We were first-time guests to One and Only for six days in March. Kudos to the management team for running such a wonderful property. Overall, we enjoyed a great experience. Many thanks to the tripadvisor community. Your comments were helpful. Our feedback is offered to further strengthen a wonderful resort. These are comments we did share with management on the survey provided at the end of our stay. And thank you for offering that survey.
The resort offers a private service for about $140 one-way. You can get a group shuttle from the airport for $26 one-way or a taxi for $60 one-way.
Stunning and exceptionally well-maintained. Incense is placed out in the morning and night. It's a lovely extra that makes the walk around the property even more pleasant.
We stayed on the top floor in Casa Miramar, which was the last building on the southernmost end and the farthest distance from the family pool and a short but pleasant walk to the spa/gym, adult pool and two of the restaurants. (If you don’t like walking, an (over) abundant amount of golf carts can get you anywhere you want to go.) While not as close to the actual beach as some of the other buildings, the view was stunning and the quiet location very desirable for us. The accommodations were comfy, bright and clean. Two nits about the room:
1) You are offered a “button” that when engaged will alert the outside that you request privacy. If we were relaxing in our room, we kept the privacy light on. If cleaning staff and/or turndown service wanted to come in while we had the privacy button on they'd telephone – a lot. In one instance, they called four times. In another case, we received repeated hang-ups when we answered. We found this annoying.
2) Our neighbors' food trays were on our shared entrance patio. Not sure if the guests put them out or the staff did. In many instances the piled dishes sat for hours with the wind blowing the lighter items around. We felt staff could have removed these items in a more timely fashion.
We went to each restaurant at least once. Here's our breakdown based on our experiences and a few tips:
Outstanding views and ideal for a romantic dinner. Live music at dinner as well.
We thought service was slow, which may be absolutely fine when you are on vacation. Our toast was delivered long before our eggs, so we believe they can better coordinate. We thought b-fast was simply okay, and for the outrageous prices ($24 for eggs and $7 for coffee, before the mandatory tax and tip), we feel they could have done a far better job with this meal.
There are a handful of comfy semi-secluded oceanfront tables with two seating times – 6 and 8p. (We may have the times for these off by a bit.) Aside from these "special" tables, you can eat outdoors except that tables are available on a first-come first-serve basis in the main outdoor eating area. So if you have 7:30p reservations and want to sit outside, that location may already be full as the folks with reservations before you can select their location based on availability when they arrive. Service was slightly inconsistent - we bought a bottle of water and it disappeared after the first pour. The team was very attentive and accommodating at both our dinners. One of us is a vegetarian and after asking we received a plentiful vegetarian menu, which we ordered from. That meal was okay. The carnivore in the family thought the short ribs were excellent.
Had b-fast and two dinners at this location.
Overpriced for the value and better coordination on delivery of order is an opportunity.
Service was inconsistent. During our first dinner we refilled our own water and wine. Our side dish was forgotten and after two requests it was delivered when we were well into our meal. Our server for our second dinner was outstanding.
Had lunch here. We loved the meal, despite what we felt were some overpriced selections. We were turned off when we asked if we could substitute an item and were immediately told it would cost more before we even stated what the substation we wanted was. Our service at this poolside restaurant was poor - we had to make multiple requests for the same item. We wound up ordering the same meal poolside a different day and the pool staff folks were absolutely super.
We had dinner here. Overall, really good food that was creatively presented. Good attention from the staff. The live music indoors was enjoyable but a bit loud so we waited for a couple to leave the outside seating and moved there.
$ SAVING FOOD TIP
We packed instant oatmeal, dried fruit and almonds. Using the water kettle and coffee machine in our room, we prepared our own b-fast and enjoyed it on our deck watching the whales breech the surface. What a great show. Resort staff don't fear - the $85 we didn’t spend on b-fast was reallocated to your spa.
Between us we had five treatments. We enjoyed ours, although we recognize that spa services are very personal. The spa "casitas" are some of the nicest we've seen and are well on par with spas at resorts of this price point/level.
Friendly and very helpful staff. One of us took a private personal training session. Good mix of equipment. Strength training equipment seemed very modern. Spin bikes are a bit outdated. The facility opens at 7a. A 6a start time would have been great for us but that's a minor quip. There are some classes offered. We would have liked to see more classes, especially in the earlier part of the day. Again, that's a personal preference.
The pool staff is some of the best we've encountered. Friendly and attentive. The complimentary onsite foot massages were a great addition. They also offered sunglass cleaning and afternoon sweets. Nice touch. We thought the pool experience was one of the resort's best features.
-Go early and reserve your desired lounge chairs. Our butler inferred that this was something he could try to take care of and the request may be accommodated. We went directly to the pool staff after ending up in a less-than-desirable high-traffic corner on a day we arrived late. The onsite pool staff took care of our request.
-Schedule your foot massage when you hold your lounge chairs. You’ll have far more options on available time slots.
Compared to other resorts at this price point, we thought the butler service was a bit anemic. Perhaps we didn't make direct requests but we saw our butler maybe three times - at check in, once on the way to the gym and another time passing on our stairs. If we asked for something we got it but we felt there could have been more initiative taken. For instance, each day we’d request an extra bowl and spoons. Once we had to make the request three times. Other places we've been we didn’t need to request the same item more than twice. Your request becomes anticipated. This isn't meant to be a complaint but a note for folks who may be expecting a full-service butler.
We enjoyed a wonderful anniversary during our stay. The "extras" the hotel provided seemed perfunctory - free dessert, towel animal in our room, and a message on the menu. By no means do we expect the resort to create our celebration but if a property of this caliber is going to do something it should probably be more creative.
The service fee
You'll see of comments on tripadvisor about this fee and thanks to this community we were well educated about it and the fact that the gratuity and tax fees are on everything, including your nightly rate. If you read your binder in your room you'll see a paragraph that your gratuities are included. Having the fee wasn't our issue. Our counsel to management is pick one - be all-inclusive or not. Having a mandatory tip and then having staff accept tips seemed over-the-top to us. We'd rather see the service fee be slightly increased and no tips be accepted or get rid of the mandatory gratuity altogether and have staff earn tips based on the merits of the service performed. No doubt finding the right balance of ensuring compensation for the staff and providing levers for the guests to show their appreciation for good service is a challenge and we appreciate that one size may not fit all circumstances.
Again, these are just some recommendations for a wonderful place to earn a five-star rating.
- Also Known As:
- One&Only Palmilla Hotel San Jose Del Cabo
- One And Only Palmilla
- One&Only Palmilla Hotel
- One Only Palmilla
- One&Only Palmilla
- Palmilla Cabo
- One & Only Palmilla
- One Only Cabo
- La Palmilla
- One & Only Palmilla Resort Los Cabos/San Jose Del Cabo
- 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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