We had high expectations as we visited the Hilton Los Cabos in September - mostly to see the turtles. As many of you know, the Hilton Los Cabos is a proud sponsor of conservation efforts for the turtles in Mexico, and it was primarily this reason for us to go there. An amazing opportunity to see, and release turtles was something we couldn’t resist. We booked for seven days, and left after six!
The communication within the hotel, and via the concierges that we spoke to regarding the viewing of the turtles was, in a word, horrible. This led to a level of frustration and disappointment on a property that is (for most that aren’t turtle watching/releasing) a good property.
If you are looking for a very nice resort that has a great pool, this could be your place. With two large pools, and an ocean just a few steps away, the grounds and resort are a great place to relax. We certainly see the benefits of this property and recognize why it has overall, very good ratings.
If you wish to eat off property at all, we highly recommend that you rent a car. We rented a car and found it to be extremely inexpensive, and easy to get around. Without it – you will either be locked into the resort or will spend USD $40-$50 to go and return to dinner offsite. The hotel has free parking and with a single major highway it is impossible to get lost.
We are Diamond members of Hilton, and were given breakfast certificates – this is good and part of the benefits of staying in a Hilton for a lot of nights. At this resort, the breakfast is a “continental” breakfast. On day one, I decided to get a bagel, and ….wait….cream cheese. As it turns out, the bagel is part of the continental breakfast (as we were told) but the cream cheese is NOT. Now, if you want to pay the incremental USD $8 for the upgrade, you too can have cream cheese with your bagel. Hmmm….
Note to management – if you can’t offer your diamond members a full breakfast, at least structure one that makes some sense to “most” of us.
We are probably not like most of the guests here – so this may not matter to many of you, and with the turtle “season” over at this point – I suspect most who read this will not care. But we went to see and release the turtles – something that is highlighted on the Hilton web site – and a significant part of the reason we were at this specific property (vs others in the area).
We arrived on a Saturday, and immediately went to the Concierge desk to specifically ask about turtles and the release program. Pablo works hard – and I don’t want to blame the Concierge staff – but they did not know when or where turtles were going to be released and as far as we can tell – it is not the staff at the Concierge desk – it is a systemic problem that the resort is not communicating.
So, we went to town and had dinner ….. only to find out the next day that the turtle release was in fact held, on Saturday, in front of the Hilton! Apparently (although it is impossible to truly confirm) Saturday WAS in fact the “day” for Hilton if there were turtles to be released.
The next day, we went to the Concierge desk, and again asked about the turtles – and the staff called some numbers and declared “there won’t be any turtles released today”. Well…..having been burned the day before, we headed to the Hilton beach, and discovered a person “digging” out the turtle nests (see photos). We followed that person and surprise, surprise, it turns out that there WAS a turtle release that day. It is clear that for reasons that are logical, the release is NOT going to be in the same location every night. However, even when we KNEW that there were going to be turtles released (because we watched them dug up) the Hilton and their concierge desk had NO idea where things were going to happen. One night, we drove to another hotel where we were told that they were going to be released – only to find out that this was not true.
This ugly pattern repeated itself to the point where we were so frustrated with the Hilton staff/communication, we gave up – and left. In our travels, we have never really been so frustrated with a property that we just didn’t want to be there anymore.
It is truly sad – this is a very nice resort, and they could be doing SO MUCH MORE with the turtle program. We were not the only ones there to watch turtles, and we were fortunate to be able to participate in two releases during our six nights there. But the pain and agony of finding out what was going on, and poor Pablo and his team – they really are TRYING to do the right thing – but nobody is communicating.
This feature of the hotel, and the beachfront that they “give up” to incubate the eggs makes it so that the hotel should be taking FULL advantage of this unique (or relatively rare) feature. There could be such an amazing program wrapped around the turtle program, and when the person was working the nests there was always a number of people gathered around to watch. I blame the management team of the hotel for failure to execute and take advantage of this asset.
One star I hardly ever give, and the "physical" resort generally doesn’t deserve it – but we were so frustrated and disappointed that it truly has left a bad taste in our mouth. With about 10 years of Diamond status (and 60+ nights last year alone) at Hilton, we have come to expect much better. We told the front desk when we left that we were frustrated – but I am not sure that message was received (communication again?) - you are most welcome to contact us.
Note to management – you are missing a great opportunity and from the activity and photos you can see that there are a significant number of guests who did and wanted to participate every night. Pull together a good educational program and COMMUNCIATE to your staff what is going on (and SHARE it with all of your guests) and the resort will benefit significantly. Your staff will claim that they don't control the turtle release - and this may be true - but you can certainly find out what is going on and communicate it in a much better fashion.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you very much for taking the time to leave this thorough review of your stay. We are pleased that you enjoyed the physical beauty of the resort and are sure future and returning guests will appreciate your tip in regards to transportation. We might also add that, for a significantly nominal fee, there is a public transportation stop right across the street from the resort, which many of our guests utilize during their stay.
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Also, we appreciate your notes on our Diamond member breakfast offerings and apologize that you felt your status was not recognized in this area, and others.
Lastly, we are quite disturbed to hear of the situation you describe regarding the Turtle Release Program. We are very proud to have co-founded the Los Cabos Turtle Protection Network and to partner with state authorities, federal agencies and other hotels to further this cause. In 2013 Biologists amended new rules to the turtle protection process. We are sorry that we did not communicate properly, and we understand your disappointment and frustration. Now that we have had time to work under these new rules we will do a much better job in communicating to all our guests as we invite them to share this amazing turtle release experience.
We would welcome the opportunity to further discuss these matters if you would please contact the resort directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to receiving your communication and making things right. We thank you for your loyal Hilton patronage and would be honored to have you back.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.