We went to Decameron Los Cocos the last week of December. I’ll split up my review into the following categories: resort rooms, grounds and services, food and drinks, staff, beach, town, activities, practical info.
Rooms, Grounds and Services
There are 5 different hotels, Cocos 1-5, as shown on the map. Cocos 1, 2 and 5 are right on the beach (30 sec walk). Cocos 3 is in the middle – 45 sec walk to the beach. Cocos 4 is furthest away from the beach (1.5 min walk). The disco and one of the bars is close to Cocos 3. The main dining areas and bars are at Cocos 1 and 2. We stayed at Cocos 2, and for most part it was fine for noise, but due to its close proximity to the bars and dining areas, it could get noisy around dinner time and early in the morning. I would advise to bring earphones if you’re a light sleeper – just in case. Cocos 4 has rooms with balconies facing the beach. In Cocos 3, most rooms seemed to have balconies but it’s unclear if the beach can be seen from them since the building is in the middle and fairly low. Cocos 1 and 2 only have very few select rooms that have balconies at all. All the balconies face the beach but some are much closer than others. In Cocos 2, there are only 4 rooms that have balconies, 2 are right on the beach, and 2 a bit further in, but the beach is still visible. Cocos 1 has 7-8 rooms with balconies facing the beach, however, one of the balconies actually looks into the roof of the dining hall, so that one wouldn’t be so good. There are also 2 penthouses in Cocos 1, at the very top of the right wing – rooms 1501 and 1502. 1501 balcony faces the beach and probably has the nicest view. I wouldn’t recommend staying at Cocos 5 – it only has ground level rooms and no balconies – its only plus is that it’s right on the beach.
The rooms themselves are nice – I didn’t bother taking any pictures, the hotel ones are true to what the rooms and the resort looks like. There is a choice between 2 double beds or 1 king bed, and you can make a request when you book. Our request was fulfilled when we asked for a room with a king bed. Everything was clean and it had all the amenities needed. The bed was comfy enough. The pressure of the water in the shower was a bit low, but plenty of hot water. You do not get any shampoo or conditioner, so bring your own. Also bring lots of sunscreen cause it’s very expensive there. There is a TV in the room, as well as a safety deposit box, but you have to get the key from the reception and it costs 230 pesos. The hotel is not responsible for any loss if your valuables are not in the safety box. Pets are not allowed. You get maid service every day and if you don’t wish to have a maid clean your room, just put a Do Not Disturb sign on your door and leave it there for the day.
The grounds of the resort are very beautiful and well maintained. There was staff everywhere always cleaning, making repairs and maintaining the grounds. There are 3 pools that are open until 6 p.m. (no night swimming allowed). You get beach towels at the resort so no need to bring your own. There are many activities for the kids every day in the snack-bar area, as well as games to rent. If you wish to play tennis you must have tennis shoes (they won’t let you play barefoot).
There is no spa at the resort but they do offer massages that you can book through reception. It’s 400 pesos for 60 min for shiatsu and deep tissue and 350 pesos for relaxation massage. There is also a guy offering massages on the beach and he charges the same prices – we each got a 30 min massage for 200 pesos. There are a few places in town that also offer massages for a bit cheaper.
Food and Drink
There are 2 buffet-style restaurants at Cocos 1 (largest one) and Cocos 2 (smaller), and one a la carte restaurant (La Bamba – steak and seafood) at Cocos 3. La Bamba requires reservations which start at 8 am at Cocos 5. The restaurant is fairly small so the reservations fill up very quickly, we were there at 7:55 and there was already a line up. We went once to see how it is, and honestly, it’s not worth getting up early just for that. We each had a different steak (New York and Sirloin), New York was too fatty and chewy, sirloin was too thin to be done properly. The seafood you can get most days at the buffet-style restaurants or on the beach in front of the resort, so it wasn’t anything special. The drinks are the same as you would get at any bar or buffet-style restaurant. If we go again, we won’t bother with the a la carte. The buffet style restaurants have a great selection, the food is of good quality, and there is a different theme every day, so you won’t get bored. There are always fresh fruit and veggie selections as well. My only complaint was that their coffee was pretty bad, but I like strong coffee (espresso), so it could be just me. If you like strong coffee, there is a place in town called Tres Banderas (Three Flags) that has a very good espresso and cappuccino. You’ll recognize it when you see a wall full of books – they do book exchanges (English and Spanish).
On the beach there are many vendors selling delicious goodies as well – there are fresh oysters, which they open for you right when you order them – with lime and chili, they were delicious. There are grilled shrimp and fish on a stick, fresh fruits (pineapples, coconuts and mangoes), fresh donuts, nuts, ceviche, tamales, corn on the cob (slathered in cream and cheese) and tacos – all super delicious. In town you can get freshly squeezed fruit juices on almost every corner as well as grilled chicken and other things.
If you’re looking for a different dining experience, try the nearby Vista Guayabitos restaurant (check out my review there), it’s a 5 min walk up the hill from the resort. The restaurant is high up on a hill so it has incredible views – the food and drinks are comparable to Canadian prices, so expensive compared to other places in town, but the view is very much worth it.
The drinks at the bars are average - nothing great, since they use lots of syrups and artificial juices, but at least the cocktail selection is vast. They serve the drinks in plastic cups, but we saw lots of people that brought their own travel mugs to drink out of - I guess so they don't have to walk to the bar so much.
The staff at the resort are excellent – they are very helpful and courteous and always smiling. Tips are appreciated and accepted – 10-15% is good. We would leave about 20-40 pesos after every meal and about that much for the maid per day.
The beach is very long and very wide, and although at Christmas time it was very busy, it was nowhere near a point where you didn't have space to put your towel or to find a chair to sit on at the resort. Many people would get up early and reserve their chairs by putting their towels on them, but most days we’d just show up whenever and there was always a free chair. There are many people selling trinkets on the beach – bracelets, silver, rugs, masks, hair braiding, etc. If you’re not interested, just smile and say “No gracias” and they’ll leave you alone – they are not pushy at all – in fact they are super friendly even when you say no. The water in the morning is much higher (the tide goes back in the evening) and cleaner. Also, the fishing boats come in the morning and the fishermen sell their fish directly to the locals, who then grill it themselves right on the beach. There are a TON of pelicans on the beach in the morning (they leave during the day cause there are too many people), and it’s funny to watch them try to get some of the fishermen's fish. The water was very nice and calm, there was only one day that the waves were a bit high. The resort is in a bay, so that shields the shore from having too rough waters.
The town of Rincon de Guayabitos is very small (see map) but also very lovely. It’s a resort town so there are many hotels and restaurants, and it mostly caters to Mexicans. If you’re looking for an authentic Mexico experience, this is it. You are not isolated in the resort with only other tourists – you get to see and experience the local culture. There is a big market on Mondays.
Very close by to Guayabitos is a little town of La Penita, which is walkable from Guayabitos in about 30 minutes (the walk is very nice and gives you a chance to see both towns). Taxi is about 7 pesos per person. La Penita has an even bigger market every Thursday, so we walked there to check it out. The prices are better for rugs and silver than from the guys selling it on the beach. There’s lots of fresh fruit and veggies as well. We walked back from La Penita to Guayabitos on the beach.
The resort offers buses for 280 pesos (25 Canadian dollars) to Puerta Vallarta on Wednesdays and Fridays only. Otherwise a taxi is about 60 CAD one way. You leave at 9 and return at 5:30 (leave PV at 4 p.m.), so you get about 5 hours to check out the city. I would recommend going if you haven’t been before, the city is very lovely, the walkway along the beach is nice and the old town very charming.
The other thing we did was whale watching. There are many guys selling whale watching tours on the beach and the prices are the same for all – 200 pesos per person for about 2.5 hour tour. They have some tours that include snorkeling, but we only did whale watching. We went with a company on the beach called Fiesta Guayabitos, on the party boat (bigger boat since I was afraid of getting sick on the small one), but they have smaller boats as well. They go every morning at 10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m. for the bigger boat. We were happy with this company and saw lots of whales.
There are other tours you can book at the hotel, like zip lining and horseback riding.
Rincon de Guayabitos is one hour behind Puerta Vallarta so effectively 2 hours behind Toronto. When you arrive there will be people at the airport pointing you to the right bus – make sure you tell them you’re going to Los Cocos, because there are other Decameron hotels in PV. You’ll have to wait for all the people for Los Cocos to board the bus before you can leave, for us, this took about 1 hour. Since we arrived at the resort after dinner we each got a welcome package with some food inside when we checked in. The bellboy will take you to your room after you check in. You’ll get a package on the bus with tour information and your orientation session will be the next morning around 10 a.m. The resort exchanges ONLY Canadian money to pesos (they DO NOT exchange American $) – the rate was 11.50 to 1 when we were there in Dec 2012. There is no wi-fi, you can pay 30 pesos for one hour of internet and there are computers in the lobby – you can use your internet code until your time expires.
Overall this was a very nice resort for the price and it offers an authentic Mexican experience
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On the picturesque Bay of Rincon de Guayabitos in the state of Nayarit, just 55 minutes from Puerto Vallarta International Airport amidst a typical fishing village, Hotel Decameron Los Cocos is the ideal place to experience the most spectacular family holiday. Its white beaches and crystal clear water contrast with the bright colors of the hotel's architecture. We have 4 pools throughout our installations, 3 of which are suitable for children, and over 100 meters of beaches. Experience the international and typical dishes you can find at the La Bamba, La Canoa and El Tropical Restaurants, or enjoy the most delicious drinks at the disco or at the bars on the beach, like La Iguana and Pelicanos. During the day you can enjoy different recreational activities like non-motorized water sports, kayaking, sailboats and a catamaran, a massage parlor, and tennis, basketball and beach volleyball courts. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Decameron Los Cocos Hotel
- Hotel Decameron Los Cocos
- Decameron Los Cocos Rincon De Guayabitos
- Rincon De Guayabitos