IXTAPA, Mexico Upon arrival at Las Brisas Ixtapa’s cobblestone
porte cochere, clients might feel like they are visiting a very
private residence. It’s not until they walk around the wall behind
the porte cochere that they begin to explore the property’s public
areas, such as the reception desk, a lobby lounge that offers a
spectacular ocean view, and an abundance of amenities scattered
throughout the grounds.
The building’s architecture is minimalist no grand lobby with
chandeliers and columns greet guests, just an expansive, elegant
structure adorned only with a simple fountain in the middle of the
That unpretentious ambience continues throughout the
contemporary hotel. It’s what one might call “Mexican Moderne,”
with clean, angular lines and large, open spaces. Splashes of
vibrant hues, such as a fuchsia wall above the reception desk and a
violet ceiling in the lobby lounge, accent the predominant burnt
According to the hotel’s promotional material, architect Ricardo
Legorreta designed it that way in order to reflect its destination.
“It is like a piece of Mexico,” he writes, “strong, open, friendly,
romantic, spacious, colorful and full of light and quality of
The design also has playful elements. On a recent hosted visit
it seemed like everywhere I turned there was an unexpected surprise
a color accent, a beam of natural light, a view of the lush
landscaped grounds or of Vista Hermosa Beach and the Pacific
In fact, each of the 423 rooms and suites offers an ocean view.
The spacious units feature elements such as terra cotta floors,
ceiling fans and sliding shutter doors opening onto terraces that
are as large as the rooms, each with a hammock, as well as the
requisite patio furniture.
Built on a hillside between the ocean and a jungle, the hotel
seems to cascade down to the beach, which, although public, can
only be reached through the resort.
Dining is an event at Las Brisas Ixtapa. The hotel’s six
restaurants and two bars include La Brisa II, serving dinner at the
beach November through April; El Mexicano, offering authentic
Mexican fare in a hacienda atmosphere; and Portofino, an Italian
dining room where it’s not uncommon for your waiter to prepare your
The hotel also features four pools, including one with a
waterfall and another designated for children, as well as four
tennis courts. For duffers, the Palma Real Golf Course and Marina
Ixtapa Golf Course are located a short drive north. An
11,000-square-foot spa is expected to break ground in April, with
completion set for late December, according to Soraida Espino,
hotel sales executive. Among the treatments and services will be
professional make-up application, mud treatments, kickboxing and a
variety of massages including hot stone and aromatherapy, she
In addition, the resort offers a children’s program, a business
center and meeting space for up to 750 inside and 1,000
Las Brisas is 15 minutes by car from Ixtapa International
Airport and 10 minutes from the picturesque town of Zihuatanejo.
Just outside the property is Ixtapa’s entertainment district, with
bars, restaurants, nightclubs and other activities.
Mimi Kmet is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and former
senior editor of TravelAge West.