This place has some really great potential to be a fabulous little boutique style hotel. Despite some of the negative reviews I found here, I was really looking forward to staying here and I arrived with an open-mind.
First, the good:
- the location is great......surrounding area is hilly and quite pretty, the road/highway leading up to the place is also quite curvy and scenic which I really liked
- we stayed in one of the king rooms on the first floor facing the front of the property; the room was clean and the bathroom/shower area was also clean; the bed was comfortable; the view was great
- some people commented that the pool or hot tub outside was dirty --- when I was there, I looked at both and they both looked clean and kept up; the hot tub was running/working although it was cold out so no one was using it, same with the pool
- service level is not what it should be; starting from the moment we arrived, i walked into the office/front desk and the manager, Dawn, didnt even look up to greet us, I said hello and just stood there waiting for eye contact or a response....after a few seconds we finally get a hello and a "sorry, I'm just trying to finish this up" referring to paperwork -- so fine, I thought, no big deal, she must be having a busy day and left it at that.
Found it strange that Dawn is the manager, cook and the housekeeper. I had read that on TripAdvisor but thought that maybe the reviewer had just gone on a day that possibly other Escondida staff members had called in sick or out, but as it turns out, there is one person running the whole thing.
- Dinner: served in the dining room; there is no menu to pick from; Dawn cooked the dinner which consisted of fish, rice, asparagus, and a simple salad -- all tasted good but not great. There were only 3 other couples and we all sat in this really akward silence --- one couple later described the ambiance as similar to sitting in the waiting room of a doctor's office. A suggestion: add some window treatments or a rug -- needs some fabric to absorb noise and not make it so echo-y....that would add a welcoming warmth to the dining room. Maybe even a plant in the room or a flower on each of the 4 small dining tables -- doesnt have to be expensive just something.
- Breakfast: we were served 2 large slices of french toast with a caramel sauce; since the portion was large, I told Dawn that I would be okay with just one slice to which she replied "Oh, but you are getting 2. I've already made them, you dont have to eat it if you dont want to" --- gee thanks. One of the ladies asked if instead of the heavy caramel sauce she could have butter -- she was told "nope, sorry, our butter is frozen". I had a slice of the french toast, which did taste good, but my stomach did not like it -- was sick for the rest of the day.
Basically as far as meals go, prepare to be treated like a child by a stern parent -- attitude of "this is what I made, and if you dont like it, tough!"
Other notes about this place:
- hiking trail --- i was not able to hike up because it was muddy from all the rain;
- spa - had a couple of treatments; 2 staff members at the spa; spa is closed on Sunday's. The spa staff was nice and friendly.
Overall, I'm not sure if I would go back --- maybe we went during the "off season" -- but we are not likely to return, especially not for 2 nights unless the staff was different. Not everyone has the right type of personality needed for hospitality. I dont believe the manager was trying to be rude, but her personality is coarse and not what you would expect from someone running a place like what this is trying to be -- such a shame too, because this place could be amazing.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.