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“Diver's Delight!”

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Club Hotel Cantamar
Ranked #16 of 39 Hotels in La Paz
Kirkland, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Diver's Delight!”
Reviewed November 26, 2006

Club Cantamar is diver's dream, inexpensive all-inclusive diving packages with simple, clean accommodations, good food, including made-to-order breakfasts on those mornings when I couldn't quite get out of bed early enough to partake of the buffet, and excellent diving! This is my second visit to Cantomar for diving, the first being in the 'off season' of May when the water is colder. It is very important that divers research their destination and plan accordingly. I was thankful for my 5/7mm wetsuit on the May trip, but perfectly comfortable in November in my microprene wetsuit - given the much warmer water this time of year.

My group of friends and I really appreciated the diving, it was beautiful: Whale sharks, hammerheads, sea turtles, sea lions and more kinds of fish than I can list here. Even on the windy days that I missed when I wasn’t feeling well, I saw the pictures of the dolphins and seahorses my friends were thrilled to see. Antonio, our divemaster, was the star of our week there. My group thought he was an excellent dive master, ran the boat very well, and from my opinion as a Dive Master, even though we all loved him and tried to monopolize his time, he did an outstanding job of attending to all of the divers on the boat, not just our group.

In the restaurant, Juanita, America and Lucas were excellent – just like on my first visit. The food was hearty, fresh and good. Exactly what we needed to keep us fueled for diving.

Luis took great care of us at the bar, although I missed the wider selection of good sipping tequilas that I remember from the first time.

Pedro Aguillar and his family do a good job of listening to their customers and incorporating their feedback. We had some rough spots around communication at the front desk, but we always got what we requested, generally in a timely manner.

I have given my feedback to Pedro on a couple of minor items, hard beds that I didn't notice by the third night, and consistent towel service. Hopefully next time I stay with Cantomar (and there will be a next time for this price and the quality of the diving) those items will be addressed and I can change my rating from Above Average to Excellent!

Another note, the transportation situation is very manageable. We were able to rent a car for a day, which was brought to us, and while we were at the beautiful (all the guidebooks gush about them) beaches a few miles past Cantomar (further from La Paz) we saw public buses making the routes to the beaches. The ride into town is a quick ten or fifteen minutes, and well worth it. I love La Perla, and have sat there with Pacificos and guacamole enjoying the marina view each time I have visited La Paz.

  • Liked — The convenience of the whole dive package.
  • Tips/Secrets — Leave the fan or AC on for white noise - with those on I barely noticed any traffic noise.
  • Stayed November 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank GinaBe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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146 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
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English first
Edmonds, Washingtion
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2006

Club Cantamar is perfectly situated for diving the Sea of Cortez. No other location in La Paz is as close to the dive sites. Although I'm not there sitting in the room all day, I found it very clean and comfortable, the AC worked great and it's quiet at night. Some friends rented a room over the gift shop that was really neat. I'd consider that next time if it's available.

The small bar outside the restuarant is perfect for a late afternoon or evening refreshement. Meeting friends after the dive day to exchange stories. I found the food in the Restaurant a cut above most dive related resorts. Breakfasts were great as well. One evening the staff did an outside grilled meal that was fabulous.

The dive boats are large, (They need to be if you want to be comfortable on the longer runs or if the water gets a bit bumpy). Our group consisted mainly of photographers. The dive staff was exclellent in that, they didn't push us to move all over the place but were happy to let us dive our own profiles. If someone wanted a guide, one was always available. Best of all, they took us to the Sealion colony amost every day. Which meant diving with the Sealions pups multiple times. Great fun!

The photos opportunities there are great. From Whalesharks, to Blennies to wrecks. I've attached a few of my favoirtes.

Rand McMeins
Seattle, Wa.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank randapex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
1 review
Reviewed November 26, 2006

For the past 2 years, I along with a group of 16 people-Divers-have stayed at Cantamar. Not only is the Sea of Cortez, IMHO, one of the best places to dive in the world, but Cantamar is the perfect spot for divers. The staff has been friendly and accomodating-- even when we had group members that needed to switch rooms due to snoring. The buffet breakfast is perfect. We had some who ate a full breakfast and others who had coffee and fruit. After a day of diving, we returned to smiling staff and a cold beer at the swim up bar. Whether we had the buffet for dinner or ordered, eveyone was satisfied. As icing on the cake, by the second day Juanita and Lucas knew what everybody liked and even learned all our names. The diving staff is first rate as well. Whether you are newly certified or technically trained, there is a spot for you. The personal service that we received places Cantamar high on our list of resorts. I have recommended them several times to friends and family and will continue to do so. And yes, I'm planning my '07 trip!
--Julia Mewbourne, Los Angeles

Stayed August 2006
Helpful?
Thank SanPedroTechDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greeley, Co.
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2006

When we first booked this trip with a dive shop located in Lincoln, Ne, we realized that Club Cantamar wasn't going to be a "5-star" experience. However, after arriving, we didn't expect that it would be such a nightmare, either.
First of all, it would seem that they had over-booked---maybe not what THEY would consider over-booked, but what I would definitely consider overbooked ! From day one, there were problems with no water in the rooms (showers), the water tanks outside of the rooms for drinking water never worked, thus no cold drinking water for the entire week, and no where to get ice at all !
The food was horribe---WHEN THEY HAD FOOD !! They routinely ran out of food EVERY MORNING ! When they did have a few scrambled eggs and ham, it was served cold. The evening meals were better (the two nights we ate there) The other nights we went to town--20 miles away and ate, or walked about a mile to a local restaurant that had fairly good food.
The ferry dock/ truck stop located across the street woke us up at 6:00 every morning ! This is supposed to be vacation !
As long as you know what you are getting into, I guess it's your choice !!
As far as the diving goes---the absolute, most incredible diving we have ever done !! Sea lions, whale sharks, dolphins, etc. We will definitely be going back to LaPaz at some time in the future, but WILL NOT BE STAYING AT THIS DUMP !!!

  • Liked — Nothing!!
  • Disliked — Everything!!
  • Tips/Secrets — Stay away !
  • Stayed October 2006
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank buffa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PeterAlbert, manager at Club Hotel Cantamar, responded to this review, November 24, 2006
Dear customer,

It is really a shame that you had a bad experience while staying with us, it is even more a shame that you are describing our property so far from reality, just to give you a few examples we are located exactly 9.5 miles north of town NOT 20 miles so that is lie # 1. Second breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. until 8:15 a.m. for the divers, everytime the buffet runs out of something the cook inmediately prepares more, if they don´t have enough customers to prepare a full tray then they take orders from the menu, this way we ensure everyone gets to eat before the boat leaves to the dive sites.
I have always thought that the people that writes a review is most of the time the ones that are upset with the service for one reason or another, we receive thousands of people everyyear and for sure we have difficulties with some of them. Withing the next few days you will see real and honest reviews posted on this website from people that were at Cantamar the same week you were, actually i will ask people from the same group that you were to post an honest review of Club Cantamar, and please do not get me wrong, we LOVE feedback from customers, and currently i am working on improving several things that are wrong and people was kind enough to send us an email with their comments, what we do not like is lies with no face that could affect people's desitions.

Thank you and i wish you the best,

Pedro Aguilar
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these La Paz hotels

Menifee, CA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2006

I certainly wish I had read these reviews prior to booking. The hotel reeked of sewage (it did not go away, even after 4 days). We could not get extra pillows because housekeeping was not available and were advised to "continue checking back", which we did with regularity and even left notes for housekeeping. Ditto for towels.

The nightly dinner was chaotic (and mediocre).

We booked a charter fishing that did not come with lunch, yet we were told by the kitchen manager that we were entitled to lunch which she gave to us telling us it was included in the price. When we took our first bite of the soggy ham sandwich we were then told we'd have to pay (9$ for a sandwich and an orange).

The bed was terribly uncomfortable (which is why we wanted the extra pillows).

The door to our upstairs room was broken which required a handyman to fix it (it still locked and closed just fine for us, but the hotel wanted it fixed ASAP). This took three days of our stay and required our door to be completely off leaving our room open to everyone. Not to mention, on Sunday afternoon my husband I wanted to nap but were unable too because the handy man was pounding wood with a hammer in our room. This went on for 2 hours.

We found the hotel staff to be unhelpful and inconvenienced by us (except for Nunila who was the only one who seemed to know what was going on - as indicated by the fact that everyone had to call her with every question I had).

Like one reviewer said, we are not picky people. My husband and I camp frequently and love the Baja experience. We were very disappointed with the overall value, staff, and experience at the hotel.

I would not got there again (I would possibly fish with Francisco again who works Cantamar's docks) but that is it.

  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank KJJ92585
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boise
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2006

We just returned from a week at Club Cantamar - very disappointed! We didn't realize that the hotel was across from a busy ferry terminal with old broken down trucks....plus a sewage treatment plant right next to our building. The first night we arrived the front desk help was incredibly rude and told us that the smell in our room (sewage) would go away in a couple of days and the phones to call long distance didn't work. Cable TV worked one night then they told us that they didn't have it? Most of the staff was fairly nice but with the exception of a few key people - they appeared to be irritated that we asked to have things fixed. The food was ok and wait staff friendly. Overall the staff didn't appear to be interested in helping to resolve our issues in a timely manner and gladly charged us for the night we had to leave early due to weather.

Stayed September 2006
Helpful?
2 Thank orange12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2006

Stayed for a few days at Cantamar, mostly for the outdoor activities. I thought it would be simpler and quieter than staying in La Paz and commuting. The one thing anyone planning to stay at this hotel should know is that it is across the street from the busy ferry terminal; apart from this being an eyesore, there is a fair bit of truck traffic and associated noise going on - in some cases through the night. So be warned, you are not in a pristine, 'getting away from civilization' place. The noise was not horrible, but it was definitely there. The other problem associated with that is that there weren't much possibilities for taking peaceful walks around the area, unless you like walking along 18-wheelers; there just isn't much to do or see in walking distance of the hotel.
The room itself was all right, the bed a bit hard but that was fine with me. Hot water was provided by a small heater in the room, which meant that hot showers lasted between 3 and 4 minutes, after that it was cold. The room was not quite soundproof, I could hear everything going on upstairs, so if you can get the topmost room that would be better. Restaurant was OK. Staff overall relatively friendly, apart from the dive crew who were aloof, not helpful, and did not appear to like their job very much. I rented my scuba gear - the regulator was leaky (a common problem in rentals), but more seriously they gave me a 3mm wet suit, even though they knew full well that the water temp was 20C and required a thicker suit (even the dive master had a 6 mm suit with hood and gloves). So I was freezing for my two dives and decided to skip the 3rd, it just wasn't worth it. On top of that, another diver told me that they had done the same thing to him the day before... One more thing: they advertise their "whale shark spotting plane" on the website, and in my e-mail correspondance the staff told me that it was commonly done, that just a few days prior they had taken the plane out and seen 3 whale sharks. But when I got there, it seemed there was no longer any possibility of that, for reasons not made very clear. I also took the kayak "day trip", which basically amounted to going on the dive boat along with the divers, and getting on the kayak at the dive sites for about an hour while the divers were underwater, then going back up on the boat.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank johnnyboy_808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Club Hotel Cantamar

Property: Club Hotel Cantamar
Address: Manzana F Lote 1 | Puerto Comercial de Pichilingue, La Paz 23208, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Sur > La Paz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in La Paz
#6 On the Beach Hotel in La Paz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Hotel Cantamar 3*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Pichilingue bay, in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Cantamar Hotel provides a nice, quiet stay in a great family atmosphere, with full restaurant service at our VistaChula Café, a freshwater pool and a beautiful sunset beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cantamar Hotel La Paz
Cantamar Resort La Paz

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