Compared to the immediate surrounding shanties filled with poverty-stricken children, this resort did appear to have a sparkling appearance. However, as we got closer, we realized that it may not be the diamond in the rough that we were expecting.
Upon closer inspection, the Radisson was indeed beginning to fall apart . . . literally. We could smell the mold as we made our way down the hallway leading to our room. We noted that, while this resort appeared to be somewhat clean, it didn't even resemble a spotless quality. We had paid $180 per night to stay here, so we expected more.
At first glance, the place reminded me of a cross between a Motel 6 and a Howard Johnsons. The smell of mold strengthened the longer we were there. It was not a pretty sight: cheap comforters; moldy bathroom; ceiling tiles missing in several places; water leaking from the ceiling in the bathroom through a missing ceiling tile; and old, rundown carpeting. It was far from being well maintained. We weren't exactly getting our moneys worth.
We exited our room, anxiously anticipating what the pool would look like. To our relief and surprise, the pool looked nice. I noted a nice swim-up bar and newer, comfortable lounge chairs. The best part of the pool to us seemed to be the very shallow area built into the pool, where you can stay cool by laying in just a few inches of pool water while you tan. See pictures of the pool below.
The beach here is a medium-light beige color; the ocean water here just doesn't have the brilliant color and clarity that the Yucatan Peninsula does. However, this is a nice beach. I would compare it to the beaches you may have seen in the movie 10 with Bo Derek, which was filmed on location in Manzanillo, Mexico (just north of Ixtapa).
Overall, the prices of this hotel have gone down substantially since we stayed here, just as they should have. On Radisson's website, they rate this hotel as a five-star accommodation. In all honesty, at best, it's a three-star. I'd say the rooms are two-star. The lovely beach, scenic views, higher end pool, quiet hotel location, and low European-plan nightly rates would be the reasons to stay here. If you decide to stay here, skip the all inclusive prices since meals here were not good. The non-inclusive rate right now is $65 a night on the Radisson website. You can take a short ride via a cheap taxi (or bus) to the fishing village of Zihuatanejo for cheap meals. Alternatively, take a bus out to Playa La Ropa for the day and have your meals at a variety of reasonably priced, casual beachside restaurants there.
Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
October 13, 2004
From journal Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico - A Change of Scenery
Bayside, New York
September 9, 2003
Don’t visit during the rainy season if you don’t like sharing your room with miniscule ants that will bite you every now and then and find their way into your "pan dulce" (sweet bread). As usual, I had my ant warrior with me, Chuck, who used aerosol perfume, air freshener, anything he could get his hands on, to claim a momentary victory.
The furnishings include double beds, a low chest of drawers topped by a mirror, a large table with chair which could double as a desk, and cable TV, which, to my delight, did not work properly. A coffeemaker is provided with coffee the first day only. The pillows were heavenly down, and that’s worth its weight in gold. On the small terrace were two plastic chairs and a mini-table which became irrelevant the moment your eyes set on what nature had to offer. We enjoyed breakfast here one morning, but subsequent mornings were so hot, it was impossible. Temperature controls had us either freezing or sweating.
The bathroom was marbled in grey and had generous counter space. Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soaps were replaced daily, and the towels were marvelously ample. The shower/bathtub was kind of short and chubby, if I can describe it as such. Picture a standard bath mat being longer than the tub itself. It was also a bit deep, so you needed to be careful stepping out. Hair dryer provided.
Since this is a timeshare resort, many families come for the all-inclusive aspects of the hotel. The majority of guests were people from Mexico who had discovered the alternative to Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, or other Mexican East Coast havens. We are not suited to an all-inclusive, but if we had to, I would not mind, as the food served in the restaurant is excellent and always fresh; Palmar Beach is right outside the hotel with chaises protected by grass umbrellas (see the pictures). I also loved swimming in the pool, because the ocean was terribly rough almost all of the time. The pool has an island with a swim-up bar. There is a health club which sounds fancier than it really is: an exercise room with a few machines that definitely need upgrading; the spa was a good experience, especially the massage, which lasted a delicious hour.
From journal From IX to ZI