More about Camino Real Zaashila
A beautiful resort and fantastic staff!
I just returned from my trip to huatulco and camino real zaashila is the best hotel there if not in all of mexico. The staff far exceeded my expectations as well as the hotel. The pictures posted for the resort do not do it justice. It is paradise. My boyfriend and I decided on the room with the splash pool. It was fantastic! Its a 4 ft pool right outside of the room and its all to yourself. We stayed in room # 1 and i recomend it too anyone who prefers privacy. its tucked away with a fantastic view. on a scale from 1 to 10 i give it an 11. i would visit again.
We had a marvelous stay at the Zaashila between the 17th and 26th of February this year. Prior to leaving, we had been following the posts at this board, and at one point were concerned with some negative comments about the resort. Rest assured, this is an excellent operation. The staff were incredibly friendly and attentive, the facilities top-rate, and restaurants were good and well-priced. Breakfasts were a special treat, with delicious fresh fruit (try the mango sauce on the fruit). The lunch restaurant was happy to cook tuna caught by us that morning, making a memorable luncheon. But also feel free to enjoy the local cuisine as well in the two nearby villages. The rooms at the Zaashila were large and well-appointed, and housekeeping did a fine job. Finally, the weather couldn't have been better. Frankly, this was one of the most restful and pleasant vacations we've had. Hats off to the Zaashila and to Huatulco!
Epitomy of peaceful relaxation!
This is just about our most favorite resort. When we want peace and quiet we choose Zaashila. We have been there 3 times and we always ask for one of the rooms on the beach with a splash pool and the view is fabulous. The staff are so friendly and helpful. Mauricio, the head of food and beverage, is a gem and so willing to please to make our stay wonderful. We like to have breakfast on our patio, lunch at the beach restaurant and then dinner at the hotel (very good and quite pricey) or out on the town. Las Crucicitas has several good places. Our favorite, L'echalote, in Chahue, is owned by a Swiss man, Thierry, and the food is consistantly delicious. This hotel is the perfect place to flop and truly rest and relax. Beach is wonderful and private and there are not a lot of beach vendors because they have to traverse a very steep hillside to get to Zaashila. Many more Spanish speaking guests than Americans, but more and more are catching on to it!
Wouldn't have wanted to stay anywhere else
Just returned from 7 days at the Zaashila and we were very pleased with our stay. The view from our room was stunning and the service was extremely polite. It is easier to get around if you speak any spanish, which we did, but others who spoke only english seemed to manage just fine. The food was more expensive than anticipated, but very good. The drinks were also expensive. The beach club has a restaurant, which was amazing (if pricey). The beach was beautiful, the rooms were clean and the view was worth the trip. Sabor de Oaxaca was our favorite restaurant in La Crucacita--the mole was excellent and the service top notch. Casa Mayor also had really good coffee and atmosphere. A bit out of the way, but the trip exceeded our expectations.
Best hotel in Huatulco
Stayed four nights in the Camino Zaashila following a four-night stay at the Camino Real in Oaxaca City. (By the way, if you are interested in this combo you should definitely rent a car and drive south from Oaxaca City to Hautulco via highway 175.) Left the Camino Zaashila thinking that we needed at least two more days. Here are some positives and negatives:
The exterior of the resort is pleasing to the eye and well-designed. The other resorts in this area are eyesores. The beach is terrific, as is the beautiful pool. There is plenty of shade. Though the red-flag warning of dangerous surf flew everyday, the ocean was perfectly swimmable. Because of the steep incline of the beach, however, boogie boarding and body surfing are not feasible. The Atlantic Ocean off the northeastern coast of the US is rougher than what we experienced in Tangolunda Bay.
The room interiors are not as nice as the exterior. Stark with some inadvisable flourescent lighting. Furniture is a bit cheap. It seemed as if they spent all the money on the exterior design and hired some crazy person for the interiors.
If view is important to you, as it was to us, it is critical to get a low-numbered room. I had booked through the US 800 number and requested a non-smoking room with an unobstructed view of the beach/ocean. What I got was a smoky room in the second-tier of buildings (20 something) and a view of the first-tier row of roofs. After some persistence with the front-desk, moved the second day into the first-tier row (19 I think) and was much happier, even though we had two double beds instead of a king. I think if you call the hotel directly in advance, you might be able to rectify this problem--or you could request specific room numbers.
Do not expect Ritz Carlton service. The front desk staff is fairly limited to processing check-in and check-out. There is no concierge. At the pool towel desk local tour companies set up shop. Sometimes they don't show up. The best we found was Expo Huatulco, which you can also call on your own. The staff at Expo speaks fluent English. They run the usual snorkel and horseback riding tours, etc. We also hired an excellent birding guide named Alex through Expo.
The food is serviceable. The breakfast buffet was quite extensive... it was good and was served in the beachfront restaurant. This restaurant space, however, at night is taken up by tour groups or theme buffets, e.g., Chinese night. If you're from NYC, this will be of absolutely no interest to you. The main restaurant for dinner is okay once or twice. You're better off trying different restaurants in the area which are easily accessed through inexpensive taxis.
Though La Crucecita is a town built from the ground up by the Mexican tourist authority, it is actually pretty vibrant since all the resort workers actually live there. It's active and fun and in a certain way less touristy than the old colonial town of Oaxaca.
The area of Huatulco is naturally beautiful and is still relatively unspoiled. The Camino Zaashila is low-key and it's a good place to get in beach time if you want some amenities (in contrast to say where you can stay in Puerto Escondito) and are traveling around Oaxaca. Though I would not select this resort for a week if I was seeking a five-star resort and luxury pampering, in this region, the Camino Zaashila is the best resort I saw.
This Place Rocks It All The Way Down!!!
Nothing short of fantastic...The Views, the rooms, the pool and the food were all top-notch. Nothing but excellent service. The only speed-bump was a bout with the trots. -Andrew LoBianco
Practice your Spanish before you go
The location is the best in Huatulco. However, if you are American and expecting five star service, the Gala Resort is a better option for you. Here the beach is AMAZING, the water is perfect, the weather is fabulous. The restaraunts in the hotel are great for breakfast and lunch you can get at the pool (expensive), but go out for dinner! The best restaraunt in town is Sabor de Oaxaca- definately go there. The kids club does not have English speaking staff so the kids did not want to go. The rooms have bugs, but they are huge and if you can get them to clean with Clorox every day and keep your make-up in the refrigirator you are OK. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION, but the service leaves a lot to be desired. I would recommend, but with some caution.
Camino Real Zaashilaaaaaaaahhhhhh
Just returned from a relaxing trip to the beautiful Huatulco area. My friends and I returned from the Camino Real refreshed and relaxed which I think is one of this hotels strongest points. In spite of the fact that the staff claimed that the hotel was full, it was hard to believe. We hardly saw any other people. We never had to get up at the crack of dawn to "save" a lounge chair by the pool (Although I think you had to get up before dawn to save one down on the beach under a palapa!). We always had a table waiting for us in the restaurants. No blaring music, or activities staff nagging you to learn to mambo, no real partiers, etc. The only sounds were the birds and the crashing surf on the private beach. The hotel staff was wonderful, gracious and thoughtful somehow knowing what we needed before we asked. Our Spanish was halting but you could tell they appreciated our efforts and helped us when we stumbled. The rooms have a gorgeous ocean views (some have their own pools) and ours was located on the second floor with our own patio perfect for a little coffee and conversation in the morning. We opted for the Modified American Plan (known as MAP around the Camino Real) which allowed for breakfast each morning and either lunch or dinner. The breakfast buffet had a nice selection of fresh squeezed juices, freshly cut fruit, cereal, granola, made to order omelets (including chapolines...grasshoppers if you were feeling adventurous--most prounounced the insects "not bad") and other hot dishes. We didn't need to eat for several hours after the buffet so for us, many days, two meals were just right. Then it was off to the pool. The Camino Real's pool is legendary in the area. A zero entry pool gently winding through the grounds with built-in loungers. Just the right temperature. The gulls like it too and the staff periodically tidies up the "shore" of the pool to keep it beautiful and inviting all day. Lunch is served at a nice little open air restaurant beach side or the staff will bring your lunch to the pool. Dinners are served at Chez Binni. These restaurants, while not having an extensive menu, have a nice selection heavy on fish and seafood and we would say our meals were above average. We would leave the resort and sample the local cuisine it was only about $4 US to take a cab to the two local towns. In Santa Cruz we at at Ve En Mar and had the lobster (so delicious you didn't even need butter) and treated ourselves to Flambeed bananas. It was fun to eat a fine meal with our feet in the sand. We also shopped and snacked in La Crucecita. We recommend Iguanas, and Cafe Dublin (a little Irish Pub far from Dublin with cold beers and friendly conversation). Because the main goal of my 3 friends and I was to relax, catch up on our fiction and sample the local adult beverages, we did not do many excursions. My friend and I arranged a dive/snorkel trip with Hurricane Divers which we highly recommend. We had a great group with us and they took us to a beautiful bay with a secluded unspoiled beach. Our divemasters were friendly, helpful, fun and professional and we had a great time. We loved our vacation but as you all know there are always things that can go better and it is hoped that this review might make you aware of these things so that you do not have the difficulties we encountered. I am not a negative person, and you can tell we loved the trip, however....we had expressly requested connected or adjoining rooms, on check in we were told it was not possible and that was just that. There was no attempt to rectify it or to have us change rooms later in our stay. (The hotel *does* have adjoining rooms for some reason they just didn't want to deal with re-arranging). Also, we were never offered non-smoking rooms which we didn't notice until the last night when it seemed like 10 people were smoking in the next room and it filtered into our room under the door keeping us up much of the night. The housekeeping seemed a bit sporadic, sometimes the maid would knock on our door at 7:30 am to make up our room, sometimes not at all. They do have a turndown/towel service that would come to our room sometimes as late as 9:30-10:00pm Our shower never did work right and lacked sufficient pressure to generate more than a mist. We informed the desk and maid about this but it was never really repaired so I settled for taking baths. We consistantly tipped our maid each day but they must have been quite busy or short-staffed as our room seemed hurriedly made up with no particular special attention. We had some of the same dirty dishes in our room all week. Our biggest problem of the week was with the MAP (modified American Plan). We asked repeatedly for some definition of exactly what this plan included so we could eat without worrying about hidden charges. Finally one of the waiters told us that we could have anything but shrimp and lobster. Fine, there was plenty of other items but no other exclusions were ever mentioned. We were told to just sign our checks and write "MAP" on the bottom. We made reservations one night for "Azul Profundo" the specialty restaurant. We called the desk to make sure this dinner would be included in MAP and were assured that it was "no problem". The dinner was a beautiful experience, candle-lit, ocean side, 4-5 courses (I've lost count) we had so many waiters serving us it seemed as the ratio must have been 2 waiters per diner. We signed our check "map" as usual with no comment from the waitstaff. (We left cash tips for waiters and servers throughout our stay). A couple of times we asked at the front desk for an update on our bill. We were presented witha bill but none of our allowed meals or beverage credits (we got $125 bev. credit per room) had been credited to our bill so we couldn't tell if things were correct. When we checked out, to our amazement (kind of ) we owed another $300-400 in charges for meals etc. We asked to see our bills and the management who finally clarified that "shrimp, lobster (of any kind even if it is in an hor doerve or a taco or cassarole) or fine cuts of meat were excluded from map". as was our meal at Azul Profundo which ran about $160 for the four of us. We explained to the management that we had begged for explanations to this meal plan and we never had received satisfactory instructions. When asked why the instructions weren't printed, he replied that they used to have a written explanation but that no one ever read it! Anyway, they management graciously removed the charges without debate and declared that he wanted us to be happy and to return to Camino Real. Ahhhh, exactly what we wanted to hear. Overall, we would highly recommend the Camino Real and Huatulco Mexico. I am already missing the sun, surf and the smiling faces of this vacation paradise!
Relaxation extraordinare. This place is just a little bit of paradise you have been looking for. It is not your typical go go go place but one of peace and serenity. If you want to be on the go constantly go to CANCUN and be surrounded by tourists. If you want to use your "bad Spanish" and be around the most lovely mexican people, then go here. Everyone is so kind and loving and even the beach people who want to take you out in their boats love to visit and are thrilled that you would even attempt their language. This is the best of all vacations and the Zashilla is quite the scenic wonder. The party boat to the bays was a hoot with beer flowing all day long. St. Augustine and Maquey were crowded but take a cab and go to a desserted beach all to yourself. The people are warm and gracious. To be one of the few Americans here was a wonderful experience. I am going back.
Beautiful relaxing hotel
This hotel is gorgeous. The grounds are impecable, the service great. The rooms are standard, but all with nice big balcony with ocean view. Best pool setup we've ever been to.
We went next door to the Gala (big all inclusive) just to check it out and knew we made the right choice. It was packed with families, kids running all over, PA system at the pool with bingo, etc. That's fine if that's what you want, but we don't have kids and wanted something more relaxing.
There are plenty of beach chairs and the beach itself is secluded, and you can swim in it. The restaurants are beautiful and reasonable, which surprised us for such an upscale resort. Would definitely recommend it.