My husband, I and our 10-year old son just returned from 7 days in Cabo San Lucas April 4-11, 2005. After much research (and reading previous posts on this forum), we decided to stay at Pueblo Bonito Rose Resort on Medano Beach. I contacted the hotel directly for rates and was told $350/night + tax for a regular suite. I also searched for any specials on the internet and found a website called at www.redfish.com where, for a minimal charge (maybe $15.00 a year) to register, I was able to locate timeshare owners who were selling their weeks at a steep discount. I was able to secure a full 7 nights for $1400 total (no tax!) in a 1 bedroom executive suite...a savings of over $1050 plus upgraded room!!!!
Our arrival at the San Jose airport was chaotic, to say the least! We arrived with 3 other airplane loads and took over an hour to get through customs/immigrations since only 2 windows were open. Once through, we were frantic to locate our luggage but were pushed to a counter where we were assured they would help us with transportation to Pueblo Bonito Rose. After approximately 20 minutes, we finally figured out they it was a timeshare sales pitch! ADVICE: GO DIRECTLY OUTSIDE ONCE YOU HAVE GOTTEN THROUGH IMMIGRATIONS AND GRABBED YOUR LUGGAGE!
We had to fight our way outside, through the THRONGS of timeshare salemen, to look for Cape Travel (who I had prepaid $61 on the Pueblo Bonito Rose website). We met with the rep from Cape Travel (Moises) who told us we didn't have the proper documentation...even though I had a receipt from Pueblo Bonito and Cape Travel. We ended up paying an additional $39 for a different shuttle which dropped off everyone along the way and even stopped (unrequested) at a liquor store along the way (we were promised "best prices in Mexico for liquor"). We were the last stop. It took us approximately 2 hours from the time we left the airport to the time we got to Pueblo Bonito Rose. In hindsight, it would have been much better to have paid the $60 for a private taxi.
Once at PBR, we were happily welcomed by the front desk staff...and more happily by more timeshare salesmen! By the way, if you are staying at this resort, don't forget to ask for the "owner's" discount card! It gives you a minimal 10% off all food and beverage, but helps a little. We also got some advice from a regular guest who suggested that we decide in advance which restaurants we really want to go to and have the concierge book them. We were able to get into each restaurant at prime time with absolutely no waiting and no problem! Definitely worth the tip (especially for "The Office" on Thursday and Sunday "fiesta" nights).
Our 1-bedroom executive suite at BPR was very nice with tiled floors and bathrooms. We were very well taken care of by our maid, but also made sure that she was well compensated each morning before we left. Bottled water is provided in each room...at $4.50+ US per bottle. Much better to buy bottled water elsewhere and bring it back to your room!
The pool is wonderful but was extremely busy during our stay, which happened to be the last week of spring break. It was very annoying to come down first thing in the morning to see that all the chairs had been "reserved" (but no one there), leaving us nowhere to sit. I later learned to move the "reserver's" items to other locations...made for much fun to watch when they finally came down in the afternoon looking for "their" chairs!
By the way, PBR pool service is absolutely the best. If you take care of your waiter ($5.00 US tip), he is yours for the entire stay. We had incredible chips, guacamole, pico de gallo, and "sunset beach" cocktails (strawberry and mango frozen drink). We barely had to lift a finger and our wonderful waiter was there with more food and drink.
The number of beach vendors is unreal! We bought all of our gifts to take back home from the silver and hat vendors. It was amazing how they began their prices at $35 for a silver bracelet and we ended up at $12...definitely some room to negotiate a better deal. The "925" mark is on the back of each, so I'm assuming it's real silver.
I had no problem whatsoever with the ATMs, although I am now finding out that each transaction cost $4.50 when I looked at my bank statement this weekend. Also, you are limited to $3,000 pesos per day, or just under $300 US (goes very fast in Cabo!!!).
On Monday night, we went to Las Quesadillas (close to the marina and mall). Very good food, more GREAT guacamole and margaritas....relatively inexpensive as well.
Tuesday, we rode wave runners. Approximate cost for 2 runners for an hour each is $120 US. Expensive, but a lot of fun. There are so many vendors renting wave runners, we probably could have bargained for cheaper prices but my husband liked the expensive yellow ones! You're able to get fairly close to the various cruise ships in the bay and Land's End. Just make sure you load up on lots and lots of sunscreen!
That night, we went to the "Original Trailer Park" or now known as "La Golandrino". They have at least 100 specials listed on their blackboard. We ordered steak, lobster and shrimp. The steak definitely had an "off taste" to it (maybe road kill???), but the lobster and shrimp were pretty good. Very, very busy restaurant. The owner is EXTREMELY friendly, especially if you're female! Although I had just met him, he even showed me pictures of his very-well endowed girlfriend! Nice guy!
On Wednesday, we finally decided to get the timeshare salesmen off our backs. We went to a 90-minute Pueblo Bonito Sunset presentation which turned into a 4-1/2 hour presentation!!!! No matter how much we said "NO!", the salesman ("Eddy Mac", ex-pro basketball player from way back) still tried to make the sale. Yes, we received $150 US off our F&B bill at PBR and free ATVs for a half-day, but it sure was a waste of precious vacation time. Do this ONLY if you have nothing else to do or need the discount/freebies.
That evening, my husband and I went to Mi Casa (the one 2 blocks away from PBR). Absolutely wonderful food and incredible atmosphere. I would heartily recommend this restaurant!
Thursday evening, we walked to Squid Roe (approximately 10-15 minute walk from PBR). We had heard that "Girls Go Wild" beginning around 10 or 11PM, but until then, kids' birthday parties are held here! Strange, but true! We took our 10-year old son who had a blast. The staff really take the extra time to make sure that children have a great time...they even get to keep the "yard long" plastic drinking glasses. Most definitely a recommendation, just be out of there before 10 unless you are a party animal.
Friday, we went on an ATV ride through "MotoSol". Good thing we did it early in the morning. It was extremely dusty and hot by late morning. A half-day is more than enough and you're given plently of time in the local canyons and on the beach. Note: we witnessed 2 different people get hurt (one ATV overturned on a teenager, another bumped a child off and rolled). Seems to be very dangerous!
On Saturday, we rented a 28" charter for deep sea fishing. Unfortunately, we had gale force winds that day. We all spent a lot of time in the "quarto de bano". No fish caught either. Cost was $275 US. Bad day.
Went to The Office on Sunday for the fiesta. What a blast! We all took turns on the stage. They have a Mexican John Belushi lookalike who gives you free shots of tequila (his name is "Rambo"). The Office was turning people away, so I am glad we made advance reservations. The food was fantastic and service very good. They even provide blankets for everyone since it gets chilly in the evenings. They also had a pinata for the kids to break. Would definitely go back!
We had breakfast at Mama's for the stuffed French toast and eggs. I was told it was the best French toast in Mexico. Well, it was OK and maybe the best in Mexico, but mediocre by American standards...just my opinion. My husband, however, really enjoyed his omelet.
All in all, good place to vacation. There are, however, many other (better) places to go if you have young children. I didn't consider Medano beach nearly as safe as described in the posts. The waves hit at a very strange angle on a somewhat steep beach. I saw one very large woman get hit by a wave and toppled. Also, this must be one of the most expensive places in Mexico...nothing cheap or inexpesive here. Timeshare salesmen certainly didn't improve our vacation experience either.
Sorry so long but hope this is helpful...please let me know if I can answer specific questions.