I was offered a package deal via emial through AAA Travel and purchased a 3 day/4 night package only after first reading the reviews of the Villa del Arco on tripadvisor. There is 30-40 minute ride from the Cabo airport to the hotel. Since we had 4 people in our party, we decided it would be worth booking a private shuttle (Cabo Transfers) to the hotel and back. Usually private shuttles run about $80/each way or $160/round trip. The thought of riding a 2-3 hour bus to the hotel stopping at various places and dropping people off versus getting the party started right away alone swayed us to book a private charter. It was my impression that those buses charge $16 per person each way anyways, but that is just what I have read. The private shuttle was definitely the right choice. We even got a discount for purchasing round trip services. We were led to a clean, new Suburban that seats up to 6 people. The private shuttle services do warn you that the sales people inside the airport will lie, cheat, and just about steal in order to fool you into thinking you booked something with them. Be advised, just keep walking until you literally see the blue sky overhead and are outside the building no matter what you hear. Your private shuttle will be waiting for you with a sign outside with your name on it. That will be the shuttle you booked despite what the sales guys inside are telling you.
There is a money exchange in the hotel but they do require a passport to do so. I didn't personally check out the Palamar sister resort via trolley but one of our party did and reported that it is definitely not as classy as the Arco but did have a store and deli and such there.
We checked into the hotel fairly smoothly although it was a slow process which seems to be the norm. I have no idea why this process with the age of computers continues to be so inefficient? After checking, you are asked to speak to the concierge. We just avoided any chance of a sales pitch for the time share whatsoever by telling the reps that we were really tired and just want to get to our room. They did slip a note under the door the next day telling us to come by for a orientation, but we just ignored it and were never contacted again.
Our suite room was very, very nice. It was clean and included a full size refrigerator and kitchen with most cooking utensils (pots, pans, dishes, glasses, etc) that one would need. There was a washer and dryer and a fold out bed, the type that lifts up into the wall. The room was very spacious and clean and exceeded all of my expectations. There was even some aromatic oil scents that made the room almost spa like. Our room had a very nice patio and a large soaking tub in the middle of the master bed room. My only complaint was the A/C in the master bedroom was going crazy and we couldn't get the room above 68 degrees or so. Since it was so warm outside, we just dealt with it and slept under an added comforter at night! Not a big deal. When we leaving to go outside, we called house keeping, and they always did a wonderful job cleaning our room.
The pools were very nice and clean, but yes, people do get their towels on the chairs early and leave them there. So, things are a btt chaotic in that sense. We managed to secure a few chairs after talking to some of the other guests who told us their party had left for the day and would most likely not return. So, I recommend you work with the other vacationers who are usually very friendly and helpful! When you check in, the hotel gives you a pool towel ticket and from then on, you can trade in your towels in for clean ones but are responsible for that quantity of towels. Just FYI, as the first day, I assumed that we were to leave them on the chairs just like they do in Vegas. When you check out, you are required to return the towel ticket which the towel stand keeps until you return the exact amount of towel your were given. I guess this system keeps people from losing towel on the beach and such. Pools hours are like 7am-9pm btw. They really want the place quiet after 9 PM. I guess they figure the partying should occur offsite where there are plenty of choices.
Being on vacation, we decided to do the all-inclusive food plan for convenience. The taco bar near the pool was definitely the hit of our party. My advice is that whenever there is an all inclusive food and drink plan, don't expect 5 star food. We paid extra for lobster and wine the first night and didn't finish either due to the poor taste. That being said, we couldn't get enough of the chips, guacamole and salsa during the trip. And, the drinks were awesome! We downed many a beer and mango mojito. So, this one is a toss up. Get the all inclusive for convience and keep the food you order simple. If you don't chose the plan, then do not plan to eat at any of the food areas as the prices are ridiculously high. You can take a $7 dollar cab ride to the downtown restaurants or to Walmart (which was huuuuuuuuge and had everything) or Costco and stock up there. Either that or pay the $89/day and don't think about it after. One note, if you do do the meal plan, you literally have to order everything from a waiter and then sign the bill before you leave. The prices will shock you, but the hotel will never charge you if you are on the all inclusive minus the tips. You don't pay cash anywhere. The charges are always to your room.
We checked out the spa and gym and both are phenomenal. I've belonged to 24 hour fitness for 16 years and really like the equipment that they have the hotel gym. The equipment is new and top of the line. I couldn't have designed it better. The spa was top notch to the Vegas and Hawaiian resorts and we were happy with their services. The spa send out special each week so make sure you ask for them if you are interested in the spa treatments.
For daytime activities, all one has to do is head down to the beach. My advice there is to go directly to the tent that has the activity that you want. Stay away from any random desk or kiosk as those people are booking agents that usually charge $3-5/person more just to write you a receipt and send you down to the area you could have purchased the activity from for cheaper. We took the glass bottom boat tour to the lands end and Arco. It was worth it for the $7/person. You can get snorkeling equip from the hotel if you have the all inclusive package and spend a day at the beach by the arch and look at the fish and such. The fish go wild for tortillas of all things. You can bring some of those to entice them to come by. My past experiences tell me frozen peas are pretty effective for the same thing.
Overall, the Villa del Arco was an incredible place to stay. Take a cab downtown to the marina and from there, you can walk to all the clubs and bars. The Office seemed to be crackin' during the day. Places to see the sunset at dinner are La Hacienda restaurant and Monalisa Sunset. For the freshest seafood and a real local dining experience, stay away from the all inclusive restaurants and hit Las Mariscadas. Simple setting, amazing food there.
- Also Known As:
- Villa Del Arco Hotel Cabo San Lucas
- Villa Del Arco Hotel
- Hotel Del Arco
- Del Arco Hotel
- Villa Del Arco Cabo San Lucas
- Villa Del Arco Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Mexico
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