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“Fab Palmilla” 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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Hotel amenities
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Palmilla Retreat
N. California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Fab Palmilla”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

This Palmilla measures up against the finest resorts. Its positives begin by being closer to the Cabo airport than most other high end resorts. It is secluded but completely self contained. If you must leave, the fun old town is a 10 minute ($15) taxi ride away. Cabo San Lucas, for tourist stuff and nightlife, is further away. So, Palmilla is expensive but the gorgeous beach (one part is swimmable), delightful and traditional rooms and villas, excellent bar-restaurants, and spa services make it worth the money. Perhaps what separates Palmilla from other very similar resorts is its staff. There are a ton on duty and they are charming and always helpful. We especially enjoyed the complimentary beach cabanas with constant staff attention. One item that we thought might be a concern turned out not to be. Fancy Cabo resorts tend to attract those who want to be seen and see the famous and those who are there to party hard. On our first day we spotted a few of these candidates, but their behavior never got to a level of concern for us. It really is an impressive resort with a staff that makes you want to return.

  • Stayed June 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OOPalmilla, Manager at One & Only Palmilla Resort, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay at One&Only Palmilla. You managed to cover many of our resort’s finest features, including our secluded yet expansive location, which is made all the more convenient thanks to a private Hummer airport shuttle. And you’re absolutely right about never needing to leave the resort for anything. Whether you’re after spa treatments, fine dining, or adventure, you can find it all right here on property. Our professional staff is dedicated to serving you at all hours of the day, and it is this service that does indeed “separate Palmilla from other resorts.”

I hope you’ll choose to stay with us again in the very near future, as there’s always something new to experience. Perhaps a return trip between the months of December and March to watch the gray whale migration? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need anything at all.

Antonio Bulgarin
Rooms Hotel Manager
One&Only Palmilla
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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 (143)
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

My husband and I love Cabo and visit quite frequently - but this was our first stay at the One and Only Palmilla. The hotel, the grounds and our suite were all stunning and very well maintained. As for as service - I would have to agree with other reviewers - lacking and at times felt as is the staff were "slackers" - NOT really caring about anything. Food is OK but we went to some of the better restaurants in Cabo and enjoyed that much more. We did enjoy the private pool on our balcony and our stunning location right on the beach!

Room Tip: Oceanfront suites with a private pool.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
OOPalmilla, General Manager at One & Only Palmilla Resort, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

We are so glad you chose to stay at One&Only Palmilla during your last visit to Cabo. We know how important first impressions are, and that’s why we always try to put our best foot forward when a guest is visiting for the first time. That starts with the property itself, which includes countless palm trees and gardens on five lush acres.

Of course, we know scenery is only part of a vacation, and that’s where our world-class service comes in. It sounds like you experienced quite the opposite, and for that, I’d like to personally apologize. Frankly, I am shocked by what you encountered, and I am interested to learn more about your experience. Please contact me at your earliest convenience so that we can discuss specifics. With nearly 800 employees at your service, including personalized concierge and butler services, there’s simply no excuse to be “lacking in service.”

I hope that the positives of your stay ultimately outweigh the negatives, and that you’ll stay with us again. We would love the opportunity to treat you to the real One&Only Palmilla, where scenery, service, and cuisine are equally flawless and memorable.

Peter Bowling
Managing Director
One&Only Palmilla
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Atlanta, Georgia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

My husband and I spent 5 nights at the Palmilla One & Only last week. We knew the prices going into the reservation - no problem on that expectation. However, as gorgeous as the property was, there were many hiccups in the level of service that surprised us. Nothing that was abhorrent, but just enough missed expectations where the shine wore off unexpectedly fast. Now, compared to the world's "real" problems, these missed details are insignificant. :) But when you are paying as much as you do at Palmilla, I would have expected better. A brief summary:

Didn't meet our butler for over 4 hours upon check in so we were not offered to be unpacked, or shown around the room so we missed the espresso machine hidden away until our friends told us about it in their room
Had multiple problems with our safe in the room, and security had to reset it 3 times
We requested rose petals in our room at a certain time, and the butler was literally running out of the door 5 minutes "outside" of the 3 hour window we gave him. The bath that he drew for us was scalding hot and the drain was open so we couldn't enjoy the nice anniversary surprise that my husband paid for.
Construction happening outside our beachside window
Requested a golf cart 3 times - 2 of the 3 times, the golf cart was 10 minutes late
Waited nearly 15 min at breakfast in Aqua to be offered water, coffee, juice, etc while other guests were being immediately attended to

Did these things taint the trip? A little. I wish we could have raved about the service like many others were able to on TripAdvisor. We were really looking forward to having that extraordinary level of pampering and we felt it fell short.

All this being said, the resort is stunning, the pools are beautiful, and many other details were accomplished nicely. It offers a swimmable beach if you like that, and sprawling landscaped walkways. Really lovely and super peaceful.

We were disappointed that after we brought up our concerns to the management one evening, he did not apologize or offer something to make us "feel better" about our complaint. We were not complaining to receive a hand out, but it felt cheap by One and Only standards to say "we will look into this and write a report" and "we will follow up with you tomorrow". And of course, we never heard from anyone.

Maybe we were just unlucky with our gray cloud of service, but we were a bit bummed to be even a tiny bit disappointed at such a beautiful expensive resort.

  • Stayed June 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OOPalmilla, General Manager at One & Only Palmilla Resort, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Let me begin by offering my sincere apologies for what sounds like a less than perfect visit. You are absolutely right to expect the best from One&Only Palmilla. With more than 800 employees at your service, you should not have had to wait at all during your stay. We take great pride in anticipating the needs of our guests, and promptness is one of our hallmarks. I can assure you that the various issues you encountered are far from normal, and even though we tried to rectify the situation as quickly as possible for you, it is unfortunate that there was conflict. Should you choose to stay with us again, there are a number of ways we will seize the opportunity to make it up to you. Whether it’s an intimate dinner at under the stars or a relaxing day at our spa, we always strive for a flawless and memorable experience.

I know that your first visit didn’t quite live up to your expectations, and for that, I apologize. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help right the situation – perhaps by email. Though you may be hesitant right now, I hope you’ll give us another chance in the future. Your fellow travelers found something truly special in our resort, and I think you will, too. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Peter Bowling
Managing Director
One&Only Palmilla
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Atlanta, Georgia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

How do you review a resort in Paradise? This resort is incredible and without comparison. From the moment that we arrived on the property and greeted with margarita ice pops, we knew we were someplace special. A staff member gave us a quick tour of the property, and then escorted us to our suite where we were greeted by our private butler. Every attention to detail, you feel as if you are being treated like a celebrity. The property is immaculate, and the infinity pools, suites and beaches are awesome. Complimentary bottled water is supplied daily, along with interesting snacks that go with your complimentary tequila. The food is "Mexiterrean" and quite good; room service was fantastic. Our suite was equipped with a large soaking tub that looked out over the garden terrace, in addition to a separate shower with a "rain shower" showerhead. Our garden terrace was private and had a view of the ocean and beach - it was just a short stroll to get to the beach. My only negative was when we discovered some food items on our terrace the next morning. We initially thought that someone had thrown some bread to feed to the birds. I later discovered that the maid on the 3rd floor was sweeping debris from the 3rd floor balcony onto our 1st floor terrace. When I actually witnessed her sweeping the debris, I hollered up to her and asked that she stop. We didn't see any other debris during our stay, so I didn't tell the management as I didn't want to cause her to lose her job. Nevertheless, the king sized bed is heavenly, as well as the roomy and comfortable daybed on the terrace - which is perfect for the de rigueur siestas! A pleasant surprise following our first day was to find a "sewing kit" placed in our suite that had been customized to the colors in our wardrobe! I can't wait to return, however, I discovered that there is also a One & Only Palmilla located in the Bahamas, so we just might try that location next. This is an expensive resort, but you really do get what you pay for. Again, absolutely unbelievable!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
OOPalmilla, Manager at One & Only Palmilla Resort, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

We cannot thank you enough for writing such a thoughtful and detailed account of your stay. The feedback is invaluable to us, and many of your insights will prove valuable to future travelers. We are thrilled that you’ve decided to return to One&Only Palmilla, and we look forward to showing you even more to love about our little slice of paradise.

In regards to the wonderfully fresh cuisine you enjoyed here on property, we owe it to our on-site Herb Garden. And much of the seafood we serve is caught mere hours before we serve it making it truly fresh tasting. Coupled with an intimate beachfront table complete with tiki torches, and you’ll experience a dining experience unlike any other. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Sebastien Arnaud
Hotel Manager, Food & Beverage Division
One&Only Palmilla
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Fairfield, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

We chose the One & Only Palmilla for our wedding location on the advice of several friends and clients who had vacationed there. Having never traveled to the area ourselves, we took their advice on faith and our own research and were not disappointed with the outcome.

The resort is an oasis in the desert on the tip of Southern Baja. Leaving the main highway and entering the Palmilla residential area, the scenery changes from brown rock, sand and scrub brush to green, manicured lawns, carefully tended palm trees and brightly flowered bushes of several types and colors. This continues throughout the grounds of the resort, where wide sidewalks are bounded by lush vegetation that feels more like Hawaii than this part of Mexico.

In mid-May it appeared that occupancy was down for the season or that many of the guests took their meals in their rooms. We made most of our dinner reservations before arriving, but there always seemed to be tables available and nowhere ever seemed crowded, from the spa to the beaches to the walkways throughout the resort. Our favorite restaurant was Agua, both because of the fantastic view of the bay toward Cabo San Jose and because of the menu and service. The Market Restaurant was also good, though the view is limited. The Suviche Restaurant was closed for renovation during our visit. For evening cocktails, we also gave the Agua Bar with its unique décor and wonderful view the highest marks.

A few words about the spa: it’s fantastic. Like the other areas of the resort, the spa is a very quiet place with private treatment areas and top-notch services. Our wedding package included massage, manicure, pedicure, hair and make-up services, to which we added several other spa treatments. The “Magic Moments For Two” service includes not only a couple’s massage, but also candles and rose petals throughout the hotel room afterwards. If you’re going as a couple, you’ve got to try this one.

We came to Palmilla to get married on the beach, just the two of us, and took advantage of a wedding package that included several nights stay in the resort (to which we added several more nights), dinners on the beach and one of the restaurants, spa treatments, and the wedding itself. We opted for a legal wedding rather than just ceremonial vows, which requires arriving several days ahead of time for blood tests. The process was very professionally supervised by Arianna Ocampo, the resort’s wedding manager. She provided a complete daily schedule, advised us on additional activities offered on and off the resort, helped with spa and dinner reservations, and made sure that every detail of the wedding went perfectly. Even though we had a very small wedding on the beach, she was managing several very large weddings on the grounds at the same time, but still made ours feel special and was one of our witnesses.

We chose local photographer Bradley Fraser to take pictures for us and we just received the final batch of downloads. These included both color photos and black & whites that we asked for specifically. What made Bradley special is that from our initial meeting the day before the wedding to the wedding day activities, he always listened to us and created a portfolio that matched what we wanted. Our preference was to have a minimum of posed pictures and for Bradley to use his creativity to catch us just being ourselves as we got married. I don’t remember seeing Bradley during the ceremony, I was probably a bit focused on my bride, but the pictures he took were exactly what we hoped for. He has that rare combination of creative, artistic skill and the ability to understand his client’s needs. We recommend him highly.

If you’re thinking about the One & Only Palmilla for a large or small wedding, or just a special get away, contact Arianna and have her put a package together for you. It’s a wonderful place and we look forward to going back for an anniversary.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
OOPalmilla, Director of Celebrations at One & Only Palmilla Resort, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

It sounds as though you had a magical wedding here at One&Only Palmilla, and we’re so grateful you chose to share such a special occasion with us. To read about our resort is one thing, but to experience it in person is another thing entirely. We take great pride in maintaining lush grounds with an abundance of palm trees and gardens on 55 amazing acres. You mentioned that the view never got old during your stay; as someone who works here every day, I can assure you it will never lose its luster.

You may be wondering how you’ll ever top your first visit. We like to say that each subsequent visit is like a return home, where familiarity breeds comfort. We’re able to further customize your stay until it’s perfect. So next time you and your husband get caught up in daydreams about poolside massages or a round of golf, just give us a call. We hope you’re feeling better, and look forward to seeing you again soon.

Beatriz Mejia
Director of Celebrations
One&Only Palmilla
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Los Angeles, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

The setting is beautiful and the staff attentive, but the prices are over the top and the management attitude is indifferent. The service was very slow and you had to ask for something more than once to get anything done. When you complain, the attitude is very unsatisfactory.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
OOPalmilla, Manager at One & Only Palmilla Resort, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Though we are surprised and humbled by your feedback, we appreciate your honesty and are committed to making the necessary adjustments. We take great pride in providing exceptional service at every level, and everything we do is designed to maximize value and comfort for our valued guests.

I hope you’ll reach out to me directly so that we can speak in further detail about the attitudes you experienced during your stay – perhaps over an email, or number you provide to me. I am deeply concerned by these shortcomings, as they do not accurately reflect the signature One&Only Palmilla experience. Please let me know if there is anything I can do presently to help make things right. I look forward to speaking with you and proving to you that our resort is the best one in all of Mexico.

Peter Bowling
Managing Director
One&Only Palmilla
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little rock
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

We have never stayed here but liked it alot. The pool is a little disjointed and crowded because the bar is in the pool and always busy but the pool service is excellent and food very good. The suite we had was excellent , top notch, with a huge pool giant open shower and large tub. The butler was very attentive and met our every need. We've always stayed at Las Ventanas or Cappella and just like it better for the quieter presence.

The spa is uneventful.

Room Tip: Room are all kinds. I called to get the kind of room we wanted and asked for one close to the pool...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OOPalmilla, Manager at One & Only Palmilla Resort, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

We always relish the opportunity to treat a first-time guest to the vacation of their dreams. I’d like to personally thank you for choosing to stay at One&Only Palmilla, and for taking the time to review your experience. We know you have a few options in the area, and are honored that you chose to stay with us because of our many amenities, convenient location, and service – all of which many have found are truly unparalleled.

We have a number of pools on property, including the adult-only Vista Pool, which overlooks the Sea of Cortez. This usually becomes guests’ go-to spot during their stays, due to its typically peaceful atmosphere. But if you’re after an even more intimate, luxurious experience, we have beautiful floating beds available for a romantic day at the beach.

I hope you’ll have the chance to return to Mexico soon, and that our resort is again a part of your plans. We look forward to showing you an even better time creating new memories here in paradise.

Peter Bowling
Managing Director
One&Only Palmilla
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Additional Information about One & Only Palmilla Resort

Also Known As:
One&Only Palmilla Hotel San Jose Del Cabo
One And Only Palmilla
One&Only Palmilla Hotel
One Only Palmilla
Palmilla
One&Only Palmilla
Palmilla Cabo
One & Only Palmilla
One Only Cabo
La Palmilla
One & Only Palmilla Resort Los Cabos/San Jose Del Cabo
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
#3 Top resorts Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
#3 On the Beach Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
#3 Luxury Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
#5 Family Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
#7 Romantic Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — One & Only Palmilla Resort 5*
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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