This is the most disappointed I have been when writing a review. We stayed at the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort October 21st - 26th, and I couldn't wait to head home. We chose this resort because my wife didn't want to duplicate resorts, since we came to Cabo in 2010 for my 40th (then we stayed at the Barcelo Palace in San Jose Del Cabo about 30 min away). I personally wanted to go back to the Barcelo, as we had an excellent experience and I didn't want to risk a good vacation to the unknown. We selected this resort because it's adult only, it's close to downtown, it has a 4 Diamond AAA award, and 2 sister resorts, Sunset Beach and Rose that offer full access. So we arrive and upon first impressions, the resort and surrounding Pueblo Bonito properties are stunning as you drive in. We get into the lobby and here comes the 1st bad sign. We check in at the main counter at 3:45pm, but the room isn't ready, so we figured we'd just complete the main part of the registration and head to a restaurant to grab a bite. Nope. We do the whole putting a card on file for incidentals (we paid for an all inclusive package in advance through Delta Vacations) and are then told that we need to proceed to the other side of the lobby to the "Welcome" desk to get our wristbands. Strange right? We're right here at the front desk, and you'll take my credit card, give me a room key, but not a wristband? Well, turns out this welcome desk is nothing more than a high pressure sales pitch to get you to sign up to listen to their presentation on their time share units. Are you kidding me; seriously? I had to get a little more verbally aggressive with Hector at the desk than I prefer to, in order to end the damn sales pitch and give us our bracelets so that we can go and eat.
So, now we figure we will have a calming late lunch and cocktail to pass the time until our room is ready. Well, lunch options are pool bar and grill, which means burgers, wraps, or quesadillas; you have the deli, which is actually a gift and sundries shop with pre-made sandwiches in a chiller sitting over in the far right corner, or Siempre, the ala carte restaurant by the pool. We chose Siempre, but it had 85% of the same lunch options as the pool grill, with the additions of 1 pasta dish, 4 salads, and tacos. I don't know about most of you, but that's the stuff I eat from fast food for lunch when I am in the rat race at home, not what I want when vacationing. Also, this is our 14th all inclusive vacation between Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, so we have a pretty good idea of what was reasonable to expect. So we both order a salad, and tacos. Now because it's almost 4pm, there are only 3 other tables seated, yet we didn't get our salads until 45 minutes after ordering, with the tacos coming an additional 20 minutes after that. I was so livid that my wife thought I was going to do or say something that was going to make the staff hate us for the rest of the visit. Now I cant speak for anyone else, but if I just spent almost $4,000 for air and land, I should be pretty pissed at this point. Food comes, average at best; we salt and peppered it to death.
We go the long route back to the lobby to see if the room is ready, and this is where I can say the resort is at its best. The grounds and facilities are beautiful and well kept; they do resonate luxury. We get our keys, go to the room, and it's just as nice as the rest of the resort; no complaints. Knowing that there are only 3 dining options we knew we would need reservations for 2 of the 3. Since we had a late lunch we didn't know what time we'd want to have dinner, so we agreed that we would just attend the "seafood buffet" which is standard for Monday nights. So around 9pm we walk down to the buffet area, which was still crowded and lively, only to find 7 food service flip top burners with little to no food left in them, and a poor selection that would have been disappointing even if they were full. We decided to walk over to the Japanese themed restaurant and see if they could seat us without a reservation since we saw that most tables were empty. They happily seated us, and the food was the best we had on the resort the entire 5 days. Their special house salad and the teppanyaki were excellently prepared, and had superior flavor. Day 1 comes to an end, and I am concerned.
Day 2 begins with a trip to the buffet breakfast at Siempre (only option on property). Split hot dogs on the buffet listed as sausage; need I say more? So I went with pancakes and hashbrowns and headed to the spa. Now the spa, simply put, expensive, but excellent massage therapist, and the newly renovated facilities are immaculate. Skipped lunch, and decided to order room service for dinner. Guess what, same menu as the grill: burgers, tacos, ect. Not a single non-sports bar type entree on the menu (and I am not talking about the late night menu). At this point we decide that we will take the shuttle up to Sunset Beach tomorrow and hope for better.
Wow was it better. The Bistro was amazing. The lunch menu is actually a menu, and has a variety of food that you would typically expect on an upscale resort. Service was great, food was great, view was great. Only problem, we had to leave our resort to enjoy this. Who wants to plan each day of their vacation around catching a shuttle at 15 after the hour or 45 after the hour to go and have a decent meal? Well at this point, I was all for it!
Day 3 we decide that maybe we could go to the Italian restaurant at the Rose sister resort, and have the type of experience that we had at the Sunset Beach resort. So I book a reservation for 7pm. I am then told that I will need to take the 5:45pm shuttle from Pacifica to Sunset Beach. Then take the 6pm shuttle from Sunset Beach to the Rose. I don't have to leave 1 hour and 15 minutes before a dinner when I am at home in Atlanta, why in the hell do they think I want to do that on vacation? Take a bus to another bus to go and have dinner? Cancelled reservation. Burgers in the room, AGAIN!
Day 4. Another excellent lunch and dinner at Sunset Beach, otherwise nothing of joy. There is nothing to do at this resort other than lay by the pool, walk on the beach, or sit in your room and watch tv. The so called sports bar doesn't open until late afternoon. It should really be called a lobby bar, as it's connected to the lobby, and there is nothing sports bar about it, unless the 2 tv's is the deciding factor. It serves no food; not wings, burgers, chicken strips, popcorn, peanuts, nothing that is available in any resort sports bar that I've been in. They didn't even go through the trouble of putting up a jersey or sports poster on the wall.
Day 5. Glad it's almost time to go home. That's sad. Bright spot, we had dinner at LaFrida. We paid for all inclusive of course, but you pay $20 per person to have dinner here. It was worth it. The food was as good as any meal that I have had in San Francisco, Las Vegas, or New York. Our end bill was $65 because I also had to pay for Kettle One martini's since that brand is too high dollar to fall under the all inclusive, lol.
In a nutshell, I really wish I had just gone back to Barcelo. I feel like I got punk'd out of my hard earned money on this one for sure.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear David Thompson,
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We would like to thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review and for the pictures you provided us. We are truly sorry to hear you didn't have the experience that you were expecting, regarding the food and restaurants, we have 6 restaurants, with different dishes and styles, and as a guest of Pacifica, you have the privilege to use all other restaurants at our 3 sister hotels, well known in the area and added to our list of variety. We understand you didn't want to wait for an hour and fifteen minutes to get to our sister hotel but this is a complimentary service that we offer for the benefit of our guests, if you prefer a more flexible ride to Rosé we can happily get you a secure taxi.
We apologize for any inconvenience that we may have caused you, and really hope you reconsider visiting us again in the future.
Mario Juarez, General Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.