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It looks like Hurricane Odile is still causing trouble in Cabo. Aside from structurally damaging nearly every resort and forcing many of them to close for several months, the hurricane stirred up some behind-the-scenes drama.
We've already chronicled the saga of The Resort at Pedregal which kicked out Capella Hotels as their managing brand. Now the same things seems to be happening at Secrets Marquis. Initially, Secrets Marquis said they would reopen on December 20. Then, their Facebook page made an update saying that the resort would be closed until further notice.
Over the weekend, a tipster told us the resort made another kind of announcement on Facebook last week, claiming parent company of Secrets--AM Resorts--has been locked out of the property. Here's the full statement:
Cabo Azul not quite back to its former self.
The Cabo Azul Resort, a Diamond Resort property, sent out an email to guests saying that reservations through May 2015 will be cancelled. New reservations have also been suspended until July, although this could change. (Previously, the resort was listed as opening in January.) Las Ventanas al Paraiso is still somewhat TBA but their website has said an "early 2015" opening is anticipated.
Several more hotels should reopen this month and next and if you're looking for a relatively inexpensive way to experience Cabo, now is the time to go as room rates for all-inclusive rates in early December are averaging about $250 a night and several more hotels going for well under $200.
[Photo: Cabo Azul/Facebook]
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Over the weekend, there was a slight reprieve in the press release war between Capella Hotels and the owners of The Resort at Pedregal but judging by the latter's social media postings, they are not backing down and will forge ahead with their new identity and management.
Quick backstory in case you missed it last week: The owners of Pedregal terminated Capella as the luxury resort's manager, installed a new GM (from a Wyndham hotel in Chicago, btw) and locked Capella's old GM out of the property. Capella took the owners to the NY Supreme Court and got a ruling which reinstated them as managers. Meanwhile, the resort is still closed for ongoing renovations due to damage sustained by Hurricane Odile.
Could this BE any more of a hotel telenovela???
Over the weekend, perhaps to show off their determination in the face of the court ruling, The Resort at Pedregal has been steady with their social media postings. Here are a couple of posts from their Facebook feed:
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Earlier today, we learned that Capella Hotels was reinstated as manager of the Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, a luxury resort that's currently closed while undergoing renovations for damage sustained from Hurricane Odile in September. But there's another storm brewing behind the scenes and this one could damage the resort for good.
Earlier in the week the owner of the Pedregal property, Hoteles de Cabo, S.de R.L.de C.V, (also known as CarVal Investors) announced that Capella would no longer manage the resort. The property would be known instead as The Resort at Pedregal. When we inquired about the reason for the management change, we were told this: "It was decided by ownership that it is in the best interests of everyone involved for The Resort to begin a new direction and the name change reflects the commitment to the new direction." Very vague.
But now that Capella has taken the matter to court and won a ruling in their favor, Hoteles de Cabo has let loose a bunch of allegations of mismanagement including, "unauthorized payments to themselves, and false financial reports." Perhaps worst of all, Hoteles De Cabo said Capella Hotel Group is withholding the funds that were donated to the employees of the resort after the hurricane.
Here's a statement from the Pedregal ownershipr:
"Beyond its mismanagement of the property itself, Capella has held funds donated by generous patrons to help the neediest team members recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Odile.
Capella is holding tens of thousands of dollars intended specifically to help hotel associates get their lives back in order following the horrific storms that have plagued Cabo recently. For reasons beyond our knowledge, they have opted not to distribute those funds. This is not only unacceptable for the unfortunate families involved, but should be doubly embarrassing in light of the fact that the funds were donated by our guests."
So much for that hefty donation Capella Hotel Group contributed. Hoteles de Cabo has said their company has distributed $125,000 directly to the employees of the hotel.
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UPDATE, 11.7.14: Capella just got reinstated. Scroll down to see the court decision and Capella statement.
Here's a mixed bag of news--The Capella Pedregal Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is still set to reopen in January, after extensive renovations which were necessary when Hurricane Odile had its way with the resort area in September. However, it will no longer be a Capella Hotel.
Instead, the resort will have a new name and identity--The Resort at Pedregal. Already, the Capella Pedregal's social media presence has been wiped away and The Resort at Pedregal's branding, complete with a turtle logo, is now in place (it seems there's a lag with the Facebook page but we bet that will be online any minute.)
The change is shocking especially considering that Capella corporate ponied up a hefty donation to help the employees of the hotel after Hurricane Odile hit.
When we inquired about an explanation, we were told, "It was decided by ownership that it is in the best interests of everyone involved for The Resort to begin a new direction and the name change reflects the commitment to the new direction. "
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The other week we published a list of official reopening dates for the resorts and hotels of Cabo San Lucas, who were hit very hard by Hurricane Odile in September. Worryingly, quite a few of the hotels on the list were only given the dreaded "To Be Announced" slot for their opening dates. Today, we have a few of those TBA dates firmed up.
· Capella Pedegral: The luxury hotel plans on reopening January 15. Here's a portion of the statement they put on their website:
Capella Pedregal has completed its assessment of the damage resulting from Hurricane Odile, and as reported earlier, the damage to the hotel was not severe and our initial goal was to be operational the earliest date possible. Unfortunately, the items needed for our hotel to be fully operational are estimated to be delivered and installed in January 2015.
If you have reservations with the hotel before January 15, 2015, Capella will issue fulleposit refunds and can either book you for alternative dates or check availability at their sister properties. Call 877.247.6688 with your concerns.
· One & Only Palmilla: Initially, this hotel was hoping to be back up by December 15. But now that date has been pushed to March 15. Here's their statement:
Hurricane Odile significantly impacted One&Only Palmilla and our team members and we are working hard to bring back our beloved resort and to delivering a true One&Only experience.
If you have reservations before March 15, call the hotel at 888-691-8081 to reschedule or amend.
· Esperanza, an Auberge Resort: Initially expected to open in December, the luxury resort will now open on March 1. If you have a reservation booked prior to this new March opening, contact reservations at 866-311-2226 for refund and re-booking assistance.
Keep reading for a list of updated reopening dates in chronological order
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We've been keeping tabs on the resort re-openings in Cabo San Lucas, after the area was severely damaged by Hurricane Odile last month. But now, we have a fully updated list from Los Cabos Hotel Association. And the timing couldn't be better as Cabo's airport officially re-opened today.
Quite a few hotels will open this month and next, and indeed, quite a few are already back in business. But there are five hotels that won't open until well into 2015 while 10 hotels still have no opening dates. We hope those change soon.
Keep reading to see the full list!
Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort after Hurricane Odile
Two weeks after a category four hurricane tore through Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the popular vacation destination is still working hard to get back on its feet. The airport remains closed but it should reopen on October 8. And the Los Cabos Tourism Board is doing its job on Facebook, hyping future events in Cabo such as a golf tournament, a fishing tournament and and upcoming half marathon. However, most of the resorts in Cabo need a little more time to recuperate. Here are some notable reopening dates.
Hilton Los Cabos is closed through at least January 15.
Capella Pedegral is still assessing the damage and does not have a current reopening date. The resort is closed through at least October 31. The Westin and The Sheraton are expected to be open by October 31 as well. That's actually good news considering the extensive damage that the resorts received.
Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach
A week after Hurricane Odile hit Cabo San Lucas, the clean-up efforts are only just beginning. While most guests visiting the resort town have now gotten out safely (if a little dehydrated and severely exhausted), the airport is still in shambles and will not be operating for a few more days, possibly even longer. Many parts of the town are still without power, water and phone access. There are no new reports of looting--for now--but Cabo remains a dicey area to visit from a safety perspective, especially given how much debris still needs to be cleaned up.
Despite the tragedy, which leveled residences and local neighborhoods as well, there have been some uplifting stories to come out of the storm. Guests who were stranded at resorts during the storm have been sharing their stories on social media, especially on Facebook, with one group devoted to the Hilton Los Cabos, called "Hilton Los Cabos Hurricane Odile Survivors".
We perused some of the comments and so much of it is positive toward the staff who did their best to keep guests safe, even while their own families were battling the storm at home. And the staffers are still there, working to get the resort back on schedule.
Here's a snippet posted on Facebook by a staffer at the hotel:
We are running a different kind of hotel....providing rooms to those employees who lost their houses and setting up a control center for insurance, engineers, contractors and other experts etc.... Still no phones... you know the rest but I am not complaining. Outside our walls there is no electricity or water... We are doing all we can to get back on our feet.
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The Playa Grande resort
We are starting to keep tabs on when the resorts of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico will reopen after being hit hard by Hurricane Odile but the resorts are tasked with another, bigger job--getting the guests who were there during the storm back home safe and sound.
It is reported that more than 30,000 tourists were in the area when the storm hit. The airport is still closed (it too suffered major damage) and the efforts to arrange trips out of the country are rather disorganized.
According to Instagrammer, MPWilli910, who has been providing updates throughout the storm's aftermath while at the Hilton Los Cabso, said the Mexican military is stepping in to transport guests to either Mazatlan, Guadalajara, Tijuana or Mexico City. From there, folks can get flights back to their hometown/airports.
But we received this email from a guest stranded in Cabo at the Playa Grande Resort and the situation is dire. Here's what she had to say:
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The Grand Solmar
As we told you earlier this week, Cabo San Lucas in Mexico was hit extremely hard by Hurricane Odile on Sunday night with much of the resort area effectively destroyed by the storm. The airport is still closed, homes are demolished, people are stranded without electricity, phone service, food and water and looting is happening at some stores. Meanwhile, resorts and hotels in the area are scrambling to get their existing guests home and at the same time, assess the damages to their property. It will be a long road to recovery and thus, most hotels are not accepting new guests for several weeks.
If you've got an upcoming reservation in Cabo, you should call the hotel's corporate number and find out how they plan on adjusting your reservation. Most hotels are offering full refunds or the opportunity to switch their reservation to another property within the hotel brand. Outside of Cabo, of course.
In the meantime, we're keeping track of the Cabo hotels reopening dates right here. Have an update to share about a property? Send it to us. Need more info? Check the resorts' Facebook pages as that's where many of the detailed updates can be found.
· Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos: The resort plans on reopening on October 31. Update: We are not seeing this date anywhere else so the opening is still TBD.
· Hilton Los Cabos:
No exact dates but there is talk of reopening by October. January 15
· Capella Pedegral:
The resort plans to open by October 15. Not opening until at least November 1.
· The Esperanza Resort, an Auberge Resort : The resort plans on reopening on
October 13 November 15.
· Las Ventanas Al Paraiso: No exact dates. The resort has said they need a week to assess the damage and then will determine when they can reopen. So for the next week, the resort is closed. Update: The resort still has not released an opening date.
· Westin Los Cabos:
The resort is closed and working on getting all their guests out safely. There are no reopening dates listed at this time. October 31.
· Sheraton Hacienda del Mar, Los Cabos:
The resort is closed and working on getting all their guests out safely. There are no reopening dates listed at this time. October 31.
· Melia Cabo Real: No reopening dates have been announced.
· Dreams Cabo:
The hotel is closed through at least September 23. November 15.
· Solmar Resorts: The resorts are closed but no reopening dates have been announced. According to an update we received from a guest stuck at the Solmar, the resort was heavily destroyed and getting out is not easy. We've since heard that the resort will open on October 22.
· Pueblo Bonito Pacifica:
The resort is closed through at least September 22. According to their Facebook page, they are hoping to receive guests by October 1.Update: Some resorts that are part of the Pueblo Bonitor family will open as early as October 8. Go here for more info.
· Fiesta Grand Americana Los Cabos: A member of the resort says it will reopen on November 15.
· Cabo Villas Beach Resort: The hotel believes they will be up and running with 80 units open on October 1 with the remaining opening on October 15.
· Casa Dorada: The hotel plans to reopen on October 9.
· Monte Cristo Estates: The estates, part of the Pueblo Bonita resorts, says they should reopen by October 1. The company has been posting pics on their Facebook page to update future guests.
· Royal Solaris Los Cabos: The resort told a guest hey said will not reopen again until December 1. However, their Facebook page is saying sometime between October 15 and November.
· One & Only Palmilla:
The luxury resort is still assessing the damage but for now, is canceling all reservations before November 15. The resort's website is now saying December 15.
[Last Updated: 9.29.14, 9:57am PST]
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The airport remains closed, several hotels and resorts are ruined, homes have been destroyed and people who were visiting the resort town have no way of getting out. While help is on the way, the area is currently without power (save for generators), internet access and phone lines, making it difficult to get any word out about what's going on.
We've been piecing together some reports on Facebook but it is hard to determine what's for sure and what's just a rumor.
Here's what we do know---Most hotels are closed to new arrivals and will be for several weeks. If you have reservations in Cabo in the next two, three or even four weeks, call the hotel's corporate number to find out when the resort will re-open. Some hotels are saying they will re-open by October 15, others are saying November 1. Yeah, it's that bad. The good news is your reservation will most likely be refunded. Your vacation however has been cancelled.
We're still working on tracking down updates from other resorts (namely Las Ventanas and Capella Pedegral, which have gone dark on social media). Got any updates to share? Please pass them along.
[Photo of the Hilton Los Cabos via MPWilli910/Instagram]