Malfunctioning in-room features like non-working outlets and spotty Wi-Fi
Some areas of the resort are dated
Ocean here isn't swimmable -- an issue throughout Los Cabos
Despite claims, not all rooms have ocean views
Golf clubs aren't actually part of the resort
The 526-room, three-pearl Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos is trying. Eight restaurants and all-inclusive rates are appealing, and the well-liked food ranges from simple grill fare to higher-end a la carte dining. The bars are busy all day -- as are the sparkling clean pools -- and the terrace restaurants overlooking the beach are lovely spots for taking in the ocean views. The minimalist-modern rooms include balconies -- most with sea views -- and bathrooms feature separate walk-in showers and bathtubs. However, flaws included a lack of power during some of our visit, malfunctioning in-room features, shabby design details, a few dated common areas, and inconsistent Wi-Fi. Check out the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos instead -- rates there are lower and the hotel has a far more polished atmosphere.
Beachside all-inclusive resort with a few flaws that draws loyal guests year after year
In a part of Mexico that's flush with all-inclusive resorts, the Grand Fiesta falls squarely in the middle -- it's not terrible, but more than one flaw make a stay here just short of pleasant. It's one of the older properties in the area, and despite upgrades to rooms and restaurants, the hotel still feels dated in parts. The lobby and lobby bar, for instance, are done in a sea of beige and brown tones that look held over from a previous decade. The look isn't helped by the gaudy oil paintings, worn furniture, tan marble accents, and velvet seating that's out of place in Mexico's coastal deserts. It's an underwhelming first impression that unfortunately wasn't helped by a spate of problems during our visit, including a lack of electricity -- an issue that's rare, but not unheard of at this resort.
Things are marginally nicer outside, and the pools, bars, and restaurants that form the heart of the resort are buzzing with guests throughout the day. While things were certainly lively, the crowd never seemed out of control during our visit, and more than one guest told us about how they enjoyed returning to the resort year after year. The rooms were given a modern overhaul after 2014's Hurricane Odile, and they at least look contemporary. The restaurants are also pleasant, and the hotel's spa and fitness center are both fresh and stylish. Overall, the resort draws couples, families, and groups of friends, but large-scale business events also frequent take place here, and mean the entire resort may be booked (or will at least be jam-packed with convention attendees).
On the beach, a 20-minute drive from downtown Cabo San Lucas
This resort sits on the beach between charming San Jose del Cabo and rowdy Cabo San Lucas, though most guests prefer to hang out on-site and take advantage of the all-inclusive rates at the property. That's a good thing, as there's absolutely nothing within walking distance of the hotel. Those looking to join the almost 24-hour party in Cabo San Lucas will need to drive 20 minutes south along the coast. The city is home to plenty of wild bars, some higher-end restaurants, and has a calm, swimmable beach (Medano Beach). Those seeking something a little more quaint and quiet should check out San Jose del Cabo, which is 25 minutes to the north by car. The town hosts a funky Art Walk during high season that draws all sorts of vendors into the streets along with a lively blend of locals and tourists. The airport is just north of San Jose del Cabo, and takes about 35 minutes to reach by car.
Modern looking rooms include bathrooms with separate tubs and shower plus sea-view balconies in some
Entering the rooms here, everything looks modern and attractive at first . There's mid-tone wood-grain furniture, Scandinavian-style seating, and pops of bright color in the throw pillows and other decorative accents. A few bolder large-scale photo prints of cacti and agave plants add a bit of local flavor to the look. Otherwise, the marble tile floors with two-tone in-lay patterns in most lower-category rooms look a bit dated and we spotted lots of pencil lines on the walls that were used to mount furniture and art. The effect is a bit haphazard and shabby.
Features include flat-screen TVs, generously stocked minibars (included in rates), and balconies. While the hotel claims that all rooms have sunrise views -- ostensibly over the sea -- that's not the case. Additionally, while air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi are available, both functioned poorly in the rooms during our stay. We also had issues with non-working power outlets and malfunctioning electronic entry cards. Bathrooms are spacious and clad in older travertine marble. They include Gilchrist & Soames toiletries plus separate walk-in showers and tubs.
The nicest unit is the Casa del Mar, though it's a major splash. This separate villa has fresh and contemporary interiors, higher-end furniture, plus a lawn and private plunge pool. It's a surprisingly stylish unit at an otherwise underwhelming resort. Other rooms are available that have separate bedrooms and living rooms for those in search of extra space.
Lots of dining and drinking options, lively pools, and attractive wellness facilities
One of the highlights at this resort are the number of dining options. All get mostly solid marks from previous guests, and venues range from casual fast food to a la carte restaurants and generous buffets. The a la carte spots include sushi, Italian, a Brazilian-Argentine steak house, and a breezy ceviche spot overlooking both the pool and the beach. Live music happens in the lobby and at Rosato, the Italian restaurant. Of course, traditional Mexican fare is available as well, and the hotel also has buffets available for all meals. While there are plenty of bars ringing the pools, all had a fairly subdued but upbeat vibe during our visit. All-inclusive rates cover all meals and all drinks, including top-shelf options, as well as all-day snacks and 24-hour room service. Hours do vary from one venue to the next, and some spots are only open in the evenings.
The pools form the center of the resort and they are all sparkling clean and ringed by tons of lounge chairs. There's a family pool, an activity pool, and one reserved for adults as well, so there's plenty of space for everyone to spread out. That's a good thing, as the beach here isn't amazing. An unpleasant run-off stream bisects the pool areas and the beach, and while there are lounge chairs and cabanas on the sand, we spotted some debris in the mix and the ocean isn't swimmable here.
Thankfully, the resort's wellness facilities are quite modern and lovely. The spa has a wine theme and is a fresh, elegant space. There's a central relaxation lounge hung with breezy canopies, and the local Mexican touches in the decor are thoughtful. The fitness center is stocked with a good amount of modern equipment, including kinesis machines, and infused water and towels are available. A spacious kids' club has plenty of toys and games for the little ones.
The hotel is part of the same development as two famous golf courses, both of which have 18 holes and offer stunning ocean and desert vistas. However, green fees are not included in rates and the courses are open to the general public as well. There are several large and small meeting rooms including a huge convention room, and major corporate gatherings are a frequent occurrence at the resort. The hotel also has a doctor's office (which is pricey and only accepts U.S. dollars) plus a shop selling sundries. Valet parking is covered by the all-inclusive rates, as is Wi-Fi, though the latter doesn't work in all parts of the resort.
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