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Zoëtry Casa del Mar – This is long…but, worth the read!
September 8, 2011
I have been to Los Cabos twice, once for work and once for a personal vacation. On my vacation, I stayed at five star, four star, and a four and a half star hotel – in that order. The four and a half I stayed at was Zoëtry Casa del Mar. Once in a while, I enjoy disagreeing with our star ratings; I found the Zoëtry Casa del Mar to be a five star hotel, without a doubt!
My wife and I ended our vacation at Zoëtry, having stayed at two other fantastic resorts. The staff made it clear why the smaller boutique properties are so well known for their service. My wife and I arrived to the hotel early; our room was not available to check into, yet, as they had been full the night before and still needed to make up the unit. No big deal, we’ll go sit by the pool, walk around; we’ll get to know the hotel a bit... Thus began the good impression. My wife and I go to the pool bar, just to have a drink and enjoy the weather. When we get down there, the staff is already calling us by name! It was a little odd, as we had not introduced ourselves nor fully checked into our room yet. But, they knew who we were, nonetheless. We said hello back, enjoyed our drink, and continued to look around. Everywhere we went: the gift shop, the restaurants, the spa – the staff knew our names! It was like a scene out of a ‘Stepford’ movie; “You’re a very lucky guest!” But, that’s just it…we were lucky! This personalized service made us forget that our room wasn’t ready and really set the tone for what to expect in the coming days!
Speaking of our room, I liked it! The design is simple, yet sophisticated. When you walk in, the bathroom is immediately to your side. I do have to admit, I was a bit thrown off by the water closet, though, since the door to the water closet is frosted glass and doesn’t shut fully. It’s a bit unusual, but I got over it. In terms of the overall look, it fits with the bathroom. Otherwise, the shower, the giant bathtub, the size – I want that bathroom in my house! Also, the bedroom in the junior suite is spacious! My wife and I could walk around and not bump into each other! Mostly white with dark woods and lighter earth tones for balance, the room is contemporarily designed with hints of Mexican décor, such as the artwork and influence on the furniture and the design of the lamps. The bed was wonderfully soft and comfortable to sleep in. But, the best part of the room was the ocean front view. If you’re going to stay here, go ocean front!
The pools at the property are awesome! There’s a pool in the middle of the suites, far away from the restaurants and the beach. This was great for people who wanted to be left alone and have some private sun time. There’s another pool area with the pool bar, just outside the lobby. This is the main pool area and larger than the rest – a good place to be if you want to be in the center of the property. Plus, there’s another pool down on the beach! Since the beach is not swimmable, having so many different areas to swim is perfect.
The spa was quaint, befitting the small size of the property. The steam room and sauna were empty when I went in and, while it did not have the grandeur of some of the larger resorts, it did its job just fine! I was very relaxed by the time I got out of the sauna and when I saw the Jacuzzi, I just about fainted at the size of it.
But, the food – oh, my – the food… Everything we ate at Casa del Mar was phenomenal! A lot of people have fears of “all-inclusive” having mediocre food; well, Zoëtry doesn’t claim to be all-inclusive. They say that the guests have Endless Privileges at their property. I agree! It was a privilege to be cooked for by these chefs. I had a huitlacoche soup that was fantastic – warm, flavorful, a hint of spice, yet a hint of sweet with some fresh corn. The fact it was served at their beachside restaurant, Mezquite, did not detract from the experience. When you dine here, you dine under the stars! That’s also under the giant palapa! There are stunning locally made chandeliers in the shape of stars in this restaurant that I would stare at the entire night.
But, one of my favorite meals on the trip is a nod in thanks to their Food & Beverage Manager – as well as an example of Zoëtry’s extraordinary service. He introduced himself to my wife and I and told us that if there were any traditional Mexican entrees (tacos, burritos, enchiladas, etc.) we wanted that we had not yet tasted, to please let him know and he would talk to the chefs. We thanked him for his kindness and said we’d think about it, not wanting to bother him or his staff. The next day, he chased us down at breakfast and was insistent on knowing what we wanted. I answered that we’d had everything we could have hoped, but that I – personally – would have loved to have had a traditional molé. He said he’d talk to the chef. Long story short, due to a misunderstanding on my part that was never in any way made apparent by the staff, the Food & Beverage Manager personally served me and my wife a phenomenal lunch of chicken and rice, smothered in a traditional mole sauce, with corn tortillas on the side. He served us himself in their restaurant, Tapanco, which is normally closed for lunch. He served us, himself, as to avoid any inconvenience to his staff as well as my wife and I, rather than advise us that the restaurant was not open for lunch. I felt horrible for imposing! He laughed it off and said he was so thrilled to help us. After we finished our first serving, he gave us seconds of the dish! We thanked him profusely at the end of the meal and he was beyond gracious; he was thankful for the opportunity to serve us.
The only issue I could see with the hotel is the design of the buildings, themselves. When we were there, the winds were quite forceful due to some storms further south on the Pacific Coast. It seemed like the entire building was the sole barrier to the winds off the ocean. The glass on the door leading out to the room would rattle and the wind would whistle through the corridors. Because I enjoy strong winds, I didn’t mind. But, I could see some other guests not appreciating that aspect of the hotel.
In conclusion, the staff at the Casa del Mar perfectly personalized my wife’s and my stay. They treated us as friends, not just friendly. It was the perfect end to our vacation and I will recommend this property to anyone looking to travel to Los Cabos!