Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

Villa del Palmar Resort Spa with Free Airfare to Loreto, Mexico

Monday April 1, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 3 Comments

Villa del Palmar

Villa del Palmar All Inclusive Hotel Review, Loreto, Mexico

Off the Eastern coast of  Mexico’s Baja peninsula, at The Islands of Loreto, sits Villa del Palmar. Opened in the spring of 2011, this 181 room property overlooks the uninhabited Danzante Island. With views looking out to the Sea of Cortez, or La Giganta mountain range, you will be surrounded by nature, as well as shimmering stars at night. In addition to the Sabila Spa, four swimming pools, an outdoor Jacuzzi, and beach access, outdoor lovers will be attracted to this mild year-round climate.

Free airfare from Los Angeles, to Loreto, Mexico

Yes, you read that headline right. Anyone who calls Villa del Palmar and references Nancy D. Brown’s hotel review will receive FREE round trip airfare for two from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Loreto Airport (LTO.)  Travel must be completed by May 19, 2013 and is based on availability. You must contact the resort for this special offer.



Villa del Palmar

Rooms at Villa del Palmar Resort & Spa in Loreto, Mexico

Worry free Loreto, Mexico

While the flight from Los Angeles, California to Loreto, Mexico is quick, you’ll feel miles away from big city life at Villa del Palmar Resort. In fact, the sleepy fishing village of Loreto is rather slow paced, as is the Baja Mexico resort. Villa del Palmar is a safe place to relax, unwind and  take in the scenery, sea life and stars. Evening entertainment ranges from Karaoke, to Mexican Fiesta themed-dinners and dancing. A golf course is included in the resort master plan, as well.

Not feeling comfortable with your high school Spanish, the attentive Villa del Palmar staff speaks both English and Spanish. Menus at Villa del Palmar’s Danzante Restaurant, The Market Restaurant, Casa Mia and room service are written in Spanish and English.

Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto

Danzante Island view from Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto

Villa del Palmar all-inclusive or a la carte

There are several ways to experience Villar del Palmar. I experienced the all-inclusive plan that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, 24 hour room service, unlimited cocktails and beverages, internet access, themed dinners, all resort activities and daily turn down service.

If you select a la carte dining, there is always the option to upgrade ($89 per person, per day) kids, ages 5-13 are 50% off and children 0-5 years old are no charge; a good value if you are staying on property for meals. As the property is a bit isolated, the resort offers Palmita Market for any items you may have forgotten to pack.

Rooms at Villa del Palmar Resort and Spa

Rooms at Villa del Palmar start at $216.13 for a studio. My room #2514, rented for $359.10, per night US (check website for current pricing. This one bedroom deluxe, ocean view suite, featured a king bed with balcony, shower and separate Jacuzzi bath tub in one room and a sofa bed, desk, coffee table, dining room table, kitchen, bathroom with shower and washer/dryer combination. Both rooms offered flat screen tv’s. The one bedroom suite would be ideal for a family of four to share, as the living room offers a balcony, as well.

Two bedroom and three bedroom suites and penthouses are also available, as well as the Presidential suite. Villa del Palmar also offers a time-share program in Loreto, Mexico.

Sabila Spa

After a day outdoors, soak in Sabila Spa

Nature lovers unite at Villa del Palmar

Kayaks and paddleboards, as well as snorkels and fins are available to guests. On-site,  water aerobics, volleyball, hiking and bicycles are offered, as well as the complimentary fitness center. Additional activities are available to book via the concierge.

Sabila Spa at Villa del Palmar

The Sabila Spa is a welcome addition to Villa del Palmar resort. With 17 treatment rooms, a fitness center, wet area featuring plunge pools, hot tubs, saunas and Swiss showers with six different temperatures of hot and cold, this is the place to relax after a day of outdoor activity.

During my visit, I tried the Hot Candle Ritual. This 80 minute treatment blends warm oil massage with Aroma therapy to bring balance and harmony back into your life. I highly recommend this unique massage treatment during your Loreto, Mexico visit.

Need to know

Check in: 3:00 p.m. (Greeting includes a ritual hand cleansing to wash your tensions away, cold towel, non-alcoholic drink and three minute neck and back massage.)

Check out: 12:00 p.m.

Villa del Palmar hammock

Relax at Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto

Insider Tips

Guest are given wrist bands with water-proof smart chip technology. No more fumbling with card keys, simply swipe your wristband at the door and welcome to paradise!

The resort offers complimentary wifi in the lobby and pool-side. Try your balcony, as well, for wifi coverage.

Alaska Airlines offers non-stop flights from Los Angeles International Airport in California, to Loreto Mexico Airport.

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow Villa del Palmar on Twitter.

If You Go:

Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa  (866) 209-0726

Ensenada Blanca, 23880

Loreto, Mexico

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa.

Related Post:

Things to See and Do in Loreto, Mexico

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort and Spa, Mazatlan, Mexico

Friday February 8, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 2 Comments

"Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay flamingos"

Look for the flamingos at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay, Mazatlan, Mexico

Overlooking Olas Altas Bay, in the foothills of the Sierra Madres mountains, Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort and Spa is situated on 20-acres in Mazatlan, Mexico.  The four-star, all-suite resort opened its doors in 1987,  offering views of  the Pacific Ocean and its own beach. Located in Nuevo Mazatlán, the resort is designed as a hacienda of villas that meander through a grove of 150-year-old mangrove trees.

Each of the 337 suites comes with a private balcony or terrace and beach or ocean views. While I didn’t use the kitchenette, families might make use of this option. If this is a multi-generation vacation, grandma and grandpa or anyone with walking issues will appreciate the golf cart shuttle service.  This was my first international trip after my hip replacement, so I was happy to access the shuttle to the restaurant for breakfast each morning.



Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort accommodations

  • "Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay"

    Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay is a hacienda of villas in Nuevo Mazatlán, Mexico.

    All inclusive meal plan option

  • 24-hour in-suite services* *Additional charges apply
  • secluded Pacific Ocean beach access
  • restaurants and swim-up bar
  • Access to two outdoor swimming pools and hot tub
  • Complimentary shuttle service to and from Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán (cheaper than a taxi!)
  • Daily on site activities including Spanish classes, aqua-aerobics, nature preserve tours, bingo, bartending and cooking classes
  • Fitness Center: Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa (open from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.), Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán (open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.)


"Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Suite"

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay ocean view suite

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Junior Suite

My room, #1736, in the Claussen Building, was a junior suite that could accommodate 2-4 people with two queen beds. The rate during my January stay was $282 per night. Check the website for package deals, including airfare.

I flew direct from Oakland International Airport in Northern California via Cal Jet Air to Mazatlán.

Armonia Spa at Emerald Bay

After a day of sighting seeing or if the weather is a bit cold, book a visit to Armonia Spa at Emerald Bay. At 16,500 square feet, Armonia is the largest spa in Mazatlán . Whether you prefer to soak a natural (swim suits are optional in the same sex locker room spa facilities) or with your bathing suit, save time for the hot tub before or after your spa treatment. There is a multi-step circuit to enjoy with steam rooms, Jacuzzi, sauna, cold water plunges, showers and a relaxation lounge.

Check in: 4:00 p.m.

Check out: 10:00 a.m.

PB Emerald Bay patio dining

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay ocean view dining

Insider tip

If you need internet access during your stay, request a room close to the main building.  While all rooms are wifi accessible, my internet access was spotty during the trip.  There was good wifi in the deli on the first floor of my villa. Of course, most visitors are traveling to Mazatlán for the beaches and activities; a strong wifi signal is typically not high on the amenity wish list.


For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow Pueblo Bonito on Twitter.

If You Go:

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa 1-800-990-8250

201 Av. Ernesto Coppel Campana

Mazatlán, Sinaloa 82110, Mexico

Article written by and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Mazatlán Hotel Association.

Related Post:

Things to See and Do in Mazatlan, Mexico

Things to See and Do in Mazatlan, Mexico

Friday January 25, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 7 Comments

"Spanish Dancer"

A Mexican dancer performs at El Meson de Los Laureanos in El Quelite, Mexico.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that John Wayne used to keep a boat at the Playa Olas Atlas in Old Mazatlan and Ernest Hemingway used to travel there. Are you planning to visit Mazatlan? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in “the Pearl of the Pacific.”

When I have a visitor from out of town the first place they want to see are the beaches, but I also take them to Plaza Machado – for a more local, authentic experience where he or she can see the famous Angela Peralta Theater or pick up local handicrafts.

Romance in Mazatlan, Mexico

When I want to escape the tourists, my favorite place to visit is Mexico’s Stone Island for some serious R&R.

If this is a romantic trip, I recommend Hotel Jonathon’s rooftop for kissing with a view. For more information on Mazatlan’s newest boutique hotel, visit

The best place to go snorkeling is Deer Island — check with El Cid Resorts for excursions to this island.

Museums are wonderful, but if you are traveling with kids, you’ll want to visit the Mazatlan Aquarium where you can see more than 200 species of fish spread across more than 50 tanks.


Mexican food in Mazatlan

El Meson de los Laureanos

Meat platter El Meson de los Laureanos

If you are looking for typical seafood cuisine, I recommend El Shrimp Bucket.  The restaurant, started by the creators of Senor Frog’s, is located on Mazatlan’s scenic Malecon at the Olas Altas Beach. Another fun place to dine with friends is La Puntilla.

The best place to go for coffee & a breakfast treat is Molika Bakery in old Mazatlan. Run by a French-trained Mazatleco, the bakery offers a variety of pastries and treats.

Looking for cheap food in Mazatlan? Go to Los Arcos in the Zona Dorada (Mazatlan’s Golden Zone) for seafood and Mexican food. Get the stuffed shrimp and wash it down with sangria or head to La Costa Marinera over looking the water. Delicious!


The Centro Historico is the spot for late night dining Pedro y Lola, which has been featured in a number of international publications, offers a variety of Mexican dishes — and is open until 1am. Order the banana cream pie, it is the best I have tasted!



Mazatlan is home to the world’s largest shrimp fleet

For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to Topolo Restaurant and Wine Bar, a five-star restaurant in Mazatlan’s Centro Historico.  Be sure to make a reservation!

Seeing a lot of shrimp? Mazatlan is home to the world’s largest shrimp fleet and offers shrimp dishes in most, if not all, restaurants. On my trip I ate baked shrimp, stuffed shrimp, sauteed shrimp, fried shrimp and ceviche shrimp.

When you come to Mazatlan, get your picture taken with the destination’s famous cliff-divers past the Malecon and in front of Cathedral in Centro Historico.

The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of Lookout Hill, which offers a panoramic view of the city.

Olas Altas offers great views, and the Malecon is the best place to watch or experience Mazatlan’s cultural events, from Carnival to the Festival of Lights.

"Cliff Diver"

Mazatlan, Mexico’s famous cliff-divers

In Mazatlan, outdoor enthusiasts will be in heaven!  Mazatlan is a great destination for adventure, from surfing and snorkeling to some of the best ziplining in Mexico.  There are several great hikes around town.  The destination also recently debuted whale-watching excursions — great for kids!

Looking for a little exercise? Walk along the 7-mile Malecon for an ocean-side view and a stroll through Mazatlan’s cultural district.

If you are a museum lover, Mazatlan’s best museum is the Archaeological Museum nearby the Plaza Machado which features pre-Hispanic Sinaloa exhibits.

Looking for night life in Mazatlan? Go dancing at Fiesta Land, home to many bars and nightclubs in Zona Dorada, and find live Latin music at Mundo Banana’s at the intersection of Ave. Camaron Sabalo and Ave Rodolfo T. Loaiza.
Mazatlan My City ( will keep you posted on the latest happenings.

"Carnaval mask"

Mazatlan has the third largest Carnaval celebration in the world

You can tell a lot about Mazatlan from visiting and taking part in celebrations around Carnaval!  The destination has the third-largest Carnaval in the world, following only Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans.  A family-friendly celebration, Carnaval offers a wonderful showcase of Mazatlan’s rich cultural offering — don’t miss the dancing, music, parades and fireworks during the festivities in February.

In the spring you should attend Mazatlan’s Temporada Primavera, the springtime cultural festival.  Last year’s spring season offered over 70 cultural activities, including ballet, contemporary dance and operatic performances, as well as musical, theatrical and film events.  The festivities include activities for children, from musical performances to arts and crafts.

In the summer you should head down to the beach!  Summer in Mazatlan is hot and sunny, and there’s no better time to enjoy a locally-brewed Pacifico while keeping cool in the Pacific.

Did you know that Mazatlan is known as a leading cultural destination in Mexico? Plan a visit to the renowned Angela Peralta Theater in the fall.  From October until Christmas each year, the calendar of events at the Angela Peralta is booked solid, and all through the year visitors can enjoy various events at this beautiful theater, which dates back to 1881.


Agave is used to make Mexican Tequila

Come to Mazatlan for world-class fishing in the winter.  Mazatlan is a great destination for fishing year-round, with some of the world’s largest marlin and sailfish, and winter is the best time for catching large numbers of fish.

Insider Tip: Check out La Vinata Tequila Distillery in the Zona Dorada where you can try and purchase locally made tequila.

Just outside of Mazatlan you can visit the charming colonial village of El Quelite.  Make sure to stop for lunch at El Meson de Los Laureanos for a taste of the local flavors.

If You Go:

Visit Go Mazatlan for more information

Article, photos and YouTube video by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown.  I was a guest of Mazatlán Hotel Association.

Related Posts:

Things to See and Do in Cancun, Mexico

Things to See and Do in Los Cabos, Mexico

Things to See and Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico