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“Mixed feelings” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Villa La Estancia

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Villa La Estancia
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Camino Viejo A San Jose Km 0.5, Cabo San Lucas 23410, Mexico (Formerly Villa La Estancia)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 65 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Seattle, Washington
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

We stayed at Villa La Estancia for six days starting with December 9. We got the package through Costco Travel and for an ocean view apartment with one bdr/living room/kitchen/washer & dryer (unit 3305) we paid $3,031.59 which included the airline, transportation from/to the airport, and $150 credit to be used at the restaurant. The units are very nice, the view of the ocean is great and the grounds are kept immaculate BUT… I cannot rate the building only without taking in consideration other factors surrounding my stay there.
When we got out of the plane we had to stay in a line and have our passports looked at, but while in line we had to fill in another form besides the two forms they gave us already on the plane. So, it wasn’t very easy, for with one hand you had to move your luggage and with the other hand we had to fill in this new form. Why wasn't everything handled on the plane? After that we picked up our checked in luggage and then went through a gate where we had to press a button and a light would come up. If the light is green you go through toward the exit, but if the light is read then you have to stop and have your luggage manually checked by customs. Our light was green so we were lucky not to be stopped by customs.
Outside there was nobody with a “Costco” sign as we were told by Costco Travel but somehow we figured out the company which had to drive us to the hotel. Even so it took about 40 minutes until we left, for the driver had to wait for other people besides us to be picked up. This process was not very smooth.
The check-in was pretty smooth and nobody ever bothered us in the whole time we spent there with time share sales as other people complained in previous reviews.
I spoke to people who got very sick from the running water in Los Cabos. I’ve heard that La Estancia has its own filtering system, but the advice on Trip Advisor and from some of my friends who traveled to Los Cabos before me was “Do not drink or brush your teeth with running water and when you take a shower do not let water enter your mouth. Use only bottled water.” Well, I traveled a lot through the US and Canada and never had to worry about such things. And believe me, it is inconvenient to brush your teeth with bottled water!
Then the vendors on the beach are amusing the first day but they become a nuisance afterwards, for we were there to relax and on vacation and not to constantly hear “Amigos, amigos do you want to buy this or that” and having to again and again answer, “No, thank you.” At least there is a portion of the beach reserved just for the hotel and the vendors usually don’t cross the line (though there were a few exceptions when vendors ventured in the guests area) but they are allowed to shout at you from a few feet away and invade your privacy at any time with total disrespect for us as guests. I don't mind the vendors having small beach front fixed points where they can sell their stuff but to shout at you nonstop seems to me abusive. I could see that about 80% of the guests at the resort were sitting inside the hotel grounds around the swimming pools, and because of the vendors roaming the around they would avoid the beach in front of the hotel. But what’s then the purpose of paying a hefty price for a “hotel on the beach” if because of the “beach vendors” one cannot lay on the beach? Anyway, one day I got a pair of sunglasses from one of the vendors and I paid $7 for it. I wore it about a day and a half and some red irritations suddenly showed up on my face and around my eyes exactly where the frame touched my skin. I realized that the frame had some dangerous chemicals in it so I stopped wearing them and I even left them behind at the hotel. A day later my irritations disappeared. These beach vendors are selling all kind of stuff and though my bad experience was with sunglasses I have a feeling that the other items they sell are of the same poor quality and made with cheap dangerous chemicals. Those with kids should stay away from anything these vendors sell.
In town it’s nice but again there is a total lack of respect for tourists and everybody is shouting at you offering you trips, time shares and who knows what else.
We used once a local bus from downtown to Walmart and... was surprised to say the least. Buses are white and look like our school buses just smaller and much older. It was a very uncomfortable ride.
I want to mention one more thing. I spoke to the owners of a quarter of one of the condos and they pay (for a quarter of a year) $8,000 per year for maintenance. That means that all four owners pay a total of $32,000 per year maintenance fee just for one unit. I mentioned this detail and also the price we paid for our travel package in order to make a point. As a foreign guest in Mexico, one is expected to give tips at every corner and to everybody. Yes, Mexicans are very poorly paid. A cleaning woman makes about $4 per day. Waiters, the front desk people at the hotel, the taxi drivers make an average of $7 per day. The per night fees they charge the Americans and Canadians are relatively similar with what hotels charge in North America, so my question is why Mexican workers are paid 10 to 20 times less than their counterparts in the US or Canada? There is a huge rip-off which unfortunately affects not only their local workers but the tourists as well, for tourists are expected to pick up the tab and pay these poor people’s salaries through constant tipping.
We bought some food from Walmart (trip by cab $7). There is also a Costco store but did not get a chance to visit it. Walmart has a good food section. The pastries are inexpensive and very good but watch out for other food items. We bought some chicken and when we got back to the hotel we realized that one of the packages was completely rotten and had to throw it away. Also Walmart in Mexico looks more like one of our dollar stores here, but hey, Walmart and Costco may be your best option in getting safe food.
There was another small inconvenience related to the La Casona restaurant which is on the resort’s premises. They told me that a bottle of Pelegrino is 50 pesos, but after I came to the room I realized that they charged 85 pesos per bottle ($1 US= 12 pesos), went back to the restaurant, spoke to another guy asked again how much is a bottle, this time he said 45 pesos, showed him the receipt with the mistake but they refused to adjust it, so I had to go to the front desk and eventually they took care of it. Our package included a “pillow menu” and a “beach bag” but the hotel did not provide them to us. We had to ask a couple of days later for the beach bag and when we asked about the pillow the front desk guy wasn’t sure what that was and eventually we gave up on it.
Well, if you’re comfortable with the inconveniences of vacationing in a 3rd world country, then go ahead and book your trip. Otherwise think of Hawaii or Florida.
TIP: DO NOT buy a time share in Mexico. Buy it in Hawaii or Florida and then trade your points for a resort on Mexico if one year you want to go there. Mexico is very volatile because of the drug cartels and many people who bought in Acapulco for example some years ago now count their losses for nobody wants to go to Acapulco anymore.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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749 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (184)
Date | Rating
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  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
us
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

We came to this hotel and had an all inclusive stay in a two bedroom villa and my other family members got there own villa. The villas are beautiful. It had everything including a washer and dryer. Everyday the maids would come clean and leave a special dish to try and would stock us up on bottle water. I liked this hotel because it was not over crowded with people around the pool. Our all inclusive also included the other two hotels next door. That was nice to have a change of scenery. All water sports were included such as paddle board and kayaks, which was a fun adventure to lovers beach. The main restaurant, which I don't remember the name, but its a 5 star restaurant. I wish I would of ate there every night instead of experimenting with the neighbor restaurants, but they were not bad. In the mornings they had a huge breakfast buffet which included everything or you can special order something. If you choose to not have all inclusive there is a Walmart less then 5 mins. away. You can stock your refrigerator. Your villas also includes a BBQ on your terrace. My young nephews also enjoyed there stay frequenting the neighbor hotel because they had a water slide but FULL of people and no where to lay down. In front of these three hotels is a mini outdoor plaza to accommodate the hotel guest which include a mini mart, arcade, smoothie and panini cafe, etc. they also have a beautiful indoor spa next door. I used the outdoor massage facility on the property facing the beach. The beach is also relaxing and very beautiful which include all chairs and umbrellas and the vendors can not bother you. I recommend this place for couples that need quiet relaxation and or families that need all the accommodations of home. Not a place if your looking for a night club on the property. I enjoyed the place and hope to return.

Room Tip: First floor villas are always nice but not a must. It's nice to go from the pool, beach, or rest...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

Had never experienced Cabo before, but the property and grounds were world class. I purchased the package "Luxury Romantic" for our Anniversary. Phenominal. La Casona is the property's flagship restaurant for good reason. Chef Ricardo is by far one of the best culinarians I've had the pleasure of meeting. With the first bite, you knew that everything would be the best. Fine beef from the Midwest and perfectly prepared. If we go back to Cabo, this will be the place.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
CA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

My best trip to Cabo yet. Stayed here with 5 friends in August 2012. The resort is gorgeous. Immaculate, excellent service and great food. The breakfast buffet was delicious and rotated items daily. There were plenty of Mexican specialties like chorizo in addition to the standard fare of bagels & pancakes. The staff was so attentive at setting up our chairs/towels by the pool and remembering our drinks. The room was huge and well stocked. Plenty of towels and bottles of water. We had an ocean view room with a patio that was magnificent. 2 ceiling fans, plenty of outdoor seating and a barbeque. Look no further when heading to Cabo. The Estancia can't be beat!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

I have a 10/31 fiscal year end and this year it was especially brutal. So, I decided for a post-10/31 R&R trip and booked a few days at Villa La Estancia. I didn't get there until evening, so I didn't get a chance to see what it really looked like. The room they gave me was at the back end of the property -- near the lobby -- and didn't appear to have that great of views. I had trouble with my entrance door -- it wouldn't accept the magnetic key even after changing it several times, so they relocated me to a different room. Had I stayed in the 1st room, I think my experience would've been a bit different. But the new room was toward the front of the hotel with amazing ocean views. I was in just a hotel room type accommodation -- not a full villa with kitchen, etc. -- but I just loved it. From the moment you get to your unit -- with the iron entry gate and vestibule -- to the jacuzzi tub and large balcony, it just makes you feel so good! As many others have said, it's very quiet here, so if your idea of a fun time in Mexico is Tequila shots at the pool bar, then this isn't the place. It's actually not really a hotel, but a private villa residence. However, many of the owners rent out their units when they are not there and the property is managed like a hotel -- concierge, several restaurants, daily maid service, etc. The larger villas looked amazing -- with really huge balconies -- most with wet bars and barbeques -- so you could really settle in and feel at home here vs. being just at a hotel. All of the people I encountered who work there were very nice and helpful. Several people have mentioned that the food there was expensive -- I guess relative to what you usually pay in Mexico, maybe. But as compared to what I pay in the U.S., I thought it was reasonable. And normally when I'm in Mexico, even when I'm at a nice restaurant, the food is generally very sub-standard -- shoe leather meat, etc. -- but everything I had a VLE was great. And to top off everything, their spa was fabulous! Very big, spacious facility with several rain/massage showers, hot/warm/cool jacuzzi pools, etc. and they must've had about 20-30 treatment rooms -- so you'd probably never have a problem getting an appointment. At any rate, I loved this place and would definitely go back. In fact, I'm thinking of making it an annual post 10/31 plan!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Covina, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

I stayed there a few years ago and was remiss in not writing a review earlier. We stayed in a two bedroom villa and it was bigger than my house! I loved it. The bedrooms were separated by the living space (full kitchen, living room, restroom). One bedroom, a.k.a. Junior suite had two twin or full size beds, kitchenette, and bathroom. The Master Suite had a king size bed, sitting area, master bath with jacuzzi tub. In case you failed to notice our suite had three bathrooms, It was awesome! The decor was fabulous, the view from my balcony was tremendous, the whole place was beautiful.....and QUIET! It's not the party place I enjoyed in my twenties, and I was fine with it.

When we checked in we immediately went to the Walmart and Sam's Club a short taxi ride away and shopped for our groceries (breakfast\lunch foods and snacks) for the week, I think we went out to dinner most nights. We also purchased a small styrofoam ice chest to load our beer/drinks in to take pool/beach side.

We did have some issues with the freezer not being cold enough (melted ice-cream) and some light's going out. We called the front desk and maintenance came to fix the lighting issue immediately, they did what they could with the fridge...but short of replacing it there wasn't much to be done.

I also want to mention I really felt safe there, as you entered and exited the hotel grounds you had to check in and state what room you were in with the guard at the gate. So you know there weren't people there that shouldn't be there.

The Estancia is between two sister resorts, Villa Del Palmar and Villa los Arcos, staying at Palmar allows you to enjoy the grounds and facilities at the other two resorts, but Estancia is exclusive to those that are staying there. The guests of the other two resorts can not enter Estancia property.

Overall service, cleanliness, staff friendliness etc. was great.

I would stay there again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012 via mobile

Spent a week at the Estancia and had a wonderful time from start to finish. I would recommend this hotel to anyone, staff are wonderful and pleasant from the time we got there to the time we left. My mum got sick from sun stroke and they did an excellent job in treating her at the Dr office. My only advise I could say is not to go full out on the all inclusive! We went into Cabo for the first 4 nights and then did the all inclusive for the last 3, best way to go I think. Get to see a little more Mexican culture that way! Pool side was also lovely, waiters to cater all your needs!! I would like to go back and enjoy this place.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa La Estancia

Address: Camino Viejo A San Jose Km 0.5, Cabo San Lucas 23410, Mexico (Formerly Villa La Estancia)
Location: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Sur > Los Cabos > Cabo San Lucas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#4 Luxury Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#6 Romantic Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Villa La Estancia 4.5*
Number of rooms: 150
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Villa La Estancia Hotel Cabo San Lucas
Hotel La Estancia
La Estancia Hotel
Villa La Estancia Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos

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