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200 authors, 7 continents, 1 unified passion for travel. With over 35 years of experience, we're using Casto's network to bring you stories and recommendations for destination travel.

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Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Author: Helen E. Land

Warm and sunny with a welcoming tropical feel, Zihuatanejo is a small local town along the West Coast of Mexico about 50viewzihuatanejobay_zihuatanejo_mexico__med.jpg miles north of Acapulco.  September is the end of the rainy times along this coast so the air was full and warm.  The cozy town of Zihuatanejo, originally a fishing village at the outflow of a river valley located at the edge of the Bay, remains local and real in feel.   THE TIDES, a deluxe resort about 30 minutes walk south of town along the large bay, is located on a beautiful beach with sweeping views West towards the sunset.  Each evening we had  a magical light show of cloud-to-cloud lightning, thunder and relatively short but heavy downpours of rain ….  making all the greenery, flowers and plants lush and fresh for the morning. 
Quality is the underlying theme of The Tides.  Staff provides excellence of service, welcoming and discrete, and the cuisine in the restaurants along the beach as well as set back under an open air palapa is inventive, delicate and amusing both in presentation and taste.  Top level service all around.  dini_5.jpgThree bars, one at the beach, one nestled into the resort with table service for light meals and the third,  main restaurant,  with large pool with swim-up  bar alongside provided options to relax and enjoy.   Tennis courts, excellent private gym, water activities and a long beach gave more than enough options to relax or work out — depending on your wishes.     Dining at night provided top quality entreés, served with gracious and gentle subtlty by the local staff , was complimented by excellent wines, and even a ‘ bottled water menu’ which came accompanied by your choice of ginger, cinnamon, as well as lime, grapefruit or orange slices you could have placed in your  individual glass for an extra flavoring.  Very refined. 

The resort is top notch — adobe style two-story buildings with palapa roofs generously spaced amongst large fountained pools, woven between excellent landscaped and lawned areas ; most rooms had views of either gardens, the pools, the grounds or the sea.   Large, spacious rooms were done in muted tones and utilized local art works .  Each category of room had a special atmosphere and comfortable quality while providing  in-room amenities such as flat screen TVs, daily coffee/tea trays brought to your room as a wake-up gesture, in-room safes, minibars and twice-daily room service. 

tides-zihuatanejo_pool1.jpg  presidential_tides1.jpg

From the moment you stepped through the main entrance into the reception area to the time you had to say farewell, there was no time that any request or wish was not fulfilled by the willing and warm staff at The Tides.

Best Island Resorts In Fiji

Author: Wendy Wayne

Bula bula! I went to Fiji in Nov. on a 8 day trip. We visited 15 resorts and traveled by bus, boat and small planes around the islands. There is something for everyone! Fiji can accommodate for any type of group and individual, not to mention breathtaking scenery.

My favorite resorts were all located in the outer islands:

Castaway Resort FijiCastaway Island is a good resort for families. It is a large resort with a great accommodations, with a beautiful beach and many activities for children and adults from snorkeling trips to island hopping. They also have a kids club for all ages even teens. Its features a mixture of activities sandcastle building to learning Fijian dance. I wouldn’t recommend this resort to honeymooners.

Another great place for families is Jean-Michael Cousteau. Sail in a Hobie Cat or experience a traditional Kava ceremony, this beautiful resort that does a great job of catering to both couples and families.

Qamea Resort BureFor couples wishing a true Fijian experience I liked – Qamea Resort & Spa, Yasawa Island, Vomo Island, Tokoriki and Matangi Island. You’ll find wonderful accommodations, great cuisine, good service and of coerce great beaches!

Divers will like the Koro Sun Resort. Korosun Dive center is located here and they offer four distinct diving locations. The Resort is not on the beach, but across the street from it and is at a very good value.

Sofitel-FijiThere are several hotels located near Nadi International Airport. We only visited the brand new Sofitel. The Sofitel is a large hotel with all the usual amenities, including a great spa. A good choice for poeple requiring an airport hotel.

The Coup was brewing while we were visiting Fiji. The political unrest seems to be located in the capital city of Suva on the island Viti Levu. We did not encounter any problems. I found Fiji to be the friendliest place I have ever visited!

Marriott Puerto Vallarta

Author: Joanie Fisher

Puerto Vallarta MarriottI just returned from a long weekend in Puerto Vallarta. We stayed at the Marriott in the Marina. I basically chose that hotel for the beds. Since, I sleep on a waterbed at home, I cannot sleep on a concrete slab in Mexico.

The Marriott is nice, with spacious rooms. They have a beautiful spa and many fantastic treatments. Also the hotel has a large lagoon style pool with swim up bar, Jacuzzi and a volleyball net. For dinning options they have a Sports Bar, Japanese, a deli and two Continental restaurants.Puerto Vallarta Marriott Guest Room One is located inside near the bar and one is out near the pool. They have a kids club with a small playground and wading pool all to their own. Of course they have the mandatory business center, meeting rooms and even a car rental desk in the lobby. The staff was very friendly and efficient.

We all enjoyed our stay at the Marriott. Its also a great place for a short stay many airline personnel lay over there. A cab from the airport will run you about $15, but the return cab ride will only run you about $4.

Puerto Vallarta Marriott Spa

Be careful of the gauntlet of Time Share people on their way from baggage claim to their transfers or cabs. Just keep walking.

About a block and half away is the Marina area with lots of restaurants and shops. There is also the obligatory Time Share salespeople wanting to give you free tours in exchange for putting up with their sales presentations. You have a full compliment of cuisine available at the Marina and some local restaurants just off the Marina Boardwalk.