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“Wonderful Week” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Palmas de Cortez

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Hotel Palmas de Cortez
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Los Barriles, Los Barriles, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Los Barriles
Seattle, Washington
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Wonderful Week”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

Our group of four shared a condo at Palmas and had a great time. The food at the Bay View was excellent as was the service. We fished three days and had better sucess than a lot of other boats. Fishing reports indicated that the fishing was not the normal I had experienced in the past but we caught a lot of nice sized Dorado, some tuna, and one sailfish. All in all, this was a great place to stay. If you go to Los Barriles remember that you are in Mexico and accept that this is primarily a fishing resort.
My wife and Daughter-in-law were very impressed and were the first to say they wanted to come back next year.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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128 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

We travelled to Baja from the UK via San Fransisco as there are no direct flights.
I was the only fishing member of a two couple party of four who wanted to visit somewhere other than the commercial areas of Mexico, myself being a keen fisherman who had long dreamed of visiting what is considered in the UK as being the Sport Fishing 'go to' place.
Due to the shortage of other Brits having visited / reviewed the area & hotels, I was very grateful to the people who pointed me in the right direction, Susan from the US, Liz from Hotel Reservations, Roger from East Cape Resorts - you know who you are.
They all reassured me that we would be fine and the hotel and area far surpassed anything that we could have hoped for.
Being a predominently fishing destination, it was a worry to my non fishing wife and friends that there would be nothing to do during the day or evening. We soon found that the order of the day was that 90% of the other guests get up around 6am, have breakfast and make their way to the jetty on the beach in front of the hotel to meet their charter boats.
From 7am to 15.30 the place is almost deserted, afew people walking along the beach or maybe three or four around the pool / bar. Perfect for a quiet day sunbathing, reading or just generally chilling out. At 15:00 the boats return and their guest cool off in the pool, have afew beers, talk aboutthe days fishing, have tea tehn get to bed ready for the next day. Most nights we were alone in the bar after 22:00.
We took the advice of not taking the 'meal deal' in favour of a short walk out for breakfast, the restaurant at the hotel is excellent quality but approx twice as expensive as others in the area, I guess you pay for convenience.We walked up the High Street to the Deli. This sat about 12 people inside, spoke litte English but wasnt really an issue, and served lovely omlettes and bacon, They also had very large mugs which when filled with Aqua Kaliente (boiling water) and dunked with a British Tetley or PG Tips tea bag, provided a much appreciated early morning cuppa. Other places to try for breakfast were the next hotel down - Verdugos on the beach ($5)Smokeys (although it was never open when we called) and our favourite, up the track next to Tios Tienda called Calebs Cafe - go upstairs for the view over the bay and buy a couple of home made muffins for lunch - just perfect!
Lunch was generally taken from the snack bar at the pool. Fresh made nachos for $5 or better still chicken or Prawn Fajhitas for $8 between two was more than enough. Beer in the bar or at the pool set you back $2 but we found that by getting a dozen cans from the Supermarket on the way back from the Deli/Calebs stick them in the fridge in the room and take them out as you need them was an easy option, saved a couple of dollars and was generally quite convenient as we had a pool side room within a minutes walk of the sunbeds.
We found the sea cool but nice enough to swim when you were in there - there were rarely waves in the morning but these picked up after lunch - nothing dangerous though. The beach looked idillic as it was generally empty and yellow. However be warned that the sand is quite coarse and is rough on the feet, especially near the surf. I took sand shoes for the beach fishing and was very glad I did.
Evening meals were a walk into town (maybe 10 mins) or a taxi ride ($10) see Carlos from the hotel shop he will take you, sort out the restaurant, explain the menu and agree a return time - Bobs your Uncle. The only places we needed a taxi for were Buzzards Bay (now moved further away and no longer has a Sea View) but it does serve very nice Burgers, Chicken wings & Fries.
Very lazily we used Carlos to go to the Mediteranean resaurant -The Apostoli which was actually at the other end of the Hgh Street to the Hotel, maybe a 20 minute walk - up hill there but easy coming back.
The Hotel itself has a lovely restaurant called the Bay View (for obvious reasons) it will sell you a good steak but will charge maybe $25 fior the pleasure.
Other places we found that were good value and served good food were Smokeys (this is where you can take your catch and have it cooked for you for $8.95) this is a Sports Bar in as much as it has US Basketball etc on two or three TVs around the bar, The seating is outside and there is usually afew local people there having a good time and talking about the fishing.
Tios Tienda is 50M closer to the hotel on the same road as Smokeys. They seat you inside or out, have special offers on, Steak night, Mexican night etc, is maybe a little more expensive than Smokeys but nothing more than $12 per head for a cracking meal, jacket potatoes etc.
The whole area is a fishermans heaven. It is aimed at anglers, caters for anglers and does what it says it will i.e puts anglers on to the fish.
I fished from the beach most mornings catching ladyfish on the fly, needle fish and snapper on the lures. I walked to the right of the hotel where there are some rocks and to the left of the hotel to the adjacent hotels boat jetty. It is busy until say 07.00am but after the boats have left youve generally got the place to yourself. I did see an angler catch a 25lb Amberjack from a cayak using a jig in 200 ft of water at the end of the Charter boat moorings.
I took three boats out during our 10 night stay. The first day it was the Don Antonio with a father & son team (Rauls) I especially wanted to catch a Sailfish, a Marlin and /or a Roosterfish. Apparantly the Sailfish come in after July so although we did see one cruising on the surface nad got close enough to throw a Ballyhoo (you'll need $20 a day for half a dozen baits) it dissappeared. Apart from that we trolled far out to the North and didnt get a bite. The boat itself then broke down on the way back in so I wasnt too dissapointed when it wasnt available for my second trip afew days later.
I cant remember his name, but the chap in the Fish Office (Eddies mate) at the hotel was very helpful and offered me advice on which boats were available and the best way to avoid another blank. Bear in mind that most of the boats were going to the Buoys to catch the Dorado which were quite big and plentiful. I wanted a Sailfish or a Marlin and was prepared to wait it out to give me the best chance of catching one.
My second trip was booked on the Cruiser 'Rude Girl' (there was a series of 'Rude Boats' with Rude Boy regularly showing Marlin & Dorado flags and the smaller Pango 'Rude Baby' being something of a Roosterfish expert. Obviously these boats were well known and booked up in advance.
Rude Girl was captained by Jose and crewed by Rafael, they took me North again but much closer to shore where we saw six Marlin, threw baits to four of them and hooked up on to two of those being 90lb and 170lb, both of which were released. I think the crew would have taken the fish for food but I am a believer in preserving fish stocks for other anglers and prefer to catch & release fish wherever possible. The crew were all very friendly and spoke good english. The tackle was first rate on the cruisers and Van Wormer has obviously cornered the market in the area with little other competition.
Youll be asked what food and drinks you want for each day, when you confirm your boat the day before you fish. I had cheese & bacon sandwiches, an orange and buscuits with water to drink. This was all very welcome at a small charge.
Having achieved the Marlin and accepted that conditions were not right for a Sailfish I turned my attention to the Roosters and to be honest, I wish I had done this earlier. I found this quarry more achievable.. better fighting and more exciting (sorry to all those Blue Water deep sea anglers who cant believe what Im saying). There are beach charters which will take a party of anglers up
the beach looking for Roosters (this will cost $300 for the day and $100 for the quad). This would have been ok to find out what to look for but with a bit of research and afew chats with the very obliging fellow anglers on the beach (thanks to Steve and Bob who took the time to explain what I should be looking for and even gave me better tackle to land a fish if I got close enough).
I hired two quads one of the yellow 4 x 4 bikes from the High street who charge $110 for 4 hours but they are like new and youll never get stuck. I also went for the cheaper and older Quadman bikes, generally blue and also off the High Street near the supermarket. These are rear wheel drive, cost only $70 but have worn tyres and I had to carry it out of the surf when it slid sideways and got stuck in the soft sand.
The lures you need are readliy available from East Cape Tackle at the far end of the High street past the Deli. They are the Whistler and Cabo Killer which weigh approx 2oz and are skimmed over the surface using my 10ft spinning rod and 40lb braid. My fly rod was an 8wt and I doubt if I would have got a Rooster of over 10lb in on that gear.
You can take the quad all the way up to the Marina (12 miles and 40 mins), this is Rooster country, to get to the lighthouse on the far side of the Marina you need to go around the nature reserve and give yourself another 30 mins to get there.
I saw 2 Roosters as I walked along the beach near the Marina, look for the clear areas where the shallow sand meets the deeper blue water 10M out of the surf. Coast guards make sure you dont go onto the Marina site itself or through the nesting areas.
I was advised that the way to improve your chances of catching a Rooster is by boat so I went into the Fish office, explained my needs and he adviused me to go with Alonso on the Panga Bohemia. Alonso has come over from The Punta Colorado hotel while it is being refurbished.
The Pangos are cheaper at $305 but the equipment, at least on this one, was not as good as the criusers, no outriggers, no fighting belt etc but the company is a little more one to one and I enjoyed that part of it.
We bought some live mullet (no Sardines in the area - pity they are best) on our way out to the lighthouse which was a 30 minute motor from the Hotel. We saw 3 Roosters, threw bait to two, lost one caught a 40lb fish to one we saw and one of 60lb while trolling.
Alonso has his own Panga so if you can find him then you will get a day with a top Captain for less than $200.
We hired a car from the hote- Cesar from National Cars is a lovely chap and is very helpful. With 3 clients a day how he keeps so cheerful is inspiring. He will get you a nice car and a full tank of gas for less than $100.
We went to Cabo San Lucas for the day. It was G20 summit time when we were there so very busy. It was ok in Cabo with all the shops, street sellers and bars that you imagine. Dont miss a drink in Cabo Wabo which is pricey but good for the atmosphere and live music.To be honest we were all glad to get back to Los Barrilles and to the peace and quite.
What struck us all was how friendly (without exception) everyone was. I was impressed by the willingness of the anglers to say where they had been and what tackle to use. My wife and friend were amazed when people would stop their cars in the street to ask if you were ok and needed any help.
I hope one day I can return to Baja and give those Sailfish and Roosters another go.

Room Tip: Firstfloor pool views all have views over the ocean and you miss some of the noise from the early mo...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

Bulletproof glass to separate you from reception. A $20.00 deposit for a TV remote. Non-existent wireless (that they charge for, even though advertised as free). Ungrounded hot electrical wires running from a panel throughout the property (through water filled planters) to the "dock" that was being welded. The water filled planters smell like Pine Sol because the maids dump their dirty water in them. A refrigerator in the middle of the room because nobody could measure the wall unit. Tractors firing up their engines on the beach at 6:00am to launch boats in the water. We have traveled extensively in Mexico and are fluent in Spanish and have never encountered a worse property that tries to bill itself as a "resort." Save your money and time and stay in Los Cabos if you want a resort experience.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

Love this Hotel! I came with my family, husband and two kids and love this hotel, it;s my first time going and it is excellent. It's not as Pricey as people say, we entertained the kids in the pool and I would lay out watching them. Also we went ziplining and the kids LOVED it! Definatley reccomend this place and even though I didn't experience fishing my husband caught (and sadly had to release) a marlin. The food at Bay View is excelent, the waitors very friendly and it didn't take as long, I would have to complain that the showers did take a while to heat up (5 min). The beach isn't very crowded and there's also kayaking there which is beautiful because we could see the manta-rays jumping. Would reccomend this place to anyone will for sure go back! Two thumbs up!

Room Tip: Get a condo (kind of pricey) Or the pool side rooms
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
San Francisco
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

Palmas de Cortez is a place I come to again and again. My husband and I have been coming here for years. While he fishes with the first-rate fleet and guides, I lounge by the gorgeous pool, sipping cocktails from the bar while gazing out at the incredible Sea of Cortez waiting for him to come back with tons of delicious fish (he always does!) to have the cooks prepare for dinner. Some days I go to the spa for a massage or pedicure, while others I stroll on the beach or into town. The rooms (and we have stayed in each kind they offer) are well-appointed and service is wonderful. The staff is incredibly friendly and the food is great. Everyone speaks English but is glad to help you with a little Spanish if you so choose. The resort keeps you feeling "local" and immersed in the lovely Mexican culture while providing first-rate accommodations and services at a very good price. This is a family-run business and everyone takes pride in the operation. Great for families with children of all ages, and groups as well as couples. Don't miss the delicious Bay View restaurant. Ladies, if your guy likes to fish, go down to Palmas with him-- you will enjoy the experience as much as he will = a Win-Win!

Room Tip: While all rooms are wonderful I prefer the quiet garden rooms or an Ocean Front upstairs.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boise, Idaho
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

Before we left home, I had sent an e-mail to Van Wormer Resorts requesting information about the amenities of the rooms. Never received a reply. To check in, we had to wait an extremely long time for the front desk representative to handle one person. While we were waiting, we observed that people waiting in the lobby area were departing, and they had to wait to go over their bill, which was in accurate in every case. Word of warning - take mucho cash. You must tip for every meal. We did not see that explained in their web site. Also, any excursion outside of fishing must be paid in cash. We wanted to do the zip line, but felt that we could use our charge card - we are talking about $300 for a family of 4. The servers were fairly indifferent - just short of rudeness. Nearly every meal had one plate that was messed up. There were times that the other people at our table were done eating before the last person was served. The only reason I gave this hotel two stars was due to the nice facility, and the location to the super market. We took the cooler for a walk to the super mercado every day to save cost on the beverage bills. Oh talking about beverages, don't get the bar at the swim up bar wet. The bartender will get mad at you. What the heck - the bar is in a darn pool! My husband went fishing and experienced two broken boats - first boat failed, and had to be towed to meet the second boat. The second boat motor failed, and they sat for hours to be towed. There weren't any fish where they were stranded! The hotel would not reimburse - two failed boats and they would not reimburse! While the pools look inviting, we do not recommend this facility because of the poor service.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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Los Barriles, Mexico
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2012

Up front I will have to say we have never actually stayed at this hotel. I can't judge the rooms but we live a few blocks away from here so we frequent the Palmas alot. We eat there, use the bars and restaurants and I love to bring friends to the great gift shop. My husband fishes in front of the Hotel almost daily and friendlier staff you will not find easily. On our last trip I discovered the Hair Salon and was not dissapointed. Staff wonderful, cut and nails perfection. Don't think twice about using these services. I heard many good things about the foot massages also. The whole Palmas de Cortez experiance is great.

Room Tip: I would definetly choose a ocean front. Any floor.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Palmas de Cortez

Address: Los Barriles, Los Barriles, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Sur > Los Barriles
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Los Barriles
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Palmas de Cortez 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
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Also Known As:
Resort Palmas De Cortez
Palmas De Cortez Hotel

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