One of the many things that sets our Casa del Rayo Verde apart, besides the panoramic vistas and truly beautiful artisan-crafted interiors, is its easy access to both the beach and to town. Upon arrival one enters the front door which is right next to a private parking spot with no stairs to negotiate. The large private terrace is the perfect place to enjoy meals and lounge throughout the day and night. The walk to the beach is roughly five minutes, depending on your pace, down a meandering path with no busy road to cross. All along the beach, there are many small restaurants to choose from. A cab can be at the front door within five minutes after calling and the drive into town is not much more than five minutes. There are several dining choices along the road to town including an acclaimed pizza parlor, several cliff-side restaurants overlooking the bay and many more in all price categories once you are in town. A list of our dining recommendations can be provided and spans the simple to the sublime.
On the grounds, a large shared pool invites swimming laps or enjoying the sun, and there is a 24-hour presence of maintenance and security staff. The home is stocked with all the amenities you might need to include wi-fi, satellite television (40' Samsung flatscreen), BluRay DVD player, stereo and highly efficient air conditioners in every room. The kitchen is well supplied for cooking with a pro-level stainless steel range and serving from a lovely assortment of talavera dishes and handblown glassware. Each of the three individually decorated bedrooms has a writing desk and private adjoining bathrooms to provide those traveling in a group a comfortable place to retreat. A trusted housekeeper will keep you feeling pampered by thoroughly attending to chores five days a week. She can shop and cook for you as an optional service by arrangement and comes highly recommended by us and others.
Perched on a rocky bluff above the gorgeous La Ropa beach, this three-bedroom, split-level 2000 square foot space within a small condominium community was largely a blank, white canvas inside but with stunning vistas from the windows and private terrace when we bought it in 1999. As busy working people, we searched for someone locally with the integrity as well as artistic sensibility to transform this big shell into something we could dream about when we were away from it and feel captivated by when we were present. That person turned out to be Nicole Dugal, a designer of Canadian origin who had done the interiors of Casa Que Canta (an award winning local boutique hotel) and other beautiful homes in the area. We feared she would find the project too small to be of interest but as it turned out, her main criterion was having 'room to play'. Our criteria were keeping it simple, local, handmade where possible, and Mexican through and through. This much was accomplished and more. In its own way, Casa del Rayo Verde became our own 'casa que canta' (house that sings). It's about a kind of a feeling you get when you enter, and it's about a kind of dreaming that stays with you long after you leave.
Casa del Rayo Verde was named after an optical phenomenon called the green flash (rayo verde) which can occur shortly after sunsets or before sunrises, when a green spot or line along the horizon may be visible just above the sun for a second or two. Out on the spacious terrace, the many displays of nature's artistry can be appreciated from several vantage points offered by comfortable seating or lounging areas. Van Gogh often painted the night skies and was able to capture on canvas the many colors of the night. Here you will find your own appreciation for the changing subtleties of light from sunrise to sunset with starry nights included. We invite you to experience the special magic that emanates from this setting.
My husband and I met in Houston, Texas in 1980 and traveled that same year for the first time to Zihuatanejo. Over the next twenty years, we returned intermittently even after relocating to Manhattan where professional commitments, friends and a community keep us very engaged. Our passions include travel, mostly to Mexico, seeing good films on the large screen, cooking and enjoying food from many different cuisines while 'trying' to stay fit! We took up cycling a few years ago and find it the most fun way of getting a workout while also enjoying nature and the outdoors. We were thrilled to discover we could keep our cycling routine while in Zihuatanejo by heading over to Ixtapa early in the mornings, renting a bike and taking the well maintained off-road path through an ecological park that leads to Playa Linda.
By returning many times over a period of years, even as the area started to grow and become more developed, we were always met with an attitude of warmth and welcoming by the local people. The magic of the surroundings with its unique blend of the tropics, the beach and the mountains never ceased to inspire awe and an immediate feeling of tranquility. We were also astonished that the town government kept its promise to not allow high-rises and to keep the views and the beach open to all the people. While there is more of a presence of North Americans visiting as tourists or pursuing their dreams of acquiring an oceanfront home in Mexico, Zihuatanejo remains essentially a Mexican town. It boasts a thriving mercado which spills out from the official municipal market into the streets, with teeming piles of tropical fruits, vegetables, fresh fish, carne of all kinds, along with small fondas transforming these raw ingredients into freshly prepared local specialties along with as many handmade tortillas as you can eat. The Zocalo (town plaza) is centered around a basketball court right in front of the town beach where most evenings one can stroll, indulge in delicious street foods and watch whatever game of volleyball or basketball is being played. Today with the added conveniences of a large American-style supermarket, a wider array of dining establishments and small venues to hear live music, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy one's time.
After a couple of years of looking and considering different options, in 1999 we finally found the place that met all our requirements. The most important was having a view of the water and being able to access it and the beach comfortably by foot. Perhaps equally importantly, we wanted a large enough private terrace or deck that would allow us to enjoy being outdoors as much as possible, given the cold winters here in the Northeast that keep us wrapped up and indoors so many months of the year. What we got in addition to all that was a condominium that feels more like a house, very private, at the top of the complex with views not only of the one of the most beautiful Bays on the Pacific, with its pristine mile-long beach, but also an unobstructed view of the foothills of the Southern Sierra Mountain Range. Not only can we walk down to La Ropa beach, we can extend our workout by taking the fork in the road and hiking another 20 minutes over some large rocks to reach Las Gatas beach, a uniquely beautiful stretch of white sand with even more protected waters for swimming and snorkeling. As at La Ropa beach, the string of beachfront restaurants with palapas or umbrellas invite you to spend the day, sipping cold drinks and enjoying a lunch of fresh fish. If you're not up for hiking back the same way you came, you can take a small water taxi which will bring you across the bay to the municipal pier. From there you can wander around the town before hopping a cab for the ride home.