My wife and I spent a week at Esperanza for a week in early 2014 with two other couples. I wrote a previous review immediately after our stay, but pulled the review after a month based on a major billing issue that I will discuss later in this review.
We stayed in a three room villa with two patios with an ocean view. Our villa was located closer to the entry road and was closer to the upper pools than the lower. The master suite was large and had a large bathroom with a bathtub; the second room had a king-size bed and private bath (MORE ON THIS LATER) while the third bedroom had a bathroom right outside the doorway. The living room was very large and the entire wall to the patio was a sliding door which opened the entire living room to the ocean breeze, and it was fantastic. The downside was that if the big door was open and any of the other rooms had their windows open then the bedroom doors would slam HARD if they weren't propped open. The kitchen had everything that was needed to make basic meals, include plenty of plates and utensils along with pots and pans for cooking. The fridge was full-size and the pantry was large but it was shared with the safe and water heater so it was more of a small utility room. Overall the villa was fantastic except for ONE BIG ISSUE… in the second bedroom there was no door on the bathroom, nor was there any kind of door/curtain on the shower. The door to the bathroom is right inside the door to the bedroom, while the bedroom door is right at the end of the kitchen. The dual sinks are on the wall across from the shower and the mirror above the sink spans almost the entire wall opposite the shower. So, if the door to the bedroom is open someone standing anywhere in the kitchen can see into the bathroom and see a perfect reflection of the entire shower in the bathroom mirror. It’s possible to huddle in a small corner of the shower and not be seen from the kitchen, but it’s not necessarily easy to hear when someone opens the bedroom door, so whoever is standing in the kitchen gets a FULL view of what’s going down in the shower. Granted, I don’t know the layouts of all the 3 room villas, but I’m guessing ours was not the only one with the same layout.
The service was excellent, far beyond most anything I've experienced at a resort anywhere. Whether it was while dining, swimming, lounging on the beach, late at night, or waiting for taxis we were always treated with the utmost respect. Our group elected to have the resort perform the pre-arrival shopping for us and we received everything we asked for. The prices were a little high, but we knew beforehand the price of each item so there were no surprises there. There was an issue with termites on some of the window sills, which when we contacted the desk sent someone over right away who didn't exactly fix the problem but just cleaned it up (we didn't expect them to remove the termites while we were there.) The table service during dinner was fantastic, although sometimes we had to wave down the waiter while in the lounge where the staff had a more relaxed demeanor compared to the other restaurants. Poolside service was always there asking for drink or food orders, and during the day there was usually a person available to get extra towels if needed. We were picked up from the airport in a very nice black GMC Suburban and presented with cool towels and water once in the vehicle, which was nice considering it was hot and we were tired from the flights. The driver was very nice and answered all our questions on the 30 minute drive to the resort. In order to get to town we would go to the front entrance and the carhops would call a taxi and negotiate the price for us so we didn’t have to haggle with the taxi drivers.
The grounds were kept immaculate and we never saw trash anywhere. Sometimes there might be empty drink glasses around the pools, but this usually happened more during the evening when there were less staff around. There are at least 4 pools which are all open late, the grass was a very lush green, and there were plenty of wildlife running including some very large lizards.
The restaurants seemed to be hit or miss. Sometimes the food was good if it was an item on the regular menu, but items on the special menus didn’t hit the mark. Starting off with the best, Cocina Del Mar was a fantastic meal. We had a table far out on the point with the waves crashing against the wall right below our table. Every dish I tasted was amazing, probably some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. There was a desert that I’m not sure is a regular dish, but it was made out of corn and it had the most amazing taste that I find it hard to describe. The portion sizes were small, but worth every penny. The Lounge Bar was OK, the drinks were good, but the lunch menu was VERY overpriced and the dinner items (expect the ribs) were so-so, and as I mentioned earlier the staff was not very attentive. La Palapa had great regular menu items, but the sushi-night menu was horrible. The flavor combinations were all over the place, there was only a limited selection, and the rice had a sour vinegar taste like they didn't use a fan and mix the rice property. This was probably some of the worst food on our trip, and I spent a day in the town of Cabo eating bar food which I think was better than the sushi. However, I am a sushi snob and the rest of my group thought the sushi was average. The Mexicanisimo night was very good and had a HUGE selection of food, I’d guess around 40 different dishes all together. The fireworks were fun, but the little market that locals set up had overpriced items that you can buy in town for ¼ the price. Even the hand-rolled cigars weren’t that good. We didn’t eat at Las Estrellas or Le Terraza Americana (which was only open for lunch). One thing I should note is that the cost of everything is high… a 12 oz can of Corona will cost you $8 USD, a margarita $15 USD (not including tips). Everything at the resort was overpriced to the point where it was a joke.
Besides the bathroom geometry and high prices mentioned earlier everything about the trip was great except for the bill practices/procedures. When our group arrived at the resort the first day each person gave them a credit card number to set up individual accounts per their normal procedures for guests so that we could all purchase anything without having to put it on anyone else’s card. Although it sounds like a good idea to make purchasing easier, when it put into practice it was a total mess. For dinners they wouldn’t split the charges, so it was put onto a single bill which was put on a single (seemingly) random account in the group. This happened at every meal, every time we put in an order, any time we paid for anything even when we told them a specific person’s name to assign to a meal… since they didn't take cash (from what we were told) except at the gift shop. At the end of the week we had to get a list of everything that was purchased and try to break that down for each couple. Well, that process took 2 hours, at which point each couple added up their total and paid with a card. The total for my wife and I including her $500 massage, was roughly $2500 not including the cost of the villa. It was a bit shocking to see that our meals and drinks cost almost $2000 but I like beer and my wife likes margaritas and we were there to have fun. FOUR WEEKS later I’m at home reviewing my bank account and realize charged me $2500 TWICE. I’m not a rich person, so having an extra $2500 taken from my main bank account was serious and it caused almost 20 overdraft charges. I called up the bank immediately and told them the situation and they credited me back that charge and removed all the overdraft charges (say what you want about BOA, they did this immediately and without asking any questions). I contacted the resort desk and was told that they could not reverse the second charge and that only the corporate headquarters could do that. I contacted Auberge resort headquarters and spoke to a woman who was surprised that they could not issue me a refund then took my information and contacted the resort and they finally refunded the money 8 days later. Of course BOA took their money back as well after that, but the entire process left me with a very bad final impression of the resort.
All things considered our vacation was great and the time we spent at the resort was very memorable. The prices were super-high (expect roughly $150 per day per person), but you get what you pay for and in this case you get great views, a fantastic location and superb service. The way they handle paying for meals/drinks at the resort and their billing procedures need to be reviewed and revised to make sure what happened to me doesn't happen to anyone else. Would I stay there again? Yes, if I had plenty of extra money, purchased my own beer to help offset the overpriced margaritas, cooked more meals in the villa, and used a credit card instead of a debit card.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Esperanza is located within the private enclave of Punta Ballena in Cabo San Lucas Mexico. Overlooking the Sea of Cortez, this highly acclaimed luxury resort offers an incomparable natural setting on 17 lushly landscaped acres. Fifty-seven guest casitas and suites cascade down a gentle hill affording spectacular ocean views from every room. Resort amenities include an oceanfront infinity-edge pool, private beach, award-wining spa, yoga studio, fitness center, art gallery and world-class dining—all with spectacular 180-degree vistas of sky and sea, for a perfectly private resort escape. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Esperanza - An Auberge Hotel Cabo San Lucas
- Hotel Esperanza An Auberge
- Esperanza Resort
- Esperanza - An Auberge Resort Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos