My family (My husband, myself, and 12 and 16 year old boys) just returned from a very relaxing week at the Hilton Los Cabos! Sorry this review is so long, but I don’t want to leave anything out!
We arrived at the airport and were shuttled to our hotel via TransCabo http://www.cabosanlucastours.net/Airport-Transportation.htm. After we swam through the time share people we saw our driver who quickly carried our bags and gave us a smooth transport directly to the hotel. We did do a round trip with them - which was very convenient - just make sure they do not want to pick you up 3+ hours prior to your departure (we called and changed the time to 2 hours and that was plenty).
We took the bus ($1.80) into Cabo which was great (taxi back to the hotel $25). We also took the bus into San Jose Del Cabo, but it was about a 10 block (maybe a little less than a mile) walk from the bus stop down into the old town area - not difficult and all downhill. You can rent a car from National in the lobby by the adult pool. FYI – When I looked into reserving a car before we left – rates were about $60 per day. When I called the car rental desk upon our arrival, I was quoted $100 a day (when I told him that was too much $$, he offered to give me a better rate if I came down to the desk?), and when I go online in the business center at the Hilton and looked up rates it was $50 per day. So…that might helpful info if you are considering renting a car.
Check in: We arrived at the Hilton's lovely open air lobby and were given a wonderful pomegranate margarita and lemonade for the kids. They had our paperwork ready and took us directly to our room - we never had to stand at the reception desk. We are Hilton Gold - and while we did not get a room upgrade (which was just fine - the location and quality of almost all the rooms is spectacular) it would have been nice to be able to inquire about a room upgrade before being taken to our pre-assigned room.
The Room/Views: we were given was on the top floor - front and center overlooking the main pool with a full ocean view. All the rooms have an ocean view - some are straight towards the ocean and some to the side. The hotel is shaped like a W - with a pool inside each "v". The main pool is more family friendly and busier. The adult pool is very quiet. Each pool area has a hot tub, and swim up bar (adult pool is sushi and main pool is burgers/tacos). The rooms are beautiful and I think even the worst room must be fantastic - the furnishings, amenities, bathrooms, etc are all top notch. We saw whales off the coast on several days as well as rays jumping in schools out of the water.
The Pools: Beautiful, warm and even during the busy week - very quiet and relaxing. Chairs are padded and super comfy. Towel service. As mentioned by earlier postings, the chair situation is crazy. People are down there at 4 or 5 in the morning saving chairs in prime locations. We did hear of an altercation that took place one morning when one woman came down at 5:30 to reserve her chairs and found another family reserving "her" spot. For those that like to sleep in on their vacation, there are chairs available off to the sides and at the adult pool. We were also there at a prime week and I do not think this goes on during low weeks. The best part about the pool is that they do not blast music all day long (every Hilton we have stayed at blast music –not restful!). It is very quiet! They also come around the pool in the afternoon with free tequila shots for adults and popsicles as well as free massages. The Mariachi band comes out every afternoon for about an hour and that was very enjoyable.
The Beach: They have a nice beach area where you can rent a jet ski ($60 for ½ hour - $100 for 1 hour), a kayak, horse rides, tours. The beach is swimmable – most days – and the water is beautifully clear (but a little chilly). There is food service at the beach, umbrellas, palapas. Vendors were there, but not too bothersome. Plenty of space for football/Frisbee throwing as well as a volleyball net/balls. My husband got up every morning and fished right off the beach at the hotel (he took his rods and lures – but here is a tackle shop in cabo too).
The Hotel/Restaurants: The grounds are immaculate and the hotel is clean and beautifully maintained. The service is amazing and there is an employee there to meet your every need. The staff is courteous and polite and extremely helpful. The restaurants are all fantastic, although I felt the dinner buffets were a little too pricy ($55 pp – not a deal for my picky 12 year old who ate 2 things). I think the non-buffet restaurants are a better value and the food is made to order AND they have kid’s menus. As Hilton Honors, we were given 2 breakfast coupons per day for the continental breakfast at two of the restaurants - the lobby bar "la Vista" or the "Meridian", which could be upgraded to a full buffet for an additional $8. The breakfast buffet is very good and I would suggest that if you have one meal at the buffet, it be that one! This is not an inexpensive hotel – and as a previous poster said – you get what you pay for and this is a 4/5 star hotel, so be prepared. By the adult pool they have a wonderful deli/shop that you can pick up sandwiches, sodas, medicine, clothes, magazines, and a good latte, etc. The sandwiches are made to order and very tasty – and ran about $10 for a large sandwich. Ray Romano was a guest at the hotel while we were there. The fitness center, business center are all very nice and again, the staff is amazing and super helpful. One are that I think they could really improve upon is creating a more comprehensive activity guide – perhaps printed weekly – they had yoga on the beach evry day that I would have loved to participated in, but did not find out about until our last day. They had a large bag of treats/cookies and room decorations delivered on Christmas. Turn down service each night with chocolates.
We did take the bus to the mega (supermarket between Hilton and SJDel Cabo) and picked up some cocktail fixings, sodas, and snacks. The kids also picked up some fun candy to take back to their classmates. They also have clothing and a pharmacy – in case you forgot something at home.
If you take the bus the other direction (towards Cabo) you can go to Walmart, Costco and Sams. All about 10 minutes from the hotel.
We ate off the property in Cabo a few nights – Highly recommend Maria Carona – delicious homemade Mole and the staff was great and very reasonable AND live music. La Fonda is great - but packed with AMericans - make a reservation. We also ate at the Baja Brewing Company, which is located on the 6th floor of the Cabo Villa resort – they have pub food with a Mexican twist and great beer and homemade root beer. This is a beautiful outdoor spot with a view of the Arch and I would suggest getting there around sunset for a beautiful view and photo op. There were only a few people there during our dinner (Nicky Hilton and boyfriend showed up while we were there), and the staff was friendly, service was good, views spectacular. My boys also at ate the Taco restaurant – located across the street from Costco ASI y ASADO– and said it was the best Tacos they have ever had.
We stayed at the Hilton Cancun a few years ago and here would be my comparison –
The Hilton Los Cabos rates higher in terms of service, rooms, quality, food/restaurants. They cater to a mostly adult – high end crowd. They do have activities for kids – but not many – they had two kid’s movie nights by the adult pool which were fun. They have a Kids program (nice facility, but empty each time I walked by) and a teen room (which my teens did not use- also empty). They could create a more family friendly hotel if they had more activities. Upgrades and special amenities for Honors members are few (possible room upgrade and continental breakfast vouchers).
The Hilton Cancun is a better destination for families – more budget friendly – with more on-site (Pool games, etc) and off -site activities (ruins, cenotes, etc). They had a weekly schedule that told all the things to do each day at the hotel – for adults and kids. Hilton Cancun also has a special Honors lodging with a wonderful/private “cantina” that offers free breakfasts and cocktail/hors devours. The rooms and grounds, while nice, do not even compare with the Los Cabos Hilton. The restaurants and food service was really lacking at the Hilton Cancun.