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“A good-enough place, with local color”

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Ixtapa Palace Resort & Spa
Ranked #20 of 23 Hotels in Ixtapa
Reviewed December 1, 2006

We had received the 5 night stay at Ixtapa Palace as a bonus from the purchase of a timeshare the previous year. After reading some of the other reviews, I had not set my expectations too high, but we were pleasantly surprised. The Ixtapa Palace is set up to cater to locals, but a little preparation helped us 'gringos' fit right in ;-) The hotel is apparently in the midst of a remodeling program so a lot of the issues that others have had with the hotel have been upgraded (to about the standards of a good 1970s Holiday Inn).

A word of caution: when arriving at the Zihuatenejo Airport (ZIH) and clearing customs, go directly to either the "Ground Transportation" desk (directly in front of you) of the Rental Car counters (off to your right). Do not go to any of the guys holding signs and beckoning you over. These are time-share salesmen, and they are trying to get you to sign up for a sales presentation (not the friendly, warm and fuzzy boiler rooms like in Vegas or Florida). The folks at Ixtapa Palace would later warn us about these guys.

290 Pesos worth of taxi ride later we were on our way to Ixtapa. The road takes you through some very 'third-world' looking areas, but don't be too concerned by these. Keep in mind that the official taxi-cab of the third world is the Nissan Sentra, so plan on not a lot of trunk space for luggage.

The staff at Ixtapa Palace was friendly and helpful (in particular 'Gil' who is mentioned in some of the other reviews). The desk staff is a bit light on English, so the well-advised traveler would do well to learn some Spanish before going to Ixtapa. It helps in all transactions to understand a little of the language and culture before you go.

Gil (who speaks English well) helped us out to our room, ran an inventory of all the furnishings, and demonstrated the operation of the features of our room. Our accommodations were a full-size bed (extremely firm) and fold-out sofa (from the Wal-Mart dorm room collection), a small balcony, large bathroom, and kitchenette with dining area for 4. The TV pulled in about 6 channels, two of which (CNN International and HBO) were in English. DVD player hookups were available, for the electronically-inclined.

All the rooms overlook one of the three pools. Our room was close to the gym and bar, from which exuded loud music beginning at about 8:30 am and lasting until late evening. The gym looked adequate, but this being a vacation, we avoided it like the plague. The pools are clean and clear and picturesque, with waterfalls and fountains. One of the pools has a water slide, but adults be warned, it should be marked off-limits to anyone over 48" tall. There is an adjacent water park called 'Magic World' that Ixtapa Palace guest get reduced admission to. Again, this is an amusement park in the image of 1970s Florida.

The hotel is across the street from the main tourist area of Ixtapa, so there are restaurants and shops aplenty. The beach is less than 1/2 a mile away (if you cut through a hotel lobby), though we prefered the beaches at Isla Ixtapa and Playa La Ropa (short taxi rides away). Keep in mind that Ixtapa is relatively expensive compared to other resorts in Mexico, but we found prices not out of line with other vacations we have taken. Keep in mind, also, that those time-share salemen are **everywhere**. They will offer you free breakfasts and resort passes, but **do not** go with them! One time-share salesman in a white van (beware the white van with a resort logo on it) stopped on the other side of a roundabout, and ran after us across the street and the median, trying to get us to go with him.

Gil offered to set us up with tours and such, but we did most of our touring on our own. There are buses that pull up right in front of the hotel. The taxis are relavtively inepxensive, but there are no visible meters in them. The fares seem to us a "zone" system, but the drivers play fast-and-loose with it. After a couple of days we were able to figure out the layout of the area, so touring was easy.

The hotel offers breakfast buffet, but we preferred the Golden Cookie Co. in the Los Patios shopping center (1/2 mile away) (** do not** miss the Golden Cookie Co.). For dinner, try Emilio's (across the street) or Villa de la Selva (very expensive, but so worth it). Also, Nicolas, the bartender at the Ixtapa Palace pool bar, recommended Antonio's on Isla Ixtapa, where he works days. The seafood there was excellent.

We were there during the ramp-up to the high season (December thru April), so most of the services were in place and open. If you don't like crowds, November is the time to be in Ixtapa. They don't have American Thankgiving, so rates are low, weather is perfect, crowds are light. Summer is very hot. September-October is rainy/hurricane season.

Final words of advice:
-Learn some Spanish. The locals appreciate it.
-No ATMs (i.e. 'los Cajeros') in Ixtapa/Zihuatenejo take American Express.
-Have extra pesos available if you venture outside the tourist areas, because lots of businesses outside the cities are not set up to take credit cards.
-Go to Ixtapa. It's 'muy bueno'!

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Big_Al_D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 - 33 of 95 reviews

Reviewed May 31, 2006

Taxi ride from the airport ($29) got us at the hotel Saturday May 20th at approx. 5:30pm. We were greeted by staff who got us registered quickly and Gil, took us to our room. We were able to understand him, though we knew very little Spanish, enough to get by. Upon showing our room to us, he checked the TV, showing us the English channel, and when he found the the screen was not clear he immediately called for a repairman to check it out; he arrived within the first 15 minutes. Though the hotel is older than most in Ixtapa, it's quaint, and we enjoyed it, the living room, kitchen and a full bath was down stairs, upstairs was the bedroom with a queen size bed, dressing area and again another full bath. There was a balcony on the first floor, and two upstairs, one had a jucuzzy (sp), which we filled with cold water and enjoyed it throughout the week. My hair dryer and electric curler did not work in the plug socket, which I reported and they immediately brought me an adapter. When we discovered the shower head splashed out over the curtain, they again immediately responded to repair it. What we didn't report at the beginning of our stay was the airconditioner near the bed dripped, we were afraid that if they started working on it, it would stop working, so we put a towel, under the drip, and the maid changed it daily, so she was aware of it. Speaking of the maid, she kept the place clean and bed made and we always had fresh towel, Like on a cruise, she'd make towel animals, which we took quite a few pictures of. The larger of the 3 pools is the one we used the most, it has a swim up bar with at waterfall, that they only started running about Wednesday after our Saturday arrival, it was nice but the water splashed up on the bar, which is why I believe they didn't have it on all the time. The other two pools, one for the kids, and the other somewhat smaller then the bigger one, were great; we didn't go to the water park next door, but had we brought our kids they would have loved it, we did take a peek at it. We liked the fact that at this time of the year we didn't have to fight for lounge chairs anywhere around the pools. Actually, the place wasn't crowded at all, maybe it was the time of year. One of the staff upon greeting us told us he was surpirsed to see Americans in the hotel this time of the year, that usually Americans and Canadians came around November through February, and that normally they only have Mexican families come during this time of the year. No matter we enjoyed ourselves and everyone we encountered even if we didin't understand each other everyone was nice. Like earlier reviews the beach is about a block & a half away, but for those like us, we enjoy walking and everything was in walking distance. Great places to eat, we'd recommend El Chef Josse, new Senior Frogs, they had great food, try the Chicken Parmeasan or Chicken Fijata. Watch out for all the street salesmen trying to get you to go and check out hotels in the area, offering you free tickets. We did take them up on visiting the Barcenlo Hotel, which was nice, however the $17K cost to buy into this time share was more than we wanted to spend, and did not add anything to what we already have., however we were treated to a free trip to Ixtapa Island; there you can spend $15 per person and snorkel, or just relax. This trip included lunch and drink. Besure to take your towels, and sunscreen, as it was very hot out there. We just kicked back and relaxed, taking a swim when we got to hot, don't worry the guides can speak English. We did take the bus to the next little town, but it was to hot and we only spent a short time there to buy a duffle bag., other than that the flea markets in Ixtapa had everything we wanted and more. We'd go back but only during cooler months. Actually, we though Ixtapa was nicer than Porta Vallarta, the streets were cleaner and we felt safer here walking the back streets.
We'd recommend this hotel, and have already checked out larger rooms, in the event we bring family or friends. Check out was on Saturday the 27th, they say that you must leave by Noon, however, they let us stay in our room until 2pm, since our flight wasn't until 5pm, which was great we were able to leave for breakfast, then come back and relax around the pool, before going back to our room to shower, and finishing packing for our home flight..

  • Stayed: May 2006
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7  Thank BalueGould
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
valparaiso, IN
111
Reviewed May 1, 2006

My wife, 2 daughters and I spent 4 days in a suite at the Ixtapa Palace. We had friends staying in a nearby resort on the water for quite a bit more money--and no suite. Being a 10 minute walk from the beach is the only downside to this resort. The kids enjoyed the pool and waterpark and walked the area around the hotel zone for pizza, ice cream and the main market. Being close to these in-town sites and amenities turned out to be more fun for everyone than the beach. The beach in Ixtapa is GREAT, but i can only spend so much time there.

But the helpfulness of the staff was truly amazing. We planned every day by telling the staff what we liked to do and they gave us suggestions and made all reservations for us.

  • Stayed: April 2006
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11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2006

Visited Feb 28 and stayed in a fabulous 2 bedroom villa. Walk to shops, nightlife and the beach. Beach is a 4-5 block walk, however, past shopping, stores and hotels or a $3 cab ride. The units are spacious, clean and service is the best!

The resort offers 3 pools, bar, restaurant and the best service staff you'll find anywhere. Make you feel right at home.

The on site water park is great for sun, kids and fun.

Activities coordinator on site for tours, beach visits, shuttle to ruins and Ixtapa Island for snorkling, Fishing and fun. Spa on site for the best $40 massage for an hour I've had.

The closeness of the night life and shopping make the beach a small item

9  Thank Elvislives
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago, Illinois
16
Reviewed March 21, 2006

We have just returned from a 2 week wedding/honeymoon in Ixtapa/Zihuatenejo. We spent the 5 days before our wedding at the Ixtapa Palace Hotel in Ixtapa The hotel was great and the service was more then incredible!

The staff at the hotel arranged a wonderful trip for all the wedding guests to Ixtapa Island the day before the wedding. We didn’t have to worry about anything the entire day! They had a van pick us up at the hotel and drive us to the boat that would then take us to the Island. At the island, they had snorkeling equipment and lunch all set up for us. The van was waiting to take us back to the hotel after the fun. Everything was absolutely perfect!

The staff at Ixtapa Palace also organized an after-hours party for the guests that wanted to go out after the wedding reception. They arranged a van to pick up guests at the wedding site and transport them to the night club located at the hotel. There were about 15 guests that took advantage of this and they all had a great time!

The restaurant at the hotel was wonderful and the staff was very flexible. My grandparents ate breakfast there almost every morning and the staff adjusted the menu, so they could eat exactly what they wanted every morning.

Lavender and Roses Spa is located in the hotel and it is wonderful! My bridesmaids all had their hair for the wedding done there. I was sick on my wedding day and they even offered to come up to my room to do my hair and make-up! My mom and mother-in-law were set up with massages at the Spa. They said they were great!

Ixtapa Palace is not on the beach, but it is only about a 2 block walk to the beach. The hotel IS located right in the heart of the bars, markets, and restaurants.

6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2006

We were given this stay as an incentive of a time share purchase. We couldn't enjoy a vacation here because of the following problems:

1. The toilet didn't flush properly.
2. There was no hot water.
3. The air conditioner blew cold air on the bed,but didn't cool the rest of the room.
4. The bathroom was shoddy - - - chips out of the floor and the tub, and the bathroom sink was held up by two pieces of a broom stick handle.

Additionally, it was a couple blocks walk to the beach.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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4  Thank A348CVlees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Ixtapa_Palace, Guest Relations Manager at Ixtapa Palace Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Dear H. L. Southall,

I wanted to take this opportunity and let you know our rooms and common areas have been remodeled. We thank you for staying with us. Your comments are very important as its the only way we can improve.

The RCI rooms have been remodeled and upgraded with safety deposit boxes, new furniture, flat-screen TVs, all our room lighting is with LEDs. There is free WiFi available in most of the Resort's common areas.

We hope you give us the opportunity once again in the future.

Best Regards,
IPR Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Michigan
19
Reviewed August 15, 2005

Lets just says that I was truly not happy with the resort. This was our first visit to Mexico and all but I was totally dispointed with the Hotel. We we first arrived at the airport it was not too bad you just knew that it was a small city so a small airport is great however we knew that it was going to be hell when the taxi drive was laughing when we said we needed to go to Ixtapa palace. So we head on over to the place. Once we arrived it looked like nothing in the pictures that I have seen on the net. it was a pure white building that was not really near the beach, rather far in my opinion. We were greeted at the front desk and given our room keys and when I opened the door of the room i noticed that the the patio door did not reach the bottom of the ground by about 3 inches. along with that was the fact that the TV on received 3 stations all which were fuzzy. Grant it I did not go to mexico to watch TV but there are times when you want to do some of that as well. no cable so everything was in spanish :) Drapes did not cover entire window so massive amounts of light was flitering through the room at any given time which was sometimes anoying. After about 15 mins in the first room i went and asked if we could switch rooms since the TV was only working in the one room and it was the 13 inch one and i found it hard to see. so after review 10 other rooms they all seemed to be pretty much the same. so i then went and stayied at the Barcelo Ixtapa Beach. Which i found more to my standards. IXTAPA Palace was too much of a culture shock to me to enjoy.

  • Stayed: May 2003
    • Value
    • Rooms
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9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Ixtapa_Palace, Guest Relations Manager at Ixtapa Palace Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Dear luv2B-in-Mexico,

I wanted to take this opportunity and let you know our rooms and common areas have been remodeled. We thank you for staying with us. Your comments are very important as its the only way we can improve.

I do always let clients know to be weary of the taxi drivers as they try to "steal" clients and refer them to other Resorts for a commission. This is a practice that is illegal within Ixtapa, but unfortunately many taxi drivers still participate.

Our rooms have been remodeled and include safety deposit boxes, new furniture, flat-screen TVs (40-45 Inch depending on the room), all our room lighting is with LEDs. There is free WiFi available in most of the Resort's common areas.

We hope you give us the opportunity once again in the future.

Best Regards,
IPR Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ixtapa Palace Resort & Spa

Address: Paseo de las Garzas esq. Paseo del Rincon | S/N. Rescidencial III, Zihuatanejo de Azueta. Lotes 1, 2, 3 y 4 Mz. V, Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo 40880, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Guerrero > Zihuatanejo > Ixtapa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Ixtapa
Price Range: $63 - $253 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Ixtapa Palace Resort & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 130
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ixtapa Palace is an 8-minute walk from El Palmar beach. It feature three pools, hot tub, tennis courts and a minigolf area. The establishment is 200 meters from the Ixtapa Bay and 1 km from its sports port . The rooms are equipped with air conditioner, wardrobe, satellite T.V. and telephone. Each have toilet and shower with free amenities. They also includes Kitchenette with microwave, fridge and coffee maker (upon availability) The hotel's restaurant, El Tiburon de la Costa, it's open along the day and serve up seafood or meat dishes, but at 1 km can be found many other places where to eat. The establishment have its own gym, spa and sauna. As well, there's a mini-market and bicycle rental service. The water park Magic World it's next to the Hotel, you and your family can have fun in their slides. (Extra charge) Our Hotel, Ixtapa Palace, it's located in the the heart of the city between the commercial and the touristic zone. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ixtapa Palace Magic World Hotel Playa La Ropa
Palace Magic World Ixtapa
Palace Magic World Hotel Ixtapa

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