I've been to Cabo a few times before - usually away from the city, so this time we decided to stay somewhere that was an easy walk so we didn't have to rent a car. After much research, I decided on Casa Dorada.
I booked directly with the resort and got what I felt was a great deal for 5 nights for $1330, On their website you can purchase "enhancements" so I included breakfast ($144) and internet ($28.) We also set up a private transfer from the airport to the hotel via VIP Transportation for $90 (each way.) I've been on those shared transfers before and it's taken over an hour to get to my hotel and I didn't want to deal with that again - especially if we were only there for 5 nights! To us, it was worth the extra money. Total for everything for 5 nights, including taxes, was $1900.
Check in was very quick and we were in our room in under 10 minutes.
Our home for the next 6 days was room 526 - a 1 BR Ocean View suite that faced SW and we had a great view of the Arco. There are 3 (or 4?) buildings - ours was a little trek from check in, but we preferred that over having lots of people roaming around.
Huge room (1380 sq feet!) that definitely felt like home (it was bigger than the first townhome I owned!) Ammenities included:
- a lovely kitchen w/everything you need (including dishes)
- a dining room w/large table that seated 8 - 6 chairs and a bench.
- a nice sized living room that seated 6 - love seat/couch (hideabed), 2 chairs / 2 ottomans and a large Flat panel TV.
- a huge bedroom with a king bed, lots of closet space/drawers, though not many hangers in the closet. (I'm sure they'd bring more if requested.) There was also a great chaise lounger (which looks prettier than it is useful) and off the bedroom as a balcony w/ 2 chairs.
There's a large bathroom w/ 2 sinks, shower and toilet. The jacuzzi/soaking tub actually outside of bathroom in the bedroom - and next to that is a vanity/makeup area - which is nice for me to put all of my makeup and junk and not consume all of the space in the bathroom!
The main balcony off living room has 1 lounge chair and a table w/2 chairs. It's very large and we spent quite a bit of time out there.
Pool area is very nice with lots of chairs. We never had a problem getting two chairs, no matter what time you came down. There are 2 pools, a kiddie pool and a hot tub. The hot tubs got busy around 5:00 with the people coming off the beach - often people who had had several cocktails so they were usually loud/bordering on obnoxious, but by that time most of the people at the pool had cleared out.
This is a family-friendly resort, but it was by no means overrun with screaming children (which is always my fear when not staying at an adults-only property.)
There are several cozy sitting areas that have great views of the beach/ocean, some with fire pits, just off the pool / restaurant.
There are several chairs on the beach - do not have to reserve/pay for, but it's 1st come 1st served.
Must have your towel card to "check out" a towel - they will not give you one without the card!! We were told they will charge you if you don't return towel - which we often didn't do until the next day b/c we took them to our room...but we never had a problem.
Had the buffet breakfast at Maydan's every morning and it's pretty good. They have all the regular fare as well as made to order omelets/eggs. Servers were great and remembered what we drank every morning. We also had lunch there one day....ordered a quesadilla, chips & guacamole, and Mexican Cobb salad and it came to $28 US.
Maid service was good - usually came around 2:00. Turndown service came at different times...as early a 5:30 and then after we had left the room at 7:00. Standard stuff - turn the bedding down, towel animals and chocolates.
Food outside the hotel:
Mango bar next door has drinking games/sexiest dance/hottest guy, etc contests at 3:00 and 5:00 daily and it gets pretty loud at that time. Lasts about 45 mins to an hour and then it settles down. Busy/loud late evening, but with the doors and curtains shut and the AC on, it blocks out most of the sound.
The famous Office is next to Mango - they are supposed to have great breakfasts but b/c ours was included, we went there one day for lunch and another night for dinner and it was good. At night it got chilly and they have heaters and blankets if you request them. A lively place with good people watching.
ME hotel is next door - home of the hotspot Nikki Beach.
Edith's is less than a block away as well (I just posted a review) which we had to go to after having it recommended to us to many times. We thought it was fine, but not fantastic - then again we were sitting in the outdoor area and there were 20 mile an hour winds so crap was blowing all over the place...not the best first visit.
The Beach: if you are a beach walker - you can walk until you can't walk anymore. My boyfriend and I walked every morning and he often went for a run in the afternoon. Again, great people watching!
The Area: We also walked to the new marina area - holy cow has that changed since we were there last! Tons of restaurants, shops and even a luxury shopping complex. We walked over several times for dinner - it's about a 10 minute walk from the hotel. We always felt safe even though sometimes the streets were not lit that well, but my guess is they'll be improving the surrounding area the more hotels/stores they add.
There is a Costco/Sam's Club-like place that's about a 20 minute walk from the resort. We walked down there and picked up a case of water, fruit/veggies and snack items for our room. If we were to do it all again I would definitely get a cab and have them wait. We are pretty fit people, but a case of water gets VERY heavy after 5 minutes! We were talking to one of the worker guys later that day and told him we had walked and he thought we were crazy. So cab it!
Through the resort you could get discounts on golf at local courses (25-30% off) and we thought about playing, but it still would have been between $250-350 for golf, cart and club rental so we decided to pass.
We had our personal concierge who mentioned vacation ownership to us, but was not in the least pushy about it. We said we travel a lot and like to go to different places so that's not really something we were interested in and she never brought it up again. We talked to several owners that have been coming since the resort opened and they still love it, which is great to hear. I read a few reviews and some people commented that it wasn't as luxurious as they expected. To that I would reply....whaaaat?? If you are looking for luxury similar to Esperanza, One and Only Pamilla, Las Ventanas or Capella....then you're right - this isn't that type of resort. But I got my room for $260/night as opposed to $700-1500/night for the places I just mentioned.
I was just as pleased with my stay at Casa Dorada as I've been at any several luxury resorts, but thrilled with the value. I definitely recommend this property and I look forward to returning in the not so distant future!