About the Resort
Villa La Valencia is the newest in The Villa Group’s collection of resorts. Designed with modern families in mind, is a masterpiece built from the ground up. Trust us ... we think you'll love everything about this resort.
Key Property Facts
Disclaimer: My brother and I were given a free 3 night stay at Villa la Valencia, including accommodation, food, drink and entertainment in exchange for our honest, unbiased review of the resort.
After a 20 minute ride from the airport, we arrived at Villa la Valencia. As is customary with all-inclusive resorts, we were greeted by a few friendly faces, one taking our bags and another offering a complementary tequila drink (I don’t even like tequila, but this one was very good, with some sort of blue fruit blend).
Aside from the smiling faces, my impressions was that the resort is very new. The lobby is much smaller than those of other resorts I’ve stayed at, but it had a very cozy feeling to it. After check-in, we were shown to our room before taking a tour of the resort.
Given this was a press trip for which I was considered a VIP, I expected to get a very good first impression. If I had paid for this stay, I’d have received a sales pitch on the timeshare opportunities, but just like I do at any resort that offers timeshares, I’d have politely declined.
Overall, the resort gives off a very nice first impression. Our room was among those furthest away from the lobby, and it took only 3 minutes to ride the elevator and walk there. I immediately got the impression that this resort was extremely clean and well-kept. And while it’s just over a year old, everything seemed to be functioning properly.
The resort is laid out in a “U” shape, surrounding the 3 pools and the lazy river. The kids and adults only pools are out of the sun for most of the day, giving you the opportunity to escape the hot Cabo sun. While I was unsure whether this was a feature or a quirk, 6 hours in the sun told me it was a feature.
Overall, my first impressions of this resort was that it’s well-kept, much smaller than others I’ve stayed at, but that it gave off more of a boutique vibe with all the amenities of a very large resort. It shows very well and, while it’s more simple than other resorts I’ve visited, it has just enough upscale finishes to put it into what I would consider the moderate category; it’s not a budget resort, but isn’t quite a luxury resort. Either way, it’s still very nice and is very welcoming.
The resort generously provided us with a stay in one of their 2 bedroom ocean view suites. With nearly 1,800 square feet, three bathrooms (2 with a shower and tub and 1 with a shower), a kitchenette, and 2 suites, it’s safe to stay that this room was generously equipped.
Though we had a 2 bedroom suite, the second bedroom has a door that connected the bedroom to the kitchen, which can be locked, turning this into a standard room.
This is perhaps the best-equipped suite of any resort that I’ve been to. The difference with this resort is that it’s family-friendly, and while they offer an all-inclusive package, Francisca (a rep for the resort) told us that about 30% of people choose to buy their own food. Hence the kitchenette. We’ll explain why this is important later in our review, but this is both a pro and a con.
For families looking to save money, their suites (upwards of $1,000 per night) are actually a great deal once you split the cost between up to the 6 guests these can accommodate.
Unique to these suites are the enormous terraces (ours was probably 500 square feet) and the inclusion of a shower in the third bathroom. For families trying to get ready for dinner after a long day at the pool, this will save ample headache and time (trust me, I’m one of 4 kids and know the struggle).
The finishes felt very high-end, the suites were nicely decorated, and the kitchenette came stocked with all the silverware and glasses you’d need to have a nice meal.
Because we were on the all-inclusive plan, our fridge was stocked with soda, beer, and juice. In addition, we had a nice spread of snacks that were refilled by housekeeping each day. Though we didn’t need all of this space, I’m imagining that the living room, terrace, and rooms would provide more than enough space for any size family.
Overall, I give the suite a solid 5 out of 5; they completely knocked this aspect out of the park.
The Rest of Our Stay
The first day, we dined at La Taberna for lunch, and while the menu was a bit wide-ranging (sushi and teppinyaki was found alongside fish tacos and traditional Spanish dishes), it was amazing. I loved the octopus and fish ceviche, and my steak bowl was delicious. The flavors were fresh and well-presented.
There are 4 restaurants: Latitude 23.5 (a steakhouse), La Taberna (Italian), El, Patrón (Mexican), and Coralle (poolside food like hot dogs, tacos, etc). I particularly loved Latitude 23.5, as the portions were huge and the menu was diverse. While I got the filet, my brother ordered the surf and turf, and it was truly one of the most impressive dishes that I’ve seen at a resort.
The restaurant that I did not care for was Coralle. The club sandwich that I got lacked flavor and I ended up only finishing half of it. While the servers were doing their best, it took about an hour to get our food, and drink service was slow to get started. The second day, I ordered the hamburger, which was much better than the club sandwich, and the service was also better.
One thing I have to knock the resort for is that, while they do have a full coffee bar and snack market, you have to pay for both of these, even if you’re on the all-inclusive plan. For better or worse, I’m a coffee addict, so I tend to grab random coffees throughout the day.
Unfortunately, other than going into a restaurant, ordering a poolside coffee, or making one in your room, there’s no way to grab a coffee on the go. There’s also no way to quickly grab a snack on the go between meals, aside from visiting a restaurant or ordering room service.
While the overall dining experience was good, I feel that this is a huge miss. Given that I didn’t like the poolside offerings, my only alternative was to either buy something or eat peanuts or a candy bar that was in my room. Sure, you can still order room service, but you don’t want to wait an hour for it, and you shouldn’t have to buy your own snacks when you’re already paying extra for all food to be included.
My suggestion would be that, given the coffee bar is manned by an employee all day, to simply include this in the all-inclusive plan. Yes, you’d still have to sign for it (if not people not on the all-inclusive plan would be able to get free coffee and snacks), but it’d give guests with all-inclusive plans more flexibility in what they can eat and drink throughout the day.
That said, the manager told me that the coffee shop and store is run by a third party, meaning they can charge for their products. In peak season, they have a coffee bar outside of the elevators and you can also grab a coffee to go by asking a hostess at any of the restaurants. While that was not clear to me, it does help solve the coffee problem. But it’d still be nice to have a cooler or something in one of the restaurants where you could grab snacks throughout the day.
Next, while most all-inclusive resorts that I’ve been to don’t have the option to just rent the room, this resort does. That means that you have to sign a check for each meal, complete with prices.
It’s a bit confusing, and I heard several other guest discussing how it’s a strange requirement. And just so you know, you’ll need to give them the white receipt (there’s a white, a pink, and yellow one, but they’re not marked as “original and guest copy). The hosts know your name and number when seating you, so the waiters in turn know whether or not a guest is on the all-inclusive plan. Given this fact, my suggestion is that the waiters would simply not bring out checks for guests on such a plan. This would both simplify the experience and reduce confusion for the guest.
My last food and drink critique is that, while the drinks are top-notch with a wide variety of tasty cocktails, the only bar on the resort is in the lobby. I’d love to have seen a second standalone bar where you can enjoy a post-meal drink. However, this is a family-friendly resort, so it’s expected that some of the features like this will be replaced with features like the kids club. So it’s not a deal breaker, just something to consider.
We opted to participate in both volleyball and paddle board yoga. I found this to be very fun, and while I’m not much of a yogi myself, it was simple enough that anyone could participate without feeling out of shape. We also played volleyball, which is hosted in the activity pool.
The resort offers activities for nearly every style of traveler and budget, including Spanish lessons, wine painting, water aerobics, dancing lessons, and more. And these were just the ones on the schedule during our visit! Unlike other resorts I’ve visited, there were many guests participating, keeping the environment both entertaining and lively.
Beach & Poolside
Whenever I go to a resort, my main goal is to get up early, walk the beach, find a chair, and then stay in that chair all day. Unexpectedly, this beach is extremely private. I’m used to visiting the Cancun area, in which you’ll see people walking up and down the crowded beaches all day.
I think I saw a total of 10 people on the beach all day. This was a pleasant surprise, and while there are not too many chairs and cabanas, you’ll be in a relatively secluded beach; this is a huge win.
I’m also used to pool chairs being taken by 8am. I didn’t want to snooze and lose, so I claimed my chair at 7am. After going up to the room, making some coffee, eating breakfast, and paddleboard yoga, I plopped myself down by the infinity pool. By 10am, there were still about half of the chairs by this pool available. Again, I was pleasantly surprised by this.
The resort has one of Cabo’s only lazy rivers (and I was told multiple times that it’s actually Cabo’s longest lazy river), several pools, and a great beach, so I never felt like the pools were crowded. Of course, most guests seemed to gravitate toward the infinity pool because it has an unobstructed view of the ocean, but I never felt crowded. While we did 3 laps in the lazy river, this was about all I could handle without getting back into the water.
I suspect this would be much more relaxing in the afternoon, when the sun goes behind the towers, or when it’s not quite as hot; we did visit in August, after all.
Aside from my poolside meal, the only real gripe that I have with the poolside experience is that they ran out of towels by 1pm on our first day. Given that I overheard another guest talking about the slow food service and the lack of towels from the previous day, it sounds like this was a pattern the week of my visit. While this is an issue that’s easily solved, it was a bit of a fail, as this is a beach resort, so running out of towels should never happen. So, we walked up to our room without drying off.
The second day, the service had improved and there were plenty of towels, meaning the poolside manager took the feedback to heart, which was nice to see.
Spa & Gym
As part of my stay, I booked an appointment in the hydrotherapy circuit. As is typical with a resort, this included a wet and dry sauna, a cold plunge, and a narrow pool which contained a number of bubblers and water features to relax and massage your legs, shoulders, and back.
The sauna was hot, the cold plunge was cold, and the hydrotherapy circuit was relaxing. To top it all off, we were offered a foot and hand massage, which was welcomed after our beach sand volleyball game.
The gym is also the biggest and nicest gym of any resort I’ve stayed at, both in Mexico and stateside. They have all sort of equipment, including smart treadmills and cardio machines, along with squat racks, dumbbells, and pretty much anything else that you’ll find in a high-end boutique gym. The floor is also spotless, which is no easy task, considering a beachside resort is typically covered in sand. There’s also a juice bar attached to the gym from which you can grab a post-workout drink and snack.
Overall, we had a great experience at this resort. It’s well-designed, the food was very good, the rooms are huge and the staff are all very friendly. The resort is small enough that you can walk the entire thing in 5 minutes, but big enough that you can spend a week here without running out of things to do.
But most notably, the food was the best of any Mexican resort that I’ve visited; the portions are generous and they must hire very talented chefs, because the food is several notches above standard all-inclusive resort food.
Would I stay at Villa La Valencia again? Absolutely. While I do like checking out different resorts, each one has a different compromise. For example, an adults-only resort might be a little quieter than one that’s family-friendly, but that might mean that there’s not much participation in their activities. While this resort certainly had to make a few compromises, it strikes a nice balance of being family-friendly while also offering a luxurious environment for adults.
Finally, it’s a great value for the price. While it’s not the cheapest resort in Cabo, it’s also not the most expensive. But you’re still getting most of the luxury experience at a fraction of the price. We look forward to staying here again in the future.
One of the best infinity pool views we've seen.
Amazing food, especially for dinner (get the flaming Mexican coffee).
Extremely secluded beach.
We Didn't Like
No grab and go food included in meal plan.
Activities like water aerobics were done in the infinity pool, not the activity pool.
No coffee bar. To get coffee, you have to order room service or visit a restaurant.
Why You Should Upgrade Rooms
We were provided with a two bedroom suite, which is perhaps one of the best upgrades I've ever seen. At just under 1,800 square feet, the whole suite is bigger than my house.
Not only does it have two bedrooms (and these are huge), it also has three bathrooms. If you're not on the all-inclusive plan, the kitchen (which is a rare finding at a resort) really shines.
With a huge living area, a massive balcony, and room for everyone, this type of suite is perfect for guest wanting their own space or big families. We love the flexibility of these rooms, especially for families; instead of getting two single rooms, for a slightly higher rate, you can bring the entire family without worrying about waking sleeping kids while you party into the night.
The suites are stocked with every amenity you'd expect to see from a high-end resort, and we personally love the natural wood, the ample space, and the thoughtful design that will suit any travel style. We loved our upgrade and think you will too.