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“What a B&B is meant to be!”

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Casa Encinares Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #5 of 29 Ensenada B&B and Inns
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
132 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“What a B&B is meant to be!”
Reviewed 13 January 2014

Casa Encinares is a B&B in the relatively new Mexican wine country. It has many things going for it, but what stood out the most were the people and their hospitality!

We stayed here one night in December- I really wish we had more time. We didn't want to deal with driving in Mexico so we took a bus to Ensenada from the US border, and then Arturo picked us up from the Ensenada bus station. We were hungry so he took us for tacos first (mm!), and then we got to Casa Encinares late at night. The stars were beautiful! Actually, the entire B&B was beautiful- lots of trees around, and it has kind of a log cabin feel. Breakfast the next day was delicious, and then we went on a wine and cheese and food bonanza with Arturo and friends that was amazingly fun (three wineries + an early dinner), before Steve drove us back to the bus station.

We were two couples and we got 2 rooms next to each other. They were pretty much cabins- don't come expecting a luxury hotel experience or anything. It did get pretty cold at night and we ended up trying out the wood stove the next morning (although actually it was a bit warmer outside). Also, no wifi and no cell reception, except AT&T service on the hill.

We all had a ton of fun and wished we could stay longer. My boyfriend can't even metabolize alcohol and he had fun. Arturo and co really made us feel like part of the family... so friendly and hospitable, it's impossible not to make new friends!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank C0rnMuffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2013

We booked our 2 night/3day stay at Casa Encinares through Airbnb. Arturo was our contact and he was very responsive and worked with us to get us a great deal for the hotel stay + private VIP wine tour. I've been to the valle de guadalupe in March and stayed at the Endemico Eco Lodge and had a basis of comparison. My two friends were Valle Virgins so we drove down to the Valle and tried to look for this b&b at night (we left early in the morning but ended up spending an entire day eating at the amazing fishing village called Popotla near Rosarito. Huge detour). Looking for this place at night in a small Honda with crappy headlights was a bit scary (not because the area is dangerous, but because of the unpaved roads and steep hills). Just when you think you reached the destination, you have to go a bit more. A good hint is when you turn into the unpaved road from the main highway, make a left up the hill, not right (we got a little lost).

Anyway as soon as we got there, we were greeted by Stephen and then Arturo and were welcomed with a glass of wine and some chips and salsa. The wine was good and affordable so we ordered a bottle of wine and we noticed there were a group there that were there for the weekend as well, who we'd be going along with for the private VIP wine tour and the shuttle out to Ensenada the next night. Already there was a sense of family and a warm welcoming feeling from everyone there.

When we checked into our triple up on top of the hill (Vidart House), we noticed how spacious it was. We each got our own bed (2 beds in one room, 1 bed in another). There was a little dining area, and the bathroom was inside the bedroom. The layout doesn't make too much sense but they're going to be renovating each of the rooms and we checked out some of the other rooms that made more sense in terms of layout. Vidart House is essentially one big house but it is separated by one wall so you can stay there if you have 6 people and use up the entire space and open the connecting wall or if you're like us, we shared it with another family on the other side who we barely saw or ran into since they came the second night. However, I would mention that the walls are thin.

The next morning, we woke up to join the group for some amazing homemade breakfast. No joke, the breakfast was simple but oh so delicious. As soon as everyone was filled with sustainable energy, we got into the VIP wine tour shuttle and off we went to visit three wineries - LA Cetto, Endemico (where I stayed last time) because the other one they had reserved had some complications that day, and to Santo Tomas. During the day, we got to see the roads better and realized there were a lot more signs directing us to Casa than we caught the night before. Finding Casa during the day is much easier for the first timer.

Each winery had distinct differences and great wine, and we were definitely sloshed by the time we got to the third winery. The VIP wine tour is worth the $50 (though I did pay less when I went there previously) because they do everything for you. You don't have to go and try to reserve a winery. If one falls through, they have backups. If I had to do it myself and one fell through we'd be going to one less winery, or scramble to try to figure out what to do. The extra money was well spent her as we didn't have to worry about anything and Casa Encinares has great relationships with these wineries so we got to try a lot of different wines with very heavy pours. We also made a pit stop at Sol de Media Noche to do the cheese tasting. I've been here before as well but the previous time, I had to sort of fend for myself. This time, they were ready for us so they had all the cheese tastings in a platter, marked, and we got to taste all the jams, dressing, tapenades, bread. I ended up buying their amazing rosemary bread, the caesar salad dressing, the olive tapenade, and two cheeses. They also had chapagne there for us to try.

When we got back to the B&B, we got ready for dinner. The big group stayed at the Casa to eat their amazing bbq dinner but I wanted my friends to try some Javier Plascencia's dishes while we were down there so we got a ride from the shuttle to take us to Finca Altozano. It was a great amazing sunset dinner that turned rather cold really fast and the service went down with the sun as well. Thankfully, the Casa shuttle was waiting for us so we didn't have to wait out in the cold. As soon as we got back to the Casa, we dressed and got ready to hit the down (Ensenada). Our guide, Mike, was hilarious from that morning until the night. I don't know how he has the energy to sustain three wineries, drink all day with us and then still have energy to lead us into the night life. We were really lucky to have him as we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

We arrived in Ensenada and went into a night club called Poker Face for their "travesty" night which basically means drag queens and strippers. It was probably one of the most epic surprise outings that can only happen in serendipitous trips like this because if we were left up to our own devices we probably would have chilled out in the room with a bottle of wine and passed out after dinner. Thankfully, we were guided into this underworld and actually had a ton of fun. The guys wanted to hit another night club after and did so but we ended up just going to buy some groceries and hung out in the shuttle and passed out. Yup, we really couldn't hang.

The next morning was the farewell breakfast. We had another amazing breakfast and said bye to all of our new friends. We had an amazing time, were quickly welcomed into the group activities, and felt well taken care of by our guide Mike and our host Arturo. After we left Casa, we headed into Ensenada to eat all day before braving the border line.

Note to ourselves for next time - get the Fast pass or the Sentri border cards so we don't have to wait 4 hours to get back.

Room Tip: If you have more than 4-5 people, get the Vidart House and stay in the whole house vs sharing since...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank saikoxpooh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2013

We were two Indian couples travelling from San Diego to Mexico, for the first time ever. It's just about a 3 hour drive to get to Ensenada. We were skeptical about crossing the border and the re-entry. However, one saturday morning, we just decided we are going and it is all thanks to Arturo, who runs this beautiful bread and breakfast in the wine country in Ensenada (pristine and peaceful, so unlike the highly commercial and over rated Napa valley!). Arturo was so co-operative and forthcoming with information, promptly replying to our multiple emails, though he had all the reason to believe that we would not end up going :) But, we are so glad we made it! We had an amazing day with the a beautiful group of people - extremely friendly and AWESOME FUN. Arturo dons many hats at the same time - that of the host, the chef, the guide and the friend. He cooks your food himself along with his wonderful team. You cannot miss the tacos and the cake. The rooms are also nicely designed and comfortable, with pensive views of the hills from your deck and the balcony. There is a beautiful swimming pool with an awesome view of the hills and at night, we loved floating on water just staring at the most amazing star studded sky I have seen in my life (with a glass of wine to make it better). The wine tasting tour was fun and extremely interesting (they are very generous hosts too - you dont end up running a huge bill for a few sips to just wet your mouth). Your glass will never be empty. The highlights - the beautiful setting, the pool, the food, the wine, the cute dogs and ofcourse, the lovely people!

Room Tip: Rooms higher up the hill have better views.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Lekha_hari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2013

My wife & I and another couple spent a night here in July. The Casa is located in a pleasant and rustic location in an oak grove. The rooms we stayed in (5 & 6) are good with big windows. There was a generator running quite late , but the noise did not disturb us too much. There is a very nice pool - watch out tho' - even the shallow end is 5ft deep.
What made the trip so awesome was the hospitality of everyone at this place - especially Arturo and Michael. They obviously enjoy what they do and they really take care of you- no impersonal chain hotel experience here. There was party under the oak trees to celebrate the Casa's 3rd anniversary on the day we arrived. Cuban band, dancing, yummy tacos, sangria and wine all evening (till 10 PM actually).
Next day, after a hearty "big breakfast" at 10 they took us to the nearby Santo Tomas vineyard. The manager was very knowledgeable and passionate - we sipped quite a few glasses (and were buzzed by one o'clock :)) but we learnt a few things too and had great conversation with our group.

In short, we had a great time at a very reasonable price..we'll be back!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Bart1744
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed at Casa Encinares for one night during the week this September. Though the Valley and Ensenada were very quiet mid-week, Michael and Arturo made sure we had a great time. They were incredibly friendly and helpful, and answered all of our questions about the valley. All of the vinicolas they recommended were fabulous. The rooms, setting, and breakfast were all great, but Michael and Arturo made the trip even better. If you want a quiet, rustic setting, this is perfect and a great price.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Zenji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ensenada, Mexico
Level Contributor
112 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2012

We just spent two nights here while we attended wine events in the Vale, Arturo and the Victor brothers who are the owners and run the B+B do a wonderful job of making sure everything is running smoothly. The breakfast which is included changes daily and is really good and a lot of food. The location under old Oak trees is fantastic, surrounded by their vineyards. The pool was a welcome place to spend some time during a very warm weekend. They will drive you to and pick you up from any of the wine events so that you don't have to drive after partaking of the great wines.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Bigmike1126
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2012 via mobile

The location is beautiful and the place looks like it should be really tranquil...however when we arrived at 4pm there was a very loud generator running, which continued until after 10pm. Then just as things became peaceful...some other guests returned about midnight and were VERY loud until after 1am and the walls did nothing to dampen the noise. The manager did come and ask them to quiet down.
In the morning there was coffee at 7:30, no breakfast until 10am and we couldn't stick around that long. They were making everything by hand and it was probably delicious but it was just too late for us.

They produce their own electricity, and while I think it's cool to be self-reliant and off the power grid...that generator noise was so loud and completely detracted from our experience for hours on end.

  • Stayed May 2012
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Helpful?
2 Thank Vll-sd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Encinares Bed and Breakfast

Property: Casa Encinares Bed and Breakfast
Address: Otro Carretera Tecate Ensenada KM 92 | San Antonio de las Minas, Ensenada 22766, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Norte > Ensenada Municipality > Ensenada
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 29 B&Bs / Inns in Ensenada
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Casa Encinares Bed and Breakfast 2.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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