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Club Med Ixtapa Pacific // (c) 2010 Club Med
What: After a $27 million renovation in 2007, Club Med Ixtapa Pacific has become a model for the company’s reinvention as a family-friendly brand. The resort, located on Mexico’s Pacific Coast in the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo area, features a variety of suites and guestroom configurations; an extensive range of activities and programs for kids of all ages; and a friendly and accommodating staff that seems right at home with the special needs of both parents and little ones.
WHERE: The resort benefits from its location in a tranquil region of Mexico. Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is an ideal combination of modern convenience and old-world warmth. Compared to other resort destinations in Mexico, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo seems downright sleepy. Ixtapa certainly has its share of major resort developments, yet the nearby fishing town of Zihuatanejo — famous as the paradise that Tim Robbins escapes to at the end of the film, “The Shawshank Redemption” — has maintained its authentic, charming ambiance.
GUESTROOMS AND DINING: The resort has four room categories: Suites, Family Suites, Deluxe Family Rooms and Club Rooms. During a recent visit, my daughter and I stayed in one of the spacious and comfortable “5 Trident” Family Suites, which included two bedrooms (one with a king bed; the other with two twin beds); our own terrace; and a concierge who offered complimentary espresso drinks and snacks throughout the day. The suite also came with the use of a shaded daybed on the beach, with waiter service.
In terms of cuisine, the all-inclusive resort features four restaurants; wine and bar drinks are included throughout the resort; and there’s room service for breakfast available in the suites. Unfortunately, three of the four dining outlets are located outdoors and, when we were there in the spring, there were too many bugs in the air to eat outside after dark. Instead, we ate all of our meals in the main restaurant, which — with its wide variety of food stations — was generally outstanding.
FOR KIDS: Club Med Ixtapa Pacific has Baby Club Med (for ages 4-23 months); Petit Club Med (ages 2-3 years); Mini Club Med (ages 4-10); and Juniors’ Club Med (ages 11-17). At one point, the younger kids were enjoying water play in the pool that’s exclusively for Mini Club Med; the older kids were doing tie-dye on the lawn; and the teens and tweens worked on their hip-hop dancing or flying trapeze skills.
The resort has four swimming pools. We spent the majority of our time at the main pool, but there is also a shallow pool for younger kids, as well. Also, there’s a wide range of activities available, including kayaking, sailing, tennis, volleyball, basketball, a climbing wall, archery and more.
Rates: Rates at Club Med Ixtapa Pacific start at $185 per person, per night.