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Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at The Islands of Loreto
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Reviewed August 22, 2013

This hotel is absolutely amazing. I stayed with my husband for 3 days/2 nights. Upon arrival we were greeted by the manager, who washed our hands with essential oils. I thought that was a nice gesture and pretty original as well.
The reservation was booked as planned, but we decided to upgrade our room for an ocean view, which was definitely worth it. We decided not to get the "all inclusive" deal, but the food at their restaurants was very reasonable in terms of the price, considering it is a luxury hotel. The drinks are pricey, but you can buy your own bottles and drink them there.
The rooms are just beautiful and spacious. The room comes with all the amenities you might need, including a fully functional kitchen (stove, fridge, dinnerware, even pots!) and a washer/dryer which was really helpful too. Two dining areas, one inside the room and one on the terrace, jacuzzi, living room, etc... It almost seems like a small apartment! The terrace is to die for. I really liked the fact that you can open the door with your bracelet, therefore there is no need to carry any keys. The staff was really nice and friendly. Their private beach is very nice and well kept. Don't forget to gaze the stars at night!
Another tip, the hotel is located about 15 miles away from the airport, therefore the cabs to take you there are super expensive! They were charging us 75 dollars, which we thought it was ridiculous so we decided to rent a car instead. It really made a difference since the hotel is in the middle of nowhere and the only way to go to the town is to either take the hotel's transportation (which is free) at a certain hour or rent a car. The car was 60 dollars per day and we get to visit other places like Mulege and the Mision de San Javier which would otherwise have been +100 dollars on a guided tour. Loreto's town is really nice and peaceful.
Overall, this place is amazing. I wish I had stayed longer. We can't wait to go back and bring the family along with us. I would like to thank all of the staff at Villa del Palmar for an amazing experience.

Room Tip: Upgrade to an ocean view room. Definitely worth it for the price.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Danni_seashell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Top Notch Service from 90% of the staff (worthy of a 5 out of 5 rating)

• Alejandro was our breakfast server and the best I’ve ever had world-wide!!! We felt like he was part of our family and felt sad when we left to not get to see him again! (ask him about his nickname :) )
• Manny was our pool area server. I cannot say enough about him! It felt like we had a fleet of servers helping us with EVERY (absolutely EVERY) little thing that we needed or might need. He remembered our favorite drinks, made special arrangements for us on a daily basis and had one goal: to make sure we were VERY happy. You rock Manny!

All Inclusive:

We did the all-inclusive for part of our stay and I’m mixed on the value of it. The food was not excellent (with the exception of breakfast) and I came away heavier because of it. I think we would have had just as much fun, and for a better value without it. If you want to forget about money to fully relax, go for it. One note: the resort has a little market to buy things but it is VERY little. Think about a 7-11 and this market was about a third of that. It had booze, water, chips, candy and a small amount of medicine.

The Good:

The resort has a lot going for it, and the staff is the best part. The grounds are beautifully kept and the beach is an oasis (although the water clarity was good, it was not excellent). The kid pool was very large and great for little kids although it was shallow and during the summer the water becomes unbearably hot (over 100 degrees F) by late afternoon. If you stay here, you’ll have a good time.

The Bad: (had it not been for the excellent service, this would have made my rating 1 out of 5)

This resort needs to take some very simple steps to increase the safety of their guests. I stayed in a total of 5 rooms over my week stay (won’t get into that) and NONE of them had SMOKE ALARMS or CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS. This is such a simple thing to do, relatively low cost, but it is a basic necessity for guest safety. (not an issue? think the MGM fire that killed 81 people)

(Families take notice) The pool we swam in had a clog of some sort (according to the staff) that caused a backup hole in the side of the pool to suck in water by the metric yard per second. It was astoundingly strong. It sucked my 2 year old daughter’s foot into it as she swam by and it took 2 adults to pull her foot out. It striped the skin off on both sides of her foot and caused extreme discomfort for the rest of the trip (happened day 2 of 7). The staff cleaned the wound and told me to visit the doctor’s office onsite the next day (who was not affiliated with the resort). The doctor was excellent and it cost $50 (normally $100 for a visit) for the visit and an antibacterial ointment to help prevent infection. They also said she couldn’t go to the beach without risking a serious infection (killed half our trip plans).
When I went to check out, I told the resort they needed to cover the $50 charge because it was their negligence that caused the accident. The front desk got a manager for me, Ler Medina, who fought with me for 15 minutes because he didn’t want the resort to pay the $50 bill. OUTRAGEOUS!! A reputable, accountable resort would have bent over backward to apologize and comp our stay because this was so horrible (even though that’s NOT what I was asking for). This resort didn’t care a lick that they had failed to properly maintain a pool and a 2 year old girl was injured because of it. I received NO apology during the stay and Ler Medina finally relented and took $50 off my bill for the doctor cost when I demanded to talk to the General Manager immediately. I hope the GM sees this and addresses this serious safety problem. Had my daughter not been wearing arm floats, she easily could have drowned. It would have taken only a moment. (By the way, there are regulations in the States that help to prevent this kind of situation)

I hate to end on that bad note since I appreciate the service of most of the staff so much. If you are considering visiting this resort, go for it. You’ll have fun. Maybe ask about the pool first though.

Room Tip: Ask for Alejandro during breakfast. Rent a car and visit the supermarket in town rather than do all inclusive if you want to save money. If you go into town, eat at Las Islas (best fish I’ve had in YEARS and a highlight of the trip).
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank SDdad8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

Just returned from a week in Loreto where a group of us fishing guys. The fishing and hospitality of the staff of Villa del Palmar Islands of Loreto was great. If you plan to stay at this Villa site you must be made aware that the facility has not been fully completed. The facility is very remote south of the city of Loreto and the airport. The facility has construction going on during the day both near the resort and at the planned golf course. The road to the site is an unpaved road off of the main highway and is littered with debris from the storm that hit the area last year. The entrance to the Villa has a make shift plywood fence that I guess protects the pool area but nonetheless it very displeasing. The price for the week is overpriced considering unfinished and incomplete areas. The other disturbing item is the walkway to the beach. The area is still very rustic to say the least and could use a great deal of attention to make it a more pleasing walkway and not a desert trail to the beach. Daily shuttles to town were a hit and an amiss. The great thing that saves the resort is the people that do the service at the resort who are always cheerful, very attentive and eager to please, however the corporate management of the Villa Group/Villa del Palmar has a practice of including an automatic tip charge on your bill for all staff that does not have contact with guest. This practice reflects poorly on the Villa del Palmar resorts and leads one to question the adequacy of staff salaries paid by management to their employees keeping in mind that resort fees, food, drinks, entertainment, and other amenities are charged at US prices. I also question if 100 % of the tip charge goes to staff or does the Villa Group take a portion as an administrative/profit fee. I paid the tip charge and I will continue to make this statement to management including members of the Board of Directors. The fee is not much but it is the practice that reflects a poor management decision and leads one to question how little they must pay their staff.
I would recommend this resort when it is completely finished because it is in a very beautiful location and has the charm of Baja itself. BTW I am a timeshare owners at the Villa del Palmar, Puerto Vallarta.

Room Tip: Rooms in the first wing are the best
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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7  Thank Robert R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

We were very excited to go to Loreto. We’ve heard that this place was charming and romantic. To our surprise, the resort was the best thing in Loreto. When we arrived we certainly were a little discouraged as we drove about 40min to the resort from the airport. We had to drive on a dirt road for about 15min after getting off the freeway, however, after that it was all paradise!
As soon as the driver opened the door we were greeted by the friendliest staff members. They had this tradition where you “wash your hands away” with all of the troubles and/or stresses you may have back at home. We checked into the most beautiful suite! We paid for a standard room but their occupancy was low so they upgraded us without even asking them. What a great start and surprise when we walked into the room.

Our first night we went to the fine dining restaurant. Let me tell you, I’m from Santa Barbara and I know of great cuisine, and this was certainly some of the best we’ve had. From the presentation to the service, it was all fantastic.

Our following days we decided to explore the island and kayaked around the boats that were docked, as well as relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful resort. The cuisine, resort, people and the service were all superb. We even met some of the staff members and recognized us every time we came down to enjoy the resort. They went above and beyond to serve us. The hotel manager “Josue”, at one time noticed my disappointment that the fine dining restaurant was closed for one night and guess what he did? He opened up a table just for me and my girlfriend and got us a personal chef to prepare our meal for that evening under the stars. Wow, that was service at its best! The chef prepared us probably the best meal we’ve ever had!

Throughout our entire time the service was absolutely outstanding! The GM of the property “Oscar” even gave us some tips about wine. We had brought some very special wine from the US and we decided to share some of it with the staff. Oscar turned out to also be a sommelier and taught us a thing or two on how to enjoy a fine wine. He was very professional and was very pleasant to talk to. We felt spoiled as he treated us to some appetizers and probably spent 2 hours just talking to us with some very pleasant conversation. He really made us feel special! We even had a live clam while we shared some wine. Yes, a live clam and it was delicious!

There were a lot of people that gave us great service but I couldn’t remember the rest, however, Josue and Oscar really stood out! We’ve been to many 4 and 5 diamond resorts but none that could top the service at VDP Loreto! Everyone treated us like we were a King and Queen.

One last thing, we traveled back in May but finally had time to write this review. Also, they say the tips are include with the price of the room, however, please tip the staff, you will see that it goes a long way!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank No_Reservations_SB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

Villa del Palmar in Loreto is isolated, quiet and beautiful. The most relaxing vacation I have had in a long time. There are no restaurants nearby so all-inclusive is a must. It is pricey for Mexico but the food is excellent, especially the breakfast buffet. All of the staff are friendly, talented and accomodating. Our room was fabulous with beautiful views. Not for the late not party seekers, this resort basically shuts down after 10, there is a disco but we never ventured there. Soak up the sun, go out on the bay on kayaks or SUPs and the snorkeling tour offered through the hotel is a must. I have been to most of the Villa del Palmars and this is my favorite so far!!

Room Tip: We used our timeshare trade and had a beautiful suite.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank JETGirl64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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