Old Reviews – Las Brisas Huatulco

  Las Brisas Huatulco   Wendy ~ Airdire, Alberta

April 2009

Arrival: Mar 17 – Mar 23
Arrival at airport was quite slow. We couldn’t quite understand why they checked your bags upon arrival, however, they didn’t check them leaving, so go figure…. Arriving at the hotel, went OK, except trying to make any changes to our room was impossible.

Rooms
The room was quite spacious, very clean and tidy. We had hoped for one king bed, but got two queens sizes. They were a bit firm, but still quite comfortable. We tried to get a ocean view, but that didn’t happen. Still a nice enough garden view. Lovely large bathroom with two sinks and big walk-in shower. We had to walk up 4-6 steps, then walk down around 12-15 to our room. Mini bar kept quitting on us, but the staff were quick to try to fix. Finally on the fourth day it was resolved.

Restaurants and Bars
Bellavista dining room (buffet) was a bit noisy and could get quite warm, but the food was good with plently of variety. Typical Mexican All-inclusive type food, but you surely wouldn’t go hungry. We also tried the Mexican and Solarium Al-La-Carte. They were just "OK"

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beaches were the best part of this hotel. The only problem, was the lounge furniture has seen better days and are quite limited especially at high-noon when you are trying to find a bit of shade. You could tell many people would leave their towels on the lounges and leave for long periods of time, which I found rude, however, that’s the only way you can guarantee yourself a shady spot. My biggest complaint were the stairs, and stairs, and more stairs! No matter where you go on the grounds there are a lot of stairs. This is not a hotel for the handicapped or strollers. The little shuttle carts are very convenient, but there are still quite a few stairs to access the drop off and pick up points. Remember this is a former Club-med resort designed for the young and energetic, so for mature lazy people like me, this was a bit of a challenge. The grounds were beautiful and the walk down was always pleasant, and we took a shuttle back up to our rooms. The "Mexican" beach as we called it had fantasitc snorkelling especially for beginners like we were. I recommend bringing your own gear. (but it at Costco for $60.00) The pools were very clean and well maintained. Lovely warm too.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We went on the Sunwing "BBB" day trip. Boat, Beach and Beer. FANTASIC! We were very lucky as our boat stopped three times to snorkle. We had heard that some people only got one stop. Being Canadian prairie folks, this was just great and saw all sorts of fish and dolphins. The water was crystal clear and amazing. We also went on the coffee plantation tour. Very interesting and enjoyed it. The drive is not for the weak stomach type. Very windy roads, and remember you’re in Mexico and they don’t drive like us! Be prepared for a few white knuckle moments.

Other Comments We loved Huatulco and can’t wait to go again. I think next time I may try a differnt hotel with less steps. The only problem we had and from what I have read, so have many others, was a bout with an ugly Mexican bug. Make sure you bring some Imodium and Gravel. Fortunatly, it hit us on our second last day and we did most our suffering in the comforts of our own home

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  Las Brisas Huatulco   Debbie & Steve ~ Port Perry, Ontario

March 2009

First week of March, we traveled to Las Brisas Huatulco for a week of sun and fun with some friends we had been trying to vacation with for years, and finally did it!

We have been to Huatulco twice before – once at the Barcelo and once at the Crown Pacific. We love the area and the people, but hadn’t quite found our ideal resort, so decided to try Las Brisas.

Arrival at the airport was pretty routine, however we were held up for two hours in Huatulco because there was a protest in progress at the nearby gas station – they were protesting the high price of gas – we should have been out there with them! No big deal – we changed into shorts and sandals and relaxed in the sunshine. It was sure a lot better than getting held up in Toronto!

Check-in was a little tedious, but again, no big deal. Our room was across the “hall” from our friends, so we were quite pleased. The exterior of the buildings is a bit “institutional” in my opinion, but they tried to dress them up by planting beautiful gardens. We didn’t get an ocean view, but then again, we didn’t spend much time in the room anyways.

Up until this trip I was a snorkeling virgin, but with the coral reef right at one of the beaches, it was easy to take the plunge (no pun intended). We spent more time in the ocean this time around than we have spent in all our vacations put together! We never even went to another beach nor swam in any of the pools! It was great!

I was also an ATV virgin up until this trip – my girlfriend made me do it. What a blast!

My girlfriend was celebrating her 50th birthday and it just so happened that that was the day we booked a deep sea fishing trip with Gregario Sanchez (“Mahi Mahi”). We had met another couple down there that decided to come with us, so in total there were 6 of us. About an hour into the fishing trip, we landed a beautiful mahi mahi – our captain said it weighed around 50 lbs. A short time later, we landed another one and then another one, all of them weighing between 45-50 lbs. So each of the guys had the experience of landing one. All in all, we caught 4 mahi mahi, and saw lots of dolphins and Tortugas. We were absolutely thrilled with our catch! We would highly recommend Gregario. We only wish we had stayed another week to do another fishing trip with him. Maybe next year.

Weather was perfect, as usual. 30 degrees and sunny every day. We made two trips into La Crucecita and one into Santa Cruz. It was apparent in both towns that there was a shortage of tourists, probably because of the economy in the U.S. and Canada. Such a shame.

In summary, I would say that the Las Brisas is the better pick between the three resorts we have been to. The food was excellent and varied; the beaches and pools were beautiful and clean; the rooms were spacious and bright; there was never a problem getting chairs on the beach; we even got served drinks on the beach. Only complaint is the amount of stairs and hills, but there were lots of resort buses that ran very frequently.

Beds were very comfortable; there were two sinks in the bathroom; coffee maker and fridge in the room; blow dryer in the bathroom; lots of storage space.

The great thing about Huatulco is that it is very safe, and there are no departure taxes. They cater totally to the tourists, and they do a great job at it. Pay them a visit – you won’t be sorry!

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  Las Brisas Huatulco   Greg & Brenda ~ Saskatoon, SK, Canada

March 2009

My wife and I stayed at Las Brisas, Huatulco from February 6 to 20, 2009. This was our second trip to Mexico. Our previous winter trips south include Cuba, Aruba, Jamaica (2X), Dominican Republic (5X) and Hawaii (5X).

Las Brisas is located on a large bay, shared with 5 other resorts. Because of the configuration of the bay, Las Brisas is the only one whose beaches actually face north:
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=15.763634,-96.098292&spn=0.00919,0.012059&t=k&z=17

Taxi service is very good. It will cost you 30 pesos for a ride into the town of La Crucecita. There is no bus service as the area is sparsely populated.

Flights Both flights were by Skyservice aircraft and crew. After previous nightmare experiences, we swore that we would never use Skyservice again, but had no choice this time, as they were the only charter into the area.

Outbound – Due to a miscommunication when booking the trip, we ended up paying for ‘Star Class’ seating. Costs for this service varied depending upon when it was booked. Ours cost $100 per person, each way. And it was almost worth it. There are 48 Star Class seats out of 210 on the plane. This made for a very quick check-in due to the separate queue. Leg room is much better in this section, and the free drinks were much appreciated. Huatulco airport is very small, and getting through Immigration was very slow, with only two agents working the desk. Transfer to the hotel was fast and efficient, the drive being about 25 minutes.

Return – Again an efficient transfer from hotel to airport. Once again, Star Class checked in first, which gave us over an hour to sit and relax while the rest of the passengers checked in. No surprises, and a pleasant flight back. Although we do prefer female flight attendants… the all male crew we had on the return flight were a little slow when it came to service!

Check-in/Front Desk
Counter staff were fluent in English for the most part. Check-in was fast and problem free. The lobby is spacious and open to the elements. This is also the location where the taxis and tour buses wait and where the resort shuttles start. We were told by staff that the hotel was only 50% full at the time.

Building & Grounds
As mentioned elsewhere, Las Brisas is beginning to show its age. This is the old Club Med, and many of the furnishings are looking worn, cracked tiles and other physical ailments are common. There are 4 ‘villages’, Mountains (Montanes), Stars (Estrellas), Clouds (Niges) and Sea (Mar). Although there are shuttles to take you around the 55 acres, you must remember that stairs and ramps are the order of the day. There are no elevators. Once we got the lay of the land, we always walked down, and only rode up after supper. This is not a good place for anyone who has trouble negotiating stairs or has small children. The grounds are very nice. Trees and cactus everywhere, you felt that you were either in the jungle or the desert depending on where you were walking. There is also a botanical garden between Stars and Mountains that had some unique specimens. Birds were everywhere, lots of iguanas and a few mexican squirrels.

Rooms
We were given #2344, in Stars. This turned out to be the top floor of the highest building in the complex. I estimated that we were approximately 14 stories above sea level. The window faced north with a lovely view of the bay, but no balcony. AC was needed due to the heat. We did try to turn it off for the night, but the concrete buildings radiated heat all night long. In addition, when the AC was restarted, it always gave off a smell that was similar to cabbage. Furniture needed refinishing, but was acceptable. Your fridge has 4 soft drinks, 2 bottles of water and 2 cans of beer. Leaving $1 and a note in the fridge every few days insured enough beer and the soft drinks of our choice. There is no true mini-bar in the room as we have had at other all-inclusives. Similarly, $1 on the bed every 2nd day seemed to be appreciated with little extras being done to brighten the room.

Internet
Internet access is limited and archaic. There are four computers available at the back of the confectionary. The browsers and keyboards are in Spanish, which makes use interesting. Cost was 20 pesos for 15 minutes, and 40 pesos for an hour. There is also wireless internet available up in the lobby.

Pool
Actually 4 pools, a large general pool, one shallow sports pool, an adults only pool, and a children’s pool. The temperature of the pools is warmer than expected due to the mass of concrete in the area. The water was a bit murky, but this may be due to the heat and the suntan lotion. Thankfully, there is no pool bar, but the main bar is not very far away. Towels were always available. Do not lose your towel card, as the hotel is very strict on this and will charge $25US if one is lost. Washrooms were a good distance away however. Due to the low occupancy of the hotel, chairs were always easy to find, but umbrellas were in demand, and many were in poor condition.

Beach
The beaches are what this resort is all about. Although we never used it, the sports beach was large with many palapas on it. The main beach was also well populated with palapas and chairs. The snorkel beach was only umbrellas, but again, many chairs. The ‘secret’ beach was not really a beach, but a concrete patio on the edge of a rocky bay. No swimming there, but great for sunbathing and fishing. The tides were about 1.5 metres between high and low. As a prairie boy, I am not familiar with their timing, but it seemed to be about 12.5 hours from high tide to high tide. The water was warm, and because of the configuration, there was little or no undertow. We understand that this was a problem across the bay at the Barcelo and Dreams. The reef is off the snorkel beach, and at low tide is accessible by foot. Considering the proximity and the number of visitors, the reef is in decent shape. Not a lot of colourful fish, but quite a few varieties nonetheless. The first two days we were not allowed in the water due to jellyfish. On my first swim, I ran into a stingray, we parted ways quickly. Also saw three small sharks, no more than half a metre in length, and one sea snake. Some fish will investigate you as soon as you wade into the water. At low tide, wade near the reef, and even the smaller fish will come out. Take a banana and enjoy the feeding frenzy!

Food & Drink

Dining areas

-Buffet – While there was not a great variety of foods, what was offered was of very good quality. There were ‘theme’ nights, but this usually consisted of 2 or 3 specialty items. Due to the low occupancy of the hotel, there was a great deal of seating available, and no real rush for tables or food. Good setup, with lots of room for people to wander around the serving islands. Of note was the lack of insects. Cleanliness seemed to be high on the list of priorities.

-Grill – Next to the the main bar, this area was open for breakfast and lunch. The variety of food was limited as the area was meant for a quick meal only.

-Kasbah (Moroccan a la carte) – Behind the buffet on the east side. Sit on low benches or stools off a low table. Interesting, but not memorable. This a la carte is not wheelchair accessible.

-Solarium (American a la carte) – Located off the sports beach. Outdoor dining. Service and food were very good. New York steak the best, but always order one level more than you would normally. A medium comes back to you as a rare!

-Mediterranean (a la carte) – Next to the buffet on the west side. Very good food and service. Would go to this one anytime! All of the a la cartes had 4 or 5 menu categories, and you could chose one item from any 3. Different, but it probably means less food wasted. This a la carte is not wheelchair accessible.

-Mexican (a la carte) – Located at the snorkel beach. Great food and service. My favourite. The shrimp steak was marvelous. The thin steak is also good, but requires a lot of effort when you have to roll your own tortillas.

Meals

-Breakfast – (buffet) – Plenty of variety, I can’t see anyone going hungry in the morning. The fresh eggs were excellent. A fresh omelet every morning soon became our routine!
– (grill) – The Grill provided more basic breakfast items. Eat and go type of area.

-Lunch – (buffet) – A nice small variety, but again, quality is excellent.
– (grill) – Opens an hour before the buffet. Very limited, mostly ‘fast’ foods.

-Supper – There are enough choices that it is hard to get bored, especially when combined with the a la cartes. If you can’t find something to eat, you are either very picky or just not hungry!

Outside the hotel – Some people chose to eat outside the resort once or twice. We never felt the need or desire to do so, but there are many places just a short cab ride away. If you are shopping in La Crucecita, stop for a beer and a snack at the Tipsy Blowfish, on the south side of the plaza.

Bars
There are 4 bars in total. The main bar is by the pools. The sports beach has access to the bar beside the Solarium restaurant. The main beach has a small bar on the walkway on the west end of the beach. The snorkel beach had access to the Mexican restaurant bar on the east end of the beach. Never had any trouble in getting what we desired, except for a shortage of caramel cream mezcal. The rum & coke on the beach was a little light on coke!

Entertainment
As we are early risers, we did not partake of the entertainment in the Theatre. What we did see was enjoyable. Others would be better qualified to comment on the entertainment.

Tours
Tours are booked on the lower lobby, the same floor as the theatre and main bar. We took 2 tours. The ‘Rough Guide’ took us to a couple of the nearby bays for the incredible views (and a new Mexican Naval Base!). From there we went in the town La Crucecita. After a couple a shop visits mentioned below, we were free to explore the area. Remember that the town is only 20 years old. The main market is hidden in the block to the east of the plaza. This is one of the better places to purchase anything. On the west side of the plaza is the church. The interesting thing about the church is a mosaic in a nave along the north wall. This icon is popular among Catholics, but the interesting thing about this one is that it includes lettering that indicates that it was copied from an Eastern Orthodox version! Our second tour was the ‘Crocs & Turtles’ tour. After a long drive, it was an interesting ride around a lagoon and a turtle sanctuary. Finished with a late lunch in Puerto Angel, a lovely fishing village and bay. Our main complaint is that there are many ‘extras’ that had to be paid for, such as entrance to the lagoon, the turtle sanctuary, and of course, lunch. What did your $35 pay for? Just the ride. Minor problems included the Signature rep never mentioning to our group to bring a swimsuit and towel to swim in a bay. And while having lunch on the beach in Puerto Angel, we were bombarded with peddlars while waiting for our meal.

Many of the other tours were the same setup. A long drive to your destination, and paying for many extras. Based on hearsay, none of the offered tours were bad, but only one or two (such as the 7 Bays Tour) were considered ‘great’.

Weather
The weather was absolutely gorgeous! It warmed up quickly in the morning, with temperatures reaching 33C, and a humidex of 39C, by mid afternoon. Evenings were very warm, with the nights never getting below 20C. The one overcast day we had was actually the hottest due to the humidity. Again, because the beach is actually facing north, the pool gets the sun first.

Shopping
As we found out in a previous visit to Mexico, Traveler’s cheques are rarely accepted. In fact, even American money was not the currency of choice. The best was to use pesos. Bring pesos, and use an ATM card, as machines are fairly common. We are also grocery shoppers, as we enjoy bringing back a taste of our vacations. We purchased coffee beans (Pluma Cafe brand, available everywhere, but we got them right at the roastery, near the Tipsy Blowfish.), mezcal, chocolate, chili powder, vanilla and cinnamon. Mexican cinnamon is a bit tangier than the cinnamon we get in Canada and is excellent in baking. When purchasing vanilla, check the ingredients. All you want is vanilla beans, water and alcohol. Read carefully, as some include corn syrup and other ingredients. And for you smokers, the Mexican cigarettes are good, a carton of Delicados were 170 pesos.

Summary
We enjoyed the resort and could find no major faults. One strong suggestion would be to install an escalator from the lower lobby to the upper lobby. This was one long flight of stairs! In an older facility such as this one, renovations could always be used. The food was more than adequate. We would go back anytime. We would give it a solid 4, possibly 4.5

If you are a blood donor, the state of Oaxaca is considered a high risk malaria site. If you visit Huatulco, you won’t be able to donate blood again for a year.

Photos @ http://travel.webshots.com/album/570430667DNZqHf

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  Las Brisas Huatulco   Sharon

January 2009

My husband, daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren ages 3 & 1 spent our Christmas holiday at this resort. This is our 6th all-inclusive vacation-our first to Huatulco. We found the resort, food, service first rate. The staff was wonderful. If you called the desk with a problem, they were at you door within minutes. But this is not a resort for strollers — a total of 133 stairs to our rooms. yes there are shuttles to take you to the beach, buffet etc, but again loading everyone on, including strollers, beach bags & toys can be painful!! We stayed in the Mar section. Our rooms were very clean and the view from our balcony was spectacular! But I cannot stress enough NOT A RESORT FOR SMALL CHILDREN OR ANYONE THAT CANNOT WALK GREAT DISTANCES OR NAVIGATE STAIRS!!!!!

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  Las Brisas Huatulco   Bruce and Donna ~ Oakville, Ont, Canada

January 2009

Arrival: Dec 22-29/2008

My wife and I were looking for a warm, dry, bug-free vacation where we could go snorkeling, fishing, sailing and some serious beach lounging. We certainly picked the right spot. We have never been on the west coast of Mexico and we were very glad we went to the Huatulco area. Further north you get into Ixtapa, Puerto Plata and Acapulco which tend to be much more populated with tourists and other Mexicans on vacation. The weather is always the same around Christmas, 28-30 C, no rain and very sunny. The rainy season is from June to October when they only see 12†of rain per year.

The staff at Las Brisas are very accommodating and hard working. The beaches and gardens are spectacular. A few couples had some concerns about a moldy smell in some of the rooms, that had been closed up prior to their arrival, but were immediately moved to other rooms. We chose to stay in our beautiful room ( ground floor in the Mars section) even though there was an odour. Once we opened the windows overlooking the ocean, the odour went away. A noisy air conditioning fan was easy to solve. At night we didn’t need it as we used the large ceiling fan over the bed which was very quiet.

We were in the Mars (beach) section which was the furthest from the central pool area (200m). Walking around the resort meant climbing up stairs or going up relatively steep grades. This would only be of concern to those people who have trouble getting up and down stairs. There are shuttles (multi-person golf carts) constantly moving around picking up people and delivering them to locations all over the resort. We never waited more than 10 minutes to be picked up when we were too tired too walk.

The beaches were great. Playa Ventura was a great area for snorkeling amongst the rock coral. Snorkeling equipment and life preservers were available right on the beach for those who wanted to give it a try. Iguanas sat on the rocks that lined the beach. Drinks were served on all the resort beaches, but they did not allow food out of the dining areas for good reason. We spent a couple of days on Playa Tornillo using the sail boats (Hobie Cats) and the sea kayaks. The steep rock shoreline and interspersed sand beaches made the sea kayak an ideal mode of transportation. The people at the resort did not want you to leave the confines of the bay for safety reasons. The bay was plenty big enough for our explorations.

The food was good but repetitive. Every day the same basic dishes were offered at the buffet, but the variety was great. My wife and I never had a problem finding different things to eat. We went to the Mexican, Mediterranean and American (Solarium) a la carte restaurants. The food was good at all three, but the service was very slow at the Mexican restaurant, where it took over 2 hours for dinner to be served. One oddity at the a la carte restaurants is that you are limited to 3 selections from the menu. When you choose a salad, a soup and an entre, you will go without dessert!! You can, however, walk over to the buffet restaurant and have a wide choice of desserts as it is open from 7-11 pm every night. We definitely preferred the Solarium as it offered a salad and a dessert bar along with an excellent New York steak. Everybody seems to have a different preference but the food was always worth the time taken to make a reservation.

One day we went on a full day diving/snorkeling trip with Hurricane Divers who are located in the Santa Cruz marina. We thoroughly enjoyed the long boat ride up the coast, snorkeling over rock coral and the beach lunch, but it was pretty expensive as day trips go at $120 US per person. One afternoon we took the $25 US per person city tour ( 4-7:30 pm), where we learned a lot about the local area and its commerce. We visited a local textile mill/shop and a Mezcal shop. Mezcal is similar to tequila. We sampled many different varieties of Mezcal and popular foods to be eaten with it. One such treat consisted of grasshopper legs and cheese put on a corn chip covered with Moly( a national fruit jam). This is only for people with a relatively strong stomach. My wife said it tasted good, but I don’t know that it improved her sex drive like the guy in the store said it would.

The best day of our trip came when we got a local fisherman ( Gregario Sanchez/ cell # 9585833145) to take ourselves and another couple out for a morning of deep sea fishing. He was recommended to us by a couple from Calgary who had gone out with him the day before flyfishing for mackerel and bonito. They had returned with a couple 25-30 lb yellow fin tuna and a nice mahi mahi and had seen dozens of porpoises and Ridley sea turtles. They were amazed at how hard this man had worked to make it a successful fishing trip. There are fishing trips that can be arranged by the resort that depart out of the Santa Cruz marina ( inshore fishing- $220 US for 4 hrs/ deep sea fishing-$550 US for 5 hrs) but they were too pricey for our budget. The fishing boats that sit just off the pool area of the resort will take you out for a scenic tour or out fishing. Most of these boats are poorly set up for deep sea fishing. You have to be selective. Gregario charges $50 US per hour. He has excellent tackle, Penn reels and Ugly Stik rods. The day we went out he even brought live bait in anticipation of catching a large sail fish or yellowfin tuna. Marlin and sail fish are quite abundant in April and May, but the odd sail fish can still be caught. He owns his own boat and takes great pride in what he does. His English is weak but he enjoys conversing with people on his boat and learning new words. Our 6 hour fishing expedition started when he picked us up at 6:30am on the beach (Playa Tornillo). The sunrise was spectacular. We caught an 8 foot sail fish, a 4 foot Mahi Mahi (which is the name of his boat), several bonito and a 200 lb manta ray that we hooked by accident (live release). We saw many dolphins/porpoises and Ridley sea turtles which added to this amazing experience. Be sure to take a camera and video camera if you have one.

The two other couples that we hung around with loved the resort and the area around Huatulco. My wife and I are planning a return trip in April/May when the sail fish and marlin return in much larger numbers to the area offshore.

If you would like any further feedback with respect to this resort, my email address is bruberry52@yahoo.com

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  Las Brisas Huatulco   Huatulco ~ Winnipeg, Manitoba

February 2008

Arrival – We left Winnipeg in the cold and snow on Feb 16 and flew Westjet direct to Huatulco. Had a bit of a wait getting through immigration in Huatulco but the buses were ready and waiting. Would advise wearing light clothing (not shorts as airplane can be cold) as the heat "hits" you when you get off the plane. Zip off pants were perfect. The ride to the resort took about 20 minutes. Pepe was our guide and gave us an interesting talk during the ride. He is a very knowledgeable fellow. The check in at the hotel took a fair bit of time but they had a fellow serving punch while you were in line. After receiving our bracelets and room keys (be sure to get a key to the safe) we were loaded into one of the shuttles and taken to our room.

Rooms – Our room was in the farthest section from the lobby, the "clouds". We had a deluxe room with king size bed and our view was great. No balcony. Huge open shower and two sinks in the bathroom. Floors are all tiled. Maids always had flowers on our bed and did fancy things with the toilet paper and tissue boxes. Towels were really big bath sheets. Lots of closet space to hang clothes. There was also a table and two chairs, a chest of drawers and a desk with a mini bar. Be sure to keep your bathroom door closed as the air conditioning isn’t in the bathroom and the bathroom windows have only screens so you get the outside air in the bathroom. Rooms are very clean.

Restaurants – There are four al la carte restaurants as well as the large buffet and a snack bar. We tried three of the four al la cartes, the Mexican, the Asian and the Solarium (grill). Liked the Asian the best. The fourth one is the Moroccan. Lots of choices at the buffet. You have to be a very picky eater if you can’t find something you like. Presentation, especially the salads and the desserts, was very nice. Lots of choices in bread and rolls. Make sure you have an ice cream at lunch. There is also a snack bar restaurant located just outside the main bar. It is open for breakfast and lunch.

Bars – There is the main bar near the lobby and bars at the beaches. They will make almost any drink you can think of. We especially enjoyed a Spanish coffee at the main bar in the evening.

Beach and Pools- There are four beaches listed: the snorkelling beach, the main beach, the water sports beach and a secluded beach. We spent most of our time at the water sports beach were there are kayaks and hobie cats for guests use. You can also rent jet skiis for $35/half hour.
Beach volleyball is also played at the water sports beach. Got down to beach everyday between 0800 and 0815 and got two lounges under a palapa each time.

There is one large pool with a shallow end for children and also an adult only pool a short distance away.

Grounds – The grounds are very beautiful with lots of birds. In the centre is the Botanical garden. Please note that if you have any kind of problems walking THIS IS NOT THE RESORT FOR YOU. Grounds were kept very clean. Always saw staff sweeping or picking up debris. Many steps – one especially long stretch as 144 steps!!

Activities – There is an activity board in the main area that lists activities from 9:00 am till 4:00 pm. Some of these included aquasize in the pool at noon everyday, beach volleyball, pool volleyball, basketball, ping pong, billiards. There is a fellow that sets up a small table outside of the snack bar restaurant. You can buy a piece of pottery from him and paint it for free. He then takes it home and glazes it and brings it back the next day. Great souvenir.

There was entertainment every evening starting at 8:30 or 9:00. Mexican night on Wednesday was particularly good with dancers and musicians. They had a trivia contest one night and a dance class and contest on another. A two piece band and vocalist entertained in the main stage at 10:00 pm each night.

Tours – There are tours available for purchase from your tour rep. Some of these include the 7 bay tour, sunset tour, coffee plantation tour, city tour. We took the sunset tour – it was about four hours in length. We were picked up at the resort by bus and driven to Santa Cruz. There we boarded a 44 ft sail boat and motored north along the coast. Then just before sunset they hoisted the sail and we sailed along while watching the sunset. You can take a taxi ($3 US) into either La Crucecita or Santa Cruz to do some shopping or dining. Very safe. Lots of shops to browse in.

Conclusion – We very much enjoyed our one week stay. Remember to bring small bills for tipping as it is hard to get change for large bills.

I can’t say it enough "if you have trouble walking this is not the resort for you". Even though they have shuttles running 24/7 you still have stairs to negotiate to get to your room or to the restaurants and bars.

Remember – your vacation is what you make it – don’t sweat the small stuff!

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December 2007

Huatulco, Mexico is located on the west coast (pacific ocean) far up in the southern end in the state of Oaxaca, south of Acapulco and north of Guatemala. The climate is tropical but drier than any other state in Mexico with the average rainfall being only 12 inches per year. The Las Brisas resort is located in the bay of Tangolunda where there are only a few other resorts in this area as well.

We have been going to Huatulco for the past 3 years and always staying at the Las Brisas resort. The resort itself is set up on the side of a cliff expanding over 50 acres of property. It’s a bird lovers sancuary filled with exotic species of birds, tropical flora and the grounds are immaculatly kept.

The rooms are situated threw out the property on the hillsides in groupings of about 8 buildings to an area. They offer deluxe rooms that have no balconies, junior suites that have balconies and an exclusive section called the the Mar section which sits on the edge of the ocean.

They have 5 restaurants and bars, 4 ala cartes, tennis courts, squash courts, gym, soccer field, jewlery boutique, clothing shop and gift store with internet and a book exchange, 4 beautiful beaches with a bar at each one and food. 1 beach has excellent snorkling with a reef right off the beach and free use of equipment. The other beach is the main beach and the largest with palapas for shade. The other one is also large and you can take out hobbie cats, kayaks and windsurf, play beach volleyball.

The have 3 main pools, 1 is an adults pool, 1 is a free form pool with a shallower end and 1 is for water vollyball. They have a large kids pool also with nice seating and lots of shade. Always lots of places to hang your towel without having to get up at 6 am to run down and reserve a chair. The drink service is excellent no matter where you choose to sit and the main lobby bar is located up by the pools along with comfy couches to relax, 2 pool tables and pottery painting everyday by the pool. Music and activities all day at the main pools as well as snacks. The food in itself is average but some days we enjoyed the fresh fish and always plenty of salads, meats, pastries and desserts. I could always fine something good to eat and also enjoyed trying the things i had no idea what they where.

The service was always excellent but of course there is that one person that may notleave you all your towels or forget to bring your coffee but a polite reminder and they are quick to please you.

You can take a cab into La Crucecita for some shopping, dinning and there are a few bars there also. You can go into Santa Cruz where the marina is and the beach with some very nice beach side restaurants and shopping as well. Both places will cost about 2.50 or 3.00 cab fare each way.

You can choose from about 10 different tours with the 7 bay tour and snorkling being the most popular.

Huatulco is definatly a hidden jewel in the rough, the beaches are fabulous, the waters are warm and clear and the weather is always warm and sunny.

Photos can be found at:http://www.mytripjournal.com/Huatulco

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  Las Brisas – Huatulco   Randy

December 2007

We arrived after dark and were a bit disappointed with our room which was small with no view and down in the basement of the building. We perservered through a dinner that was equally unimpressive compared to other resorts like the Gala and Barcelo. The next day we approached the front desk and asked for a king size bed and a view that we believed we were going to get in the first place. Well the agent did not disappoint. We were upgraded to a suite with an exceptional view facing west. This made all the difference. Over the next 6 days we came to enjoy the expansive and well managed grounds, although we climed stairs and walked most of the time. The resort is hilly and large so those with knee problems are best to ride on the carts but the service was very good. The pools were great, a bit dated as this is the old Club Med. Some painting was going on and I understand the rooms have been upgraded and our room was fine. Drink service was great at the pool and the beach. Too bad the volleyball net was way off on the north beach as this did not draw many players, on the flip side, if you dislike the ball flying in your drink every 10 minutes this is a plus! All in all, the resort is 20yrs old and it shows compared to newer resorts, but they seem to be working hard to upgrade most facilities and the grounds are beautifull. The extra space is a real treat and the 3 beaches provide plenty of variety and a place to get away from the center pool activity area. There is a gorgeous view of all the bay and the other resorts that seem small compared to Las Brisas. The fitness facility, as are most in Mexico, was okay, its large enough, but older equipment, some did not work and no a/c –although they told us it was on. Overall, I give this a 3.5 -4 star rating, the food could be better and we had to ask for Guacamole. I love the fresh salsa, so I was happy. The 4 restaurants were good. Our favourite was the Mexican compared to the Morrocan, American and the Asia, which we did not get to sample, but I understand it was also good. This is a great place if you like to walk/hike, enjoy space and want a view of the bay. Since we travelled in November the price was discounted and so this was a very good value for what we paid and received, $970 taxes included. Hautulco is one of our favourite places as it is not overly commercialized and quiet compare to Cancun and Pt.Vallarta. Very few venders, cheap taxis and just a calmer experience. The golf course is nearby and for a new player it was a good course, a bit pricy with a cart and clubs at $100/person – but a seaside course with a Corona, what could be better! A great holiday.

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Las Brisas – Huatulco Heather & Miles ~ Georgetown, Ontario

March 2007

On January 22, 2007 my husband and I traveled to Huatulco with Sunwing. It was a good flight and we had no complaints. The airport in Huatulco was very small but we were off the plane and out to our bus in approximately 20 minutes. Defiantly a record that Pearson will never beat.

The ride to our resort was only about 20-30 minutes and the check in at Las Brisas was easy. This resort is built on the side of a hill and there is a lot of walking most of which is up hill and up stairs. There are shuttles that will take you around to your rooms, beaches, and restaurants. It has great flora and fauna which are great homes for lots of birds.

The 3 al a carte restaurants; Moroccan very low seating and uncomfortable but the food was good, the Oriental food just okay, and the Mexican which was the best. There are 2 buffets a main one and a secondary one, along with a grill. I was not happy with the food, there was a lot of choice but much of it was cold or not cooked properly. The breakfast was the best meal of the day.

They have 3 beaches which are all separated by rocks so it isn’t one big long beach. The main one is where you can snorkel right off the beach and it is beautiful. Your palapas have a number and the bartenders will bring you your drinks. Nice chairs with cushions and the towels are new and very large.

The resort is in Tangalunda Bay and it’s across from the Barceló, the Gala and the Crown. Huatulco has 27 beaches in 9 different bays many you can only get to by boat. I recommend using Hurricane Diver’s in Santa Cruz by the pier. We emailed them before going down and booked a trip to do snorkeling, diving, lunch and a tour of the bays. Our lunch with them was fantastic and we ate it on a 5km stretch of beach which was completely deserted. The water here is like at the resort a light green colour but very clear.

In Santa Cruz we also rented a scooter for 6 hours which was $28 US, the roads are amazing and you have very little traffic. We were able to locate quite a few other beaches which were all breath taking.

I would not hesitate to return to Huatulco but I would not stay at this resort. Unfortunately my husband contracted Hepatitis A and got sick February 22. Of course we cannot peg exactly where he got it in Mexico as we did eat off the resort. I do suggest to everyone traveling to get the shots as it saves you a lot of aggravation.

If you have a question please email Heather at men64@mailcity.com put Huatulco in the subject area.

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Las Brisas – Huatulco Cansunseeker

March 2006

The flight from Toronto to Huatulco was uneventful. We flew with Sunwing. As with every chartered flight not much legroom but I must say the customer service @ Sunwing surpasses all other chartered airlines. I have always found the flight attendants very friendly and attentive. Our return flight was on time and uneventful, however the in-flight movie system wasn’t working correctly and half the plane did not have sound. Being a late flight I didn’t mind I slept most of the way.

Huatulco Airport was small the baggage claim was quick and customs well was not so quick. We were lucky they only check baggage randomly you push a button and if the street light turns green your free to go if it’s red they would go through your bags. Only one couple in our party had there bags checked.

On are way out of the country was a different story. The flight check-in was quick we waited for 2 hours in the Airport for our flight. Beware the area where you wait is not air conditioned. Change before you board the plane. The Airport is open which allows the air to circulate but it can be warm midday so if your scheduled flight is midday wear cool clothes. There were 2 planes scheduled to depart about 30 to 45 min ahead of us, 2 Sunquest flights, one heading for Toronto and the other Winnipeg. This made the airport area very busy and the boarding area (air-conditioned) was crammed. It made for a lengthy stay and caused a lot of confusion when they were calling to have one flight boarded when another one was filling the room. Oh almost forgot they only have one! Yes one baggage security scanner which caused the wait in that area to be long and annoying. Remember try to be on time to beet the crowd. All that said we arrived in Toronto on time.

The drive to the hotel from the airport is about 30-45 min. Very nice scenery we drove through La Crucecita very clean and nice city. We finally arrived check in was quick, I was not impressed with the lobby which made us a little apprehensive. Since we arrived late around 9pm the Sunwing rep suggested that we go ahead and eat in the buffet before we headed to the room. It also helped her deal with the back log of guest being brought to their rooms. We thought it was a good idea instead of unnecessarily waiting inline. Since it was the end of the evening the buffet food was limited which is understandable. The food was OK but limited and sometimes cold.

By the time we went back to the lobby there was no line up and we where whisked up to our room in no time. We had requested ahead to have adjoining or neighboring rooms with another couple our request was granted. Remember when booking that if you book two rooms at a time your eligible for an upgrade to the beach club section. We were not privy to that information when booking so we missed out. We were placed in the Estrellas (stars) section in the Mirach building on the top floor. The rooms were nice clean and what a view!! The bathrooms were a little dated. But the rooms are getting renovated one by one. Free safe and mini bar with 2 soft drinks 2 bottles of water and 2 Sol Beers. Tip if you don’t use them put them in the closet they won’t give you anymore the following day if you don’t use them. I found the maid service to be impeccable! Our linens were changed every day the bathroom and room floors were swept and cleaned daily. This was the first place we visited when our room was clean every day before lunch which was nice. Towel art on some days, I cannot say enough about the maid service bravo!

I need to tell you about the history of this resort it’s important for every one to know. It will help you understand why the resort is the way it is. The resort was previously owned by Club Med Hotels. After 9-11 the resort chain was going belly up and they had to sell some of there unprofitable locations. This was unfortunately one of them. The resort stayed empty and abandoned for about 4 years. When the Las Bisas chain bought the property and began a multi million dollar renovation of the facilities which is still on going. Don’t be alarmed I never heard or saw any construction. But this little piece of information will give you a better understanding why some areas seem a little run down like the Lobby, some of the rooms and the buffet. The resort has lots of character and will grow on you the more you stay you will realize it really deserves its 4 ½ star rating.

The resort itself is beautiful lovely gardens of flowers, palms and cactuses. Walking around the resort area is wonderful lots of iguanas. The resort is 4 villages all perch on different sides of a cliff. The Mar (beach) side has balconies and those rooms were renovated. The others Estrellas (stars), Nubes (clouds) and Montanas (mountains) all have views of the bay or the ocean. We never spent time at the pools we are beach people. There are 3 private golden sand beaches one for snorkeling, one to lounge and the other is the activities beach. We preferred the activities beach as there was always a palapa available, be warned that the water is a little rougher at this beach and it does get deeper than the others. The locations of these beaches are better than Tangalunda beach the water is calmer and safer to swim in and best of all private no hagglers!! I personally find the view also better!! Ahh! And Wait service on each beach una cervesa porfavor!

The activities team did what they could do to keep people (who wanted to be) entertained. They never pushed people to participate. The nightly entertainment at this resort was poor the disco was always empty and well on most nights they did not have nightly shows. The resort band was good and I found it a good alternative. The evenings were relaxed and quiet but much appreciated after spending all day on excursions or on the beach. This also pushed people to go into town for the evening. La Crucecita has a couple of bars and restaurants and the taxi there is really cheap and it’s worth a visit. The restaurants we tried were Senior Cactus and Tostados Grill were good and the Popaya disco is great! I have to say go to town you’ll enjoy it and it’s good to support the local economy day or night!

We also went on two excursions the 7 bays tour which is not to be missed and the ATV tour which was well worth the money spent. We also went Sea Doing off the resort beach lots of fun.

The buffet was well a resort buffet need I say more. I swear they must all use the same hand book they all serve the same food!! The food was good and a good variety. We enjoyed the Mexican a-la carte and the Moroccan a-la carte. We didn’t try the Asian as other reviewers thought it wasn’t great. One pet peeve of mine is the patrons that don’t respect the dress code! Common fellow Canadians we would never go out for supper wearing a beach dress or bathing suites at home! Respect the rules! I was embarrassed seeing people wearing this kind of attire, truly distasteful! In all of my travels I never saw such disregard of this rule. I never understood the necessity of this rule before. But after this trip I understand why we need this rule to be enforced. Most of us spend hard earned cash to go to these places and it’s just part of making the dinning experience a better one. I found that the few people who observed the rule one day just thought that they should join the majority (of CANDIANS) that weren’t the next. Well our group and I refused and so should future patrons.

Again I have to say go to town you’ll enjoy it, support the local economy day or night! Huatulco is great area I loved it for its beautiful beaches, scenery and the wonderful Oaxacan people. I will return and I will certainly recommend Las Brisas as a Resort. Fell free to check out my pics @:

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Las Brisas – Huatulco Wayne ~ Canada

February 2006

Just returnd from Huatulco and had a great time at Las Brisas. Travelled with Sunwing from Toronto and was very pleased with the service. Arrived at the resort via bus from the airport. Checkin was very quick and organized. We had an ocean view room in the Estelles on the ground floor. I would ask for a room on the 2nd floor or higher. Our room was the normal room…2 queen beds, lots of room and a huge bathroom with lots of hot water and pressure. I didn’t miss not having a balcony as we were always away from the room. The shuttle service around the resort is awesome and the guys driving are great. We couldn’t say enough good things about the staff. Always smiling and helpful and their manners were excellent. Rooms were very clean as are the grounds. Didn’t use the pools but they were always full plus the fun team was there looking for excitement. The beaches are wonderful, you don’t have any trouble finding chairs with or without sun. Lots of shade which you need. It is very hot and the sun is so stronge. Take a large bottle of sunscreen with at least a 30 spf. I saw many people red as a lobster and hurting big time. Not worth it folks. I don’t tan but I would advize anyone to fake-bake before going as it will give you a base. Snorkeling was good on the calm days, but bring your own gear. If you tip (which we did) remember the towel guys or the gardeners. We did leave a tip for our maid but underneath the pillow as the mini-bar person is the first one in your room in the am. We even got flowers on our bed 2 days JWe enjoyed the beach with the sailboats and kayaks. The guys will teach you how to sail plus the breeze is nicer on that beach. The food was ok, nothing great but quite a selection. The breads and desserts were good. After 4 days of eating and drinking toast was enough. My biggest problem was getting a bartender that could mix a decent drink. No 2 drinks were the same. Manuel and Sanitago could make a decent rum punch, or miami vice. Even ice tea was never the same twice. Go into the town the market is awesome. Very safe! There is internet at the resort but check the times. If you cash travellers cheques they will give you pesos. There were lots of boats off shore ready for business. You can barter abit. My guys went out on the Yahoo and caught tuna and mauhi-mauhi. Saw over 200 dolphins. Night life was no big deal. Music outside til 10 or so but very hot . We loved the resort. The pictures we have of the resort are great. Lots of flowers, birds and water shots. I would recommend this resort. It is not fancy, but safe and clean. A lot of fellow Canadians and Mexican families .

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Las Brisas – Huatulco Liz ~ Canada

February 2006

My husband and I and a friend stayed at Las Brisas for the week of Jan 16 to 23. It was really nice. I was looking forward to a week of relaxation and that is exactly what I got. The grounds are beautiful. There are a lot of stairs but they have shuttles available 24 hours. I have heart problems and I didn’t have any trouble walking around. I would enjoy the walk down to the beach and then take the shuttle back up. That being said, you cannot completely avoid the stairs. The shuttles don’t go everywhere. So beautiful was the scenery that I couldn’t even focus on reading. The food at the buffet was ok. We’ve had better but there was a lot to choose from and there was always something we liked. They have 3 a la carte restaurants. The Asian, I wasn’t crazy about the food but the atmosphere was nice, the Mexican which was good and outdoors, and the Kasbah, which was Arabic. The tables and chairs were very low to the floor and it was dark and dingy not to mention located in a dark alley that had we not asked for directions to we would not have even found. We didn’t enjoy the meal there. We were a bit tired of the nightly entertainment since the band played the same music every day and they packed up and went home at 10:30. The beaches were perfect. Lots of both sunny and shady spots to sit and the pools were nice also. Water sports are available on the Tornillo beach and snorkelling on Ventura beach. Wear lots of sunscreen, the sun is really hot! Although not a lot of them spoke English, the staff was very friendly and helpful. We didn’t like the rooms we got on arrival and requested a change. They had us in new rooms within 2 hours while we went to dinner, and they had someone take our bags over for us and made sure that we were happy. We were in the Nubes section and had an ocean view. The room was nothing special but nice and the windows are so big you really don’t miss having a balcony. Just a bit of advice… If you leave the curtains open over night, you can wake up to a beautiful sunrise every morning and watch it from bed……..Paradise

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Las Brisas – Huatulco Anne ~ Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

January 2006

We just returned from a week long trip at Las Brisas. It was out first time here, and we have nothing but good things to report. We had a standard room, stayed in Estrellas villa, had a oceanview, and we could watch the sunrise from our bed in the morning. Rooms were clean, large bathrooms with 2 sinks, and a great shower with lots of hot water.

We only had dinner at the buffet one time, we went to the Mexican a la carte- one time- was excellent, good service and food. Also went to a la carte Asian restaurant, which was okay, but nothing very special. They have one other a la carte restaurant..called Kabash, which I had read some not great reviews on before going therefore we didn’t go there. Spoke to one couple at the resort who went there- they didn’t like the short tables and didn’t like the food. We ate dinner 2 times at restaurant "Val el Mar" in Santa Cruz- good food, cheap Corona-$1.50 US, and great Banana Flambé. Also ate in the hotel area,( across from the Gala) forget the name- however it was okay-nothing too special and more expensive than eating in Santa Cruz or La Crucesitas.
Bars have good booze- make sure you ask for Absolut vodka/or Barcardi and they will mix it with your drink, instead of using the other stuff.

There is 3 beaches, snorkelling one, watersports one and the main beach- all are nice and quiet, no problems getting lounge chairs. There is a children’s pool with basketball nets, adult pool, and a large lap pool- great for swimmers-50 meters.

Be careful of the sun! Lots of people go there and get very burnt, and heat stroke. It was over 30’s Celsius everyday we were there. I don’t burn, and yet I had 30 SPF, on everyday. Also the water there is purified/ not spring water in the bottles. May want to bring some from home, or bring Pepto..just in case.

Taxis are cheap, $2.50 into town, and everyone is very honest and it is safe. I forgot my camera in a taxi and got it back the next day..a pleasant surprise.

Tours, we didn’t do any from the hotel. The 7 bays tour- people complained of too many people and many people were seasick as the water was rough. We did a tour with Hurricane Diver’s which was amazing. We got to pick where we wanted to go, did some great snorkelling, and had a canadian guide. Cost was $50 each US dollars for 1/2 day. Well worth it. Also had people recommend fishing tours from the local boats in the area as well.

I would recommend this resort to families, and couples that are looking at getting some R and R! Yes there is a lot of stairs, and walking, but shuttles are available. We will return, and even walked around the last day to pick out different rooms we liked. Aim to get a 3 floor room and your view will be amazing.

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Las Brisas – Huatulco Mike ~ Canada

April 2005

Just got back from Las Brisas Huatulco (Apr. 15 – 21 / 05). Had a GREAT time. Did not expect the level of heat, I’m sure it hit high 30’s Celsius each day.

Top 10 list: BEACHES!!!. Heat, Beautiful Views, 7 Bay tour with Alex and Kim (Sunwing), Dolphins (free in the ocean). Snorkeling, Bananas flambéed by Reynal the fireman, Private area guided tour by Gonzalo Pazma (speaks English – call him at 58 10 71 41) air conditioned taxi # 85 62), Morning coffee (room service not included) in your own room overlooking the beautiful ocean view.

Honorable mention: Mezcal, The coffee (ask for "liquid cream"), Very clean rooms with large opening windows for the mornings and A/C for the nights. Flowers arrangements on your bed, Godiva chocolates, Shuttles around the resort, Wildlife (Iguanas, birds, fish, crabs and not one snake), Beach service.

Room for improvement: Food (need to keep the cold things colder and the hot things hotter), Extra charges for room service, some foods, some drinks, local phone calls, cover charge at Disco (not quite all inclusive). Need some music in the rooms, a radio or something. There is a Las Brisas channel on the TV, but the music is looped and replays too often.

General comment: The beauty of this place is it’s lack of commercialization. Come here to relax!!! This is a very small town area, there isn’t any resort night life, very little shopping and almost no stress. You will go home with batteries recharged. Don’t forget to bring a couple of books and make one of them a Spanish/English dictionary. Best for ages 30 through 60. Lastly, be prepared for the heat.

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Las Brisas – Huatulco Bartek ~ Canada

February 2005

Feb 12th to Feb 19th. Paid $2200 for a VIP DELUX ROOM through Sunwing.

Age: I am 26, my girlfriend is 23

I would rate this hotel a 3.5 to 4 star at the most. Here is why:

ROOMS:
The rooms are OK. Nothing special. Their VIP DELUX ROOMS are the standard rooms. The pictures on the website (Sunwing) are of the suites. I did not care too much about the room, we were there maybe a total of 1 hour, not counting sleeping time. Compared to other rooms I have stayed at, this was at the bottom of the list. I stayed at the RIU JALISCO in Puerto Vallarta, at the Oasis Playa in Cancun, even El Pueblito in Cancun was nicer and its rated a 3 star.

FOOD:
Great! I really liked the food there. Only one complaint. The shrimp and raw chicken kabob’s. Just make sure they cook the chicken well for you ;-). I asked for 4 of them at one time, the guy got too excited and just gave me what was on he grill. I loved the pineapple there….ate about 10 pounds of it a day.

DRINKS:
All not so inclusive…..I did not care that drinks were served from 11 to 11. But they do not include Malibu Rum nor Bailey’s and possibly some other stuff too. My girlfriend was not pleased with that, I was happy with my corona’s – but you do have to ask for a corona, not a cervesa. Try the Huatulco drink at the snack bar…only one guy makes them, I forgot his name. He also make a nice shot called the Mexican fly and now he knows how to make a Polar Bear (half cream de menthe and half cream de caceo).

BUILDINGS:
The buildings are ghetto. Reminded me of the communist style buildings I was raised in as a child in Poland – however, they were not grey – they must have got a sweet deal on this rust coloured paint. The lobby was very basic and plain and rusty. I think they also got a deal on clay bricks/tile. The recreation facilities are worth a good laugh. Have you seen Rocky 1? Well, go back another 10 years and that what they have. I used the gym twice. Basketball court. Looks nice, but dont shoot at the net – the damn thing shakes and vibrates more than a belly dancer. Also, the basket ball was from the same era as their gym… 1970’s? They have a million tennis courts, but its too damn hot to play. The breakfast/dinner buffet restaurant is also ghetto. The lunch restaurant is very nice, great view and great food. A la cart dinners….hmm, the Mexican one was great. The Grill sucks – you have to get your own salad and desert, they will bring you the drinks if you are nice.

TIPS:
We tipped all the time. Maid got $2 US a day, mini bar buy got a $1 here and there. Bartenders got most of the tips. My advice to you is tip like $5 at the bar and they will love you. After that, tip $1 here and there and you will be served before everyone else. I did not see many people tipping, but I did see a lot of people complaining about service.

GROUNDS:
Nice even in the dry season. Lots of stairs too – 154 of them to get to our room using a short cut. I did not mind that and I have had 2 ACL reconstruction knee surgeries. You can always take the golf cart shuttle..we did a few times at night. The beaches are nice. Not 4, only 3. The forth one is smaller than my office cubicle. The other 3 are pretty nice and private – which is nice! The snorkelling beach is just for that. However, bring your own equipment – theirs is from the 80’s. If you like birdwatching – I heard one guy said he saw like 60 different types of birds…after that I feel asleep as the conversation was not my cup of tea. The relaxation beach is also nice and so is the activity beach. Alex and Omar will teach you how to sail. Good times.

TRIPS($)
We went on 3 trips. The 7 bays tour, the waterfalls tour and the sunset cruise. The 7 bays tour is a boat ride to a nice beach. It’s the 8th most beautiful beach in the world. However, it was ranked #1 after my girlfriend stepped on it. I love you baby. wink wink…They point out the 7 bays as you go by them, nothing special. I think the bay you start of at is bay #1. We got lucky and saw 2 whales, a school of dolphins and a sea turtle on the way out. Once you get to the 8th most beautiful beach, you can do some snorkelling. The snorkelling there is not much better than at the resort. The water is deeper there so its safer. After that you go to the tourist trap lunch beach. $10 to $15 US a plate for lunch. We won a strip competition on the way to lunch so one plate was on the house. Waterfalls tour. This one was my favourite. Crazy drive up a crazy Mountain, a hike and you are there. After the waterfalls you walk around a coffee plantation with not coffee trees. They did point out a couple of termites nests (a must see). Honestly, they should get rid of the second part of that tour. Also, on the way there, try not to stop to see how the people live. Why? No, you will not get jealous that their homes are better than the lobby, but you will see a girl on crutches and a lazy eye trying to sell you a fish net type of bag for only $15 US…she makes HUGE margin. Another reason for not stopping is that you get their first and have the waterfalls to yourselves. We had it to ourselves for a good hour, then 4 other groups got there. I heard that they can have about 100 to 200 people there at one point – I dont see how – but it would be very much like the subway ride in Toronto if you missed the early one and got on the one everyone takes. The last tour we did was the sunset tour with Pepe the captain. This was a romantic tour. I enjoyed it very much. My girlfriend got sick on the way back and another girl had to sleep through the entire tour. I got some great pictures and video footage of this tour and the waterfalls tour. Cost for these are $40 US each for sunset, includes drinks. $60 US each for waterfalls, includes a good lunch and drinks. Bays was $35 US each, includes drinks on the boat, snorkelling equipment is $5 extra and bring about $20 US each for lunch.

Kimberly was the Sunwing rep and she was great. I am sure she will tell you most of what I just wrote down. Shopping is near by at La Crucasita. Do not go to Santa Cruz – it sucks and its way too much. Go out for dinner at La Crucasita…it only costs $2.50 US to get there.

The area is nice, a great place to relax. If you are looking to party, do not go there. We were looking to relax and it was perfect for that. Also, the age thing….mostly older people, I think that I saw 2 couples our age, which was fine because we were not out to make new best friends.

Final thought. I would not go back unless I got the BBC SUITE and one heck of a deal. However, I never return to resorts I have been to, there are too many to try. Any questions let me know. My email is bartekczerczak@hotmail.com

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Las Brisas – Huatulco Liz ~ Sudbury Ontario

February 2005

We went to LasBrisas January 22 to January 29th by Kelowna Aircraft for $2200.00. Our tour operator was Sunwing and our rep Kimberley was fantastic. The Huatulco airport was great compared to Cancun, we got through in no time at all.

Las Brisas is not for people that have a hard time walking because they have so many stairs. they do have shuttles to take you around but the shuttles do not go everywhere. You can see that this resort may have been better days but we heard that over the next year there are many renovations planned.

Our room was clean and although it was all white we didn’t care since we spent so little time in it.

We found the food o.k. Always enough choices and there were some dishes that I found to be excellent. they certainly spent alot of time on the presentation, especially on theme nights.

The beaches were nice, no vendors and lots of chairs. The pools were warm and clean.

The entertainment was ok, mostly a band at night for 1.5 hours. They had a dinner show one night during the week. We found this to be very interesting since this show was a symbol of their culture.

We enjoyed the tours offered, they cost about $100.00 US for the 3 tours we took. We went on a 7 Bay Tour, the coffee and waterfall tour and the city tour. The tour guides were fantastic, very knowledgeable and personable. We also took a taxi to town a couple of times 3.00 to 2.50 US ea way. The variety of stores was sufficient for our needs but they do not have the markets other destinations have. We also need to mention that this town as very safe.

Overall, this was the best vacation we ever had. The employees were great, very helpful and considerate. We met some wonderful people that had come down on the plane with us which added to this vacation. I conclude that for the price we paid, we got our money’s worth and more. I would definately go back given the chance.

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Las Brisas – Huatulco Burlington Travelers

January 2005

GOING THERE:
We booked through Avion Travel and paid approximately $2600.00 (including taxes) for the two of us for 1 week. If we waited a little longer, we could have got it for a few hundred dollars less but we decided to book early just in case. We flew with Kelowna Airlines on a Boeing 737 with a 3 and 3 seat configuration. The flight there and back could not have been smoother and the service on the plane was very good. We had a hot meal (chicken or pasta) with wine included. Coffee and soft drinks were free but there was a five dollar charge for any alcoholic drinks. We left on time at 10:00 am and arrived in Huatalco at about 2:30 pm Mexican time which is one hour back.

The airport there is small but very modern and clean with a few stores where you could get a cold drink before getting on your bus to the resort. Getting your luggage and going through Customs was very fast and we were then put on a modern, air conditioned bus after meeting our SunWing representative. Alex was our guide on the bus and he was very informative about the area and the resort we were going to. The ride to the Las Brisas took about one half hour.

I have to mention that flying into Huatalco was breath taking as we flew directly over the Sierra Madre mountains and the view was incredible.

Check in at the resort was fast and the staff were very friendly and courteous. We were then taken to our room by a tram and the driver took our luggage into our room for us.

THE RESORT:
This property was formerly a Club Med but has been acquired by Brisas Resorts which has several other hotels in Mexico. This place is huge with about 489 rooms and covers about 50 acres. The rooms are on a hillside, overlooking a bay on one side and the ocean on the other. There are a lot of stairs at this place and it is definitely not for you if you have trouble walking. There are trams there that pick you up within minutes when you want to go to the main building or the beach. The drive down the hill is exciting to say the least and if you sit on the back of the tram, you better hold on.

The lobby is on the main level and is not very exciting. This is where you get your tram to your room and there is nothing much there other than a few places to sit down. You walk down a big flight of stairs to the pool area where there is a bar and the place where you get your lunch and snacks in the afternoon. Also on this level is the theater and outside dining area as well as a few stores. There are three pools in this area on various levels as there are plenty of padded lounges to relax on.

You then walk down more stairs that take you to the beach and to a restaurant where you get your breakfast and some evening meals. There is a walkway that takes you from one end of the resort to the other and you can use it to get to any one of the three beaches on the resort. There is also a "secret beach" that is rather small but is nice if you want seclusion.

We spent most of our time on the beach near the Mexican Restaurant that was never crowded and was near to a bar and washrooms. The beaches are cleaned every morning and the lounge chairs there are not padded. You wont need a pad because the beach towels they give you are the size of blanket and are of very good quality. There is another beach at the other end of the resort that also has a restaurant for lunch as well as more washrooms. This beach is where you can get a kayak or sail boat that are free of charge. Jet Skis and fishing boat rentals are also available here for a charge.

The beach in the middle of the property is also nice with lots of palapas but it is a fair walk to the washrooms and the bar although a waiter comes by frequently to take drink orders. There are also tennis courts, a gym and a soccer field on the property that I did not see too many people use, probably because the resort was only about half full. I have to mention that the resort was very clean, including all of the public washrooms.

FOOD AND SERVICE:
We found the food to be good but not outstanding as you might expect at a 4 1/2 star resort. There was always something good to eat and I don’t know of anyone who got sick. They have theme nights a few times during the week where you eat outside on linen covered tables. Steak and sea food are served that we found rather good. There are plenty of salads, fruit and desserts and we always found something good to eat. We never tried the Mexican restaurant but from what we heard, it was nothing special. All in all, the food was pretty good but we have had better at other resorts.

The staff at this hotel could not be friendlier and really tried to please. We did not find anyone to be rude and they tried to help you whenever you asked something of them. Sometime the service was slow but it was no big problem Giving a waiter or bartender a one dollar tip was appreciated and they let you know it.

ROOMS:
The rooms are set in villas and have different names as you go up to their level. There is the Neubes (clouds) Montanas (mountains) Estrellas (stars) where we stayed and one other that I can’t remember the name of. It is on the highest level and has the suites with separate bedroom and balcony All of the room overlooked the ocean and some the ocean and the bay. As I mentioned, we stayed in the Estrella section and our room was on the second floor. It was a good size with a king size bed, sitting area and small refrigerator that was stocked every day with 2 soft drinks, 2 beer and 2 bottles of water, free of charge. If you wanted something else, you had to pay for it on a mini bar system. The water bottles could be refilled at any time at the bar but if you wanted a larger bottle, you had to pay for it.

There was plenty closet space as well as a safe that was free of charge. There were also two dressers in the room for your clothing as well as night tables on each side of the bed. The air conditioning worked well and there was also a ceiling fan. We did not have a balcony but the windows opened up to a great view of the ocean. There were screens on the windows and we left them open a few night to listen to the waves. The bathroom was incredible with a large walk in shower and two vanities where we both had our own sink and mirror. The toilet is in the same room but is closed off by a small partition. The water pressure was no problem and there was also a hand held shower as well as an overhead one.

The room was cleaned everyday with the usual towel swans left by the maid who did a wonderful job. We left a two dollar tip on the pillow everyday and it was well worth it for the service. When you wanted to go to the beach or to supper, all you had to do is press a button on the phone and a tram would be there within minutes to pick you up. You could also walk down if you wanted to but we didn’t do it often.

EXCURSIONS:
There are several excursions offered by the hotel at a cost with one of them being a tour of the nine bays in the area. We chose not to do this but rather rented a fishing boat along with four other people for ten dollars U.S. each. We were taken out for about an hour and a half and did saw pretty well the same thing as the big boat that you were out on for the whole day. The driver took us to several bays and onto a beach in Santa Cruz where one of our party went snorkeling while the rest of us had a beer. There are a lot of restaurants on this beach and they are fighting each other to get your business. There are also a few stores here where you can buy liquor and other local handmade items. We found the vendors here rather pushy and were glad to leave.

We also took a taxi ride ($2.50 U.S.) into La Crucesitas which is another town nearby. There are several stores here as well as restaurants that seemed very nice. The town is clean and the people are very friendly. Apparently the crime rate here is "0" and it is very safe to walk anywhere, day or night. We also went out for dinner one night at Don Fillio which is near the Barcelo resort. We had steak and lobster there that was rather expensive but very good.

That was about the extent of our activities outside of the Las Brisas.

SUMMARY:
If you are looking for a hotel with a lot of action then this is not the place for you. It is a place to relax and take it easy with no animation staff bothering you to take part in things. If you want a nice, quiet vacation spot with nice beaches, fairly good service and food, then this is the place for you. We enjoyed our stay at the Las Brisas as we are over the noisy, crowded type of resorts. We loved Huatalco and the people and will probably return.

If anyone would like honest information about this place, contact us at edoris@cogeco.ca.

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Las Brisas – Huatulco Ontario, Canada

January 2005

Our group of 8 to 12 middle aged mom and dads travels each year to warm destinations between the Caribbean and Mexico.We and everybody we met at the resort felt that this resort is quite overrated at a 4 1/2 star they advertise.This resort apparently a former club med was closed for several years.The minute you arrive you find yourself surrounded by concrete somewhat like a large prison, lacking is the ambiance of a real 4 1/2 star hotel such as lounges, color, plants etc,, trust me it is pitiful to say the least and on top of all that let down the floors are absolutely filthy with a capital F. At first you are suddenly wondering "Oh MY God please tell me that this isn’t the lobby and things are going to get better" they don’t. You travel from the lobby to the pool and bar area looking for quick stiff shot of tequila to soften the blow from this dismal setting, to get to that area you must follow stairs down and I mean down, a estimated 50 steps that you do not want to trip from.And climb back from, No escalators here amigo. This is no place for someone in a wheelchair or the elderly who have difficulty walking the resort is very large and steep so if walking and hiking are up your alley you picked the best spot. Now you have made it down from the "so called lobby" to the pool and bar area, Large pool although it has Olympics written all over it with lanes clearly marked so you can stay in your lane!., If you get tired while on your race across the pool you will find the bottom is over your head all the way around! again this is no pool that you will splash around holding a drink, and while im on that topic No swim up bar here.What got everybody’s attention is the main buildings flooring ( I know you may find this petty but it is really dirty) a tera cotta stone with no finish that glistens only from spilled drinks that never get cleaned up before the sun bakes them in. Nobody goes barefoot around here unless they brought road and tar remover. Ok we move on to your room, the brochure shows nothing but the finest,Ya! a pat on the back to the marketing team who did a great job of magical picture imagery enhancement, ah the digital era what a great thing. Nothing to write home about here, the rooms we and are quests stayed in were all a beautiful white primer!!! no color anywhere. The bathrooms were grey marble but don’t get too excited they did not show anything like they probably did when the resort was first completed many moons ago. Our bed, a king size was comfortable and well made by the cleaner every day so she was the only one who received tips from us.The view would be better if they would cut dead growth (weeds, long grass and shrub trees) from obstructing the magnificent Pacific Ocean. Our room was approximately 200 feet high above the water.Now if you’ve made it this far lets check out the beach! our group were very satisfied with this aspect, golden sand, no weeds clear water and some coral reef made for some decent snorkeling.There are 3 private beaches but you cannot walk to other resorts it is completely cut off due to steep terrain this was a bit disappointing for our group who like to walk the beach and tour other resorts.Now for the food, a chef is what this resort really needs!!!! bland and below average quality .Except for the 1 steak a’lacarte that was delicious and decent breakfasts this place can make you ugly if you are under the influence! After many a meal that im sure our incarcerated inmates have rioted over we decided to venture into town and dine out. This was a great idea because we were happy to see that you can get a decent meal in Huatuclo and very reasonable.The nice thing is that we actually new people at these restaurants, they were other guests from our resort! We all had a great laugh no one had to say anything just toast to a great meal. I want to close on some positive issues unfortunately they have nothing to do with Las Brisas. The 2 day trips our group of 8 did were both fantastic and worth every penny. The first tour was an exciting rafting adventure down from the glorious mountains that surround Huatulco costing $75 each it included a well trained safety orientated group of experienced young Canadian guides who were there because of they NHL lockout!!! no but it was nice to meet such a great bunch of enthusiastic graduates seeking adventure from the cold Canadian climate.I might add that this tour did last 7 hours shot 62 rapids included a small lunch along the way and requires alot of paddling none of our tour had experience and all managed to stay in the rafts.The 2nd tour was a amazingly beautiful boat tour along the coast approximately 6 hrs costing $35 each.The best part was it allowed for some of the best snorkeling we have ever experienced truly worth it.On closing Huatulco is a great spot, the hottest place we have ever been to, no clouds were ever seen only in the mountains. To the people who rate our resorts WHAT WERE YOU THINKING AND WHAT WERE YOU ON !!! when you visited this place god only knows, but a 4 1/2 star this place is not, we all rated it a 2 1/2 to 3 star. This tour was booked through Sunwing Vacations and we all agreed that they are not a solid vacation tour operator and we would not be booking any more vacations with them.

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