Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rating a Groupon Get Away, San Carlos, Sonora, Mx

We are staying in a hotel resort on the beach in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico. We came here to try out a Groupon Get Away packages. Did I get my money's worth? Is this frugal travel or too hard to make it worth it? You be the judge.

I have had people ask me recently “Why do you buy a timeshare?” On the face of it I question the decision too...until we start to travel in places like Mexico. A two week vacation can be a dream come true or a struggle. Not that I mind the frugal travel or even a floor that suggests that I should wear my shoes and turn on the lights before I step on the floor. I have done that a lot...and the very first time was in NYC. But as the years passed I wanted to experience my vacation without the creeps. Just being here is not enough for me anymore. I need a little luxury on a vacation and I am beginning to think that the only sure way to guarantee that is to own a reputable timeshare and be able to exchange for something of equal value.

Boat Basis filled with yachts of every size...very large slips are situated in from of gorgeous homes. 
So what about San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico? We were asked recently if we had ever used a Groupon Get Away and we decided to give it a try. My husband booked four nights in a “resort” on the beach near the center of the village with Groupon. The room was billed as being worth twice as much as we payed. We are being given dinner, continental breakfast and a bottle of wine. There may be more but you get the idea. The price for that package would have been $380 if we had paid full price. Did we get a good deal...well maybe. Even $380 for 4 nights is not bad! However, a week at Grand Mayan would have cost us around $400 in a studio suite. Now that is luxury!

San Carlos is about a 6 hour drive south of Tucson. It is located on the Gulf of California. San Carlos is a sleep little Mexican town near Guaymas. The waters team with beautiful shrimp and other sea food. The community is invaded by snowbirds from the USA and Canada in the winter. It is being built up with houses and gated communities on every hillside. The setting is spectacular but the community is not experiencing the kind of growth big "resort" money would bring. Tourism has not brought boutiques or shops filled with souvenirs. There are a lot of advertisement with real estate people for condo rentals but hotels do not line the beach. Condo buildings stand unfinished at the water's edge.

Giving that information, you are asking “So how is that hotel/resort?” Well let me say the restaurant is wonderful. The wait staff is attentive, the bartender is friendly and the food has been very good. We talked with several local people over dinner last night and a talented trio played guitars and sang ballads at our table.

But our room...well that is another thing all together. These accommodations are the best and the worst of the hotel room situation. When we checked in the beds was made but the room had not been cleaned. It takes me a while to realize this sort of thing but when I do become aware I get a little queasy. When I looked around, I realized there were no glasses and my husband went the bar to get a couple so we could drink our bottled water. The shower had sand in it and the paint that is pealing off the walls was laying on the floor. I used one of our two towels to clean the shower and floor. Thank heaven the floors in the bedroom area were tiled so I did not have the feeling that carpet was hiding a multitude of sins.

On the good side, we are on the bottom floor facing the beach. Our room has a wall of windows and the two double beds are okay. It is very quiet and the hotel is up front in saying that you will not have a phone or a TV in your room. We liked that. Our patio is protected and the view is spectacular. I don’t want to move...I just want what I have to be clean. We have accomplished that part just fine. I only wish I had pointed out the problem sooner. 

Should I have told them I was going to tell you...was that right? You know, I guess I don’t care. My husband and I went out exploring and when we came back the room smelled like Clorox, the shower was clean, there where two glasses on our dresser and the floor was mopped.. There was even a little bath mat! Sometimes having this blog is a very good thing.

You will have to decide if you think this is a good place to stay. I cannot make that judgement for you. Fiesta Real Hotel, San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico. If it had been clean I would have given it 3 1/2 stars. There is a Best Western up the road and some big resorts up the coast on the beach. But that is all there is here in town! And this is a very beautiful location. I just wish I were staying in my Grand Mayan timeshare!


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