We stayed at this resort from January 10 to 17, 2013, at which time it was reportedly less than half-full, so there was really no waiting in line for anything. The rooms are OK, though showing their age a bit. While we were there, visible efforts were being made to replace some older furnishings.
The resort itself is wide from left to right, and shallow front to back. The effect is that you don't have to walk very far to get anywhere, but it's spacious all the same, with numerous pools, bars and restaurants. The cactus throughout the resort are impressive and the grounds overall are quite beautiful. Staff are friendly and attentive, and they remember you when you tip. Alma at the quiet pool makes the best drinks.
Rooms have a safe (combination), coffee maker and fridge. There is free wifi throughout the resort, as well as hand sanitizing stations! The fixtures in the resort's public washrooms -- toilets, urinals, taps -- are all hands-free; haven't seen that in Mexico before.
The beach is spectacular, clean and very wide -- it's a bit of a hike to get to the waterfront, and well worth it. The water, however, is not swimmable due to the strong undertow. There are some local vendors on the beach, but they don't hassle you. It appears they are not allowed to approach the resort, and keep a respectful distance. If you want to see their wares, you have to go to them. Unlike some other parts of Mexico and the Caribbean, there were no bugs or biting insects, at least not at this time of year. A welcome relief!
Unfortunately, food was not the highlight. Full disclosure: I cook a little, and there are virtually no foods I don't like, so this wasn't a matter of personal taste. It was a matter of temperature. With the exception of breakfast omelettes, most meals were warm at best and cold at worst. Even when fresh buffet items came straight out of the kitchen, they were cold. Maybe not all the time. But often enough to make food the low point of this resort.
Selection also left something to be desired. The quality was actually pretty good, especially salads, but there was simply not the variety of food to choose from that we have grown accustomed to in other resorts over the years. This may have been because occupancy was low, so I can't really fault them for this. Was it the worst food I've ever had at an all-inclusive? No. (Roatan holds that record.)
The à la cartes are not much to write home about either. Soup and salad are self-serve; the main and dessert are brought to the table. We joked that the only difference between the buffet and the restaurants was that, at the à la carte, the buffet was in the kitchen. Again, the problem was simply food temperature. (By the way, reservations were never a problem. You just book at the Napa breakfast buffet on the morning of the same day.)
Only one à la carte was open on any given night, and the sit-down restaurants and buffet rotated between the various locations. A funny moment came one night when we sat down in one of the à la cartes, and were presented with exactly the same menu we received at a different restaurant two nights earlier. We all cracked up.
One of the main things we wanted to do in Los Cabos was go whale watching, and we were not disappointed. We booked through our Sunwing guide with Cabo Adventures who have a fast boat for about 25 people, and we were lucky to be able to follow a small pod of whales up the coast for quite a long time. If you have an SLR camera and a long lens, bring it. You have to be patient and quick though. If not, there's a photographer on board who will sell you a CD of all trip pix for the price of $99. At half the price, I might have bought one.
A shuttle bus picks you up and brings you back to the hotel as part of the package. Whale watching costs $85 per person and the bus trip takes about half an hour each way, depending on number of stops. We were on the boat for 2 hours, and you can stay in town if you want and catch a later shuttle back to the hotel.
I also did 2 days of 2-tank dives with the same outfit. They provide all equipment, including 5-mil wetsuit, so leave the heavy gear at home. If you go, try to bring your own fins. They have only small full-foot fins, which are only slightly better than having webbed toes. Other than that, the gear was good and the instructors are top drawer. The boat is impressive (it has a head) with a capacity of 49; when I went, there were just 3 certified divers on board plus 3 instructors, a photographer and the boat Captain. Spacious! Surface intervals are on the boat.
Water temps are around 72F, which sounds colder than it actually feels. Air temperatures were also quite cool the week we were there, but I was comfortable and warm on board and in the water. The diving itself is not world class. Visibility is about 30 to 40 feet depending on the site, and there was enough sea life to keep it interesting. Dive times did not exceed 40 minutes, but for me it was just nice to be in the water again.
The cost of a two-tank trip is $120 including transportation from the hotel and all your gear. When I was there, Cabo Adventures had a 2-for-3 deal. So, because I did 2 dive days, I got the whale watching free. I thought that was pretty good.
We rented a car (there were 5 of us) from Dollar, which is located on the premises. A regular vehicle costs just $75 for the day, which includes everything -- full insurance, no deductible, taxes, the whole lot -- except gas. (Gas costs about the same as it does in Ontario.) It really wasn't worth declining the insurance, even though I have coverage elsewhere. A larger vehicle can be rented for $125, all-in. (We had a brand-spanking new Nissan Pathfinder!)
Our goal was to hit Todos Santos, which we did via San Lucas and north on the Pacific coast. We then continued north toward La Paz, cut across the quite stunning mountains and back down on the Sea of Cortez side. If you go to Todos Santos, don't miss the Hotel California of Eagles fame. (Yes, there is a Mission bell.) Total drive time for the cycle not including stops was about 4 hours. It was one of the highlights of the week. Stay on the main highway -- the unpaved roads look good on a map, but this is Mexico. By the way, we had no safety concerns at all wherever we went.
Footnote: I bought some of the seasoning salts at Hotel California. One is a gift, but I have been using the green one. Five bucks. Awesome. Don't leave town without it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled between a white sand beach and the Sierra de San Lazaro Mountains, Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos is truly "at one" with the environment. At or near the resort, you'll golf, play tennis, swim and ride horses while younger guests explore the Chiqui Kids Club. To expand your fun in the sun, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo are minutes away. Two restaurants, one Buffet and one a la carte, room service, 6 bars. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Los Cabos Hotel
- Presidente Intercontinental Los Cabos Resort
- Intercontinental San Jose Del Cabo
- Los Cabos Presidente
- Presidente Cabo
- El Presidente Cabo
- Presidente Intercontinental Los Cabos All Inclusive Resort
- Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos All-Inclusive San Jose Del Cabo