submitted by Sandie Anders Manager Bursch Travel Fargo, ND
We stayed at the Barcelo Ixtapa Beach Hotel(all inclusive). Fantastic location, the staff was amazing the pool area is fantastic. You can walk out the back of the resort -- past the pool area -- to the beach and walk each direction for quite a ways. Right next to the resort -- on the beach -- $25 per person -- 1 hour full body massages!!
You can walk out the front of the resort and shop/barter right across the street -- walk about another block and you have a small, but great little mall. We found a couple of fantastic places to eat outside of the resort. Breakfast and lunches were fantastic at the resort -- the specialty restaurants had mixed reviews by my friends -- plus you could only eat there 1 time each - there are 2 of them. They did offer theme nights with a buffet -- different each night -- that was good and fun. Outside of the resort -- Franks -- Frank is Canadian -- he works right along with the rest of his staff -- who speak fantastic English and have customer service NAILED!! They serve all kinds of things -- a few of us had the Wood Fire pizza -- my husband thinks he's going to build a wood file pizza oven in our backyard now :) -- others had sea food -- it was all wonderful and NOT over priced!! It is outside -- so there isn't any AC -- if you want something with AC -- another place known for their wood fire pizza is Emelios -- we all liked Franks better -- probably because of the variety on the menu -- and FOR SURE because of the service!!
I really liked the fact that it is such a pretty area and very relaxing. PLUS -- I PARASAILED!!! I have wanted to do this for a long time -- but couldn't bring myself to pay $100 or more -- well -- it's $25 here and they will barter -- I told the guy I didn't have my money on me and would be back -- he dropped the price -- I said NO -- I am going to pay the full $25.00 -- you just keep me safe! :) We took off and landed on the beach -- so I didn't have a fear of sharks getting me in the water.
We all felt very safe, people were nice -- we went in to the shopping area (bartering) in Zihuatanejo -- standard Mexico -- we drove by some VERY poor areas to get to the shopping. This is also the area the ships dock in -- just don't let your cruisers decide they never want to go to Ixtapa because of the cruise port -- there is so much more! I guess one area of caution would be if you decide to take a day trip over to Ixtapa Island -- you have to RENT THE SHADE. That's right -- 2 couples from our group went over to the island. They said there isn't much shade AT ALL and in the areas that do have shade -- they charge a fee for you to use. They said it was nice and worth going -- some ok snorkeling, but be aware. I'm not sure what the charge was -- when they heard that -- they just accepted that they would not have any shade for the day this destination is pretty much for everyone BUT -- spring break kids and party people. It's a fun destination,my group and I (all friends and family ranging from 28-68) loved it -- but if it's night clubs and an active party scene you are looking for --not here. You certainly can party -- but I think it's a fantastic destination for couples, families, people that want a fantastic beach area, not a cloud in the sky and a place to truly relax.
Some tips to pass on are dollar bills are a hit. A couple of bucks a day for your maid and a buck to your bartender/waiter every couple of drinks -- they treat you very well!! There is a tour desk in the lobby of the Barcelo -- that's not the best area to book your excursions if you don't prebook them. A lot of the vendors they use are not insured -- and you may be told you will be on something independent -- and when you arrive -- you are with a large group. The tour companies -- Funjet -- MLT/NWV -- Appleâ€¦etc -- are NOT in an easy area to find -- but they ARE there. When I spoke to the rep about some fishing excursions -- he told me about the lobby tour people and also said they match the price -- IF they quote you something lower.
Everyone that I traveled with absolutely loved it. We all agreed that the rooms could use some updating -- but the resort itself and the pool area was fantastic!!