We have been to Estero Beach Resort more than a dozen times. I've already written a review, which contains many tips, and useful information (so check it out), but some things have changed, so here's an update!
Our most recent trip was just a couple of weeks ago. The drive was a little different due to part of the "cuota" being closed. The first two toll booths are still open, and during the first week of July, it was $2.50 per car at each booth. A few miles after the 2nd toll booth, there is a detour to the free road. Don't worry, the detour is clearly marked "Ensenada Libre." The detour takes you through the hills of Baja which has it's own kind of beauty, and best of all, it's free! An upside of the detour is that it takes you near the beautiful Guadalupe Valley- known as the Napa Valley of Baja. There are plenty of vineyards where you can go wine tasting, and sometimes take tours of the wineries. (I'll get back to wineries later). The downside to the detour is that it is one lane in each direction for the entirety of the drive, and passing other cars can be dangerous. Just sit back and enjoy the drive- it's relatively short, and safety is most important. The Mexico federal government promises the cuota will re-open no later than September 15, so at that point, you can take the beautiful toll road all the way down to Ensenada.
Once we arrived at Estero, the staff was as friendly as always! The grounds and landscaping are beautifully manicured and well maintained, as well as any resort I've seen. The rooms have all been upgraded! Some of the upgrades include air conditioning in every room(!!!), new carpeting and bedding, flat screen tv's, coffee makers in each room, shower upgrades, etc. Not all rooms have all of these upgrades, but it is a work in progress- fantastic, nonetheless.
As far as safety, there is a guard shack at the front of the property, and another guard shack about 1/4 mile down the driveway by the front desk. We have always felt safe in Baja, but the guard shacks at Estero make it that much better.
The pool is as beautiful as ever, and the swim-up bar makes it feel like vacation. They usually have pineapple and/or coconut drinks you can order! These are great for pictures.
The views of the ocean are the best for any hotel in Ensenada. The beach to the north/west (El Faro beach) is a sandy beach where it is great to take walks, and early in the morning when the tide is down, seashells are scattered along the beach, making it a unique experience.
Amenities at Estero include: Seadoos for rent (with a bay convenient for riding on the ocean), quads for rent (and a track on property), tennis courts, ping pong tables, bikes and kayaks for rent, and tours (wine tours, trips to La Bufadora, Las Canadas-which is a place you can zipline, etc) you can take. The staff at the front desk are extremely helpful guiding you to what you would like to do. Linda is very friendly and very knowledgeable about wineries!
TIP: if you plan on going wine tasting and you have a particular winery in mind that you would like to visit, call in advance to make sure they are open to the public that day. They are sometimes closed for private events. Otherwise, there are many options for wine tasting as you will see once you get there. Also, if it is warm at the beach, it is probably hot in the valley, so try wine tasting on a moderate temperature day.
We have a new favorite taco stand called the Big Burro which is straight out of Estero's driveway, past the guard shack on the left side of the road. The grilled shrimp tacos are amazing, fish tacos are great, and their Big Burro is far too much for one person to eat! The family who owns it is very friendly, and we look forward to seeing them on all of our trips to Estero.
The restaurant at Estero is very consistently good. There is indoor, and well as outdoor seating, depending on your preference. Occasionally, they have special nights where they barbecue outside and have live bands playing cover songs. Sunday there is a large buffet brunch with many options! The sushi we have had there has been good as well.
It is worth noting that cruise ships now offer an excursion to Estero Beach for a pool day four times per week. That means the pool bar is open most days.
This is hands-down our favorite vacation spot. It is very reasonably priced for all of the amenities!
It is great for families, or for couples who want to get away! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Estero Beach Hotel Ensenada
- Estero Beach Resort Ensenada
- Estero Beach Ensenada