Spacious guest lounge with a few computers and a printer
Free valet parking and free basic Wi-Fi
There is no swimmable beach
Specialty restaurants have limited hours and require reservations and dress codes
No entertainment or animation team (pro for some)
Resort requires a shuttle to get around
Pesky time-share pitches
High-speed Wi-Fi costs extra
Perched on a cliff overlooking the Sea of Cortez, the massive Hacienda Encantada Resort and Residences is one of the top upscale hotels in the area, known for its sweeping views, beautiful pools, and all-inclusive options. All 237 rooms are Mexican-inspired and feature modern amenities: flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and balconies. The resort is ideal for families, with a massive kids' zone, plenty of games, and an activity pool. There are several dining and drinking options -- Italian, Mexican, and buffet -- and a few wellness choices such as a small spa and fitness center. Though sun loungers are set up on a rocky stretch of shore, there isn't a real beach here. Past guests have complained about everything from time-share pitches to closed restaurants. For those who want sand access, the Casa Dorada Los Cabos Resort & Spa is right on swimmable Playa el Medano.
Hacienda Encantada packs Old World Mexican charm into an upscale package. Inspired by traditional haciendas, the hotel consists of multiple buildings for the rooms, restaurants, and the main lobby. Expect to see Old World detail mimicking traditional haciendas with expansive archways, weathered colonial decor, and handmade accent sculptures. The hotel even took care to imitate the age of some walls with bricks purposefully missing.
The secluded hotel has a quiet and tranquil vibe throughout, with areas sectioned off for an adult-only pool and an activity pool and kids’ zone, allowing guests to choose how much noise and quiet they want. Time-share pitches can be annoying. Note that the hotel doesn't provide evening entertainment or an animation team, which can be a pro or con depending on the guest.
On the Sea of Cortez, a 16-minute drive to downtown Cabo
The secluded Hacienda Encantada has a privileged perch on a cliff with spectacular views of the Sea of Cortez. Located far off the main Corridor running from the Los Cabos International Airport and into downtown Cabo San Lucas, Hacienda Encantada is a five-minute drive from the main road. While there isn’t a sand beach at the hotel (the water line is too rocky for swimming), two beaches are within fairly easy driving distance. Playa el Medano, the most swimmable beach in Cabo, is a 16-minute drive and features popular, bustling beach clubs. Costa Azul is a 25-minute drive in the other direction, and has easy public access and some parking.
Those looking for the classic vibrant Cabo nightlife will find it at the marina and downtown Cabo in an 18-minute drive from the hotel. There are shuttle services available at the sister resort, Marina Fiesta. The cobblestone town of San Jose del Cabo is a 30-minute drive from the hotel, and has a lively art community with weekly shows featuring local artists. Cabo San Lucas International Airport is about a 30-minute drive.
Colonial-style rooms, many with kitchens and plunge pools, all with minibars and flat-screen TVs
There’s a lot to like about the massive rooms at Hacienda Encantada. They range in size from studios to three bedroom villas, all of them with vibrant colors and heavy colonial-inspired wooden furniture. Beds are king- or queen-size with heavy wooden headboards. Decor includes traditional handmade paintings, sculptures, and plaques from Oaxaca and Guadalajara. Expect to see bright pinks, spicy reds, and neutral beiges throughout the rooms.
All rooms come with a spacious balcony set with high-quality outdoor furniture; some balconies have lovely ocean views. The two, three, and four bedroom units are a nice upgrade, with private plunge pools and full kitchens. Suites come with kitchenettes -- full refrigerators, microwaves, and hot plates -- while Studios only have fully stocked minibars. All rooms come with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs; larger rooms have more than one TV.
Bathrooms range in size from modest to spacious, and all of them are well-appointed. Most bathrooms come with walk-in showers and separate toilets, while some rooms have shower/tub combos. Bathrooms feature plenty of vanity space, towels, and Hacienda Encantada toiletries.
Three outdoor pools, kids' zone games, small fitness center and spa, and laundry room
Hacienda Encantada has a little something for everyone with three pools, a spacious kids’ zone, and a few wellness options. Three outdoor pools are conveniently located near the guest rooms. The adult-only infinity pool overlooks the Sea of Cortez, with stunning views, a spacious pool terrace, and casual swim-up bar. The large activity pool is situated in the middle of the resort, making it easily accessible for families and young kids to walk to. A small children’s pool features kid-size wooden lounge chairs. The multi-level, El Encanto infinity pool is located at the far end of the resort in front of the El Encanto building, and is open for both kids and adults. It has an expansive pool terrace with wooden lounge chairs and circular daybeds. It's the perfect place for guests to hang out and socialize while taking in distant views of the ocean.
A massive kids’ zone can be found in the center of the resort, with fun games like foosball, bocce ball, and giant chess, and there are a few playgrounds around the kids' zone and by the El Encanto pool. Basketball and tennis courts are on-site, and there's a small fitness center with cardio machines and Cybex weights.
A small spa is located by the quiet pool and features both indoor and outdoor massage rooms, as well as manicures and pedicures. Next to the spa, there's a moderately-sized laundry room that's open throughout the day. There's also a well-stocked mini-market with snacks, toiletries, and pool toys for sale -- which is a nice extra considering that the resort isn't within easy walking distance of shops. A guest lounge located near the lobby has a few computers to check email.
Amenities at the resort are fairly spread out, but golf cart shuttle service is available throughout the hotel. There's also shuttle service throughout the day between Hacienda Encantada and the downtown sister resort, Marina Fiesta. Basic Wi-Fi is free, though there's a fee for high-speed service if you need a faster connection.
Host of dining and drinking options -- buffets, swim-up bars, and specialty restaurants
Guests have the option of booking an all-inclusive package at Hacienda Encantada. La Maria’s is the hotel’s main breakfast restaurant, serving both buffet and a la carte options. Travelers can expect to find traditional Mexican breakfast foods including hot chocolate and pastries, as well as international fare. The pools feature casual swim-up bars and patio restaurants. Most of the poolside restaurants offer snacks like pizza, quesadillas, and nachos.
Specialty restaurants open at night (some are also open for lunch), though many require reservations and dress codes. Los Riscos is a Mesquite grill restaurant with open-air dining that overlooks the Sea of Cortez. Located in the same building, La Trajinera is open for dinner most nights, and offers a menu that focuses on upscale Mexican cuisine. Barolo is the hotel’s Italian option located in the El Encanto building, with sweeping ocean views.
For those looking for a more casual (and fun) dinner, the tequila and taco bar, El Eden, is open most nights and shares a space with La Fogata, the fire pits. The rustic restaurant is completely open-air and has a classic Mexican bar vibe with brightly colored chairs and old wooden tables. The all-inclusive package also covers dining at a few restaurants downtown. Restaurants are open based on occupancy of the hotel. Room service is available, but isn't included with the all-inclusive package. Premium alcohol cost extra.
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