When daydreaming about your next getaway, Zihuatanejo likely is not the destination that floats to the top of your mind. But the under-the-radar resort town on Mexico’s Guerrero Coast, often overshadowed by the better-known Ixtapa just 15 minutes north, has all the makings of a lush beach vacation. Think pristine, palm-lined stretches of sand, crystal clear water, tourist-free restaurants, and now, with the opening of the Thompson Zihuatanejo, a sleek, seriously private resort to match.
Located just steps away from a secluded stretch of Playa la Ropa, the property—a top-to-bottom reimagining of a former Viceroy resort that opened in late December—has set about raising the destination’s low profile. With just 56 breezy suites available, we doubt everyone on your Instagram feed will be flocking there soon. If you’re one of the lucky few to snag a reservation, inside those suites you’ll find a mid-century modern spin (a signature of the Thompson brand, which also has hotels in Playa del Carmen and Los Cabos) on classic codes of Mexican interior design—like rustic white-washed walls and hand-woven rugs, a nod to the region’s deep-rooted textile trade, tempered with bold 1960s–inspired angular furniture—indoor-outdoor bathrooms, and private plunge pools. Though all are spacious, if you plan to travel with friends or extended family, we’d recommend sweeping up the 11 swim-up suites, which are all connected by a glimmering private pool overlooking the Pacific ocean outside.
When you’re not taking it easy in your own sanctuary, you can make your way down to the beach for afternoons spent lounging on the golden sand or out snorkeling in Zihuatenjo’s protected bay. You can also head into the fishing village, stopping in for a taco and cerveza at one of the low-key restaurants that fringe busier parts of Playa la Ropa along the way, or even venturing into Ixtapa for a bit more see-and-be-seen action (it’s home to the sweeping Cala de Mar resort, which opened as a Capella property in 2010, and a slick Banyan Tree). Come sunset, you can head back to the Thompson for a tequila and ceviche tasting before dinner that blends modern flavors with traditional techniques at Ceniza, led by Mexico Chef of the Year finalist Miguel Baltazar. At Hao, the hotel’s buzzing, adults-only beach club, nights then stretch out under the glittering Pacific stars.