Posted by AlegreVancouverBC
As good as it looks.
Posted on 15 May 2018
The first wow factor is driving towards the hotel. You look above the roadway from a distance to see the palm surrounded red roof tiles and the yellow villas and casitas. The stone wall is bouganvilla draped and the iron gate slides opens to the hotel fountain and gardens. Up the stairs is reception and your first glance at the views.
The two acre property is 175 feet (55m) above sea level and the perch affords views of the sea to the south, west and east and the Sierra Madre Mountains to the north. The winding access road is a 60 Peso taxi ride from La Crucecita or Santa Cruz (some guests walk or bike ride the 3kms-2 miles to Santa Cruz). It's a 230 Peso local fare to the airport. The official from the airport rate is more than double. You’ll get a pre-arrival e-mail from Talina indicating charges for optional airport pick-up and optional grocery supplies for your casita/villa.
La Entrega Beach and its restaurants and water toy rental is 30 Pesos away, but can be walked on a steep road in under 10 minutes. Twenty if you want to see the views from El Faro, the lighthouse. La Entrega is a good lunch destination if you arrive before your check-in time. Playa Violin is closer and steeper with no services, but you'll likely have the tiny beach to yourself weekdays. Both are snorkel beaches.
This circa 2007 hotel is 18 rooms frequented by weddings and returnees. Weddings are big stuff and book the place out well in advance for more or less a week at a time. Villas are rented in their entirety, not room by room. I cannot imagine a better wedding venue for a party of approximately 50. It would be so much more personal than a corner of a 400+ guest all-inclusive. I cannot imagine the vision the owners and architect had to transform the scrubby raw land to this beauty.
LP seems laid back and respectfully quiet with guests out exploring so the place was often empty. There are not many places where you walk out of your casita and have the pool to yourself. AIways quiet? Hmmm, I noticed a crib and highchair on the property and good sized stereo speakers in the palapa.
There are three drop dead gorgeous 4-bedroom 5000 sq ft ocean view villas on the grounds, each with its own infinity pool so we seldom saw the villa guests. Actually, one villa is 7000 sq ft with 5 bathrooms and an elevator.
We stayed in one of the five casitas that share a large infinity pool. Our casita was beside the palapa where there is Lucy the parrot, a BBQ for guests, staff operated kitchen, bathrooms, a take-one-leave-one book and DVD stand and a TV. There are round tables in the palapa to provide a good spot for that BBQ'd steak or pizza. The palapa bar is self-serve and stocked by guests who donate their bottles before heading home. You are welcome to help yourself. What a nice touch. Hope I'm forgiven for donating spicy tamarind vodka I bought in error.
The hotel will provide a cook if you want to be catered. Perfect if you have been fishing or want breakfast or dinner made. If you are lucky, Margarita the skilled cook and her helpers might make a group dinner for all the guests if there is interest. We were lucky enough for that.
Our casita was 1000+ sq ft (100 m2) with two full bathrooms, a king bed, a single bed, kitchen with full sized fridge, blender, toaster, coffee pot, juicer, gas cooktop and a huge welcome basket of fruit and coffee. There was a security safe too small for a laptop and an iPod clock/dock. There was an umbrella too. Furnishings are basic, but adequate. The motif is colourful Mexican tile counters and red tile floors. The extensive onyx of the villas is fancier. There was laundry service at 50 Pesos/basket. The toiletries were a selection of Mazunte products including an effective bug repellent. The large living room had a DVD and a TV with Sky satellite Spanish feed. Sky has some English like CNN/Fox News and the NFL channel. Sky has Stingray Music. There was even a surge protector for your electronics. Included Wi-Fi was strong. Apparently Wi-Fi was via cell and a weak point until the hotel financed the cable that was supposed to be part of the services in the area, but never completed. Our casita had a west facing patio poolside and an east facing balcony off the bedroom. The casita was air-conditioned, but we just left the doors open and the ceiling fans on. The doors and windows were screened and we didn't experience bugs in the casita other than some ants. Ants meant we could not leave any food out even for minutes, but the microwave is a good storage spot. We did have mosquitoes at the palapa on evenings of no breeze. We used the palapa for some dinners and found the overhead fans help keep the evening mosquitos away.
There are a couple of rooftop terraces with 360° views for sunrise and sunset. Sometimes many of the guests will meet on one for a sunset toast.
The adjacent property is natural scrub forest and active with colourful birds, squirrels, and the odd tejon. I’m betting there are many crawly and slithering things too. The forest activity is viewed from windows and terraces and sometimes during travel to Violin Beach.
Security? Some staff live on the gated property and there is walk-about security after hours. All the guests left the doors open, even when leaving for the day. Open doors allow some road noise to some units, but the road is quiet at night.
Communication with staff from booking with U.S. based Courtney through to departure was flawless. The hotel is staffed with general manager Talina, concierges Oscar and Daniel , cleaners Judit and her crew and maintenance Eric and his crew and the cooks. In total there are about 15 employees making it work. More when required. Daniel and Oscar do swing shifts from 7am to 11pm. Talina, Daniel and Oscar are very helpful with anything from where to get ice or replenishing drinking water, to calling taxis, booking restaurants or arranging massages, in room manicures, aqua aerobics, fishing or tours, etc. They grew up in the area and know it inside out.
Las Palmas combines the best attributes of a private condo and personal boutique luxury hotel service. That might explain so many returning guests. Checking out is like leaving a second home. LP is a special find and I hesitate to share it.
Hint: pack a floatie for lazing in the pool or taking to the beach.