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“How can we do another resort after staying at Playa Viva?”
Review of Playa Viva

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Playa Viva
Ranked #1 of 1 Petatlan B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Portland, Oregon, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“How can we do another resort after staying at Playa Viva?”
Reviewed 15 July 2012

If you desire a truly unique, relaxing, luxurious resort experience, then visit Playa Viva. The remote location was magical. From the minute we arrived, it was the perfect blend of nature, comfort and personal attention. I think the staff outnumbered the guests most days that we were there and the service was impeccable. We stayed for 7 nights during the last week in June in a deluxe suite and adjacent studio with our children, ages 5 and 8. The architecture design detail was remarkable with all of the structures 'at one' with the beach and surrounding flora. Each communal meal was delicious and local with more than enough variety to suit our kids. Not to mention the seemingly never ending supply of fresh fruit (melt-in-your-mouth mangos!). Playa Viva sets the standard for lavish eco-tourism. We can't wait to return.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank RhettCummings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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201 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tempe, Arizona, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 July 2012

Where to start when describing how much we loved Playa Viva? How about the fact that when we got home from our trip we named our new puppy Viva, in honor of the best vacation of our lives!
When we were searching for a place to spend our honeymoon, we had several important criteria. We wanted a relaxing and luxurious beach vacation in Mexico that was not exploitive of the local people or the land. Typical all-inclusive resorts leave us feeling guilty for the incredible waste and the poor pay and treatment of the local employees. Playa Viva was the ONLY resort in all of Mexico that met our criteria, and was still within a reasonable price range.
Playa Viva lives its values in every way, and in more ways than we expected. The food is ALL fresh, organic, local, and absolutely incredible. We could not stop eating!! The simple casitas were absolutely magical – open air, comfortable beds with turn-down service, walls that open entirely to the beach. It was like living in paradise. What's more, the nearby sea turtle preserve is amazing and the opportunity to release baby sea turtles is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Finally, the feeling of community is truly inspiring. We knew we’d have a community experience by eating meals with the other guests and interacting with the staff, but we didn’t know just how much we’d LOVE getting to know all the guests, David & Sandy, and the staff. This was truly hospitality at its finest. Our experience was so much better for the people we met, both the hosts and the INCREDIBLE people that work there.
We cannot recommend Playa Viva enough if you want to have a luxurious, relaxing and responsible vacation. Part of living your values does mean dealing with some bug bites but it’s 100% worth it to experience the beautiful land, magical accommodations, out of this world food, and of course, the basil margaritas!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Veronica L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montclair, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2012

My wife and I were desperately looking for a Christmas escape and not having much success. I normally do our travel booking, but with too much going on, I left it in her hands. PV turned up on her weekly Gilt Jetsetter email and she booked it. Skeptical as I often am, I turned to Trip Advisor to gauge consumer sentiment. I found the unanimous 5-star reviews very dubious. But now I know they're not...

From the moment we turned off the "highway" in Julachuca, I had a feeling we were headed somewhere special. Indeed it is. Everything about this place is paradise. Yet it's very simple and unassuming. By the end of our week, the staff felt like family. Believe everything you read about Johnny. He is essential to your time--from mixing drinks to fishing, local knowledge, tour guiding, etc, etc. He is the ultimate host.

Jaime is a brilliant Yoga instructor and fantastic masseuse. 6 straight days of Yoga with her was one of the best things I've ever done for myself.

Chef & his kitchen staff blew away my expectations of resort eating. We are the ultimate food snobs and could not get enough of the genius Franco-Hispanic cuisine put out at every meal. A chance encounter with a successful spear fisherman on the beach, turned into the freshest entree you can ever imagine. Interested in making mole? No problem, Olga ran an impromptu cooking class and made mind-blowing mole in 45min. Chef's night off resulted in a simple classic local meal presented by the cooking staff. You will not go hungry w/ a steady stream of food beginning with a 'pre-breakfast' and all-day self-serve beverages.

Accommodations are rustic while elegant. The architecture and craftsmanship are superb. However, do plan to be more or less outside for your entire stay. 5-star camping…?

The place runs impeccably, yet seemingly without effort. Days drift into perfect evenings spent sipping margaritas in hammocks and watching perfect sunsets and gazing at stars.

Excursions are hit or miss, but animal lovers will find the preserve quite special.The whale watching was an unexpected bonus. Beware the rip currents!

Big thumbs up.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank S S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mountain View, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2012

One of our favorite places in the world. The perfect balance of gorgeous and deserted location (think 1.3 km of beach front just for you), fantastic design (the walls of your Eco casita open completely leaving you with the most amazing views of the Pacific), fantastic meals (one local chef and one French one so you get plenty of Mexican classics but you will get to enjoy a perfect tarte tatin for dessert :-) Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed June 2012
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Helpful?
Thank valontheroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2012

I cannot even begin to describe how absolutely perfect this place was. From the amazing rooms, to the amazing food, to the amazing people, Playa Viva was everything I expected it to be and more.

Not touristy in the least, all of their food is locally grown (if not from their own garden) and made from scratch. Each guest is welcomed with a glass of their fresh juice of the day (ours was melon) and a beautiful bowl of fresh fruit, maybe some chips and guacamole, fresh tortillas, whatever they have that day.

We all sat at a communal table for 3 delicious meals every day, complete with fresh tortillas, salsa and cheese at every meal.

The rooms were all open-air buildings, allowing for a beautiful view of the ocean from the bed, the shower, even the toilet! This also allowed for a glorious breeze to flow through the room during the hot, humid days (which I personally love).

We had the amazing opportunity to take baby turtles from their turtle sanctuary and release them into the ocean. So cute!

One morning, we boarded an ATV for a trip up the mountain to visit a family who lived off of the land with no electricity and an hour away from civilization. They grow their coffee, cacao to make their own chocolate, corn that they grind into flour to make their own tortillas, rice, beans, bananas, mango, pineapple! You name it, they grow it. And they were so happy to open their home to us, to show us how they live their every day life, to cook us yet another fantastic meal.

As if that weren’t perfect enough, we hiked past wild cows and horses to a hidden waterfall and were able to cliff-jump into a lake at the bottom before continuing our journey back to Playa Viva.

We made friends, drank coconut water straight from coconuts (we may have added a bit of rum), got massages, had yoga class every morning, watched dolphins play, swam in the 85 degree ocean, relaxed by the pool, played games, took cooking classes, brushed up on our spanish, witnessed incredible thunder and lightning storms, and most importantly, we learned that it doesn’t take a 500 million dollar cruise ship and endless food and entertainment to make a vacation truly great.

I can officially say we have spent the best vacation of our lives at Playa Viva.

We will be returning, and hopefully soon.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Amanda R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkeley, California
1 review
Reviewed 16 June 2012

Having read the extensive, overwhelmingly positive reviews of this fine resort before my own trip, and experiencing firsthand what each review had raved about, what can I possibly add except to encourage every prospective traveler to GO TO PLAYA VIVA!!!! Simply put, you will not be disappointed and your expectations will likely be exceeded by your reality.

1) Service - the hospitality here is truly exceptional, beyond what I can express in words. The staff are so friendly, courteous, considerate, and professional, and above all, they exemplify joy in serving you. Kudos goes to Julia, Johnny, Chucky, and all the kitchen staff who treated me like royalty during my entire visit, as well as lifelong friends by virtue of their warmth, respect, and consideration for my needs.

2) Food - be prepared to feast on delicacies that would easily compare with the quality and excellence of five-star restaurants. Each meal is served buffet-style, prepared from organically-grown products and cooked to sheer perfection. I enjoyed a wide variety of fresh seafood, slow-cooked tender ribs, hearty pasta, tangy Asian stir-fry, savory soups, stacks of soft buttery pancakes, crisp refreshing salads, the sweetest tropical fruits, freshly squeezed juices, and rich, flavorful coffee.

If that isn't enough to invigorate your palate, imagine riding an ATV though lush vegetation to visit a local family which harvests the coffee and cocoa beans (among other crops) that we enjoyed daily at the resort. This family provided us with an extensive tour of their farm, played dominoes with us, and then treated us to a meal fit for a king, including the most delectable, succulent shrimp cooked in fresh salsa, handmade tortillas (the best I've ever tasted), Mexican rice, and homemade red wine that was simply out of this world (from what I heard, since I don't drink alcohol).

3) Accommodations - imagine going to bed and waking up to the sound of ocean waves just steps away from your room. I stayed in a studio room the first night (which I was perfectly content with), then I was allowed to upgrade at no extra charge to a private villa for my remaining 3 nights. The pictures of the villa should speak for themselves, but to give you an idea of how impressive they are, each wall is comprised of large windows that open to allow for fresh ocean air to enter in, and the walls themselves slide open to the outside. The beds have just the right amount of firmness while soft and luxurious, and the bathroom including toilet and showerhead are open concept to the outdoors. The mosquito netting surrounding each bed is a welcome and necessary protection during the night to prevent any flies from attacking you in your sleep, and also gives you an added measure of privacy.

4) Environment - this resort is situated in a private, remote beach with miles of open sand and surf stretching to the north and south. Again, the pictures speak for themselves, but if you can just picture yourself on a deserted tropical paradise with no one in sight, and soft white sand to lie in, and warm ocean water to play in (although the waves were quite rough in June while I was there), then this is the ideal spot for you.

5) Company - as a solo traveler, I truly welcomed the communal aspect of this resort. All of the meals are served at a large dining table, but if you want privacy, there are plenty of small tables and nooks to sit in. I enjoyed all of the couples whom I met, and as I mentioned before, the staff are so friendly and engaging that it is nearly impossible to feel lonely.

On this note, a special thanks goes to Aavi, our esteemed yoga instructor and massage therapist, who also functioned as an extremely personable tour guide throughout my trip.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Gabe W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 June 2012

I've had a hard time getting around to writing this review because I would much rather be back at Playa Viva than in the real world. This place is amazing. I would even venture to say it is magical.

We went in April, 2012 and from the moment we landed it was a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable experience. Julie and Johnny were the best host and hostess we could ask for as they took care of us in every way. The food is out of this world and the accommodations are beautiful and comfortable.

We've already decided on a return date and we cannot wait to see all our friends at Playa Viva. If you are looking for a relaxing and restorative place to unplug you will find it here.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Jenn K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Playa Viva

Property: Playa Viva
Address: Carretera Zihuatanejo-Acapulco | Playa Icacos Juluchuca, GRO, Petatlan 40834, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Guerrero > Petatlan
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Petatlan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Playa Viva 4*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playa Viva is a sustainable boutique hotel with 8 rooms on a private beach located 30 minutes from Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa International airport. Play Viva is located on 200 acres with 1.3 kilometers of beach front. 85% of the property is in a Private Reserve for use of guests and includes a turtle sanctuary, archaeological site, working permaculture farm, forest restoration, estuary and much more. Come enjoy yoga, surfing or any of the many local activities. Playa Viva is off grid, operating 100% on solar power, solar thermal water heating, grey and black water management systems and built with local materials and craftsmanship. We specialize in farm to table, sourcing much of our food locally and can handle a wide variety of dietary concerns from vegetarian and vegan to many types of allergies. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Viva Hotel Petatlan

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