I have always associated the Westin hotel brand with upscale comfort. With their Heavenly bed and bath collection and a fairly predictable corporate vibe, I know that I can consistently expect a relaxed stay. So when I received an invitation to check out the newly opened Westin Los Cabos hotel at a discounted rate, I jumped at the chance to visit somewhere in Mexico I had never been for a relaxing getaway with my boyfriend. A 4-star hotel, the Westin Los Cabos opened this past April after the property was devastated by Hurricane Newton. The hotel was completely renovated to feature 147 villa-style units and was also converted into a Vistana vacation ownership location. What did I think of the new hotel and would I recommend you to visit? Read on to find out!
I received the invitation from Vistana for a four-night stay in a studio villa at a discounted rate of $399 total plus a resort credit of $75. When I looked on the hotel website after we selected our dates in October, the same stay was listed at a prepaid rate of $230 per night plus taxes and fees. Working with both the Vistana sales representatives and the hotel was very easy, and I did not feel like I was a part of an elaborate sales scheme. My desired dates were easily booked and confirmed via email.
The Westin Los Cabos is located about ten minutes south of San Jose del Cabo, the more commercial and local town, and about twenty minutes north of Cabo San Lucas, the quintessential tourist jaunt. The hotel is situated right on the Sea of Cortez, and although there is a private beach, swimming is not allowed due to the large waves and intense currents. Fortunately, I did a lot of research before arriving and knew this was the case, however this fact is not evident on the hotel’s website.
The secluded location can be appealing for those not looking to leave the property, otherwise a rental car is definitely recommended for adventurers as cabs are costly. We rented a car from Hertz at the airport and had a completely seamless experience, despite some forewarnings from other travel bloggers and visitors.
Designed by Javier Sordo Madaleno, the main building is a striking curved structure in the same reddish hues of the region’s deserts. The property occupies a huge amount of space with multiple buildings, elevators and floors to get around. You receive a map at check-in and it took us about a day to get the lay of the land.
The hotel features three pools with each characterized by a distinctive vibe. The first pool is the furthest from the sea and is a bit shaded and was certainly the least used.
The second pool was connected to the swim-up bar called Margaritas and was mostly occupied by adults and couples.
The third pool was the largest and featured varied activates throughout the day. This pool made the property feel the most like a resort, often with a MC playing music and leading people through dance moves.
For a resort that must rely on its pools since the sea is off limits, I would have thought they would have been larger and more secluded from each other.
The room itself was quintessential Westin with all the modern amenities that you could ask for. We stayed in a studio villa, which is 506 square feet. (I am not sure why each room is called a villa either, but I digress.) Each room has sea views with a private balcony as well as a kitchenette. As the rooms are designed for longer stays, we found everything we needed included. We visited a grocery store in town to pick up some basic breakfast foods and snacks and found the option to make a quick meal in the room attractive to avoid spending extra money at the resort restaurants. We often made a cup of tea in the morning and enjoyed a glass of wine in the evening with the sunset.
The room has a signature Heavenly king bed, and the bathroom features the Heavenly showerhead. The room contains a washer/dryer, two-burner cooktop, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher and basic cooking and dining tools. Overall, the room was very comfortable and clean.
Westin Los Cabos has four restaurants, a swim up bar with daily grill options and a small marketplace. When traveling to Mexico, you must always be careful with water. We purchased a full pack of bottled water at the grocery store and were always mindful of ordering drinks without ice. I – maybe naively – thought that because we were at a Westin, we wouldn’t have to fear as much about the food options. Boy, was I wrong and on night three of our stay, I got food poisoning. (My boyfriend did as well so it certainly wasn’t just a stomach bug.) It is hard to pin down exactly what meal did us in, although my money is on the breakfast buffet…
While our experience certainly soured our overall impression, I will review each of the locations below.
Coralline is located on the northern end of the property, overlooking the sea and the activity pool. Mainly a lunch spot, Coralline is open-air casual with light Mexican fare. The food was predictable but not outstanding.
This swim-up bar should change its name, as the margaritas here are premade and incredibly strong. I would stick with beer if you want a drink during the day or you certainly won’t make it until night! Behind the bar, a grill served up daily hamburger and hot dog specials, which we did not try.
Cocina Casera is the main restaurant of the hotel and serves each meal. For breakfast, you can choose from the buffet or a la carte. The restaurant hosts different theme nights for dinner. We experienced Mexican night on Friday with a dinner buffet at a set cost. The other themed nights were barbecue and Italian. I am not usually a fan of buffet-style meals so the restaurant overall felt a bit gimmicky. However, the taco street carts during Mexican night were exceptional.
Next to Cocina Cosera is a small marketplace where you can pick up groceries or any toiletries you may have forgotten for a slight upcharge. Mercadito was well stocked and featured items that could be cooked easily in the room kitchenette. They also had a few pre-made sandwiches and pizza slices if you were on the go, plus an ice cream shop with delicious flavors.
Also located next to Cocina Cosera is the sports bar on property open from lunch until midnight. With numerous televisions, La Cantina is always playing the latest game and even had NFL on Sundays. The special margaritas were innovative and delicious, and the food menu featured smaller plates to share.
We unfortunately were unable to check out El Ciruelo, as the aforementioned food poisoning led us to cancel our reservation. This restaurant is the fanciest and is only open for dinner. A golf cart takes you there from the lobby as it sits atop the hilltop with sea views enviable during the sunset. A Latin American restaurant with a focus on fresh seafood, I was bummed to miss out on our romantic evening.
Hurricane Linda caused some damage to the property a few weeks prior to our arrival, and some of the amenities were relocated, including the spa and fitness center.
The spa has seven treatment rooms with traditional therapies and massages available as well as a sauna and a steam room. There were daily specials advertised in the elevators. Due to the hurricane damage, the treatments were only available beachside (which I would probably prefer!) or in your room.
Westin is known for their commitment to fitness on the road with a partnership with Reebok to deliver you the gear you need to exercise. The fitness studio was relocated due to the hurricane and was only a few machines in a small room.
If you are traveling with children between the ages of four and 12, the Kids Club offers a range of daily activities to keep the little ones occupied and supervised.
I was underwhelmed by my experience at the Westin Los Cabos. While the room itself was modern and comfortable with overall great views, I found the rest of the property to just be adequate. The staff was friendly and attentive, and you certainly felt like you were staying at touristy resort. Food poisoning aside, the cuisine was predictable and uninventive. I couldn’t imagine what this hotel would be like at full capacity and am thankful we went during an off weekend.
The hotel is priced competitively as it is a bit off the beaten path, so I would recommend this hotel to those looking for a no frills pool-side resort vacation for just a few days.
*Disclaimer: I paid for my stay at this hotel and was not required or encouraged to make this post in any way.