If you have children, Club Med...
If you have children, Club Med Ixtapa is fantastic. Weather is generally favorable. The environment has always been relaxing. You can make your own fun or simply do nothing.
If you have children, Club Med Ixtapa is fantastic. Weather is generally favorable. The environment has always been relaxing. You can make your own fun or simply do nothing.
My wife and I are active, retired people who have had fabulous vacations at several Club Meds. We spent 2 weeks at Club Med Ixtapa in January 2004. The bottom line is that we would never return to this resort, nor would we recommend it to anyone except younger couples with children. There are two reasons for this decision:
1) Club Med Ixtapa does very little to try to meet the needs of guests without children. Having visited Club Med Sandpiper, last November, we know that a family village can seamlessly and happily accommodate all types of people. At Sandpiper there is a separate dining room for adults at all meals, and a separate adults-only pool. The Mini Club GOs keep the children away from these adults-only areas and the culture of the village is such that everyone respects the need of older couples to have some peace and quiet during their vacation.
None of these features occurs at Club Med Ixtapa. The Mini Club GOs led the children in “group screams” at 12:45 in the middle of the dining area. I guess parents were impressed by how much fun their children seemed to be having; we were'nt. Moreover, although there is a small pool at one end of the property, it was monopolized by about 4 families. One afternoon, we saw a mother allowing her little boy to pee on the flowers by the side of this pool. That turned our stomachs and convinced us never to go near this pool. In addition, families feel free to dry their children’s clothing by draping dozens of items over the flowering shrubs in the garden in front of their rooms. We complained to a GO but although she promised to, “tell reception”, nothing was done; the gardens near our room continued to look as if they were in the middle of a ghetto.
(2) The rooms at Club Med Ixtapa are substandard.
Although the Club Med 2003/04 booklet advertises “world class accommodations”, the rooms at the resort are extremely poor. On page 36 of the Club Med booklet, there is a picture of a room at the village without bars on the windows. I asked a receptionist where to find such a room and she admitted that it did not exist; “all rooms have bars on the windows to stop children from falling out.” Our room at Ixtapa was about one-half the size of a room at Club Med Sandpiper. Every surface is made of concrete or clay products, including the bed frame. There are no pictures on the walls. The bathroom is so small that there is not even one wall large enough to hold a towel rack; it is located under the sink, two feet off the ground. The toilet room is less that thirty inches wide and is finished in rough, exterior stucco. Between the corner of the bed and the wall, there is a space of less than eighteen inches. The dresser with four small drawers, has only enough space to hold underwear and socks for two people. We even heard guests who were Mexican citizens complaining about the poor quality rooms.
It is a pity that the management at Club Med Ixtapa is only able to focus on the needs of people with children because there were some very positive aspects to Club Med, Ixtapa. The food was excellent. The beach and gardens were magnificent. Snorkelling off Ixtapa Island was as good as at Club Med Cancun. The GOs were friendly and well-trained. The nearby town of Zihuatanejo was a wonderfully interesting place to visit. However, do not be tempted by these positives; if you are a couple without children, your vacation will not be a pleasant one at Club Med Ixtapa.
My wife and I took our soon to be 7 year old daughter to Club Med Ixtapa for the second week of June and had an outstanding family vacation. This was our third Club Med trip, but the first to Ixtapa and the first with a child.
The entire village is kid friendly and the majority of the guests were families with children. Don’t go unless you want to be around kids. The entertainment and activites are family oriented to the point that there were kids dancing in the bar (which is not a heavy drinking scene) with their parents and the staff after the show one night.
Club Med is about participation, not passive entertainment. If you are an active family looking to make your own fun, Club Med will provide you with everything you want. Even the shows have a tremendous amount of guest participation - and it is incredible how the mini club staff get even the youngest kids up on stage for little costumed dance numbers.
My daughter loved the mini-club and usually stayed for the whole day. She participated in lots of activities including swimming, beach play, dance, games, circus, and was in three of the evening shows with her group of 6 & 7 year olds. The mini-club staff were great with the kids and really made it fun for them.
It is definitely not a luxury hotel. The rooms are small and spartan but clean. The beds were definitely firm and just a bit bigger then a twin. However we spent almost no time in the room because we were having so much fun.
Although there is always some kind of activity going on (water polo, ping pong tournament, limbo contest etc.) you are under no pressure to do anything. You can simply sit by the pool or relax on the beach if you want. Do whatever you like whenever you like. The grounds are gorgeous and safe and the atmosphere is relaxed and casual. Very few people dress up for dinner even on the one “elegant night” and you will always be okay in beach clothes.
The food was good, but not excellent and there was always variety. Special note to vegetarians - As vegetarians we always find it hard to eat well when travelling - especially in Mexico, but Club Med has never let us down. The buffet style allowed us plenty of choices. The food and water are safe in the village and we saw no one getting sick.
Bring lots of sunscreen as it is very expensive at the village boutique. Bring a strong insect repellent. We used the Cutter kid’s formula the first few nights and our daughter got about 10 mosquito bites (curiously we were not bitten). After two days of her scratching away I bought some very strong, horrible smelling spray at the store and we had no more bites. I don’t blame Club Med for the mosquitoes since they are in a jungle!
A great vacation for active families. We are going back ASAP!
We stayed at ClubMed Ixtapa from March 27 to April 3, 2004. In short, my wife, our kids (ages 5 and 7), and I had a good time, but probably would not return. I was very excited to go on this trip as I had visited three other Club Meds about 20-25 years ago and had very fond memories of those visits. No doubt memories can acquire a golden hue after that many years and no doubt my perspectives have changed, but the trip did not live up to my memories. Two things were missing: 1) The club facilities were not as attractive as the other clubs I had visited (Playa Blanca, Punta Cana and Buccaneer's Creek); and 2) the staff lacked the verve that I recalled at the other clubs. Neither of those things would dissuade us from visiting again. The price, however, would. We paid $5,000 (including air) for a family of four, which puts Club Med-Ixtapa in a class of resorts and other vacation options with which it cannot compete. (Perhaps we overpaid, but we couldn't find any better deal.)
Before detailing our comments on the various aspects of the club, I want to mention one thing that truly annoyed us. The last event of the last day of the kid's program was the Family Tie-Dye activity. We were told beforehand that plain white t-shirts would be sold at the event for 50 pesos ($5). When we got to the event and went to the table where the t-shirts were being sold we found that the 50 pesos t-shirts were only available in a toddler size. The rest of the t-shirts consisted of Club Med logo t-shirts from prior years or some prior anniversaries (e.g. "Club Med '01" or "Club Med 50"). Not only were these t-shirts outdated and ill-suited for tie-dyeing, they were being sold at the original sales price. Of course, our kids were expecting to participate in this event and there were certainly no other t-shirt vendors in the area. So, rather than paying $5 per t-shirt for a plain white t-shirt suitable for tie-dyeing, we had to pay nearly $20 per t-shirt for an outdated logo shirt that was not well-suited for tie-dyeing. I'm sorry, but that is outrageous.
While the accommodations at the club are basic they are cute. Yet, all of their charm is undermined by the presence of telephones and monolithic televisions bolted onto the walls of each room. I always thought that the Club Med vacation was supposed to be the "antidote to a civilization." Not much of an antidote when you've got TV's and phones all over the place. So, if Club Med is going to go the civilized route, they should make it civilized. Yet the beds are rock hard and the accommodations are spartan. I would rather they had taken the money spent on TVs and phones and put it into better beds. Or, better yet, a more reasonable price.
Location and Common Areas:
The location is great. The beach was wonderful and private (much better than other Ixtapa resorts). We also enjoyed the easy bus connections to Zihuatanejo. The common areas, on the other hand, left much to be desired. The pool area was not comparable to other resorts. Moreover, having a pool with a minimum depth of four and one-half feet makes no sense at a club oriented toward small children. The dining area was oppressively noisy, making it nearly impossible to carry on a conversation.
Dining & Food:
One of the best things about Club Med (and what sets it apart from other resorts) is the group seating at meals. We very much enjoyed meeting other families at meal times. Some people may be put off by this, but we thought it was great. Moreover, we very much liked and had a lot in common with the other guests. In general, we felt the food was quite good.
The kid's program was a mixed bag. Some of the G0s were very good with the kids. Others seemed more interested in just getting through the day; working with the kids was merely the price they paid to get to party time at the end of the day. Moreover, the whole approach was rather lackadaisical. They did not generally keep to their schedule and seemed somewhat disorganized. They also scheduled the kids' performances late at night. Keeping 4 and 5 year olds up until 10 to perform in theatrical productions is a recipe for cranky kids. They should rethink their hiring and format for the kids' program. By way of comparison, a year ago we took a cruise (of all things!) with Celebrity Cruises. The kids program on Celebrity was head and shoulders above the Club Med program.
So, overall, while we liked the people we met and thought the location was lovely, we felt that, for the price, we could easily have found a better value. For example, our total cost on the cruise we took a year earlier was half the price (and the accommodations, facilities, food and kids program were much better). I understand that Club Med has introduced a new "back to basics" concept in the Mediterranean, where the accommodations are very basic, the food and entertainment is great, and the price is low. Perhaps they should roll that concept out over here.
Me, my husband, and our 2 1/2 year old son just returned from a 10-day trip to Club Med Ixtapa, and overall enjoyed our stay. The trip was very long (we were the only east-coasters at the resort!) but at the end very worth it. As a family, we wanted to find a place that was relaxing (where you could just hang out and not be "busy" all the time) that was friendly to kids and affordable. This definitely was the place. The trip from Zihua airport to Club Med was easy---although strangely it cost $29 US there, and $21 on the return trip. On arrival we were greeted with fruit punch while we were checked in, and everyone who passed, GO's and GM's took the time to welcome us and say hello to our son. We were taken to our room...which although not luxurious, was adequate--we knew from this and other sites what to expect. Like others have posted, the beds were hard (but we didn;t find them uncomfortable) and there were some ants, and even a lizard in our room! it was a daily ritual of getting rid of the few ants that found there way in, but with a few creative efforts, and NO food in the room, we rarely had more than 2 a day. The A/C was lacking in that it was cool during the day, but at some point during the night seemed to turn off so kept us up, and sticky at times throughout the night. Yes, the bathroom, and shower are small, but worked well----we actually had no problems with water pressure or temp---and our son, who hates showers did just fine with the removable showerhead/hose. On to the food...overall we thought it was very good...always lots and a variety of choices. Several other guests actually noted how much our son ate at every meal!! We all drank the water, and only i got sick, which was a 24 hour thing, after being there a week so unlikely related to the food.(we did all however, get Hepatitis A vaccines before travelling) The family eating style was fun...we met a lot of interesting people, but by the end of our 10 days, the small talk was kind of painful, and it would have been nice to eat just as a family. For the 2 weeks that we were there, the facility was less than 50% capacity, which was GREAT! There was never a problem finding a chair/umbrella by the pool or beach. At times, we had the pool to ourselves at midday! The beach was beautiful...not the blue water of the Caribbean, but clean sand, calm shallow water for the little ones, and not too much wildlife (just a jellyfish or 2). The Kids CLub is part of the reason we went to Club Med, and although I think they do a reasonable job.....I would reconsider spending the $30/day if your kids are in the 2-3 year old age range. Our son, who attends preschool 5 days a week and is rather well-adjusted, hated "class", cried all day, and begged us not to make him go back!. The GO's for this group are great, and will keep your kids even if they cry all day, but the classes are overcrowded in this age range, and they cannot really give individual attention to the MANY crying kids (we would go in to bring supplies for our son and would have several kids coming up to us crying for "mommy" and "daddy") So, after trying for 4 days, and ending up with a very sad, tired, and cranky toddler, we decided to forego the Club, and keep him with us, and not do the other excursions/activities. Overall, we were all much happier. It seemed that the younger kids, as well as the ones 4 years and up loved their Clubs and the shows. The shows were hit or miss....our son loved all the music and dancing (although they only start at 9pm, so we were all up pretty late every night) but some of the shows the GO's seemed to do for their own entertainment as some skits were either inappropriate for kids, or not relevant to a multicultural/ multigenerational (ie. non-American/non-college aged) audience. Overall though, the trip was restful, we had only sunny weather, a great trip to the island by water taxi (beware though....they charge WAY too much for the food out there!!) and met some nice people. We would definitely recommend this CLub Med to other families who want lots of activities for the kids in a safe, clean environment.
Rooms don't have televisions or radios to ensure that you engage with other hotel guests. The hotel focuses on sports of all kinds. I played volleyball, went windsurfing, and did a sunrise horseback ride in the desert. My wife learned how to sail hobie cats. The food is fresh and fantastic. You sit with and meet new people every day. I highly recommend this to anyone.
This was our first club med experience. They had childcare on site which was the reason we went there and surprisingly we loved it! The gardens are beautiful, the buildings are not high rise and well maintained. All the amenities are fantastic. There is a baby room were you have milk, cereal, baby food etc... and the childcare is excellent. The rooms are on the small side but then again, we did not spend much time there. The air con was very good. The food is delicious and varied. We did not get sick once. A lot of people were though but mainly a 24 hour thing which could be because of the heat. We did not have one mosquitoe bite the whole time. The beach is beautiful and clean, the pool too. The GO are very friendly. I am already thinking about booking my next holiday with Club Med. If you want to relax - and have children - this is the place to go!
Beds hard a rocks, The AC did not work at night, The place is hotter than hell. About 50 kids got very sick. It was the vacation from hell. Stay away from Club Med at all costs! Medical folks only on call for very short periods of time. I blew over $3,700 for this crap vacation and there is little to nothing to do there anyway.
I am contemplating legal action !
I had been searching for a great family vacation for a 3 year old as well as a 12 year old. I had been to Club Med as a child and remembered how much fun it was. I decided after much deliberation that we would give Club Med a try. It far exceeded our expectations. (Especially after the bashing reviews by some.) The rooms were fine since you really only sleep there as there was so much else to do. The AC was plenty cold and the beds although a little hard were fine. We had adjoining rooms which made it feel like a much larger room.
We took advantage of the Petite Club and our son loved it. The GO's there were great with the kids doing activities and keeping them busy as well as allowing for naps. My older daughter had fun taking part in the trapezee as well as a kids show. She also had fun with the organized games in the pool. The ocean was so warm we all enjoyed swimming in it and we sat on the beach in lounge chairs everyday under the palm trees, it was heaven.
The food was GREAT! We all ate too much and tried everything. My husband said if anyone was going to get sick it was me as I tried every ceviche and raw fish dish they served. We also drank water out of the tap in our rooms with no ill effects. I have to say everyones favorite part at every meal was the fabulous breads. I wish I could get bread like that around here. Also the punchbowl size bowl of guacamole was always a hit. I could go on and on about the food but will sum it up that it was good for everyone.
The shows at night were fun. Nothing spectacular but fun to see. I think the only thing holding me back from a 5 star rating would be the weather. We went in June and it was HUMID. Also the other bad thing was the mosquitos. They spray for them and we took bug spray but we still got alot of bites.
We all agree that we would go back just a little earlier in the season, Spring Break, maybe.
We just returned from the village with our two girls (4 and 8) and we have serious Club Med withdrawl. We loved this village and the whole G.O. team. We've been to other Club Med villages and so far this is the best for families. First off, know that you are not going to a 5-star resort. You are going to a very international, active, fun, casual and social place. Your kids will make friends and so will you unless there is something wrong with you.
I'll start with the mini-club since that was the most important part for us-- if your kids aren't happy then you won't be. The staff (especially Jeff, Eileen, Heather and Jorge) worked magic with our kids. Our 4-year-old didn't stay in the club all day but chose what she liked to attend. We hardly saw our 8-year-old until we insisted she join us for an excursion one day. The G.O.s are certified in CPR and are very tolerant, warm and funny. I think it's important to mention that if you have brats don't dump them on these G.O.s. Yes, these young people are being paid to watch your kids but good manners go along way with them. They prepare the kids for all the shows and are always nice to them even after mini-club hours. The G.O. to child ratio is pretty good too.
Next, the accommodations... the rooms are small but a family of four gets two that connect. That means two toilets, two showers and two TVs which is more than a standard hotel room. Our room was always clean and the maids were very friendly (tip them). Our AC was fine but some other guests complained about their rooms. The beds are hard, but we slept okay. We didn't see any roaches in the room, just some tiny ants now and then. There are a lot of stairs in this resort. We stayed in the Punta building so that we could be ocean-front. We had a bit of a walk to the main part of the resort but that was good for us. We were also close to the small (Punta) pool that was shallow enough for young children. It's nice and private too.
The overall atmosphere of the resort is beautiful. All the buildings rest on hills. The beach although not private is never crowded and occasionally locals will come by to sell you something but they do not pester you. The sand is not white but the color of brown sugar. Don't be expecting Carribean-blue water, but this part of the Pacific is very clear and very warm. The surf is nice to play in too. We stayed at the reort during full occupancy but there were always beach chairs available at the pool and you never had to wait too long on line at the buffets. The food was much better than I expected. If you like traditional Mexican food then you are in luck. If you like American or Continental food, you will find plenty of that too. Be warned though that you will dine with other families. We enjoyed this and were glad our kids met so many people from other parts of the U.S. and other countries. Don't assume everyone knows English and try to be patient-- most people were patient with us being one-language-challenged.
DO bring plenty of sunscreen and mosquito spray. We were prepared so none of us got too burned or bit. DO take advantage of the excursions. They may seem pricey but so worth it! We went on the sailing and snorkeling cruise and the kids loved that dolphins swam right up to the boat. Other guests enjoyed the other excursions too. DO make a reservation one night for the other restaurant on the resort that's a nice break from buffet style. Here you can sit with just your family and get served your meal. This is still included in the package but the food is better. Be warned though it takes a lot longer so if your kids need to stick to a bed-time, skip it.
The entertainment each night was a lot of fun. Joey, the Chief of the Village is very charismatic and by the end of the week you will all be saying his catch-phrases. We loved Crazy signs every night and dancing before bedtime at the bar-disco. The bartenders are very nice and quick with the drinks. They are happy to make virgin cocktails for the kids too. Go to Club Med with a good attitude and you will have fun!
NCL Sun at anchor in Zihuatanejo
around the bay
Ready to go to Playa La Gatas Zihuatanejo
This is some damn good Pico de Gallo!
I will have a rental car during my Yucatan vacation, and my Cancun hotel is located downtown, not offshore in the tourist zone. Is there some system for visitors like me to drive out to the tourist zone and park my car for the day while snorkeling, laying on the beach, etc.? Or does everyone leave their car parked downtown, then ride a bus out to the beach? None of my Cancun maps show a public parking area for this purpose, or any public beach access points.
Saludos Cancuner There are many places to park. At the end of "Hotel row" is a beautifull beach with parking right there overlooking the ocean. You can see the club med from there. Also some areas in between some of the older sites. Take the car, its much more comfortable. Parking should not be an issue. enjoy
My friends and I are looking at going to one of those all-inclusive places for a week and I have been designated the organizer of this trip! I was just wondering if anyone could suggest a few places that I could look into. We are all med-20's and none of them (except me) have been to Mexico before, so I want to make this an awesome trip. I have been to Puerto Vallarta, so I dont want to go there, but I'm pretty open to any suggestion, and will be very happy with any reccommendations. Thanks in advance!!
I went all inclusive in Mexico at a fabulous place called Moon Palace. There's a tip and pics on my Mexico page.
Moon Palace is a great place. One place we looked at, but didn't stay in, was the Gran Porto Real in Playa del Carmen. We were able to spend a day there, it was very nice.
I guess it's the obvious suggestion, but the two Club Med's I've been to in Mexico were both good. For singles, the best (and recently updated) might be Cancun. There is another, but I've forgotten the name, on the east coast in the Yucatan. YOu can look at their website. The Club Med in Zihautenejo on the west coast is beautiful and the food is excellent, but you'll have to pick your time to go when its not full of families. Zihua also has many other resorts and is truly a gem of a town in Mexico.
the best is secrets resort they have 3 in mexico the BEST
Heh, the cheapest room (no ocean view) the Secret Resort has in March 2007 is $600US per day for two people (flight not included). I can see why they might be the best.
My limit for a holiday is $200 per day flight included, so I guess I'll never make it to this resort.
It is pricy and in March even more Spring Break. I have never paid $600 the most I have Paid was $250 a night for 2 call the resort direct.
We'll be visiting Mexico in 3 weeks time for two weeks with two children aged at 4,5 and 1. we are planing to go to the sea side, Cancun, for a week to have rest and enjoy the sea with the children.
we would be very happy if anyone can advice us where to go, where to stay and what can we do for the children both for MC and for Cancun? Would you recommend us to go to another place other than Cancun?
Thanks in advance.
aysegul from istanbul
Cancun will be great for the kids - look at these 2 resorts
Check out Playa del Carmen , South of CanCun.
I'd recommend the Cub Med! But check out if it has facilities to cater for juniors :-) If it does these days, your kids would be taken care of during the day with fun activities! ;-) Otherwise, if children below 18 are allowed, you'll have to look after them yourself while there ;-) It was an over 18 club when I went there many years ago but many of the Club Med villages have changed to family clubs! Good luck!
Yes, it does! Check out: http://www.clubmed.us/cm/resorts-north-america-mexico-cancun-yucatan_p-115-l-US-v-CANC-ac-vh.html
BUT, Club Med is not on the sea side, it is on the Lagoon
You are wrong, Griff :( One side (restaurant/bar/accommodation) faces the lagoon. But the other side faces the blue sea with crystal clear water :-)
In fact two of the special restaurants that were there when I visited in the 90s were on the sea side :-) I was just too busy to go visit it again when we were both in Cancun Nov 2007 (to visit my fav Club Med Cherating GO who was in Cancun at the time).
Check out 'Beach' under:
i went with my family last year and 4 nephews and i recommend to find a hotel with facilities for them because that will allow you to have more free time also check on this map and try to choose one of the hoteles on the right side http://www.cancun-map.com/mx/ why? because here the waves are not so high and tha will allow you to swim o rplay safer with your children.take your famili to Tulum but the earliest possible so that you avoid the heat...once there take the train and they will love it...
NP, Griff! :-) BTW I might be back to CA early spring/summer/early fall! Maybe we'll finally meet, eh? ;-) Have a nice Friday! :-)
thank you guys for all your respons.helped a lot. We are going to be in palme del carmen.
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Address: Playa Quieta, Estado de Guerrero, Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, 40 880, Mexico