We loved our first family vacation and we would all go back in a heartbeat. We traveled as a group of 7 people - myself, my husband, and our 21 month old son, plus our extended family of 3 grandparents, and my sister. We stayed for two weeks from Feb 8-22nd. This review is written with families in mind because I had a lot of child related questions before we left. This is a long review but if I don’t mention something and you have questions feel free to message me.
San Jose del Cabo was a beautiful little town. To be honest we didn't know the difference between the two Cabo's when we booked but it turns out San Jose was the perfect town for all of us. We went into Cabo San Lucas many times (25 minute drive) and we all agreed that we much preferred San Jose del Cabo because it was smaller and quieter. We didn't want nightclubs or a lot of people so this area was ideal. The resort is well located at the end of a hotel row on the ocean. It is inside an estuary, which was perfect for our son to play around in everyday. The estuary is flat and was accessible with our BOB stroller, and there is also a paved path along the river.
The service is exceptional at this resort. The restaurant staff were fantastic and so accommodating of us, but so was the chambermaid and all of the grounds staff. We tipped small amounts ($1) at every meal and in our room to show our appreciation. In general we found the people of Los Cabos to be very friendly.
Food and Drinks
The food and drinks were very good at all of the venues. I have read that many people say the food is not very good but I completely disagree, that wasn't our experience. We all thought the quality of food was very good, and there was great variety. We ate at Napa for breakfast everyday, lots of pancakes, eggs, yogurt and fruit for our son. The grandparents at at Terraza and loved it. We usually ate at the beach grill for lunch because our son could run around free and we could eat snack foods (tacos, hot dogs, burgers). Dinner was always good at all of the restaurants, I have zero complaints about food. The beer, margaritas and pina coladas were really good as well. Nobody got sick and we ate and drank everything, including eating salads everyday.There are also high chairs everywhere so it was easy to seat our son.
The earliest the restaurants open is 7am so I brought some snacks for the room that our son could eat when he woke up at 6am. Tip - We discovered the Esplanda restaurant/show during week 2 and I would say that is a great option for kids. Dinner starts at 6 (buffett) and the show starts at 7, and wow did my son love this show. The music and dancing kept him glued to the stage. I would recommend sitting very far away from the stage as it tends to be pretty loud.
Bottle: When we arrived our son took a warmed bottle of milk at bedtime and in the morning. I asked the staff to fill and heat the bottle and they were very accommodating (our room didn’t have a microwave). Turns out he didn't like the milk (it was in a tetra pack and smelled different than our usual milk) so by the time we left he wasn't taking the bottle any longer (yay!). But, if you want to continue with bottles there is a fridge in the rooms and you can buy milk at the Mega store down the road if you want to get Canadian style milk. The staff will heat it for you any time of the day.
Ok, my only source of irritation with our stay was with our room situation. When I booked the trip I requested a ground floor room. I wanted our son to be able to play outside the room on the grass, as well as for us to be able to sit outside during his 2 hour daily nap. When we checked in we were told that we could not have a ground floor room without paying $30 per day for an upgrade, so we were given a 3rd floor room. However, my other family members were each given 2 ground floor rooms and there was no mention of an upgrade charge. My mom and sister had the exact room I wanted near the family pool and they were randomly assigned to it, as they didn't make any requests for a specific room. I remain baffled as to how their room assignment works.
The positives of our 3rd floor room was that it had a peekaboo ocean view and was very quiet (we were in the 7th building, furthest away). The third floor rooms have a very private and safe deck so we left the sliding glass door open and the baby could run anywhere on the deck. However the decks are 5 feet high and not see through so you can't sit and enjoy the view, you have to stand to see over it.
Crib - they provided a nice little crib and bedding for us and tucked it into the corner. There is AC in the room as well to keep it a nice temp.
We did several activities: city tour; whale watching; marlin fishing, rented a car; and we walked and took several buses around town.
Bus, Taxi and Walking- it is about 20 minutes walk to get to the town square in San Jose. Its about the same walk time to Mega or Walmart. Or its a $7 cab ride one way.
The bus is about $1US to San Jose and about $3US to San Lucas. Do not take the green bus to San Lucas no matter what the bus driver tells you, they drop you off on the outskirts of the city and you walk for 10 minutes. When you leave San Lucas catch the bus at the Pallasis and look for one that has San Jose written on it. We traveled with the baby and his stroller on the bus and it was cramped but fine.
City Tours: We booked the ‘city tour’ at the activities desk through Grey lines tours, it was $79 per person. It was from 8-2:30, and included transportation to San Lucas. We took a glass bottom boat (with baby lifejacket) out to see the famous rock arch. Went to a blown glass factory (amazing wine glasses!), did some shopping in the marina district in san lucas, then to chilero beach, and also stopped for lunch at a great restaurant in san Jose called Jasmines, and it included a tequila tasting. It is a good tour to do right away to get familiar with your location. The tour guide (Lenin) was excellent as well.
Whale watching tour- I would recommend that you google a company and book with them directly online or in person at the marina in san lucas, do not book at the hotel. We booked through grey lines and there was a significant price discrepancy between what grey lines charged us and what the actual tour cost. Grey lines is a third party vendor so of course they make commission, I should have looked into it ahead of time. Once I learned of the price difference I requested a refund from Grey Line and they did it very quickly without any fuss. The tour that we booked was was on Eco Cat, which is a large catamaran. I wouldn’t do that again with a small child, I would book one of the small ‘glass bottom boats’ as there are less people on it and it is completely covered from the sun, plus it has life jackets. On the catamaran there were no side walls, just cable, and you can’t hold a squirmy toddler for 2 hours and maintain your sanity. Plus there were about 50+ people on that boat with us but the glass bottom boats had about 10.
Car Rental - Since there were 6 of us we decided to get out of the resort and explore the coast for a day. We reserved a vehicle online through Alamo, we ordered a minivan (Town and Country) with a car seat. When we went to pick it up at the confirmed time it wasn’t there. They said it would be 5 minutes. 45 minutes later we walked across the street to Thrifty and rented it there for cheaper. We got the same Minivan with a car seat and it was $100US for 24 hours. We drove around San Lucas and shopped then up to Todos Los Santos, had lunch, explored the town and then returned to San Jose. It was definitely worth the trip.
This is quite expensive (I thought), as it costs apprx $450 per person. My father in law booked it at the front desk but there are plenty of these boats running out of the marina in Cabo San Lucas and they are selling trips on the docks. The quoted prices between vendors were all very similar as the boat, bait and licence seemed to be standard costs. Oh and February is not marlin season so while some people were catching them, he did not. He caught a Mahi mahi though.
What to do at the resort with a toddler
This resort had quite a lot of kids in it, which we really enjoyed. It is definitely a family friendly resort, but there were a lot of 55+ year olds as well that seemed to love it.The kid/family pool is awesome and has a couple of slides with a large dumping bucket of water that dumps every few minutes. The larger family pool had a shelf in it that kids ran around on and played with beach balls and jumped off of. We were in the pool at least once a day. We never did go into the other two pools at the resort, this one was perfect for us.
Beach - the beach is amazing! We went to Walmart right away and bought a bunch of sand toys and a ball for a couple of bucks and he played with those every day on the beach. There are plenty of shady spots and tons of room to run around on the beach. I would suggest asking at the kids club (located beside the kid pool) to see if there are any toys, as I noticed that there were balls and floaties for the pool in there that they would loan out. No need to go buy your own.
Playground - there is a small play structure that is meant for little kids under 5. It has a couple of swings, a slide and a ladder. My son really liked it, and it’s located next to the family pool and outside of Napa so we were there quite a bit too.
Walk - We went to the estuary and for walks in the stroller quite a bit, we used the stroller every day. We also let him roam around the resort a lot, he ran up and down the walkways, stairs, it was very safe.
-Further Suggestions -
-Take US dollars from home (we converted our CAN dollars at a bank at home), its all we needed. They give Pesos in return. Credit cards are accepted everywhere.
-Bring your stroller for hitting the town or long walks. Some sidewalks aren't very good but mostly its very accessible.
-There are no bath tubs so get your kid used to showering with you before you go
-Diapers, and everything, can be bought 15 mins away at Mega or walmart. Its identical to one at home so don't pack all your baby stuff, just get it there.
-Go over to Puerto Los Cabos (about 10 minutes by cab) and there is a swimmable beach at the marina. The sand was so soft and amazing and it was nice for our son to actually play in the sand and water.
-There are no car seats in buses and taxis so dont freak out, just expect to belt your kid in with you.
- If you want to take home alcohol, get it at the Walmart. We got some amazing deals on our tequila and rum - much better than the Duty Free store at the airport (we checked).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled between a white sand beach and the Sierra de San Lazaro Mountains, Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos is truly "at one" with the environment. At or near the resort, you'll golf, play tennis, swim and ride horses while younger guests explore the Chiqui Kids Club. To expand your fun in the sun, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo are minutes away. Two restaurants, one Buffet and one a la carte, room service, 6 bars. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Los Cabos Hotel
- Presidente Intercontinental Los Cabos Resort
- Intercontinental San Jose Del Cabo
- Los Cabos Presidente
- Presidente Cabo
- El Presidente Cabo
- Presidente Intercontinental Los Cabos All Inclusive Resort
- Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos All-Inclusive San Jose Del Cabo