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Hotel Fontan Ixtapa 3.0

Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Guerrero

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Five-minute walk to Ixtapa’s dining, shopping, and other resorts
  • Wide, clean, soft sand beach with private palapas
  • Two large outdoor pools with plenty of umbrellas
  • Three restaurants and a poolside snack shack offer all-day dining
  • Rooms feature private balconies, flat-screen TVs, and bottled water (limited)
  • Room service available (fee)
  • Free Wi-Fi available in common areas

Cons

  • Sparsely decorated rooms with budget furniture, fixtures, and hard beds
  • Wi-Fi not available in guest rooms
  • Restaurants frequently close based on season or occupancy
  • Tiny, dated gym feels like an afterthought
  • Cramped parking lot is unstaffed and difficult to navigate
  • Beach chairs aren't adequate and get filled quickly

Bottom Line

Relative to the area’s sprawling upscale and luxury resorts, everything about the three-pearl Hotel Fontan Ixtapa feels “average.” This all-inclusive's list of amenities includes three restaurants, four bars, a wide beach, and two large pools -- all of which look good on paper. However, two restaurants close frequently based on the season and occupancy, both pools are in need of some TLC, and finding chairs at the beach can prove frustrating. Each of the 472 rooms is bright and airy, though with a sparse, budget look. They included basics like private balconies, flat-screen TVs, and bottled water. The nearby Posada Real Ixtapa is an equally budget-friendly three-pearl alternative with fewer amenities but a more intimate vibe.

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Scene

Large, beachfront all-inclusive that's average in all ways

Hotel Fontan Ixtapa falls squarely in the middle of the area’s wide range of resorts when it comes to quality. The property’s age is evident in the dated furniture, color scheme, and bland decor. Reminiscent of similar ‘90s-era resorts, the architecture is vaguely Mexican, with red roofs and beige stucco walls and ceilings built in classic adobe style. Occasional pops of color can be seen in some newer furnishings and fabrics, but the overall palette is drab and does little to remind guests they’re in the tropics.

The hotel’s large outdoor space combines a wide beach, two pools, and several bars -- all with a vibe that’s lively throughout the day. However, with only the lobby bar open past dinner time, the after-hours social scene is virtually nonexistent. The hotel’s budget-friendly nature attracts equal numbers of local couples and vacationing families looking for a reasonably priced beachfront getaway -- in that respect, it is pleasant enough.

Location

On a wide beach in the heart of Ixtapa’s popular tourist district

The resort is situated amid Ixtapa’s prime beachfront tourist district on the bustling Boulevard Paseo Ixtapa. Dozens of restaurants, cafes, shops, and markets are within a five- to 10-minute walk. In addition, the popular Delfiniti Ixtapa dolphin encounters and two professional golf courses -- Palma Real Ixtapa and Marina Ixtapa Náutica -- are five minutes away by car.

Due to the easy walkability of the downtown area, a rental car isn't necessary for most travelers. As with most area resorts, Posada Real doesn't provide transportation to or from Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport. However, taxi service is inexpensive and readily available to make the 30-minute drive. Larger groups and travelers who don’t mind ride-shares will find the area’s private shuttles to be the most affordable option.

Rooms

Sparse rooms offer limited essentials including flat-screen TVs, bottled water, and private balconies

The decor in each of the three room categories is crisp and airy with beige walls and white tile throughout. A blue and yellow floral pattern on the bed linens, curtains, and upholstery adds some tropical flavor to the otherwise stark space, though it's not the most contemporary design choice. A few ocean-inspired prints hang on the off-white walls. The furniture -- including laminate countertops, generic metal chairs, and IKEA-esque beds -- all has a bare-bones look to it. 

Floor space in all categories is typical relative to other three-pearl accommodations in the area. Both entry-level room types -- Standard and Standard Oceanview -- are identical, differing only in bed configuration and view, the former offering mountain views and the latter with views of the sea. Penthouse Suites have roomier floor plans on the hotel’s top floors, with massive balconies that are larger than the actual rooms. However, with minimal furnishings, much of the outdoor space feels wasted and unnecessary.

Even by three-pearl standards, in-room amenities include only the bare essentials, especially among the area's all-inclusive properties. All rooms include flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, and some bottled water. The latter is limited to just two bottles daily, which can be frustrating given the unpredictable nature of the area’s tapwater. Mini-fridges are a nice addition to all entry-level rooms though they are curiously absent in the Penthouse Suites, and they aren't stocked with any soft drinks or alcohol. Wi-Fi is only available in the lobby and some common areas, however, we found it to be spotty and unreliable during our stay. Unfortunately, the beds in every room are widely criticized as hard and uncomfortable.

Bathrooms are compact, but not cramped, across the board. The overall design is basic with a white and beige color scheme, with subtle beach-themed wall tiling and faux marble countertops. The generic metal fixtures are salt-worn and feel a step below what most guests expect of a mid-range hotel.

Features

A soft sand beach, three restaurants, and two large pools, but no spa

Hotel Fontan Ixtapa offers all the amenities of a typical three-pearl beachfront resort. Three restaurants, two pools, and a soft sand beach are all noteworthy pros. However, by missing the finer details -- insufficient beach chairs, a dated pool deck, and short restaurant hours -- the hotel feels like it’s promising much more than it delivers.

In addition to the beach, two large pools combine to form the hotel’s main social area. Rows of umbrellas and plastic lounge chairs encircle both pools ensuring plenty of shaded space throughout the day. Seating is tight, though not cramped. With little greenery, large swaths of aging concrete, and no clear design to either pool, the space feels somewhat featureless and cold.

Unfortunately, the hotel offers limited wellness amenities. Located adjacent to the parking lot, the tiny gym feels like an afterthought and has only a handful of dated cardio machines and free weights. There is no dedicated on-site spa, however, in-room massage treatments are available.

While self-parking is available in a gated lot, we found the security to be lax, bordering on nonexistent. The lot’s cramped layout is also difficult to navigate and frequently full, leaving travelers with rental cars with nowhere to park.

Food

Decent amount of dining options, but hours can be unpredicatable

The hotel promises three restaurants, however, their frequent closings and short hours can be frustrating. The main dining area, Real Palapa, is the hotel’s only all-day restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The buffet breakfast includes a usual mix of Western foods (fresh fruit, waffles, and an omelet station) and local Mexican favorites such as rice and beans, chilaquiles, and fried plantains. A general international buffet is offered for lunch and dinner with a rotating mix of themed entrees including Italian and Mexican. Miramar offers beachside a la carte service in a bright, open-air space under a large thatched roof. However, the restaurant only opens for lunch. Open only in high season, La Hacienda provides a la carte dinner service in a more formal atmosphere. Rates at the hotel are all-inclusive of meals. 

Beach

Nice, sandy beach but not enough lounge chairs

Like most nearby hotels, Hotel Fontan is situated on a semi-private sliver of Ixtapa’s larger, soft sand Palmar Beach. The beach is technically accessible to the public. However, the hotel provides rows of private, guest-only palapas and lounge chairs a hundred feet from the water. Unfortunately, the number of chairs is inadequate to support the property’s 472 rooms. Guests frequently complain of needing to claim their chairs at sunrise to ensure a beachfront spot. Like many of the common areas, much of the beach furniture appears in need of a deep cleaning.

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Address

Blvd Ixtapa S/N, Zona Hotelera, Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo 40880, Mexico

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