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“Best parts of resort are the beaches & nice grounds - food really is mediocre”

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Las Brisas Huatulco
Ranked #7 of 48 Hotels in Huatulco
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 March 2013

We give the Las Brisas Huatulco a 4 star rating due to its great beaches and nice grounds, but food was mediocre and typical service was not nearly as good as experienced on our other 8 vacations to Mexico. This is a long review, but worth the read…

Resort size & grounds:
This is a fairly expansive resort with lots of stairs due to its hilly location; however, the shuttle service seemed to work quite well most of the time and we hardly ever had to wait for a ride (around typical meal times, service seemed to be a bit slower, but that was it). The grounds were nicely manicured with great tropical / semi dessert feel.

Beaches:
The beaches were really nice and swimmable (except maybe the Secret Beach for swimming). Snorkeling was excellent at the beach in-front of the Mexican Restaurant.

Food:
We are usually not overly picky about food and hoped that the food reviews were exaggerated; however, we soon discovered that the food reviews stating the food was mediocre and often lukewarm were quite accurate. The dinner buffet was quite poor and food was room temperature at best (at least the 1 night we ate there because any other nights we didn't have an a-la-carte we went in to La Crucecita instead), the breakfast buffet was the same, the lunch buffet however was consistently better than the other two buffet meals. The snack bar was ok too, but the same day after day and again barely warm offerings. We had the majority of our breakfasts at the location of the Mexican Restaurant as the food seemed fresher and hotter, along with a more pleasant atmosphere.

We visited the Mexican, Mediterranean, Steak, and Seafood a-la-cartes. The Mexican was descent for the most part, but the Mediterranean was quite poor (undercooked chicken and again lukewarm food). The Steak house was fairly descent for both beef and chicken and overall the Seafood restaurant was quite good (and food served hot).

Again, the food here was by far the poorest of any all-inclusive we have stayed in Mexico, which have ranged from 3 to 5 stars (with the biggest issues being food temperature and lack of variety)

Drinks:
Drinks were OK, but not great. The draft beer was so-so and you could only get bottled Corona (except the Coronitas given in your room) by paying for them as they were not included, which seemed odd considering it is made in Mexico and not typically considered part of the 'top shelf' alcoholic drinks (draft beer taps said Corona, but we were told it is actually Modelo inside). Slushy drinks were ok, but often lacking taste compared to similar drinks elsewhere. We brought insulated mugs for beach use or else drinks were often somewhat warm by the time served since it was so hot outside (which obviously has nothing to do with the resort, just a tip for other visitors)

Entertainment / Evenings:
Visiting this resort as a group of 5 between 29 through 45 who enjoy the nightlife, we found this resort quite dull and boring in the evening. There was live music each night, but it seemed to be basically the same thing night after night. Since the resort had an older crowd (at least during the time we visited early March) the disco was basically non-existent. Probably 2/3s of resort guests were made up of Mexican visitors who enjoyed the live music nightly so they did quite a bit of dancing, which was entertaining to observe (but more Spanish style dancing, which we’d like to participate in, but didn’t really know the moves so just watched for fear of looking silly).

Activities:
We rented a sea-doo for 30 minutes for $500 pesos (about $40 CAD/US), which was awesome. They can be rented from Playa Tornillo (beach area to left of lobby). Additionally, we went for a boat ride (just 4 of the 5 of us in our group) ran by a few guys usually hanging out beside the bar at Playa Manzanilla (to right - below - adult pool) who are hired by the resort. Captain Pablo took us out, with his son as the driver, and we paid $2400 pesos ($200 CAD/US) to go out for as long as we wanted, which included 24 beers (FYI - small boat without washrooms). They took us to an awesome snorkeling spot (Playa La Entrega), which we highly recommend visiting (can get there by land as well); we also caught 7 fish and saw 2-3 sea turtles swimming way offshore. It was a great time.

Rooms:
We just stayed in a basic deluxe room. No balcony, but awesome ocean view towards the south. We first thought it would not be as pleasant as a room with a balcony, but in reality it was quite nice because you could experience the views right from the room appose to looking out over the balcony first (and most rooms have an ocean-view as well). The room itself was descent and clean, but a little tile grout work would go a long way to making them looking a little nicer / cleaner. A forewarning to anyone with neck problems… the pillows are quite thick and do not compress much (if visiting here again, I’d bring my own pillow since I have neck problems). Additionally, they can be a little cheap on leaving adequate towels, but if you can catch the maid she’ll give you more (leaving a small tip for the maid also goes a long way).

Service:
Overall, service was lacking compared to our experience in other areas of Mexico (Puerto Vallarta 5x, Mayan Riviera 2x, and Manzanillo 1x). There were a few exceptions to this, such as Roberto who usually served us at breakfast in the Mexican Restaurant and at the snorkeling beach... Roberto was awesome! Other than that the overall service was so-so except here and there. We usually had to wait for quite a while to give a drink order at the snack bar, buffet, or Mexican breakfast place (unless Roberto was there) and sometimes did not get served at all (and the resort was not that busy).

An additional note is that the level of English spoken here was definitely much less than in other tourist destinations we’ve visited in Mexico (with some key staff speaking none at all, such as few servers we had). We have no problem with this at all since we are visiting a non-native English speaking country and do speak a little Spanish, but it is just a fore-warning to those who may find this intimidating as at times there was a complete language barrier where we had to resort to hand gestures and motions in order to communicate (either way).

Area in general:
The surrounding areas we visited in and around La Crucecita / Santa Cruz were nice / quaint and we felt quite safe during our numerous outings from the resort. We did; however, experience a few of occasions where at restaurants the server would write on the bill “tip not included” or there would be a note taped to the inside of the bill folder that stated, for example, “10% tip not included”. On another occasion at a popular night club, not only did we get charged for more drinks than our group actually had (because we kept track and only one drink of which was removed from the bill) we were also charged an additional approx 17% as a mandatory tip. We refused to pay the mandatory tip, but still left a tip at our discretion.
We really found the tipping issue to be a turn-off. We realize that Mexican workers in the tourist industry count heavily on tips, but we do not feel it right to demand a specific amount (or try to take advantage of the tourists) - our group always tips pretty well... we actually think we tip too much sometimes. In Canada, there is sometimes mandatory tips added on for large groups, but it must be displayed somewhere so the patron has the option to either accept it or leave. Mexico, as other countries, has a different way of doing things, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay it if not told ahead of time.

A suggestion for future travelers in regards to paying your bill if in a busy drinking establishment, especially in a group of 3 or more, is pay your drink tab each round… don’t let it build up and check it carefully for add-ons.

Another instance we ran in to is a case of a peddler in Santa Cruz playing songs for us while we were in a café then demanding 50 pesos per song after playing 3 (about $12 CAD/US). We knew he obviously expected a tip, but again at our discretion (especially since he didn’t say ahead of time his rates). We gave him an amount we thought fair / willing to pay and that was that. So another tip… always ask up front how much if approached for personal service (appose to someone just playing in a restaurant or on a bus for the entire place then going around with a jar for tips of any kind).

Now we know, but again, with all our trips to Mexico we’ve never ran in to these few issues so didn’t give much previous thought…

Overall, our group had a nice, relaxing vacation full of snorkeling, sunshine, heat, and fun. We’d go back to the Las Brisas Huatulco again, but only if a really good deal (less than we paid this trip) due to the food and service issues, but the beaches were awesome so we wouldn’t write it off completely. Hope this was helpful!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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7  Thank M_and_N_s_Adventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 March 2013

Excellent value, clean comfortable and spacious rooms, very friendly and welcoming staff, BUT - loud music almost all day long near the pool and lounge area with volume up really high. Games played over the speakers for pool activities and board games are delivered at screaming pitch. Very unpleasant if you're not involved in those activities. Impossible to have conversation. Definitely geared to the young. To get away from the noise we had to go the one of the beaches but we prefer the pool area. We enjoy card games, but never found a quiet area at any time of the day. Wish they had a small card table area somewhere in the hotel or outside.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Grance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2013

We had a GREAT time in Huatulco (Feb 2013) and would recommend Las Brisas - IF you don't mind stairs or walking a lot.

The staff were very friendly & helpful, the food was great (we didn't even bother with the a la cartes). Very fresh, lots of variety, and we especially enjoyed the outside breakfast (Mexicana restaurant by the snorkel beach) - so nice to be able to enjoy a nice meal by the water.The rooms were huge, clean, and comfortable, but it did take about 8 minutes to get hot water in the shower. Not a huge deal, but something to consider if you're in a rush to get somewhere (why would you be rushing in Mexico though???). The views and beaches were spectacular - we thoroughly enjoyed the snorkel beach in particular.

We were a bit overwhelmed the first night we arrived only because the place is so huge and we didn't know if we'd ever be able to find our way around. But, after a day or two it wasn't an issue. The carts that take you to/from your rooms were always available but it is possible to get around without them if you don't mind hills.

We were a bit disappointed that the pools closed at 8:00 and we found there was a lot of 'down time' (not much to do) in the evenings other than listen to the live music or go to the shows (just OK). But, we came to relax, so relax we did!

It was very easy to get in to town (La Crucicita or Santa Cruz) by cab - about 46 pecos for our family on the way and 40 on the way back. Felt safe in both places and enjoyed all the little shops and markets. Even went to La Crema for pizza one night - cool place.

Overall, we would definitely recommend Huatulco for those looking for a slow-paced and relaxing trip. You MUST go to St. Augustine Beach and snorkel - AMAZING!! And try the fresh, breaded Mahi Mahi, pico de galo, salsa, chips, etc at one of the restaurants on the beach - SO good!!!

We'll be back - see you there!

Room Tip: We stayed in the 'Clouds' by the yellow tower. No issues whatsoever, nice view of the bay. T...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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5  Thank RichelleSk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2013

This was my family's second visit to this awesome resort. In short the room vistas were breathtaking, the botanical garden setting was lush and tropical, the food at the buffet was beyond delicious, and the service was impeccable by everyone, everywhere at all times.
We especially enjoyed the first class well equipped gym as well as the instructors' expertise and the spin class.
Other employees (Alvaro, Erika, Guadaloupe) re-established the outstanding traditions of personal and attentive service. They were ambassadors of honesty, integrity, high standards of service, hospitality, and dedication to guests.
Our favourite a la carte was the Mexican restaurant with truly authentic Mexican cuisine and first class, gracious service.
Las Brisas has three phenomenal, safe, swimable beaches with frequent, friendly, and accessible bar service. These beaches are a luxury item in Huatulco, there is no precarious rip-tide here.
The Spa area is a must to experience, with two well-trained masseuses.
Other treats such as aromatherapy pillows, immaculate swimming pools, serenity, superb gourmet cuisine, and guaranteed warmth and sunshine are all there.

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean view.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank Rawa48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2013

We arrived, having paid for an upgrade and they upgraded us to the wrong type of room. We complained immediately and they told us they could change us the next day. Fine, but the hotel was half empty. Next day, we get changed (3 hrs after the time they had told us). The hotel is very spread out and you need to take transport to get around (golfcart-like things). Not easy if you forgot one thing in the room. And for extra stuff, you have to pay cash for a lot.. can't just charge it to your room.

The beaches are fine enough.. pools VERY chlorinated.. we go to the beach at least 6-8x a year and this is the first time all our swimsuits turned yellow. Also, the pools are slightly heated. I prefer it not to be but just an FYI. The food is mediocre, at best. But I wasn't going in with high expectations. They will charge you for room service (total rip off when its supposed to be all-inclusive), never enough towels in the room (3 bath towels, 1 hand towel - no face towels and no extras unless you call at least twice). Also, only two pillows per bed. They skimp out on basic things that could make this a very nice hotel.

The buildings are a bit dated but despite a lot of people arriving on Saturday, it didn't feel like you were being trampled. Except the pool/bar area smelled like a frat house that day... Also, don't count on the golf carts to be there in 5-10 min. One night, we waited outside our room for 25 min and no cart in sight and walking with two kids under 5 wasn't an option so we ordered room service (it takes forever, so order well in advance). During the day, it was fine.

And one other pet peeve was the room.. we stayed in 3234 and it was great with the separate living/dining room but no TV. So when the kids slept, we couldn't even watch something. Also, Interenet NEVER EVER works. You will find a signal. you will complain 3 times, but no change. You'll get spotty service in the main building but that's it.

We stayed at Dreams last time and for a almost the same price, we got A LOT more. We'll be going back there next time. Just not worth the hassle here.

Room Tip: We stayed in 3234 and it had a separate living/dining room.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank MexChilanga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2013

After hearing glowing things about Las Brisas Huatulco from friends, we booked a Beach Club suite for a week in late February, 2013. We loved every minute of our time there. The pueblos in this former Club Med are built of thick, nicely painted concrete, so they're totally soundproof. They're laid out and located on different parts of the large property in such a way that you feel extremely private. Given the wonderful 32+ degree heat and the equally wonderful high humidity, the marble floors were a godsend. The rooms are tasteful in the minimalist sense, kind of classy but not showy…just like the whole resort. A/C worked great. Shower took a minute or two to become hot, but no big deal. The bed was very comfortable.

Unless you're physically limited, the stairs and roads are great exercise. I figured that with various to-ings and fro-ings we climbed the equivalent of a 40 to 50-storey building every day, and the only result was much stronger leg muscles by the end of our (too-short) week. If you didn't want to walk, the resort taxis were quick to come to your room, and they are always available at the Lobby for the return trip. Friendly, competent drivers did not expect tips, but we gave them 20 pesos (~$1.60).

The food was really good. They change the buffet a little bit every day, so there's always some variety. The a la cartes we used (Mexicano, Mediterranean, Solarium, Pergola) also were quite good – nothing out of this world, but really satisfying. Suggestion: If you go as a couple on a package tour (we went Air Transat - great company!), one person should attend the orientation meeting the first morning, while the other lines up (take a number ticket) at the concierge's desk to book the a la carte times you want. It'll increase your chances of eating at the times you choose, and you won't be waiting forever to get to the one concierge on the first morning when everyone else has the same idea.

While I'm at it, I have to say a huge thank you! to Catherine from Air Transat, who gave the most amazingly comprehensive, funny, fact-filled, scene-setting, great-advice-giving orientation session I've ever been to. She's a gem that Transat's lucky to have!

People claim beach palapas and lounge chairs early in the morning by leaving their beach towels on the lounge chairs of their choice. You can move the lounge chairs around if you wish. You'll get towel cards when you check in, and there are towel dispensaries at the pools, at the (furthest, quietest but least-great swimming) Tornilla Beach and the snorkel beach. But you need to get your towels the day before you claim your palapa, as the towel booths don't open until all the best palapas are already claimed. I guess the first day you could bring a room towel for one lounge chair and a book or sandals for the other. Have no fear of theft of non-valuables at the beach.

The best place for breakfast (unless you have a Beach Club suite and you want to go to the Beach Club club between 7 and 8 am) is the Mexicano Restaurant at the snorkel beach. Open air, beach view, with a wonderfully friendly staff. There's an omelette station (omelettes and eggs any way you want), and lots of fruit, cereals, buns, bacon, sausages, pancakes, etc, along with Oaxaca coffee (which is among the world's best in my opinion), herbal tea, juices, etc.

Following are some facts which were not made clear to us on Day One. Knowing them may help you.

If they don't give you one, ask for a Las Brisas map when you check in. They're kind of conceptual, rather than being specifically accurate, but something's better than nothing. If you check in after dark, the place can be pretty intimidating if you don't know where you are. I recommend taking a (free, resort) taxi to your room with your bags, then walking back to the main building right away to figure out the layout of the building, which contains the entertainment bar, the buffet (El Bellavista), three other restaurants, the auditorium and the lobby. The layout is easy to figure out, so get it out of the way so you can relax!

Your mini-bar is stocked with small bottled waters and mini-Corona beers, and there is a litre-bottle of water on your dresser. On Air Transat packages (likely the same for other tour operators), those are supposed to be restocked every day at no charge, even though there is literature in your room that suggests the contrary about the mini-bar. If the housekeeping staff forget to leave you any of the items, call the desk and they'll send some quickly. We were told that room service food was half-price for Air Transat package people, but we never used the service (the menu is in the room, but there were no prices, so don't be afraid to ask).

All drinks, everywhere, are free unless, for example, you want exotic champagne or single-malt scotches. Lots of people left tips at bars, and others just didn't. Most common tip was a $1 US bill. We left 20 pesos usually.

We were told not to drink water from the room taps, but that water and ice at the bars and restaurants was fine. Had no problems all week. If you're a serious water drinker, in that heat the 1-litre bottle they give you is just not enough, so when it's empty, take it to any bartender and simply ask for 'agua, por pavor'. They'll fill it up for you.

If you like consistently hot, sunny and nicely humid weather, and you've got the time, please be assured that one week will not be enough. Unless your a wild-party type (there were a few, but they weren't numerous or a lasting problem) this resort gets into your heart really quickly. At the end of a week, you'll be wishing you'd booked an extra week. People we talked to said it was quite inexpensive (something like $500 extra per person) to book 2 weeks instead of a single week. One couple, who stayed in a standard room (they said all they planned to do in the room was make love and sleep, so who cares about terraces!) spent 2 weeks at Las Brisas for $2000 CDN each.

Tours: The city tour is probably worth it, just to drop the inhibitions associated with not knowing your geo-context. If you want to, you can leave the tour at its final stop, the small city of La Crucecita, and take a taxi back to the resort later for a fixed price of just under 40 pesos (taxi stand is at the main square, and prices to resorts are posted). Conversely, taxis from Las Brisas into town are under 40 pesos. Round trip with tip, is about $10.

The 7-Bay snorkel tour is worth it, once. It was wonderful to see the beauty of the coastline and the sea turtles, to stop at some lovely beaches, to snorkel twice (the snorkelling in Huatulco is OK, but nothing like Hawaii or the Barrier Reef), and to have the best fish fillet meal you've ever had at a golden-sand beachside restaurant. The downsides: loud music (quality often quite good, some mexican, some compilations of 60s, 70s, etc) that is played too constantly for a 7-hour trip. If you go on the Fiesta, expect not-great toilet facilities deep in the pontoons; other catamarans had lavatories on the main deck, likely cleaner. Overall, though, it's still worth it, but a little customer-experience fine-tuning and some toilet upgrading would make a world of difference. A tip…just before and right after the catamaran stops for lunch, you'll be pressed hard by both the crew and hawkers on the beach to choose a specific restaurant. We chose the one pushed by the crew. Once seated, inside hawkers really jammed on the pressure to choose one of their 'specialties', all of which are quite expensive, like 4 or 5 times the price of regular dishes. We chose the simple fish fillet meal and the fish fillet with garlic and crispy cooked pepper shavings (amazing!!!, best fish dish I've ever had), both costing 110 pesos. The whole meal with beer and coffee and a tip came to something like $30 CDN…worth every penny!

By the way, don't be intimidated by price lists in Mexico. They use the dollar sign for Pesos, so the fish meal I had was listed at $110 (just under eleven Canadian dollars).

We'll be back, and back, and back. No question it was a great, quality experience.

Really, no complaints.

Anyone who give this place a grumpy review gets a bad review from me. Now having been there, the (few) Las Brisas complainers I've seen on Trip Advisor make me wish I could just tell them to get a life!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank HappyWheels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2013

this was my first time anywhere ! never was on a plane b4 ! lots of stairs here ! whew ! buffet was good wen it was warm which wasnt often ! service was good ! but if u get room service make sure u get a receipt saying paid ! i got billed twice & there is no arguing ! restaurants arent all open every nite , so u have 2 plan ur supper wen u get off the plane ! i went with 30 other people & they said restaurants were 1/2 empty , but u cant get a reservation ! beaches were nice , but if u like refreshments it takes awhile sumtimes ! even with a nice tip everytime ! just my opinion

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Jim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Las Brisas Huatulco

Address: Bahia Tangolunda Lote 1, Huatulco 70989, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Southern Mexico > Oaxaca > Huatulco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Huatulco
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Huatulco
#8 Family Hotel in Huatulco
#10 Romantic Hotel in Huatulco
Price Range: $137 - $251 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Las Brisas Huatulco 4*
Number of rooms: 486
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Also Known As:
Las Brisas Huatulco Hotel Huatulco
Las Brisas Hotel Huatulco
Brisas Huatulco Los
Las Brisas Huatulco Mexico
Huatulco Las Brisas

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