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“A little bit of heaven” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Lagunita

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Hotel Lagunita
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Barcina 3 la Playa, Yelapa, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Yelapa
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“A little bit of heaven”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2006

I stayed at Lagunita for a week at the end of November and had a wonderful time. I highly recommend this hotel and Yelapa, which is a small, hospitable town. The website is very much true to form and my room (No. 4) was small, but full of charm. The palapas are strung along the shore of a cove inset from the Pacific and the setting is truly dreamlike. The best part of the beach was literally a step out of my door.

Housekeeping was very good and responsive. Beach towels were provided whenever I needed them. The linens are not fine Egyptian pima cotton, but they are ok. It got cool enough at night that extra blankets were needed, which the front office immediately gave me.

There are several very good restaurants in town and the hotel's is one of them. The food was very well prepared, right down to the desserts. I looked forward to every meal I had there!

I had two luxurious and much deserved massages at the spa and with the pounding surf it was a healing experience. Nancy, the therapist, was superb and her studio on the hotel grounds lends itself to serenity.

I did several day trips. One was with Cody, who runs the coffee shop and does birding trips. This was my first birding excursion and she is a top notch guide. My other trip was to Marietas Islands and that was incredible as well.

The drawbacks are the noisy "booze cruise" from Puerto Vallarta, the noise at night from the bars in Yelapa, and yes, the mosquitos. But Lagunita and Yelapa are so special that I'll just find a different kind of bug spray and use ear plugs!

  • Liked — Beach/Palapas
  • Disliked — Noise
  • Tips/Secrets — Bug Spray
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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233 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Westminster, B.C.
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2006

The website needs to be updated. Yes, the beach and water are magnificent ; however many of the advertised amenities were unavailable to us or not in operation eg. panoramic pool & pool bar, gift shop, spa, barracuda beach lounge, lagunita coffee shop, art gallery, live music or dancing. We were advised to email Sergio regarding water taxi travel to Yelapa; we provided all of our arrival information with plenty of notice and did not receive a reply. Subsequent enquiries- no reply. Naturally, when we arrived midafternoon; his service was no longer available. We ended up having to pay $50 U.S.D to get from the airport to Boca (more than 2x the going rate). The last water taxi of the day (6:30 p.m.) was uncovered, and very overcrowded.
Ominous clouds and not enough fuel!! The operators accosted some fishermen and borrowed some fuel. We arrived in a torrential downpour; all our luggage was wet and the humidity precluded it drying out properly--cell phone and calculator rendered useless. The boat pulled into the beach and we jumped out into kneedeep water; we were soaked to the skin within 30 seconds.

I expected rustic, not primitive. We requested the 'honeymoon suite' and received a cabana that was unclean, dirty bed covers,one rough towel each per day (no hand towels or face cloths), tiny bar of soap only (no other toiletries). Mosquito netting consisted of a gauze-like fabric that does not breathe; fan provided little relief. Bed was uncomfortably hard; we did not sleep well. Each cabana apparently has its own hot water heater; ours did not work, and in fact we did not have any water at all the first night. Day 2 - management said it would be fixed,
but it was not; the second night we were without water. Day 3 -
we moved to another cabana--that was not only considerably cleaner, but also presented us with no water problems. Bottled water required to clean your teeth but was not provided until asked for; we were encouraged to refill them from the general water cooler at the bar.

Beware! Never walk around the cabana in the dark without footwear. Huge spiders, large land crabs, cockroaches discovered in our bathroom at night. I could not see any mosquitos but got many insect bites in spite of using insect repellant. One of the employees was stung by a scorpion.

The food was generally very good and they make a mean margarita! However, all meals were interrupted by lots of flies and on our last night another patron's rotweiller attacked another small beach mutt under our table !! So much for romantic candlelight dinners! What concerned me most of all was not only did the other patron not take ownership of his dog and its behavior, but also the management did not say a word--no concern for us or our well-being. Note: There are many dogs wandering the beach; pit bull seems to be a common denominator in the gene pool.

Beach vendors are somewhat bothersome and one of the 'pie' ladies makes a lemon meringue pie that is absolutely out of this world !!

No, we will not return to Hotel Lagunita. We certainly did not get value for our money. But what an adventure, stories to tell.......!

  • Liked — The view from the room
  • Disliked — Uncomfortable, with too much wildlife in the room
  • Tips/Secrets — Beware of websites that are not kept up to date!
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Delaware
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2006

We spent a week in May in Yelapa at the Hotel Lagunita. It was one of the best vacations we have taken and we have no complaints. We saw no mosquitoes or scorpions but we did ocassionally cross paths with an iguana and a few curious crabs did visit our casita.
We visited just at the end of the season so the hotel was not fully occupied and many of the guests there were Mexicans on holiday. The hotel accommodations were better than you had a right to expect for about $66 a night. Our casita (a stand-alone that did not share a common wall with a neighbor) was modestly furnished (the beds were a little too firm for my tastes) but there were two stand outs: the casita (number 29) was built against the hillside and the bathroom incorporated a rather large boulder into the wall; the other was the view - through our open window we looked over the bougainvillea and across the inlet to the village and the mountains.
The restaurant, which served excellent food (try the Mexican frittata for breakfast and the cochinita pibil for dinner), was on the beach so every night we would wriggle our toes in the sand while having drinks and dinner and watching glorious sunsets. The service in the restaurant/bar was excellent. The restaurant staff was charming, polite and efficient. There is also a resident masseuse. I did not avail myself but my partner did and he said it was the best massage he has ever had.
During the day, you have to contend with some of the day-trippers from Vallarta but most of them congregate at the other beach clubs. Beach vendors do exist but they are less annoying than on other Mexican beaches and they are locals. Watch for the pie ladies who sell pie by the slice. The best coconut cream pie you have ever tasted.
On the water taxi ride from Playa Los Muertos, we encountered a pod of dolphins who decided to bow surf the taxi, a giant manta ray that actually breeched the surface as well as a late-season whale.
This is not an Americanized beach resort and if that is what you are expecting, please stay home. It is a little low-key corner of paradise. We are already making plans to return.

Was this review helpful? Yes 15
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4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2006

I visited the Lagunita on a day trip several years ago and liked it so much, decided to spend the evening there. It was so beautiful and relaxing, I vowed to come back for a week. Which I was fortunate enough to do last August.

Normally, I'm really into luxury rooms and 5 star hotels but this place is so charming I found it very hard to resist. The palapas are very cozy and clean -- suprisingly water-tight even when it rains. The bugs -- yes they are there -- mosquitos mostly and you definitely need the netting. But come on -- you are literally "steps" from the ocean and the jungle -- of course there are bugs! and beautiful sunrises! and beautiful sunsets! and tropical sounds! and a clean beach! and friendly, happy people!

On both of my trips I met some great people -- locals and guests. Every meal served by Lucas's staff was superb. I felt like royalty there because everyone was so nice. I'm hesitant to tell too many people about this place because I like it just the way it is. Don't go for an extended stay if you can't deal with vacationing in a truly natural setting -- but I bet most people, myself included, are hooked after one night.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland Heights
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2006

I just returned from a four night visit to the Hotel Lagunita and since I rely heavily on tripadvisor[-]when planning a trip, I wanted to share our experience. I was traveling with my husband and our six year old daughter. This is a perfect destination for families or couples, young or old. I had visited Hotel Lagunita as a child forty years ago and it made a lasting impression. I have always yearned to return, and after all these years, I decided it was time to make the trip. I was somewhat apprehensive, as I worried that the hotel and Yelapa might have changed dramatically and that reality wouldn't match my romanticized memories. Also, having stayed there before, I was well aware of the rustic aspects of the accomodations and I worried that I would find it difficult to co-exist with the wildlife.

Overall, our experience was extremely positive. Our casita was clean and comfortable. Accomodations, while picturesque and adequate, are not luxurious. The rustic nature of the place is definately part of its charm. After laying awake the first night terrified of the sounds of wildlife in and around our casita, I decided to put my faith in the mosquito curtain and slept fine thereafter. The only intruder I every saw was a crab trying to crawl into my suitcase, though neighbors in the casita next door reported being visited every night by an animal that is a cross between a badger and a raccoon. As for insects, I never saw any.

There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, but for the most part we enjoyed lounging on the beach. We ate most of our meals at the hotel and found them to be of consistently high quality and fairly priced. We sampled a couple of the restaurants in town, always with a good result.

Hotel Lagunita & Yelapa are not for everyone. If you enjoy and expect the amenities of a posh resort, don't go. However, if you want a genuine experience, off the beaten path that gives you the opportunity to interact with the locals, this is a great destination. Would we go back? You bet! I am already dreaming of sitting under a palapa, with a margarita in one hand and a good book in the other.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2006

The reviewer below clearly had a bad experience, and all I can say is that my experiences in Yelapa and at Lagunita are the opposite of those detailed below. For me Yelapa and Lagunita are magical places, and this destination is one of perhaps three or four spots in the world that I would consider perfect escapes- secret getaways in Fiji, Thailand and elsewhere taking the other top spots.
Yelapa is so close to PV yet so quiet and serene, and Lagunita is THE place to stay there. I first came to Yelapa in 1987, and returning in 2005 I was really pleased to see that the place is in no way ruined or overdeveloped. There are no cars, no ATMs, and no real crowds (daytrippers in the afternoon only)- instead there is a gorgeous bay, backed by mountainous forest and jungle with golden sand and a string of palapa restaurants along the beach.
If you are used to staying in a high-rise hotel beside other high-rise hotels and not seeing locals or local life and culture, then this place may not be for you. If you can't manage a few critters at night then you might also have a problem, but that's what the mosquito net over your bed is for. Lagunita could be described as semi-rustic, but I would consider it high-end rustic, if the term "rustic" must be used; it is clean, you have hot water and attractive rooms with fantastic views of the bay, a gorgeous (small to medium size) pool with an amazing view, friendly service (we thought Lucas, the American manager, was a nice and helpful guy), very pretty grounds, and fantastic food. Try the shrimp or fish tacos and you will be in heaven. The Mexican food in particular is absolutely outstanding.
If one was paying $200 per night for this hotel then there might be cause for grumbling in certain circumstances, but the rates at Lagunita are extremely reasonable. If you are paying rates this low for what is the nicest accomodation in Yelapa, don't expect first-world style perks and services.
Yelapa itself is a wonderful place to explore, and Lagunita is the best home base in the bay. Some of the comments below with respect to the surroundings are off base in my view. Yelapa's village is a wonderful slice of real Mexico (with plenty of ex-pats thrown in), and the waterfall, while not strong in the dry season, is a beautiful place to have a beer and a bite in the cool forest (there is a small "cafe" at the base). A hike up the river that drains into the bay is also reccommended, as cool swimming holes can be found if you go far enough.
Yelapa is paradise and I will return many times. I woudn't consider staying anywhere but Lagunita if you want the full experience.

A few other points:
- the water can be rough (waves etc), but swimming is still fine at anytime
- sand is not soft and white, this is the Pacific after all and not the Caribbean; still the nicest in the area
- small boat trips when the water is rolling or a little rough best avoided- can be freaky
- Kayaking here a bit of a waste of time if you ask me
- Western food so-so; Mexican food outstanding
- Mexican breakfasts all up the beach are great

  • Stayed January 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mitchell, South Dakota
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2006

We made our own taxi arrangements to Boca to get on the boat taxi (could have taken it right from the pier in Zone Romantica in PV too but thoroughly enjoyed the 40 min. drive south of PV to Boca, and Hugo, our taxi driver, that someone on the website of Yelapa gave to me. I did not know there was a hotel water taxi. We were dropped off (yes, you do have to get your feet wet, there is a pier at the hotel but not used (yet?) but the boat staff are very concerned about your safety getting on and off. There were young men there to take your bags but they informed us they were not from the hotel. Short walk where we got on and off. The sand was course (beautiful but course) and so it took some time to adjust to walking on it. The hotel, I can't say enough about. We got a palapa next two the double the former post talked of. We did hear the young men in the one close to us getting up in the morning and getting home late at night. Hey, they are young. Smiled remembering the days... Claudia is a superb massage therapist at the hotel. The sound of the ocean was so loud and so wonderful. We did not meet the staff that I contacted for arrangements but the men at the desk were great. My only regret, I got to the "first section" of Yelapa on our walk the first night (so knew to go to the Galaria for dinner one night) but I didn't get to the far section of town where they have their own beach. (although viewed it from my first parasailing experience!). The people were awesome. The tourists (just a few) we met walking the 2 hr. trek (there is a waterfall near the town also) for a waterfall that was not as beautiful as I had hoped for, but the people who love nature were so happy to be on this long trek where you cross a small river a couple of times, you walk a path, have to climb a few rocks, go past homes that everyone inside have big smiles, little if any furniture, etc. Reminds us what life is really about, love and friendships bring true happiness - nothing else.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Lagunita

Address: Barcina 3 la Playa, Yelapa, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Costalegre > Yelapa
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Yelapa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Lagunita 3*
Number of rooms: 32
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Also Known As:
Lagunita Hotel Yelapa

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