Thoughts after a recent 5 day/4 night stay at Esperanza:
OVERALL - Parts of our experience at Esperanza were fantastic, and it was just a few missteps away from being truly magical. The staff is extremely polite, attentive, and well-meaning, but there were some minor issues with execution (described below) - not enough to raise a complaint with management, but just little things that you notice. Our previous stay in Cabo was at Las Ventanas, and we thought we'd try to mix things up. It's too close to call a winner between the two resorts - Esperanza won out on activities and the spa, while the service at Las Ventanas ruled the day. You really can't go wrong with either place.
The beach area is small (and like most of Cabo, unswimmable), but extremely scenic, with a view of Lands End from one end of the beach. We were there during whale watching season, and saw TONS of whales just while sitting at breakfast and by the pool (Esperanza even provides you with a pair of binoculars in your room to use if you want a close-up view). Pretty neat experience.
BOOKING A ROOM - We used a Visa Signature Card to book the room (through the Visa Signature web site), which provided the following perks: automatic upgrade (if available), $25 food/beverage credit, complimentary continental breakfast each morning, and 3PM check out (if available). The room rate is the same, regardless of whether you use the Visa Signature offer or just book directly through the hotel. Upon arrival (and without us even asking), we were upgraded to an Oceanview Terrace Spa Casita (from our original booked Oceanview Garden Spa Casita) - the Terrace Spa Casita is $200 more per night, so over our 4 nights, this was worth $800. As in a prior trip (to Amangiri), Esperanza dealt with the complimentary continental breakfast by simply not charging us at all for breakfast (which we took at Cocina del Mar, the primary restaurant), regardless of what we ordered. This included when we ordered a fruit plate or pastries in addition to entrees, and applied to all beverages (coffee, juice, soft drinks). This probably tallied to about $70 per day (for two people), so add another $280 in benefits. And as mentioned before, there's a $25 food/beverage credit which was automatically applied to our bill. All-in-all, the value of using the Visa Signature Card was worth more than $1,000 for us. If you don't already have a card, and are planning on traveling to Esperanza, it's worth considering applying for one.
ARRIVAL - We requested transportation from the San Jose Del Cabo airport (at a cost of $135 each way) and were met just outside of the terminal by an Esperanza representative who whisked us to our driver and a Cadillac Escalade. Extremely pleasant driver who got us to the resort quickly and safely, where we were greeted by Narciso, our concierge (it seems that each room is assigned a specific concierge). We were provided with a welcome margarita, given a brief tour of the resort, and then taken to our room. With a quick signature there, we were checked in (and thus never had to wait in line at a registration desk). Very nicely done.
RESORT DESIGN - There are two sides to Esperanza - one for residences and the other for the hotel. We stayed on the hotel side, which is smaller. The pool at the hotel side is for adults only. You can, of course, walk freely and visit restaurants on either side. The architectural design is appealing, although not particularly unique.
ROOMS - The Terrace rooms are on the second floor (Garden rooms are on the ground floor, and Palapa rooms are on the top floor). The "Oceanview" feature of the room is that it was at a diagonal to the beachline, so we could indeed see that there was water out there, but the beach itself was obscured by large palm trees. The room was large and nicely appointed with a modern and yet still Mexican decor. A nice touch was the large comfortable day bed, which was an excellent place to read a book or peruse the iPad. There is no door between the bedroom and the bathroom (the toilet, however, is in its own little room with a door) - so if you wander to the sink to brush your teeth and someone's showering, you will likely see the Full Monty. The sink area (with the two sinks on opposite sides of the room) flows to the shower/tub area (2 open showers side-by-side, across from a large tub), which then flows to the window - right outside of that window is the hot tub. The outside deck was large and furnished with a couch, two chairs, a table, and the hot tub. A nice perk is that bottled water and Coca-Colas are complimentary in the room! The concrete floors mean that you can distinctly hear when chairs on the floor above you are moved (particularly at 5:30AM, which is when our upstairs neighbor was preparing for his fishing trip one morning) - maybe the resort could invest in putting little felt pads on the bottom of each chair leg to help cut down on the noise.
SERVICE - Guests are assigned a concierge, and Narciso was top notch. Every time we passed by the lobby area, he would make a point of walking out, giving us a warm greeting and asking if there was anything that we needed. The pool staff is extremely friendly, but not particularly proactive - anything you request will be provided, but they don't necessarily anticipate your needs (no anticipatory adjustments of your umbrella to keep you in the shade), nor are they sprinting to deliver service. Las Ventanas was definitely superior in that respect. Restaurant service depended on the specific restaurant - the team at Cocina del Mar was top notch, while the staff at La Palapa, while extremely friendly, sometimes lagged in time response, with long waits between courses or to receive the bill. Housekeeping was excellent, and completely unobtrusive - the only hiccups were one occasion when we called for evening turndown service and no one ever came, and the fact that they never replaced the incense stick that is provided in the bathroom. Not a big deal in either case, but that's the type of thing that kept the stay from being perfect.
POOL - Esperanza has a beautiful infinity pool overlooking the ocean. If, like my wife and I, you prefer a quiet pool experience, Esperanza is the place to be. With children not allowed, and no music playing, all you hear is a gentle poolside waterfall. Ahhhhhhh. Like most high-end resorts, Esperanza brings around complimentary treats during the day, such as smoothies and fruit. Where Esperanza sets itself apart is the massage therapist who comes around the pool offering complimentary massages while you bask in the sun (your choice of head/shoulder or foot massage!)...this was a VERY nice perk.
ACTIVITIES: Esperanza has a great set of complimentary activities for active vacationers, which are above and beyond what we've found at other high-end resorts. Group exercise class options include a beach boot camp (which I attended twice), TRX classes (strength training through suspension straps), yoga, spin classes (which are outdoors!) and tennis lessons. The beach boot camp I attended was indeed out on the beach, and you can ratchet your effort based on your fitness level. For example, one class that I attended included a woman who was probably only an occasional exerciser, a pretty fit young lady, a big guy who probably lifts weights more often than he does cardio, me (I go to a circuit strength/cardio class 3 times a week), and two current NFL players, one of whom is a Pro Bowl quarterback. Those are obviously different levels of fitness, but no one passed out, and I think that the NFL players still got in a pretty good workout. My wife is an advanced yoga practitioner, and she thought that two of the yoga classes she took were the best she's ever had at a resort, but that the third was taught by a truly bad instructor who was verbally abusive to the class and whose methods bordered on unsafe. Multiple people walked out of that class, so she must not have been the only one who felt that way. We also took a 1-hour vegetarian cooking class, which was actually more like an exhibition given by the Executive Sous Chef. We didn't have to chop or cook anything ourselves, but rather had an opportunity to watch and chat with the chef as he made some delicious basic Mexican fare - guacamole, tortilla soup, and a quinoa salad. Very tasty, and a fun place to meet people (the class is limited to just 5 people).
FOOD - The breakfast at Cocina del Mar was spectacular - I tried a different entree each day, and all of them were truly excellent. We tended to skip lunch, since we had a late breakfast each day. Dinner at Cocina del Mar was fine for high-end cuisine, but not particularly memorable. Dinners at La Palapa were simpler fare - nothing to write home about, with some hits and misses, and felt overpriced. Both restaurants are perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean, providing fantastic scenery. As noted in many other reviews, prices for food are on the high side.
SPA - The spa features a full slate of available services, and there is complimentary use of the hot tub, steam room and, in a departure from cold plunges, an outdoor cold shower. Strangely, there is no sauna. There are separate areas for men and women, which are clothing optional, and a co-ed sitting area that requires clothing. My wife and I each had a 60 minute massage on the first day, and both of us came out saying it was the best massage we had ever experienced (and we're fairly frequent massage-goers). I went back for a second massage later on during the stay (with a different massage therapist), and while it was fine, it wasn't the nirvana of the first one.
FITNESS ROOM - Use of the fitness room is complimentary. The fitness rooms are excellent - there is a very large cardio room with treadmills, ellipticals, a Stairmill, a recumbent bike, an upright bike, and even a Power Plate machine. Each of the cardio machines had an individualized television. The weight room had a nice collection of weight machines and free-weights. Bottles of water, towels, and headphones are freely offered, there are water coolers dispensing citrus and cucumber-infused water, and they have a tray of orange wedges. No cool wet towels were to be seen - but truthfully, it wasn't that hot while we were there, so they weren't missed.
WI-FI - Wi-Fi is free at Esperanza! There are separate networks throughout the resort (i.e. one in your room, one at the pool, one at the gym, etc.), so you need to request each network the first time you're in a new area, but there's no password, so it's relatively painless. There is no limit to the number of devices you can use (we had 2 iPhones and 2 iPads going).
WEATHER - we stayed in mid-February, during which highs were in the mid 70s, and lows in the high 40s. Word to the wise - the restaurants only offer outdoor seating, so bring a light jacket or sweater for evening dining, lest you wind up having to buy an expensive "Esperanza-logo" sweatshirt. There are heat lamps, and the staff will bring you nice pancho/blankets to drape over your shoulders, but there is almost always a light breeze, so it can get chilly.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.