Review: Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

Review: Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

NAME: Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal
LOCATION: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
DATE: February 2021
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: This is the best points hotel in Los Cabos, with beautiful views, a well maintained property, and exceptional service. The only negative is that the rooms could use a refresh.
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Want to take advantage of the Hilton Impresario program to receive extra perks (like breakfast and upgrades) for paid stays at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos? Contact [email protected] for more details. He may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked.

I’ve been wanting to check out the 115-room Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal since it joined Hilton Honors in 2019. Prior to that the hotel was independent and known as The Resort at Pedregal. Well, this hotel didn’t disappoint, and is probably the best points hotel option in Los Cabos. This hotel has flawless service, and the property is immaculately maintained. There’s only one area where there’s significant room for improvement…

Booking the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos

The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is one of Hilton’s two priciest hotels when redeeming points, as it costs 120,000 points per night (the only more expensive property is the Waldorf Astoria Maldives, which can cost up to 150,000 points per night).

While redeeming points here would have been a great value compared to the paid rate, Ford and I each had two Hilton Honors free night certificates from the Hilton Aspire Card. So we managed to redeem four of those for a four night stay at the property.

Thanks to the pandemic, these certificates are currently more flexible than in the past — not only have they been extended, but they can also be used any night of the week right now, rather than just over the weekends.

I can’t even begin to say what an incredible value the Hilton Aspire Card has been for us. In addition to getting each of us Hilton Honors Diamond status and a free night certificate, the card also offers a $250 airline fee credit and $250 Hilton resort credit. Yep, all for a card with a $450 annual fee.

For what it’s worth, the paid nightly rate for a room over our dates was $1,400 plus the 34% tax and service charge, for a total of ~$1,850 per night. Talk about an incredible redemption.

If you are going to book a cash stay at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos, I’d recommend doing so through the Hilton Impresario program, so you can receive extra perks, like an upgrade, complimentary breakfast, hotel credit, and more.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos location

The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is located about 45 minutes (roughly 30 miles) from Los Cabos International Airport (SJD). The hotel is very close to the town of Cabo San Lucas, so you have easy access to that, along with plenty of activities.

You could either walk to the town, the hotel can drive you in a golf cart to the edge of the property in a golf cart and then you can walk, or you could just take a taxi.

In order to arrive at the hotel you have to go through a long tunnel that belongs to the hotel, which essentially cuts through a mountain. That’s a pretty cool road leading up to a hotel, if you ask me!

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal tunnel
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal hotel driveway

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos service

I have to start my property review by talking about the service at this hotel. I think the Waldorf Astoria had my favorite service of any property we stayed at in Los Cabos. The thing is, service in Los Cabos is consistently extremely friendly — that’s just the basic standard.

What impressed me was how competent, proactive, and fast the staff at this hotel were:

  • You can stay in touch with the concierge and the front desk of the Waldorf Astoria through WhatsApp, and it’s truly the most well operated version of it that I’ve ever seen, and I so much prefer this to a butler service concept; someone always responded within seconds, and took care of whatever we requested promptly and accurately
  • The staff were incredibly proactive with service; for example, when you arrive at the pool you don’t have to look for staff to help you find a chair and lay out a towel, but rather they come running up to you
  • There wasn’t a single service lapse our entire stay, which is extremely rare
  • Even though this is a 100+ room hotel, staff really got to know guests; I’m not sure if this was because we were staying during a time where the hotel had low occupancy, or if that’s standard

The staff here get perfect marks from me, and it’s not often I can say that.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos property layout

The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is set on a 24 acre property, so it’s quite large, especially when you consider its proximity to town. The rooms are spread out throughout the property, with most buildings having very few rooms. Below is an aerial picture (from the hotel’s website) which gives you a sense of the layout.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal from above

Just past the entrance to the hotel was the open-air lobby area, which is also where the concierge desk is.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal entrance
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal entrance
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal lobby

The public spaces of the hotel are gorgeous, and so immaculately maintained. There’s an upper level to the public spaces, where many of the rooms are located.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal public spaces
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal public spaces

Then there’s a lower level, leading to the pools, beach, and some of the restaurants.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal public spaces
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal paths
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal public spaces
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal spa exterior

I can’t even imagine how much effort goes into upkeep of the public spaces on a daily basis. For example, the sand was always perfectly raked along the paths.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal public spaces
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal public spaces

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos deluxe terrace king room

Above I hinted at how the Waldorf Astoria has one area with major room for improvement, and that’s the rooms. 😉

For our stay we were assigned room 231, which was an “ocean view deluxe terrace plunge pool king room.” This was the same size as a standard room (and all rooms here have plunge pools), but it was just a couple of categories upgraded in terms of the view, presumably on account of our Hilton Honors Diamond status.

The room was marketed as being 856 square feet, though I’d imagine that includes all the outdoor space, because the interior space didn’t feel much bigger than 500 square feet or so (even then, I still can’t make sense of the size). Anyway, our room was located in a building just next to reception, and there were open-air corridors that could get us the entire way there (there was also an elevator, but we never used it).

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos hallway
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room exterior

The room featured an entryway, which led into the bedroom and sitting area.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room entryway

Waiting on the table was a bottle of tequila, which is a gift that all guests receive. You can take the bottle with you, though if you want to take the rest of the set home, you have to purchase it.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos toquilla welcome amenity

The room featured a king size bed, and a sitting area with two chairs, facing both a fireplace and TV.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos king room
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos king room
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room sitting area
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room sitting area
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room sitting area

On the one hand, I loved the wood beam ceilings and some of the other local touches, which added some nice flair to the room. On the other hand, I felt like this room was so desperately in need of some TLC, and didn’t feel all that luxurious.

In my opinion the smallest investment could elevate these rooms. For example, the bed just looked kind of lumpy and the bedding didn’t fit in with the rest of the room, while the chairs were extremely bland, and just felt cheap. This is an incredible hotel and aspects of the room have a good sense of place, while other parts of the room didn’t, in my opinion.

Anyway, in the far right corner of the room was the minibar area, which featured a Nespresso machine, soft drinks, water, and juice, all of which were complimentary.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room minibar
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room Nespresso machine

There was a sliding door separating the bedroom from the bathroom. The bathroom was large, and featured double sinks, a soaking tub, and a walk-in shower. Oddly the shower didn’t have much separation from the rest of the bathroom, and was right next to the bench with pillows you see below. So those would naturally get splashed every time we showered, which seemed like a strange design choice.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos bathroom
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room sink
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room bathtub
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room shower

Toiletries were in reusable bottles, but were high quality.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room toiletries

Then there was a toilet in a separate room in the corner of the bathroom.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room toilet

The outdoor space consisted of two benches, as well as a small plunge pool (size wise I’d almost consider it to be a massive bathtub).

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room balcony
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room balcony sitting area
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room plunge pool

Our room had great views of the Pacific Ocean, the pool, and the beach, and we could hear the waves crashing from our room.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room view
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos room view

Months later, I still have such fond memories waking up here at around 4AM, opening the doors and listening to the waves, and turning on the fireplace, while drinking my first Nespresso coffee of the morning. Ahhh…

There’s one other cool room amenity at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos. Every day between 4PM and 6PM, guests can have complimentary chips and guacamole, along with Coronitas, delivered to their room. You just have to call or text, and they’ll bring them by. We’re not beer drinkers, so when we ordered it one day without the Coronitas, they offered us margaritas instead, which was generous.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos afternoon chips & guac

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos pools

The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos has four pools available to all guests. The two most popular are the infinity pools located right on the beach.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal pool
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal pool
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal pool bar

One of the infinity pools even had a hot tub built into the middle of it, which I thought was a cool design.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal hot tub
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal hot tub
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal hot tub

Further away from the beach was a circular pool that was typically the quietest.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal pool
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal pool

There was also a spa pool with some waterfalls, though we never used this one (and for that matter never used the spa).

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal spa pool

Service around the pools was great, and there were constantly staff serving complimentary drinks, popsicles, snacks, etc.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal pool treats
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal pool treats
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal pool treats

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos beach

The Waldorf Astoria has a beautiful beach, though like in most parts of Los Cabos, it’s not particularly swimmable.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal beach

Of the hotels we stayed at, this was one of the less private beaches, in the sense that there are several hotels on that stretch of beach. Nonetheless the beach was almost eerily quiet, but that was probably more a reflection of the times than anything else.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal beach
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal beach

If you’re into beach walking, this is a great area, as the beach extends quite a ways.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal beach

As I said in the introduction post, for me Los Cabos is a perfect destination — I prefer pools to the ocean, but I love walking on beaches, so the beach was perfect for me.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos gym

The Waldorf Astoria has an excellent gym, with plenty of cardio equipment, weights, and even a yoga room.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal gym
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal gym
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal gym
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal gym

Also in the gym is a small business center and library of sorts.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal business center

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Don Manuel’s Restaurant (breakfast)

Breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria is served daily from 7:00AM until 11:30AM at Don Manuel’s, located right near the pools. The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating, though with the doors fully open, the entire space is basically outdoors.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Don Manuel’s Restaurant
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Don Manuel’s Restaurant

The restaurant also has a bar, which is popular in the evenings, and sometimes has live music.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos bar
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos bar

Thanks to our Hilton Honors Diamond status we received complimentary continental breakfast. The standard is that you receive the “light beginning” option from the menu, which includes coffee, freshly squeezed juice, a fruit plate, a pastry basket, and homemade granola or cereal (I chose granola with yogurt). The breakfast is quite filling.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos continental breakfast
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos continental breakfast
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos continental breakfast

As an alternative, for $9 per person you can upgrade to the Mexican breakfast option. This also includes coffee, juice, a fruit plate, and pastries, but it also includes a hot dish. Generally people order scrambled eggs Mexican style, with green or red chilaquiles and black beans.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Mexican breakfast

However, they seemed to be flexible when it comes to the egg choices, so for the same upcharge you could order an omelet, or something similar.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos breakfast

There was some inconsistency when it came to being charged for iced beverages. We had iced coffee two mornings — one morning we were charged extra for it, while another morning we weren’t.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos breakfast

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos The Beach Club Restaurant (lunch)

One day we had lunch from The Beach Club Restaurant, located next to the circular pool. While you could go sit in the restaurant, we ate at our pool chairs.

Waldorf Astoria Pedregal The Beach Club Restaurant

We decided to share the bluefin tuna appetizer and a Mexican pizza, both of which were excellent.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos El Farallon Restaurant (dinner)

El Farallon is the Waldorf Astoria’s signature restaurant, and I can’t recommend eating here enough, even if you’re not staying at the hotel (but make sure you book in advance, because this restaurant can book out weeks in advance).

El Farallon is located at the far end of the resort in the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The restaurant is entirely outdoors, and couldn’t have a more beautiful setting.

Waldorf Astoria Pedregal El Farallon Restaurant

The restaurant has a bar area, then a seafood display, and then the main dining area.

Waldorf Astoria Pedregal El Farallon Restaurant
Waldorf Astoria Pedregal El Farallon Restaurant
Waldorf Astoria Pedregal El Farallon Restaurant
Waldorf Astoria Pedregal El Farallon view

The ordering process at El Farallon is easy — a chalkboard is brought to your table sharing what’s on offer that day, and you just choose your main course and then your sides. Then you’re also automatically offered a soup, appetizer, and dessert. Everything is included in the prices shown above.

Waldorf Astoria Pedregal El Farallon dinner menu

The restaurant had an excellent cocktail list, so we had a couple of drinks.

Waldorf Astoria Pedregal El Farallon dinner

Shortly after settling in we were brought some bread and dip.

Waldorf Astoria Pedregal El Farallon dinner

Next up was a delicious tortilla soup.

Waldorf Astoria Pedregal El Farallon dinner

Then there was a trio of appetizers, including ceviche, calamari, and a watermelon salad.

Waldorf Astoria Pedregal El Farallon dinner

We ordered the yellowfin tuna and totoaba, both of which were exceptionally good. For sides we had grilled asparagus, marinated mushrooms, penne Sorrentina style, and creamy white beans with basil.

Waldorf Astoria Pedregal El Farallon dinner
Waldorf Astoria Pedregal El Farallon dinner

Lastly there was a tasty trio of desserts.

Waldorf Astoria Pedregal El Farallon dinner

Not only was the food great, but the view at sunset was simply breathtaking.

Waldorf Astoria Pedregal El Farallon sunset view

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos dog friendly

We were traveling with Winston, and I should mention that the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos was the most dog friendly hotel we stayed at this trip. Dogs of up to 40 pounds are allowed at the property, and there’s a cost of $150 per stay.

They went above and beyond to be nice to Winston. For one, there was a bed and two bowls waiting for him in our room (if you’re going to charge for a dog it seems like the least you could do, yet so many hotels don’t do that).

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos dog bed

Also, the Waldorf Astoria had basically no restrictions on where dogs could go. They just couldn’t go into the pools and inside restaurants, but he was allowed in all other public areas, including around the pools.

Winston lounging at the pool

Not only that, but almost all staff on property knew his name (he was the only dog), and he was always offered a bowl of water, whether we were sitting at the pool or coming back from the beach. Speaking of which, Winston loved running around the beach — it was his first time ever doing that. Mexico in general is such a dog friendly place. I feel like all the staff I interacted with at the hotel had about five dogs themselves.

Winston enjoying the beach

Speaking of the great service at this hotel, Winston desperately needed a grooming. We contacted the concierge about it, and within two hours he arranged to have Winston picked up, taken to a grooming place in town, and brought back, without us having to do anything. And he even got a great cut!

To be clear, I’m totally fine when hotels have restrictions on what dogs can do. And for that matter, even if dogs are allowed places, I still try to be conscientious (for example, the beach was totally empty when we went there with him, we only sat at the pool with him if there was no one else, etc.). That being said, I do think it’s worth pointing out that not all dog friendly hotels are created equal, and the Waldorf Astoria was the best of our trip in that regard.

Bottom line

The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is a spectacular hotel. I love the incredible service, and the hotel’s setting and well maintained grounds. Even better is that this hotel belongs to a major hotel group with a great loyalty program, so you can earn and redeem points for stays here, and take advantage of elite perks. Being able to redeem four free night certificates here was such a phenomenal value, and makes me love the Hilton Aspire Card even more.

The one area for improvement, as I see it, is with the rooms. They could use a refresh, as they feel a bit outdated, and in some ways rather randomly furnished.

If you’ve stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos, what was your experience like?

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  1. Veit Guest

    Lovely review, thanks a lot.
    However, I really do not understand why anyone would pay 2.000 USD per night for this property. Maybe their concept is the same as is ALILA - the place is a heaven for point redeemers, the operating company gets the whole amount reimbursed by Hilton.
    One & Only Palmilla is undoubtedly a different league and roughly 30% less expensive.

  2. panda Guest

    Inquiring dogs want to know… Winston has never been to a Florida beach?

  3. Steve Guest

    Ben’s upgrade experience may not be typical. I stayed for four nights on points in May and was put in a very back building near the south boundary of the resort. While I was escorted to the room the employee emphasized that as a diamond member I got upgraded to the 2nd floor. I was just thinking “gosh, instead of the worst room I got the second worse room!“ Non of the pictures shows that...

    Ben’s upgrade experience may not be typical. I stayed for four nights on points in May and was put in a very back building near the south boundary of the resort. While I was escorted to the room the employee emphasized that as a diamond member I got upgraded to the 2nd floor. I was just thinking “gosh, instead of the worst room I got the second worse room!“ Non of the pictures shows that next to the Waldorf is a lower end 10+ story resort with music blasting all day.
    The service at the resort was excellent thought, I especially enjoyed the (complementary) yoga classes by the ocean.

  4. James Guest

    My girlfriend and I stayed in the same room in May. 5 night points redemption (5th night free) 6th night with Aspire cert. 6 nights for 480,000 points. Free breakfast was great (upgrades for a few bucks to the full Mexican -- delicious). Magnificent property, really special place. Watching the rays jump in the ocean from our balcony plunge pool was great stuff.

  5. Ben Guest

    Really stung by the upcharges on breakfast on a $1,850 a night hotel! I just feel like that should be included at that price. Like, corona is included but not an iced latté?

  6. Mike Guest

    Great post and writing Ben. Hard to believe this is not an all inclusive resort.

  7. EC2 Gold

    Ben,

    In the future why don't you mention when you searched for and book for point and/or free night redemptions. Very cool that you redeemed all 4 nights from the nights afforded by the Aspire card, but very relevant to mention that you booked 3 nights out and that redemption availability is extremely limited or non-existent for booking farther out. Not everyone's job is travel which means flexibility is built in to the job. If...

    Ben,

    In the future why don't you mention when you searched for and book for point and/or free night redemptions. Very cool that you redeemed all 4 nights from the nights afforded by the Aspire card, but very relevant to mention that you booked 3 nights out and that redemption availability is extremely limited or non-existent for booking farther out. Not everyone's job is travel which means flexibility is built in to the job. If you have to go spur of the moment then redemptions at that property would largely be irrelevant. That said the property is very nice. Love the layout. Well overpriced to me in that the rooms really do suck and there's no beach access. The real value I guess in in the pools and restaurants which meals are not included. The $1,800/night is a joke, but then this is only a relevant property if we can stay for no cost. People that don't care what their credit card bills are and don't collect points and miles are the only ones that aren't going to look twice at that cost or what they charge while at the hotel. To me I'd value that stay at $800-$900/night which is still a great redemption value.

    1. Keith Guest

      Again, I don't think is true. We've booked here 3x on points, once was the day before, but every other time was at least 2 months prior. You just have to be patient and look frequently.

  8. Shutterbug Guest

    Ok, the restaurant is outrageously expensive, but that should be expected in a 5* where you shell out 1000USD + for a night.

    But charging for the 'upgrade' to a Mexican breakfast in Los Cabos is adding insult to injury. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  9. Max Guest

    Random question, but why is the hotel serving totoaba?! Totoaba are currently and endangered species and seems like it’s illegal to hunt? Anyone know more details on the legality of the fish

  10. lev Guest

    Great review! Just finished a stay here as well using 3 free Hilton certificates! Agree with you on just about everything.....I think I liked the room more than you guys did.....I didnt want to ever leave. My room was the same as yours but right up against the fancy restaurant, which people could see onto my balcony and plunge pool.
    My only complaint about the property is that they start closing down the pool...

    Great review! Just finished a stay here as well using 3 free Hilton certificates! Agree with you on just about everything.....I think I liked the room more than you guys did.....I didnt want to ever leave. My room was the same as yours but right up against the fancy restaurant, which people could see onto my balcony and plunge pool.
    My only complaint about the property is that they start closing down the pool area at 5pm, covering chairs, removing umbrellas, and sort of discouraging pool use. Although, if you want to use the pool or take a beach chair, they will allow you. I found it odd, as the pool is a center piece of the resort.

  11. Brenda Guest

    @Ben you said the bed looked lumpy, which indeed it does. How was it in actual use? Even at a resort, getting a good night’s sleep is still my number one priority.

  12. Nate nate Guest

    As I was reading this review, I was wondering what the Winston situation was, so was very happy to see he got a section at the end. Please continue (and mention if you Winston didn't travel with you so we know he didn't have the opportunity to review the hotel).

  13. Keith Guest

    In general, I prefer more sleek, modern designs, but there's something about these rooms that I really love (we've been to WA Pedregal 3 times now). They are spacious, open, nicely appointed & they all have private pools. Further, I love the bathroom & open shower / tile work throughout the room. I think there's great character vs some of the other hotels in Cabo...

  14. upstater Guest

    Beautiful photos, Ben! And a great review.

    Cool to bring Winston on your trip.

  15. gavin Guest

    Th thing I didn't like about this hotel is they make you text every single day that, yes, I want the Coronitas and chips. And the delivery window, 4-6 pm, is just too long. By 6pm I may be heading out to town or for dinner. I would find myself in the room at 4pm and waiting and waiting and waiting for the coronitas and chips. I really think they should just hire more staff and deliver them all between 4-5 or something.

    1. EC2 Gold

      You would think it could be an “on demand” item for $1,800/night or at least “on demand” if you notify them by a certain time in the morning.

    2. Kyle Guest

      We texted at 4pm everyday and specified we wanted it now; the goods always came within 10 minutes.

  16. Roberto Guest

    Regarding the room amenity of guacamole and Coronitas, they can swap the Coronitas for any other drink. I'm also not a beer drinker, so I asked them if they could bring me a glass of red wine instead. Fabulous hotel!

  17. bretdellinger New Member

    WA Dubai Palm or WA Los Cabos?

    1. Daniel Guest

      We been to the WA Palm, after reading this review, WA Los Cabos seems much better!

      WA Palm is too large and food qualities weren't that great.

  18. DiscoPapa Guest

    Heading there for a 4 night award stay in November - can't wait!!

  19. Alex Conway Guest

    Brilliant review, Ben. Then again, given how long (and how well) you've been doing this, that's to be expected.

    Just a quick question: I remember for Thanksgiving 2019 you stayed at the Ritz-Carton Sarasota, FL. Did that review ever get published? We've been going on vacation to Sarasota (or, SRQ as many refer to it, after the airport, which I'm told is HORRIFICALLY underused, even pre-pandemic) every year barring the last two since 2005,...

    Brilliant review, Ben. Then again, given how long (and how well) you've been doing this, that's to be expected.

    Just a quick question: I remember for Thanksgiving 2019 you stayed at the Ritz-Carton Sarasota, FL. Did that review ever get published? We've been going on vacation to Sarasota (or, SRQ as many refer to it, after the airport, which I'm told is HORRIFICALLY underused, even pre-pandemic) every year barring the last two since 2005, so we know the area well. However, we generally stay at a condo on Longboat Key (about 20 mins north of Sarasota, past St. Armand's Circle) or Anna Maria island, so a review of what it's like would be so helpful, especially once America starts opening up again (I live in Harrogate, England). However, I've heard it be described as an embarrassment to the Ritz-Carlton brand, though I believe a Westin has now opened up opposite the blue Chase building where John Ringling Causeway finishes, by Marina Jack's. Cheers, Alex.

  20. Andrew Guest

    @Ben
    I'm also interested about traveling with your dog. Did you fly economy or business? Which airline was it?

  21. Doggie Guest

    Great review as always Ben, thanks so much for taking the time!

    I do have to share one concern. I appreciate how you mention at the end of the article, how you are sensitive to others and would only allow Winston to run on the beach when others are not around.

    As someone who has Dog phobia, I would be the one standing from a distance and scouting at the scene of the beach before...

    Great review as always Ben, thanks so much for taking the time!

    I do have to share one concern. I appreciate how you mention at the end of the article, how you are sensitive to others and would only allow Winston to run on the beach when others are not around.

    As someone who has Dog phobia, I would be the one standing from a distance and scouting at the scene of the beach before resting there. If I did see a dog running loose, that would really ruin my experience. I understand that a public beach you have dogs all around, but I would expect to be able to get rest and peace at a private hotel beach. I am sure no harm was done, I just ask that dog owners be considerate that not everyone will want to go near a dog that is not on a leash. I may be 100 feet away and will feel scared to get any closer.

    1. Brodie Guest

      The dog is max 15 pounds. May I suggest therapy or acupuncture? Also, beaches are public places, stop discriminating against dogs man.

  22. Mark Guest

    I'm curious about the restaurant price, is that USD or Pesos? It's either pricey but fair or an incredible bargain.

    1. James S Guest

      In small text at the bottom it says USD.

      13 USD for one (1) clam is outrageous.

    2. EC2 Guest

      I think it’s fair price for a resort like that. Keep in mind Ben is staying there for no cost so pricing at the hotel is really not an issue. If one is trying to stay there at a paid rate (even through a certain program with free breakfast, etc.) $80 all in with tip and tax and throw in at least $20 for drinks is $200 for two people. That adds up. Most of us can’t just fly somewhere on a whim when awards open up.

  23. James S Guest

    When it comes to hotel architecture, Mexico is the best. What a beautiful complex

  24. Jerry Gold

    When I saw the menu, I initially assumed the prices were in MXN because that's commonly indicated with "$" in Mexico, but I assume they're not.

    Obviously prices at the WA are going to be extortionately high, and Cabo is no exception. Off property, did you find most things, directed at tourists at least, were on par with what you'd expect to spend in Southern California?

    1. Luis Guest

      It really depends on the venue. There are restaurants that are touristy yet far cheaper than LA and some places that are on par or even more expensive than LA.

    2. Steve Gold

      Cabo has tons of variety especially in the town. So you can go real cheap or high end like what Lucky featured especially if you are staying in pedregal like the WA. There's a costco on the way from the airport to the cabo san lucas / pedregal so its easy to stop there and grab food if you a renting a house or beer liquor if you want to save some money on alcohol.

    3. BBK New Member

      I was trying to process that too, short circuit trying to guess those prices were in MXN, but that would be too low. Totally agree that those price levels in USD are on the extortionately high end.

    4. max Guest

      $60 USD for a four-course meal at a waterfront resort restaurant is extortionately high end to you?

  25. Sam Guest

    I don’t usually share a negative opinion, but I have to here. I absolutely despise El Farallon. Tasted so low quality to me, like fancy banquet food. It was good until Pedregal switched to WA. Vile place, but to each their own.

    1. Steve Gold

      Everyone i know loves El Farallon i wish more people did not like it so it would be easier to get a reservation and it would be cheaper if the demand dropped haha.

  26. Andy Guest

    Great review Ben! I enjoyed my stay here earlier this year as well and had similar experience. I may have even gotten the same room as you did but I didn't really feel the rooms were in need of any updating. I think the tv placement was a little awkward as well as the shower as you mentioned but I was more interested in the view anyway.

    Also, I found out after my stay...

    Great review Ben! I enjoyed my stay here earlier this year as well and had similar experience. I may have even gotten the same room as you did but I didn't really feel the rooms were in need of any updating. I think the tv placement was a little awkward as well as the shower as you mentioned but I was more interested in the view anyway.

    Also, I found out after my stay that the complimentary tequila in the room is Casa Azul tequila and a bottle retails for $100+ so it's a rather generous gift to all the guests.

  27. ECR Gold

    Are the nicer restaurants in Cabo generally showing prices in USD?

    1. Steve Gold

      Yes, not sure i have ever spent pesos anywhere in cabo before, all USD pretty much everywhere.

  28. JL Guest

    I've been trying to use my Hilton free night certificates at this property for months, but I just cannot find any availability over any weekend next year.
    How did you find availability for standard rooms here?
    Did you have a strategy or were they widely open when you booked your trip?

  29. Pete Gold

    I know you didn’t use it, but for such a “nice” hotel, a few words about the spa would have made this an even better review.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Pete -- Fair feedback that I'll keep in mind for future reviews. I figured I'd share a bit of background on why I didn't even bother visiting.

      I love spa treatments and I'm usually not the most price sensitive person on earth (in the sense that I expect treatments to be expensive at a five star hotel, even somewhere that labor is cheap). However, I can't get over the price of spa treatments in...

      @ Pete -- Fair feedback that I'll keep in mind for future reviews. I figured I'd share a bit of background on why I didn't even bother visiting.

      I love spa treatments and I'm usually not the most price sensitive person on earth (in the sense that I expect treatments to be expensive at a five star hotel, even somewhere that labor is cheap). However, I can't get over the price of spa treatments in Los Cabos, almost across the board. For example, a 50 minute deep tissue massage at the Waldorf Astoria costs $195, plus a 31% tax and service charge. So yeah, we're talking over $250 for 50 minutes, or over $5 per minute.

    2. Pete Gold

      Thanks Ben!
      I think for me, just saying those prices would’ve been enough for me as I also think that’s a bit exorbitant!

    3. Andy Guest

      I did do a spa treatment at the Waldorf Astoria Cabo primarily because I had to use up my resort credit from the Aspire card before it expires so I can provide a little details.

      I can't remember which massage service I selected but it was probably the deep tissue massage as I think it was one of the lower priced services on the menu. The service starts off with a foot rub and...

      I did do a spa treatment at the Waldorf Astoria Cabo primarily because I had to use up my resort credit from the Aspire card before it expires so I can provide a little details.

      I can't remember which massage service I selected but it was probably the deep tissue massage as I think it was one of the lower priced services on the menu. The service starts off with a foot rub and then you are taken to a room which overlooks the private pool. I believe they tried to upsell me on using more special oils for extra charge which I did not do. The massage service itself was fine but nothing particularly memorable which is probably a good thing.

      What I enjoyed more was the use of the other facilities in the spa; private pool, sauna, whirlpool, steam room, and an ice room. I probably spent an extra hour or two after my massage just relaxing in the spa area and making good use of the steam room.

      I probably wouldn't pay for the spa service out of my own pocket but I was fine with using it towards the resort credit.

  30. Luis Diamond

    Lucky, what's your secret unlock code to find 4 consecutive nights at the 120k point level? Cause it does not exist to us mere mortals.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Luis -- Hah, the key was booking just several days in advance during a period of extremely low demand. Agree, otherwise finding awards here can be tough.

    2. TM Gold

      I just did a bunch of 2-3 night searches throughout the next year and found nothing anywhere close to the standard room 120k. But if you can get on a plane right now, they have standard room rewards available for tonight until Friday. It would not surprise me at all if they don't make standard rooms available until they are fairly confident that it will not sell.

    3. Keith Guest

      That's simply not true - we've booked this hotel 3x on points, all for 5 or even 7 nights. You just have to check frequently and be flexible on when you go.

    4. Luis Guest

      Are you calling TM a liar?

    5. EC2 Gold

      Yes, be flexible. I'd use a free night certificate, but not worth the points to me unless doing the 4 nights get 5th free redemption.

  31. Leo Guam Guest

    Maybe I’m alone in this, but I would love to see a post on the logistics of traveling internationally with Winston. Always was curious about the hoops, or lack of, you need to jump through.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Leo Guam -- Great topic that I'll try to cover in a separate post. Mexico is super easy, you just need proof of vaccination (and no, Winston wasn't complaining that his constitutional rights were being violated), and the entry process is seamless. Germany is a different story...

    2. David Guest

      I second this! And I'd also like to know how you fly with Winston. Is he a service dog or do you pay the pet fee? Thank you!

    3. Nate nate Guest

      Same.

      The first time I went to Cabo, there was a dog on my flight who was known by the airport customs agents because he would come to Cabo every few weeks (with his owner of course).

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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James S Guest

In small text at the bottom it says USD. 13 USD for one (1) clam is outrageous.

3
gavin Guest

Th thing I didn't like about this hotel is they make you text every single day that, yes, I want the Coronitas and chips. And the delivery window, 4-6 pm, is just too long. By 6pm I may be heading out to town or for dinner. I would find myself in the room at 4pm and waiting and waiting and waiting for the coronitas and chips. I really think they should just hire more staff and deliver them all between 4-5 or something.

2
Ben Guest

Really stung by the upcharges on breakfast on a $1,850 a night hotel! I just feel like that should be included at that price. Like, corona is included but not an iced latté?

1
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