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“True Mexican Gem”

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Catalina Beach Resort
Ranked #35 of 79 Hotels in Zihuatanejo
MN
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“True Mexican Gem”
Reviewed 14 February 2012

My wife and I have traveled to Mexico many times, rarely visiting the same location. Zihuatenejo is my favorite location of all. The Catalina Beach resort is a charming place with excellent views, great location and wonderful staff. I would recommend paying the upgrade to the bungalow's over the Casita's. No A/C in the Casita's and they do not get enough of a breeze in the evening to cool them down. If you don't mind sleeping in the heat, then you won't have any worries. If you are like me and need a cool place to sleep, the A/C rooms are the only way to go. We are very simplistic and don't need much else, so we were happy and new what to expect from reading other Trip Advisor reviews. The rooms are not fancy, but offer a great balcony with chase lounges and hammocks. The higher up the room, the better the view. With the better view comes a lot of stairs, but well worth it to us. The infinity pool, sunset bar and the lobby all have excellent views of LaRopa beach. The staff was extremely courteous and friendly, they were very accommodating when we upgraded to a bungalow for a reasonable fee. Breakfast was great, small selection, but still a great meal to start the day. The location was Awesome! Playa Ropa is the place to stay if you choose Zihuatenejo. The beach is fantastic, gentle surf and water for great swimming. There are many places that line the beach for food and drinks and several fantastic restaurants within walking distance. On the beach, La Perla is a must. Javier is the man to stop and see at this spot. Friendly, great host who usually sits at his spot behind the bar and plays great music playlists to listen to. There are many other beachside spots, this was our favorite. On the road of the Catalina if you walk down the road a short 5 minute walk, you will find several great places to eat. Kau Kan was fantastic with an awesome view. make reservations for the corner table, you won't be dissapointed. il mare, espuma, Puerto del so, are all within a few blocks and all very good. Each of them has great views of the area. If you want a highrise touristy vacation, go to ixtapa. If you want an old school laid back taste of Mexico, Zihuatanejo is the place. LaRopa can't be beat in this area, enjoy!

Room Tip: choose the upgrade to a bungalow or better.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank MnBelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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188 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
670 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 271 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2012

We have been staying at the Catalina every November since 1995. Because; the Catalina has the best location on Playa La Ropa (the best beach in Zihuatanejo), the staff are wonderful, the restaurant food excellent and the Sun Set bar the perfect spot to watch the sun set. The hotel is dated but they are slowly updating the amenities without ruining its unique ambience. The Cat is our home away from home! If you can't do stairs it may not be for you but the layout adds to its charm and the exercise is great! Can't wait for Nov 2012.

Room Tip: The upper Linda Vista suites are newer and large, some of the lower casitas have been updated to the...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ted M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2011

Catalina is a resort that can coast on its prime location and beautiful property. The advantages: reasonable rates. private balconies with hammocks and lounge chairs, overlooking the ocean. generous breakfast included in the rate. fridge in the room so you can keep leftovers or your own snacks/drinks/lunch. generous room size. consistently cleaned rooms. friendly accommodating service. The drawbacks: it seems like owners or mgrs have chosen to defer investment in upgrades. examples: threadbare towels and linens; rusted ceiling fans; inadequate room lights consisting of small lamps with bulbs that looked to be from 1950; beach lounge chairs in some disrepair with some cushions looking rather worn, same for the beach umbrellas, a few needed repair.

we had a wonderful visit because of the easy beach access and amazing balcony views. this made up for a lot but folks should be aware of the limitations as well.

NOTE: mgmt should be more clear that all services at the hotel include a tip. you don't need to tip for anything on your own because you are already being charged a gratuity.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
13 Thank saucyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2011

My 3rd and last stay was before Christmas, 2011. We booked our room thru a travel agent, not the hotel directly, selecting one in the mid price range. The room we were given "the hotel is full and this is all we have for you" was dirty with furniture dating from the 1960's or earlier. Water pressure in the shower (tiles caked with scum) was slim to non existent While the location is wonderful with easy beach access (that is why we keep trying to love this hotel) the views can be iffy. In all our stays here the view has been of vegetation with a bit of ocean thru the trees. We did some exploring and found several small very tidy hotels in the Madera neighborhood with better views at a much better price even during the peak Holiday travel season. If we had not prepaid for the hotel we would have moved since there were vacancies. For the value the short ten minute walk to La Ropa beach is certainly worth it. We are very flexible travelers and do not expect a lot...how much time are you in your room when on a beach vacation...but keep wondering if the other reviewers were at a different Catalina Beach Hotel given the glowing reports.

Room Tip: Ask to see the room before you move and and question "we are full and this is all we have"...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
18 Thank adventurousUsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level Contributor
41 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2011

We have been to Zihua 16 or 17 times over the last 25 years. For the last 5 or 6 of them, we have stayed at the Catalina. It has been maintained nicely given how long it has been here and the climate impacts that take their annual toll. The staff are wonderful and extremely helpful. The many stairs between the beach and the road are one of the things we look forward to as a workout in keeping us fit.

The hotel's restaurant (Linda Vista) has great food and service and should be a destination point for dinner for those staying elsewhere in Zihua. It has been hard for us to justify eating out with what is available at the Catalina. We were there over Thanksgiving this year and enjoyed the special T-Day meal that was exquisitely prepared and presented.

We have made a number of friends from the U.S and Canada from these stays, visiting them outside of Zihua as well as annually as we crisscross paths in the November timeframe. After enjoying the beautiful La Ropa beach in the afternoon, we transition to our room via the infinity pool and its great view of the bay. Can't say enough about this experience!

Stan & Maggie

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank seamag1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ashland, Oregon
Level Contributor
86 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2011

I stayed for a week at the Catalina hotel with friends. We did yoga daily together on the bar level of the hotel in the early morning. My room (number 35) had an incredible view from our patio of La Ropa Beach and Zihuatanejo bay. The hotel restaurant was excellent--we chose to eat there several nights rather than go out. Hotel staff were friendly and helpful. I used to stay at the Sotavento Hotel, which was next door, but is now being converted into condos.This is my second visit to this hotel and I will return. The rooms had air conditioning and refrigerators. One downside is the extreme hardness of the beds.

Room Tip: Get a room higher up to get a good breeze.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Fireweed108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2011

I didn't want the world to know what a wonderful place this is, and make it so popular that I can't come back! This was our first trip to Zihua, but we have been to Mexico many times before. This is far and away our favorite. Everyone writes about the stairs (true), the big breakfasts (true) and the wonderful service (also true). I will share some of my experiences that hopefully won't bore you, I write like I talk, and I talk alot. I am 45, travel alot, sometimes with teenagers, sometimes not. This time it was just my husband and I. I have high expectations and despise poor service. Just so you know...

Hotel is old. I was VERY concerned that the rooms would be rundown, dirty, and "authentic". It was none of the above, except authentic in a good way. It was spotless from top to bottom. The maids do a wonderful job, were quick, and seemed to know when we were out. We only saw them once during our entire stay. Our main room was very spacious, The walk-in closet had hangers, shelves and a chest. Could use a mirror to make it a more usable space, especially if you have two women in the room who need to get ready. The bathroom had a large vanity area to store your lotions and potions. The walk in shower was big. Water was warm, pressure good.

The restaurant, bar, grounds were equally as well maintained. Service was excellent. We ate every breakfast (it was included, and delicious). I would get my coffee early as it was a self-service coffee/tea bar, and take it back to the room and sit on balcony, and watch La Ropa wake up. Then we would go back upstairs for the meal. We ate a few dinners there. Very nice setting. There is an ice machine, and filtered water sink on the restaurant level. Totally safe to drink, although it is warm. Get lots of ice!

Activities. I am happy to say that they do not have an activities director! The main activity seemed to be going from palapa to bar to ocean back to palapa. With the occaisional walk down the beach in either direction to people watch and check out the menus of the 15 or so restaurants RIGHT ON THE BEACH.

I am talking toes in the sand dining, whether it is upscale or cafe. We ate at several different places on La Ropa, find your favorites. I think my favorite for a romantic dinner is the Fish of the Day at La Perla. I ordered it on a reccommendation of a "foodie" friend. My husband was jealous, let's just leave it at that.

The palapas at Catalina are the place to be during the day. The only downfall is that they are very strict about the one towel per person policy. The cushions are plastic, and get sandy, and it is hot and uncomfortable. If you can bring your own beach towel from home do it. There were plenty of seats, you don't feel like you have to set the alarm for 6am to get a spot. The pool is almost an afterthought here, which is bizarre, considering it is clean, infinity style, with a spectacular view. It was most busy during the transition time from beach to happy hour. You will never have a problem getting a chair if you prefer pool to beach.

HIGHLIGHT #1: Took a chance and booked a fishing excursion from a vendor on the beach. Marcos Fishing Tour! Met two gentlemen who joined my husband and I. Marcos picked us up at 7am as promised and we spent 9 hours out on the water and at Los Gatos beach eating our catch. We caught 6 tuna, ate one "ceviche style" on board, and had two cooked for us by a friend of the captain at a restaurant on Los Gatos. Total cost for lunch was $50 per person, including side dishes. STEAL. The cost for the whole day was not much more than renting a jet ski each for half an hour. It was the best value. FYI, we had 6 lines going all day. Had a sailfish on, but it jumped and was gone. There was a first mate, too, everything was done for you. Except reeling in the fish!

You may hear that it is dangerous to walk around at night. Not true, in my opinion, but then I don't go looking for trouble. We would usually walk to "town" after enjoying the sunset aka happy hour on our deck. There is a beach path that is unlit and the last hurricane really did a number on the concrete, railings, etc... Don't try it in the dark, without first going in the light to check out what to look out for. Ask someone at the resort how to get to it, you have to know where to turn down from the main road (at the taxi stand, just past the KauKan restaurant). It saves a little bit of main street walking and is an adventure. I don't reccommend walking home, take a taxi. $35 pesos, plus tip.

I absolutely loved downtown Zihua! The main gathering spot is the basketball court by the beach (not the one by the banks, where we waited an hour to meet friends, only to find out there are 2 lighted courts in Zihua, who would have thought?). From the bball court, you can walk in any direction to numerous restaurants, bars, shops. It truly is a fishing village and there are always fishermen on the beach with the days catch.

You def need to try a Tacos Pasteur place - 5 freshly made pork tacos for less than $20 pesos. Unreal. I learned that I loved Pazole, the mexican soup. Its a huge bowl of soup, with tons of stuff to toss in. Like Mexican Pho. The best place we found for it was Tamales y Atole Any. Right next door was another great restaurant, Los Braceros, the cucumber salad was amazing. Do not hesitate to eat from the street vendors. Have a pineapple, ham and cheeseburger with everything. $30 pesos. On Sundays it is family night at the basketball court. There are alot more vendors. Get the corn in the cup with creme, peppers and butter. Heaven. Some locals were rubbing their hands with anticipation over the deep fried quesadillas - like huge mexican calzones. For about $30 pesos.

HIGHLIGHT #2: Our day trip to Las Cascadas Mesas de Bravo. Check out our drivers own website www.bluemorphoecotours.com. We went with 4 others on a private excursion, it was the perfect day. Everything you read and see is true, only better!

Told you it would be a long review. Two more tips: shop at the main grocery store, La Commercial, about 5 min via taxi from hotel. Our driver stopped on way from airport, we stocked up! There is very little selection at the markets on La Ropa and Zihua town. And, there are NO computers for use and NO ATM on La Ropa for the normal traveler, the closest are in Zihua proper. There is WIFI, ask at the front desk.

Enjoy, just don't take my room!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank jboyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Catalina Beach Resort

Property: Catalina Beach Resort
Address: Calle Playa La Ropa s/n, Zihuatanejo 40880, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Guerrero > Zihuatanejo
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Zihuatanejo
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Zihuatanejo
#22 Romantic Hotel in Zihuatanejo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Catalina Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
spectacular sunsets are seen from the comfort of your hammock ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalina Beach Hotel Zihuatanejo
Catalina Beach Zihuatanejo

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