Your next must-visit destination in Mexico for a romantic weekend away: Cala De Mar in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo
Where do we start Cakies?! Last month we were extremely lucky to be invited to this little gem of a hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the southern coast of Mexico. It was a dreamy little mid-week vacation, especially for three moms leaving six kiddos at home for a few days. (Jazz hands!) We wanted to show you a few peeks of our time there, and whole-heartedly encourage you to book your own quiet getaway to Cala de Mar very soon!
Hi, private plunge pool in every room.
The hotel has 50 rooms, which is such a nice, intimate size, while being able to maintain the amenities of a larger resort. Even with 2/3 of the rooms occupied during our stay, we rarely saw another guest. In our book that makes for an incredibly special and relaxing vacation and it’s a major perk of Cala de Mar. It’s quiet, secluded, beautiful, and the service was friendly and professional and kind. Plus, those rooms!
Floral foot baths also a plus.
And the architectural details (blushy archways FTW) were so lovely and authentic to Mexico while still feeling modern and instagrammy.
Did we mention you pretty much never need to leave your room? Especially with a Penthouse suite. Would be *ideal* for a honeymoon or anniversary trip.
The sunsets every night were pastel and soft and warm. And every view from the hotel is unobstructed and special.
On our way to dinner the first night… so ready for a mezcal cocktail! They take their mezcal service v. seriously at Cala, btw. We were treated to a full Mezcal tasting during cocktail hour and it was so interesting trying different varieties with different salts and fruits.
We took A LOT of sunset photos.
An here’s sunrise… equally gorgeous, no?!
Our second day we went shopping for lunch ingredients with Chef Mario Castro to the mercados in the old part of Zihuatanejo, in preparation for our cooking class at the hotel.
Fresh coconut water, yes pls.
The lunch Chef Castro prepared was so incredibly simple and delicious. But watching how he layered simple, local ingredients to create extraordinary pico de gallo and ceviche, guacamole and tortillas, was so inspiring. We’ve already followed his verbal recipes at home! And goes without saying that his team treated us to amazing meals throughout the entire stay, including three beautiful dinners in different locations around the hotel.
Then onto some very serious pool and spa time for the remainder of the afternoon. Very rough times.
See what we mean? Pool = empty and PERFECT. But don’t worry, they do offer icy cold cocktail service poolside. Bring a good book and settle in for actual relaxation when you come.
It really doesn’t get blushier than this place.
It is has a distinctly Mediterranean vibe, with the clear water and rocky beach and hillside location. It’s truly just beautiful all around.
Our second full day started before the sun came up. (See above photo… the moon!)
Breakfast equals farmer’s market papaya + green juice. Mmmhmmm.
We drove south that morning to a popular local weekend spot, the small fishing village of Barra de Potosí. There’s a beautiful nature reserve and lagoon there, where you can paddle board and kayak, beach. Our crew took a boat ride out to Los Morros, an interesting bird sanctuary and rock formation in the middle of the ocean. We saw whales and ocean caves and perfectly clear water that on a calm day would be an amazing place to swim. Plus how festively awesome are those tables and hammocks and colorful flags?
We pretty much spent the rest of the day sampling guacamole from every tasty spot in Zihua, including one of the restaurants in Barra de Potosi. Fresh coconuts with lime and salt, pescadillas (quesadillas filled with fish), salsa… could eat like this every day!
Next we stopped at Loot, a really cool gallery, event space, coffee shop, restaurant, barber shop… or as they describe themselves…. Surf & Lifestyle, in Zihautanejo. We were treated to an amazing brunch spread in their roof top restaurant. Excellent spot for a rehearsal dinner, if you were in the market, just sayin’!
Next off to the Thompson Hotel on Playa La Ropa for swimming and reading and cocktails and snacks. Always more cocktails and snacks, when in Mexico. We swam in the ocean and watched a surprise tropical storm roll it. It was perfect.
It was a long and lovely day with the Tourism Board, hearing about the history of the city and seeing what Zihuatanejo has to offer. But we weren’t sad to get back to Cala De Mar!
Super love the stone floor detailing and alllllll of the tropicals.
Our last morning, we hired a car and drove north to the surf town of Troncones and Playa La Saladita. Super sweet and sleepy and definitely a must-visit while you’re in Ixtapa. You’ll know you’re in the right spot to surf when you find Lourdes Bar & Grill. We rented big foam boards and tried our best to catch a few of the perfect soft waves in front!
And then it was sadly time to say goodbye. We really genuinely didn’t want to leave! Traveling from LA couldn’t have been easier or more seamless. It’s a quick 3 hour flight direct into ZIH, which is a tiny tropical airport. We flew on Alaska and our flights were $291 round trip in January.
In terms of rates for the hotel, spring rates start at, wait for it…. $250/night! With that beautiful pool. So you guys, this is a spot you really, really should explore. It’s affordable and beautiful and easy. Can’t say enough good things, really.