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La Fonda Hotel & Restaurant
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Reviews (221)
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Reviewed November 11, 2010

It surprises me to read others' reviews that indicate they have failed to grasp the simple beauty of a place like this......True, it is lacking many of the customary trappings of the average chain hotel (wifi, room service, $8 bottles of bedside water), but there is no reason to miss them. This intimate hotel caters strictly to those who want to relax and enjoy a private beach, a DELICIOUS restaurant, an entertaining bar, and a lovely staff, all without feeling removed from the local culture. The rooms (each individual in decor), while not decadent in any sense, are charming, cozy, CLEAN, and have gorgeous views of the ocean. I have stayed her three times for three very different reasons, and have always found it to be just what i needed- an affordable, lovely, relaxing time!

P.S. My last visit was for a good friends wedding.....It was beautiful, romantic, and extremely well-coordinated by the hotel staff. Just sayin', lovebirds.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank cheep75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2010

My husband and I first came to La Fonda a couple years ago on a friend's recommendation. We've been back a number of times since then, and last august got married there. I have never dined, or stayed anywhere with such an accommodating staff. Even when we filled the place to capacity, they made us (vegetarian) meals that weren't on the menu, brought firewood in wheel-barrows to our rooms, and even brought us cocktails on the beach, which is a serious hike from the bar. What they say on their website is true: if you're looking for free wifi and the white-washed uniformity that has come to dominate all but the most expensive hotels in the US, La Fonda is probably not for you. But, if you're into amazing food, rustic romance, and prefer a private beach to a chlorinated swimming pool, this is the spot for you. Before we got married, we walked each and every room of the hotel and there wasn't a single one that didn't have something uniquely magical about it. Barbara, the wedding coordinator, was super fun and incredibly helpful. She really worked hard to get us everything we wanted on our wedding day - the band even learned "white Wedding" just for me.
Some members of my family were seriously hesitant about coming here for our wedding, but even the most reluctant are now total converts and will be coming back for years to come. Even my mom, who *really* didn't like the idea at first, ended up staying an extra few days to enjoy the place.
Every now and then i run into someone who's been here... and there's always a knowing glance exchanged, because for those of us who have been here, there's truly nowhere like it. I've traveled all over the world (turkey, france, italy, hawaii, the cayman islands...) and LaFonda is absolutely ranked among my very favorite places on earth.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LuluDanger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2010

Stayed in room 22, overlooking the beach. About 10:00 p.m. 25 young adults started a party, complete with bonfire, loud music, screaming, and fireworks. That went on for three hours. I complained to the management around midnight and they were oblivious to the problem, even though the hotel has outdoor security. Then the mosquitos came. We could not keep them at bay and they caused us great distress. Our 18 month old daughter's was bitten all over her face and her eye started to swell shut. We were so miserable, we left the hotel at 2:30 a.m. and arrived home at 6:30 in the morning, exhausted. I should add that the lighting in the room was obnoxious- all florescent bulbs and no way to created a warm atmosphere. Finally, found the items in their restaurant to be expensive. We were really disapponted.

Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
Thank damonsta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2010

It makes me sad to write this review because my husband and I have been going to La Fonda Hotel, Restaurant, and Spa for about 4 years now. We used to love that it was quaint, funky, right on the beach with beautiful views, and was a great value. Unfortunately, La Fonda has done nothing but go straight downhill over the last few years.

They have not made one single, solitary improvement to ANYTHING in ANY of the rooms. We have stayed in several different rooms there. We never expected luxury and thought the "funky-ness" was part of the charm of the place. We were glad not to have the TV, phone, etc. However, that has all changed to just plain mediocrity bordering on unacceptable conditions.

The worst part is that my husband and I were both attacked by bedbugs!!! That is truly DISGUSTING. We stayed in Room 23 this last time. I told the front desk person about it and his reaction was pretty much lacksadaisical, he didn't have any concern at all. He said he would inform the management. I am willing to bet money the management does NOTHING to correct the problem.

They have had the same tired, worn out mattresses for years, same sheets, same bedding, same pillows, same pillowcases - it's just becoming gross now. Come on, La Fonda, can't you at least spring for some new bedding for the rooms???

The towels are so worn out, they are paper-thin. They don't even leave hand towels or washcloths in the bathrooms anymore, just bath towels. ALL of the lamps were either burnt-out or did not even have a lightbulb in them. The only light that worked was the overhead, with four sockets to put lightbulbs in - but of course, there had been only ONE lightbulb stuck in it.

The Spa is now unacceptably expensive. The Spa used to give hotel guests a discount, but they do not anymore. A deep tissue massage used to be around $50, now it is $70 for 50 minutes (not 1 hour). I can get a top-notch, excellent massage here in San Diego for $45 for a full hour. Why am I going to Mexico now to pay MORE for a lesser-quality massage? I would say the masseuses are good, but NOT great.

The Restaurant is probably the only somewhat okay part about La Fonda now. We stayed on a Saturday night and the restaurant was actually packed, which made it more fun. For at least the past year, La Fonda has been a ghost town because of the economy and nervousness about drug violence. This was the first time in a long time that La Fonda was actually booked full. There was live music all evening, which was nice.

We still really like the waiters as they are still friendly and gracious. Breakfasts and the Sunday Brunch are the only good deals anymore. Lunch and Dinner are as expensive as eating in the States.

The wooden deck off the room is sagging to the point that it's about to fall off - La Fonda will probably let it degenerate until a guest gets injured.

And did I mention the lovely smell of SEWAGE?? Yes, the smell of sewage wafting in the air is a constant presence. We burned incense to at least make it tolerable. All of the exposed, outdoor pipes that snake over the walls of La Fonda are the sewage pipes, folks. Lovely.

We either will not be back, or will only come back if the owners give La Fonda a serious makeover -- at the very least they need to make the conditions safe and sanitary, eradicate the bedbugs, and do something about the sewage stink problem.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BadKittyTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2010

I have stayed at La Fonda dozens of times since the late 80s; this was my favorite weekend haunt in the erly 80s, when during summer months the rooms were full, the bar lively, and the service and food beyond compare. I wrote a review last year detailing my experiences, and recently spent an overnight in Alisitos (where the hotel is located) on a Saturday night while passing through to Ensenada. This place is now almost dead, and I cannot fathom why anyone would want to spend a weekend, unless looking for a VERY solitary and quiet weekend.

The only good news is the Sunday brunch has not changed much, at least in terms of food quality, from when I used to come down almost monthly to get away from the So Cal hustle & bustle. However, the only other guests in the restaurant were ex pats who eat there on most Sundays, & the service was far from adequate. It took three requests to get an "all you can drink" bloody mary, even though there were nearly as many servers as guests. There was no musician, no music, & the "funkiness" of the restaurant (e.g., the roosters & other animals roaming around; watching the antics of surfers preparing for a day in the water; people watching along the beach; the owner Dimitri directing staff & crooning about loving all the "beautiful people") is completely gone. The bar was empty, even on Saturday night when we arrived, which was sad. The rest of the Alisitos Strip at Km 58 has also changed: Palapa Del Jose's has closed, the camping beach is nearly empty, & the few commercial establishments & some of the hotels have closed down. The old surf shop, loncheria, & fireworks store has not been rebuilt (burned down sometime in the past 2 years), & there were no ultralight rides or horses for hire. Fear of drug wars (which have not touched this part of Mexico, in my experience), and the changes since the current owners bought the place have chased people away.

I cannot find a reason to recommend La Fonda any longer, unless one simply wants a true quiet beachfront experience without any frills whatsoever. Coming to La Fonda during these times is like going to Disneyland when all the rides are closed; all that is left is to walk around & remember what it used to be like.

One caveat here: We did not actually stay at the La Fonda Hotel, but stayed at Hotel La Mision which is about a 1/4 mile down the road. The hotel was clean & comfortable, although the same review applies regardless of where one stays: the region is dead (or in bad need of life support), and it is simply not worth the drive across the border & the 1 - 1 1/2 hour wait for customs going home after a quiet weekend. I am assuming the La Fonda hotel proper is as it always was... but one never cam to La Fonda simply for the room ammenities.

I hope live returns to this beautiful part of Baja sometime... I would come back in heartbeart if that were the case!

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Qualnurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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