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“Great for an Adventure”

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Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos All-Inclusive
Ranked #16 of 43 Hotels in San Jose del Cabo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 15, 2008

Let's start with expectation -- it's not five star like the Four Seasons. It's five star in a Mexican sort of way. Also for perspective, we are normally more adventure travelers so we may have different ideas than people who go to all-inclusives all the time.

As with most of these resorts, you don't really have to leave -- there are 4 restaurants, 3 pools, and usually a couple of decent entertainers around at night. Our experience is that the restaurants are consistently good, and the buffets are consistently bad. A couple of nights, we found the outdoor buffet unbearable (food was cold from the chilly desert nights because the wind had blown all the flames of the bain-marie out) and was able to secure a table at a "reservation only" restaurant by asking discreetly and waiting patiently (and tipping generously...). The staff was great and tried to do everything they could to keep us happy, including cooking one of the mahi-mahis we caught on my husband's birthday in a special way that night. The kitchen also helped us cleaned, fillet and freeze the rest of our catch for our trip back to Canada.

The part we liked the most about El Presidente was that it's close to many things -- it's walking distance to town (San Jose del Cabo) as well as close to great snorkeling, golfing, and fishing. One of the best snorkeling spots favoured by the tour companies is Playa Santamaria -- a 5 minute drive from El Presidente down the Corridor. After figuring out where some of these places are, we decided to rent a car (BTW, the desk will try to charge you $75 a day, but just ask to use the internet and make a reservation online and you can get the same car -- same desk, for $35/day). Jack Nicolas designed Palmilla golf course is 10 minutes away and have a great twilight rate after 1pm. My husband caught his first Marlin going out on the little beach by Palmilla. We also explored remote beaches of East Cape and took side trips to Todos Santo (home of "Hotel California" and a vibrant artist community) and Cabo Pulmo (home of the only living reef on this side of the hemisphere). BTW, parking is free at El Presidente.

One word of caution --watch out for the time share people. They're there when you get off the plane and they're there when you walk into the hotel, and they look really "official." The "help desk" next to the lobby bar area is actually time share sales people -- when you need help, find the the real front desk, which is tucked away to the right of entrance door -- can hardly see them when you walk in the door.

All in all, we really enoyed our stay at Cabo, we were able to find lots of adventure and El Presidente was the perfect "home" base. We plan to go back again.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank rypeacock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 14, 2008

I was booked into this hotel with a group. Most of us used Bookit.Com, which brought it's own set of difficulties including the departing transfer being held up by the Mexican Government "Inspector".

The hotel is very clean. The front desk people are very good. Check In was somewhat slow as their process seems to take a long time. Check Out was very efficient and they were very ameanable to removing charges that were discrepancies, including phone calls. We had an extra person in our room and they brought in a roll away bed. Not bad.

The layout of the hotel looks as if it were built one section at a time over a period of years and and attached to the others as best they could. Once you figure out how to get around, it isn't that bad, although I would not count on direct elevator access to your floor. Wings on either side have the best beach views.

The rooms were clean and well maintained, but not exceedingly roomy. Tile floors and bathrooms were basic with decent ammenities. Water pressure was decent. Beds were very hard and the chairs were pretty uncomfortable.

The biggest problem we had is that this is an all inclusive resort and they rotate the "reservation only" dinners with premium menus throughout the resort. It really seemed to us that they were trying to maintain some sort of elite status at these reservation only tables. In fact several times there were up to ten tables available and they would not seat us, insisting on a reservation that may be up to 1 1/2 hours later. This caused a series of problems, especially when they would tell you if you did not want to wait that you could get room service, at $2.50 per delivery charge. If you wanted a bottle of water from a restaurant they would tell you to go to room service. To Go food, room service.

The Waiter Captain at the Terazzo outside restaurant was particularly difficult. In fact a number of us complained at the front desk and tried to discuss with the Food and Beverage Manager. The issues with reservations were never addressed.
I will say that two out of three dinners we had at the reservation restaurants were not bad and would probably rate at least 3 out of 4 stars. Service was always very good at all of the restaurants, and the waiters were very attentive, once we were seated.

You can always eat at the buffet if you can find it. Just like on a cruise ship. Breakfast was always pretty good and thankfully at the same place. The outside snack bar was very good once you made sure to order what you wanted and in the quantity that you needed. As an example, if you get chips, you have to ask for salsa and guacamole. If you want quesadilla, which were in small individual portions, you have to ask for more tnan one. Very tasty though!!!

All beverages were free at the resort, although several people mentioned that the alcohol drinks were exceedingly weak. One woman mentioned that she was never able to drink six drinks and not feel a thing. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

The swim up bar at the main activity pool was good and the service was excellent. In fact the service people were mostly cheery and fun loving trying to assist the guests with their good time. The barman Alfredo was especially outstanding as was the woman who worked with him. Gustavo was good at the family pool bar. The activity people did a good job of trying to keep things going and had good fun attitudes, although the Mexican Techno Pop gets a bit menotinous and loud. Pretty fun though and there were people of all ages interacting.

There were plenty of chaise lounge with umbrellas and small tables, but no chairs. It would have been nice to have a pool side comfortable chair. The family pool with the waterfall has an area where you can sit in the water in the chaise lounge.

The beach is beautiful with plenty of palapas, however it is a long way to the water. It is not right outside your room. The sand is soft and easily walkable. The water is warm and inviting, but as usual in this part of Cabo, you should be well aware of the currents as they can be exceedingly dangerous at times.

If you are booking a package, avoid the transfer fee usually around $20-25. It costs $5 per person in a taxi, which are mostly big Ford Econoline vans. It costs $4 dollars per taxi load to go to the little shopping section outside of the resort area and $8 per person, each way, to go to San Lucas, about 25 miles to the south.

To summarize, this was a nice trip for our group. The all inclusive natue of the resort works well in this setting and we had fun. Outside of the food issue, it was easy to get out of the resort to other places, such as the excellent restaurant a few miles away, the Tropicana. Service was generally very good and the staff for the most part was responsive, which can be an issue in Mexico. I would recommend this resort for a middle of the road low impact vacation where cruise ship type all inclusive food is a requirement.

We would return again, but we may try to find a resort with a superior all inclusive program with a less antagonistic meal program. Good place..

  • Stayed: November 2008
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8  Thank deepdvr_ca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2008

I’ll categorize this so you can pass through the things that do not matter to you.

Airport:
Is nice and quick to come through customs. Once you get through customs they x-ray your bags again. Yes they do scan them as you enter the country.
Once you are through you have only one choice of where to exit. This is where the “time share” vultures are waiting for you. They will ask if you are with a group and then direct you to a person behind a counter. This person is NOT your representative but will make you think they are. They will tell you your car/bus or whatever mode of transportation you have arranged is running late so you are not in a hurry. This is where they try to con you to attend some Time Share meeting to get “free” or “discounted” activities. My advice; walk straight through these guys and outside where your real representative is actually waiting for you.

Resort appearance:
Very well maintained both inside and out. The grounds are immaculate and the entire resort is very clean. This was the first resort built in San Jose and was renovated in 2001/2002. It is not as luxurious as some of the newer resorts but they do a great job of maintaining.

Check in:
Check in was quick and easy. However, once you check in they direct you to a hotel associate to familiarize you with the resorts layout and activities while you are there. I was a little aggravated that we were once again hit with a “time share” speech after we received our resort information but all you have to do is say no and they do not push you like they do at the airport.

Rooms:
Are basic but roomy. They have tile floors with typical hotel furniture. There is a table with a lamp on each side of the bed, one entertainment center with drawers at the bottom for clothing and one closet with about ten or so hangers. Iron and board are in the closet. The bed is a little firm but sleeps well. Pillows are plentiful and soft. There is a sitting area with a small sofa and dinette table. Most 2nd floor rooms do not have balconies. They only have one window that opens. I do recommend paying the small extra per night for a room with a balcony. The rooms on the first floor have outside seating and hammocks. The hammock was a great place to watch the sunrise or take an afternoon nap! They do leave one large bottle of water in your room each day but all you have to do is ask for them to leave one or two more and they are happy to do so. We had three bottles left every day. The air conditioner worked very well.

Bathrooms:
Are small and look like they were renovated in 2001. However, the shower is large enough for just about anyone and the pressure was great. There is one very small shelf in the shower so don’t expect to put a lot of product in there if you travel with such. The towels are soft and refreshed every day without fail. Never had a problem with the cleaning staff.

Pools:
There are three pools at the resort. One is the “family” pool, one if the activities pool and the last is the “quiet” pool. Again, this is an older resort so none of the pools are infinity style. The “family” pool is the largest of the three and has a waterfall in the center, an area with chaise loungers in the water and of course a swim up bar.
The activities pool is where the music is playing all day and the activities staff will do their very best to get you involved in EVERY activity. The staff is great and will kid around with you if you do not participate. They are just trying to help you have fun. Especially Rosio, she is a lot of fun and personable. Once she learns your names she will not forget them and will make a point to speak to you every day. This is a smaller pool but also has a swim up bar.
The quiet pool is just that. Quiet, no action and kind of overlooks the bird sanctuary which is directly beside the resort. There is a small bar by this pool.

Staff/Service:
We did not encounter one rude person. EVERYONE was always extremely nice and willing to help and serve. The bartenders were fantastic. The service is even better if you tip a little. Francisco at the snack bar by the beach was great. We spent most of our afternoons on the beach and he was there with fresh drinks without us asking. We never had to move! The pool bartenders and servers were also very good. Even with Spanish speaking guest around the pool we were never left unattended. I can not say enough about the great service at this resort.

Restaurants/Bars:
Keep in mind you are in Mexico. The cuts of meat are not as thick as what Americans are used to. I have to agree with most of the other reviews and say the food was not great. We had one very good meal at The Patio restaurant and a good meal at the Mexican Party they had on the beach but unfortunately the others were a little disappointing. The snack bar is pretty good for that afternoon hunger. All food is made to order so it is at least hot and fresh when you receive it. The rest of the food was ok but nothing overly exciting. Even though this is an all inclusive resort I highly recommend going to Cabo or even into San Jose a couple days or nights and experiencing the local restaurants. Our meals off the resort were very good and really not that expensive.
The mixed drinks were definitely not watered down but yes they did have only one brand of beer (Tecate) and only one brand of white and red wine.
One draw back is the lobby has the only bar open after dinner. All pool side/beach side bars close around 6:30. Go into town!

Beach:
The beach is very nice but made of finely ground shells and pebbles. It’s not too rough but if you have sensitive feet you might have a hard time walking long distance. The water is a bit rough and they do not like you to swim in the ocean. I did go out about waist deep and could tell there was a strong undertow so I did not venture out further.
The water is nowhere near as nice as what we have seen in the Caribbean.

Day trip to Cabo:
If you want to take a boat out to the arch and Lovers beach, I recommend not purchasing any “deals” at the resort. Most prices we were quoted were $25.00, $35.00 and $45.00 per person. We decided to bus down to Cabo for $10.00 per person and found there are SEVERAL boat tours available for $12.00 per person. $18.00 if you want to snorkel.
Don’t be afraid to go into Cabo with nothing planned. You will not be taken advantage of by the local people. You more than likely will be dropped off at the mall by the marina. Walk to the other side of the marina and you will find several vendors offering the $12-$18.00 trips.

All in all the resort was good and served its purpose for a relaxing week on the beach but we will probably try another location closer to Cabo if we ever return.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with family
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10  Thank Diamondrob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2008

I accompanied my husband to a national conference held at this resort in late October. Was given an excellent rate, and for what I paid, truly shouldn't be complaining about a thing. However, we are seasoned travelers, and I wanted to share some of the pros and cons that we experienced. I found the service at this resort to be exceedingly excellent, with the exception of the pool bartenders who never smiled and preferred to wait on spanish speaking guests first. Our room was clean when we arrived, and well kept for the duration of our stay, however the bathroom is small, dimly lit with one flourescent bulb, and outdated, with no bathtub. There was only one plug near the mirror, to be used by the hair dryer, coffee maker, and any hair stylers needed, I constantly had to switch things around. The flooring in our room was ceramic tile, no carpeting anywhere, so bring socks/slippers if your feet get cold or if you don't want to walk around barefoot. The TV had about 1/2 english channels and 1/2 spanish, mostly all of them were subtitled. The bed was hard as a rock, but the pillows were generous. Plenty of closet/drawer space, and a nice balcony overlooking the pool area. The air conditioning cranked, and would cool the room to downright chilly in a matter of minutes. The walk from our room (section 6) to get to the main pool area or lobby was far, exaggerated by the heat of the day. Elevators are few and far between, be prepared to walk, alot. By the second day I was sick of the walk. The food was tolerable and unexciting, with an occasional dish that satisfied. Any grilled beef on the buffet was way too rare for my taste. The best thing we ate all week was the food at the snack bar area adjacent to the activity pool. Beer on tap consisted of one brand of beer, I forgot the name, it started with a T, and it was served in one small 8 ounce plastic cup, no glasses are allowed out of the actual bar area. I think they had SOL beer there somewhere, but I never found it. A handful of top shelf liquors were offered, none of which I drank, however, from what I heard, mixed drinks were strong enough to knock your socks off. Pool bar closed at 6pm, which didn't work well with our schedule of planned activities for the conference, which ended at 5pm most days, and all 140 guys wanted to head to the pool to swim and drink (finally). We didn't leave the facility except to attend one planned excursion, and I found myself getting bored of sitting around the pool relaxing after day two. I chose not to partake in yoga, pilates, tai chi, pool volleyball, etc... It did occur to me that the staff at the resort did a great job with handling the conference, it was well organized and dinner/planned activities were timely and organized. The pools and the grounds were beautiful and well kept, the beach was nice to sit and watch the waves crash to shore (no ocean swimming), but after day 3, I'd had enough. No nightlife to speak of. Terrible service at La Terraza, the sit down terrace restaurant., 1/2 hour between ordering and getting food (waiter was nice, greeted us quickly then basically disappeared, we had to get our own drinks at the bar). Dinner consisted of one chicken breast with a side of bland rice, and a salad bar consisting of lettuce, some carrots, and dressing. They had one brand of red wine, and one brand of white wine. I tried to order a lobster which was offered for a fee of $25, but they were all out at 7pm? My husband ordered the kabobs which honestly consisted of 2 shrimps and 3 bites of undercooked skirt steak. I joked that we could go visit the buffet after our sit down meal if he was still hungry. Overall, the facility was beautiful and the staff was excellent, but because we enjoy hoppin' nightlife and great food, I would most likely choose a different resort if we were to return to Los Cabos. Had we paid for this resort ourselves, I probably would have been disappointed.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled on business
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5  Thank SPayneRochester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2008

My husband and I were recently there for a conference. We booked it through the conference organizer. We were underwhelmed by this hotel. Food was terrible most of the time. Only the dessert were worth writing about. The bed was too hard to get a good night's rest in, and the housekeepers took shortcuts every chance they got. Our room's floor didn't get swept until we complained about it. Even after they "recleaned" the room, the same dead bug in the center of the room was still there. Same applied to our bathroom floor. On our last night there, the housekeeper took all of our dirty linen and didn't bother giving us any new ones. The new towels did come up rather quickly after we called the front desk but no apologies from management. I left extra tip in the room one day to see if we would receive better service, but again that did not happen. We were there with 6 other people at same conference, and we all had the same opinion. Apparently the food got better once the conference started and the resort got busier. Our friends who came 2 days early stated food was so bad that they considered canceling the reservation and moving to a different hotel.
Pools were fine, nothing special. The beaches are unswimmable, as are all cabo beaches. The hotel is closer to the airport than other hotels, but you do have to take a 20 min taxi ride into cabo san lucas to get to restaurants and shopping. However, restaurants around san jose del cabo are good too, much better than the hotel. The all-inclusive title is way overrated. We would neither recommend nor return to this hotel in the future. Don't even bother using the wake up call service in the morning. Our friends got their call 2 hours early one day. One couple never received their call one morning. We never received ours the morning of our departure, but I at least had the foresight to set my phone alarm as a back up. The servers at the restaurants were nice and helpful. I cannot fault them for having to serve substandard foods. So, if you are used to quality service and getting what you are paying for, then stay somewhere else. There are plenty of better choice in cabo.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled on business
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2  Thank mngrl08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2008

My daughter and I stayed at the Presidente in late August. It was a great holiday, there is really nothing that I can complain about.
The rooms were very clean, the hotel was very quiet due to low season and we were upgraded to a ground floor room with patio which was very nice. The beds were vey comfortable, no problem sleeping. There was always plenty of hot water for showers. Our first full day there was a tropical storm, and our room had water on the floor, it was cleaned up right away, and we were offered the opportunity to change rooms, but
the room we had was great so we stayed put. Great choice because the rest of the week the weather was perfect and we used the patio a lot.
The resort is very well kept, always someone cleaning around the pool and the resort. The pools were clean and there were plenty of loungers available.
The resort was quiet so most nights it was a la carte, we ate the Mexican buffet and the Tropical buffet, both nights the food was good with plenty of choice.
The staff was fantastic always very helpful with any questions.
The only drawback for me was the beach, not the very white sand and not swimmable, very rough with high waves. But that is made very clear in their advertising and we knew this before booking.
We took one trip the taste of Cabo, it was really interesting and definitely worth the money.
Our experience was great, and I would definitely recommend this hotel to friends. We will be returning in the future, hopefully soon!!!!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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6  Thank mississaugamom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2008

My husband and I just had our honeymoon in Los Cabos and stayed at the InterContinental Presidente. We thought the place was great. It was exactly want we wanted. From the moment we arrived we arrived we were well greeted and easily helped. Everyone we were in contact with at the resort spoke English and were very helpful. We stayed for 5 days and 4 nights and were upgraded to one of their Lanai rooms and they even brought us a bottle of champagne our first night. We had originally booked for just an oceanview room through Costco and were delighted for the upgrade. The value of the hotel was above what we had expected. We mainly ate at the hotel except for the few times we took the shuttle into Cabo San Lucas and were very pleased with the food and service. The shuttle by the way is a great deal. For the 3 daytime travels it was only $10 per passenger and $15 for the evening shuttle roundtrip. The price was such a great deal for those that wanted to go into town. Although it was slow season in Cabo, it was scattered rain throughout the day and night. We lucked out and had Hurricane Julio come in only on Sunday, which the staff was great about. All the activities were moved into the lobby and the staff was quick to get the property ready for it. It only affected our stay for Sunday, but was kinda nice to just have a day in. The pools were good and the snack bar was nearby and each pool had it's own bar. My husband and I would definitely come back here and were thinking of bringing our friends. Thanks!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank angeltiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos All-Inclusive

Address: Blvd Mijares S/N | Zona Hotelera, San Jose del Cabo 23400, Mexico (Formerly Presidente Los Cabos Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Sur > Los Cabos > San Jose del Cabo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
#12 Family Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
#14 On the Beach Hotel in San Jose del Cabo
Price Range: $166 - $286 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos All-Inclusive 3.5*
Number of rooms: 392
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

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