What an awesome and amazing place! Trust me, when I read tons of reviews that are all positive...I am extra-specially careful to review things up to the high standard that has been created. This place lives up to it...it really does.
So, in my usual overly-detailed manner...here we go...point by point...:)
The hotel: Hacienda del Mar is situated on a large plot of land in the Cabo del Sol Region of Los Cabos. Situated between the older San Jose del Cabo and the newer Cabo San Lucas, the Hacienda Del Mar is a combo Hotel/Villa property. When traveling from the airport, stay on HWY1 through San Jose Del Cabo, continuing on towards Cabo San Lucas until you reach KM10...literally right after the HM10 sign, exit to the right onto the bridge. Upon crossing the bridge you are in the Cabo Del Sol area to which the Hacienda del Mar resides. Upon entering the Sheraton property veer left for the hotel, and right for the villas. Check-in is smooth and the staff is very nice. The property has many amenities which are co-shared by the villa guests and hotel guests.
Pools: There are many pools (last count = 4) on the property. The main pool in front of the hotel is well stocked with lounge chairs. This pool is a true infinity pool...when sitting at the edge of the pool you truly feel as if you're swimming in the sea/ocean. There are two pools that flank this one...they are all large and beautiful, and they all have wonderful lounge chairs. There is also a pool on the hotel side that is somewhat secluded from the rest of the other pools, which is known as the Delphines pool...this one has a swim-up pool bar. Very nice!
Happy Hours: Starting at 11AM at the main pool, it seems as if there is happy hour at one of the pools all throughout the day. In truth, there are some gaps, but I guess you have to sun and swim at some time. Additionally, there are happy hours at the restaurants from 5-close at the bar. 2 for 1 drinks is the standard.
The Rooms: We traded through SFX from a 2-bedroom villa with Grupo Mayan to a 2-bedroom villa at the Hacienda del Mar. The rooms are beautiful, if not dated a little more than the Grupo Mayan scheme. Obviously, the theme is "Hacienda" so there is an old world feel to the rooms and grounds. If you are an ultra-modern decor fan...this may not be your place! The villas had a master bedroom with a King, as well as a guest bedroom with two queens. The master had a jacuzzi tub, plus walk-in shower, vanity, and separate toilet room. The villa had total three full bathrooms, all with walk-in showers. The Living room had a large, covered veranda with two lounge chairs, and the bedrooms had pergola covered patios. Kitchen was well-appointed with the basics...however, as is typical in Mexico...no dishwasher and no laundry in room. Appliances were fine, however, no pitcher for juice/etc. included in the collection of kitchen gadgets. The air conditioning works well...although ours was noisy in the master bedroom...probably should've called, but didn't. I'm sure they would've taken care of it...we just didn't care that much...it's vacation! The Veranda off the main room is nice, but is not conducive to having dinner or sunning oneself...it is covered and secluded with concrete from the adjoining rooms.
Internet: Ah...the Mexi-net...I still get angry at places that charge me for using the internet. So...yea, they charge for plug in connection in the room and wireless access in some of the public areas. Every room gets 30 mins free per day (which is nice), but then they hit ya for $15-$20 per day for access. The cord is real short in the room, so, if this is something you want...bring a longer ethernet cord. The Wireless access throughout the public spaces at the resort is not free...it ties into the room account. The service was fine...but, again, no matter how much I love a place, paying for the internet is never cool.
Room Cleaning: Weird one here...maid service is available and not optional (?) and costs about 4-5$ a day. I don't know on this one...there were several days that we didn't want maid service (sometimes, I just want to be left alone) and she wanted to clean my room bad...but, we said no. Turns out that we were charged for those days of cleaning...yet, I never remember seeing when/where I agreed to that. It wasn't that much mula, but it was annoying. Inquire about this at the desk upon check-in.
Restaurants: Tons of options here at the Hacienda del Mar, and I didn't try them all out, but...here's some of the most memorable:
Tomates: Located in the hotel, on the deck overlooking the ocean/pool area. Nice restaurant offering B/L/D. Mid-price range for Lunch/Dinner and somewhat high for Breakfast (buffet was $33). Food was great though...just a little pricey.
Girasoles: Located on the villas side...they have a nightly dinner special and serve B/L/D. Everything we had there was good...prices tend to be more moderate than Tomates, but the view isn't as nice and the cuisine is not as developed. They do have a pretty amazing breakfast all-you-can eat special for $16.50. Anything on the breakfast menu is orderable for a flat rate of 16.50...includes unlimited bloody mary's and mimosa's, to which I took them up on the offer and put their unlimitedness to the test. They were, and I was buzzed before 10AM! Service was excellent...we went on the Pozole night...which was good for some local authentic cuisine. However, we were here in July and Girasoles is not designed for air-flow, so it was HOT...plus a hot pozole...it was REALLY HOT! It's all open-air, so take that into account when choosing where to go.
Pool Bar/Beach Bar: Had standard drinks that were available at the bar, in the pool, or on the lounges. Service can be at the bar or lounge-side by the roving wait staff. Didn't have the food, but it looked good. Drinks were great.
Sushi Sports Bar: Weird combo, but the sushi was good. There's a happy-hour here in the evening too...good times. Over-priced sushi (as is the case in most places), but quality was good.
Tequila Bar: Located on the opposite deck from Tomates, by the owner/guest lounge. Great selection of Tequilas and drinks for after dinner/pre-sleep!
Pitahayas: I will review this place as a seperate restaurant, but for the function of this review just know that it is Asian Fusion cuisine at its finest. Beautiful place, beautiful setting, and classy food. This is not a multiple night event, unless you are rolling in the dough. Dinner is expensive, drinks are more expensive, and TOTALLY worth it for one or two nights. To anyone who detracts from this place...they be crazy!
De Cortez: Opposite side of the property from Pitahayas is the De Cortez Steakhouse. Didn't go here and didn't hear anyone really talking about it. There was no buzz about it, but word is that it was a very good restaurant. I just couldn't see myself munching down a big steak in the hot Los Cabos weather...didn't agree with my brain.
THE BEACH: Beautiful beach access with Palapas and lounge chairs that are set up by hotel employees for you. Beach is swimmable in the immediate area around the resort.. Good for swimming, body surfing, surfing, wave-boarding, etc. There was a hurricane off the coast when we were there which really churned the water up for a surfers paradise...but 15-20ft waves would kill me! The water is not Caribbean blue, but bluer than most oceans. Water was warm and the sand was hot...not as fine as cancun, but not rocky at all.
Cabo San Lucas Access: Get out of the resort!!! Drive 10 km south to Cabo San Lucas and either get in with some locals, or go to the quasi-Americanized Marina area where you can stroll around as if your Mexican, but with the comforts of lots of Americans! The Marina has a huge developed area known as Puerto Paraiso which is home to a beautiful mall, and several (like over 20-30) restaurants and shops. You can walk around freely in this safe, lit, and organized space designed for tourists. Every possible cuisine you could think of, and people who want your American money! People are pushy along the way trying to get you into their restaurant, but smile, nod, and keep walking...they're used to it!
I'd recommend using TripAdvisor to get into the back part of town and sample some local cuisine in the non-touristy parts as well. It's a typical Mexican town, so don't be looking for even sidewalks, parking lots, or any of the amenities of the tourist spots. However, prices will be cheaper, people will be nicer, and the experience will be more authentic. We went to three restaurants "Los Tres Gallos" , "Las Mariscadas" and "Desperados" in our quest. The first two offered amazing cuisine and drinks for a fraction of the cost that we spent at the resort or at some of the other places in the tourist traps.
For some reason, we had difficulty finding good, cheap Ceviche, which is a standard in Mazatlan, so we figured the shrimp traffic would be similar in Cabo...not the case. We did find some good ceviche at Las Mariscadas however. We figured sushi would be cheap given the proximity to the ocean, but not the case. Very similar pricing to US cities...kind of a let down.
Also, we like to stock up on some basics for Breakfast/Lunch and snacks to stock in our villa kitchen...there is a super wal-mart and Sams Club on the way into Cabo San Lucas town. Additionally, as you are traveling from the Airport to Cabo San Lucas through San Jose Del Cabo, you will pass a HUGE Soriana's market...you could stop there on the way down. However, we found everything we needed at the Wal-mart (fresh fruit, dips, salsas, etc.).
GYM: The fitness center is a shared resource located off of the spa...it is WELL appointed with some free-weights, machines, and cardio marchines. This was one of the better gyms in resorts that I have been to. Bring your fitness routine with you on vacation and renew the mind/body/spirit!!!
SPA: Didn't use the services, but we went through it every time we went to the gym. Looked nice and clean. Prices were US Resort Spa prices...which was exorbitant. After the sticker shock wore off, we realized there were discount days of 50% off for different services on different days. Inquire at the spa, and/or they'll send you something to your room mid-week. Don't pay full price...it's too much!.
OVERALL: The experience in Cabo was great. I have to say that the pricing structure was similar to vacationing in America, which is fine. But, in Cabo (and I've been to a couple Mexican resort towns), there is no real discernible "mexican discount." When you factor in the exchange rate, I still felt like I was paying US prices. Food, etc. was just as much money. Other than that mental let down, the resort itself was beautiful. We were in Villa 7, on the second floor, and thus had partial ocean-view access. There are plenty of rooms without an ocean view, but I think the experience would be similar. The Hacienda Del Mar was a wonderfully appointed place with great amenities. We would definitely go back again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An exclusive beach front hotel, located in the Cabo del Sol resort community, with 273 suites. Our magnificent resort is adjacent to the world famous Jack Nicklaus designed Ocean Golf Course. The resort is composed of 20 Villas all in Mexican Hacienda style, with romantic walkways through lush green landscaped and tropical flowers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hacienda Del Mar Vacation Club Hotel Cabo San Lucas
- Hacienda Del Mar Vacation Hotel
- Hacienda Del Mar Vacation Resort
- Hacienda Del Mar Cabo San Lucas
- Hacienda Del Mar Los Cabos Cabo San Lucas, Mexico