When you view a resorts web page, the professional photographs depict the property in a way that is often a little too flattering. As beautiful as the photos are of the Hotel Las Palmas, they do not do it justice.
Las Palmas is way prettier than the website suggests. Partly, because photos cannot describe the graciousness of the host and his staff. Attitude and sincerity just do not come across in a picture. There is a genuineness about the staff that is immediately apparent from check in until the moment you leave.
It’s a short ride from the airport along a paved road that for the last mile or two turns to hard pack dirt. The hotel is indeed on a practically deserted and spectacular 9 mile beach. Turning into the short drive way reminded me of entering the front gates of Jurassic park--no horrible creatures here. My wife and I never saw a bug, only small lizards skirting about in the sand occasionally. It’s just that the bamboo gate separates a near perfect reality from the outside world.
You are greeted by some of the staff; Omar, Edgar, Sergio, Liz and Jesus. They usher you onto the small grounds of the hotel and to your rooms. No stamping of credit cards, filling out stuff. You walk past a small bar and dining area, past two freeform infinity style pools, beautifully landscaped gardens and grass, an outdoor bar and dining area with the beach focusing your attention. Everything is well appointed, classy and made by local artisans.
We had 4 rooms for the 3 other couples who joined us for the 5 nights and 6 days of our stay. We were the only guests at the hotel, which also includes condos. Our expectations were overwhelmed. The rooms were beautifully appointed and spacious--a contemporary Mexican motif--with attention to the smallest detail. The very comfortable king bed was aligned perfectly so that you could look directly out through the sliding glass panels to your private beach area and on to the waves of the Pacific ocean. It was like a picture with the palm trees and amenities of the property framing it all.
There are also lovely wooden shuttered panels that you slide in front of the glass, not so much for privacy--Las Palmas is so secluded that there is always ample privacy--but to filter the light and heat coming into the room. Our center room was on the first floor but still had a very high vaulted ceiling with a fan and a very adequate and quiet air conditioner--a little remote control unit near the bed to change temperature and fan speed. Instead of a door separating the vanity and bath area, they used curtains, tied back to the sides of arched entrance area. It was a lovely effect, that softened and opened up the room. There were custom closets and shelves to unpack your things, a vanity and sink made of small loose stones and clever sliding drawers to store your toilet articles in and hang towels from, and a small WC with a door. Most amazing was another sliding glass panel that opened onto your outside shower. Yes, outside. There was a curved 5 foot wall around the shower for privacy and a small gate that opened directly onto your private Jacuzzi, which was outside on your own private patio beach area. It was great, freeing and another example of the well though out environment at Las Palmas.
Near the bed there is a small door, with a shelf on the outside, aptly named “The Coffee Door.” Each morning at a time you decide, a coffee pot, cups, cream and sugar magically appear on the shelf. You merely open the little door and have coffee in your bed or out on your private patio/beach. There is a small and adequate sized but quite cold refrigerator and bar area out there too. A couple of lounge chairs, a table, a gorgeous hammock, chairs and a hand crafted wooden towel rack with your beach towels on it. You are separated from the rooms on either side by a wall, plants and shrubs. There is a huge rock retaining wall and more greenery separating the public beach from your own private beach.
When we wanted to socialize with our friends, the beach area had more lounge chairs for two, a king bed, which “floated” from the palm trees, single chairs, tables, a beautiful bar, sand that was sifted every day, palm trees for shade, and easy access restrooms. Once again, everything impeccably clean and fresh. Two large bottled waters were left in your room every day, compliments of the hotel, that you could bring to the beach. You could sit and relax in the beach area and be waited on or not. Your choice. No one intrudes on your privacy unless you want.
There were books left in each room and by the bar. This is the time to read, lying in the hammock, with the sound of the ocean waves and a light balmy breeze. It was never too hot with the breeze. And, much to my wife’s happiness, no mosquitoes.
The room is beautifully and simply appointed with hand made furniture, lighting to accentuate the room and alcoves in the walls for decorations. There is a dock and sound system for your iPod/iPhone and the electricity is reliable and the same system used in the states and Canada. No TVs or distractions. Wifi is spotty and slow in the rooms but is more reliable and faster on the beach and in the dining area and bar. It is not fast enough to stream movies or big files. You will just have to content yourself with the charm and beauty of Las Palmas.
There are no bills, no tipping; its as if you were guests at someone’s club or home. Of course you have to settle up when you leave but there are no monetary distractions during your stay. They scrupulously track all of your charges so that when you check out that is the only time you need or think of money. Prices are reasonable, and even cheap considering the luxury of your surroundings. Since no gratuities are offered during the stay, you pay for them when you leave, into a pool that is shared by all the staff. It’s a bit unusual but it seems both fair and appropriate.
The staff, Jason the owner along with his partner are the epitome of the seemingly opposites; Mexican laid back and absolute dedication to service. We wanted for nothing. Their laid back attitude helps you to relax but at the same time they each pamper the guests. On our first night dining at the hotel, the server suggested something to drink, “Cocktails, wine, Champagne?” When I opted for the Champagne, he apologized and admitted they had none but would gladly get whatever we wanted for the next day. It was late in the evening or I am sure he would have gone into town that night to indulge us. Our friends made several requests and almost immediately the staff procured what they didn’t have from town, even doing shopping for gifts and other items.
In the past, I always felt that they should post a sign at the Mexican border that simply says, ‘No Substitutions’. It is always hard to get other than what ever is exactly stated. Not so at Las Palmas. We ate what we wanted, when we wanted and changed things around to suit ourselves. It was not just in the food service either; whatever request we had was met with a cordial response and it just happened. Jason’s staff were far more than accommodating. They anticipated our needs. All the staff knew that we wanted our coffee delivered through the little door in the morning with milk and no sugar. When we dined they knew that we were the couple that didn’t want sugar. It’s a small thing but one of those intimate details that separates a good experience from a great one. Intimate detail is what Las Palmas is all about.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.