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This melange of activities is matched by the variety of accommodations. Ixtapa-Zihuatanjejo resorts run the gamut from moderate to expensive, from comfortable to super flush—appearing as if each tries to surpass the other in pampering and service.

Melia Azul Ixtapa, for example, is a shining, all-inclusive resort and convention center facing the bijou bay and surrounded on three sides by lush tropical growth. It has 138 luxury rooms with ocean views, and it is ideal for either a relaxing vacation or a business trip.

The resort, a member of the Sol Melia hotel chain, is an 11-year old property that consistently rates high on any visitor’s card. Canadian and European visitors find it particularly attractive.

Melia Azul (rates run from about $285 per night dbl for a deluxe oceanfront room, to $1,290 for a super luxurious, 1,300-sq.-ft. presidential suite) boasts that every room offers inspired ocean views. Its seven restaurants dish out arrays of different cuisines. It has five bars, a theater and even a children’s corner based on the Flintstones cartoon characters.

Says Oskar Gutierrez, manager of sales, tours and travel, “We pride ourselves in being one of the finest resorts in Sol Melia’s Mexico collection. Many of our guests fall in love with the property from the minute they enter their room to be awed by the fantastic ocean view and the impressive rock formations jutting out of the bay. Here, guests can stroll on the pier leading out to our Oyster Bar restaurant, a dining spot built on stilts in the water. Kids love our onsite water park with small waterslides and fountains, and adults will enjoy one of Mexico’s most famous golf destinations. More adventurous guests can sign up for one of many eco-tours offered by local guides. We also have added a new tower with 138 luxury oceanview rooms and the largest convention center in the Mexican Pacific with a capacity for more than 2,400.”

A bit more upscale, more private and secluded, Capella Ixtapa is a luxury resort with 59 terraced suites facing the ocean. It is gleaming and sophisticated—all red adobe, polished exotic woods and marble that pay homage to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo’s heritage.

The resort resembles a private retreat where luxury and comfort thrive, reflecting the upmarket atmosphere of Capella resorts throughout the world.

Although not on the waterfront, Ixtapa’s Loma del Mar is also a sure bet to appeal to those coming here to seek time away from the bustle distinctive of oceanfront resorts. The property resembles an Andalucian-style villa surrounded by acres of tropical growth. Its 16 suites abut a championship golf course that is itself on the edge of a forest nature reserve.

For guests who enjoy the beach, Loma del Mar offers free transportation to a nearby exclusive sandy beach dotted with palapas and beverage bars.

According to Leticia Martinez, director of sales and reservations, North American guests are attracted to the plush surroundings and service and to its excellent spa.

“Repeat guests have said that the most delightful experience in Loma del Mar is our spectacular thalasso and spa facilities,” she says. “The centerpiece of the spa is the thalasso swimming pool lined with hydro-massage elements that are simultaneously therapeutic and pleasurable. Many treatments are offered in an outdoor garden setting.”

Rates range from approximately $285 sgl or dbl for a luxury suite, to $362 for a penthouse.

In addition to its superb beach, Loma del Mar offers kayaking, cycling, sailing and snorkeling.

When it comes to luxury resorts in Ixtapa, the hits just keep on coming. A good number of the great hotel brands are represented. Here you’ll find Club Med, Park Royal, Dorado Pacifico and Emporio.

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo will leave an enduring impression on those coming here to experience a brighter side of Mexico.