Mexico's Pacific Coast isn't exactly off the beaten path — hundreds, if not thousands, of vacationers flock to Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, and the like every year. However, parts of this stunning stretch of coast remain surprisingly under the radar, including Ixtapa. Located in the Mexican state of Guerrero, this oceanfront resort town — whose name translates to "this white place" in reference to its almost blindingly white sand beaches — offers travelers a more authentic taste of the sun-soaked destination, and Cala de Mar Resort & Spa is among our favorite luxury resorts in the area. Read on for our full review to learn why.
The Look of Cala de Mar Resort & Spa
Prepare to feel your troubles melt away the moment you pull up to the Cala de Mar Resort & Spa, as the cliffside property, which is tucked into the towering Sierra Madre Mountains, offers Instagram-worthy views of the Pacific. The Spanish-style exterior has an elegant and traditional feel; however, the interiors boast a breezier, more laid-back aesthetic with light-green walls and plenty of natural light. Accommodations at this all-suite property range in size from 580 to 1,250 square feet, and each unit, regardless of category, offers incredible ocean views, a spacious outdoor terrace, and a private plunge pool.
There are a total of four bars and restaurants: The three-tiered Terrace Bar, the open-air Las Rocas, the stylish Seafood Market (complete with local artisan pottery, floor candles, and a fire pit), and the more formal A Mare, which boasts of being "the only airconditioned restaurant in the region with a view." The 6,000-square-foot spa, which offers Aztec-inspired treatments and services, also takes inspiration from its seaside surroundings with its breezy open-air relaxation area and sun-drenched setting.
The Vibe at Cala de Mar Resort & Spa
Cala de Mar Resort & Spa exudes romance, which makes it incredibly popular amongst couples of all ages seeking sun and serenity. Due to its small size (only 54 suites), the property inherently has an intimate ambiance, and staff — known here as Personal Assistants — are on hand to cater to couples' every need, including setting up the perfect beach picnic or organizing an epic private dinner.
Who Will Love Cala de Mar Resort & Spa
It goes without saying, but couples will love it here. Between the all-suite accommodations complete with private plunge pools, a serene spa area, and postcard-worthy views, the property is prime for romantic escapes.
Who Might Not Love Cala de Mar Resort & Spa
While adjoining family suites do exist, the all-around romantic atmosphere and tranquil vibes here mean that families looking for a little more entertainment might want to stay elsewhere. Also, the property does not have direct beach access, so those wanting to be right on sandy shores may want to seek alternative options.
Best Amenity at Cala de Mar Resort & Spa
The private plunge pools are something incredibly special, though the spa, with its ancient Aztec-inspired treatments and services, including traditional temazcal ceremonies, a ritual that involves a sweat lodge, is equally enticing.
What's Included at Cala de Mar Resort & Spa
Cala de Mar Resort & Spa guests have access to two pool areas plus a fitness center. Wi-Fi is also complimentary. While spa treatments cost extra, the hydrotherapy circuit is free.
Extra Fees & Costs You Should Know About at Cala de Mar Resort & Spa
All food and beverages cost extra, as do spa treatments.
How to Get a Deal at Cala de Mar Resort & Spa
Check the specials tab for the latest deals, discounts, and promotions. The Meals Inclusive Package includes daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner, complimentary soft drinks, and 20% off alcoholic beverages. I Prefer Members can also score discounts on room rates along with free breakfast.
The Sweet Season
Visit in the summertime to score the cheapest rates on lodging. You'll also encounter fewer crowds, which means the resort — and the entire destination — will truly feel like your very own private oasis.
In the Neighborhood of Cala de Mar Resort & Spa
The hotel is within a 10-minute drive of the world-class Marina Ixtapa (which is filled with luxury boats), Zihuatanejo's local markets (must-visits for authentic souvenirs), and incredible beaches (Playa La Ropa, Playa Las Gatas, and Playa Blanca, to name a few). Two championship golf courses — Palma Real Ixtapa Golf Course and the Marina Ixtapa Golf Club — are also nearby. Popular attractions include fishing, whale-watching, and boating, among other water-based activities.
Nearest Airport to Cala de Mar Resort & Spa
Ixtapa Zihuatanejo International Airport is about 16 miles away (35 minutes by car). Direct flights are available from major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Phoenix, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.
Nearest Public Transportation to Cala de Mar Resort & Spa
There is no public transportation here. Your best bet is to arrange private transportation to the hotel.
The Bottom Line
For an underrated escape that provides the perfect blend of wellness, romance, and luxury in an awe-inspiring setting, check out — or check into — Cala de Mar Resort & Spa.