Casa Que Canta - A Cliffside Retreat in Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Casa Que Canta is one of those exclusive, small elegant hotels that you'll always remember. I'd been hearing about it for years because sibling and his wife had been several times and always raved. It's charming with an emphasis on beauty, romance and relaxation.  I wasn't surprised that they have so many return visitors and it's certainly somewhere we certainly intend  to return.

With only 22 rooms built into the hillside the dramatic situation means the hotel tumbles down the cliffside in a series of rooms and open spaces, each with its own stunning view of Zihuatanejo Bay. 
There are plenty of beautiful public spaces from the dramatic entrance foyer to the  infinity pool and sundeck which are on the same level as the restaurant.

The saltwater pools are found at the very  bottom of the property on edge of the water overlooking the waves. When I think of the most spectacular pools I've visited this will always be right at the top of the list. Swimming in a salt water pool is always a joy, but swimming in one alone with the noise of the ocean right there  was a daily delight. 

There is plenty of privacy here and I wasn't surprised that the hotel was often described as romantic. Not only are most rooms large there are also plenty of quiet spots and with  so many rooms with private pools the public pools aren't particularly busy. The hotel never felt crowded and we often had the lower pool and sundeck to ourselves.

If reviewers always highlight the romance, they also don't fail to mention the stairs. Although the Luna building has an elevator this is not a property for those with mobility issues. There are a lot of stairs, but honestly I enjoyed them. The dramatic situation necessitates the stairs and each staircase links one beautiful spot to another. 

The hotel also makes it easy for you, if you want a drink while you're down at the saltwater pools someone will get it for you, breakfast in your room, no problem. Like any of the very best luxury establishments they want you to enjoy yourself. The individuality and hospitality of the property shone through, as did the service. Clearly a lot of their staff have been there for years and we appreciated that all tips are shared and are added  to the bill at your discretion at the end of your stay.

This is an adults only property. If you would like to bring your children on holiday or expect a television or coffee maker in your room you will have to go elsewhere. While you won't find these amenities you might enjoy the in room free minbar with a couple of beers and a variety of soft drinks, a welcome taster of tequila served with guacamole and chips and  daily fresh fruit. 

They do have a lounge with a television and will happily send coffee or tea to the room. I did miss being able to make tea as I drink far too much of it daily but I  would much rather have guacamole than a television so it worked for me!

The Suites Located across three nearby building, Sol, Mar and Luna, there are four categories of rooms; the smallest are the Terrace Suites,  then the  larger Deluxe Oceanfront Suites,   there are  nine Pool Suites and finally the extremely large and well located top suites the Mexico Lindo Suite and the Owner's Master Suite.

The rooms are all quite different (even within a given category) and when you haven't seen all of them it's hard to say which you would particularly recommend. One of our rooms had a pink marble shoer with a window overlooking the ocean! We enjoyed the pool rooms which both had a good amount of outdoor space with loungers and a comfortable shaded seating by the pool. Next time I'd love to try Mexico Lindo the most modern  of the suites. 

The Deluxe Ocean Suites don't have pools but they are large, some have enormous bathrooms or walk in closets.

Personally I'd recommend a room with a pool on a higher floor but in these categories I'd request one with a larger seating area, bedroom or terrace. I only saw one of the Terrace Suites but it was bright, charming and I felt it was very good value, however it was far smaller with less space both inside and out. 

Overall the pools and terraces are extraordinarily well designed and most are very private but some  are a little less private than others so it's important to let the hotel know what most matters to you. 

They don't guarantee particular rooms but will work to take your preferences into account.  We booked at the last minute and ended up having to move rooms but they took into account my preference for a room in which the bed looks out directly at the ocean view. 

The floral art on the beds is captivating and much more than a few petals scattered around. This is emblematic of the attention to detail throughout.

I'd recommend requesting a room on a higher floor as they had great views as well as great light and privacy. However, others may prefer the lower rooms which tend to be larger, closer to the crashing surf and have a tropical feel as they're built right into the rock on the cliff face.  If you are traveling with friends it's important to note that the rooms (even within the same category) can be quite different. 

Food An excellent diverse breakfast menu was included and they were happy to make items that were not listed including things like avocado toast with poached eggs. The lime pancakes are justly famous. Lunch and drinks were very reasonable by international standards. 

Dinner is a more formal pre-fixe of two or three courses, we enjoyed eating on the terrace and I ate fish almost every night. The only addition I can think of is that I would have loved to have had  live music. Given the large suites with beautiful oceanfront terraces a lot of people eat in their rooms which is another option.

Several good restaurants were in walking distance and we can recommend the view from Tentaciones which is above the hotel, it's a steep  walk but it is very close by. The view was remarkable and you can see the full sweep of Zihuatanejo Bay with Casa Que Canta on the point between the curve of  Playa del Ropa on one side and the arc of the town on the other. 

When to Go? As usual we were traveling off season and in August you have to expect rain. The forecast looked ominous with rain predicted daily. However, we had five clear sunny days with two final days of dramatic, heavy tropical rain storms at night. Apparently this pattern of rain  cooling things down in the evening is quite typical and given the reduced room rates we thought  this time of year represents a great value for visitors.

Covid Protocols This may no longer be applicable but during our visit in 2021 Covid cases were rising in the state of Guerrero, and in Zihuatanejo in particular. However, the hotel went to great trouble to facilitate a safe stay.  The staff were always masked and  they arranged an in room  antigen test which was required for reentering the US. The cost was a very reasonable $35 per person and the results were very fast.

Environmental Policies Unlike so many of the hotels we've visited in Mexico Casa Que Canta offers house filtered water which dramatically reduced the amount of bottled water consumed on site. They use filtered water for the ice cubes. In addition the amenities in the room, including shampoo and conditioner, are in refillable containers. Their soap is handmade locally and is not packaged. It's this attention to detail which gives one the sense that everything here has been carefully thought out.

Additional Options We would love to return with friends to the incredible private villas they have  El Murmullo and El Ensueno which look extraordinarily luxurious. In my dreams that would be my next review! If you have a family and are  looking for  the traditional amenities  of a larger chain hotel (multiple restaurants,  tv etc), I'd suggest  the nearby Thompson on Playa del Ropa. For those who prefer a more modern aesthetic, a beachside location, and  a bit more of a "scene",  the Thompson could be a good bet. I very much liked the few days we spent there a but Casa Que Canta, which is just around a rocky promontory,  is a superior  category of hotel to my mind  and far more luxurious. It feels very much more exclusive, more intimate in scale and service and ultimately more characterful.

Summing up! The hotel itself  is the attraction. I was charmed by the privacy, the pool in our room, the staff, the views and pathways, the small seating areas, the plantings,  handmade furniture and art. Who can argue with a private pool at off season rates? I felt it was a good value. It was just so restful and relaxing to sit looking out at the water day after day. There were activities to do if you wanted to keep busy, but we were happy to swim and walk on the beach. In summary Casa que Canta is a well run, small boutique hotels with a perfect situation, an emphasis on privacy and comfort,  an excellent staff and strong tradition of service. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates individuality  and who is looking for a restful, relaxing and nurturing break from the everyday.