If you are looking for luxury or a resort-type experience, this is not it. Overall it is extremely clean, and safe, and really good people work there. So if, like me, you just want something fairly inexpensive, but clean, its absolutely fine.
Basic but fairly nice is how I would summarise the place. Basico pero bueno.
None of the rooms have an actual ocean view, However, the open-air corridors / shared balconies by which you gain access to the rooms have magnificent, panoramic views over the ocean and the city, and have lots of comfortable seating so you can sit in the shade and enjoy all the light and fresh air and stunning views. A lovely little breeze is sometimes to be had, since you're up quite high. The views from the rooms are non-existent, but I didn't care, because the balcony views are so great.
Hot water for showers - you have to run the sink AND the shower AT THE SAME TIME for several minutes. Just be patient. Its no big deal. You're in Mexico, don't worry about it.
The place is not actually on the beach, but is (literally) a two minute walk down the street 30 yards and another 20 yards down a little alley / pathway which gets swept every day. This puts you on the Playa Madera, which is nice.
The hotel is secure – there are people at the front desk at all times and they are very watchful and know exactly who is coming and going. After 11:00 pm there is a night watchman who locks the place up and opens the steel gate when you show up in a taxi during the wee hours.
The safe/lockbox arrangements are slightly funky, but I had no problems. They put your stuff in a locked bag within a locked safe. Individual lockboxes are not available.
The air conditioning is supplied by a unit in the rooms. Mine seemed pretty new and got the job done.
The telly just has Mexican TV, which has many channels. A lot of what they show is American shows and films, some overdubbed, some with Spanish subtitles. It's fine – view this as an opportunity to improve your Spanish language skills. If you want US channels or on-demand movies, they don't have any of that. But hey, one goes to Mexico to be in Mexico, not to be at home in the US in front of the telly.
Bedroom furniture is simple, spartan and utilitarian. Again, just what you need and no more.
They have a lovely open-air dinner restaurant with stunning panoramic views. The prices are reasonable, the food is great and the service is excellent.
My only complaint is that the beds are hard. I am used to a pretty hard bed but theirs are harder than I was comfortable with. Pillows weren't great either. I brought this up with them at checkout and they were aware of the problem and expressed their intention to do something about it. Maybe if I ever go back to Zihua (a fine place) I will first check to see if this problem has been rectified. The hard beds didn't spoil my overall experience in this hotel, because there were so many other strong positives, but they certainly didn't enhance it.
The people are terrific. All the office staff speak good English. The maids don't. But are friendly and quite happy to converse in Spanish.
I strongly prefer not to help line the pockets of the corporate owners of big resorts and hotel chains. I believe in supporting the families of good, hard-working people by patronising this type of small, independent establishment. There's a feel-good factor operating, because the employees keep the place very clean and are welcoming and pleasant.
I would have no hesitation in going back to the Zihua Caracol, as soon as they invest in some more comfortable mattresses.
Lastly, there are many good restaurants in Zihua, but one of the absolute very best and most reasonably priced is a stone's throw from the Zihua Caracol – just 50 yards up the hill and round the corner to the right on the road named Escénica La Ropa is the amazing Sunset Grill. The food is simply excellent, the prices insanely moderate (I mean really gourmet main courses for like $10-15), and the people delightful. 5 stars. Very highly recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel ZihuaCaracol is located over the beach La Madera amidst other hotels and restaurants. One hundred yards from the beach and a ten minute walk into quaint Zihuatanejo; this is an ideal spot for your vacation in our area. The Hotel ZihuaCaracol is a beautiful pink Mexican colonial inn with three stories of guest rooms. We have a lovely swimming pool in our courtyard, a spacious restaurant and a terrace restaurant for evening dining under the stars. We also have meeting space for private weddings or other affairs. Our entire staff is trained to care for your complete experience and was selected for their gracious and friendly demeanor. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline, Travelocity.ca, HotelQuickly, Cancelon and getaroom.com so you can book your Hotel ZihuaCaracol reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.