Visiting Club Med Ixtapa
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Club Med in Ixtapa was a great trip for a three generation group, from 9 year old to 70+. Everything was taken care of, the food was good (BEST guacamole I've ever had), the amenities were terrific. Fun was had by all of us, 6 adults and 4 children. WishIWereinIxtapa
Re: Berkeley meets Club Med Family Holiday Place?
I highly recommend the Club Med at Ixtapa. They have a Petit Club (2-4?) and Baby Club (0-2?). You cannot use the daycare services on a day to day basis, so it may not be cost effective unless you will use it alot. We used it sparingly as our daughter was not used to the setting, but it did come in handy for 3 hour chunks. The food is excellent, all buffet at each meal, and PLENTY to choose from. They had evening shows that everyone could attend (but started late - like 9:00pm I think). The dinner was also late from 7:00pm to 8:30 or so (for most Americans it was late I suppose). I am mentioning the inconveniences, but those minor things above were it. They have a circus activity for older children/adults, inline skating, archery,catamaran sailing, and kayaking. There is very little to do outside the Club, except to go to the old fishing town of Zihuatenejo.
My kids (ages almost 3 and 6 years old) may have the opportunity to go on a vacation in June with their grandparents (it would be me and my husband's first real vacation time away from them). Grandma and Grandpa are thinking of taking the kids to Club Med in Ixtapa, Mexico because they heard it's really kid friendly, lots of activities for different age groups, etc. I read the past posts about this place on the website, but I was wondering about more recent experiences. Specifically, the weather in June, the activities for 3 year olds and how a 3 year old generally might be about being ''left'' with the staff, and food choices, since my kids don't eat meat. Any advice would be great. Thanks aimee
We went last June with our two and a half year old son, and my sister and her six and eleven year old daughters. It was a really nice vacation. The activities were fun for all. The food is great - and various dishes are offered with every meal. Our picky eater ate a lot of pizza, cheese, and fruit. No problem with the drinking water. So far, so good, right? Now, the not-so-good stuff. Our son HATED the day care. But, he'd also never been apart from me and left with someone other than a friend or relative. The day care workers were so sweet, but spoke little English, with the exception of the main teacher. Also, my son wouldn't nap but he had to remain quiet for nap time, so we ended up picking him up early each day. Also, in June it was unbelievably hot and humid. And, there were many mosquitos - less so near the beach rooms than the ones on the pond. Should your folks decide to go and bring your children, have them request a beach front room away from the campus a bit. Enjoy your time away from the kids - what a lucky couple you are and how great your folks must be!!! Club Med Alum
Go to Club Med Ixtapa! We took our 2 3/4 y/o there in March of 2003 and had a fabulous time. As regards putting the kids in the petit club program, I recall you have to pay for the whole package, even if using the time sporadically. But it was still pretty good value, and unless your children are comfortable being left with strangers for long periods of time, you will probably use them for half days as we did. Our daughter was in a part-time preschool at the time, so we could leave her without a major tantrum. Some families would just plop their screaming kid there, which would make the adjustment harder for the other kids. The food is all buffet at b,l, and dinner, and really good! Lots of choices and actually healthy ones! Big salad and fruit areas, lots of diff entrees and so-called kid friendly choices like pizza, mac and chees, hot dogs. They have evening shows that the gradparents would enjoy as well, and the staff does make a difference. Our favorite petit club ''teacher'' was a woman named Mary-Paz, and also Andrea was pretty good.
We went to Club Med Ixtapa the first week of February. If we all three hadn't gotten sick with a terrible stomach flu (Norwalk Virus, we think) one day after we got there, it would have been great. I think our nearly 2-year old caught something before we left. I think it was the time of year and the fact I knew a lot of people who got sick around that time here. At Club Med, the staff, called Gee-Ohs (GOs) are great. The kids club is fantastic for kids 3 and up, with about one GO for every three or four kids. The GOs plan all kinds of fun things for the kids all day. The GOs are from everywhere in the world and they knock themselves out with two evenings shows, one for kids and one for adults and kids. It's an ACTIVE vacation, we found. The food was plentiful and generally quite good. There is lots of meat but lots of fruits and vegetables, too. The macaroni and cheese was fine. There are iguanas who sun themselves under palm trees, lots of grass to play on, a fenced play area for kids, two or three kiddie pools about one foot deep, shaded by trees and umbrellas. The little kid areas are all gated. The rooms are a step up from dorm rooms, but no one stays in the rooms, anyway. I'd go again, without the flu hopefully. It's not a quiet vacation, but it's fun with lots of nice people to meet. Kim
Has anyone been to Club Med, Ixtapa recently, specifically around late May? The website has some reviews but mostly old ones. We're thinking of going with our (then) 17 month old son. We would love any input about your experiences, the weather etc. Thanks
We were in Club Med Ixtapa in December. We had a very nice time - - the club is well-run, rooms are fine, lots of fun, great beach, perfect weather and the food is great. Our kids (9 and 14) loved the kids clubs and we hardly saw them as they were busy with activities all the time. The preschoolers are in their own special area with pool, playground, etc., and looked like they were having fun too. The staff at the kids clubs were all outstanding -- caring, conscientious and fun. I'd say that is the highlight of this Club Med -- very kid and family-oriented. The downside is there's not a lot to do outside of the club. Ixtapa itself is just a bunch of hotels, and the excursions from the club are overpriced and not worthwhile. You can take the bus to Zihuatenjo, which has a quaint, old-town area with some local artistan shops.
Overall, I'd recommend Club Med Ixtapa highly. But check on the weather. I'm not sure what it's like in May. ckatz
My 3-year-(and one-month)-old daughter and I went to Club Med Ixtapa in December. I was sheepish about going to a Club Med, but I'll tell you - we had a great time. I can't speak to the weather in May; in December it was warm/hot, a little breezy, and perfect. The location is beautiful, right on the ocean. One thing I will say: my daughter went to her ''Club'' happily every day. She's in full-time daycare here, and just expects to have her own place to go, with kids and teachers. There's a club for babies and one-year-olds, another for twos and threes, and then the main club for 4 and up. Each has its own level and type of activities. She had a good experience. Some kids wouldn't go; my seat-of-the-pants ''study'' of the situation was it was usually kids with stay-at-home moms, where both the moms and the kids were uneasy with the concept. The people staffing the clubs were generally good, but some were better than others, and I saw situations where kids weren't welcomed well and as a result didn't make the transition to stay. I also heard people complain sometimes of care they thought was inadequate. I spied a lot on my daughter, because I like her and I'm interested in what she's doing, and also out of some guilt that I was relaxing all day, and I saw nothing at all problematic. I guess I'm writing all this to say: it was GREAT to have a vacation where I wasn't being single mom all day, and we loved the childcare there, though some people didn't. If you do go, be aware, you're not really in Mexico, you're simply at the beach. I've spent lots of time in Mexico, so I didn't feel like I was missing my big opportunity to really be among Mexicans on my vacation. I was swimming and kayaking and reading and napping. Pretty special stuff for a single parent! The food is great, you can drink the water, there are goofy kids' shows every night after dinner: lots to do. Be sure to walk down to Playa Linda and see the crocodiles! Nancy
We have been to Club Med Ixtapa the past 2 years, first when our son was 10 months old, then when almost 2 years old. We loved it both times and highly recommend it. I can't speak for the weather in May; we went in June and July, which was very hot! But I don't mind the heat, and the best part is that the baby club is the coolest airconditioned place in the village! It is a great place for a family with kids because we were able to leave our son in the baby club whenever we wanted during the day, for however long-an hour here and there, or all day. We had so much time each by ourselves, as a couple, and a family. There are good activities for everyone. I was very impressed with the baby club. It was very clean, organized, and good ratio; and I felt comfortable with the staff. Our son loved going there every day. Great food too. It was nice to have everything taken care of, at our fingertips without the hassle of figuring it out by ourselves. You can email me if you want more info. Lisa
April 2004 Dec 1999
Family of three (child is 5) thinking of going in early January and wonder if anyone has anything to say about the place, including the food. We've checked the UCB web page and found rave reviews (which gave us the original idea to go!) and would just like a bit more feedback from anyone who has been recently. Or, if anyone has experience with Club Med in general, would be great to hear. We never thought we'd be checking into Club Med, but it sounds so family friendly and a lot of fun for all!
linda Re Club Med at Ixtapa: I haven't been there, but a good friend (single mom) took her dghtr (age 10) last year, and they're still raving. The food was wonderful, they said, and they are foodies who care about the cuisine. The activities were available but not required. Low-pressure, beautiful place, to hear them tell about it. Not exactly going native or seeing the Mexican culture, but if you know that in advance and don't care, it could be just what you want. Sounded very relaxing.
Does anyone have first hand experience on the Club Med at Ixtapa in Mexico? I have a 13 year old and a 4 1/2 year old and am looking for activities for both age groups. Also, is the weather unbearably hot in July? Thanks Anne
Regarding Club Med in July I went and never regretted a vacation more. Don't go unless you are in good shape! It was 110 degrees and very humid when we went. There is a lot of walking up flights of stairs in the out of doors. The pool was lukewarm from the heat. It finally rained and cooled to 90s which was bearable and a bit less humid. Then the pool was refreshing. The airconditioning did not work in several rooms. In our room, it sort of worked. You felt good going in but soon felt hot. I suspect it was about 85 deg. in our room. The room were very clean. They are small--perfect for 2--each has 2 twin beds, the hard kind they like in Mexico made of cement. There were 2 small adequate closets( the rooms were built for singles and have 2 safes) and a bathroom area. The food was good, served in an extremely hot crowded area with about 1000 people plus the cooking going on in front of you and not airconditioned. There were all kinds of eats and the kids would find what ever they like. The pool is very large and attractive, although almost without shade. There was everykind of activity imaginable, including rather creative night shows, put on by the staff who are enthusiastic, young, and exploited to work about 16 hours per days. There are aerobics, in and out of water, trapezees, archery, boats, crafts(expensive extra charge), day care(free). I think kids would find plenty to do. My daughter at 10 said she was too old and stayed in the pool 10 hours a day. There is an attractive beach along the edge of the property. I do not remember there being any teen activities. There are no disabled facilities; there is a nurse and doctor available daily. Spiderweb
I went to Club Med Ixtapa with my 14 month old 5 years ago. We had a great time. Our baby loved kids club. The accommodations were sufficient...the food was good. The only problem was our baby came home with a month long intestinal illness. He threw up daily and was put on a rice, apple sauce diet. It was awful. That suvinor is the thing that has kept our family away from Mexico. Have fun! a I hear the Club Med in Florida is family oriented and nice. Only problem is it's not on the beach buta on a river or lake? a Good luck. David
From: Wendy (Feb 1998)
Re Mexico vacation: Although it sounds extravagant, you may want to look at Club Med (Ixtapa is probably better for the kids). At many times, the kids go free, you get all the food you want or need, there's essentially built-in free child care with the kid's programs (shows, activities, special food, special kiddie pools, naptimes), and (an added feature I really liked) I felt safe with the water, ice cubes, etc. I went when my son was 18 months, we all had fun, and no one got sick. The only drawback was that I felt alittle guilty when he was in the kids program rather than with me, but also felt guilty when I didn't use it to have more free adult time!
From: Debbie (3/98)
I want to second the suggestion about going to Club Med. My daughter and I went to Club Med about 5 times, four times when she went for free and 1 time when I had to pay for her. As a single parent they were the best vacations, because I got time to myself and she had a wonderful time also. I've been to Ixtapa four times. They have care there for infants up to 11 year olds and during school vacation times they also have programs for teens. Up until 5 years old every child accompanied by an adult doesn't have to pay for accommadations, just for airfare. The airfare is included in the price for adults and once you get there you don't have to pay another cent for anything, unless you want a snack between meals or liquor or you want to take a tour.
There are lots of activities for adults, but I never felt under any pressure to participate. The food was wonderful, the entertainment every night was ok. We're not talking Broadway, but most of it was fun and a local dance troup came out one night of our stay.
My daughter got to do things that she never would have been able to do anywhere else. They took her scuba diving in the pool, sailing, for a try of golf and tennis, archery and depending on the club, horseback riding and go-carting. In addition all the family clubs have circus. My daughter got to try the flying trapeze, the high wire and to be in two shows during the week. All the people who manage to learn the trapeze appear in a circus show at the end of the week.
The staff seem to genuinely care about the kids. You can eat with your kids or have them eat with the kids program. They'll watch your kids while the adults eat and you can pick them up before the evening show.
They have their own water treatment plant, so you can drink the water, have ice and eat the fruit and vegetables without fearing for your stomach. In the five times we went I only had one day where I remotely felt sick.
I wish I could still afford for us to go again. I've gotten several friends to go and my parents and all have had enjoyable stays. Many of the clubs have intensive programs in certain sports. The one at Ixtapa has a snorkling program and a tennis program. The club in Saint Lucia we went to one year had a horseback riding program and a wind-surfing program. My mother learned ocean kayaking at the Huatulco club.
Finally after taking my daughter to Hawaii one year, Club Med was a cheaper vacation and I didn't come home feeling like the only other adults I'd talked to were waiters. Plus once you get to the airport at SFO, you don't have to take care of much. The club picks you up at the airport, gets your luggage to your room and generally takes care of the logistics for you. Can't recommend it enough.
From: Carol (3/98)
I'd like to second the recommendation of Club Med in Ixtapa, Mexico. We took our son Noah when he was 22 months old and it was GREAT. We didn't have to pay for him -- at some Club Meds, kids are free all season. We were surprised how reasonable the prices were, considering that airfare, all meals, and room were included. For us, this was the perfect way to have a laid-back vacation with constant pampering, in spite of having a little guy. We didn't even leave him with the babysitting because he was so easy to amuse on the beach and in the baby pools. (I would say that the youngest kids seemed pretty traumatized to be left with babysitters they didn't know. If I were to do it again with a kid that young (less than 2), I would put some effort into getting the kid accustomed to the babysitting gradually. I should also say that the babysitters are pretty busy comforting the kids who weren't gradually introduced, so that even though they have equipment for activities for the kids, they don't do many activities other than take them for walks in the strollers. This is only for the YOUNGEST kids, though. My feeling is that kids from 1 to 2 still need to be with adults they know and have trouble adapting rapidly. Of course it depends on the kid.)
Older kids loved their babysitting, which was really special age-appropriate activities. At Club Med you are seated by a hostess for each meal, so you end up meeting lots of people who you then run into during the day. It may sound forced, but it really works well -- everybody has a toddler, so everybody understands that meals aren't going to be a formal occasion, at least in the main restaurant. In the second restaurant, you can make reservations and eat without the kids in the evening. (It's easy to arrange a babysitter.)
The beach is beautiful, the water is warm, the food is GOOD. We're definitely going back.