Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos All Inclusive, Mexico

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos All Inclusive for one week in March of 2019. This is one of those rare resorts that is great for people with kids and people without. The kiddie pool is on one side of the resort and the adults-only pool is on the complete opposite side, with a communal swimming pool in the middle. The resort is located on a beautiful stretch of beach in San José del Cabo and the atmosphere is very quiet and laid back.

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Main Pool Area

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Kids’ Pool Area

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Kids’ Pool Area

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Kids’ Playground Area

THE GOOD

When you land in Los Cabos, you will likely catch a transfer bus or a cab to your resort and it is a very short 20-minute drive from the airport to the Holiday Inn. When you have spent several hours on an airplane, nothing beats a quick drive to the resort!

The Holiday Inn is not a fancy hotel, but it was clean and everyone there worked hard to make our trip a good one. Our room was on the ground floor of one of the buildings relatively close to the main pool and the buffet area. We had a fully accessible bathroom with a wheel-in shower and built-in shower bench. The room itself was spacious and there was a small ramp leading out onto the outdoor patio. On the patio, there was a small sitting/eating area and a giant hammock for lounging in. We had free wi-fi in our room.

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Two Double Beds

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Doorway, TV, Safe, Mini-fridge

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Accessible Bathroom

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Wheel-In Shower

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Ramp Leading Onto Patio

There were two main eating locations – the buffet and the restaurant just off the beach. The buffet had your usual fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the beach restaurant was open every day for lunch and for dinner with a reservation. We never made it to the dinner there as the reservation list filled up early in the morning, but we went there pretty much every day for lunch and the food was consistently decent. 

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Outdoor Seating Area for the Buffet is Behind That Tree

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Beach Restaurant

The grounds of the Holiday Inn were really beautiful and well-maintained. The resort is pet-friendly and there were cute little pet relief areas in various locations around the resort. 

The Holiday Inn is situated at the end of a long line of resorts and hotels. To the right, you can walk for miles along the beach behind the hotels. To the left you can walk for miles through a nature reserve and bird sanctuary. I spent a lot of time walking through that area and the scenery was incredible. I saw whales spouting out in the ocean, local fishermen fishing with large nets and I saw tons of unusual birds! The beach, unfortunately, is not accessible. It is quite large and would be really difficult to wheel across, even in a beach chair. If you have the ability to ride a horse, that would be one way to see it all as there are people constantly going up and down the beach on horseback.

Everything you could possibly need is within walking distance of this resort. There is a nice shopping area about 10 minutes away and there is a large supermarket about 20 minutes away (there is an amazing playground across the street from the supermarket). There are several local markets nearby where you can shop for souvenirs and gifts. One of the market areas turns into an art show on Thursday nights, complete with wine, food and music. All of the people we talked to who went said it was amazing. The sidewalks on the main streets are relatively easy to traverse in a wheelchair (they do have curb cuts). They also have a number of bike lanes in Los Cabos, which are smooth, flat and well-maintained. Off the beaten path, you will likely have to wheel on the street to avoid the giant curbs. Also be aware that some of the streets are very hilly!

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The Holiday Inn has a number of local vendors spread out in different areas of the resort. If you don’t feel like going too far away to find souvenirs, there is plenty of opportunity to buy things right there.

THE BAD

The food at the resort was your standard Mexican buffet fare. It wasn’t horrible and it wasn’t great. They did try to mix things up from day to day but it often felt heavy and greasy and the desserts were always disappointing (except for the chocolate croissants). It would have been really nice if there were a few more restaurant options.

The decor at the Holiday Inn was nothing fancy. The rooms looked more like a 3-star hotel than a 4-star, but they were clean and functional.

The entertainment was pretty bad compared to what we have seen at other resorts in Mexico. While we were there, they put on an Earth Day celebration and we took the kids to the show. Only one person had a microphone and the show appeared to be very unrehearsed. They had no lighting and you could barely see what was going on. On another night, they did a Mexican celebration with an outdoor buffet and a live show. We definitely could have skipped it and not missed out on anything spectacular.

Due to the strong undertow and riptides, swimming in the ocean here is strongly discouraged. If you enjoy swimming in the ocean, this is not the place for you.  

In terms of accessibility, the main entrance to the hotel has quite a steep ramp to get into a side door. It isn’t a great set-up because if you were going up the ramp by yourself, it would be really difficult to open the door at the top while on an incline.

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Ramp at The Front Entrance of the Holiday Inn

The beach is not accessible. You will be able to get right up to the sand and, if you’re lucky, you will still be able to see whales out in the ocean. The water is quite a distance away, however. 

There is a fitness facility upstairs in one of the towers and you can get right up to the door, but there are a few steps to get into the gym (and no ramp available). 

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Fitness Centre (Not Accessible)

THE UGLY

We didn’t notice anything terrible or ugly about this resort. We spent a week there and not a single bad thing happened. None of us got sick or had any stomach issues and the resort and surrounding areas felt incredibly safe. 

OVERALL

Overall, we loved this resort. The flight to get there was short, the price was really reasonable and we have never experienced a more beautiful, expansive beach. The resort itself had a fun pool area for kids and a quiet pool areas for adults. They had a tennis court, a spa, on-site laundry, a kids’ club, a playground, etc. and the resort was large enough that we didn’t feel like it was overly busy (even though it was spring break).

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Laundry Room (Very Small)

One of the other pleasant surprises about the Holiday Inn was that a lot of guests seemed to be repeat visitors and they were so unbelievably nice. One set of neighbours we had left us with a giant cooler filled with drinks and water for use by the pool. Another set of neighbours left their giant pool floaties for our kids to play with after they went back home. All of the people we encountered around the resort and on the beach were extremely friendly and laid back. I got the feeling that the staff at this resort worked hard to cultivate that atmosphere.

We typically don’t like to go back to the same place twice, but we would definitely go back to the Holiday Inn in Los Cabos. We had a really great experience there.

Holiday Inn & Suites – Osoyoos, British Columbia

We stayed at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Osoyoos, BC for 5 nights in April of 2017. This was our first trip to Osoyoos as a family and we picked this hotel largely because all of the other hotels I called in Osoyoos were booked solid. They all told me the same thing – Osoyoos gets a number of snowbirds that rent out the hotel rooms on a monthly basis through the winter and they don’t go home until the end of April. Apparently the wheelchair accessible rooms get booked up by people looking to escape the winter weather elsewhere in Canada. This isn’t too surprising given that the daytime average temperatures are higher in Osoyoos than anywhere else in Canada. The winters are shorter and milder and spring arrives earlier than in other parts of the Okanagan. If I could afford it, I would spend my winters in Osoyoos too!

THE GOOD

The Holiday Inn & Suites is located in one of the best spots in Osoyoos. It is right on a peninsula in the middle of Osoyoos Lake. There is a small private beach area in the back of the hotel and it is an easy walk to the larger public beach (Gyro Beach) and the downtown area. 

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Our room rate for the accessible room with a wheel-in shower was $158.95 per night. The room was really well-appointed for a family. It came with two queen-sized beds in a separate bedroom, a large accessible bathroom with wheel-under sink, wheel-in shower (with built-in bench) and a toilet with grab bars.

Bedroom

The rest of the room had a very large living space with a full-sized kitchen, dining area and living room with couches and a TV.

There was a large balcony off of the living room which made for a nice spot to sit at the end of the day. 

There was free laundry available at the end of one of the hallways. The hotel also had a restaurant with a beautiful view overlooking the water. 

There was a pool, hot tub and fitness room located on the main floor. There was a large, accessible washroom located in the pool area. 

Our nightly rate included free, underground parking. 

THE BAD

This hotel is clearly not one of the finer properties in Osoyoos. It served its purpose, however, it is outdated, dirty and looks run down. It was probably in its prime 30 years ago. 

The wheel-in shower in our room had a built-in plastic shower bench. However, the bench was really far from the taps and it would be a challenge to stay on the slippery bench while trying to reach the taps. If you have mobility challenges, you may require help with this shower. 

The hotel had a pool and hot tub, however the pool wasn’t functioning for the first 3 days of our stay due to an issue with the pump. Also, every time I went to the pool area with the kids I had to go to the front desk to ask for towels as they weren’t stocked on the racks near the pool. They would often give me 2 towels for the three of us, which I found strange. 

When we checked in, they gave us “kids eat free” coupons for the restaurant. Apparently these coupons can only be used to order food off of the kids’ menu and when we ate at the hotel’s restaurant, we were told that they didn’t have a kids’ menu. 

THE UGLY

The hallways and common areas in the hotel smelled very strongly of curry and other combinations of food and grease. 

OVERALL 

Although the hotel itself wasn’t amazing, the location of this hotel was great. The view from the balcony was really beautiful and it was a very short walk to the public beach area and downtown. We were able to walk everywhere once we arrived. 

Some highlights of our stay in Osoyoos included the Desert Model Railroad (www.osoyoosrailroad.com) and the Rattlesnake Canyon Theme Park (www.rattlesnakecanyon.ca). The town also did an amazing family oriented celebration for Easter, complete with an Easter Egg Hunt, live music, petting zoo, face painting, games, bouncy castles, etc.

At that time of year, the town felt a bit sleepy, but it was a great place to unwind, relax and enjoy the beautiful Okanagan air. 

Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel – Calgary, Alberta

This hotel is located in the downtown core at 110 9th Avenue SE. I stayed at this hotel many times as a child when it was operated under a different chain and I had fond memories of it, so we decided to stay here with our kids in September of 2015. The hotel recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation in the spring of 2015 so I thought now would be a good time to check it out.

THE GOOD

The location of this hotel was great – right across the street from the Calgary Tower and accessible to the Calgary Convention Centre and the Glenbow Museum. There were shops and restaurants nearby and you could easily walk to the LRT from this hotel.

The staff at the hotel, for the most part, was very pleasant and friendly.

The nightly rate at this hotel was very reasonable. We paid $130 for one night while many of the surrounding hotels go for about $200 a night.

There were blackout blinds in the room that were operated by pushing a button on the wall. Needless to say, the kids had fun pushing those buttons and watching the blinds go up and down.

View of the Room and the Blinds

View of the Room and the Blinds

When you swiped your card to get into the room, the door opened on its own. This is really nice for wheelchair users as you don’t have to try to manoeuver on the carpet to open the door. There was also a button on the inside that you could push to open the door when you leave the room – very convenient.

Button on Inside of Door

Button on Inside of Door

Visually, the decor of the hotel and the look of the rooms was appealing. The layout of the bathroom inside the room was good and there was a true wheel-under sink, a wheel-in shower with built-in bench and a toilet with one grab bar.

Wheel-Under Sink With Good Clearance

Wheel-Under Sink With Good Clearance

Toilet With Grab Bar

Toilet With Grab Bar

Wheel-In Shower With Built-In Shower Bench

Wheel-In Shower With Built-In Shower Bench

Room Had a TV, Mini-Fridge, Iron, Ironing Board and In-Room Safe

Room Had a TV, Mini-Fridge, Iron, Ironing Board and In-Room Safe

View From Our Room - 3rd Floor

View From Our Room – 3rd Floor

The hotel had a fitness room on the third floor that could be accessed by someone in a wheelchair (this was at the bottom of the steps that led up to the pool). There was an accessible bathroom outside of the fitness area.

Fitness Room - 3rd Floor

Fitness Room – 3rd Floor

Free Weights - No other Accessible Equipment

Free Weights – No other Accessible Equipment

Bathroom Located Outside of Fitness Area

Bathroom Located Outside of Fitness Area

THE BAD

Ok… get ready…

The accessible hotel room we stayed in on the third floor smelled like sewage. As soon as we walked in, the smell hit us like a ton of bricks. It seemed to emanate from the drain in the bathroom but, regardless of where it came from, it smelled disgusting and it was really difficult to ignore.

We requested two cribs when we booked this room and they told us it would be no problem. When we checked in, they told us they had no record of the request on the reservation and that they likely didn’t have any cribs available, let alone two of them. I told them that they would need to let me know because if they didn’t have cribs, we would have to stay elsewhere. The person checking us in assured me that they would find some cribs for us and bring them up to the room. By the time we got back to our room after dinner, there were still no cribs. We called down to the front desk and they again told us that they had no cribs. We told them they would need to find some or re-locate us to a different hotel and they again assured us that they would find some. At about 10:30 pm, waaaaaay past the kids’ bedtime, they brought two playpens from a hotel across the street (Hotel Le Germaine) and it took me and the staff member who brought them about 30 minutes to assemble them (the rails weren’t locking properly).

We checked out on a Sunday morning and the standard hotel check-out time was at noon. Starting at about 9 o’clock, housekeeping began knocking on our door asking what time we would be leaving. They knocked a total of 3 times between 9 and 10:30 asking when we would be gone before I finally told them that we would be there until we left and asked them to stop knocking on our door. Luckily we were already awake but I would have been really angry if that had been my one chance to sleep in. 

There is no self-parking at this hotel. You can drive around and find a public parking lot or pay for the valet parking that is available at the hotel.

THE UGLY

And… it gets worse…

When I went to shower in our room, I noticed something all over the walls of the shower. I got in to take a closer look and – yep – it was hair! Long pieces of black hair left behind by the last hotel guest. If the housekeeping staff didn’t even see this it definitely makes you wonder what else in the room was not cleaned…

Not My Hair! Yuck!

Not My Hair! Yuck!

The pool and fitness centre were located on the third floor. The pool was up a flight of stairs but there was a lift for wheelchair users for access to the pool area. We called the front desk from our room and they sent someone up to operate the lift.

Lift to Access Pool Area

Lift to Access Pool Area

When we got up to the pool area, I have to say, I was shocked by the condition of the pool. The entire swimming pool was covered with a slimy pool liner and there was about a 2-inch strip of grime along the waterline all the way around the pool.

View of the Pool

View of the Pool

Here's a Closer Look - Note the Grime Along the Waterline

Here’s a Closer Look – Note the Grime Along the Waterline

The steps into the pool had obvious signs of mould on them.

These Are the Steps Leading into the Pool. Gross.

These Are the Steps Leading into the Pool. Gross.

The kids wanted to go in, so I took them for a quick dip and I kept getting big chunks of hair stuck on my hands – disgusting!! I honestly felt like I was jeopardizing my health by being in that pool. The hot tub was better than the pool but it was difficult to enjoy the entire area given its state of repair.

Hot Tub

Hot Tub

The front desk staff told us to call the emergency phone when we were ready to go back to our room and they would send someone up to operate the lift for us but – SURPRISE – the emergency phone at the pool area did not work. I had to walk down to the fitness centre to find a working telephone. If I hadn’t been there, my husband would have been pretty much screwed.

Trip Down the Stairs

Trip Down the Stairs

As soon as we got to the hotel I started coughing, my nose was running and I was sneezing like crazy. I figured all of the travelling had finally caught up to me and that I was getting sick. Interestingly though, as soon as we left the hotel, I was completely fine – no sneezing, no runny nose, no coughing… Something at this hotel had a major effect on my allergies, which rarely flare up anymore. You could smell a lot of things in the air here between the sewer smell and some type of chemical smell which seemed to be coming out of the carpets. I have never stayed anywhere before where this was an issue but it is clearly an issue here. Anyone with allergies should beware!

OVERALL

I can sum up this hotel in one word – RUN!!! Multi-million dollar renovation or not, this still needs a ton of work and, in my opinion, it is not worth risking your health to stay here.