We had two quiet weeks at the Best Western Posada Real in Puerto Escondido. Escondar, in Spanish, means hidden, and that it was. Hidden from the beach vendors who constantly intrude on your enjoyment of beach time. The hotel is on a cliff, with 103 steps down to the super wide, and long, pristine beach. A shuttle was available, but we chose to get our daily exercise by doing the climb.
Our flight from Vancouver, at 6:30 AM, arrived in Huatulco at 4:30 PM and the 90 minute bus ride stretched to well over 2 hours. We arrived at the hotel at 7:30, in the dark, and were advised that a non-smoking KS room was not available, despite having a Best Western member card. However, we were told that one would be available in 2 days, and this did happen. We got a well located room on the top floor (the hotel is only 3 floors and 100 rooms, a perfect size) with an ocean and sunset view, and although not NS, did not smell.
The one dining room, at hotel level, had daily breakfast buffet, and dinner buffet on weekends. Dinner during the week was a la carte, but you could order as much as you wanted. Lunch was at Club Coco at beach level, with the same program. Gratuties were included as part of the package, and it didn't seem to make a whole lot of difference whether you left extra, or not. Service was very slow, and one often had to flag down a waiter in order to ask for things. We're not drinkers (unless you count the odd virgin pina colada and my husband's occasional beer) but ordering ice water and getting it was an exercise in patience.
We knew we were in laid back Mexico, and accepted this, or walked up to the bar and got our own. The food was adequate and plentiful, and we were able to ask for, and get, ingredients to make what my husband called "Canadian tacos", since tacos, burritos, and other Mexican fair was not readily available otherwise.
The nightly entertainment consisted of watching the sunset, and rocking chairs were set up on the lawn for this spectacle. If you're looking for Las Vegas style entertainment, as you get at other Mexican resorts, this is not the place. But for peace and quiet in a beautiful setting, this is the place. The grounds are beautifully looked after, the views stunning, the pools well equipped with lounge chairs, and no problem finding padded lounge chairs on the beach. Lots of palm trees everywhere, shaded grassy areas, and about the prettiest setting of any of the Mexican resorts we've been to over the years.
Now on to a tour we took that I would strongly suggest you avoid like the plague. The Cascada Magica de la Reforma tour at $50 per person was overpriced at half that amount. What was to be a 10 hour tour, passing through, and exploring, two old villages, and viewing the falls, actually lasted 5 hours, 4 of which were spent driving, mostly over nausea enducing dirt tracks. Since we were the only 2 people on the tour, plus our "guide" and his helper, the vehicle was a small Ford car. Picture this when it came time to ford (no pun intended) a river, twice, because there was no bridge (it was just being built, but not finished). Before reaching the trailhead to the falls, the road was blocked by a) two dump truck, then further along, b) a double dump truck load of red dirt, and still further, c) a bulldozer and another mountain of dirt. This meant leaving the car and walking in the searing heat for 30+ minutes, and then 15 minutes on the trail to the base of the falls. Arrival was anticlimatic as only half the falls are visible from the lower spillway. Here we stopped for "lunch", which was do it yourself sandwiches from the contents of the cooler the two men had carried, and a plastic box of Wonder Bread slices! We had envisioned a repast of finger foods, and fresh fruit, what with mangos, pineapples and bananas being plentiful. Needless to say, we chose to stick with the bottled water and my husband had a beer. There was no shade in this location, except to tuck yourself into a piece of scrub, and hope for the best. To view the falls, one had to ford (where was the Ford when I needed it?) the spillway and climb stairs. The stepping stones were slick with algae, so I chose to carefully negotiate the creek bed, which was equally slippery, even in bare feet. The driver's helper chose the stones, while still wearing shoes, and had an impromptu swim.
The view of the falls from the top was slightly better, but not in the least magical. The falls are about 1/4 of the size of ones we have close to home, so not the least impressive.
The drive home was more nauseous than before, and no stops in the villages featured in the brochure as we were told there was nothing to see there.
This is a tour to be avoided, as it should not be on their schedule. We told our Sunwing rep about the experience and he did speak to the boss. We got an apology, and a small gift of candied fruit as a PR gesture. I have since written a formal complaint to the tour company, with a cc to Sunwing, as I feel they owe us more than a handful of candy for the worst tour we have ever experienced.
So there is my long winded review, which boils down to: Puerto Escondido (the town and market is also worth a visit, as is the world famous Zicalo surfing beach area) is what all the other resorts were like before they were discovered and overbuilt. Just do not take the waterfall tour!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.