Old Reviews – Crown Pacific Resort Huatulco

  Crown Pacific Hotel   Jo ~ Canada

February 2009

Arrival
Arrival uneventfull, small airport so getting through customs took some time but nothing unbearable. Bus to Hotel was cool and guide was informative

Rooms
Rooms – clean and cool what more can you ask for, great veiws from the balcony, however, it was quite a maze getting around the hotel

Restaurants and Bars
The food was flavorful, but there was some serious concerns with food safety particularly the temperature of the food. The drinks were adequate and staff friendly.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
The Beach/Pools and grounds were very clean and well maintained.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Take a boat tour, you won’t regret it.

Other Comments The hotel does need some repairs but for the price very decent, some guests who have been here on numerous occasions did mention a steep decline in the upkeep of the hotel as well as the food. Some guests did mention a few tummy issues but were were fine. Over all rating a 6 out of 10.

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  Crown Pacific Hotel   Marla and Rod ~ Okotoks, AB

January 2009

Arrival: Dec 27 thru Jan 2
Arrival processing was unnecessarily slow. Shortage of bodies to process and stamp documents seemed to create the bottleneck. Cursory inspection of luggage seemed rather pointless.

Rooms:
Our room was very roomy and clean, if sparsely decorated and somewhat institutional. At arrival the room smelled strongly of fumigation, which seemed to dissipate. Maid service was timely, completed efficiently, and mini-bar was restocked daily with water, beer and sodas. The very large balcony was nice and provided a great view of Bay beyond. Not luxury, but definitely adequate.

Restaurants and Bars:
Although not ‘gourmet’ quality, all restaurants offered good selection, variety and presentation was lovely. The buffet was kept clean and replenished regularily. Without exception, all staff at this resort were extremely friendly, hardworking and helpful. Bartenders were especially entertaining; always ready with a smile and some friendly (albeit, Spanish) banter with the guests.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
While we had our initial misgivings about having to take a shuttle to the beach, it actually lent some interest and character to our vacation. Staff was always on hand, we rarely had to wait more than a couple of minutes.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Animation staff went above and beyond. We had more than a few chuckles at their antics, on and off the stage! This is a good resort for families. Lots of activities for little ones and teens. Not so good for people for disabilities or those not keen to to tackle lots of stairs!

Other Comments: These guys try harder (at the Crown Pacific Resort) and it shows! The only complaint we had is with the Huatulco Airport. Our arrival processing was extremely slow and departure was a nightmare! We waited over 2 hours standing on concrete in the heat just to check in. The elderly couple standing in line behind us didn’t complain but we could tell they were on the verge of physically collapsing. At one point an airport staff member came and asked them how they were doing, but never returned to offer them any assistance. To add insult to injury there was absolutely no apology or explanation offered. If Huatulco is serious about increasing or even maintaining their share of the Mexican tourist business, they must seriously look at making some big changes to the way they treat their customers.

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  Crown Pacific Hotel   Kathleen ~ Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

February 2008

Arrival – The airport is quite small and it was quite slow going through customs. We had a full charter flight and only 2 people to check passports and process us all through and into the country. People were friendly and there were no problems just a shortage of staff to accomodate the large flights. We were promptly met and taken to our resort.

Rooms – The rooms were very clean and spacious. Our balcony was huge. The decor was a bit boring.

Restaurants – We enjoyed the food at the buffet. Breakfast did have a shortage of meat for meat lovers. There wasn’t bacon or sausages. Strangely enough they served cocktail weiners at breakfast. The only meat at breakfast was the ham pieces you could have in an omlette. Lunch and dinner were quite tasty and there was always a large selection. They also served different food every evening we were there. The a la carte restaurant had nice service but OK food at best.

Bars – all you could drink and good prompt service. It was a treat to get as much bottled water as you wanted.

Beach and Pools – The 7th floor pool is beautiful with the view. The lower pool was nice as you could look to the ocean from it also. I would have enjoyed the pools being open later at night. They were both closed by 7pm or earlier. The beach had incredible sand, warm water and fun waves.

Grounds – The grounds were kept very clean and well manicured. The flowers and landscaping added a lot to the resort. The resort is on a mountainside and a trolly runs up and down all the time from what was classed as the 10th level down to the beach. Taking the trolly made the resort like a little village with everyone constantly visiting with the neighbors you would see out catching the trolly. Crown Pacific seemed much friendlier than some of the other resorts such as the Barcelo. The grounds had beautiful fountains, kids play areas, and tennis courts.

Activities – We enjoyed the resorts night shows but otherwise found our own activities. We did use the pedal boat which was not that enjoyable and more like work because the water was a bit rough. Our friends used the kayaks and enjoyed them but the resort only has 2 kayaks. They did not have the sailing like was advertised. The snorkelling was quite good right in front of the resort.

Tours – We had 2 wonderful dives with Buceo Sotavento. Hector Lara was an excellent guide and I feel with someone else we wouldn’t have seen near as much as we did. We dove in an area of volcanic rock and on a coral reef. We spent our surface interval on a beautiful beach eating an assortment of fresh fruit(including delicious mangoes) and having soft drinks and water provided by Hector. We also followed flying rays on our way to the beach. There was an amazing variety of sea life that we saw: turtles,eels, rays, pufferfish, butterflyfish, damselfish, grouper, sea stars, sea cucumbers, urchin, lobsters, jellyfish, nudibranchs, and lots more. Hector’s skills and enthusiasm got my husband back into diving with a positive experience. He had only dove about 12 times when he had a bad experience two years ago in Cuba and refused to dive again until this experience. We had most of our own gear(dive gear flys free and is not included in your weight allowance) and what we did rent from Hector functioned adequately. I have logged over 150 dives and dove in 6 different countries and felt totally pampered on this dive. Hector and the dive captain William both saw all our needs were met. I totally reccomend Hector Lara as a dive guide.

Conclusion – I think this is an excellent area for those that either want to just relax or are self motivated. I hate to see more people come because the area is so beautiful and pristine the way it is. All our activities we arranged ourselves and we had an incredible but busy week.

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  Crown Pacific Hotel   Margo

February 2008

January 2007 we’ve spent 1 week in Crown Pacific Hotel….My husband and I are over 60 and this hotel was just perfect for us. It’s built on a mountainside and the complex consists of buildings on 10 levels…..no stairs or elevators…but a good shuttle service is provided with very friendly operators.

We did our reservation trough the computer with ‘Signature vacations” and were perfectly happy in our suit located on the 9th level….having a beautiful view and plenty of comfort; Jacuzzi, TV, small kitchen with coffeemaker and small fridge filled with drinks.

There is a pool on level 7 and restaurant as well….the view is panoramic…..another pool on ocean front…and restaurant…providing night entertainment…in case some families would bring their children? Kindergarden.is provided for small children. Just ideal for all…..

After all this ….we could hardly wait for another year to visit this “little paradise” this time with our friends.

For January 2008 we’ve made our reservation for 2 weeks for 4 people…just to make sure that everything goes well….we have gone through a travel agent this time again with ‘Signature vacations’. Since we already were in this hotel last year; we knew the exact rooms we wanted to be in; in order to make sure, we have called the hotel two weeks prior to our departure and they assured us that we get the rooms on the 9th level.

….on the 18th of January we’ve happily arrived to Huatalco.

Upon our arrival we were told that they have now a new policy; whereas those higher levels are "golden categories" If so…..we should have been told that when we were booking, since they wanted an additional $35.00 per night. (Roughly $500.00 extra) per couple. Where can one go when you’re there already; in high season and they’re fully booked? However we were offered rooms on the second floor; with some rooftops as a view plus some noise from a generator (or some other source)

We’ve later realized, that many other guests had the same experience sometimes in reverse; due to overbooking, they were placed into the higher category but 2-3 days later they had to move to lower levels (unless they paid the difference)

Finally we did get our rooms and we were happy with the atmosphere the entertainers have made our stay very pleasant and we were trying to come to some kind of a common denominator with the hotel -manager….(we have paid extra money) Question is why ‘Signature’ had not informed us about these changes? Or why were they not informed? Our Signature rep…did not even know that we were not advised when the briefing was. (Our luggage were all checked at the airport and the bus left by the time we’ve got out) nevertheless we were comfortably transferred by a van.

I would like to visit this place again….but please do not change the rules while playing the game!

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Crown Pacific Hotel Linda ~ West Yorkshire, England, UK

June 2007

(Ages 56, 60) Travelled with First Choice 15th-29th May 2007 We are from West Yorkshire, England, UK

Interests: Foreign travel, snorkelling, visiting ancient sites, birdwatching, food & drink

My husband and I have just returned from 2 wonderful weeks at the Crown Pacific Huatulco 15th – 29th May 2007. We got a bargain late deal at half price (£479 each) with First Choice, which for 2 weeks all-inclusive is great value. The flight was barely half full so we could all spread out. My only criticism is that I wish First Choice would provide soft drinks free of charge on longhaul, as it is important to keep up your fluid intake while flying.

We arrived at the hotel and were welcomed with a face towel and drink. The check in was quick and efficient. There were only about 14 of us staying at this hotel, so only needed roughly 7 rooms. We were taken to our rooms by the shuttle bus and our suitcases followed quickly. Our suites were very large and comfortable. Us Brits were all very conveniently put in suites on the 7th level which meant it was only a few steps from back door to swimming pool, bar, and Cielito Lindo restaurant serving continental breakfast, snack lunches and light dinners. We didn’t have a fridge, but we could always get an ice bucket from the bar and a cold drink when we wanted one and sit on our terrace with it. In the morning we could get tea or coffee from the restaurant and bring it back to our room or terrace, although we did have a coffee maker and coffee provided.

It’s the best-looking hotel out of the 3 at Tangolunda Beach. It’s 3-star, so don’t expect luxury, but it has a lovely atmosphere and the staff are so friendly. The grounds have beautiful trees and plants and you can see many iguanas.

There is a shuttle bus running all day round the different levels and on to reception, and also onto the beach club. We never had to wait long and the hotel staff will call for one if you ask. There is also a funicular which although slow does save the walk if it is hot.

Breakfast was always in Restaurant Tamayo on the 2nd level and some nights the buffet dinners were here too. Breakfasts and dinners here are big buffets and lovely food with lots of choice and some food cooked to order. Mexican breakfasts are something else! We also had a la carte here on arrival, which we found to be beautifully presented and lovely food, and service was good and friendly. Lunches every day and dinners most of the week, are at the Beach Club restaurant by the beach. Both are big buffets with loads of choice and some food cooked to order, different food themes each evening and I would like to point out, that all cold food was left on ice. I don’t know of anyone that got ill and we never had to queue for food or a table. I have to say that we couldn’t fault the service anywhere. The staff was the friendliest I have met anywhere, they were attentive asking if we wanted more drinks every time they passed by, and clearing away our plates whenever necessary, and they like a joke! In fact, we became so friendly with the waiters and waitresses that they hugged us when we left. The entertainment is in the Beach Club restaurant whilst you are eating and the entertainment staff worked very hard. I am not a big fan of entertainment whilst eating, as it is very loud and it was the same shows 2 weeks running, but I think they did their best.

We had 2 problems in our room and both times we told reception and they sent someone immediately to fix it. In fact our blocked toilet got fixed by the time we had breakfast and went back to our suite. Very good service as far as I’m concerned and the reception staff were polite, friendly, and efficient and understood us well.

Lucero runs the bar on the 7th level by the swimming pool. She is excellent and prepares the most wonderful cocktails, speaks good English and is good fun. She actually went to a class to learn how to make different bacardi cocktails while we were there.

There is free internet access in reception – only one computer – but we never had any problem getting on it to send our emails.

The hotel was practically empty so we had no trouble getting drinks, service, etc. However, the Mexican families all come down from Friday to Sunday for a weekend break and then the hotel fills up. There is no problem with this, after all it is their country and they are allowed to go on holiday too. They are the friendliest people with lovely polite children, and if you bother to talk to them and say hola, they love to respond. They like to have a good time and party, but were not overloud in any way.

We never had any trouble getting sunloungers on the beach. However, the sea is rough and the red flag was up most days and one day the black flag too. It is disappointing if you want to go swimming in the sea. My husband likes to snorkel. You have to walk along the beach to the left, to the Gala hotel, where you can go in the water easily and it’s not too rough to snorkel. You can also see the fish swimming there and can feed them with bread to see them jump.

Don’t book any trips with First Choice because they are too expensive. Also, you can get exactly the same trips with the locals at a fraction of the price and I prefer giving the money to local people. We went into La Crucecita (only £1 in a taxi to the beautiful town) and in the square, or plaza, there is a tourist information booth. The man in the booth sent us to Teresa Lorenzano to book our trips. If you stand in front of the square facing the church, Teresa is down the righthand side of the square, situated in a booth in the front of a shop with tins of paint. She is a lovely lady and we booked all of our trips with her. She made sure that we had an English guide each time and even picked us up one morning to take us to the bay cruise. If you can’t find her, ask the Tourist Information man. When some of the others saw that we were going on the same trips but much cheaper, they also went into La Crucecita and booked trips with other agents. They were also very pleased with their trips and service and mostly the lower costs.

We did 4 trips with Teresa. Four of us went on the Crocodiles and Turtles trip. We had a private car with Teresa’s brother as our guide, and the trip also included a visit to Zipolite beach and Puerto Angel beach where we had lunch. We passed the First Choice crowd on the lagoon looking for crocs, and they had paid around £40 each including lunch, whereas we paid £50 for 4 of us in our own aircon car with guide. This did not include lunch, but it wasn’t expensive anyway. We saw lots of crocs and beautiful birds, and then went onto Mazunte to the turtle aquarium. They have big open tank laboratories at the back where they breed the turtles to preserve them and return them to the sea.

We also did the Waterfalls and Coffee plantation trip, and again we passed the First Choice crowd on the way. We went with a few Mexican people in a car with a guide who translated into English for us. He even made us sit in front so that he could talk to us. This trip was £15 each whereas First Choice was around £38. Also, it was really nice for us having our authentic Mex lunch at the plantation with the Mexican people, who showed us how to eat the food. We also got to visit the Butterfly House, which was really interesting, whereas First Choice people did not.

We went on the 7 bays cruise with snorkelling and a visit to Maguey beach for lunch (not included) at a cost of £7.50 and had a great day out. (First Choice £28!) We were the only English people on the catamaran, but one of the boat staff came and translated everything into English for us. The Mexican people love to party and they were line dancing on the boat to the music. It was great fun.

And Teresa arranged for us to go birdwatching one morning with a guide (£12.50 each, First Choice £25 each). He spoke excellent English and took us to a jungle area near La Bocana at 7 am, and we spent a few hours looking at wonderful birds. He provided binoculars, charts and fruit for breakfast, which we ate at a high point overlooking 2 wonderful bays and the Copalita River.

We visited La Entrega beach ourselves by taxi. This is a lovely beach, great for snorkelling, but try to go in the week when it’s quieter. The Mexicans descend on it at the weekend. While we were there we met GilbertoAlegria who told us about his boat for fishing and bay trips. We hired him to take us fishing one morning. It was £50 for 4 hours for just my husband and myself. This was the cheapest price as most of the locals were quoting £80-£100. He was very good and picked us up at our hotel in his brother’s old banger and took us to Santa Cruz where we picked up his boat. He provided the rods and bait, and he had a young lad to help him. I just went for the ride, and my husband caught bonita and mahimahi. Gilbert filleted the fish for us and dropped us off right on Tangolunda beach in front of our hotel. We took it straight to the restaurant and they agreed to cook our fish for us for lunch on that day and the next day free of charge. The kitchen not only cooked it to perfection but also presented it on the plate with vegetable flowers and small mounds of rice and it looked wonderful. Needless to say we tipped the cook who had really put a lot of effort into it. She did the same the next day too with a different presentation and it was delicious.

All in all we’ve had a wonderful holiday. Huatulco is a beautiful place, very safe, wonderful people, and lovely beaches. The Crown Pacific is a really good 3 star hotel. The food was very good and plentiful and drinks were always available. We were well looked after by extremely friendly staff. The other British people that stayed at our hotel were the loveliest bunch and we all got on extremely well. We would definitely recommend this hotel, as it’s a lovely place to stay in a beautiful country.

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Crown Pacific Hotel Sherry

February 2007

We spent a week at the end of January, 2007 at the Crown Pacific Resort. It was both of our first time to the pacific side of Mexico. We both absolutely loved the area. We also enjoyed our stay at the resort. For a 3+ we thought it couldn’t be much better. The service was great. It was quite wide spread out so a person relied on the shuttles a fair bit to get to our room, we were up on the 9th level which was almost to the top, as well as using the shuttle to go to the beach club and restaurant. It seemed we hardly ever had to wait for a shuttle, most times it was there or on its way to take us where we needed to go. The staff were great and helpful, although the English wasn’t very good compared to the Mayan side so I had a bit of a language barrier when needing help with certain things. The food was ok, not a large selection and sometimes a fair bit of Mexican items which were a bit strange for me but I am sure many enjoyed them. The views and scenery were absolutely gorgeous! We also found that in order to get a spot on the beach we had to go down early in the morning before breakfast to ensure saving a spot in the roped off area for Crown Pacific. That area could have been a bit bigger but being it’s a smaller resort it was decent.

We went to town a few times, twice for dinner and ate at a restaurant called Tostado’s in La Cruciecieta which was excellent food and great prices. Shopping was good in both there and Santa Cruz. We went on 2 tours, one full day for the 7 bays & snorkel tour which we both enjoyed. The only part we didn’t care for was when we went to the one bay for lunch the people working there were extremely pushy to eat at their area and the Mexicans selling items were also very pushy, much more so than by our resort. The other tour we did was Magic Towns. It was a half day drive back to see how the locals lived, we went to a lady’s home and she showed us how to make tortilla’s from corn and the next stop was to a cactus farm where we got to eat cactus and some cactus dishes. We also stopped at a town called Santa Marie which was pretty neat. This tour was quite eye opening as to how they actually live in the areas away from the resort. We both enjoyed it a great deal.

Overall we would both return to Crown Pacific for a 2nd visit and to the area in a heartbeat!

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Crown Pacific Hotel Northern boy ~ Canada

February 2006

We stayed at Crown Pacific Hotel for two weeks in mid-January 2006. While the hotel is 400 yards from the beach and built up a hillside, there were constant shuttle carts to the hotel’s large beach club (which includes large buffet restaurant, pool, and sand beach area). We found it a pleasant stroll mornings and evenings.

We felt perfectly safe in the area as there are basically only five hotels on Tangolunda Bay..the townsite is 5 km away – $2.50 US by taxi (they almost fly down the paved roads).The hotel consists of ten buildings ranging up the hill, with a full pool, bar and small cafe on the 7th floor level. There was more available access to lounge chairs at that pool as most people headed for the beach.

Food – it depends on what you like. We have been to 5 star all inclusive resorts – Crown Pacific is more laid back at 3-1/2 stars. One night a week they open the Tamaya restaurant for formal dining service. It is open every morning for breakfast buffet. The lunches and dinners are at the Beach Club – buffet. The menu changes every night – whicle some Mexican foods are featured each night, if you don’t like a steady diet of tasty but spicy food, you can find enough to eat of "regular" food – salads, vegetables, desserts, soups, and on feature nights hamburgers, or pizza and lasagna. There is only one restaurant in the immediate area outside of the hotels – Don Perfiro’s – a great place for seafood and beef, with entertaining waiters. The Crown had entertainment nightly – musical – varied from a collage of dance styles to Broadway night (Grease, Phantom of Opera etc). IT wasn’t Broadway caliber but was entertaining. The one feature Mexican night has a crew from Oaxaca City – interesting but the MC speaks only Spanish, and "goes on" for what seems to be hours.

If you can struggle with a few Spanish words or phrases you will find the people really respond well, and are anxious to help you. We had friends at the Barcelo next door – 5 star inclusive- and it seemed fine but we don’t think the difference between Crown Pacific and the more expensive Barcelo was worth $250 US per person per week. We preferred not to have to make reservations for dinners like they did in Barcelo a la carte restaurants.

Along the beach toward the Gala Hotel there is a base for parasailing and other water sports. One beach rep – Jorge – nickname Indio – was excellent in helping us find things, and setting up parasailing and a Sunday van tour to Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido. If you make a down payment for a ride or sport and don’t get it, report it to the hotel and they will get your money back (Didn’t happen to us but all beach personnel are governed by a tourist organization which informs you about the refund policy)

The golf course is very good – take your own clubs as their selection is limited – when deciding on Huatulco we were told a game would cost $70US for 9 holes, $110 for 18 holes. We played 9 holes on each of two different days, paid 827 pesos total ($82.70) for the two green fees and a cart. Crown Pacific gives you a coupon for 30 percent discount.

If you are at Huatulco don’t miss going into La Crucecita town 5 km away – very interesting – good food places (try El Pata – hollowed out half pineapple filled with 50 grilled shrimp and diced pineapple – $9 US) Also Los Portales, opposite the part – a very good grill and includes a quiet Iguana Bar (5 beer, two tortillas, salsa – total 130 pesos – $13 US). If you need a bank, there are none at the resort area nor in La Crucecita – but there are three in San Cruz – 4 km away.

We rarely go back to the same resort area …prefer to find new places and things…but we would consider returning to Huatulco…and the Crown Pacific.

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Crown Pacific Hotel David ~ Toronto, Canada

January 2006

We arrived on December 26th and stayed two weeks, got back this morning.

Flew Skyservice form Toronto. Mechanical problems in flight forced a landing in Cancun en route. So 4.5 hour flight became 9 hours. Such lenghty delays happen to us half the time we fly with Skyservice… not sure why.

FOOD:
Food at hotel was edible. I don’t like spicy foods, and wish they would try to make some Mexican dishes without the spiciness. Had no guacamole while there – the kind they offered was too spicy, like many of their dishes. Most important, though, we did not get sick from any of the food. But choices were minimal and we seemed to eat a lot of burgers and fries towards the end of the trip.

There are lots of bottles of water available at all the bars all day long. You can take some up to your rooms too, if the maids don’t leave enough.

One strange thing is that there are lineups every night for dinner. I never experienced that at other hotels before.

KIDS CLUB:
We spent our days at the beach club. Our kids loved the kids club, which is at the beach club, near the pool. There is no kids’ pool at the beach club, and the pool there is small and sometimes crowded, about 4 feet deep across. Carmen, Betsa and Candi, the girls who work at the kids’ club, are sweet and paid a lot of attention to our kids.

EVENING ENTERTAINMENT:
There was a show about 5 nights a week at 8:30 or 9:30pm on the stage at the beach club restaurant where you eat dinner. The shows were ok, put on by the animacion staff (6 in all, plus a DJ). They are talented and engaging, we enjoyed it, but it’s not for everyone.

BED BUGS:
There are none.

OUR ROOM:
10th floor, large, two walkouts, nice view of the Bay. There was always a smell of sewage coming from the bathroom, though, at all hours of the day. Not sure why. Maids did a good job, tipped them $3/day. Hair dryer in the room, no coffee maker. Bring your own if you want fresh coffee in the morning! Sometimes you catch a trolley car right when you want it, sometimes you wait 10 or even 20 minutes. No big deal, but can be a little frustrating. If you’re on the 10th floor, you’ll need to use the trolley – it’s a bit of a hike up!

The "funicular" does not work anymore.

MY WISH LIST: – more food choices that are not spicy. – pads on the beach loungers (towels are not enough!!) – Not closing the beach bar between 6pm and 7:30pm. – fridges in the rooms

– no lineups for dinner

OVERALL:
Overall we enjoyed our experience there. Two weeks of blue skies, never rained. Ocean was menacing at times. This is not a gentle beach for young children!! But you can walk down to the Gala beach where the rocks are and the waves are much smaller. There are fish there too, and clear water. It’s like an aquarium!! The kids loved that.

Also, try to walk the other way (west) 100 metres to the Quinta Real hotel, and watch the iguana feedings at 1:30 every day!! Fun for kids and adults too.

This hotel is not luxury, but is a nice spot to stay and relax for a week or two, if the price is right. I would not pay as much to go the Crown Pacific as I would to go to the Barcelo next door, or the Gala one hotel over, or the Brisas down the beach. And I didn’t have to.

We wore shorts and short-sleeved shorts to dinner at night – it’s always warm, although one night it was a chilly 17 degrees celcius.

Bottom line: I would go back to this hotel.

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Crown Pacific Hotel Simon

February 2005

My wife and I (early thirties) spent a week at the Crown Pacific Hotel (Jan. 24-29 2005). The earlier review by Colin and Patti (February 2004) does a good job of describing the hotel surroundings.

Generally speaking we were pleased. The resort is exceptionally clean, and there is much variety. The food was excellent for breakfast (although bring your own Maple Syrup), very good for lunch, and average for supper. None of the staff speak very much English, so brush up on your Spanish. My wife and I had a strange rate where alcohol was not included, and we were treated very badly when we tried to pay for the few drinks we attempted to order. The staff does not seem to be very well trained in the hotel processes and rules – for example on our last day they made me climb up and down the equivalent of 7 flights of stairs to sign-out some towels for the pool. I could not complain, because of the language barrier.

The area is spectacular – absolutely paradise. It’s very difficult to access by vehicle, so there are not very many people. There are many local tours to choose from, and shopping in nearby towns that only cost a couple of bucks to visit by taxi. We went on the tour of real Mexico, which was phenomenal – just make sure you get an air conditioned vehicle. Our guide was Evuarado – he’s the best! The area is very, very safe to visit. There was a guy at the beach selling tours, but I felt more comfortable booking one through the travel agency in the Hotel.
The Crown Pacific seems to cater mainly to wealthier Mexicans from Oaxaca or Mexico City. We bumped into more Canadians than Americans for some reason (we are Canadian). There were not very many people, although it was a battle for loungers either at the beach or at the Ocean. The shuttle service was excellent, we used it to go up to our room. You have to be in very good shape to walk from the supper area (down by the Ocean) up to the upper levels on a regular basis.

We were in section 10, and the second highest floor in the resort. Sections 9 and 10 have the hot tubs, although there is a bizarre way of getting them started – you have to flip the switch, then the breaker blows, then you have to reset the breaker in the closet. The rooms are huge, at least the one we had. There is a big balcony, and you can open a big window over the hot tub to see outside to the balcony. The room alone made the trip worthwhile – it was amazing. On our last night there was pounding music coming from a nearby town or resort – woke us up at 12:30 am, but nobody else seems to have heard it. Otherwise the entire place was very, very quite.

We had a tiny Gheko running around our room – that was harmless. We were a little bit more concerned about the Scorpion we found on the bathroom floor. It was small, but we did not take any chances. It got a shoe and a one-flush salute. The coolest visitor was a 2 foot Iguana on our balcony. It was a black one – apparently those taste like chicken. As this was my first trip to Mexico, I’m assuming the adventures of the air conditioning breaking down one night, the water breaking down one afternoon, the lack of consistent hot water, and the black oily stuff coming out of the taps when the water was fixed … all part of the charm.

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Crown Pacific Hotel Colin & Patti — Canada

February 2004

My wife and I ,(mid thirties ) spent two weeks Feb 1 to Feb 15 at the Crown Pacific Hotel. This was our first trip here and I want to say this was those most relaxing vacation ever. The hotel is a real gem its rated as 3.5 star only because its not beach front . The hotel itself is built on a hillside which gives the most spectacular views of the Tongulunga Bay area . The hotel makes up for not being on the beach with HUGE rooms, ours was over looking the top pool, with two queen beds, a small living area with sofa-bed, table and chairs and a large bar counter with mini fridge. The balcony was huge with a table and wicker chairs. The rooms were clean, modern and the A/C worked great. We stayed in block seven which over looks the pool. If you can believe it the rooms in block 8 and 9 are bigger with Jacuzzi tub and its own patio doors to over look the bay (how romantic). The hotel itself was very clean, the grounds were well looked after and most rooms were made by 1pm. Our maid did the towels to look like swans and laid others out to look like mini tux"s. The hotel has two main eating areas, one at the hotel and the other at the beach club across the street. Unless you are really fussy eater the food was great. Breakfast was traditional Mexican with North American. We had fresh fruits, juices daily, eggs any style pancakes, bacon, ham, toast, hashbrowns, pastries and great quesadillas! The coffee was excellent and the staff were always happy, loved to joke and cleaned your table promptly. Lunch was served across the street at the beach club it had a wide variety of soups, salads, and hot items. You could order great hamburgers fries etc & the pastries are to die for as they made them fresh daily. Being all inclusive, dinners followed a theme each night. It was great most nights but remember you are in Mexico and they have to cater to Mexican tourists as well. The chef JOSE made the most amazing pizzas, grilled chicken, fish and the most tasty soups. They had 1 ala carte night per week, it was exceptional as they had some great choices and served homemade ice-cream. All in all we ate as if we out to dinner at home every night, it truly was wonderful.

The hotel has two pools, one at the beach and one at the hotel. The hotel pool was large and clean with plenty of chairs and tables with umbrellas (one note, the loungers do not have pads)! We never once had to reserve chairs and the folks at the GALA had to get up at 6:30 am to save a chair then eat breakfast in shifts. The pool bar was great! My little buddy Miguel, the bartender serves the best pina coloda’s and cold beer. If you see him tell him the Canadian Diablo say’s Hola! The pool at the beach club was right on the ocean with lots of activities run by the recreation staff (my favourite was the stretching class followed by a massage, HEAVEN)!!! There are some beach huts on the beach or you could lay around the pool, again we never had a problem getting loungers. The only thing that we could maybe complain about was that the hotel being hillside, there was a lot of up and down walking. They had a shuttle to take us back and fourth which we never waited more than 10 min for, but after all that great food we needed the walk! The hotel has a lobby bar that is open Sun – Wed till 11 pm. They played music, games and you could just sit in large wicker chairs shoot the breeze. On Thurs – Sat they served drinks at the beach club till 11 pm. There was always a little show going on. Overall I would rate this hotel 8.5 out of 10 and we would stay there again! Enough about the hotel, Huatulco is a gem of a place! Very clean, modern & the safest place we’ve been too. There is a lot to do and see with golfing, fishing, snorkelling and many tours to show off the beauty of the area. The weather was fantastic and we did not see a cloud in two weeks. Rather than having a long stretching beach, Huatulco is made up of several bays and you have to see them to believe it. They all have crystal clear water, are quite calm and great for swimming and snorkelling. Some are inhabited but others are virgin (my wife and I had a beach all to our selves one day, it was amazing). Most beaches are easy to drive to by cab (cheap) but some you can only get to by boat (easily arranged). There’s great shopping at the near by towns. With many clean public washrooms, great restaurants and friendly locals! If you want to relax and enjoy a piece of heaven than Huatulco is for you! However if you want to party all night then stick to Acapulco or Cancun. We will be back soon! In the meantime if you have any questions email me at picaaso@shaw. ca

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