menus were not readily available. I saw a few servers with them in their pocket but I never actually got to look at one. That would've been nice to see. An even better beach than Linda, Playa Quieta, was located on the South side of the Grand. It is only accessible from the Grand on the street side but if you are a beach person, you must go! We are at Bambu and Sakura the first night and really enjoyed the food. Guests get to order four courses and all were equally delicious. They don't fill the restaurants up even 1/2 way but they do not allow many reservations either. It's kind of a weird thing that I've seen at many all inclusives but it's frustrating to hear "no" when there are plenty of open tables! We went to the lobby bar for a few drinks and enjoyed the music videos playing. Drinks were pretty weak and I often asked for double rum but don't think that happened. The lobby bar was great, very spacious and clean. There was an outdoor section, an indoor lounge section and a game section with board games, fusball and billiards. There was never a dull moment! We received turn down this evening which was a nice touch although it was not consistent every night of our stay. We ate at the buffet a few dinners and I thought the food was quite good! The selection was small but we didn't mind at all because it seemed the quality of each dish was much higher than than most AI's. There was always a fresh grill station with a different entree each night also. The dinner buffet didn't open until 6:30pm and didn't get busy until 7:30pm (late in my opinion!). We also dined at Flor de Agave which was by default since our first choice (Olivio and Vid) was closed and thankfully so! This is the only specialty restaurant with a balcony to watch the sunset. The food and service were fabulous! The steak was perfectly done and seafood fresh. We also dined at the Oyster Bar which was located along the boardwalk between the Azul properties. I was most excited about dining here under the stars and over the waves and was most disappointed with our food and service. The steak was so salty, it was inedible and the rest of the meal was just really bland. It was too bad. The breakfast buffet was my favorite, it was huge and there were tons of brunch options. Lunch at the buffet was good also. The snack bar by the pool had the same munchies every day, chips and dip, hot dogs, hamburgers, seafood ceviche and fries. We often grabbed a quick bite there. The gym at Azul is incredible and there are workout classes throughout the entire day as well as training. This was in addition to various activities like biking, kayaking and other ocean sports. This was such a bonus for an all inclusive. The spa treatments were additional, as expected, but the spa is something to be seen! There is a therapeutic pool that was one of the best I've seen. I recommend it! There were a few nightly shows but not every night and they are located at the Azul Ixtapa (not the Grand). Grand guests were welcome to join though. The only negative aspect of this hotel was it's distance from Ixtapa and Zihua. We were happy to stay on property since we had already spent a few days in Ixtapa prior to our stay at the Grand but we really would've missed out on those local experiences if we had stayed at the Grand the entire time. It really just depends on the type of stay you are seeking. Aside from our initial check-in, service was 5-star. Employees passing in the hallway always said "hello" and everyone was smiling, friendly and helpful. It really made a difference in the mood of our stay. We walked next door to Playa Quieta one day which we loved and also to Playa Linda and took the water taxi to Isla Grande. I would definitely stay here again and would recommend it to my friends and family! As far as other posters warning about timeshares, not one person even so much as mentioned a timeshare so not sure what that's about??
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxury resort with an eco-conscious environment, offers suites with spectacular views along with multiple dining options so you can pamper your palate throughout your stay. Relax in a tropical environment while enjoying captivating views of the Pacific Ocean. The details, the sophisticated architecture and the refined comfort of Azul Ixtapa Grand combine to make a resort like no other. The Resort is located in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, southwest of Mexico City. Ixtapa is considered one of the “Jewels of the Mexican Riviera.” It is located 20 minutes from Zihuatanejo International Airport (Code: ZIH) and just minutes from the Marina. The Resort is close to shopping areas and golf courses in Ixtapa. The area has an average temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year with about 255 sunny days. ... more less
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