We visited WM Cabo for a couple days in the beginning of June 2010. We had an exchange at another resort, but wanted to visit WM Cabo as well. I had read the WM Cabo recently was partially renovated and we didn’t know if we would visit Cabo again. We are glad we did. WM Cabo is currently our favorite WM resort.
Upon arriving in Cabo, we went to baggage claim, asked a Sky Cap help us with our luggage. He said just ignore the Timeshare Sharks at the exit. No one bothered us. We noticed everyone else was hassled.
We rented a car from Dominic, a person I found on TripAdvisor.com. It was a 1996 Ford Explorer XLT, 7 seater, with California license plates. It was $70 a day including mileage, insurance and a tank of gas, cash up front. Expensive if you only need a 2 seater, but a good deal when you have 6 people like we did. Driving in Cabo is like California, except worse. Stop signs seem to be only in effect if there is another car at the intersection. The Speed Limit signs are in KmH, but most go at MPH, so if it say 60, most go 60 MPH.
To get to WM Cabo, you can take the toll road from the airport. During traffic, the toll road can save you 30 minutes, according to the hotel staff. The toll is 28 pesos. We didn’t know how to get to the resort, so we took the long way. There wasn’t much traffic from the airport. The airport is around the 43 Km marker and Worldmark is at 29.4 Km, so it is not that far, but part of the highway is 30 KmH. I averaged 60 MPH, going with the flow of traffic. You will past WM Cabo on the left and go another 800 Km, or so, and take the Retorno on the right, go under the freeway and go back toward WM Cabo. There was a lot of traffic, around 11 am, so we took the toll road back to the airport.
We had a 2BR Penthouse. It was very nice. It faced the beach, ocean and pool. It had a spiral staircase to the roof, where there were a private hot tub, lounge chairs, sink and counter. A good party place. The resort had a Mexican feel and the pools were of good size and had bridges. The children pool was part of the main pool, so you can be under water while small kids can be in ankle deep water. My 3 year old loves playing in the children pool area and diving into regular pool area. There are steps, of course. There was a swim up pool bar. The laundry wasn’t in the unit, but connected to the kitchen outside. Maybe it was an afterthought. We got a call from security because the door was left ajar, when my 3 year old went exploring in the unit. Apparently they have sensors on the doors. All the usual kitchen amenities, we have become accustomed to in the States, are the same at Coral Baja.
As for Restaurants, Mama Mia’s on resort is so-so. Safe, if you are afraid of venturing out. Zippers, at the Retorno, is so-so too. There is Dominos Pizza and Subway outside the entrance to the resort. There is also Santina’s Cantina just outside the resort, which has a good happy hour meal from 3pm to 5pm. If you are adventurous, for tacos, there is Gucamaya’s (14 pesos for great Tacos - opens at 6pm), Hangman and Rossy, which you need to drive to or take a taxi. Rossy delivers. There are typically plenty of taxis sitting right outside the resort waiting to take you places. The concierge can give you directions.
Casiano’s was great, if you want expensive Haute Mexican cuisine. $65 USD for 3 course and $75 for 5 course prix fixe meal. No menu. The waiter asks what you are allergic to and makes you an individual meal based on what he found at the market that day. Browns Private Services offers private chef services, $200 for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, plus cost of groceries. We splurged and did a dinner only for $125 plus $100 in groceries. $18 more for a butler. Check with your resort first, as they might not let the chef on premises. It was great! We had a pork leg dish that took 5 hours to prepare.
As for currency, the online exchange rate was around 12.90-13. The airport exchange counter gave 13.75 (surprising) and restaurants in town gave as low as 11.50, with the average of 12.50. If I used my credit card, my bank charged me a small international exchange fee. The ATM charged as little as 10 pesos. We were too busy having fun, so we did not exchange at a bank, which is normally a good rate. So, exchange into Pesos as soon as possible.
MegaStore is walkable, but we drove. MegaStore has a deli section with fresh cooked food and many Mexcian delights, that we didn’t try. Prices were just a little cheaper than the states. Everything is in Kilos instead of Pounds, so I had to use a calculator. Costco, Sam’s Club and Walmart are just outside Cabo San Lucas, a good 20+ minutes from the resort. Walmart appears to be high end for most Mexicans. Costco wasn’t very busy. The beef at MegaStore looked different somehow. Less marbling, a different shade of red than I am used to. Costco has USDA Prime meat, at decent prices. My family likes a drink called Yakult. It is $1.50 at Whole Foods in California, but a case of 50 for $19 at MegaStore and $16 at Costco. My family finished all 50 before going home. What was strange was going to Costco and their food stand. I expected to see tacos, burritos, etc. What I found was a carbon copy of the ones in California with Hot Dogs, Ice Cappuccino, Churros, Pizza, etc. except signs in Spanish. The prices appeared to be more expensive than in California.
For the rest of the week, we stayed at the Monarch Grand Vacations Cabo Azul. As my 6 year old says “It’s the bestest hotel of the bestest hotels in the world”. My wife says “each resort has its own charm and positive aspects”. My SIL loved Cabo Azul, she liked WM Cabo. My BIL could care less. After visiting Cabo Azul, my wife used the words “paradise” and was sort of scolding me for not spending 2 weeks in Cabo. As a reference, we have stayed at the Marriott Grande Vista, Marriott Grande Chateau, Four Seasons Aviara and Presidential unit at WM Indio. No laundry in the unit and cooking utensils were lacking, the rest of the resort places it above the rest. The quality of the interior matches FSA. We had to pay a $150 peso per day resort fee. Housekeeping came in twice a day. First to clean, then a second time to see if we needed anything like towels. The lounge chairs had terry cloth covers that were removed late afternoon and replace early each morning. While at the pool, after you dry off from your swim, pool staff will come and offer to exchange your towels. They had king size beds in the water, near the edge, so it appears you are floating in the pool. They also have cocoon like baskets, with a double size bed, if you want some shade. The sliding glass doors in the unit, slide all the way across the wall, so it gives you an indoor outdoor feel. We left the glass doors opened much of the time. It was 85 Fin the day and 73 F at night.
We weren’t harassed on the beach by vendors, as we were in Puerto Vallarta. A couple of vendors had make shift selling areas, but you basically had to go up to them to view their wares. Instead of paying big bucks to go snorkeling, rent or buy snorkel equipment and drive to Chileno or Santa Maria Beach to snorkel. It is same place that the tours takes you to.
With so many places to see in the world, we may not be back to Cabo soon, but if we do, both WM Cabo Coral Baja and Monarch Cabo Azul will be on our list. I noticed Cabo Azul on II Getaway - $800-$1100 for a 2BR, less what a Monarch owner would pay in MFs.
Owner since May 2008
Resorts Visited: Anaheim (3), Angels Camp (2), Big Bear, Clear Lake, Coral Baja, Dolphins Cove, Indio, Las Vegas Blvd, Leavenworth, Marina Dunes, Park City Miners Club, Phoenix South Mountain Preserve, Pismo Beach, Rancho Vistoso, Reno (2), Seattle-Camlin (2), SD Mission Valley, San Diego, SouthShore(12), Solvang, Windsor(11), Wolf Creek(2) II: FSA (2), Grand Luxxe Nuevo Vallarta, Hyatt High Sierra(2), Hyatt Highlands Inn, Paradise Village, Marriott Grande Chateau, Marriott Grande Vista, Marriott Grand Residence, Marriott Harbour Lake, Marriott Newport Coast Villas(2), Marriott Summit Watch, Marriott Timber Lodge(16), Monarch Cabo Azul(2), Red Wolf Lodge, Ridge Tahoe(4), Ridge Sierra, Welks Northstar Lodge(2) RCI: Disney Grand Californian, Grand Mayan/Mayan Palace Riviera Maya, Grand Mayan Cabo, Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta, Hilton King's Land, Playa Grande, Sheraton Hacienda del Mar