Sign Up for Our Monthly Mexico Newsletter
Back in 1981, when Los Cabos was just a concept, Presidente Los Cabos Resort appeared on a long, pristine beach in San Jose del Cabo. When I first visited in the early 1990s, it was one of the finest hotels in the region. Airy, spacious rooms faced crashing waves, herons flew through a wild estuary beside the hotel, and the service and meals reflected the Presidente chain’s high standards.
The ambience changed in 2011, when the hotel became an all-inclusive Holiday Inn. But the property, location and service remained stellar.
Last spring, I returned to the hotel — now Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos All-Inclusive — and was relieved to find only a few changes since my first visit. Even Hurricane Odile’s fierce winds and rain didn’t destroy the property, though the owners did close it for renovations that added a fresh, modern style. The mature cactus fronting low-lying buildings survived, but the gorgeous fuchsia bougainvillea that once shaded terraces will take a while to grow back.
I splurged on my favorite room category, on the ground floor with a terrace facing the sea. Thanks to the remodel, some rooms on upper floors now have much-needed balconies and fabulous views.
The original, classic Mexican blue-and-pink accents have been replaced with bright red touches that enliven white walls and terra-cotta floors. Light wood furnishings give a sense of generous space. Best of all, hammocks swing on the terraces beside tables and chairs — the perfect place for morning coffee and afternoon siestas.
Three swimming pools provide more than ample space to splash around. A children’s pool area beside the kids’ club flows into a deeper pool, where parents can mingle at the swim-up bar while their children are supervised by energetic young staff. Volleyball games and water aerobics are held in the large, central pool, and adults can find a quiet space in yet another pool area.
Most meals are served buffet-style in a busy dining room as well as on a quieter patio. There’s plenty of variety, and entrees feature various Mexican, Italian and Asian specialties. A beachside cafe offers great fries and tacos. Tables just outside the cafe are draped with linens for fancy gourmet dinners. Evening entertainment includes a fun Mexican fiesta and other themed parties.
But my favorite part of the Holiday Inn remains its location on the best part of San Jose’s beach, far from the large, party-style resorts spread along the hotel zone. A pathway now leads along the estuary, providing prime bird-watching opportunities in the early morning and evening. The occasional horseback rider appears in the distance, and a few lone anglers cast their lines into the water.
Local surfers sometimes take advantage of the area’s mighty waves, as well. Novice swimmers have no business in this water, however, as the drop-offs, currents and swells are extremely dangerous.
The hotel offers some of Los Cabos’ lowest all-inclusive room rates and is perfect for families, couples and singles seeking relaxation. It’s a short cab ride or 25-minute walk to San Jose’s plaza and fine restaurants — always worth at least one outing.
If your clients are looking for the quieter side of Los Cabos, they’ll be delighted with this find.