First off, I would like to start this review by stating most emphatically that I am not a risk taker and if I did not feel totally safe in Zihuatanejo I would not come. Statistically, I am safer here than in Orlando, Florida where people take their kids all year round and think nothing of it.
I will not expound on my previous reviews of this hotel except to say Erica is constantly doing everything in her power to make this hotel the best ever. Erica Ibarra Rivera grew up on this beautiful beach, went to Mexico City at the age of 15 to go to high school and receive a university education, and eventually returned back to this small town to run the family owned and newly built hotel about 10 years ago. Erica tells me how as a young girl she whined everyday to her mother to leave this small town, only to return years later when she realized what a gem it really was. Did I mention she had to come back here to meet her future husband, Sanin?
Ok, down to this year's activities. A wedding on the beach and about 20 young (age 23-30) adults attended. All were surprised by the charming town of Zihuatanejo and La Ropa Beach, the great food, and the reasonable prices. As the wedding photographer remarked, "You can spend as little or as much as you want here and have a great time". All vowed to return next year and agreed that the experience by far exceeded their expectations. Traditionally, Zihuatanejo has not been a destination for young people, but I see that changing in the years to come.
Another highlight of this year's trip was a visit to" La Chole" ( about 20 kilometers outside of town) where a more than 2000 year-old archaeological site is currently being excavated. A newly opened museum provided a fascinating insight into life back then with many artifacts on display. Our guide, Carlos, was excellent, spoke perfect English and was a wealth of information. Currently, 300 university students are coming to continue the excavation of this important site in Mesoamerica. I can't wait to return next year to see more of this town that was wiped out in a Tsunami more than 500 years ago. The Spaniards, upon their arrival, covered up what the tsunami didn't so there's lots of work to be done. As of this writing there was no admission charge but we did tip Carlos for his approximately 2 hour tour. Take water if you plan to visit as it was very warm that day.
This year I attended (not by invitation and all were welcome) Owen Lee's Birthday Party out on Los Gatos Beach. I can see why he decided to make this his home way back in the 70"s. His view is breathtaking. Owen gave an interesting and animated speech about his years working with Jaques Cousteau on the "Calypso" and of his experiences of moving to this wonderful area. His book, "A Prisoner in Paradise" chronicles his love affair with Zihuatanejo
As always, the food at my two favorite restaurants, El Mediteraneo and Piazza de Angelo continue to be my all time favorite places to eat both for quality and consistency. For a wonderful late lunch experience check out "Carmelita's" . . . like eating home-cooking at your grandma's house. She serves food that you will not find in any restaurant in the town.
Finally, Hotel Casa Don Francisco will continue to be my #1 rated destination for January and part of February. One could almost spend a vacation sitting on their terrace with a view of the bay and never leave the room but, the beach and adventure calls. I would be sad not to see the friends I have made from Canada, Mexico, and all over the USA. I am already looking forward to next year and another "chapter in my book".
- Also Known As:
- Casa Don Francisco Hotel
- Casa Don Francisco Zihuatanejo
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Casa Don Francisco located on La Ropa Beach in Zihuatanejo is a simple elegant and luxuriosly private. Has beautiful views of the bay and the beach. Suites with private pool and terraces. ... more less