This resort on a beautiful bay in Baja Sur is actually called Loreto Bay Golf Resort and Spa at Baja if you want to get technical. But to me that takes a place that really has something special going on and lumps it in with a hundred other resorts that have a golf course and spa. Big whoop.
What almost nobody else has is this: to get to this funky town in Mexico we drove through a pristine wilderness studded with giant cacti as tall as a building, jagged rocky peaks in the background. After tossing on my bathing suit I went for a walk on the beach and saw a humpback whale lazily breaking the surface and shooting water out of his blowhole, right off the shore. That evening I visited the first mission church in what was to become California. Leaving on a boat at sunrise, we saw another humpback whale just 30 meters or so off the side of our boat after we cruised past dramatic islands. At one point the air was filled with rays flying into the air and landing with a splash.
After all that, I’m supposed to get excited about a par 4 hole and a massage?
But hey, I get it. If you’ve invested tens of millions in big-money projects in a development that includes real estate for sale, you want to talk up the things that sucked up all those funds, not what you can see just by spending some gas money. For travelers who are inclined to favor active sports and wildlife though, that makes Loreto Bay a great value and a nice surprise. When you walk out to the beach here there are kayaks and paddleboards to use that can get you around a bay where this could be happening right offshore:
If you go out with a local tour company, the worst thing that can happen is you’ll just see gorgeous dramatic landscapes. On the upside you could see a giant blue whale with her baby.
This beach resort follows a rather typical playbook when it comes to rooms and design, but they make up for it with excellent food and a location on a beach that you could walk on for an hour. It’s a few miles to downtown, past the airport, but this spot with surf and several types of whales (roughly December through early April) is a more than fair trade-off.
If you’re not up for reclining in one of the lounge chairs with waiter service on the beach, there’s a beautiful regular pool, a kids’ pool, and a whirlpool in the center of the property. Sidewalks lead through manicured lawns with lots of space and there are tennis courts in addition to the golf. Staffers can arrange a long list of tours with local providers, on the water or inland.
The two restaurants here are nice and what’s served is well above the average for a hotel. But the unique place to hang out is the sports bar, which is set up above the lobby level with an open-air view toward the sea. It has a pool table as well.
Rooms are very similar in style, with terracotta tile floors, lots of colorful splashes, and comfortable beds. Marble baths come in several configurations, with some having a shower stall enclosed in glass in the room itself, but with frosted areas obscuring the middle of your body. The top choices are the oceanfront master suites, which are like junior suites but have an outside terrace or balcony with a Jacuzzi tub. The main complaint from guests is that the Wi-Fi is as slow as a river of blubber, especially in the rooms. That’s deliciously ironic since one of the investors in this Loreto Bay village development is Carlos Slim, the man who made his riches by lording over Mexico’s telecom monopoly. Even where he’s an owner you can’t get good internet!
Overall though, this resort is a terrific value, with rates starting as low as $115 in the off season and all-inclusive rates under $300 for two when the whales are around and it’s cold up north. See more info at the resort’s own website or book online with Expedia or Travelocity.
Review and photos by Tim Leffel, who was a guest of the resort while on a Baja Sur adventure tour with the Adventure Travel Trade Association.