We had an enjoyable week at Las Brisas Huatulco. Our stay was in mid-june of 2014 - this was considered low season, which brings with it both good and not as good qualities (I'll explain.)
Why choose Las Brisas? - You stay here for great swimmable beaches, with snorkel from shore opportunities; good food, particularly in the buffet; lovely landscaping; decent basic accommodations. We had a good experience with most of the staff as well, though service is not intended to be refined in the way that it is at an ultra high-end property.
Brisas is "generally" an AI property - I could not imagine staying here off the all-inclusive program, which is technically an option; I saw almost no-one who wasn't wearing a bracelet. The AI option is cheap, and if you are not on it, the a la carte prices otherwise for food and drink on resort are really quite expensive given where you are (about 200 pesos for breakfast buffet. 260 for dinner buffet. Up to 300+ pesos for dishes in dinner a la cartes). Now the AI here is not quite as extensive as other resorts. One of the things that I did not like about the resort was the legalistic nature of their inclusive program: In your room minibar you will get 3 beers. No more. But they are half-sized coronitas so that is pretty lame. Also three sodas, one of which shall be diet, and the other of which shall not be a cola. Stuff like that. I have never been to an AI where more than half of the bar is roped off as an extra charge area - common liquors that are included at every AI I have ever been to cost extra here. However, they had Centenario tequila on program - which I like. The beer is Modelo Especial / Negra Modelo. I always had something decent to drink. Cabs are cheap - so we ate in town a couple of times. You can afford to do that when you stay AI at Las Brisas. I recommend Tlayudas Arely by the way.
The hotel is laid out as described in many previous reviews - with the rooms (in 4 Pueblos) at the top of the hills, and the services and restaurants down closer to the beach and pool areas. The staircases are legendary (as described) and there are many shuttle carts that run constantly from various points. We were in Estrellas, in the middle at the top, and found that among the three main pueblos there was not a lot of difference in walkability / convenience. People say Mountains is a little closer, but at the end of the day it isn't really all that much in practical reality. The walk downhill to breakfast / beach etc. is easy, but the walk back up requires some energy. Now the 4th section - Mar - is on the other side of a hill and definitely feels farther to everything. The upgraded rooms are over there - more on that in a bit. The cart drivers are friendly and prompt. Most people do not tip them, otherwise you would go broke you need to use them so much, though on occasion I did because I had the same guy a lot of the time. Also when they help with your bags, etc. In fact, there were not many Americans around the week that we were there - I hardly saw anybody leave a tip at all - at the bar, at meals, etc. Locals and Europeans tend to tip a lot less than Americans / Canadians. However - tip as appropriate and you will make someone happy.
The landscaping is fantastic. There is a nursery onsite up by the Estrellas Pueblo. Also a small botanical garden area, though the whole place is a botanical garden. Good birding opportunities - in addition to grackles (not as many here as on the Mayan Riviera), you will see ever-present Great Kiskidee, Altamira Oriole, and more Chachalacas than Ive ever seen - especially on the lawn around secret beach. Views are great - our room looked out over the back bay - Arrocito area.
The food was better than I would have expected in the buffet especially. You won't find gratuitous "chicken mcnugget" stations here - the food is Mexican and fresh. Think fresh grilled tortillas with quesillo and nopales. Yum. The buffet space is functional rather than beautiful, but the food is good. I was less pleased with the a la carte experience, due specifically to the "low-season" issue. In fact, the season was so "low" that the main buffet was closed for dinner for 4 nights in a row. This means that two a la cartes (Mexican and one rotating) became the default restaurants for dinner for all patrons - service was haphazard by committee, and was much more akin to a buffet experience. Add to the fact that there was a problem in the Moroccan restaurant so they were serving that menu in the bar-area snack bar. Food was ok - but the overall experience was lacking. When I go to an a la carte I like to have an vibe that is different at the end of the day - that is the fun of trying different restaurants on-resort. Also, there is supposed to be a snack bar (same one as the bar area) during the day open from noon "until" - but they didn't put out any food, and served only an a la carte menu which they were charging for. (AI guests get 50 percent off. umm no thanks) I am guessing that when the resort is fired up for more visitors that this improves a bit. But those were my mostly minor frustrations with the resort.
One of the good things about low season was having a beach or a pool almost all to myself. No towel game here! But one of the drags was the sporadic nature of closures. We wanted to take out a sailboat (I mean we paid for this privilege) - oh but the jet ski guy who keeps the liability of the situation in check didn't show up to work today, because there's just not enough business - and we don't really know when he's coming in, so you can't take out a sailboat even though the water is calm. That is super-lame, and supports a kind of stereotype that people work hard to dispel.
Rooms are as described other reviews - large enough, mostly basic, clean - bathroom areas are upgraded. A/C and plumbing etc all works fine. Suited our needs fine. Great views. When we checked out we had a problem with our flight so the airline sent us right back to Brisas for one more night - thats when they put us in an upgraded Mar room - the room was similar, though more aesthetically detailed, a little bit nicer, and had a balcony. Big problem was no working a/c in that room! Had it been more than one night on somebody else's dime I would have needed to move - you just cannot sleep there in June without a/c.
Well just to be clear I do recommend Las Brisas - highly in fact - but know what you are getting. Do not expect Secrets Maroma or Iberostar Grand! This is a great place for experiencing the beauty of Tangolunda Bay, in a cab-accessible (cheap) area close to town, with all your basic needs covered at a reasonable price point. The food is good - the people are friendly, there is plenty to drink. And the beach is what it's all about.
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- Also Known As:
- Las Brisas Huatulco Hotel Huatulco
- Las Brisas Hotel Huatulco
- Brisas Huatulco Los
- Las Brisas Huatulco Mexico
- Huatulco Las Brisas