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“Unique local experience - not for everyone”
Review of Casa del Encanto

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Casa del Encanto
Ranked #9 of 59 Zihuatanejo B&B and Inns
Reviewed 17 March 2013

The title of this review are words often said by those who stay here yearly - and Casa del Encanto has MANY annual visitors who stay for extended periods every year and enjoy it very much. Some stay at Villa Tapirasio across the street as well (it has bug screens) but Casa del Encanto has the feel of a mexican village and the peaceful ambience for people who come to experience all that good stuff that mexico offers it's guests, pros and cons together.

Some of the negative comments I read here seemed to be written by those who do not understand where they were and definitely were not aware of how some things work (there are NO refunds of $ once you reserve no matter how long you reserved for - anywhere down here not just at Casa del Encanto) - so whining about it on Tripadvisor after the education sinks in is pointless. I tend to book for a week in 1-2 places in an area then if I do not like it I can move on or back to the other.

If you are looking for a unique mexican B&B experience and have a slightly tougher hide and a small sense of adventure, this one nestled within the quaint little village of Barra de Potosi ("where the lagoon meets the sea") is the place to stay.

Barra de Potosi is a beautiful authentic, real live mexican fishing village that was not put here for tourists, but because there are so many that come to savour the delicious flavours and vistas of this country and still stay in close proximity (45 minutes by local buses) to the bustle of Zihuatanejo etc. the villagers have adjusted by offering great food and lodging at prices that are half to a third what you pay normally elsewhere. I would encourage anyone with a sense of taste and adventure to come here and see for themselves. It is incredible and so rewarding.

A word to those who do not like to step outside their comfort zones - this B&B, while giving most all the creature comforts we norteamericanos like such as a consistent and fresh tasty breakfast, comfortable rooms with soft beds and pillows you sink right into, floor fans that can blow you away and wifi (although you may have to sit downstairs near the transmitter), friendly staff and hugely knowledgeable hostess, a 1 minute walk to your choice of at least 5 restaurants that all serve fantastic food and a 5 minute very pleasurable walk to the 9 mile beach with all it's charms ------may not be up to everyone's comfort level.

There are cons that others may not find to their liking and let's be honest - why not list them so that some of these negative (and even slightly hysterical) comments get put into perspective. No there are no bed bugs - if you get bites on your legs they are from sand fleas in the beach and in the floors of restaurants after about 5pm as the heat leaves - most smart people use bug spray on their legs at supper as well outside on dirt floors - anywhere in the world at this latitude. If you get bites elsewhere those are mosquitos and noseeums - ask the hostess to spray and buy a bottle of "Fast Aid" creme (with menthol and lanacaine) from the local pharmacia (or in the airport before coming here). Taking care of yourself is sometimes an educational experience - but claiming bedbugs is just dead wrong and would never be tolerated in an establishment with Casa del Encanto's ethics.

Casa del Encanto is rustic mexican hacienda. You cannot see it from the street as it has so much foliage - fountains everywhere and comfy chairs abound. The house is a curved concrete and plaster structure, beautifully colored and every room is clean and unique, but it is aging and it could use some work depending in what room you are in - on the plumbing and cieling fans etc. (the small things).

Someone should be spraying for mosquitos and noseeums every week as a regular maintainence matter. Laura will do it if you ask - many don't ask because they do not want to sound ungrateful for all that she does - but she doesn't mind - just ask her!

Yes there are bats outside in the open areas - NO they do not fly into the house (how could someone say that) because the netting over all entrances and windows prevents it and bats dislike flying around inside buildings anyway. But there are no bug screens, as the open concept of the place does not lend itself to being easily screened. The bed nets handle them at night quite well - bring a safety pin to keep the net opening in place - and ask Laura to spray the grounds or tell her about anything you need and she will gladly help you if she can.

Dogs, roosters, kids, fruit, vegetable, fish and propane hawkers calling out their wares. Noisy? A little but not really bad like some places.

The safety pin can also be used to unplug the shower heads that plug up due to high calcium over time naturally - but the showers themslves are great and work dandy after you poke them with a toothpick or pin.

Breakfast is lovely - a really tasty granola cereal mix milk or heavy cream, fresh yogurt (various flavors), all the fresh fruit you can eat, fresh bread and sweet buns (sometimes french toast or other treats) and the coffee is to die for - mellow but strong enough to set you up for a day in the real mexico that you came to experience.

I stayed for 3 weeks off and on, I happily reccomend this B&B to anyone with a sense of adventure and Barra de Potosi to anyone who has a romantic urge to walk through one of the most beautiful mexican villages in existance. You won't forget this experience and you will find out why so many come back.

Room Tip: the upper floors have fewer mosquitos and more airflow at night and privacy from the street
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Paradise_Penguins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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25 - 31 of 59 reviews

Reviewed 30 June 2012

I prepaid the trip and when i got there laura gave me the most expensive room in order to stay in that room i had to pay an additional three hundred dollars. I GOT BED BUGS AND had to see a doctor. The breakfast was the same thing and the same granola for the seven days that i did stay there. I paid for a full month. I had to leave . Laura was beyond impossible. The whole time i was there she had the place full of construction and my sheets or the bed bugs were not dealt with.

Room Tip: if you are poor and want a vacation stay there. If you are not poor don't.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
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Thank orlyLa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2012

My friends and I stayed here following a recommendation from a friend of mine, and thoroughly enjoyed it. We stayed in the Green Coconut room for the first night, but the cockerel outside our window didn't seem to respect normal sleeping hours, so moved to the Blue Room for the rest of our stay. There were so many unique touches that made it a pleasure to stay there - the tealights on the stairs in an evening, the extensive book collection, the breeze whilst swinging on your hammock on the balcony, the honesty bar, the lovely breakfasts and, most importantly, the warmth and friendliness of Laura, the owner (as well as her amazing stock of anecdotes). Barra de Potosi itself is quite a lot of fun - kayaking round the river back into the lagoon was brilliant, and for comfy sunbathing, you can hire sunloungers at the hotel next to Laura's beach area for 40 pesos a day, and use their pool and bar as well. The massages are also amazing. Finding a gourmet dinner venue is a bit of challenge, but apparently there is a good seafood restaurant a short taxi ride away - laura can give you the details. This is probably not the break for those who like everything clinical and modern, but for those looking for a friendly, Mexican, authentic experience, it's hard to beat. Just make sure you take earplugs and insect repellant! And Laura runs the village library next door, so if you have any spare stationery, that's always welcome....

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank KateThomson73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2012

My husband, daughter, and I stayed at Casa del Encanto for two nights in January as we were participating in the town's sailfishing contest. We arrived without a reservation and stayed in a downstairs room with a queen size bed and a twin bed out in the patio area. Laura is a gracious hostess but doesn't hover. She does know a lot about the area and has lived in the town as its developed.

We've traveled loads in Mexico and what stood out about Casa del E. were the firm beds and the bedding! Wonderful sheets and loads of good pillows. And the towels -- superb! There was mosquito netting over the beds, but smart travelers will still wear bug repellent to bed on the coast, screens or no screens.

Loved the way Laura lights loads of candles every night and has tiny lights everywhere. The decorating is very eclectic and cheerful. Comfortable places to hang in the public areas -- books and a computer to use.

The breakfast is excellent -- lots of fresh fruit and coffee and eggs. We spent a couple of hours at the table because the conversation was so engaging. Other guests, like us, were expats or expat wanna-bees.

This place is not on the beach, but close enough to do a morning walk and Laura has her own palapa there for during the day.

The little eatery across the street is perfect for an after-dark, cheap meal.

We'll go back!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank CyndieKatz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2012

My partner and I stayed here for 5 short days, and it was perfect. It was just what we were looking for, to get away....really get away and just breathe in life of a small coastal Mexican village. The room service and breakfast during our stay was great. Laura even helped us bring in in tamales one morning. The walk to the beach is very short, and allows you to pass by the village library/community center, school, small tiendas and restaurants. The property is cozy and warm and you begin to feel like you're at your second home in a very short time. If you want relaxation, peace, reflection, opportunities to integrate with locals, great seafood, and lazy days at an uncrowded beach then this place is for you. If you want a themed Hilton hotel with a microwave and tv, you might want to continue your search. We think this place is awesome, and we plan to return.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank EscapeArtist101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2012

We stayed at this B&B for a week and it was the most peaceful and relaxing! Our hostess Laura was helpful and very friendly. She knows the village very well and gave us great advice and tips. We love what she does for the village and the influence she has made for the children.
Casa del Encanto is beautiful and has great character! Our spacious, colorful room with comfortable beds and hammocks was always clean. We enjoyed our delicious breakfast. Our favorites were mexican style eggs and fresh fruits! YUM! We loved that Casa del Encanto is located in the village and that the rooms are open air. It is Mexico, so there are roosters crowing in the middle of the night anywhere. We got used to it very easily. We still speak of how much we miss sleeping in the open air! We met great friends here and had great conversation in the communal space by the kitchen. We love the atmosphere here, especially at night when the candles are lit.
We thought we'd get bored spending a whole week at the same place, but it was just perfect! We rented kayaks, went on a lagoon tour and a playa Manzanillo tour with Avi (recommended by Laura), met great people, attended a wedding for the whole village, and simply enjoying the beach!
We would love to go back soon!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank totalbeachaddict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2012

I have stayed at this B & B many times through the years. Laura is helpful and knowledgeable about everything in the village. Her place is charming and welcoming. Love it! I'll keep coming back.

Room Tip: Love the upstairs rooms and the bungalow.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank senoravieja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa del Encanto

Address: Barra de Potosi, Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Guerrero > Zihuatanejo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 59 B&Bs / Inns in Zihuatanejo
Price Range: £30 - £38 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 17

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