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“Beautiful resort and friendly folks”
Review of Embarc Zihuatanejo

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Embarc Zihuatanejo
Ranked #11 of 79 Hotels in Zihuatanejo
Certificate of Excellence
Katy, Texas
Level Contributor
39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Beautiful resort and friendly folks”
Reviewed 4 March 2014

First and foremost, there are alot of stairs, I counted over 220 from the beach to our room, a lookout. Even the golf carts would only take you so far, still the stairs. After a week I am in much better shape though.
The views from our room, though not unobstructed were beautiful and the room was very nicely arranged. The lookout is hte top room in the building and is small, as there were only two of us it was adequate, though a drawback is an outdoor shower, if my wife was about six inches taller she would have provided a show. A row or two of glass block would have been nice.
The staff was always friendly and on the spot helpful if needed. The two pools were very nice and the swim up bar had some pretty tasty drinks as well. The beach front was nice, plenty of beach and a cordoned off area to keep the vendors in line. I read reviews about the vendors being bothersome but I did not find that at all. Of course they were there but not at all pushy, and, after all, that is how they make their living!
I would recommend this to anyone who wants to visit Zihautanejo, is looking for spectacular views away from the town itself.
Couple things though about the cabs, they all seem to have set prices from the airport to the resort 35 USD and our guy refused to stop at a store on the way in. Return to the airport was on 28 USD but he stopped so my wife could purchase a tee shirt.
The best way around are the "Combi's", vans that run regularly down to town, Centro and then up the hill Playa la Ropa for about 6 to 11 pesos per person.
Walking to town is easy, all downhill, the walk back is a bit more daunting and the taxis seem to raise their prices the closer you get to the resort.
Lots of great people in and around the town both locals and regular vacationers as well as the newcomers.
All in all a good time and great resort!

Room Tip: Know before you go, there are lots of stairs. Lobby to beach there are about 150 steps. No elevato...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (162)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cancun, Mexico
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2014

We booked through a time share exchange for a 2 week stay in January, our first week, in a "1 bedroom", our second, a 2 bedroom. When we arrived, this place has huge curb appeal. This is a stunningly gorgeous resort, the grounds, the architecture, and the views!!! After a long journey from Missouri, we showed at the resort at about 1:30, hot, tired and ready to settle in. We were informed our room would not be ready until 4 pm, oh shucks, but we made our way down a maze of stairs and hallways to the beach. The signage could have been better directing us, but, fine, we made it. Hot on the beach in our jeans, we waited until 4, by then, really wanted to settle into our room. Our first MAJOR issue with this place, there are hundreds of stairs between the lobby area and upper condos down to the pool/beach area. If you have mobility issues, not good. So after climbing, literally about 150 stairs to get back up to the lobby at 4, covered in sweat, we were casually informed that our room would not be ready for another half hour, with, like, no apology. After we made our displeasure known, we had a couple of free margaritas....as we watch it utter frustration, other guests arriving and being immediately escorted to their rooms, huh? They could tell we were not happy, our room was finally ready....but it was not a "1 bedroom", it was a studio. No plunge pool, small balcony. When we complained, they swore up and down it was a 1 bedroom but since it had only 1 bathroom, it was without the other perks of a real 1 bedroom, like a plunge pool and a large balcony. When I asked Maria the manager if all of the 1 bedrooms had plunge pools, she said YES, of COURSE. We said, OOPS you put us in a studio, we want our 1 bedroom! She then immediately backtracked and said that she was not sure about the rooms (right, she is the manager there, another, huh??? moment). We then went on the internet, including here at TA, of course. We found travelers' pics of their studios at Intrawest and, lo and behold, the studio pics looked exactly like our "1 bedroom", down to the last detail. We also got sick from improperly chilled seafood at the restaurant that night (see our review of it here).

Regarding the stairs, they claim there are golf carts. They are, however, few and far between, and every time one drove by as at the resort, we could not hitch a ride cause they were always carrying supplies. There is really no excuse for such a new resort, built on a cliffside, to not have elevators. There are shafts filled with dangly art. We suspect that those were for elevators but they ran out of money, just our hunch.

There are no sliding glass doors, only slatted wooden doors. One afternoon they had LOUD, we mean LOUD pounding aerobics music near the lobby area, our room was thudding with really annoying disco pounding music for over an hour! No relief closing slatted doors! We actually had to leave the room to go into town it was so awful.

The pool area is quite small for a resort of that size, but we always found a lounger. If we got there early, there was also plenty of room in the pool. Gorgeous pool area, too. The beach in front of Intrawest is also fabulous. La Ropa is public and bustling, but absolutely gorgeous!! The Intrawest beach was groomed daily, the sand is soft and the swimming is Pacific gentle and lovely.

The staff are friendly and wonderful. The one time we could count on a golf cart was when we returned from shopping, they were always at the lobby to take us and our stuff to our room. We also begged the staff for a really awesome 2 bedroom our 2nd week to make up for our smaller one bedroom/studio/whatever that room was. They came through like pros. Our 2 bedroom was down by the pool/beach area, stunning views, they outdid themselves, and it really helped make up for the first week. Thank you everyone who works there, you are wonderful!!!

We LOVED our second week there!! Our other complaint was when we returned home and filled out their survey. They sent it to us to get our opinions. We informed them about getting sick at the restaurant and the stairs. Instead of responding, like, oh sorry about the food, we need more golf carts, Maria, the manager informed me that I must have had a food allergy, could not have been their food. WRONG!! I have consumed shrimp my entire life, I am like Bubba Gump the way I love shrimp, never an issue, we did not both have a sudden onslaught of a rogue shrimp allergy. She also said golf carts are a push of a button away, also totally wrong. Especially if you are at the pool/beach and need a ride up, no buttons that we could see!!! Why did they bother us with a survey only to ignore it and make sorry excuses?

We are returning to Zihua in September and are booked at Hotel Irma. Nuff said.

Room Tip: Bring a Sherpa and make sure you get what you booked.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank weloveiguanas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2014

We stayed in the off season. The resort was only about 30% full while we were there. We had a 2 bedroom and there were 4 of us, it could have accommodated 6 easily.
Yes there are a lot of stairs. But, they can be broken up by stopping along the way. And, there is always somebody around to give you a ride in the "corvette" aka the golf cart.
Drinks were very reasonable, especially during happy hour.
Food at the bar was okay but better outside of the resort.
We cooked breakfast and lunch in our room most days. They supplied us with an ice chest that we kept drinks in to help out with the fact that the fridge was small. We used the hot plate to make pancakes, french toast, grilled cheese etc...

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank JessiBeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2014

This our second time visiting the club, this time we took friends. Maria who is the club manager is amazing, always asking how you are and we were able to see first hand a turtle release. It was quite exciting and informative as Maria gave a description of the process. Being able to run on the beach was a special treat but being in the yoga classes overlooking the bay was incredible. Yes there is a $15.00 charge but worth every penny!!! We walked to town on the boardwalk and went on the sunset catamaran cruise. Our rooms were very clean and the pools immaculate!!
Kudos to Maria who runs this establishment and to the very very friendly and happy employees of this club!! As for the stairs, there is always a golf cart available with a very happy driver available to pick you up at your room!

Room Tip: We had a corner two bedroom which is great if you are two couples!
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank c_halliwushka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, Alabama
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2014

This review is going to be detailed and positive. We stayed at Club Intrawest Zihuatanejo Jan. 19, 2014- Jan. 24, 2014. It was the most amazing resort we have ever visited. We have traveled throughout the Caribbean, Hawaiian Islands, and this was by far my favorite. (Although the Hilton Waikoloa is hard to beat.) We exchanged through Hilton Vacation Club. The ocean view rooms are reserved for Club Intrawest owners. I called the hotel and also emailed the concierge and asked if there was any way possible to get an ocean view. We were told they were full and they would do what they could. We asked if we could pay to upgrade and were told that was not an option. I also emailed the concierge and told them it was our 19 year anniversary. They left us a romantic surprise when we arrived in our room.

I am 44 years old and in fairly good shape. Most of the commenters do not list their age. The resort has no elevators, it is 200+ stairs from the lobby down to the beach and then 200+ back up and then to your unit. There are golf carts readily available, however, we did not use them. The resort is not for people with young children (unless you are one of those overly zealous athletic parents who finds that idea exhilarating) I have average tempered teens and would not bring them because there is not enough for them to do and they would be bothering me non stop. However if my teens were passive bookworms then by all means this is the place to read and relax. I would say the majority of guests were 50+ years old, active, and everyone seemed to enjoy the resort. It was at full capacity but it felt like low season.

Here's how our trip went:
1. The room had a partial view (unit 104) it was in the building above/across from the lobby and we had a nice view of the water with privacy from neighbors. They left a romantic towel sculpture on our bed with two swans with scattered roses on the bed. Beautiful.
2. The room was wonderful. The AC worked just fine. There were the basic items for making your food, but since it was so inexpensive we ate at the restaurant or had room service. The bugs were not an issue. The bed is not a Tempurpedic so don't expect that level. It's a hotel bed. The pillows were fine. If this is important to you, bring your own.
3. The stairs are numerous and totally workable. As mentioned above, from the lobby there were 200+ down to the beach. Then back up and to your unit. The golf carts were readily available.
4. The staff is wonderful. Everyone is happy, smiling, wishing you a good day. Every person seemed to enjoy their job. We especially liked Eloy. He was so wonderful. He told us about the private dinners on the beach, the beach BBQ on Tuesdays, and the cooking class.
5. The food at the resort is exquisite. We never had a bad meal. It was delicious. We did the private dinner on the beach which was so romantic. Eloy took our pictures and was our host. The 3 course meal with lobster and drinks was around $235. The Beach BBQ was also fantastic and was around $50 - both for two people.
6. There is a cooking class that runs from 10-2pm. They go to the market and select the fish, then return to cook.
7. The beach is clean and safe. We paddle boarded one day ($20 per board) and had the best time viewing the landscape from the water. One commenter said the kayaks, etc should be included. I have never been to a resort where that was included and I have traveled extensively.
8. We walked into the town which took 5-10 minutes. We only went one day and it was nothing great. Bought a few tshirts and then walked back.
9. Be aware of the people at the airport when you arrive. There is a guy, Manny, who tries to sell you round trip cab fare for $65 and will give you a free tour on an island to snorkel. It's not worth it. Just skip the sales pitch and go to the cabs. The taxi drivers charge more because they are waiting for flights to land and then drive you to your resort. It is always $35. The ride from the resort to the airport is around $28 because they call local taxis. There is no need to rent a car.
10. We didn't leave the resort because it was so beautiful, relaxing, and had everything we wanted. If you felt the need to explore I would book it through the resort just to be on the safe side - especially with security. You just don't know who to trust and the resort will ensure all is legitimate.
11. Vendors on the beach. There were not many selling jewelry. There were a few massage huts on the beach along with a jet ski/small sailboat/paddleboard guy. They are all incredibly nice and simply trying to make a living. Be kind and tell them "maybe tomorrow" if you are not interested.
12. Massages - you can email the concierge at Club Intrawest Zihuatanejo ahead of time to set up massages with them. They were full for the whole week when we got there. We had 2 $20 massages on the beach and they were fine. A little close to each other with no privacy, but it is what it is. I preferred the second massage hut rather than the first because there was more room between tables. Modesty is out the window too!
13. The water is clear, many people had snorkeling gear. The beach sand was clean - never saw it littered. Club Intrawest was raking it daily and the sand color is a nice beige and it's soft. It isn't white like the Gulf, but it isn't brown like the Atlantic. It was just right! The pools are wonderful. With the resort being at full capacity - the pools were not crowded. My husband loved hanging out at the swim bar, sipping a few drinks, and listening to the music. Perhaps from 3-4pm during happy hour was it crowded.
14. We paid each meal with our visa and totaled it in Pesos. By the third day we did room charges and totaled each in Pesos - including tip. We took a pic of each bill. Also there are apps for currency translation - which we used a ton.
15. The WIFI was excellent. We got the app Viber to communicate with our kids at home.

We loved this resort. The location is beautiful, they cater to their guests and are beyond friendly. The unit was wonderful. We spent many days sun bathing on the deck in the wonderful chairs and using the dip pool. The dip pool is quite cool, but it was my absolute favorite. I also read books lounging on the side of the dip pool. We will be returning as soon as we can. It was truly paradise and the sunsets were phenomenal.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Southerngirl511
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
132 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2014

This was our 5th trip to Zihua and we just loved the Intrawest. It is in a great location and the most fun we have had at a beach hotel in a long time. It's close enought to walk to town (we did this only once), but there is so much on this side of the bay, you may end up enjoying everything around instead. We spent most of our time in the town the last times because we were staying on teh other side of the bay so this was a great change. We are already looking for another timeshare trade to get back in next winter, or the following. We had room 701 and it was a great 1 bedroom with a big patio. The view is not great, as it sits a bit low and behind another building, but we loved it. We love walking and excercising, so the stairs and hills to town were great for us, but if you don't like it, then be careful in selecting this resort and spend some time figureing out the best room. When the horn blows many people go down to the pool for Happy Hour and we met a bunch of fun people and build some friendships and went out to dinner a few times with the group.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank JSMinMN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2014

My second stay at the Club and I cannot fault it. The location, staff and service are amazing. In particular the F&B available at the resort especially the "fish to market" buffet served on the beach on Tuesday evenings. Marie (Hotel GM), Ugo, Ixtel and Indira all the front office staff, bell staff, housekeeping and F&B staff are outstanding in their friendliness and professionalism. I cannot wait to go back! 5 Star!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank loghouseBB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Embarc Zihuatanejo

Property: Embarc Zihuatanejo
Address: Camino Escenico a Playa la Ropa | Zona Hotelera, Zihuatanejo 40880, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Guerrero > Zihuatanejo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Zihuatanejo
#8 Family Hotel in Zihuatanejo
#9 Spa Hotel in Zihuatanejo
#16 Romantic Hotel in Zihuatanejo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Embarc Zihuatanejo 4*
Number of rooms: 63
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Oceanfront Villas on the Mexican Riviera Club Intrawest is a private vacation club. From time to time, Guests are invited to stay at the Club on a nightly, cash basis. The Club is located on Playa la Ropa – the most exclusive beach in Zihuatanejo. Vacation Homes cascade down the hillside offering panoramic views of Zihuatanejo Bay. Enjoy casual dining by the infinity pool or in the restaurant under the giant palapa roof. Club Intrawest – Zihuatanejo reflects its spectacular oceanfront location in a stunning open-air design and innovative architecture. Terraces offer sweeping ocean views from every angle. Uniquely designed villas feature hand-cut tiles, wood furnishings and bright fabrics, all locally crafted to reflect the rich culture of the region. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Club Intrawest - Zihuatanejo Hotel Zihuatanejo
Hotel Intrawest Zihuatanejo
Intrawest Zihuatanejo

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