Zihuatanejo – Guerrero, Mexico

An Idyllic Getaway Times Two

While most of the world can barely spell (or pronounce) Zihuatanejo – let alone locate it on a map – the experienced set long ago designated the colorful, centuries-old fishing village (nicknamed Zihua) one of Mexico’s treasures. Two of its charming and highly distinctive hotels are regarded as among Mexico’s top getaways.

The unbeatable location of the small and romantic Villa del Sol on one of the loveliest beaches in Mexico (with the recent addition of three spacious beach-side suites that feature private terraces, rimless pools, and sunset-perfect views of Zihuatanejo Bay) has long been showered with accolades and awards. Its breezy informality belies the precision of its clockwork service, which owes to the German owner’s labor-of-love involvement. Who’d know from the luxury of its quiet and tropical serenity, disturbed only by birdsong and surf, that it is almost always full? Bright, hand-painted tiles are used throughout the cozy but elegant hotel, and local crafts have been collected on forays throughout the country. Swaths of sheer mos­quito netting drape the canopied king-size beds and everywhere is the discreet attention to detail, design, and decor more commonly found in a private home.

Book an equal number of nights at the earth-colored, multilevel La Casa Que Canta (House That Sings), cantilevered on a rocky hillside above the gorgeous Playa La Ropa. Zihuatanejo’s other must-see hotel, the Casa is made from molded adobe to resemble a traditional pueblo, with a mood that is both romantic and relaxed, and owes much to the exquisite taste of the hotel’s French owners (who see to it that your bed is strewn with fresh flower petals every morning). The Casa’s rimless, aptly named “infinity pool,” where the blues of the sky, horizon, and Pacific Ocean all blend together in one magnificent tableau, is something magical at sunset. Each of the sea-view suites, many with open-air living rooms, private pools, and thatched-roof terraces, is named after a popular Mexican ballad (hence the hotel’s whimsical name), each with a mood of its own. An aesthetic and visual extravaganza, filled as it is with brightly painted Michoacán handicrafts and surrounded by stunning views, the hotel became an immediate favorite with the inter­national art-and-film crowd. The hotel’s restaurant features locally caught seafood excellently prepared and served alfresco on a palapa-thatched terrace, with a starry sky served up for dessert.

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