It's hard to find fault with Esperanza when I think of all the places I've stayed that couldn't hold a candle to it on the beauty of the property, luxury of the rooms, well-intentioned service, etc. But then I realize it's like feeling bad for an Olympic gymnast who completes nearly the whole routine perfectly but misses just one or two technical things. When you're competing at that level, everything has to be perfect and Esperanza seems to be in one of the most competitive luxury resort markets I've ever seen. So let me be clear that the issues we had were very minor when you view them in a vacuum, but seemed more significant when we moved on to another Los Cabos resort that simply nailed everything.
First, the positives: the room was beautiful, the bathroom in particular was luxurious and perfect for a couple with two showers side by side, and the plunge pool on the terrace was always the perfect temperature because we could adjust it ourselves. I also appreciated that the layout of the terrace gave us a fair amount of privacy. If you just stayed in the room here, soaking in the plunge pool and did nothing else, you'd have a pretty great time. Also, the main infinity pool is gorgeous and offers a relaxing location for whale-watching and just enjoying the surf right below. And the spa was excellent - expensive, but excellent.
Also, do check out the hotel's art gallery featuring the work of some local artists and sculptors. We bought several small pieces and I still regret not purchasing one of the larger paintings I liked - the man working there was warm, helpful and very knowledgeable about all the pieces they were showing.
Here are the nitpicks:
(1) the people who either own outright or have timeshares at the adjacent villas were ubiquitous in the evenings. The resort has a restriction on kids but that doesn't apply to the villa crowd, so finding ourselves surrounded by throngs of rather loud children and teenagers at breakfast and in the evening was a turnoff. To be fair, it was spring break, but this crowd had a tendency to take over the facilities and since they all knew each other, it was easy to feel like I'd wandered into a country club where I didn't belong and wouldn't want to belong. I'm sure time share villas at 5 star resorts seem like a wonderful thing to some people, but for the guest who likes to travel to 5 star resorts in many different places, it can take away from the feeling of exclusivity at the resort. To the hotel's credit, they were immediately responsive to our one complaint about particularly loud and obnoxious guests in a nearby room.
(2) The food at Esperanza was fine. Just not spectacular overall. Breakfast was average, lunch was pretty good, and dinner had some definite highpoints (especially the delicious souffles and a quinoa dish that was so good I ordered it three times and asked for the recipe, which the hotel promised to email me but never did). When we went on to the next resort, we immediately noticed the uptick in quality and taste in the food served during the daytime at breakfast and lunch.
(3) Speaking of food... we had booked this trip through my credit card company's program for exclusive hotels and that program includes complimentary continental breakfast. I've noticed over the years that different hotels interpret this complimentary meal very differently (for some, you can expect to pay for anything beyond the traditional croissants and coffee, while others simply treat it as a complimentary breakfast regardless of what's ordered). In Esperanza's case, breakfast is served at the main restaurant - there is no buffet, everything is ordered off the menu. So I could go down to the main restaurant and order eggs benedict, toast, coffee, etc. and it was complimentary under the program. But if I ordered that exact same breakfast for room service and paid the $15 room service charge with tip? Now breakfast is no longer complimentary and I have to pay for the whole meal. I raised this issue with our personal concierge at checkout and she explained it was policy that only breakfasts in the restaurant were complimentary. I told her I didn't want to make a big deal out of it but couldn't understand how they could distinguish between cooked-to-order at the restaurant and cooked-to-order plus service charge in the room. She offered to get her manager but the last thing I wanted to do was make a scene about one breakfast at checkout. That said, they shouldn't have charged me for the room service breakfast in the first place and when I brought it to her attention, she should have been empowered by the hotel to deal with the issue without having to bring a manager in. That incident is a great example of the razor's edge that a luxury hotel has to dance on that determines whether it's a great resort or an absolutely superb one. And in my case, it will ultimately make the difference in choosing to stay at a different resort if and when I go back to Los Cabos.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Esperanza is located within the private enclave of Punta Ballena in Cabo San Lucas Mexico. Overlooking the Sea of Cortez, this highly acclaimed luxury resort offers an incomparable natural setting on 17 lushly landscaped acres. Fifty-seven guest casitas and suites cascade down a gentle hill affording spectacular ocean views from every room. Resort amenities include an oceanfront infinity-edge pool, private beach, award-wining spa, yoga studio, fitness center, art gallery and world-class dining—all with spectacular 180-degree vistas of sky and sea, for a perfectly private resort escape. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Esperanza - An Auberge Hotel Cabo San Lucas
- Hotel Esperanza An Auberge
- Esperanza Resort
- Esperanza - An Auberge Resort Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos