Spotty Wi-Fi service with pricey daily or weekly plans
Time-share salespeople can be aggressive
For the money, few beachfront hotels in Cabo San Lucas offer more resort amenities than the four-pearl Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa. With three full restaurants (including an authentic beachfront Mexican restaurant and an open-air sushi bar), a massive main pool, a location convenient to downtown Cabo, and a beautiful spa, it’s hard to imagine guests wanting more. The 260 suites are spacious, tropically designed, and modern with kitchens or kitchenettes, posh marble bathrooms, and private furnished balconies with water views. The lack of a swimmable beach (common in Cabo) and pricey Wi-Fi fees may dissuade some. For a bit more money, the neighboring sister property, The Ridge at Playa Grande, offers access to the same amenities, plus a stunning rooftop pool terrace and a quieter, adult-oriented vibe.
Lively, beachfront luxury resort designed on a grand scale
Multi-colored buildings, thatched-roof restaurants, and lush tropical landscaping all provide a distinct sense of Mexican place. The design is bright and bold, yet tasteful with hints of sophistication. Koi ponds and Spanish-tile add interest and color to the grounds. By day, guests gather in the large central pool area -- with several connected pools and a smaller, beachfront, adult-only pool. After dark, restaurants keep the social scene humming. However, beyond the occasional beachfront barbecue or live music set, there’s little reliable nightlife. The long list of amenities offers plenty for both children and adults to see and do, while the resort’s large scale ensures that families and couples can easily find a space to themselves. This is a time-share property, and past guests have complained that sales people can be pushy.
In a secluded beachfront hotel compound, five minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas
The hotel is situated at the end of a quiet private road that runs through a large hotel compound minutes from downtown Cabo. A staffed security gate ensures that only guests have access to the property. The resort feels far more secluded than it actually is and the location is convenient (just five minutes by car) to the city’s most popular restaurants, bars, shops, and marina. Though rental cars are inexpensive in Cabo San Lucas, travelers often skip the rental counter and instead rely on walking or taking the area’s cheap shuttles. Paid shuttle service can be arranged through the hotel, however, private shuttle transportation is often cheaper and just as convenient. The area’s only major airport, Los Cabos International (SJD), is 45 minutes north by car.
Bright, spacious suites with kitchenettes or kitchens, private balconies, and flat-screen TVs
Every suite is bright and modern with tasteful, locally-inspired decor. Wrought iron chandeliers, wall-to-wall tile flooring, arched entryways, and bold orange and red accents all provide a distinct sense of Mexico. Entry-level Deluxe Junior Suites are spacious, with separate sleeping and seating areas. Kitchenettes include a sink, stove, full refrigerator, and coffeemaker. Private, furnished balconies come with water views. Luxury Suites are nearly twice the size and upgrade to dedicated bedrooms, queen-size sleeper sofas, and a second bathroom. The flagship Two-Bedroom Presidential Suite is a 1,553-square-foot (144-square-meter) room with condo-style amenities including a large living room, a full kitchen, three bathrooms, and multiple balconies. Every room category includes an excellent list of amenities -- flat-screen TVs, king beds, and luxurious marble bathrooms. Wi-Fi is only available through pricey daily or weekly plans, and we found the service to be spotty.
Two ocean-view pools, a beachfront restaurant and sushi bar, and a bright, modern spa
The long list of resort-style amenities caters to both families and couples. The massive outdoor terrace at the center houses several connected pools, three restaurants, an art gallery, and a wide, immaculate beach. The spacious main pool is a series of interconnected pools that collectively serve as the resort's main social space. With a variety of water activities, there’s plenty to keep families and children entertained. Several adult-oriented areas ensure there’s somewhere quieter and more relaxed for grown-ups to escape. The adult-pool offers a hot tub and lovely views of the Pacific Ocean situated near the beach. The entire space is furnished with plenty of lounge chairs and is more than capable of handling the 260 rooms worth of guests. Poolside drink service is available from two small, dedicated bar stands.
At the center of the outdoor terrace sits Calima -- an open-air, thatched-roof restaurant where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served daily. Each menu is a mix of Mexican and Western-friendly fare. Located inside Calima is the small, open-air Sushi-Sun sushi bar with a handful of counter seats and a menu of locally sourced seafood. Brigantine is a relaxed, upscale dinner-only dining space located near the beach. Beach barbecues and other specialty food nights take place on select nights each week. Specialty coffees and a la carte pastries and snacks are also available from a cafe stand near the lobby. Room service is available for a nominal fee. Guests can purchase dining credits when booking their rooms on the resort's website, but meals aren't included in rates.
The Playa Grande Spa is in a sleek, bright, two-story space near the lobby. The extensive list of services includes traditional massage treatments, facials, and body wraps, plus specialty treatments like hydrotherapy, Ayurvedic massage, and fish spa foot treatments. A dedicated salon also provides hair services, manicures, and pedicures. Massages are also available in a handful of small, open-air shacks directly on the beach. The fitness center is large, bright, and modern with dozens of LifeFitness brand strength- and cardio-training machines.
The wide beach is beautiful and immaculately maintained; it offers unobstructed views of the iconic Land’s End rock formation. However, there is little seating or permanent facilities directly on the sand. The intense waves and currents create consistently unswimmable conditions and hotel staff actively dissuade guests from wading into the water. Note that most beaches in Cabo aren't safe for swimming.
A fun mini-golf course built into the natural rock formation near the entrance offers kid-centric fun. Free valet and self-parking are provided in a secure garage. Wi-Fi is available property-wide, however, the service is spotty and daily or weekly plans are expensive.
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