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Reviewed 2 April 2018

THE RESORT: Picture an extensive compound of stucco buildings nestled into a craggy cliff with a myriad network of golf cart paths snaking down from the top to the wide beach cove at the base. It’s a marvel of visionary planning and execution to stand at the bottom and view the multiple beach-front buildings stair-stepping up the massive cliff, with most of the terraced units placed to view magnificent sunrises and equally spectacular sunsets. Dangerous rip tides make the gravelly beach unswimmable, but the developers more than compensated for this stunning look-but-don’t-touch beach by siting multiple restaurants and pools for maximum water views.

This place will get your fit bit buzzing! Sprinkled throughout the resort are maps with calorie counts marked from point to point so you can also track your activity that way. A platoon of carts is available to ferry guests who opt out of hoofing it. Phone stations are provided to call for carts, and typically one appears within a couple of minutes-- or a ride can be accessed every 3-5 minutes at designated roundabouts. There are no pedestrian walkways, but the golf carts have an impressive turning radius, so presumably the drivers can swerve just as impressively to avoid colliding with pedestrians who are hardy enough to walk these steep inclines. There were a couple of instances on our travels when 2 carts came face to face, and proved there was indeed enough room for 2 carts to coexist on the narrow access paths that descend from the Sky Pool’s highrise units to the ocean front Main Pool.

RCI: We used RCI points for a family vacation with our 2 adult sons. Shortly after booking, welcome emails began, offering the all inclusive meal plan with gradually declining rates in direct proportion to our arrival date. We opted to pass on that because at one point we had seen a 3 day meal plan option, and we felt that was the way to sample some of the restaurants that foodies who travel to Cabo mention. Direct phone calls and emails to our rep, Daniel, went unanswered, so a couple of days before leaving, I called the main number provided for the front desk and was told that the transport had to be booked 3 days prior to arrival “so that your presentation can be scheduled.” We ended up leaving for Mexico without either a meal plan or transport reservation in place. I was also less than thrilled to have only a 1 BR for the 4 of us-- but that turned out fine, the couch was great, and there were 2 full bathrms.

AIRPORT TRANSFER: Beware the gauntlet of sherbet shirted men who accost you as you exit Customs with your bags, offering transport to the hotel in exchange for a “presentation” with all sorts of incentives like whale watching boat rides, sunset and snorkeling cruises, etc. Know what you’re in for, it’s business—you give something to get something. My husband, an affable man who talks to everyone, struck up a conversation with a man in an orange shirt, and was handed off to a lime clad associate, Angel. This guy was a smooth talker who offered us a shared transport vs a direct shuttle (round trip) for $210 which included “a full breakfast at another resort, prior to the 90 minute presentation,” use of that resort’s facilities after their pitch, whale watching and a flat bottomed boat excursion. The most important part for me was the round trip portion, as I did not want to sit on a shuttle stopping at all the resorts along the way. My direct questions to Angel about arranging the logistics of the return were met with “We will work out the details later.” Now, we’re pretty savvy travelers, and were amused by the ridiculous subterfuge—the following morning at 8am, we were to request a taxi to the McDonald’s in town, where Angel would be waiting in a black Mustang to lead us to the presentation, but we were not to talk to anybody at Pueblo Bonito. We could not show his paperwork, not even flash it to anybody other than the people involved at the resort he represented. We shook hands on the written agreement, we handed $210 in cash to Angel (when credit cards aren't accepted, that always make my spidey senses tingle, as there is no recourse to a failed bargain.) I did not miss the mental high fives his citrus shirted associates shot him as Angel led us out of the terminal on a semi triumphant march and passed us off to a van driver for the 40 minute drive to the resort. We sped in comfort on a well maintained highway, cutting through desert scrub and craggy mountains in the distance, passing through Cabo’s downtown with the obligatory Sr Frog and assorted party palaces, before turning onto a steep uphill that passed through a residential area (El Pedregal) to arrive at the imposing sight of the huge resort on the other side of that stone cliff. The Sunset Beach resort is located at the end of a long winding road, the buildings nestled into the cliff side with a multitude of cart paths snaking throughout.

RCI CHECKIN:
Upon arrival in front of the sumptuous lobby reminiscent of a Spanish galleon-- complete with figurehead-- our luggage was unloaded and we were ushered straight to to Jair’s desk. The hotel’s lobby check in, on the other hand, is tightly tucked into a windowless corner on the right, which gives you the first clue of the value of the time share industry here. Jair reviewed the various options with us for our week long stay. He started with the 5 day all inclusive meal plan, with 2 bonus days thrown in. I asked about the 3 day plan and that became a 3 day plan plus 4th bonus day thrown in for $1200, bringing the cost down to $75 per day.

Again, I wanted all offers in writing, so we could review our options to decide to accept or not. The pros were not to have to carry currency, our adult sons could be more independent, we could order poolside, and share in the sister resorts’ restaurants; however, the largest con of all was the cost per person. At $75 per day this seems ridiculously expensive-- it's Mexico!

We went ala carte for the 1st night, and had a marvelously atmospheric post-sunset dinner for 4 with a bottle of Malbec at the Argentinian night beachside buffet –that cost $200, making the all-inclusive option more palatable.

The next day we returned to Jair’s desk and signed up for his 4 day option, to start at noon the following day. In the meantime, we dined ala carte at The Market, a fancy food court surrounding a central bar with “corners” offering Asian, Mexican and Italian full meals, along with a variety of snacks and sweets. How to order was a bit confusing-- we paid with a credit card and received a number to place at our table for the food to be brought to us. Dishes can be charged to the room, but only credit cards are accepted for drinks-- no cash -- and those drinks come with a hefty cover charge. Regardless, we were happy to be seated outside in the more tranquil patio area surrounding a fountain (not working) with twinkling stars overhead, rather than in the noisy interior.

THE GOOD LIFE: Hanging out at the main activity pool by the ocean. Plan to arrive shortly after breakfast to get lounge chairs that offer some afternoon shade. The staff could not have been nicer, and the activities team-- especially Daniel-- were very engaging. They dance, play ping pong, cards, etc. Felix took good care of us at the pool, making sure we were well hydrated.

SUNSET/SUNRISE: Every day, twice a day, we were treated to a spectacular celestial display. This place is blessed to have both East/West exposures, and we made it a game to catch sunset from a different spot every day for our week-long stay.

TOP NOTCH DINING:
* THE BISTRO: Great breakfast. Each and every time, on the terrace overlooking the beach far below. (Separate Review)
* TAZUNA: Another stellar dining experience-- sushi extraordinaire! (Separate Review)
* ZAO CHEN: Right by the main building, another fabulous dining experience (Separate Review)
* LA NAO: Buffet offering with ocean views, adjoining the main pool (Separate Review)

THE NOT-SO-GREAT: We experienced a bit of ageism at the main pool’s swim up Bar. One afternoon it took an extraordinarily long time for my husband to get served by Omar and Jaime. They walked right by my husband several times, but served the hipsters who sat in the empty stools next to him immediately. (Gentlemen—where do you think your best tips come from?) Same thing happened at the Lobby Bar a couple of times. First time was the sunset drink when the server walked right by, ignoring our family of 4 sitting at a table. The second time was the next night after dinner when the same server did not pay heed when I joined with my husband and son, who were already there for a nightcap. The Lobby Bar only had 2 tables of patrons, but since my arrival was ignored, my husband and I took a cart to the Market Bar, where Felipe capably served us, redeeming his profession.

ROOM SERVICE: Allow about an hour for service. There is a cover charge of $5, so order as much as you can all at once, rather than one item at a time.

IF YOU GO: Take about $100 US in $1s and $5s. You won't regret sprinkling them around and it will make your stay all the more enjoyable.

All said and done, this was a beautiful place for a family vacation! It’s a perfect place for all ages. We are considering returning already.

Room Tip: We liked being in building 14, centrally located with a great sunrise view.
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank BmoreStyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

We have been visiting Cabo San Lucas for the past 12 years and have stayed at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach over and over again... The resort is so picturesque and inviting. Every time we make the drive up Via de Lerry as soon as we make that turn and see the Pacific hundreds of feet below all of our everyday stresses just disappear! The views, the amazing sunsets, the gorgeous rooms and most of all the people of Pueblo Bonito make us want to come back time and again! On our most recent trip we were assigned a butler named Alfredo Olguin Tijerina. I must say, Alfredo is a perfect representative of this resort, his positivity toward his job and PB as a whole as well as his passion for making our trip the best it could be were an absolute treat. He was thorough in explaining every step of our trip, and did so with enthusiasm and care. He truly added another level of service from a resort that is already at the highest level. We can not wait to be back there in November!

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank Ron J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018

We just returned from a week at PBSB. We have been owners since 2007, and have always enjoyed our time there. Each year we dread check-in because everyone is so tired from travelling and it takes forever, but this year we checked in at a secondary Registration Office down by The Market, and it was a dream come true. We were immediately helped by Rafael, who was efficient and professional. We have never had an issue getting the room we reserved or having to move midweek. Our presidential suite was the same as always - spacious with breathtaking views - but starting to show its age, with dingy cushions and noisy A/C. The food was decent (my husband would even say better), Tazuna was fabulous and with the recent addition of The Market, choices are plentiful and there is always something to please everyone in your party. The grounds/views are spectacular and though you cannot swim in the ocean, the shuttle to Rose offers beach accessibility and we find it soothing to come back to PBSB after a boisterous day at Medano Beach. There is a Fun Lab for kids 12+ which has video games, two pool tables, air hockey, foosball, movie theater and a snack bar (popcorn, nachos, soda and water are included in the all-inclusive) which was a great way to get out of the sun for a bit (and we dropped our boys there while we went for some delicious sushi at nearbyTazuna). The very best part of the trip is the service people - they truly seem eager to make your stay the very best. They work hard and service can sometimes be slow, but it's always delivered with great hospitality. My 8th grade son is learning to speak spanish and had many a conversation with the golf cart drivers who happily engaged with him every single time. God bless them!

Unfortunately, there is a downside. The pool chairs. Every year for the past 11 years they have been an issue, so as repeated guests we know how it goes. This year, I went to the main pool at 8 am, and found some chairs. I was told by a PBSB staff person that I could not sit where I had as those chairs were "reserved". There were no personal items on the chairs (just the striped PBSB pool towels), and I told him I thought that reserving chairs wasn't allowed. He said that guests aren't allowed to reserve chairs, but that the chairs I had sat in were reserved by PBSB. I looked around and literally 90% of the chairs had been reserved by PBSB with towels, with the remaining 10% occupied by guests. I pointed to some chairs and said "can I sit there?" and he said "No." I said "How about there?" and pointed to some more open chairs and he said "No." I said "So it's 8 am, and all the chairs are reserved by PBSB?" He explained that the chairs were reserved for platinum members. I had a little fit, because as owners we have spent tens of thousands of dollars just on the timeshare (not including the annual maintenance fees, the all inclusive, tips, etc) and yet, at 8 am, we can't get a pool chair. He found some chairs for me, but this issue persisted throughout the week.

I understand the dilemna of guests reserving chairs with personal items, but this was PBSB themselves making it utterly impossible for us to find pool chairs at 8 in the morning. The problem was bad enough in years past, but, in what may have been an effort to address the issue, PBSB has found a way to make it worse. I went to the front desk to express my frustration and was told that this was PBSB's way offering a premium experience, which I am all for if it doesn't take away from the experience I paid for 11 years ago. My sister, also an owner visiting the same week, had the same experience. We weren't offered platinum when we booked all-inclusive in January, so we asked if we could upgrade to platinum (I was annoyed with the system but wanted to have a good trip, and figured if you can't beat 'em, join 'em) and was told we could not. So after 11 years of ownership of a presidential suite, after bringing other visitors who also became owners, no chairs for us. Sorry, owners.

So I guess the bottom line is this - go, visit, enjoy the beautiful scenery, the good food and the warm and hospitable service people. The Market, Tazuna and The Fun Lab were all positive additions and it truly is a wonderful place to visit. But do NOT buy here. There really doesn't seem to be an upside to that, and with the way things change over time, you may find - like we did - that some things change to your detriment.

Room Tip: The resort is large so your pref may diff from someone else's. Up high has great views and often hot tubs.
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Humidew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018

The resort was so beautiful and the service was great. We stayed in the presidential suite and the views were incredible. The resort is kept up very well and I loved seeing the flamingoes and birds near the pool. It is a great place for families to vacation and Hugo was a great help at the desk.

Room Tip: talk to Hugo at the front desk
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank B C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018

This was our first time to the Pueblo Bonito Sunset...we love Cabo and have been before but wanted to try a quieter spot. We saw this hotel from a boat while on a previous tour and that did it. I'll start with one negative an get it out of the way--the time share salespeople. They are relentless. But, if you accept it as what its and ignore it, it's all good.
Now for the good aspects! First off, the grounds are so beautiful. Amazing landscaping everywhere. Because the resort is built int the side of a hill, views are phenomenal from just about everywhere. There is a lot of uphill walking, which we did not mind as it helped burn off a beer or two. But there's carts everywhere if you need them so no worries for those with limited mobility.
The food was awesome. We did all inclusive and it did not disappoint. (We did not go to Frida or the Steakhouse). The buffet (La Nao) is great and has beautiful seating outside. They also do a great Sunday Brunch. For breakfast we frequented The Bistro. Again, gorgeous views outside. Great eggs benedict, smoothies, and COFFEE!!!! I love strong coffee and this did not disappoint.
Our favourite place was Tazuna, the sushi restaurant, which we dined at 3 times. The fish was so fresh and prepared very nicely. If you love sushi rolls try the Sake roll and the tuna cilantro roll. And the Tuna wonton tostada!
Lunch was served right to our poolside seats. Decent pizza, salads etc. Drinks ere great, event the house wine I tried was good.
Room, gym, lobby etc were all very nice. Beach is for walking only--when you see the immensity of the waves crashing in, you can see why they patrol it. I wish people would be more respectful of the guards and stay back--they don't want anyone to get hurt.
This place is quiet at night. For some that may be a negative, but for me it's a huge plus. I prefer a day party by the pool then a long, quiet sleep!
Loved it. Will go back.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank czamo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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