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“Great and very chilled diving holiday”

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Club Hotel Cantamar
Ranked #12 of 39 Hotels in La Paz
Bath
Level Contributor
78 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great and very chilled diving holiday”
Reviewed 12 October 2012

My husband and I have just spent 8 days at Club Cantamar. Having read somewhat mixed reviews on Tripadvisor, we were curious to see what the resort would be like. I have to say, we had a thoroughly enjoyable time!

The room (we had a junior suite) was large and airy, with two large balconies. It was basic, clean and comfortable - the a/c worked well and the bed was very comfy indeed! The resort's restaurant was perfectly fine, serving a good pre-diving breakfast and also reasonable evening meals. The swim-up bar always managed to provide a cold post-dive beer and tequila. The dive operation is excellent - really good dive boats, a very smooth and well-run operation and fantastic divemasters. The boats left pretty much on time in the morning and came back in at the expected time or earlier in the afternoon/evening. The diving itself was excellent and the day on the dive boat extremely enjoyable - the captain always provided a good lunch and the divemasters were all extremely knowledgeable, friendly and passionate about their work. Overall, all the staff at the resort were great - the place has a really friendly, family feel to it.

If you expect a 5-star luxury resort where you can nip off to the Spa, the shops or into town during the day, then Club Cantamar is not for you - it is a resort by divers for divers. However if you want a comfortable stay in a beautiful area with great diving and a very friendly, personal atmosphere, then I can highly recommend this resort. We would definitely go back!

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the street.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank TravellerFromBath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
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English first
Bellingham, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2012

I spent five weeks here with a group of students for a tropical marine biology class. We left the marina on two boat trips, one for the day and an overnight one, and both were great. The food was delicious, and although I only snorkeled, I heard the diving was decent, although visibility was poor at times. The rooms were adequate, and although the showers could have been hotter, our floors were cleaned every day and the beds were nice. The staff went to great lengths to please almost 20 college students, and we ate at the restaurant about twice a day, which was almost always great. I can honestly say I miss the great people there like Alex, Moises, and Pepe. The beach was beautiful, and everytime I snorkeled there, I noticed more and more diversity. I can't wait to spend more time at Cantamar in the future!

Room Tip: Higher rooms have better views. In the 100 rooms, rooms ending in 1 or 5 have balconies.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Student252
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dothan, Alabama
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2012

Poor AC in 110 degree weather.Bad restaurant and bar.No water in room on several occasions.
Small pool.Next to ferry marina.No fitness center.
Diving conditions poor.Strong current and poor visibility.
Fishing may be ok?

Room Tip: No good rooms.Lousy hotel
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank rafael m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these La Paz hotels

Hotchkiss, Colorado
1 review
Reviewed 3 July 2012

Dear Leonard of Baja Pirates,
I just wanted to write to let you know that our exploration and fishing experiences at La Paz/ Cantamar were more interesting and memorable than we could have imagined. Everyone we met through Baja Pirates were very helpful and pleasant people to work with. Ivan, who was our boat captain was an excellent angler who with all of his years of experience was patient and knowledgeable—a great teacher. He showed us how to spot Dorado and was aggressive in his methods of helping us to catch them. He showed us turtles, and told us the names of the many different fish species we caught such as the needle fish, skip-jack, pargo. The 20+ Lb. skip-jack I caught had to have been the most aggressive fighting fish I have ever brought in. (I grew up on the Columbia river in Washington State and have brought in some mighty big fish but nothing that fought so hard.) The most interesting fish I caught in the Sea of Cortez was the hammerhead shark. I was amazed at the “flocks” of flying fish and marlin we saw. We were also fortunate enough to have a young 18’ whale shark spend about (20) minutes with us exploring our boat one of the days. There are so many fish species I had never seen that if I get the chance to come back someday, I will buy a book to help me identify them, even the ones at the dock. Durand and I fished from shore and caught quite a few different and interesting species as well, some of them edible and some probably not. We released all of them. One of the “pirates” told us that someone had spotted a younger halibut in the bay. The crabs are different than I had had experience with as well. Some were red and some were blue clawed with red or brown bodies. The birds and land plant species were of course like nothing I had ever seen. I didn’t expect cocoa-nut trees, wild plum, or mango trees. The cacti were blooming and amazing as well.
The Cantamar Hotel and restaurant facilities were clean and reasonable. The people that work there are very pleasant and accommodating. The best part is the location, right at the docks and away from the busier town of La Paz. Our drivers were very helpful, humorous and kind people. They helped to make our experience pleasurable and easy.
Leonard, thank you for a wonderful and memorable experience with Baja Pirates. We hope to come back some day to catch a marlin, yellow tail, and a few snapper and some more dorado and skip-jack. I make myself laugh thinking that in order to see and experience everything we would really want to, we might have to spend a year or more down there, but then I’m dreaming. I loved it all!
With sincere gratitude, Karla and Durand Dickman: Colorado

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Libby072
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2011

My husband and I went to Club Cantamar as part of a group for underwater photography. I cannot recommend this place to anyone!

Bad Points: Our room was terrible! We paid extra for a Jr Suite, which was worn down and in great need of repairs and renovation. The room was old, outdated, and did not even have an electric outlet in the bathroom. There were only two teeny tiny windows in the entire suite. No balcony. I felt very claustrophobic. The air conditioner and the TV remotes were missing, and never found.(Not that we even turned on the TV). There was a rusty holder for a jug of bottled water, but no water was provided. I asked about this at the front desk and was told one would be delivered to the room, but that did not happen. The room had an old mildew smelling refrigerator from what looked like to be the 1950. We asked to be put in to a regular room, sacrificing the roomy Jr Suite for something more comfortable, but we were told that was not possible. The first night we were there, the ceiling light went out, and it took three days, and reporting it three different times, to get it fixed. I had heard that the other rooms at the hotel were actually quite nice. We settled in and made the best of our lousy room (which we were charged $170 per night for an extra night for) and tried to enjoy the rest of our trip. Our dive boats were supposed to leave at 8 am each morning. The very earliest they left was 830 each morning. I do understand this, as a bus would bring all of the employees in from the town sometimes just a little before 8 am. Our diving days were long, and we often did not get back to the dock until 5 pm. The resort was supposed to provide lunch. One of the days, we only had enough lunch for about half of our divers. On the second diving day, our boat ran out of gas. According to our captain, they were "told" the boat was filled with gas, but oops, it wasn't! It took us three hours to get from one dive site to another, where another boat finally brought gas to our boat. Two of three boats broke down, repetitively, one even experienced a fire. On our last day, we only had one boat to accommodate 30 divers, and one group had to take out small boats to compensate. I was never once asked to provide my sea card, or my nitrox cert card. Mid week, we experienced bad air. Many of us began coughing mid dive and had to abort one to two dives each. This problem again presented itself the next day. On one dive, my lungs were burning so badly that my husband and I could not even try to dive the next dive. We were informed that the spotter plane, used to spot whale sharks, was broken, and would not be fixed. The bottom line is that it seems that this resort puts no money in to maintenance or updates. This place is not cheap, yet the money that is collected does not seem to be reinvested back in to the property. At the end of our trip, we had arranged to stay an extra day. We cancelled that night and high-tailed it to Cabo where we stayed in a luxury resort for $100/night!!!

Good Points:
The diving was amazing! LaPaz definitely does not have beautiful coral reefs, but seeing whale sharks, hammerheads, sea lions and bait balls make up for the lack of coral. The dive masters, Edgar and Antonio, were knowledgable and helpful. I felt so bad for these guys having to deal with all of the problems of the resort! They were both very good. All of the employees of the resort were pleasant, especially the girls that worked in the kitchen and the bar tender. The food was adequate, traditional Mexican food.

A couple of tips if you do decide to go to Club Cantamar:

1. Bring EVERYTHING you need. This hotel is in the middle of nowhere and the nearest town and store is 30 minutes away.

2. Don't expect to get online. There is no WI FI. There is ONE internet cable to be shared among all guests in the office.

3. Bring your own Nitrox analyzer. The resort does not have one for guests to use.

4. Enjoy the diving. It really is wonderful!

Room Tip: Do not choose Jr Suite 117. There are two Jr Suites. I heard the other one was really nice!
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
10 Thank dive4fishies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
139 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2011

This is a difficult review, as our condo was nice, the food provided our group (Scott Geitler out of LA), was adequate, and the underwater photography (whale sharks & other critters) was outstanding.

That said, we experienced major safety issues on boats and with air. To be specific:

1.) There were no 02 analyzers on any boats, so divers used ones that myself and others brought down.

2.) There were no safety briefings on board regarding where life preservers, o2, and first aid kit were located.

3.) The port engine on one boat (Uno Mas) kept cutting out, and finally died. Water from rinse buckets was used to replace evaporated radiator water. The next day we went out, experienced similar problems, compounded by a small electrical fire. When I went to find a fire extinguisher in the cabin, I could not find one. Fire was extinguished with water.

4.) One day several divers started coughing during their dives. When they surfaced, their air appeared bad. The next day we checked air prior to departing, and there was a nauseatingly strong organic smell and taste. It appeared compressor oil had leaked past the filters into all tanks. Since we had 30 divers, this was a major logistical issue, with dives cancelled and folks hacking for several hours.

My group of Seattle area divers are extremely experienced and have traveled extensively around the globe. We had a fun time, and had excellent photos/videos. This could have been tragic (or fatal) with less experienced divers. Had the engine fire been more severe, it could have been fatal for divers on Uno Mas.

Cannot recommend Cantamar for diving.

Dan Clements

Room Tip: Condos much nicer.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
25 Thank Dan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massapequa, NY
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2011

The hotel is a nice hotel that grows on you over the course of the week.
CONS:
The trip from Cabot is a long three hour drive in a van with A/C but fully packed to capacity. Bags go on the roof, which is bad when the winding road goes through the higher mountain passes where it rains.
The hotel is built directly on the main road across from the ferry terminal. This means that all of the rooms in building 3, which has all of the single rooms and possible some doubles, hear the trucks loudly all day and early in the morning. They quiet down during the night. The odor of diesel is also around that area of the hotel. The main office is on the main level of building 3.
Occasionally they have people at the front desk at night who do not speak English very well so it is best to get your important matters taken care of during the day.
The water will take a bit getting used to. It is purified but has a strange taste, they say it's the minerals.
There is no wireless Internet, the computer in the office is old but works for a fee. The network is up and down, mostly down while we were there. Internet cafes are in town.
The ride to town is 30 minutes by free shuttle.

PROS:
The rooms are simple but very functional and comfortable.
The beds are very firm and everyone in the group found them comfortable to sleep on.
The supply a closet with hangars.
There is a tool kit in the bottom of the closet to be used as a place to store your important documents, it is not a safe nor is it bolted down but a lock can be put on it for some security.
The showers are roomy and the pressure is good.
The a/c is good, quiet, and controlled by a remote.
There is a tv in the room and phone.
The staff tried as hard as they could to accommodate all of our needs.
The dive staff was amazing and spoke English perfectly.
The boats are ugly and need a paint job but are some of the best laid out dive boats we have been on, and we have been on a lot. They have a huge dry area below, great bathrooms, plenty of shade, good ladders, very sturdy. Their 45 & 55 foot boats are both roomy.
The food for breakfast and dinner was very good.
The accommodated for non fish eating divers for lunch on the boat.
The diving was spectacular!
The hotel is no too big so it's comfortable to walk from place to place.
The dive lockers are so airy that the gear dries overnight with no odor. They supply you with wetsuit and accessory hangars.
Rinse tanks are well set up and they give you soap at the end of the week for your suits.
Lockers are locked at 8pm for security.
Nice little beach with some good snorkeling around jetties and in front of restaurant.
The ultralight the hotel has finds the whale sharks almost 99.9% of the time. They found them twice on our trip!
We were in building 2 and it was nice an quiet.

Places we ate as a group:
El Patron - In town-excellent food and on the water. Price per person was ~$50
Buffalo BBQ - In town-good food, staff not wonderful if you have a problem with your order. Price per person was ~ $35
Tres Virgines - In town-Great food, beautiful courtyard, great staff. Price per person was ~$45
Bismark (not on water)- In town- food was fantastic. Price per person was ~$35
Luna Bruja- Around the corner from Club Cantamar- great food, pretty ambiance, great service. Price per person was ~$40
Club Cantamar restaurant- need to let them know you will be eating with a group so they are ready. Good food. Price per person ~$15

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank tweetie831
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Club Hotel Cantamar

Property: Club Hotel Cantamar
Address: Manzana F Lote 1 | Puerto Comercial de Pichilingue, La Paz 23208, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Sur > La Paz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in La Paz
#4 On the Beach Hotel in La Paz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Hotel Cantamar 3*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Pichilingue bay, in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Cantamar Hotel provides a nice, quiet stay in a great family atmosphere, with full restaurant service at our VistaChula Café, a freshwater pool and a beautiful sunset beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cantamar Hotel La Paz
Cantamar Resort La Paz

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