Hacienda del Mar is on a large planned community of hotels, golf courses and residences called Cabo del Sol. Hacienda del Mar is adjacent to and shares facilities with a Sheraton hotel. There are 2 golf courses on the property, a not to be missed Jack Nicklaus design ocean course, and a Weiskopf design desert course.
Unfortunately, the rental car agent sent us to the wrong development, but eventually we found the place. The entrance to Cabo del Sol from the main highway #1 is accessed via a tough to see exit up and left to a bridge across the highway.
Check in was smooth, although our room request for a high room in a newer building with washer and dryer and view could not be accomodated. However, our room, though a few steps down and on the ground floor, was very convenient to the pools and restaurants. On check in, we declined the free breakfast with the time share sales crew, unloaded our luggage and went to dinner at Girasoles Restaurant, on the fourth floor of the building adjacent to ours. The service and food was excellent, and lots of families celebrating Xmas eve together. Decor and cuisine was traditional Mexican.
Our suite was very spacious and accomodating. In the entry hall was a large double closet with safe. Living room had a large sofa with firm cushion which was about the size of a full size bed, 2 chairs and a coffee table, and dining table with 4 chairs. The living room and bedroom each opened to a patio with 2 padded loungers, and 2 chairs and a small table, but no dining table outside. We looked into a garden, but above the plantings we could see the Sea of Cortez. The living room also had a chest holding a flat screen TV.
The bedroom had 2 very comfy queen beds, a night table in between, chest of drawers and flat screen TV. In one corner of the bedrooom near the bathroom was a jacuzzi tub, and there were also 2 closets in the bedroom.
Bathroom had a single sink, shower, and was well supplied with shampoos, soaps, towels, and hair dryer, with a separate room with toilet.
The kitchen had a small, but full size refrigerator, adequate dishes and flatware for a small family, stainless steel sink, microwave, coffee maker, toaster oven, toaster, blender, and 2 top stove. It was perfect for breakfasts, snacks and light meals.
The decor of Hacienda del Mar matched its name--Mexican hacienda style, unlike the fortress architecture of other, larger resorts we've visited. The beach was long and wide, but because of steep drop off and currents, not recommended for swimming.
There are ample cushioned lounges at the beach and pools, but everyone ignores the signs prohibiting saving of chairs. All the chairs were staked out early every morning. The guests seemed to enjoy most of the pool activities, especially water aerobics class every morning at 10, which grew each day we were there.
I cannot be more complimentary about the friendliness of the staff at Hacienda del Mar. They are obviously chosen and trained to emphasize treating resort guests as just that--guests. Virtually every staff member greeted each guest with a smile, and did whatever he or she could to accomodate, and management should be proud of how well the staff represents the resort.
We did not use the fitness center or health spa, but they appeared to be clean and well equipped.
On site internet services was reasonably reliable, and priced in accordance with market for hotels these days--about $13.00 per day.
The resort is well located at KM 10 on the highway, so it is a short drive to both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo--10 km one way and 20 km the other. The nearest full size supermarket is a WalMart just before reaching
Restaurant choices on site were good, and with only a couple of exceptions, the food was outstanding, and priced what one would expect at a resort. Girasoles is the Mexican restaurant, where we had our first dinner and our last breakfast. The breakfast is a great bargain--US$16.50 per person, all you can eat from the breakfast a la carte menu, not buffet style. Dinner entrees were in the $15-$25 range, and I had a perfectly prepared grilled yellowtail filet for our first dinner.
Pitahaya is the upscale Pacific Rim restaurant, very elegant with live music, and an unusual menu. Everything we had was outstanding.
Tomatoes is the restaurant closest to the Sheraton which shares the property with the timeshare, and is primarily buffet style. We had the buffet breakfast there for $25 per person. The food and service were fine, but nothing to recommend it instead of Girasole, except some more selections on the buffet. We also had dinner here one night, and there is a different buffet theme each night.
Our only disappointing meals on site were tasteless hamburgers at Tomatoes and served by the pool, and at the DeCortez Steak House. After a perfect vodka gimlet and foie gras appetizer, I was very disappointed with my 14 oz rib eye steak and truffle oil mashed potatoes. The price was almost comparable to Capital Grille or Ruth's Chris ($566 pesos--about $43), and it was a thin cut, gristly and tough. I've had better steaks at Applebees. To top it off, our carafe of decaf was bitter and undrinkable. The server who brought the decaf expressed appropriate regret, as did the hostess when I honestly answered here question as to how we like everything. She did offer to have us back another night, but since we were leaving the next morning, it was of no use to us.
If you play golf, Hacienda del Mar is a great choice. The Ocean course is not to be missed, but expensive--twilight rate is $195, including cart, use of range, water in carts, and taco snack at the turn. The staff is accomodating, and conditions great. Pace of play was surprisingly good. My first round, the twosome I was paired with did not show, and I zipped around the first 10 holes until I caught a husband and wife twosome, and still finished in about 4 hours. My second round was an uncharacteristically rainy day in Cabo, and our twosome was released during a gap in play a few minutes before 1. Another twosome caught us and joined us for a few holes, before the rain chased them. We finished this round in 3:50.
All in all, I think Hacienda del Mar Cabo San Lucas is my new favorite RCI resort. It's great for families and couples; if you are looking for a bar scene, clubs or nightlife, this may not be the place for you. However, if you like to relax and feel at home in a beautiful location, surrounded by beautiful scenery on your vacation, this might be your happy place.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.