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.
- 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&Only Palmilla Hotel San Jose Del Cabo
- One And Only Palmilla
- Palmilla Cabo
- One Only Cabo
- La Palmilla
- One & Only Palmilla Resort Los Cabos/San Jose Del Cabo