Friday, November 7, 2008

Fiesta Americana at Cabo San Lucas

When a couple of good friends of ours told us they would use their points to book a two-bedroom suite in Cabo, and that all we would need to do is purchase our airfare, well... that’s an offer we couldn’t refuse!

Bob couldn’t book us into a particular hotel that he had originally planned on but he managed to get us into the FiestAmericana Resort; he had never been there before so he wasn’t sure what to expect. It was about a twenty-five minute drive down the main highway from the airport, through several old, tiny, dusty towns along the way, until we reached our resort. At this point on the peninsula, the area is known as the “tourist corridor”, and numerous new resorts have recently been built.

When we arrived at the main entrance, the valets met us, unloaded the car, then took it away to a parking garage. A young woman named Regina greeted us and escorted us into the main lobby where a tray of hot, moist towels were offered to us. I took one, unrolled it and used it to wipe my face; it felt really soothing and was a welcome treat after getting up at 5:30 AM, and traveling for twelve hours by that time
After checking in, Regina introduced us to the resort. Among other things, she asked if we’d like to take a timeshare tour while we were there. Bob said that he’d like to take the tour since he might be able to buy additional points for his current account.

Regina told us that if we all took the tour, she’d give us a $220 voucher toward paying for our rental car plus $220 to use anyway we wanted at our resort (drinks at the pool, lunch, dinner at the restaurant) and, she’d throw in discounts at their Italian restaurant, the spa for a message, and free all-you-can-eat gourmet breakfasts worth $27 for each of us. We decided to go on the tour the next morning.

It turned out our resort was located right on The Sea Of Cortez, about fifteen miles north of the actual “old town” of Cabo San Lucas. There’s a beautiful long beach but a lot of rocks make it difficult to swim there. On the other hand, there are five large swimming pools throughout the grounds (one has a swim-up bar) and about seven hot tubs scattered about; almost every place you go has a view of the sea. The grounds are well-appointed with palm trees and flowers through picturesque pathways. All about are plenty of tables and chairs, recliners, and palapas–those open-sided umbrella-shaped huts–providing shade; there are also countless service people around to help you with anything you need. It’s relatively new and they’re adding more accommodations to an already large expanse of buildings. We were offered a ride to the building our rooms were in via a golf cart.

Our suite was located on the third floor of a building built on a hillside; each building and each floor is higher than the ones to the east so everyone has a view of the sea and sunrise from their rooms. Our place had a large central living/dining room and kitchen, flanked by Doris and Bob’s master bedroom and bath on one side, and our “studio” on the other. Our room had two double beds, our own full marble bathroom, and a small kitchenette (microwave, refrigerator, and sink) suitable for someone to rent separately from the rooms next door, if necessary.

Opening the sliding doors at the end of our room afforded us a grand view of the property, beach and the sea, over a wrought-iron railing, but no balcony. The main room next door, however, featured a balcony large enough for the four of us to sit out on, sipping our wine and indulging in various snacks. We soon realized that the whales came so close to shore in this area that we could see them spouting and flipping their tails about, right from our balcony or the area around the swimming pools.

The $27 breakfast was unbelievable! The variety of food was immense, the facility and service was excellent, and it was free for taking the tour. During the course of our tour, I mentioned to our time share rep, Walt, that I would love to swim in the Sea of Cortez but the rocks on the resort’s beach seemed dangerous. He told me of a better beach less than a mile or so up the road to the north. It turned out to be a great beach, with clean sand and water, no rocks to worry about, and very few people around.

We had dinner at the onsite Italian restaurant, Rosario. Part of the timeshare tour deal was getting a 30 % discount at this place and it was certainly a worthwhile offer. The food was sumptuous (I had Osso Bucca lasagna), the decor elegant, and a piano player serenaded us while we ate; his selections were beautiful and not so loud as to distract from our table conversation.

While hanging out at one of the pools after we returned from San José del Cabo one day, we asked our poolside waiter, Adolfo, if he could recommend someplace really authentic for us to go for Mexican food. “Where do the locals go?” we wondered.

“Oh, you’ve got to go to Las Guacamayas for the ‘dollar tacos’,” Adolfo told us. It was in Cabo San Lucas, on José Ma. Morelos street, near where Avenida de la Juventud crosses... I think. We eventually found it and were glad we did. Lots more than just tacos; all very good and cheap.

One day, around lunchtime, I decided to order some food poolside. I was quite impressed; the burger was huge–at least a half-pounder– and the fixings were great, including some very tasty french-fries. I’m always a bit sceptical when ordering food outside at a place like this, thinking it will be cold by the time I get it. I had nothing to worry about; not only was it hot when the waiter brought it, it was delicious!

A couple of days later, I ordered the hot wings. I figured the burger was so good, maybe they also had killer wings. Sure enough, when the hot wings arrived, I found them to be just spicy enough and really tasty.

Overall, I can't say a bad thing about the Fiesta Americana or the trip in general. I'll try to post a separate review on Los Cabos, in general, but If anyone has any questions about the resort or activities in the area, I'm always willing to offer any help or suggestions that I can.

(All photos © 2008 by Ken Bausert)

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  1. Nice, Ken. Looking forward to your next post.

  2. Great going Ken---u missed ur calling---should have been a writer