After reading multiple reviews and balancing my needs for location, price and amenities, I chose the Playa Grande as my hotel for my first trip to Cabo San Lucas. I can say I had no regrets.
My trip was Jan 7 to 13, 2013.
Here are my comments on the key elements of my trip
I found that the prices/deals found on various travel and vacation sites were all pretty consistent and as low as you can get vs going directly to Solmar. Nevertheless, I had questions, so I called Solmar directly to book. The agent was extremely helpful and pleasant. However, she quoted me the base rate of $180 per night for my dates and I had to point out to her that there was a deal on their web site for $153 if you stayed 4 days or longer (for the small oceanview suite I wanted). After "looking into it" she was able to confirm that this deal was in place. Net net you should know your stuff before you call.
I also bought the return airport shuttle for $36 total. Turned out to be a deal as I think one way to and from airport is about $50 for the 40 min trip. There was one hiccup on my part in that the email with shuttle instructions went into my spam so I had issues when I arrived at the airport. Totally my fault for not seeing it although the rep could have told me to expect an email so I could watch out for it.
Very well maintained hotel. You can walk around barefoot without worry. You constantly see non-intrusive workers manicuring the grounds and doing touch up painting. Positive sign that the hotel is doing well. Very good pools, heated a little so that swimming in winter is bearable.
Front desk is slow but helpful. They upgraded me to a master suite (love travelling off-season!). Best to use early check out options to avoid the 30-60 min lines if you check out within 90 mins of checkout time.
The gym is very good...one of the best I have seen at a hotel/resort. $10 a day or free if you buy the meal plan. The gym came in handy on my return travel day. My flight was at 730pm and check out was at 11 am. I paid the $10 for gym access and worked out. I also stuffed some changes of clothing in the locker for the day while I tanned and toured. Was able to shower and change before I left the hotel at 430.
Restaurants are pretty good. Buffet breakfast is very good, but if you get there after about 9 am you miss out on some premium items such as fresh strawberries and premium cold cuts. The other restaurants have good food and some nutritious choices although not all that many. The meal plan was on discount of $80 per day which included buffet breakfast, all meals, drinks, snacks, wireless internet ($10 a day otherwise) and gym access ($10 a day). Only worth it if you eat a LOT of food and/or drink a fair amount. If I did it again I might have gone a la carte.
Wireless internet is not very good.Only patchy intervals of connectivity. I wouldn't pay the $10 a day. Use the business center for a few mins for emergencies. I was also able to connect cellularly with a great connection to do a quick few things.
I was ready to be shuttled to the 'welcome desk' after I checked in. This is where they sell timeshares. Admittedly, I had a somewhat fabricated story ready that pointed to some financial challenges I was having to innocently deflect the sales pitch. I was given my free welcome drink card and sent respectfully on my way in about 30 seconds. I'm not the timeshare type anyway.
Rooms are outstanding. Clean, great construction and fixtures. Walls are solid so you can't hear neighbors although floor/ceiling soundproofing not good. If you are in the bathroom you can hear every detail of what's happening above you. Ick. Otherwise, can't say enough about accommodations.
Don't have much to compare it to as I didn't go to other hotel areas of Cabo, but I loved the location. The beach felt almost secluded with only a few hotels sharing this almost mile stretch. Also you are steps to the Marina district which in turn abuts the town so you have many options for browsing, shopping and dining. If you are all about clubbing/partying (I'm not so much), you might prefer other hotel areas.
This is less about the hotel but was a concern I had coming in as temps are usually in the 70s at this time. Unless you can't sit outside in temps under 100 degrees you'll be just fine. I found the weather quite refreshing. If the sun is out, it's quite hot by the pool even when 70-75 degrees. Sweater weather at night which is a pleasant escape from the heat. I found I preferred this to locales of constant, oppressive heat. I got a great tan and had sun on every day but one. Mind you when it's cloudy, it's cool!
So if you're looking to party maybe this isn't the best choice for you, but if you want a relaxing trip with still plenty of things to do, then I'd recommend this hotel for solid value for the money and nothing major to complain about.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
January 25, 2013
Dear Guests from Toronto, Canada:
Report response as inappropriate
Thank you for choosing Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa and for your comments about your recent stay.
We are glad that your experience with us was a pleasant one and hope that we can be of service to you again in the near future.
It was truly our pleasure to serve you. In order to maintain the high standards of service excellence for which we strive, it is very important to listen to every client.
As with any business like ours, the greatest advertising we can have is word of mouth from a satisfied costumer.
Again thank you for your kindness in taking the time to make some comments regarding your recent stay.
Wishing you a world of happiness,
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.