Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto
Resort Overview: Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto, Mexico, located on the Baja Peninsula, has a lot to offer vacationers. Breathtaking views of the mountains and the ocean will calm your spirit, while close encounters with whales and other wildlife will get your heart racing.
This area is home to many unique forms of marine and wildlife. From January to March you are almost guaranteed whale sightings and you may come across a whale shark in the Bay if you are lucky (I kayaked next to one).
While I have enjoyed the all-inclusive packages at this resort, you can book without the all-inclusive option and just pay for meals and drinks.
Date of 1st visit: February 2015
Date of 2nd visit: April 2016
Guests in our Party: 1 adult (1st visit); 2 adults (2nd visit)
Reason for Visit: Media Visit (1st visit); Partially comped vacation (2nd visit)
Tipping Policies: If you purchase the all-inclusive package, a percentage of that is set aside as a tip that is divided among all employees. You are welcome to provide cash tips to individuals as you please and they are free to keep their tips.
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We stayed in a 1-bedroom suite that had a bedroom with a king size bed and ensuite, living area with a pull-out couch, dining area, full kitchen, second washroom and a washer and dryer. There was a connecting door to the neighbouring room but we were not using it so I can not say what type of room it connected to. I actually stayed in the exact same room on both of my visits (a surprising accident) but I did have a chance to tour some other rooms and there are photos of both my room and a double room below. The bed was extremely comfortable, the water was hot in the shower and there was minimal noise from outside of the room.
All of the rooms overlook the pools and the bay and give you quite a show at sunrise when the mountains turn pink. The balcony was huge and had loungers and a table and chairs. There were patio doors off of the bedroom and the living room.
If you are looking for an authentic Mexican culinary experience, this is the right place to go. I was continually wowed by the delicious meals they prepared, even when I copped out and ordered a North American staple like pizza or burgers. Every dish is a work of art.
If you choose the all-inclusive package, your meals at the Market Restaurant, Casa Mia and room service are included. The Market Restaurant offers buffet meals three times a day and also allows you to order a la carte. Casa Mia is an a la carte restaurant and there is a menu in your room for room service. You can enjoy fine dining at Danzante with a reservation and a fee, even for all-inclusive guests (although it is discounted for those who have the all-inclusive package). I had the best bowl of soup I’ve ever eaten at Danzante. It may actually be the best food I’ve ever eaten! In the video below you will see it being poured into my bowl and the server referring to it as “a little tasty”. It was the understatement of the year!
If you spend time by the pool you will get to know Manny and Roberto. These two will learn your name and your drink preference quicker than I’ve ever experienced before and they don’t let you sit with an empty glass. I enjoyed these two so much for their excellent service, their kind personas and their fun. Manny even friended me on facebook after we left and while I suspect he may do this with many customers, I was still pleased to see the invitation.
The resort offers a variety of recreational activities including:
- paddle boarding
While there is a room dedicated to kids programming, it was not operating during my visits so I can not speak to the quality of that program. There were staff members who encouraged guests to take part in water aerobics or silly antics on the poolside like mixing your own margarita using a stationary bicycle.
The bay offers a beach and opportunities to go clamming, swimming or use the kayaks and paddleboards they have available. There are hiking paths and pools as well. The highlight for my husband was the golf course.
The Danzante Golf Course was not yet complete on our last visit, but he was able to play the 7 holes that were available and he grabbed a few chances to do this. I went along once to see the incredible views he was telling me about (during whale watching season you can see them from the signature hole!) but the rest of the time he was golfing, I was in the spa.
Sabila Spa is a little piece of heaven. The men and women are separated and it is a clothing optional spa. They have hot tubs of varying temperatures, cold tubs, eucalyptus tubs, saunas and of course many spa treatments. I treated myself to massages on both visits and I believe I would make the flight back just for another massage. They use registered massage therapists and their skincare products are divine.
If you want to go off-site, there are several tours available that will take you whale watching, fishing, for a sunset cruise or to visit Loreto. I can’t even tell you how many whales we saw on my first visit to the resort, and also sea lions, dolphins and a wide variety of birds. Loreto is home to some interesting and historical buildings and many shops to pick up souvenirs.
In the evenings you are treated to entertainment in the form of singing, dancing and a little comedy as well. There is quite a list of talent on staff at Villa del Palmar!
I haven’t traveled throughout Mexico so I’m not sure if it is a cultural thing, but the staff at Villa del Palmar Loreto act more like old friends and family than co-workers. They greet each other with hugs and two handed handshakes. I was surprised on my second visit to see so many of the same faces and for them to remember me. The language barrier was never a problem. They encouraged us to try out our spanish (which is horrific but I tried) and they were happy to speak to us in english as well, when possible.
Our room was kept spotless and we were given different sweet treats and towel animals every day. They do not stock a fridge, but there is a store on the resort where you can buy water and soft drinks for a reasonable price, and you can ask for bottles of water at the restaurants if you are on the all-inclusive plan. They will also pack a bucket of beer for you to take to your room if you want to put some in the fridge for later.
What the Kids are Saying
Nothing! They weren’t invited.
Would we visit again?
Since I already made a second visit, I guess this question is moot, but would I go a third time? Heck yeah! This is my happy place. I love everything about the resort, the staff, the food and the atmosphere. I am undecided on whether I would visit with the kids. I think my daughter would love it, my 10 year old son would only want to sit by the pool and my teenage son would like it but he wouldn’t be able to eat the Mexican dishes because of a medical condition. For now, my husband and I have labeled this as “our place”.