Hotel review: Thompson Zihuatanejo by Hyatt, a family-friendly beach resort in Mexico

Hotel review: Thompson Zihuatanejo by Hyatt, a family-friendly beach resort in Mexico

Last Christmas, we spent a week in Mexico, and this time, we explored the little town of Zihuatanejo. For our stay, we picked one of the Hyatt hotels from the Thompson collection – Thompson Zihuatanejo.

Located in Playa La Ropa along the Pacific coastline, this hotel combines mid-century design and traditional Mexican style. Known for its stunning beachfront location and upscale amenities, Thompson Zihuatanejo was on our shortlist for months, and we were excited to finally stay there. Let’s take a closer look at everything this hotel has to offer.

Booking Thompson Zihuatanejo on points

We used our Hyatt Points to book a stay at Thompson Zihuatanejo and redeemed 29k Points (on a peak night) per night for a Standard Room! The cash rate per night during our stay would have been $6,270.16 ($895.74 per night), so we redeemed our points at 3.09 cents per point.

Furthermore, we redeemed our Suite Upgrade Award to get upgraded to their Standard Suite (Lagoon Suite with Plunge Pool at this property) months before our stay. If you want to learn more about the Suite Upgrade, read more about the Hyatt Suite Upgrade Award here.

Right now, our favorite current offer from the Chase Bank to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards transferrable to Hyatt at 1:1 is from the Chase Ink Business Cash.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Chase Ink Business Cash

You can earn a signup bonus of 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you get the Chase Ink Business Cash card and spend $6,000 within the first six months. This valuable bonus is worth around $750 in cash back or at least $1,500 in travel when you redeem through Chase or transfer points to airline and hotel partners.

REWARDS RATE

1x-5x

BONUS VALUE

$1,500

SIGN-UP BONUS

75,000 points

ANNUAL FEE

$0

💡 Good to know

Don’t forget that you can only transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt if you have one of these premium credit cards: Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Preferred.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

You can earn a signup bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Points when you signup for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card and spend $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. This bonus alone is worth at least $1,200 in travel rewards when transferred to travel partners such as Hyatt!

REWARDS RATE

1x-5x

BONUS VALUE

$1,200

SIGN-UP BONUS

60,000 points

ANNUAL FEE

$95

Getting to Thompson Zihuatanejo from Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport
Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport

The Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport is the closest airport to Thompson Zihuatanejo and is only a 20-minute away. We were definitely happy to find out that there is a direct (less than 4 hours) flight from San Fransisco International Airport, operated by Alaska Airlines.

Now, you can arrange a pick-up service from your hotel or get a taxi directly at the airport. Once you arrive, you’ll find the taxi stand inside the airport, where you can pay for your ride using a credit card (Chase Ink Preferred, which earned us 3x Ultimate Rewards points on the travel category and had no foreign transactions fees). We paid $42 for our ride (and $35 with cash to get a taxi on the way back from the hotel to the airport).

Check-in at Thompson Zihuatanejo

Lobby at Thompson Zihuatanejo
Lobby at Thompson Zihuatanejo

We arrived at the hotel in the afternoon and were greeted by a friendly staff member who offered us refreshing welcome drinks right away. The hotel is relatively new and opened its doors in 2019. You will recognize the signature mid-century style if you have ever stayed at any of Hyatt’s Thompson hotels.

You can read more about our stays at The Cape, a Thompson Hotel in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and Thompson Chicago.

Furthermore, the front desk concierge confirmed our Suite upgrade to a Lagoon Suite with a Plunge Pool and informed us that our suite was ready.

Lobby at Thompson Zihuatanejo
The view from Lobby at Thompson Zihuatanejo

Note that Thompson Zihuatanejo is a small hotel with only 56 rooms (including the swim-up and beach suites); it tends to get busy quickly, especially in the high season, such as Christmas.

Thompson Zihuatanejo resort map

Thompson Zihuatanejo resort map
Thompson Zihuatanejo resort map

Lagoon Suite with Plunge Pool at Thompson Zihuatanejo

Lagoon Suite with Plunge Pool at Thompson Zihuatanejo
Lagoon Suite with Plunge Pool at Thompson Zihuatanejo

Our stylish and spacious 1,000 sq. ft. Lagoon Suite with Plunge Pool was open-concept and featured the following:

  • 1 King Bed
  • Separate sitting area
  • Sofa in the sitting area, which we used for our oldest kid just fine, so we didn’t ask for a rollaway.
  • Crib for the little one that we requested at the prior our check in.
  • Spacious private terrace with a Plunge Pool
  • Mini bar (not complimentary) and espresso machine
  • Plush robes
  • Office desk
  • Turn down service with a pair of small cookies nightly. One can definitely get used to that.
Lagoon Suite with Plunge Pool at Thompson Zihuatanejo
A sitting area at Lagoon Suite with Plunge Pool at Thompson Zihuatanejo

The hotel kindly left us some complimentary sweets and a note, a touch that is always appreciated.

Additionally, these are the small gifts we received on our last night at the hotel. One of the ladies had taken our photograph on the beach at the beginning of our stay and had promised to send it to our room.

Bathroom

The bathroom at Lagoon Suite with Plunge Pool at Thompson Zihuatanejo included a one-sink counter, a separate bathroom area, and a walk-in rain shower (for some reason, the water was never hot but lukewarm, but we never brought it up with the front desk 🤷🏻‍♀️).

Patio

Our family really enjoyed having an oversized corner patio that featured a plunge pool. However, I have to admit that the water in the pool was colder than what we would have liked (around 78°F). Since we mostly spent our time swimming in the ocean, we only used the pool for a quick evening dip.

The patio also has an outdoor couch and a small dining set.

The patio of Lagoon Suite with Plunge Pool at Thompson Zihuatanejo
The patio of Lagoon Suite with Plunge Pool at Thompson Zihuatanejo

Globalist perks at Thompson Zihuatanejo

As a Globalist, you receive the following complimentary benefits:

  • 2 bottles of water daily
  • Noon check-in / late check-out, upon availability
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, upon availability
  • Daily full breakfast for two adults and two kids at onsite restaurant HAO
  • Waived resort fees

Benefits from Thompson Zihuatanejo:

  • 50 USD credit at the SPA (only for services)
  • Two mezcalitas at HAO Bar

Dining at Thompson Zihuatanejo

Thompson Zihuatanejo offers two onset restaurants, HAO and Ceniza, both located by the beach.

HAO

HAO is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Breakfast at HAO

Breakfast at Thompson Zihuatanejo is served at HAO restaurant, and as Globalists, we got the complimentary breakfast for the 4 of us.

Breakfast Zihua Benedicts at Thompson Zihuatanejo
Breakfast Zihua Benedicts at Thompson Zihuatanejo

Some things to consider about the breakfast at Thompson Zihuatanejo:

  1. Breakfast is served menu style only.
  2. By trial and error, we discovered that our complimentary breakfast is one entree and one drink per person (smoothies are not included), but no one explained the breakfast rules. One day, when we ordered a side of a scrambled egg for the girls, we got a small bill for breakfast, and apparently, the egg was marked as a fifth entree.
  3. They don’t offer a kids’ menu, but they have pancakes, eggs/bacon, etc. Our girls particularly enjoyed the red velvet pancakes that you can also order plain.
  4. It would take 30 to 40 minutes from the moment of ordering to receive your food.
Breakfast red velvet pancakes at Thompson Zihuatanejo
Breakfast red velvet pancakes at Thompson Zihuatanejo

Lunch at HAO

Here is the regular lunch menu offered by HOA at Thompson. Additionally, on some days, the hotel sets up a whole taco station in front of the beachside restaurant, serving lunch specials. Delicious!

Ceniza

Ceniza is an onsite restaurant that is open only for dinner.

We loved the setup, the presentation of the dishes, and the attentive staff, but I would say the prices were somewhat expensive. Here you can find the Ceniza dinner menu.

Roasted octopus pastor style at Ceniza restaurant, Thompson Zihuatanejo
Roasted octopus pastor style at Ceniza restaurant, Thompson Zihuatanejo

Amenities

Adult-only pool

The adult-only pool at Thompson Zihuatanejo is located by the beach and next to HOA. It was disappointing that this beautiful pool with a gorgeous view was not meant for families.

Adult only pool at Thompson Zihuatanejo
Adult only pool at Thompson Zihuatanejo

Family pool

A family pool was tucked in behind the Ceniza restaurant. I’d say it was relatively compact and empty most of the time, probably because most of the Suites at Thompson Zihuatanejo had their own Plunge Pools.

Family pool a Thompson Zihuatanejo
Family pool a Thompson Zihuatanejo

Spa

Thompson Zihuatanejo also featured a Spa offering massages, facials, and other services. Remember to use your $50 Globalist coupon in case you want to try the Spa out.

Tennis court

The hotel also had a tennis court located by the lobby, where you could take a lesson with an instructor.

The beach at Thompson Zihuatanejo

Playa La Ropa, the beach access at Thompson Zihuatanejo
Playa La Ropa, the beach access at Thompson Zihuatanejo

Thompson Zihuatanejo is a beach resort located right on a beautiful one-mile-long golden sand swimmable Playa La Ropa.

Here are some details about Playa La Ropa:

  1. Zihuatanejo is located in the Bay, so the waters did not have strong waves. Still, our little one wouldn’t be swimming there on her own.
  2. The water was warm at the end of December, generally around 86°F (30°C).
  3. The hotel has its complimentary beach chair setting, but since the beach is public, other people will be sitting right in front of you.
Beach chairs at Thompson Zihuatanejo
Beach chairs at Thompson Zihuatanejo

Moreover, some things to keep in mind about your beach setup provided by Thompson Zihuatanejo include:

  1. You have to reserve your beach chair in the morning by putting a towel on it; otherwise, you will end up with no chair (again, we were there during the high season, so things might be different when visiting at other times of the year).
  2. The hotel provided complimentary sand toys for the kids, but they were not displayed anywhere, so ask the staff about them.
  3. There is a full beach service where you can enjoy food and beverages.
  4. Every Palapa (umbrella, a traditional Mexican shelter covered with palm leaves) has a dining set behind it! That was ideal for dining.
Beach toys at Thompson Zihuatanejo
Beach toys at Thompson Zihuatanejo

Kids activities

Unfortunately, Thompson Zihuatanejo does not have a kids’ club, but they do offer various children’s activities every day. These activities mostly included cookie decorating and tasting traditional Mexican pastries, and one evening, the hotel staff arranged roasting s’mores on the beach!

Area attractions

Most importantly, Thompson Zihuatanejo has a great walkable location. During our stay, we walked to El Centro Zihuatanejo (a downtown area of about 30-minute walk), the Pier, and various restaurants along Playa La Ropa and the city.

Releasing baby turtles at Juluchuca Beach, Mexico
Releasing baby turtles at Juluchuca Beach, Mexico

You can read more about all the things that we did during our 8-day visit in our post about Top kid-friendly things to do in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, including a baby turtle release tour that we booked with Ventura and Roberto partnered with Thompson!

Bottom line

Overall, we had a wonderful time at Thompson Zihuatanejo and would recommend it to families looking for an upscale beachfront resort in Mexico. The stunning location right on Playa La Ropa and spacious suites with private plunge pools made this a relaxing getaway.

While there were some minor issues, like beach chair availability and longer waiting times at the kitchen, the friendly service and beautiful surroundings more than made up for it.

Located within walking distance to downtown Zihuatanejo, restaurants, and other beaches, this resort offers convenient access to explore the area.

On Points With Kids Summary

We redeemed 203,000 Hyatt points for seven nights at Thompson Zihuatanejo. The cash rate for our stay was $6,270.16 ($895.74 per night on average, including taxes and fees), which equals 3.09 cents per point, an outstanding value!

You can apply for the following credit cards to earn Hyatt points that can be redeemed at Thompson Zihuatanejo:

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