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Reviewed March 17, 2010

My wife and I went here for a quick getaway and it was a great choice. The hotel was small and relatively quiet which is just what we wanted. The grounds and the facilities were impressive. I saw other comments about the rooms, but our room was great. Very clean and fresh with a great ocean view. They do not mention it on their website, but they also include complimentary laundry service. We went to the gym each day (small but fine gym) and it was great to not travel home with a pile of sweaty clothes. Whenever we had any issues at all, the staff was friendly, attentive, and always tried to help. This was pretty much across the board (front desk, restaurants, spa, pool, etc.) I think the hotel was pretty full when we went there but there were never issues with finding a place to sit by the pool or ocean. Spa massages were very good as was the facial but it was definitely not a traditional facial. It was more massage-like than a "shine the bright light and poke and prod" type of facial. The only weakness of the property is the food. Breakfast and lunch are fine but dinners were just ok. If you are looking for a gourmet food experience every night, this may not be the place for you. However, it was really fine considering it was an all-inclusive resort. One suggestion is that if you go, take advantage of the fact that you can enjoy the restaurants next door at Dreams. We went there twice and the food there was definitely better. Plus, since there were only two restaurants at the hotel, going to Dreams opened up 5 additional restaurants as choices. You can walk on the beach back and forth between the properties. Or, as a nice touch, just ask the front desk to get you a cab and they will pay for it both ways. Overall, I highly recommend Casa del Mar as a super relaxing experience at a great value (check out Orbitz for good package pricing on flight+hotel).

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank gee_man5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2010

We were truly concerned about staying at Zoetry after reading other reviews. We have stayed at many of the Secrets properties and were looking to take a step up to Zoetry which is categorized as one of AMResorts top level properties. As described, it is a very small hotel with 42 rooms, some of which are in outer buildings that probably were originally condos. Having stayed at many larger resorts, we were looking forward to staying at a smaller venue. Our main focus was to enjoy excellent food, premium drinks, relaxation and being pampered and catered to. We were not disappointed.

We stayed at Zoetry for a week in mid-February and had an absolutely wonderful time. My wife and I went with another couple to celebrate my 60th birthday, and because of this, we may have received some special attention.

ARRIVAL
If you read Trip Advisor with any regularity, you should know that you need to get out of the airport to find your transportation to the resort. There seems to be some debate on whether Zoetry will provide personal transportation from the airport. Ours was through Apple Vacations but Zoetry did offer to make these arrangements for us. It is only about a 25-30 minute trip.

We arrived at about 9:30 at night and did not receive the customary wet towel and champagne. This was not an issue for us. If this is a deal breaker for you, stop reading now as you will never have a good time. We were staying in one of the outer buildings which are less than 5 minutes away if you walk. If you have problems walking they are very accommodating and they will gladly provide transportaation to the restaurants or adult pool in a golf cart anytime you need it. Just call and they will come and get you and take you back.

THE ROOMS
Zoetry went far beyond expectations and upgraded us to a suite. The space was outstanding with first class amenities; a good size kitchen, large sitting area and a dining room that sat 8 with room to spare. There was also a large lanai with infinity Jacuzzi. Very, very nice but way more room than we could use. There were many other nice features including a huge shower with a rain type shower head, lots of drawers and closet space and a washer and dryer. We had internet access and free world-wide phone calls. After having said that, the space could only have been improved by having a second bathroom, a double sink and a TV in the sitting area.

Our friends were next door in a standard size room that had a good size bathroom, lots of closet space, a small refrigerator and a Jacuzzi. We also spoke with another guest that had a standard room in the main building and were very pleased with the accommodations. The balconies varied somewhat in size depending on the room location but all were easily large enough for two seats and a small table with room to spare.

Maid service was consistent and excellent occurring 3 times a day; morning to make up the room, mid-afternoon to refresh the towels and late afternoon to do a turndown and anything else that needs to be done. You will also get visited by the minibar person in late afternoon. They will be happy to supply your minibar with anything you need; just ask. The only weak points about our rooms are single sinks, very limited English language TV selection (news, golf and movies you’ve never heard of) and some rooms have “see through” doors by the toilets which may be a problem for some. Because we were in an outer building we never received the daily resort activity sheet that the guests in the main hotel received.

THE RESTAURANTS
The first restaurant is in the main building. Half of the restaurant is inside, the other half is on an outdoor terrace. We never ate inside because even when it was a little cool out, it was still very pleasant on the terrace.

The restaurant serves breakfast starting at 7:00. We never had to wait, but then we arrived shortly after 7:00. They offer a wide selection of items all of which were very good. On a couple of occasions we combined entrees or added side items. The dishes also seem to mysteriously come with more than the menu indicates such as fruit or hash browns. My wife ordered eggs one day and they brought her 4 fried eggs. I ordered a bagel and salmon as a side and it was a giant bagel with more salmon than one should eat in a day. The next time, I just ordered some salmon (and still got way too much). One custom that is unusual (perhaps only to people from USA) they bring a basket of pastries and toast around long before you get your meal. They don’t leave the basket; you just choose what you want. This may be OK if you want a pastry with your coffee but if you wanted a piece of toast with your eggs, it will be cold.

They also serve dinner here. It is supposed to be Mexican /Nouvelle influenced - we saw very little evidence of that, but the food was consistently very good. The soups are exceptional and come in very large portions. Although our group tried most of the dishes on the menu, the favorite seemed to be the steak and shrimp combo. The steak portion is small (about 4 oz.) but it is more than enough when accompanied with soup, salad or appetizer. If you want more steak, just tell them to bring you two. Also, the duck confit appetizer is not to be missed. One last note, there was never a problem in substituting anything on the menu. The above steak and shrimp comes with lentils (much better than it might sound) but my wife and our friend preferred the baked potato so they were able to change without any problem. BTW don’t be surprised when your baked potato comes already cut up; just enjoy because they tasted great. The deserts were also very good.

The other restaurant is down by the adult pool on the beach. This was the only restaurant open for lunch. You can eat at the tables or they will bring food to you poolside. The food offering was quite good and in very large portions. We ate at the pool almost every day and had the guacamole (very good but plan on sharing, it’s a lot), ceviche, quesadillas, steak sandwich, club sandwich and fish tacos. All were exceptional. The waiters by the pool took great care of us.

At night, this restaurant moves some tables out onto the sand where tables are circled around a bonfire. There are only about 10 tables but only one night did we have to wait for a short time. It did get a little cool out there with the breeze coming off of the ocean but the waiters will provide you with serapes to keep you warm. The food was very good although the steaks seemed to vary greatly in their tenderness. You definitely don’t want them overcooked. If you can’t eat a steak that’s medium rare or rarer, you probably should stay with seafood or chicken. The organic salad with lobster chunks was outstanding. All of the soups were very well prepared.

Ordering from room service is another dining option. We used it several times from just getting coffee and pastries in the morning to sandwiches on the patio for lunch to a full blown gourmet dinner. With the exception of one lunch, the food was delivered very quickly even though we were not in the main building. The lunch menu is made up mostly from items from the beach restaurant while the dinner choices are mostly from the restaurant in the main building. As I recall, the breakfast menu was somewhat limited but in reality, you can order anything you want. The kitchen obviously has all of the menu items available so let your imagination run wild. If you order the pastry basket, it usually comes with 3 items, one of which is usually a croissant. If you want butter or jelly with that, make sure you order it that way. The room service menu says that breakfast doesn’t start until 7:00 but we ordered coffee and rolls prior to that with no problem. I’m sure we could have ordered regular menu items as well, they were very accommodating.

Your final dining choice is to go next door to Dreams. Upon check-in you will receive a pass to use when going to Dreams. It is about a 5-10 minute walk depending on how fast you walk in the sand or about a 5 minute cab ride. Zoetry will pay for the cab to and from Dreams; just tell the doorman. We only went to Dreams a few times; once for lunch and had some outstanding fish tacos at Oceana and another time to El Patio for the breakfast buffet which was good but nothing special, but the views were spectacular. The other meal was at Portofino for dinner. This is their Italian restaurant. All of the Italian restaurants at Secrets/Dreams resorts are called Portofino and our past visits at other locations have always been excellent. This was not the case at Dreams. This should have been a very romantic setting but instead it was so brightly lit that you almost needed sunglasses. Also, the acoustics made it very difficult to carry on a conversation (there were 6 of us around a large table). Top that off with poor service and almost inedible food and it made for a very bad dining experience at Dreams.

Final comments on the food. Because there are only two restaurants and they do not change the menu, you will tire of the food. Management informed us that there are plans to add more items to the menus, but they really need to change the menu 2-3 times a week. Although they will make you anything you want, you still need to have some idea of what is available. Someone ordered a cheeseburger (not on the menu) with no problem. If you want some pasta, you might be out of luck because we never saw any on any of the menus, but we didn’t ask either.

THE BARS
There are 3 bars; one in the main building which is open only in the evening, one by the main pool and one by the adult pool. The latter two are also swim up bars. These two tend to focus on tropical drinks and beer. The beer is Corona, Pacifico and you can get Bud Light. You can also get some premium brand liquor at these bars if you ask for it but it is somewhat limited. The bar in the main building is more upscale and serves all premium liquors, and has very comfortable seating both indoors and out. It was never very crowded anytime we were there. There is not much going on at night, so if you desire entertainment you can take a cab over to Dreams at the expense of Zoetry, or take a cab into town for $25 each way.

THE BEACH AND POOLS
Swimming is not allowed in the ocean by the resort. It is a pleasant 15 minute walk to the Hilton where there is a small bay that is swim able. The sand during this walk is very gravelly so I would recommend wearing gym shoes or water shoes. The hotel has a morning walk up to the Hilton at 11:00 every day. There are peddlers on the beach, but they were not a problem, but their prices are very high so you need to barter with them.

There are four beautiful well maintained pools; one near the main building that is for hotel guests and condo residents and allows children, the other is down on the beach and is strictly for hotel guests and is adults only. Both of these pools have swim up bars. There are also two other smaller pools without bars. We only went to the adult pool, which is smaller than the main pool, and there was rarely ever a problem finding beach chairs. The chairs are nicely padded and there were several umbrellas for those wanting some shade. Towels are placed on the chairs so you don’t have to hunt those down. If you need more, the pool staff will get them for you, as well as an umbrella if you need one. They are also very helpful in adjusting your umbrella or even getting extra chairs if none are available. It was very nice not having to fight for space or get up at the crack of dawn to save chairs. It was clear that this was not the case over at Dreams. On the day that we went tto Dreams for breakfast, it appeared that many people had already secured their spots. Occasionally there were children at the adult pool which was not really a problem for us as they were well behaved. Keep in mind this pool is designated as the adult pool, so if you are offended by the language and behavior that may accompany drinking adults, then don’t take your kids to the adult pool. There are three other pools available and Dreams next door is kid friendly.

STAFF and PROPERTY
The property is small with a great location, magnificent views and is very tropical and floral. For those of you not familiar with Los Cabo, it is in the desert so much of the vegetation is what you would expect to find in that type of environment. There are still plenty of flowers, palm trees and greenery to make the resort very attractive and serene. It is also very clean and well maintained.

The staff is exceptional. Every person we encountered could not do enough to take care of our needs. Ankara (General Manager) and Raoul (Food and Beverage Manager) should be very proud of their staff. From Gloria (Pool and Activities Concierge) to the waiters the bartenders to housekeeping, they all did an outstanding job of making our stay a wonderful experience. Yes - gratuity is included at the resort, but additional tips are greatly appreciated and we felt they were very well deserved, so we did tip well and often as these people work very hard.

COMPLAINTS
We really have very little to complain about, but no resort is perfect. Zoetry advertises no check-in or check-out times. Apparently this did not apply to us as we were informed that we needed to be out of our rooms 1-1/2 hours before our scheduled departure for the airport, in order to accommodate cleaning the rooms for the arriving guests. This gave us less than a 2 hour notice. We were already packed, but we had just ordered room service and had not taken showers yet, so we were a bit rushed to wait for lunch to arrive, eat, take showers and finish packing our toiletries. Most resorts have a room that they supply to the guests for changing clothes and hanging out while waiting for their transportation. We were told there was no such room available, so after we checked out, we had to find some place go sit in our winter (Chicago) traveling clothes for 1-1/2 hours. To pass the time we got ourselves some drinks at the pool bar and sat inside at the main indoor bar that is closed during the day, and waited there until our transportation to the airport arrived. I’m sure Zoetry had advance notice and were well aware of the arriving guests, so giving us less than 2 hours notice was not appreciated, but we overlooked it since they upgraded us to a suite at no additional charge.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The early reviews on Trip Advisor were very discouraging. The thought of mediocre food, bad service, kids running amuck and being hounded by time share people was enough for us to contact our travel agent and reconsider our destination. Instead we found great food, attentive service, few if any kids and no evidence of time share people. We are so very glad that we stayed with our original decision.

Zoetry is truly a great place to go to relax, enjoy tranquil surroundings, be pampered and enjoy good food and drink. If, on the other hand, you are the kind of person that has to be on the go, can’t sit still for more than 30 minutes, likes to party late at night, enjoys big crowds, wants to participate in water activities, want to take your kids along, or prefers simple food, this is not the place for you!

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank mrwinkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2010

Zoetry Casa Del Mar is the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed at. My wife and I loved the pools, the food, the beach, the staff....everything about this place. We stayed there for a week and only left the hotel grounds one afternoon to visit downtown Cabo. We ate every meal at the hotel, except the one day we went to town, we had lunch at Cabo Wabo. The food and drinks really were that good. In this hotel the staff will provide you with anything you need...just ask them, or dial 9 and they will be at your door in minutes. There is no need to worry about eating at certain times....if it's late and the restaurant is closed you can order room service 24 hours a day. One of the restaurants is right on the beach, your table is in the sand and there is a large fire pit in the center of all the tables. There are several pools on the grounds, our favorite is the lower pool that is literally right on the beach and it has a full bar and restaurant to eat lunch. There were a few days that we stayed down at that pool all day long. This small resort is owned by the same owners of the Dreams Resort which is a huge place a short walk down the beach. We walked over to take a look and it seemed crowded to us so we took off back to our quiet relaxing hotel. The hotel did my laundry for no extra charge. There is a sauna and steam room in the spa you can use for no extra charge. Some other reviews mentioned time share sales pithches.....we were not approached once at Zoetry. All in all we had a fantastic time!! If you can't relax at this place then you really have got some issues!! It costs a bit more than other places but I do not mind paying more when I truly get more. This place is worth every penny! We're already planning on booking another trip next year to Zoetry.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank CCSeattle10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2010

Our trip to Casa del Mar was fabulous. After having read other reviews on this site, I was really worried. From the time we arrived at the hotel until we left, we were pampered and catered to. Whatever we wanted or needed was done immediately. I don't know where this time share thing is coming from, but we saw nor were approaced by anyone except at the airport.

No one can even enter the grounds of the hotel without going through a guarded gate. The all-inclusive made the trip so enjoyable. The chefs were fantastic at both restaurants and the food presentation was excellent. The room (jr suite with ocean front) was beautiful. We constantly had clean towels and amenities. Our refrigerator was stocked constantly and room service was awesome....even at midnight!
Our longest wait was maybe 20 minutes.

There is a separate pool for families and there were very few children even seen at the hotel. It is more for couples and people who want to get away from it all. Quiet and relaxing. We will definitely be going back. We enjoyed the free world wide phone calls and the internet access (but only once!).

Gratuity is included, but additional tips are greatly appreciated and we felt well deserved for the service we received. It was also nice to come home with beautifully laundered clothes instead of suitcases full of dirty things ( that too is complimentary).

If you really want to get away from it all this is a great place to head to. I would absolutely recommend the hotel. By the way, people were extending their stay while we were there. It was very difficult to leave.....

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank HoustonWolfpack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2010

My husband and I stayed at Zoetry mid/end of February. We thought the service, pool and views were incredible. Housekeeping was above and beyond whether it was daily cleaning or turndown service. We thought drink and food service at the pool was pretty timely too, though we spent most of our time at the ‘adult only’ pool.
For breakfast we occasionally walked down to Dreams, which for a buffet was good and had a lot to offer. We also enjoyed the walk on the beach. Also ate in the restaurant at Zoetry, I highly recommend the French toast! I’d also recommend room service (see pictures), drinking coffee on your porch is a real treat with the beautiful Cabo mornings.
Lunches were mainly at the pool. The guacamole is great and the menu has a pretty wide selection of options. Dinner we ate at the beach restaurant a few times, the dinner was high quality and prepared well (chicken, filet mignon, shrimp) along with phenomenal service (Jose and Joe were so nice!) and a gas fire to keep you warmer. The main restaurant menu didn’t appeal to us and we had room service for dinner twice. That’s where the options seemed a bit limited and monotonous. We also visited Dreams’ oriental restaurant, the appetizers were great but main course was so-so for both of our dishes. We also ate in town, highly recommend Lorenzillo’s for lobster, delicious!
But back to the resort, we stayed in an oceanview jr suite (standard room). The rooms were clean, not ‘new’, but at least well kept. The porch was spacious for two people. The bathroom was a surprise as it had NO doors and offered little privacy. So be aware of that, I can’t speak for the master suite rooms. Once we called to have the mini-frig restocked and other times it was done automatically (calling was simple and fast). We were in the ‘main’ building and there are condo/timeshares surrounding it along with more resort rooms. The timeshares have two of their own pools not connected to the ‘main’ grounds, not sure if they can/do use the resorts but I was never bothered or had an issue finding a lounge chair. The pools and grounds are fabulous. We could see whales from the pool deck, which was a nice treat. The complimentary massage was wonderful too, the spa in general is a nice facility. The workout room was adequate.
Also, we were NEVER bothered by timeshare people, not once! Maybe we look too young (or too poor, hahaha).
Some of the nice touches are every evening at turndown (or placed underneath your door) you get a page of the next day’s events and a schedule of the week’s events along with some background on Cabo and Zoetry. So you know when beach yoga is (tried that), tomorrow’s forecast and sunrise/set, tomorrow’s tea, and the ‘drink of the day’. I like the drink of the day as you could try something new.
Yes, there are some issues we ran across (a/c condensation issue which maintenance resolved in 30 minutes and a key card issue), but in general the service was wonderful (yes, we did tip a lot, but felt like it was well deserved and not required) and we felt like it was a good value. We’ve stayed at other AI (Le Blanc in Cancun) and enjoyed this stay just as much, as this trip we were looking for private, relaxing, and beautiful property.

Helpful hint, if you need to make change. I suggest doing that while at Dreams. They have more capacity to handle it.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank spud-tato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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