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“Unbelievable experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of One & Only Palmilla Resort

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One & Only Palmilla Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Km 7.5 Carr. Transpeninsular, San Jose del Cabo 23400, Mexico   |  
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Stay 4 Nights, Pay for 3
Ranked #4 of 37 Hotels in San Jose del Cabo
Montclair, New Jersey
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Unbelievable experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

First and foremost, let me start by reinforcing that yes, indeed, everything is completely, ridiculously overpriced. But in order to fully appreciate this experience, you need to go into it knowing that it's going to be that way. If you look for ways to cut corners here and there, in the end, you'll likely end up not enjoying your stay. This is a place for a splurge, a special occasion, a real treat -- unless you are of means, and then it'll probably be your regular vacation spot... I know it would be if I could afford it!

The location was stunning; we had an ocean view room and could see whales in the water from our private balcony, as well as pelicans and other beautiful birds, which flew by regularly. Our room was luxurious and immaculately kept; I've never slept on a more comfortable bed in my life. The bathroom was exquisite: the shower had two heads, and a built-in bench; there were individual sinks and all the amenities one could need. (If one or two things were forgotten, for example, a razor, that could be easily found in the spa).

Speaking of the spa -- this almost made it worth the trip. The exercise room was moderately sized by typical gym standards, but rather large by hotel/resort standards. Inside the dressing rooms were robes, a steam room and sauna, large showers -- as well as an outdoor hot tub, cooler tub and shower. I treated myself to a deep tissue massage and it was out of this world.

I will give a "meh" about the restaurants as another reviewer did. Both were, indeed, wildly overpriced (especially the bottled water) and we were underwhelmed by both. Lunch at the Market restaurant was very good; their guacamole was fresh with a nice kick but not over spiced -- and I had a wonderful cob salad. We ate at Blu once; There is a lot of seafood on both menus -- not surprising, given the location, but not as good for me as I don't eat seafood. Most days we filled up on breakfast (buffet of granola, yogurts, delicious fresh fruits and yummy baked goods) so only had lunch maybe once. In this room we also got fresh fruit and a snack each day, and the coffee in the coffee maker was quite good -- and the maker itself was clean.

The staff were extremely accommodating; I read a few reviews in which they were described as almost too much so, but I respectfully disagree. Everyone greeted us warmly, the concierge service made both dinner and a whale watch reservation for us, and we had no problems getting taxis. One suggestion I will make is that their car service, which was nice to have from the airport (the taxi drivers at the airports are like vultures on new arrivals), is not something you need once you're there. Taxis are reliable and the drivers equally as nice, and it's less expensive than being driven around in a Hummer. We also found that folks at other hotels were happy to hail us cabs, too. So getting to and from the resort was quite easy.

One tip about money: Dollars are accepted in most places, although occasionally (like, surprisingly, in the airport) they don't have a lot of change for dollars -- so get lots of smaller bills (especially dollars for tips) before heading to this area. I'll review our whale watch experience separately, but strongly recommend you take the time to do that (we did Whale Watch Cabo; outstanding). Avoid downtown Cabo San Lucas; it's a tourist trap and very Americanized; as we went to the whale watch boat the waterfront smelled like a frat party.

Another tip: We had dinner one night at the restaurant at Las Ventanas, which I'll also be reviewing separately. Phenomenal meal and experience that was well worth the price.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter B, Manager at One & Only Palmilla Resort, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

It was a true pleasure to read your review. We can’t thank you enough for taking the time to share your experience at One&Only Palmilla. There’s nothing better than waking up, throwing open the curtains, and enjoying a cup of coffee as the sun rises. The fact that you were here during whale migration season is an added bonus. It sounds as though you found sanctuary in the spa as well. The deep-tissue massage was a great choice, and we hope you’ll have a chance to try another fabulous treatment next time you’re here.

We are sorry to hear that you weren’t over the moon about our culinary offerings. We always try to be as accommodating as possible for all palates and dietary restrictions. Both of our fine restaurants offer a variety of choices from Mexican traditional dishes and homemade Moroccan Cuisine at Agua to the International Flavors of Jean-George signature dishes at Market Restaurant. If there’s anything we can do to help improve your experience next time, please let us know in advance and we will be happy to customize a dish for you.

We’ll be sure to pass your kind words along to the staff. We hope to see you again soon. Until then, we wish you continued health and happiness.
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853 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (166)
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English first
Kansas City
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013 via mobile

Wow! The best service we have ever experienced. Food was great and they kept giving us stuff. While yes it is a high end luxury resort and you would expect great service, we were blown away with the friendly, helpful staff that held the balance of anticipating and taking complete care of your needs and not creeping you out by hovering. Our butlers were awesome and we became friends by the end of the week. This was a quick, last minute getaway for an anniversary and having recent knee surgery, they accommodated my lack of mobility very well. We have stayed at several nice Cabo resorts (Esperanza, Cabo Azul, Las Ventanas) but this one made us feel, well, like the 'One & Only'. Simply fantastic.

The food was pricey but excellent. Don't miss the carmel infused, chocolate churros at the Agua Restaurant.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter B, Manager at One & Only Palmilla Resort, responded to this review, February 13, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for reviewing your recent stay at One&Only Palmilla. We’re so glad we could help make your anniversary in Mexico memorable, and we hope your knee is feeling better! It sounds like the two of you had a wonderful time, and we’d love to host you again soon. The chocolate churros will be waiting. Until then, we’d like to wish you health, happiness, and many more years of marital bliss.
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New York City, New York
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

-Beautiful place, great beach.
-Nicely appointed rooms but nothing particularly special given this caliber of hotel.
-Service is excelent.
-Food, especially dinner, is disappointing and completely overpriced. One of the reasons to travel to Mexico is because of the fabulous food. The hotel does not honor this part of Mexican culture that well and offers a limited menu of genuine Mexican food - perhaps because it's not fancy? Instead hotel chooses to offer "fancy" international food, which is ok for one or two nights but gets very old after a week long vacation.
-Wine lists were well appointed but super expensive; quite difficult to find a bottle of wine for less than $125, which is ridiculous.
Would not return.

Room Tip: Recommend a room on the 2nd floor for a better ocean or beach view Houses 21 & 17 are centrally...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter B, Manager at One & Only Palmilla Resort, responded to this review, February 13, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay. We are happy to hear that you found our setting and service to be exemplary. We’re always happy to direct guests and arrange transportation to some of our favorite off-site restaurants to have a more of a cultural experience of Cabo San Lucas. It is our hope that you’ll consider staying at One&Only Palmilla again in the future. We’d love the chance to show you what makes our hotel truly special.
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Miami, Florida
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

First off I would like to say I have wanted to come here for almost 10 years......I finally took some time off and booked a reservation for a week stay in MAy. Booking experience was great and very helpful. I was very weary about renting a car and driving but I did it anyways since i did not want to pay for an airport transfer. When i drove into the resort i took the long road in through the local areas which took almost 45 minutes......there is a highway however directly from the airport that loops around down to the resort areas. Very safe and a straight shot, the toll is about $1.50 and accepts US dollars.

When i got to the resort I was greeted by a butler and the front desk agent on duty and I felt very welcome. No registration, they take you straight to your room which is a great touch. The little added touches through the beautiful and romantic grounds add so much value to the experience (i.e: you can choose a different fragrance each evening, along with a snack, and fruit during the day). The rooms are gorgeous and well appointed. Showers are huge and AMAZING bath products. Our terrace overlooked the beautiful ocean and had a table setup and also a large round couch to lay on.

The beach is beautfiul but is rocky in some areas and waves can get big, i am fine with this as I am from Miami and have lived there all my life but for tourists not used to large waves and undertow should use caution. The beach service was amazing, they attended to you every desire. Drinks around the resort were made perfectly. The beach is much quieter and have beautiful large beds along with loungers in the sun. The pool is just as nice, overlooks the ocean and has a swim up bar. Again perfect service, they keep water stocked and keep the drinks coming......they als offer complimentary mini massages to everyone lounging around the pool.

I ate at Suviche (the Asian restaurant) the first night, i was alone as my friend forgot her passport.....but it was nice and relaxing, food was beyond excellent....such great flavors, great sushi as well. The next night me and my friend ate at Market which was great (great meat selections and sides), and then Agua on our last night where we enjoyed great Mexican/Latin flavors.

Finall the spa......I was so anticipating the best spa experience of my life, which is what i got. I have tried almost every spa in Miami with no luck......At the Palmilla spa i felt so relaxed, i got a 2 hour massage and exfoliation (the unwind), my masseuse was very attentive to what i wanted.....and kept me relaxed the whole time. After my massage i used the mens area of the spa which was quiet, i used the outdoor jacuzzi which makes you feel like you are in the foliage in a hot spring.....then showered off in the large showers which was great. I truly had a great experience

Tips are not mandatory but i believe the service of everyone are well worth it and i appreciated everyone. The only reason I didnt give sleep quality an excellent was because two mornings in a row there was what sounded like a "saw" right outside my room at 5:30am, the first morning i just thought i was crazy and went back to sleep, but the second morning i couldnt go back to sleep as it wouldnt stop. I called registration and they said they would send security, it stopped shortly after. Not sure what this was but it was so annoying. My friend thought i was crazy but i know what i heard. lol Other than that the beds feel like heaven.

I will definitely return!!

Room Tip: All rooms are amazing.....definitely get at least an oceanfront or oceanview.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter B, Manager at One & Only Palmilla Resort, responded to this review, February 6, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

We greatly appreciate you taking the time to write such a thoughtful review of your experience. There is nothing more pleasing for us than hearing from a satisfied guest, and we’re thrilled that you had such a wonderful vacation. Ten years is a long time to look forward to a trip, so we’re very glad it lived up to all of your expectations! It sounds as though every aspect of your stay hit all the right notes, and in particular, your time at the spa sounds absolutely divine. There aren’t many better ways to spend two hours here on property. Thanks again—we hope to see you again next time you feel the urge to get away.
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Texas
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

Simply the best hotel. We are staying now. We were last here in August to celebrate my birthday. We booked a last minute stay and when we arrived we were upgraded to a wonderful suite. The mini bar was stocked with my favorite Mexican beer, even though they don't carry it at the resort. The experience is the best. We stayed at The Cove @ Atlantis for thanksgiving and it was one of the worst luxury experiences, it's hard to believe both are managed by the same company. One & Only Palmilla is simply the best hotel/resort anywhere in all my travels.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter B, Manager at One & Only Palmilla Resort, responded to this review, February 6, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you so much for the kind words. It’s always a pleasure to host return guests; we love getting to know the wonderful people who share their vacations with us! We’re so glad you liked the beer. We find that an old favorite tastes even better when enjoyed on a warm evening as the sun is setting. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help facilitate another trip in the future.
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Dublin, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

We held our company offsite here 2 years in a row and we LOVE the Palmilla. Nothing rivals their service or property. Their attention to detail and obsession for perfection makes my OCD seem normal. Their Group Services Manager, Emilio Ortegon, is the most efficient person I've ever worked with. If you are thinking of hosting any sort of group--wedding, corporate, etc., he's your guy and he will make planning so fun and effortless. Come here for your honeymoon. It's SO romantic and decadent. They make each guest feel like a VIP and you're assigned your own butler during your stay. Can't say enough good things.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter B, Manager at One & Only Palmilla Resort, responded to this review, February 6, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

It’s so wonderful to hear from you. Emilio and the rest of our staff will be honored to learn of your endorsement of our event services. Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can help you in any way with a future group function; we’d love to put all of our perfectionists to work for you again!
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Chicago
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

Overall, this is an amazing place. Pricey, yes….but definitely worth it on most accounts.

Pros:
• Amazing scenery, beautifully landscaped grounds
• Pool and beach settings are wonderful. Separate pool for adults makes for a nice quiet atmosphere. If even more peace is required, the beach is very serene
• Service around the property is excellent
• Foot massages at the pool (wife loved them)
• Food was exceptional at Market, albeit expensive
• View from the 3rd story room at Casa Colores was near perfect, highly recommend these rooms

Cons:
• Gym was well-equipped but rather small, could’ve been 30-50% larger
• We found our meal and service at Agua to be worse than the other venues on the property. We had 1 dinner and 1 breakfast here, wouldn’t go back

Some other things worth noting:
• Cabs to San Jose are 5-10mins and only $15 each way. The hotel can hail them very quickly and since you have to check out at the gate, there is a greater sense of security. This is a nice sleepy town, more typical of other towns in Mexico that we’ve visited
• Cabs to Cabo San Lucas are $35 and 20-25mins
• We’ve visited many of the other tourist destinations in Mexico and none of them compare to this area on many levels
• La Dulce restaurant in San Jose is a great spot to have a romantic dinner out on the patio in back. We also had a few drinks at Tropicana on the way there and enjoyed it as well

Room Tip: Rooms on the 3rd floor or pool suites that are far enough away from the common pool area
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter B, Manager at One & Only Palmilla Resort, responded to this review, February 6, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on your recent stay at One&Only Palmilla. As you found, Casa Colores is a true paradise. We’re so glad that you and your wife were able to enjoy plenty of pool time and our famous and fabulous foot massages! We only hope you’ll give Agua another chance, we offer a world class menu with the best selection of dishes from Moroccan to Indian and Mexican traditional dishes prepared by our Award-Winning Chef Larbi Dahrouch. We look forward to welcome you and your wife again on your next vacation to Los Cabos.
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Additional Information about One & Only Palmilla Resort

Address: Km 7.5 Carr. Transpeninsular, San Jose del Cabo 23400, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Sur > Los Cabos > San Jose del Cabo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
#3 Business Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
#3 Romantic Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
#4 Family Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
#4 On the Beach Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
#4 Luxury Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
#4 Spa Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — One & Only Palmilla Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 173
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A verdant oasis on the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Where azure waters greet the mountainous desert and the Pacific Ocean merges with the Sea of Cortez. Where warm waves break onto a dramatic shoreline… and gray whales can be seen rising majestically in the distance. Here, the gracious style of Old Mexico - with its red-tiled roofs, whitewashed walls, and idyllic setting of exquisite fountains - is quietly nestled amidst swaying palms, bird of paradise and other tropical bloom. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
One And Only Palmilla
One&Only Palmilla Hotel San Jose Del Cabo
Palmilla Cabo
One Only Cabo
La Palmilla
One & Only Palmilla Resort Los Cabos/San Jose Del Cabo

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