|Costa Club (Hotel Castillo)||Happy Travelers from Calgary|
We traveled to the Hotel Castillo in Huatulco, Mexico on January 30th – February 6th, 2007. We booked this vacation online about 4-days prior to departure as a last minute honeymoon after we had to cancel our 3-week trek to Thailand. Hotel Castillo is rated as a 2.5/3 star hotel but after reading reviews we found the only negative was on spicy food (we love Mexican food!) we thought we would take our chance since we heard wonderful things about Huatulco.
We were greeting by beautiful sunshine and clear blue skies upon arrival in Huatulco. If you can sit by a window, try to as the landscape in Huatulco is beautiful and lush rolling hills. The airport is very new, clean and beautiful. We went through customs fairly quickly and the customs agents actually smiled as they looked through and stamped our passports! Once you are stamped through you then grab your luggage off the conveyer belt and bring your luggage to get x-rayed before you leave the airport. There is food and drink stands just after you are through immigration….the beer is $2.50 and tastes wonderful after that flight. We grabbed a beer and headed to our bus.
The ride to the Hotel Castillo is about 25 minutes and you go through the town of La Crucecita. Upon arrival at the Hotel Castillo we were greeted with fruity drinks and welcoming smiles. …Now into the specifics:
The hotel is right on the main road “Santa Cruz Blvd” and across from the Marina. It is good shape with a nice open lobby at the front of the hotel that serves as the bar, evening entertainment, and overall inviting place to relax and enjoy the fact that you are in Mexico. We nicknamed it “the living room” because it had such a welcoming feel to it. There is a nice garden pool in the back of the hotel as well as some pool tables and loungers. This area is empty during the day so we used it on a few afternoons. The only time the pool was really used was about 4-6pm. The pool area also provided a nice place to relax with a drink in the evening. Service anywhere you went was fantastic, however be prepared as Spanish is the primary language.
Upon arrival we asked for a room upgrade since it was our honeymoon. They provided us a room on the second floor with a large terrace overlooking the road. We loved having the terrace and being at the front of the hotel provided a beautiful and hot morning and afternoon sun. We didn’t even notice or hear the traffic so not to worry unless you are a super-light sleeper. The furniture and bathroom was basic but clean. Actually I will emphasis how clean the room was; the girls did a great job. We brought along little hair clips and make up from the dollar store which we left as tips.
Breakfast is a buffet at the hotel form 7am – 11am. Depending on how full the hotel is we recommend you get there before 9am as it does fill up and you don’t wan to wait. The buffet was basic but there was enough options, plus you can get an omelets made. I ate the buffet everyday to try the different options and I recommend the banana bread and the coffee. My husband had an omelet everyday. Lunch is served at the Beach Club (which is open 10am – 5pm), for the most part you order off the “all-inclusive menu”, the food was great and we mostly had the chicken wraps, salads, seafood. On the weekend when it was busier the beach club had a buffet which was small but still had some yummy options. The fish is great! Dinner starts at 7:00pm as was back at the hotel and was a themed buffet, again it’s not a huge buffet but we always found more then enough choices and yummy options. Again, we loved the soup, fish, chicken and pizza.
We never went on any planned tours but they do have them available in the lobby. Otherwise the beach club (10 min walk or take the hotel shuttle) is a great place. There is a pool, volleyball courts, hammocks, playground for kids, and of course the beach. There are also numerous beaches to visit and no matter where you go the food is plentiful and the beer is cheap ($1.50). Huatulco is very safe so feel free to walk anywhere or take cab to a beach and walk back. Beaches we checked out and loved were La Entrega and La Bocana (good for surfing!). Make sure you walk around the Marina, there is a wonderful coffee shop in the centre of the park and live music there in the evening. The stores around the marina are just as cheap, if not cheaper, then in La Crucecita. As for La Crucecita, it is a $2.50 cab ride or a 15-minutes walk. There are numerous stores and restaurants. If you want a North American feel, check out The Tipsy Blow Fish for a beverage or Café Dublin (superb iced cappuccinos!). We tried a few restaurants and they were all fabulous.
Overall, we loved the Hotel Castillo and although we’ve visited numerous 4 & 5 stars this is the first hotel we would return to in a heart beat. The freedom of being able to travel around and not be in a gated community was fantastic. Oh yes, if you need internet access it is now available at the hotel.
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|Costa Club (Hotel Castillo)||Burlington Travelers|
We traveled to the Costa Club on January 30th and returned on the 6th of February. this hotel is advertised as the Costa Club in the travel brochures but is known as the Hotel Castillo. We flew with Skyservice and had a smooth flight although it was about an hour late leaving as one of the maintenance people accidentally activated the emergency escape chute on the plane. We got through immigration fairly quickly although they now put your luggage through an X Ray machine before you leave the airport. Apparently there is a new law in Mexico that makes this compulsory so there was a bit of a hold up getting on the bus to the resort.
The bus ride to the hotel took about 25 minutes and the Signature representative on board was very helpful and nice. Once at the Hotel Castillo, the check in was very quick and we were in our room in no time at all. The front desk people are very friendly and helpful and tried to accommodate any requests. The hotel itself is small with about 113 rooms with an open air lobby with a bar that stays open until 10:30 pm every night. There are two pools but the one on the roof top was closed. The food in the main restaurant was fairly good but not much in the variety department. You could also order other items off of the al a carte menu if you wanted to that was very good. I have to say that we did not encounter one rude employee at this hotel as they always had a smile on their face, polite, and tried to do anything to please you.
The Costa Club (Hotel Castillo) is not on the beach but is located across from the marina in Santa Cruz. It is a short 3 minute walk to the beach after you walk through the main square that has various shops on the way. There are also banks nearby as well as a market, a church and three or four restaurants on the beach. This is also where the big cruise ships come in but we only saw one the week we were there. The hotel also has a Beach Club that is a short distance away that they take you to on a shuttle bus that leaves every 45 minutes (Mexican Time). The beach there is great but get there early to get the good lounge chairs as they are snapped up very quickly, otherwise you will end up with the ones that are S shaped that lay on the sand. The beach club also has a pool and a restaurant that serves a buffet starting at 1:00 pm and is very good. Actually the beach club is very nice and we spent every day there, returning to the hotel at around 5:30 pm on the last shuttle.
For 16 Pesos ($1.60 U.S.) you could take a taxi into La Crucecita which is a bustling little town a short distance away. Here you will find all kinds of shops and restaurants that are very good. The locals will ask you to come in to look at their goods but are not pushy about it if you say no thank you. We ate at the Oases Restaurant one night and had a wonderful meal of Chauteau Briand, Mexican salad and fried caramel ice cream that was to die for. The bill for three of us including drinks came to about $65.00 U.S. which is very reasonable considering the steak was about 3 inches thick and delicious.
We have been to Huatulco once before, staying at the Las Brisas Resort but if you want to have a taste of real Mexican flavour, try a smaller hotel like this one. You mainly just sleep and eat there and go out to town at night to look around. Huatalco is a very safe place to vacation. There is no crime and it is safe to go anywhere day or night. The people in this area are the friendliest we have ever encountered and we did not once feel uncomfortable anywhere we went. We were sorry to leave and will definitely be going back to this area next year. We would not hesitate to recommend the Hotel Castillo to anyone. It is listed as a 2 1/2- 3 star property but that is only because it is not directly on the beach and does not have all the amenities of the bigger resorts.
If you want to have a wonderful vacation with beautiful beaches, scenery and friendly people, try this resort. Huatalco is a great place so go there before it becomes too well known.
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