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Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at The Islands of Loreto
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Carretera Transpeninsular km 84 | Ensenada Blanca, Loreto 23880 , Mexico   |  
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Ranked #4 of 21 hotels in Loreto
Seattle, Washington
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Very nice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

We booked Villa del Palmar Loreto having stayed at the sister property in Cabo. It is a nice place! Even though we booked a studio, we got a very large corner one-bedroom upgrade without asking, with a nice view of the sea and the pool. There are 6 swimming pools: in addition to the large pool, there is one for elite only (never saw anyone in it), a toddler pool, two plunge pools, and a large hot tub. The hot tub was hands down the most favorite place for the small number guests staying at the hotel during the week we were there. All the comments about a lot of attention and great service are very true. The reason guests flocked to the hot tub was that it was quite cool. We had two relatively hot days (around 90 at the highest), which were wonderful, and other days were pleasant but cool and windy. One night we were woken up by what sounded like a storm, and as we came out on the balcony to look, the palm trees were practically lying sideways. The wind abated by the sunrise, but still our island hopping trip was canceled two days in a row, we couldn't rent kayaks because the sea was too choppy, etc. Blame it on the weather!
We didn't use the spa (next time!) and spent the time working hard entertaining our eight-year-old as there is really not a lot to do. We, adults, loved it, but our next trip would probably be back to Cabo! Still we went hiking on a beautiful well-marked trail that starts right by the side of the hotel, went kayaking, took a shuttle to the town of Loreto and back, and went whale watching. Luckily, our son met a little group of kids of similar age (there were all of 6 kids at the hotel at the time) and we could sit back with our pina coladas as the kids played together in the pool.
What we loved: the view, the deep blue color of the Sea of Cortez, wading into the bay, hiking and exploring rocky little beaches. There were so few people around, every time we went out on a hike or a walk on the beach or kaykaing, we were completely alone. It was a strange feeling, beautiful but eerie. The large hottub was a blessing for the small group of kids otherwise they wouldn't have been able to keep warm in the big pool. No one complained, quite the opposite, a few guests smiled and commented something positive, which we appreciated. We have to commend the staff: Roberto at the pool was friendly and attentive, Luiz in the lobby was very accommodating and went above and beyond his duty answering our questions and helping out. Fausto, the guide on the whale watching tour, was very informative and funny. The whale watching did turn out to be the highlight of our trip, as this was the time when whales travel to Baja California with their young and dozens of them frolic around your boat, some swimming up close as they get curious. My husband and son did end up touching a whale, a wondrous experience!
We apreciated the evening shows the staff put up, working very hard, despite quite the limited audience as the cool weather drove guests indoors. We loved the stars on display every evening.
The food at the Market restaurant just kept getting better, breakfast was wonderful (loved the pastries baked on premises!) and the evening buffets, all was fresh and there were many choices. As our child is an extremely picky eater, his meal was prepared and brought from Casa Mia separately on a daily basis, with a smile and a flourish. Guillermo, the head waiter at the restaurant treated us as if we were his friends. All in all, everyone was very accommodating.
What we didn't like: the weather was a little too cool for our typical "tropical" vacation. As all activities got canceled due to the wind, there was a point when we just felt bored as there was nothing to do but go back to the hottub. It got to be a little slow for us. Had we known our booked activities would be canceled we would have arranged something in town, but there wasn't much chance to plan ahead.
Would we return: yes, maybe in a few years time, when hopefully there is more going on. And definitely later in the year, such as in April.

Room Tip: We were on the 2nd floor in the main building, higher floors have better view, but get hit by the wi...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (180)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Wa
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

If you have the chance to stay here take it. You'll find yourself at a very beautiful site in a new facility with a young staff that is eager to make your stay outstanding. The staff are the best part of this experience. They are young, friendly and very hard working. Once in a while, the ball gets dropped. But if you think of your stay as a shake down cruise for a new ocean liner, you'll take it all in and have a great time. That is provided you're not too picky.

The view is great. The rooms are excellent. The pool is gorgeous. However, keep in mind:
The wind blows -- a lot. It's about an hour into town where the hospital and other entertainment is. And town is Loreto -- maybe 10,000? So don't expect a Vegas style entertainment. If you want to golf -- wait until the course is built -- it's not started yet. Scuba diving in the world's largest marine reserve may be great -- but there were lots' of white caps while we were there.
The last mile of road is gravel and the first part of it runs down a creek bed which looks to have had a lot of raging water not too long ago. The locals said this happened during the last hurricane which they don't get too often. So check the weather forecast before booking.

Oh, and our bed was infested with bed bugs. So if you do get bit, don't hesitate to have the bed and bedding swapped out. They will do it quickly.

Other than that take the all inclusive, sit back and enjoy life.

PS: flights in/out of Loreto are very limited and booked well in advance. Make your travel plans either before, or at the same time, as you make your room reservations.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with an ocean view -- there are lots of them-- why not have one.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

The resort, unspoiled beach and views are fabulous. We just got home 12/26/13. I would go later in the year as it was clear but very windy. Wonderful staff. It's a very quiet and issolated resort. They are breaking ground for the golf course. Spa is just opened and beautiful. The kitchen in the room is great and we got feash seafood from fisherman and made our own meals.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
T-Town
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

The resort is beautiful! The staff is superb! The problem is the food. There were 6 of us and two got sick. We spoke to several others that had gotten sick also. We ate at all of the restaurants. I think they need someone new in the kitchen. They have a chef that is suppose to be from Venice. We saw him walk around a couple of times and pay a lot of attention to a table that had caught a fish that day and he prepared it for them. It happened to be Valentines Day. It was a pre-set menu for us. ALL OF OUR FOOD WAS COLD. At another meal at their expensive restaurant Dinzante's (sp?) I ordered the salad that had the large shrimp on it. I could smell the shrimp as they passed in front of my nose. NOT GOOD!!! I did not eat it. My dinner came, skewers with steak, scallops, vegies, etc... My friend ordered the same thing. The scallops were not cooked and the steak was cold. It came with potatoes and they were cold. When the waiter asked why I hadn't eaten anything I told him it was all cold. They need help in the food area. The safe food is at Casa Mia as they cook right there in front of you and it's hot. They basically use the same kitchen for the other restaurants. On the breakfast buffet they put left over meats in a sauce so stay away from them. We were told the chef doesn't like to throw anything away. We have traveled to Mexico for over 20 years and never have I seen so many people sick. In our van on the way to the airport there were 7 of us. Four out of seven had been sick.

Room Tip: There is no bad room.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We were new to the area and loved the location. The staff were excellent and very helpful - and the resort is beautiful. We have been to some of the other properties and have never been concerned about the quality of the food or drinking water. My husband and at least another guest became sick, however, on the same day with the other guest eventually seeking medical help. Another guest was taken to the hospital and a few other guests commented that they were experiencing stomach cramping and distress.

In spite of this, we do plan to return because the location is so exceptional. In the meantime, there is a lot of work to do to match the culinary experience with their other resorts.

Room Tip: Rooms in the main building have better wi-fi access.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Broomfield, Colorado
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We loved Loreto and the Resort last time so this time we stayed for two weeks. When we arrived at the airport our transportation was ready and waiting. Once at the resort, as members, we asked for an upgrade which was no problem. It was good to see familiar faces like Guillermo smiling behind the front desk. Anything I asked him was treated like it was the most important thing he could do for me. After the traditional ceremony greeting us, we went to our 1 bedroom suite. These rooms are larger then the sister resort in Cabo and ALL room have an ocean view, no parking lot views here. The grounds were beautiful and I even saw a hummingbird. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet but also ordered from the menu for breakfast. My fav is the wonderful green drink, so healthy. This time of year the weather can be cool, 60's to 70's but we prefer this time of year. The pool area is clean and quiet with your choice of many comfortable spots to sit, even down on the beach. There never is a fight to reserve a chair because all the chairs have clean towels on them. Beachfront you will find two very large hammocks as well. And there are 3 fire pits to sit around in the evening while stargazing. Being on a bay, don't expect crashing waves, some mornings it was like glass and the sunrises were spectacular. Definitely take the hike up to the point for spectacular views, take some water with you. Also walk around the whole bay, you will find a little spot called the Sanctuary (part of Wild Loreto Tours) where we had chocolate clams and beer served by Roberto. Everything there was solar power. They also have paddle boards and kayaks. And a clean bathroom too. Further around the bay, in the mornings, you might find a white refrigerated truck with fresh fish just brought in that morning by the local fishermen. When the tide is out you can walk way out in the bay. The birds were fun to watch too. And a pod of bottlenose dolphins swam into our bay.
There are 3 restaurants. Danzante is high end with tapas and a full gourmet menu. The Market is where you can eat inside or outside. This is great for breakfast either from the buffet or menu. This is where the evening shows take place as well but if you sit inside you cannot hear it. But they have plenty of outside heaters if you feel cool sitting outside. The menu stays the same each day at all 3 restaurants. My favorite was Casa Mia, the outside sports bar. Beautiful setting and great salads and hot and cold sandwiches and great tacos too. They through an awesome Superbowl Party for us as well.
There are 3 free shuttles into town during the day with the last one coming home at 9pm so it's easy to go to town to explore or go grocery shopping at El Pescador, walk to the Mission and down to the Malacon. We ate at Domingo's Steak House next to the Santa Fe Hotel and at Papagayo just past the mission by the square. Both were great. The town is very clean, no stray dogs and so interesting to stroll around. Look for the peacocks.
In the lobby you will find Wild Loreto Tours for all your activities but that's a different review.
The resort also has a little disco up on the hill called Danzante for those who want some night life without being far from your own bed. They shuttle you for free up and down.
The spa is amazing, Claudine the Spa Director was very gracious. The best deal ever is the wet area, which you can use for just 8 USD a day or free with a massage. The wet area has so many amenities, I had a locker and there was a private changing area, showers, hot tub, warm tub, and a cool tub, sauna, steam, cold shower and an epsom salt soak tub and another tub for sunburn with aloe. There is plenty of seating area with a view of the beautiful desert landscape. The most peaceful relaxing place. I also had a massage and foot reflexology. I used the wet area both before and after my massage. I also soaked in the epsom salt tub after hiking to sooth away my aches and pains. I highly recommend using the wet area the first day you get there just to unwind from traveling. There are daily spa specials too.
The rooms also have a large balcony with table and chairs and two large lounges for relaxing. The kitchen has all you would need to cook in which we did for breakfast. There is also a washer dryer but you will need to iron after using it. There is a market next to the spa for the basics. There is a large jetted tub in the bedroom and TV's in both rooms. The clock radio will play your ipod too. You also have a large dining room table, couches and chairs for relaxing in your room which we did on several occasions.
It was a wonderful two weeks. We left talking about our next trip back. If you love nature, quiet, millions of stars, beautiful islands to explore, playing in the ocean, you will be happy.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Snohomish, Washington
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

Loved the resort in general and its secluded location. The one bedroom unit was very large and comfortable. Loved the Sea of Cortez and mountain views from the room and the very large balcony. The bed was very comfortable, and there were two pillows to choose from. Liked the areas around the resort to hike. Loved the butterflies and hummingbirds. Enjoyed the night sky and the dimly lit solar lights that created star shaped patterns along the walkways.

Loved the spa wet area and the massage services, though the cost seemed high. The spa prices were equal to what I would pay at a high-end salon in Seattle, and much more than I have paid at other resorts in Mexico. The spa manager was especially welcoming and helpful.

Did like the free shuttle service into the town of Loreto, but would have liked the shuttle to have a different drop off time, perhaps 5:00 pm. The 6:00 pm shuttle, arriving in town about 45 minutes later, does not allow quite enough time for dinner.

The restaurants were pretty good, but very slow service, except for breakfast, which had exceptional service. Not sure why such slow service when the resort and restaurants were not very busy. We couldn’t even flag down or make eye contact with any wait staff for 30-45 minutes after we were done eating. I think there are some kinks to be worked out.

Did not like the fact that the all-inclusive did not include the “honor bar” drinks from the refrigerator, including water. While on the all-inclusive plan I could order a coke or a bottle of water from room service and only pay the automatic delivery charge, but pay 2.50 or so for the same drink from the refrigerator.

Did not like the toddlers and babies in diapers allowed in the hot tub. Would have liked the resort to enforce the no children rule in the hot tub as stated on the signs. Yes, it was too cold for them to enjoy the pool. And boo to the parents who showed bad etiquette and let their small children scream and run around the restaurant.

Did not like the volume of the nightly shows heard from our room, particularly bothersome on the nights we were not feeling well.

Did not like the fact that you could hear every conversation or noise in the adjoining room when occupied.

The weather this year, end of January, was not warm enough to try the snorkeling around the resort, swim in the sea or enjoy the pool. Will have to return when the weather is just a bit warmer.

Overall a beautiful, serene, unspoiled (so far) resort that we plan to return to.

TIPS

Don’t pre-pay for all-inclusive. Decide once you get there if it will benefit you. We were both sick on alternating days and were not able to get much benefit of the all-inclusive we already paid for. Unless you are a big eater or drinker you may do just as well ordering off the menus and pay as you go.

Be aware of the room number duplication. Some units may end in a letter, and another unit will have the same room number without the letter. Our one bedroom was 2623A, and the studio next door was 2623. Room service tried to deliver food ordered from next door to our room. And another night around the time I expected our room service to be delivered the room next door received theirs, I thought delivering to the wrong room. We were careful throughout the stay to state and write the “A” on the bills.

Ask for and review your bill the day before check out. It’s partly in Spanish and I found it difficult to review quickly. Since you must sign for every drink (even a bottle of water) or meal even when on the all inclusive plan, and with the daily automatic tips and the room service automatic tips it takes awhile to go through. And with the room number similarities you may find charges (even if only tips) that belong to the next room. There also was a tour cancellation with Wild Loreto that was not removed from our bill.

We enjoyed several outings with Wild Loreto, booked in the hotel lobby. It was very convenient to be able to speak to the folks and book your tours right from the lobby. The Wild Loreto folks were all great from the booking staff to the tour guides, BUT there was some dysfunction between the resort and Wild Loreto while we were there. I would suggest if you go on the Tabor Canyon hike you be prepared and bring your own lunch or energy bars. The day we took the tour the lunch that was to be included did not arrive and we were told was due to disagreements between the resort and Wild Loreto. Not knowing who was really “at fault” I mention it on this forum, but I don’t hold it against the resort without knowing what the disagreements entail.

The Wild Loreto tour to Coronado Island was wonderful; we saw and chased lots of dolphins. But the island is rather primitive, and while we were there the “outhouse” was unusable. Not a good thing when one suddenly comes down with a bug. If you must go behind the bushes and dig a hole beware of the pickers. The engine on the panga would not start when we were ready to leave, and I’m not sure what would have been the outcome if the only remaining boat at the island had not loaned us their battery.

While the room supposedly did not have WiFi, and no modems were available, we found we could access the WiFi service on the balcony and also in the room if the balcony door was left open.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at The Islands of Loreto

Address: Carretera Transpeninsular km 84 | Ensenada Blanca, Loreto 23880 , Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Sur > Loreto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Loreto
#1 Spa Hotel in Loreto
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Loreto
#4 Romantic Hotel in Loreto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at The Islands of Loreto 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If you're seeking a place that defines luxury, look no further than the Villa Group Resort's newest shining-star resort in this amazing Baja village. The hotel epitomizes luxury within a small town while also offering complete privacy and every modern touch. The perfect place for everyone from honeymooners to large families.The resort features 4,447 acres of unspoiled beauty. Boasting three restaurants and 20,000 square feet of turtle-shaped pools, Villa Del Palmar is minutes away from Downtown Islands of Loreto, extraordinary beaches, and world class golf courses.Our restaurants are not limited to just extraordinary Mexican food; featuring restaurants that serve delicious steaks to fine Italian food that tempts every palate. You can even cook up dinner your own room in the private "gourmet chef's kitchen". Naturally, all the amenities that guests of the Villa Group Resorts have come to expect are here too. Send your wife to the spa to enjoy a signature Islands of Loreto-massage, or join your children on an outdoor sports-fishing adventure. Whatever you're in the mood for, it is here waiting for you. See, although Islands of Loreto was actually the first Spanish settlement on the Baja California Peninsula, it will be the last place you'll ever want to leave. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa At The Islands Of Loreto Hotel Loreto
Villa Del Palmar Beach Resort And Spa At The Islands Of Loreto

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