I really enjoy leaving a quality/helpful review, in hopes it will help others prepare for their trip and inspire others to leave a quality review too. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort from July 10 – 17. We paid approximately $1000 each. Yes, I would go back and recommend this location to others. If you have questions, please message me. Overall, this resort has something to offer anyone. It is located a bit far from the party scene, so if that is what you want, perhaps go to the Cabo San Lucas side. This resort appears to be mostly middle income tourists with a desire to relax and play.
Bit about us:
This is our second time in the Los Cabos area. The first time we stayed at the RIU in the Cabos San Lucas side. My review is still posted under my profile. We are Canadians (Manitoban), married, and in our mid 30s. We aren’t big alcohol drinkers or partiers. I am a teacher and my husband works in the construction industry. I have several diet restrictions, I have celiac disease (gluten free), vegetarian, lactose intolerant (but I can take a pill for that), and I have a severe allergy to seafood/fish (epipen). We have traveled to several different countries, and have stayed at 5 all-inclusive resorts between Mexico, Cuba, and Jamaica ranging from 3.5 – 5 stars. While on vacation, our top priorities are food, clean amenities, relaxation (swimming), quality sight seeing (walking through villages & shopping), and usually participating in 2 active excursions. I always email/phone resorts before booking to ensure it is the most appropriate reservation.
Bird’s Eye view on Our Itinerary:
Day 1 – Traveling to Cabos, arrived in the late afternoon, stayed on resort
Day 2 –Meet with the West Jet travel representative (Terramas agent), stayed on resort (swimming)
Day 3 – The Club presentation, walked to Mega Store, stayed on resort (swimming), shuttle to Cabo San Lucas (walked around, shopped at the markets and mall)
Day 4 – Horseback riding, stayed on resort (swimming)
Day 5 – Walked to San Jose del Cabos along the estuary and back along the roads (shopping, tequila tasting, art galleries), stayed on resort (swimming)
Day 6 – Queen Buccanero Pirate Ship Cruise & Snorkle, stayed on resort (swimming)
Day 7 – Ate Breakfast & packed, Traveling home, left resort at noon.
The ocean coast is very rough, and not suitable for swimming. To swim in the ocean, it is best to take a shuttle or taxi to one of the swimming bays (Chileno Bay is 10 minutes away, or Medano Bay/Lover’s/Divorse Beach is right in Los Cabos). The resort has tennis courts, several bars, and several pools (adult/quiet pool, kid pool, activity pool, family pool, and another kid pool with water features). We enjoyed the quiet pool the most, it is large and had the least amount of guests. All pools have either a swim-up bar, or a bar within a few meters. Again, a few tips are always appreciated by the bar staff.
The family and activity pools are filled with younger people who are looking for more interaction with other people. This is where you will hear loud music, and be encouraged to participate in activities such as water volleyball or dancing. These pools are packed and people seem to be intoxicated.
Upon arrival, we spoke with the head chef. We discussed my dietary restrictions, and went over ingredients that often hide gluten. One tip, there seemed to be confusion on allowing gluten-based food touch my food, for example, I was served a Portobello mushroom burger on a bun. As soon as it arrived the captain apologized, took it back into the kitchen, where they only removed the bun. I had to explain that I needed a new meal, because it was contaminated. Overall, the food was truly excellent for me. I ate the same entrée for breakfast (GF toast, veggie omelette, fruit). The buffet for breakfast is somewhat small, but has enough to get by on, including oatmeal, French toast, waffles, pancakes, beans, veggies, fruit, cereal, assortment of breads/pastry, potatoes, and tortilla chips. For lighter affair, stick to the omelettes or hard boiled eggs with salsa and fruit. Lunch is not appetizing to me, but the buffet serves burgers, hot dogs, fries, tortilla chips, and a variety of veggies and fruit. I did not eat lunch, my husband did a few times, but it was simply too hot to be weighted down with excess food. Dinner was amazing. I was served a simple salad or caprese salad, main entrée was either a grilled Portobello mushroom stacked with grilled tomato, onion, and cheese & steamed vegetables; GF pizza; GF pasta with grilled veggies; quesadillas made with corn tortillas and veggies. Dessert was often crème caramel, jello, or a fruit plate.
Now for my husband’s dinner, he tried many of the Mexican dishes, and found those to be the best. The resort has themed meals, and the best part is you do not need a reservation. It is a first come first serve basis. The service was excellent, we tipped between $3-5 UDS per meal, pending on service.
Some resorts don’t have enough condiments, as so we usually bring our own. This resort does offer Heinz mayo, ketchup, mustard, a variety of jams/preserves, Italian salad dressing and veg oil & white vinegar. For our comfort, we brought chips, chocolates, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, salad dressing, Gluten Free pizza crusts, and GF bread. They provided the GF pasta, the chef went to purchase it especially for me... very very nice!
The housekeeping staff provide bottled water (that is the only place to get it for free, so when you see her, ask for extra), canned sprite, coke, and coke light (diet coke).
Yes, the alcohol seem to be watered down, I couldn't even establish a 'buzz' after several daiquiris. I would also recommend this resort get a bar menu for those who don't often 'drink'. The mango daiquiris are spectacular.
Things to Do:
We decided to do the horseback riding ($40) for an hour (it was just too hot to go longer) and go on the pirate boat, Queen Buccaneer ($63). We enjoyed both excursions very much.
The horseback riding excursion took us through the mountains, desert, and along the coast. We went to the turtle sanctuary and stopped for pictures at our request. The guide is friendly and told us about celebrities he has met. We tipped him $100 pesos.
On the pirate boat, they provide a lunch, which is not the greatest; hot dogs, chips, and a cold pasta dish – resembling spaghetti in mayo. I had our West Jet/Terramas agent arrange a special lunch for me, it was a simple garden salad. We tipped $10 USD. Suggestion: take water, hat, camera, money for shopping and tips, and sunscreen.
There are many things to do in this area from ATV, Zip lining, Camel or Horse riding, Paddle boards, snorkeling, dolphins, boating, sailing, fishing, snorkeling, city tours, alcohol tasting, etc. The activities cost about $60 – 130 UDS. You can find all the providers online with ease. If you can get a deal online, go for it, or wait to exchange your time for a timeshare presentation.
We heard rumblings that the glass bottom boats are not the safest. I would agree. If you want to do a boat tour with snorkeling, please go on a more equipped boat with a ladder. Glass bottom boats are generic fishing boats.
Remember, haggle for a better price. The mall has many souvenir shops, as do the Freda markets along the roads. We purchased a flavored Patron ($24 USD) and another special pomegranate infused tequila ($36) at the airport, but I do wish I would have purchased the vanilla tequila at the mall for $25 USD. Walking through the San Jose del Cabos was really special, all the vendors are plesent and work hard for your business. We tried several tequilas for $1 USD. We loved the art galleries, especially seeing Mexican folk art, especially Huichol art. The luxery mall in Cabo San Lucas sells everything from Rolex to Tiffany & Co. Just know that if you buy jewelry outside of the luxury mall, you are likely getting fake sterling silver. There are many restaurants along the marina and in San Jose, so if you feel adventurous go for it! A couple we met went for Lobster and Steak for $16 USD each.
At the resort’s concierge desk, you can sign up for the bike tour. It is free.
Stayed in 5000 building, excellent view of the family pool with the water feature, close to restaurants, view of the ocean, balcony, king size bed. The rooms are equipped with a mini fridge with no freezing compartment, and a shower, no tub.
The resort will supply you will soaps, shampoo, and lotion. If you forget a toothbrush, shaving cream, comb, you can request a complimentary one from the front desk. Bring conditioner!!! The rooms have a hair dryer, safe, iron, ironing board, mini coffee maker, and about a dozen hangers. You do not need a electrical converter for plugs. The rooms are cleaned daily and we tipped our housekeeper daily as well. Not that it is significant, but we did not get any cute towel animals or designs on our bed like other all inclusive resorts.
WIFI service was available in our room, although there was interference with the building, so we would just go out onto the balcony if the signal was dropping. WIFI can be easily accessed outdoors, especially if you found the trees where the receivers were mounted (we found one near the adult pool and family pool).
The hotel is clean and in good operation. Yes there are some cracks here and there in the pool, but does that really matter? There were two nights with a dance show. I prefer resorts that offer daily entertainment in the evening. The San Jose town basically shuts down at 10pm, the best party atmosphere is in Cabo San Lucas.
This resort was mostly families and couples. We saw a lot of Mexican tourists, Americans and Canadians. We were told that during the summer months, it is mostly Mexicans, and during the winter is it mostly Americans/Canadians.
Things to know:
• When you get off your airplane, keep walking! Seriously, everyone will say they are there to help you, it is all a lie. When you are outside, you will then see your transportation rep, it is not difficult. After customs, you will appear to go through two areas, each area people will say which resort, or call out different carrier names, just keep walking until you are outside. The first time we were in Los Cabos we were told that they would give us all sorts of excursions for free if we attending their presentation. They kept telling us we had lots of time, when in fact, we missed our transfer shuttle and they took zero responsibility for lying to us!!! This time we were doing well, but I forgot there are the two areas you must walk through, to get outside. I almost got suckered in when someone said they would tell us the bus number we needed to find.
• The resort is also very bad for this, you will see people wearing name tags that say “The Club” they will insist it is not a time share. Regardless, it is in essence a time share. But you can definitely exchange your time for free stuff. They will say they want to tell you about the resort and give you information, but their goal is to get you to attend their presentation.
• After speaking with our west jet rep, we decided to attend the time share presentation. We were able to get our excursions (horseback and pirate ship) paid for in exchange for the 90 presentation at the resort). Another couple received $60USD cash, $50 in jewelry, zip lining excursion for 2 and ATV excursion for 2 paid for in full, including transportation. Many other people went on a sunset cruise or a full day tour/shopping/snorkel excursion with a glass bottom boat.
• The presentation started off ok, but at the end, when they get the manager (who attempts to salvage a deal), they become insulting, rude, ignorant and aggressive. We knew that this would likely be the outcome, so we stood our ground and at the end of 90 minutes, we said NOT INTERESTED and demanded our vouchers.
• Share a shuttle with other guests to get the best rate on transportation.
• If you are Canadian, bring Canadian dollars as they are treated at par to USD. You will also want to get some Mexican pesos. We brought $800 pesos and $300 USD cash. We realize now, that bringing CAD would have been much better. There are banks such as Scotia Bank available at the mall. When you use your credit card, you will be charged in USD. You will only be charged a service fee if you use a privately operated ATM machine (same as at home).
• This area is incredibly safe. We really took advantage of the luxury mall (the prices are cheaper then at home or in the US, and you get a 5% discount plus an additional 9% refund once you provide a copy of your passport and travel itinerary). None of our buys went missing, not once did we feel in danger when walking down the marina or through town with our bags, and the credit card amount charged was accurate.
• We heard rumblings that the glass bottom boats are not the safest. I would agree. If you want to do a boat tour with snorkeling, please go on a more equipped boat with a ladder. Glass bottom boats are generic fishing boats.
• Los Cabos has a Walmart, Costco, Sams Club, Mega Store… very very Americanized!
• If you need sunscreen or over the counter medicine, go to the Mega store or Walmart. The resort store will charge $30 for sunscreen!
• You can bring a inflatables into the pools.
• Rooms have connecting room doors, for added peace, bring 1-2 cheap plastic door stoppers and wedge that under the doors.
• A good price for the vibrant coloured Mexican blankets are $10-15 USD.
• Hats tend to go around $10-17.
• The mall has the best deals for kid shirts, often 3 for $15 or less.
• Do not hand over, or misplace your white Mexican customs card. Keep it tucked in with your passport in the safe! You can carry a photocopy of your passport instead! Bring a photocopy of your health cards too!
• You do not need an electrical converter.
• Bring a travel luggage scale if you are worried about overage.
• The resort will supply you will soaps, shampoo, and lotion. Bring conditioner!!!
• Pack a pen in your carry on, to fill in the visa documents.
• Pack a set of ear plugs and earphones in your carry on.
• Treda is a local medicine, that is really good if you get any tummy issues. It costs about 150 pesos, available at most pharmacy shops. We took one a day, just to prevent issues, and it works like a charm everywhere we go!
- 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