My fiancé and I have been traveling to various parts of Mexico for nearly 20 years. We decided to spend a portion of our Christmas/New Years vacation in Ixtapa this year. We had been to Ixtapa numerous times over the last 6 years and felt it would be a good slow way to break into our vacation, which would ultimately end up in Manzanillo. As we began researching hotels in June ’07 we became a bit surprised to find most hotels we were already booked in Ixtapa. While using several of the Internet hotel broker websites we settled on the Holiday Inn, even though we had never stayed there before. Have been to Ixtapa so many times were felt the hotel was probably one of the nicer Holiday Inns and since all they had was Executive King Suites remaining for $260/night, we concluded the room would probable be spectacular regardless. Typically we only reserve a Standard Room, which is normally more than generous in Mexican hotels.
As our taxi drove to the hotel we first noted how far off the beaten path and away from the beach we were. We arrived at the Holiday Inn, were checked in and escorted to our room by the Bell Boy. As we entered the room we immediately questioned the Bell Boy if there was a mistake, as we had paid for an Executive King Suite. In his broken English he assured us (special for you sort-a thing) we were in their finest suite and it was a fantastic room. My fiancé and I looked at each other in amazement when we noted the room barely consisted of a small bed, bathroom and old TV. There was no kitchenette, refrigerator, etc. which we were sure a room classified as an Executive King Suite would surely have. Questioning the Bell Boy’s information, I then called the front desk and after being passed around to numerous people who could understand English, was assured we were in the proper room (suite). Even though we were severely disappointed, we decided to settle in and deal with the hand we had been dealt, understanding this was Mexico and being swindled was nothing new.
As we settling in we found the bathroom sink did not have water. We called the front desk, were passed around again, and eventually were assured a maintenance person would come up shortly to repair. Eventually a maintenance man (Mr. Manual) appeared and disassembled the sink to find the calcium build up deposits were so heavy it had blocked the spouts opening, which he eventually repaired.
As we prepared for bed that night we noted several cigarette burn holes in the beds comforter. Becoming suspicions, we flipped over the comforter and found it was disgustingly dirty with large smudges of what looked like dried blood and feces. This immediately was flung onto the floor, housekeeping was called, however never showed up after several request for a new clean replacement. We slept with our clothes on from their forward. The next morning my fiancé and I woke up discovering dozens of red splotches on our arms and legs, which we can only assume were bed bugs. A trip to the store for bug repellant was the obvious next choice as we questioned whether the hotel would fumigate the room or not, even if we demanded it.
The next day we decided to go check out the beach. After a 15-20 minute walk we found ourselves attempting to access the beach through one of the hotels on the beach. We were immediately approached by a hotel employee who informed us the beach access was for their hotel guest and we needed to move on. As we strolled down the beach we attempted to get a drink/food at several of the hotels and found that they were all inclusive and did not accept payment by cash or credit card. We only found one hotel (Krystal) which was a mix of all inclusive and regular option, who allowed us to buy a drink and have a bite. We concluded that Ixtapa has been moving towards the all inclusive model over they years and if you are staying at a hotel off the beaten path (which we were), access to the beach was nearly impossible.
After a few days we were still attempting to make light of the horrible hotel conditions. Heading back to the room we went to the elevator (which was broken and would only stop on select floors) and noticed maids cleaning another room. After peaking inside we noticed a large open room which looked like a magnificent suite. We soon realized that we had been jerked around and were in a standard room while indeed three were actual suites in the hotel. I called the Hotels General Manager and was informed if we wanted to move to this room we would have to pay $315/night, rather than the $260/night we were already paying. This was absurd since we were already paying for a suite, however they pretended not speak English so good when I became a bit confrontational. I wanted to check out of the hotel, however since I had booked and already paid (in full) for the room on Hotelsbycity.net, we would loose our entire $2080 + tax. Again, my fiancé and I decided to ignore the horrible hotel and go drink margaritas until it didn’t bother us anymore. Later on in our stay we met the local Mexican couple who check into the large suite and found they were only paying $120/night, which they felt was absurd. When we shared the cost of our little card box of a room, they quickly became quit and realized they had been given the “locals” price and the Green-Go’s were being raped.
Next to the pool there was a cabana which advertised various types of massages. We decided this may be a way to reduce our frustration and booked two Swedish Deep Tissue massages. My fiancé asked me later if I had actually received a deep tissue and we both concluded that we had barely received a surface tissue massage. OK we move on and decided to catch some rays by the pool. We were then entertained by a local family removing their baby’s diaper and washing the little boy’s behind in the pool before they left for the day!! Living in style!!!
The next day we booked a sunset sail and met a couple who were staying at the Las Brisas hotel. When we began talking about how horrible our hotel was they were both astounded by our story. When we mentioned what were paying, they reluctantly informed us they were paying the same for a beautiful, ocean view, suite which was “all inclusive”. They had also traveled in/out of Mexico for nearly 20 years and found their hotel was one of the best they had ever stayed at and well priced for what they had received. This was like poring salt into an open wound for my fiancé and I.
When we woke the next morning we found the water supply line to the hotel had broken and then entire hotel was without water. At this point we could no longer be surprised and simple shook our head and called our new friend, Manual the maintenance man, who we were getting to know so well! Water was restored later on in the day with minimal pressure.
After we had returned from our activities the following day I noticed one of the bed side lamps wouldn’t come on. I pulled out the night stand and found it was unplugged from the wall. Seemed simple enough to plug back in, however as I inserted the power plug into the wall receptacle, blue sparks began to fly, a small little explosion occurred and all went dark. I had seen a small break panel in the makeshift closet earlier and went to flip the breaker, however nothing occurred. It was time to call our buddy the maintenance man, Manual again. After attempting the same room breakers again, he had to the main hotel breaker box and reinstate the power. At this point I assumed I had knocked out power to the entire hotel while plugging in the lamp. Our buddy Manual came back to the room and found the wall socket wiring was shorted out, however he carefully plugged in lamp and left the room. We then prayed there wouldn’t be an electrical fire in the night due to this magnificent wiring!
The next day my fiancé and I left for Manzanillo and never looked back. When we arrived in Manzanillo we toasted saying “now we can begin our vacation”! We will NEVER stay at the Holiday Inn in Ixtapa again and would suggest anyone else considering staying there really think it through! It’s a joke of a hotel, which is poorly managed and simple over priced!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Gamma Plaza Ixtapa is a modern building with high quality facilities and services for the leisure visitor or businessmen. 'Executive Rooms' . Air conditioned rooms, hallways and meeting rooms. Room service, restaurant, garden side cafeteria area, a combination of swim-up / dry pool bar, free-form precious large swimming pool with kid s area. Gamma Plaza Ixtapa can accommodate meetings up to 350 people theatre set-up and 200 for banquet. Convention registration room. Inside parking facilities for up to 110 vehicles. Not a beachfront property, we are located two blocks from El Palmar Beach. European, American, MAP and FAP plans available. Convenient rates and packages for groups, seminars, small conventions and all type of events. Natural ambiance surrounded by lush mountain and green gardens. Also, ecological and protection of species areas. We are 20 minutes driving to and from the airport. Ixtapa is the modern concept with all types of comfort and Zihuatanejo is the typical nice town with beautiful bays and beaches. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Ixtapa
- Ixtapa Holiday Inn