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Viceroy Zihuatanejo reinvents restaurant to most romantic spot ever

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The utra-romantic getaway of superstars and other jet-setters, Viceroy Zihuatanejo on the Mexican Riviera, just turned up the heat with a dramatic renovation of its beachside restaurant, La Marea. The little love nest-like setting serenades couples with sounds of gentle waves kissing the shoreline as they sit on a new wooden deck on the sand under a tanglewood and thatch-roof palapa.

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New tables and chairs were designed in local wood and rattan, while the table tops are defined by the white Villeroy & Boch China, accent glass plates with abstract blue designs by Arte de Vidrio and hurricane candle lamps. A solid wood communal table, located at the best vantage point to take in the open kitchen, is a bespoke dining spot for family dinners, special tasting events and socializing with other guests. A stone wall aesthetic feature is illuminated and warmed by lights. Paintings by local artists currently splash the walls with color, but the exhibitions will change regularly and feature a variety of media including jewelry.

The popular bar remains the vocal point of the experience where guests congregate for before and after dinner drinks, but alas the peaceful spot is now interrupted with an added flat-screen TV (seriously folks, was that necessary)?

Executive Chef Jose Paco Isordia Dorantes continues to please the palate with his gourmet fusion cuisine that marries Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines for lunch and dinner. Recipes are crafted to draw out natural flavors, and then enhanced by the restaurant’s prime collection of artisanal olive oils and the smoky essence of the wood grills.

My husband and I first visited this property decades ago when it opened as Villa del Sol—a tiny upscale boutique hotel catering to an elite and discerning clientele. Although expanded since then from seven rooms to 46, it still retains a special charm and continues to attract guests who prefer intimacy to large, sprawling resorts. Nestled o Playa La Ropa, one of the country’s best beaches which spans 600 feet along a gorgeous coastline, the Viceroy is ideal for sun worshippers, swimmers, snorkelers and sailing buffs. There’s a spa, fitness center, yoga program and a variety of diversions offered.

Getting there:

While we’ve actually arrived by cruise ship a few times, most people fly inyo Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport. For more information and reservations: international toll-free 866-905-9560, Mexico toll-free 01-800-710-9340, www.viceroyzihuatanejo.com, or vz.reservations@viceroyhotelsandresorts.com.

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