Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort is a full-service resort located in the Cabo del Sol development about three miles east of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It faces the Sea of Cortez and offers five swimming pools, a swim-up bar, golf, a spa and fitness center, five restaurants and a kids' club.
But the feature that makes this resort distinctive is its attentive staff.
In wake of a devastating category-3 hurricane in September 2014, many of those hard-working folks were left to wonder if they still had jobs. But the ownership did not send them away – it put them to work clearing debris and preparing for a reopening at the start of the winter season in November that year.
That hard work and dedication are evident here. The resort offers a great budget travel splurge for those who want to relax and enjoy the easy life for a few days.
About.com Rating: Four Stars
Rooms are arranged with garden and pool views, and many offer at least a glimpse of the Sea of Cortez. Each room has a jetted hot tub, ceiling fan, and large flat-screen televisions. Wi-fi is free but if you wish to connect to wired access, it comes with a daily fee. There is an in-room safe for securing your passport and other valuables.
If you find yourself staying on the property for meals, the resort offers enough variety in its five restaurants to keep you from falling into culinary boredom. Some dining venues at the resort offer a quick meal near the pool, while others serve a full-course dinner near the crashing sea surf.
At poolside, Las Sirenas serves up good burgers, fish and chips and flash-fried shrimp appetizers at moderate prices.
De Cortez Grill And Restaurant is a place for a special occasion dinner, with an ambiance described on the website as "casual elegance." Steaks and seafood are the specialties, along with a good selection of local appetizers and wines. There is a sports bar that offers sushi, a Mexican-themed restaurant called Girasoles de la Hacienda, and Pitahayas, which features Pacific Rim cuisine. A breakfast buffet is served in Tomatoes, an outdoor restaurant that overlooks the pools and sea. If your package does not include breakfast costs, be aware that the full price for this buffet is $30 USD/person.
Restaurants here provide excellent service and outstanding food quality, but menu prices are not always easy on the wallet. If you budget for dining here, consider an all-inclusive pricing option that will limit the expense for each meal. For example, the SPG Kids' Pass allows children 12 and under to eat for a flat daily rate.
Spa and Workout Services
The Cactus Spa offers more than 40 body treatments, in-room options, salon and skin care services. When you book a massage, you’ll gain free access to the spa's sauna, steam room and pools. Those areas can be accessed for a fee if a massage is not booked. A couples massage service is available.
As with other parts of the resort, service here is attentive but not to the point that you can't relax in solitude before or after your treatment.
Next door to the spa, Sheraton also maintains a fitness center. Personal trainers are not provided, but there is an extensive selection of weights and machines for use at your own risk.
An Inspiring Recovery
Hurricane Odile was among the biggest natural disasters in the history of Mexico. In September 2014, about 92 percent of the area's citizens lost electrical power. People lined up for drinking water. Homes, businesses and resorts were devastated in the aftermath of the category-3 storm. A bellman who worked at the Sheraton during that time told me he thought he'd be out of work. But the ownership didn't turn away the resort staff. Instead, they changed their job descriptions for a while. Waiters began carrying debris and front desk help assisted with cleaning. All the work resulted in a re-opening by November of that year, just in time for the busy season.
The costs for getting to either Cabo San Lucas or San José del Cabo are rather expensive without a car, so plan trips into town accordingly. If you rent a car, self-parking on the property is free.
The recreational amenities are first-class, with a swim-up bar and wait service at poolside. Budget travelers usually don’t expect these services. But Sheraton offers a level of service here that is frequently found only at much more expensive resorts. Rooms during the low season (August-October) can become bargains if you book early. Occupancy rates here tend to be high, since Sheraton opened much earlier than other resorts struggling with hurricane recovery.
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.