Villa del Palmar Loreto
Reviews of Villa del Palmar Loreto
We are seniors and drove from our home in Arizona and headed south to Cabo San Lucas for a three week Timeshare stay. After enjoying three beautiful five star resorts we headed north to Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto on the shores of the Sea of Cortez. Years ago we sailed our own sailboats up and down the Baja coast and fell in love with the area. Now in our senior years we looked forward to visiting Villa del Palmar. The resort’s setting is amazing, sitting all by itself in a beautiful bay. Villa del Palmar is only four years old and the overall resort plan will feature a golf course, private home sites and additional resort buildings.
The comments from previous reviews cover many of the assets’ of the resort. We cook in 95% of the time, and our room was very accommodating. We of course arrived with food supplies for the week ahead, nice to have our own transportation.
The top of the bucket list was to visit the whale calving on the Pacific side of the Baja, this was an excellent location for the trip, west. Carlos Velasco provided us with all the information and directions for the trip. The drive was an hour and a half to PTO. Adolfo Lopez Mateos. We spent two and a half hours visiting Momma and their new babies. We were so close we could rub and pet the new ones. Fantastic !!. We also visited Mission San Javier in the mountains, an hour and a half drive from the resort.
The Activity team does a great job. I attended two cooking classes, Shrimp Ceviche and Tortilla Soup with Eduardo. He is such a delightful young man and when it comes to the evening entertainment he turns into a wild dancing machine.
Duvis, does an excellent job of planning the activities, and preforming on stage.
Eduardo hosts the “Back of the House” tours which you don’t want to miss. The resort is truly a “Green” operation.
There was very little pressure to attend a presentation during our visit. Our room was 2425, the huge deck faced the Sea and the corner deck allowed a view of the construction of the golf course. All staff was excellent, Benito took very good care of our car and luggage. Guillermo, front desk staff, made our check in a very smooth experience. Last but not least, on Friday night after the evening show Duvis and Eduardo launch paper lanterns by the fire pit. A fee of $10.00 is charged and all monies go to the Make a Wish Foundation. This was such a treat, to hold your lantern, close to five feet tall, and the fire is lite inside and as the heat starts to raise the lantern you make a wish and let it go. Up Up and Away!
My wife, son and daughter-in-law just visited VDP Loreto in Jan. 2014. Compared to the previous review it has greatly improved. We got a free upgrade to a full suite. The service and staff were fantastic. The natural beauty of the bay was gorgeous. If you like serenity and peace on your vacation, this is the place. Many stars come here for that reason. My wife actually spent some spa time with the Dancing with the Stars trainer, Julienne Hough. The spa and fitness areas are super. The kyaking and paddle boarding were fun, and exploring the beaches and caves via the nature trails at low tide was great. There were many exciting experiences, making shrimp ceviche in the beach bar Casa Mia, learning to salsa and speak Spanish, tequila and wine tasting, playing minute-to-win-it, the fiesta night and retro night. We traveled by free shuttle into town several times for shopping and for a snorkeling tour of Coronado island. There is now a wonderful restaurant Danzante, with a world-class chef on site, and the all-inclusive gets you all the margaritas you can drink. There is even a night club next door owned by a rock star. Needless to say, we had a fun week to remember. One caveat, if you are a golfer, the course is not yet finished. Otherwise, GO!
We just returned this weekend after a week at VDP-L. The resort has been open for about 6 months. It is a beautiful resort. It is very remote. Too remote for me. It is about a 45 minute shuttle ride from downtown Loreto to the resort.
I think the rooms are great and fully appointed (except for a DVD player, which would have been nice). The grounds are okay. They do have some landscape issues as some of the new plantings are not doing well in the heat.
The visitor count is very low still, and thus it is hard to get some excitement going like they do at VDP Cabo or VDP PV.
There is only 1 resturant (The Market) for breakfast and dinner. Then the outdoor bar (Casa Mia) for lunch. I think that is a bit too limiting for 7 days.
I will summarize by saying that the staff and their effort was just fantastic. I really can not say enough good about them. The lobby staff, the pool bar staff, and the resturant staff, and the entertainment staff , all their efforts were above and beyond. I do not feel that their management has them all on the same page. There was allot of confusion and clumsiness. But not without tremendous effort to please us on ALL accounts.
Our biggest problem was accuracy of the food orders. I'd say 50% of the time we did not get what we asked for. It was completely a language barrier. The wait staff is very inexperienced and any adjustments or customization of your order from the menu description just could not happen. (example, salad dressing on the side, no this or that, eggs over easy, etc etc.)
Another food issue, that is either their culture or the inexperience, is that they did not fully respect the order. Three times, pizza was delievered without one of the main ingredients. Instead of informing us that there was no Arugula for the Cheese/Arugula pizza, they just brought us a cheese pizza. Same on the Basil pizza one time. An order of fish tacos was delievered with chicken because they were out of fish. I would have preferred to order something else instead of discovering that I was eating chicken. To me, this is just not acceptable.
Construction impact was very minimal, but when they build the other leg of the "U", I would not want to be anywhere near the place. It will be very disruptive with noise, dust, and appearance. I can not imagine going here during that year or so that that will take.
A few other critical comments are: The food market is very understocked and will not fill any needs for possibly cooking/eating in. There is no gym or spa. There is no where to work out. I was lead to believe that there was a treadmill and such available for a morning workout, but that is not so. The beach is a 1-star at best. The romantic walk is short. The ambiance just so-so. And you really can not use the water as the risk of sting from rays or stone fish is very significant. Walking in a tight i-formation behind the guide to the boat for snorkeling was strongly emphasized for safety. That pretty much told us to not try any swimming or playing in the water.
Finally ... cost. I think it is very expensive, even for a resort. 4 Adults (50+ years old) for 5 days cost us $5,500 in food and drink. Yeah we partied pretty good. Yes we ate Lobster and Ribeyes. Yes we drank doubles (you need to to get some alcohol). But still. Seems way too much. (I highly recommend the Ultra Inclusive Plan to make this issue not be one.)
The shuttle is very reliable to and from town. Use it with comfort, confidence, and ease.
This was not a vacation I regret at all. There were many many good things that are hard to describe.
This will be a 5-star resort in a few years. But for now, you must accept some compromise.