SUMMARY: (3 of 5 stars) This is a nice, if a little small, all-inclusive, adults-only resort lodged on a steep hill next to the ocean. Gorgeous views, decent service, and acceptable food. Our trip would have been improved without myriad minor inconveniences and if it had been shorter or had been with a group of friends.
To celebrate our anniversary, husby and I decided to make a trip to Mexico and stay at an all inclusive resort because we like the relaxed convenience and because we didn’t want to stress over making an agenda for ourselves. We really just wanted to leave the baby with family and spend several days getting sleep and relaxing by the pool.
We found the Maquis Los Cabos on the Costco Travel site where it has glowing reviews and there was a very affordable travel package available. We were able to fly first class on Saturday and return on Friday with a private car taking us to and from the resort with everything else included. We’ve visited several all-inclusive resorts over on the eastern part of Mexico around Cancun, but this was our first trip to the Baja peninsula. We felt like it was reasonably priced.
Let me start with some good things about this resort.
Number one is that nearly every single member of the staff is friendly and enthusiastic. They are willing to bend over backwards to help you and make your stay enjoyable.
This was our anniversary trip, so they gave us chocolate covered cherries after we checked in and a complementary bottle of wine. They also gave us a special dessert after our first and last meals at the resort. I don’t know if it was because it was our anniversary trip, but they also upgraded our suite to one up on the fifth floor, which had an absolutely incredible view.
The hotel itself is beautiful. The grounds are littered with interesting and often pretty sculptures. The architecture has elements of the dramatic including the open-air lobby. There’s also a two tier waterfall that goes from the lobby all the way down to the pool on the “ground level.” Because the hotel is up against a hill, the guest rooms are above the lobby level while the restaurants and other facilities are below, against the hill. And the ground level is where the pools are. And, let me tell you: those infinity-edge pools are stunning.
There are five main restaurants on the property:
- Sakke — The Asian restaurant
- Vista Ballenas — The Mexican restaurant. This is also where you get breakfast in the mornings. BTW, we did not see any whales while we were there.
- Pergola — The Italian restaurant, which is literally under a pergola out by the pools. It’s easy to forget that this is one of the restaurants.
- Dos Mares — This is more like a cantina type restaurant. It was the best option for lunch in our opinion.
- [I can’t remember the name] — The French restaurant, but we did not go to it because it cost an extra $66 per person to dine there because it’s supposed to be really fancy.
We weren’t really blown away by any of the food we had, but it was pretty on-par for all inclusive hotels. Two exceptions: the ceviche, which I thought was just amazing, and the tortilla soup from Vista Bellenas, which knocked our socks off.
In addition, there’s a bar that opens in the evenings called Suspiro. Suspiro is really beautiful in concept. It sits on the level just below the lobby, so when the waterfall is on there’s this dramatic cascade behind you while you enjoy your drinks. Unfortunately, waterfalls are incredibly loud, so we didn’t stay there long when that was going.
Unfortunately, our visit was plagued by (very) minor annoyances starting with the transportation from the airport. We waited for about 10 minutes in the heat and due to a mix-up they tried to put us in a shuttle instead of a private car. We showed them our reservation and they immediately shuffled us into a private car that had been waiting. They even had another couple get out of the car so we could get in!
Then, we had numerous mix-ups with food and drink orders. I ordered a chicken quesadilla and got beef. I ordered a Jack & Coke and got Beam & Coke. I asked for a mudslide and they didn’t know what it was so sent me some sort of coconut cream thing. Tasty, but not a mudslide. We ordered manhattans and got some strange concoction that strongly featured grenadine. I asked for a blended mojito; I got a blended margarita. Husby ordered a chocolate ice-cream dessert and got caramel instead. It wasn’t just us, either. We were chatting with another group when they ordered some drink that was supposed to be beer and clamato juice and got something totally different. The staff was always very eager to resolve any mix-ups and confusions and these were all very minor things, but they just kept happening over and over.
Be warned: the hotel doesn’t provide any floats for the pools like they do at other resorts. You can buy inflatable rafts in the gift shop for $15US, but that struck us as too expensive. Fortunately, some guests bought floats and just left them behind for others to use and the hotel left them out there. But there aren’t nearly enough.
If you like to rest at the edge of the infinity-edge pool and look out at the ocean, get ready to fend off guys on the beach who are selling hats, trinkets, and horseback rides.
There are events every night, which is typical of an all inclusive, and some of them — like the fire show — are really great. But casino night was a total bust and the “DJ” they hired was a guy who streamed a music video channel on his laptop. Lame. Extra lame since he was there for two or three of the nights we were there.
Another tradition that we have for our trips is that we like to buy a Christmas ornament or two to remind us of our vacations. But the gift shop had only a very, very small selection of Christmas ornaments. At least, we THINK they were ornaments. It was kind of hard to tell, really. Anyway, we weren’t impressed with the gift shop, but at least they sold aloe cream for our sunburns.
We seemed to always be in the room when they wanted to come by to clean or provide turn down service or restock the fridge. By the way, they never seemed to get the message that we wanted more beer in our fridge and we kept having to call room service to order more.
I will say this: room service was very fast compared to some of the resorts we’ve stayed at.
One thing that I found very exciting and delightful was when we woke up to bats in our room. Small, cute bats. Our best guess is that the slider to our room was cracked one night and when we woke up there were three or four bats clinging to the curtains. This wasn’t the hotel’s fault by any stretch. We just didn’t realize our door was open when we went to sleep. And the bats left very readily when we opened the door for them.
I didn’t mention it as a restaurant, but there is also a coffee shop on the grounds that has all kinds of delicious non-alcoholic drinks and desserts including ice-cream. So, if you just want a little something, they have a superfun crew down there. And if you finished reading your book, they have a small library of books available to borrow!
Also, apparently, this is the off season for them because the resort was largely empty for our stay. We were there from 9/22 – 9/28. It made for limited people watching, but we never had to worry about getting chairs by the pool or having to wait to be seated at the restaurants. This was also good because the resort felt oddly small. I think it’s because the pool area is so confined and Sakke and Vista Ballenas are the only two indoor restaurants we went to.
There is a spa, but we didn’t use those facilities. You can see the hot tubs in the picture below. We usually do a couples massage on these trips, but they didn’t have that option and the prices for other services struck us as way too expensive even for already overpriced all-inclusive resort spa prices that we’re used to paying.
The view. I need to mention the view again because it was just breathtaking. And it was so soothing to hear the waves crashing on the beach. We’re not big on swimming on the beach, which is a good thing because the rip currents were readily visible and clearly treacherous. The staff told us that if we wanted to swim in the ocean we should walk down to the public beach by the Hilton. You can also see the Hilton in the top right of the photo below. They said it was only a ten minute walk, but we estimate that it’s more like 30 because it took us about 15 to get to the rocks in the middle ground of that photo.
Overall, we had a very nice time at Marquis Los Cabos. I would definitely recommend it to people who are just looking for a quick getaway. I think we just stayed there too long and the novelty wore off on us, which is why I give it an overall middling rating.