by Carol Farnworth, Travel Consultant
I had clients stay at Marquis Los Cabos in March and reported in such a positive way that thought this might be the closest thing to a cruise vacation available right now for my husband John and me. So we did travel to Cabo in late April and loved it. It was so nice to vacation where the sun was sunny and weather warm and have no humidity. If I can assist you with a Mexico vacation (or anywhere!), please reach out to me.
Our nonstop flight on Alaska from PDX to SJD took about 3 ½ hours. Alaska currently has a very limited beverage service, soft drinks and coffee or tea, and no sale of alcoholic beverages. A cookie on the morning flight and pretzels on the afternoon return. It is possible to pre-order a snack/sandwich in advance online. Otherwise no food available for sale on the flight. Either order online or bring your own food onboard.
I was alerted by Alaska Airlines that we needed to fill out a form for Mexican health authorities at www.vuelaseguro.com. The website indicated that there was no ability to do it on paper for either San Jose del Cabo or Puerto Vallarta. I asked some of my hotel sources what they knew about it, and they were unaware of this needing to be done. But I filled it out anyway day of flight and nobody asked us for any information on arrival. However, it WAS mandatory on the return flight. You couldn’t enter the final check point at San Jose del Cabo airport without having the QR code on your phone or device.
Hotel Marquis Los Cabos
The resort is about 25-30 minutes from the airport. The resort was built 18 years ago. It’s a beautiful and has been very well maintained. It was originally built as an AM Resort—Secrets Los Cabos. It is currently affiliated with Leading Hotels of the World. It is located at the tip of the Cabo peninsula, so the ocean is actually Sea of Cortez. You sign a statement at check in that you understand this is NOT a swimmable beach. There is a dangerous undercurrent. However, the Hilton is a 10 minute walk from the Marquis and it has a cove/bay where it is safe to swim.
On arrival resort was about 40% capacity. When we left a week later it had increased to 50% which is currently the capacity they are allowed to operate. Before going to the check in you walk through what looks like a metal detector device, like at an airport, but you are stepping onto something that disinfects your shoes and does a light mist of disinfectant. Of course you are asked the usual questions about exposure to Covid, your temperature is taken, etc. And they have health authorities on site and can schedule your Covid test which is necessary to get back into the U.S. Cost is $50 U.S. We had our results both sent to an email and a paper copy within a half hour of the test the day prior to flying home. Well organized.
About the Hotel Guests
A surprise was the demographics. I would say on average people were in the 35-45 year category. Some younger, only a few as old as John and me! He stood out as the only person in a wheelchair, and I as the only lady with grey hair! All Americans except for perhaps 10% Mexican nationals.
The entry level accommodations are junior suites which are 650 square feet. Oceanview suites are the lower floors of the main resort building. Upper floors are sold as oceanfront suites. Each room type has a balcony. All rooms feature marble floors, Jacuzzi bathtub, large shower, and double sinks.
There are also Master Suites but I did not see any. I did see casitas. These are beautiful suites with separate living room and bedroom, dining area. None are stand alone. There are 4 units per casita. Some are garden view, some ocean view or ocean front. All have plunge pools. So two units lower level and top upper level with access by stairs—not suitable for anyone who has difficulty with stairs. I think these are very popular with honeymooners, but I would not count on the plunge pool to be private—most can be viewed from the main building. So no pool hanky panky unless you want to share with an audience.
There are five restaurants. The main restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They offer an international menu for breakfast and lunch and Mexican cuisine for dinner. The food was excellent. For breakfast there is a buffet, nicely appointed with silver servicing dishes, but you are not allowed to help yourself. Staff are there to serve you. For the time being the menus for the most part are available only by scanning by phone. There is indoor and outdoor dining in this restaurant.
There is also an Italian and an Asian restaurant. They are open at dinner only. Also an outdoor café called Dos Mares which serves three kinds of ceviche and light meals like shrimp tacos. It is open from 11 a.m. till mid-afternoon.
There is also a coffee bar but it’s mostly a take away place with sandwiches, many kinds of espresso/cappuchino drinks, ice cream, cookies, etc. This area also has a book exchange area for people to leave a book and pick up a new one. People will stop here the last day of their stay to have a sandwich or something else packed to take along to have at the airport or on their flight home.
The fifth restaurant is a French tasting menu restaurant called Canto del Mar and is the only one with additional cost. We thought it was expensive and not worth the cost at $108 per person. Our complaint was the quality of the wines served here, which were supposed to be paired to the dinner. We spoke with the food and beverage manager who seemed concerned we were disappointed and refunded the cost of the meal.
When I saw where the only lunch options were the main restaurant and Dos Mares I thought crowding might be a concern. Wrong. It was interesting, the vast majority of guests chose to have their lunches ordered and delivered to them at their lounge chairs. This seems to be the case for breakfast as well, where it appeared most people seem to order for delivery to their rooms. The room service menu was quite varied and good. There were also 3 or 4 afternoons where the Italian restaurant became a grill restaurant for lunch with hamburgers, various grilled meats, etc. available. There were also of couple of themed dinners served outdoors. A BBQ night and a Mexican night (with good entertainment) during the week we were there.
Outdoor seating at the resort is mostly lounge chairs grouped two by two with a small wooden table between and with shade umbrellas.
Pool and Outdoor Space
As with many resorts, or even on cruises, people are up early to claim their spot. Most popular areas were those closest to the ocean. This is a sophisticated resort—no loudspeaker announcements about activities taking place. There is a daily program listing when there were classes like yoga, or aquatic pool exercises.
On-line reviews of the resort emphasize the high level of service. It was excellent. The staff take only a day or so to recognize and know your name, what you like, English Breakfast tea for John in the morning, and green tea for me. One day I got a mixture of green and mint tea, and mentioned how good it was and the next thing I knew the restaurant manager was there horrified I had been delivered the wrong order! Beginning at about 11 a.m. there are servers checking with everyone in lounge chairs about drink orders, and later, as I mention, about food they want ordered and delivered. All done professionally but with warmth.
We were told that the owner kept all employees on payroll during the three months they were forced to close last year. These are people who are grateful and happy and it shows it how they interface with guests.