Villa Del Sol resides on Zihuatanejo’s
Playa del Ropa.
There are dozens of beach resorts on Mexico’s Pacific Coast.
Chances are you’ve toured some and stayed at others. Most are
multi-story hotels, catering to groups and families. A few go for
the celebrity trade.
But if clients are looking for a luxury beach retreat that wins
rave reviews from nearly everybody, treat them to a few days at
Villa Del Sol in Zihuatanejo, a Spanish colonial-style resort on
Playa La Ropa, the best and most beautiful beach on the bay.
Designed like a village, the resort’s one- and two-bedroom
casitas are tucked away beneath mature palms and flowering vines
and ferns. Secluded enough for a honeymoon or anniversary, they are
private enough so that no one hears neighbors, and parents with
kids have their own separate space. Red tile roofs, cool courtyards
and winding garden paths connect the lagoon to the tennis courts,
the swimming pools to the restaurants and the ocean to everything
The Villa’s two restaurants and the Cantina Bar perch on the
edge of the beach, a long sandy crescent sloping out through the
shallows into deeper water. Here, long rolling breakers, slowed by
a narrow ocean channel, make for exciting but safe ocean swimming.
Thatched palapas shade tables and lounge chairs set up on the edge
of the sand, making it perfect for relaxing. The beach staff, on
duty from early morning until sunset, bring clean towels and take
drink and lunch orders.
Villa Del Sol, 180 miles north of Acapulco, opened for guests in
the late 1970s, when the property’s first owner, Helmut Leins,
built nine oceanfront casitas. Gradually Leins built more units and
planted landscaping, eventually adding four pools, a gift shop,
tennis courts, a gym and exercise center and a reception center and
With five in our family, we stayed in one of the two-bedroom,
second-floor garden units, an air-conditioned suite decorated with
hand-painted ceramics, Mexican floor tiles and wicker and leather
furniture. Our private patio had a hammock and plunge pool. Maids
delivered hot coffee, pastries and a newspaper early each
As comfortable as our room was, the first nine rooms built,
numbers 1-9, are still my favorites. Small but colorful, they have
a sitting area and chairs downstairs, natural wood trim and open
beams, with a king bed in the loft.
Resort-wide amenities include 400-count cotton linens, satellite
TV, electronic safes, hairdryers, air-conditioning, overhead fans
and broadband Internet service.
While in Zihuatanejo, be sure to stroll through the Central
Market, where traditional open stalls sell fruit, beans, nuts,
flour, juice, wheels of cheese, whole piglets to roast, chops and
steak, baskets, buckets, brooms, toys and children’s clothes. Look
for souvenirs, beach balls and sandals on Calle de Cinco de Mayo.
Quality shops in the waterfront marina sell hand-embroidered
clothes, masks, fine weaving and crafts and art. Prices range from
$5 to $8,000.
To go to town, take the bus from the corner two blocks up the
hill. It stops at 10-minute intervals and costs 45 cents.
To get to the hotel from the airport, buy a taxi voucher for the
pre-set price of $21 at the desk near the baggage claim. Do not
negotiate at the curb.
The trip from the resort back to the airport is $29. Go
Hotel Villa Del Sol
A Superior double room for two is $380 per night from now through
Dec. 17. Add $60 per person, per day, for breakfast and dinner,
mandatory during high season. The five-night Escape to Paradise
package is $1,320.