An Adult, All-Inclusive Resort Experience in Cabo
Carol Farnworth, February 2023
My husband and I were in Cabo two years ago and stayed at the adult, all-inclusive resort Marquis Los Cabos. It was a great experience and decided to go again for another week this year, hoping it would still be as good. Two years ago the resort was at 50% capacity. Now it, and most hotels and resorts, are full. We had invited another couple/clients to join us. Happily the experience was still positive and our friends are already talking about going back.
MARQUIS LOS CABOS RESORT
The Marquis Los Cabos offers 209 rooms plus about 24 casitas with private plunge pools. So fairly small by resort standards in Cabo these days. It is oceanfront but you have to sign a form that indicates you will NOT attempt to swim in the ocean as it has very heavy surf and undertow. The resort is just coming up to its 20th anniversary. Five stories high, well maintained, all junior suites either ocean view (floors one and two) or ocean front, higher floors. We found a younger crowd this year, especially over the weekend. Younger/livelier guests tended to congregate in one area where there was music and activities, and others, like us, who wanted it more quiet, at the other end of the pool area. Service was still outstanding. Everyone knocks themselves out to be sure you are happy.
Restaurants and Lounges
The food was good, but not exceptional. There are four dining venues, plus one extra-fee restaurant which we had tried two years ago and which had been a disappointment then. The main restaurant, Vista Ballenas, has both indoor and outdoor dining areas and is open breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Asian (Sakke) restaurant requires reservations and is open dinner only. They have seating at a teppanyaki type table (like the old Benihana restaurants) – fun, and lots of food. Too much, really. They also have table seatings for sushi and stir fry options.
The Italian (Pergola) restaurant (also requiring reservations) is all outdoors and the temperature when we were staying was unusually cool. Low 70s and with a bit of wind. By evening it would not have been comfortable without the portable heaters near tables. Food comes from the main restaurant and we found by the time it was served it was warm, not hot. And portions were the opposite of the Asian restaurant—rather small.
Probably the food we enjoyed the most was in the Dos Mares restaurant, which was near the main pool, again all outdoors. This specializes in seafood like ceviche. 5 different kinds, all delicious. It is open only for an extended lunch period, 11 a.m. till 3 p.m.
The 24-hour room service features an extensive menu, and guests seem to use this a lot. All rooms are junior suites at 650 square feet with balcony so it’s a comfortable way to dine in room with that space. People also used room service for snacks and lunches (and of course drinks) served to them poolside. There is also a coffee shop with all kinds of fancy coffee drinks plus ice cream, milkshakes, sandwiches and pastries.
A personal peeve is the continued use of QR codes for menus. Limited number of paper menus and some like at the Italian restaurant were in such small print you needed readers.
Resort has one bar, near the Vista Ballenas restaurant, which tends to get crowded. The resort also usually a nightly show or entertainment with a buffet dinner to accompany.
WALDORF ASTORIA PEDREGAL
We went to the Waldorf Astoria Pedregal, which is now 15 years old, and a fabulous development. They had to blast and create a tunnel through a mountain to develop it which is very close to downtown Cabo near the arches. It is an amazing place, very much Mexican in feel but elegant with beautiful décor. All rooms are ocean view and have plunge pools. Very spread out, so lots of use of golf carts to get around. Their El Farallon restaurant is impressive, set along the Cliffside overlooking the ocean. Very service oriented. There is a children’s pool, adult pool, and family pool. And their spa is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.
Mobility Note: None of the rooms here are accessible. But they will install grab bars, a shower stool, if needed so it was emphasized to let them know if any special needs.
CHECKING OUT THE MONTAGE TWIN DOLPHINS
We also visited a couple of resorts along the “corridor”. First we explored the Montage in the Twin Dolphins gated community. It is 4 years old with two story “pods” with four rooms in each pod. It is quite spread out, so again the use of golf carts is prominent. There are private residences 2-3 bedrooms, available to rent as well as regular rooms. A more casual feel here. The landscaping is devoid of the usual palm trees, instead landscaped with all native desert plants. Very nice. Rooms have both indoor and outdoor showers. Great sense of place here. You feel you are in Mexico. Rooms have large balconies and terraces. Contemporary décor with lots of wood and tile. On Santa Maria Bay, one of the safe swimming beaches, and they are lots of water related activities like kayaking, snorkeling. It is pet-friendly for a pet up to 40 pounds.
CHECKING OUT THE LE BLANC RESORT
Our final hotel inspection was at Le Blanc. It was the largest resort I visited, and very elegant, but it could have been at any beach—Hawaii, the Caribbean or Mexico. No sense of place. 5 years old, rooms have large balconies and terraces. Contemporary in feel. This was another all inclusive resort, adults only. Several restaurants including a Lebanese one with belly dancing! The French restaurant is rather formal, with a stricter dress code and requires reservations. Pool area is huge. Pricing on rooms I thought was a bit confusing. They have ground floor rooms they call walk out rooms in the pool area—you walk out to the pool area which has both a heated and unheated pool. There is a charge for poolside palapas which have a t.v. and bottle of French champagne. $209 a day, and a bit higher those closer to the ocean. Partial oceanview rooms in the side buildings. Oceanview in the main building. Most are king but there are some with two double beds and was told the only way to absolutely guarantee a king is to book the king honeymoon rooms.
Taxis are very expensive in Cabo. From most hotels on the corridor it would be $35 to go into Cabo San Lucas itself. The days of negotiating a rate are long gone.