Full Review: Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal | Thrifty Traveler

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Luxury at its Finest: A Full Review of the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

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Ever since the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal became part of the Hilton Hotels group in 2019, it's been at the very top of the list of properties I want to visit. Three years in, my expectations were admittedly sky high.

And yet it delivered in almost every way. From the beautiful and massive rooms to the incredible location, views, and amazing service, the Waldorf Los Cabos is truly a gem. I can't think of a hotel stay in recent memory that I enjoyed more. In fact, I am already planning to return within the next few years.

Read on for a full review of the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal and everything you need to know before you head there.
 

 

Booking the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

You've been warned: This hotel is not cheap.

Planning to pay cash for a night at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal? Expect to pay north of $1,000 per night. After scrolling through an entire year's worth of dates on Hilton's booking calendar, I didn't find a single date bookable for under $1,000. Many dates even top out at over $2,000 per night.
 

waldorf astoria los cabos cash rates calendar view 

That makes this property a fantastic spot to put some Hilton Honors points or free night certificates to use instead. Using a free night certificate from Hilton's suite of credit cards is exactly how we booked our one-night stay.

You can earn free weekend night certificates from either the top-tier Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card on your cardmember anniversary or the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after spending $15,000 in a calendar year. These free weekend night certificates can be used for a standard room at almost any Hilton hotel in their entire portfolio – subject to availability. But throughout the pandemic, Hilton and American Express have made these free weekend night certificates more valuable: Through Dec. 31, 2022, all free weekend night certificates can be used any night of the week – not just on weekends.

I hold the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card – the top dog in the suite of Hilton Honors co-branded American Express cards, which we think is among the best hotel credit cards, period. Just for holding the card, you'll get automatic Hilton Honors Diamond status, a $250 airline fee credit, a $250 Hilton resort credit, and much more.

We used the Aspire Card's certificate to book our Tuesday night stay.

 

hilton honors american express aspire card
 

Click Here to learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. All information about the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by Thrifty Traveler and has not been reviewed by the issuer. 
 

Seeing as there are just 115 rooms at the property, finding standard room award availability can prove to be difficult whether you're booking with points or certificates. Flexibility with your dates is key.

So long as you can find a standard room award bookable for 120,000 Hilton Honors points per night, you can put your free night award certificate to use. That's exactly what we did. Considering that the cash price on the night we booked was just over $1,300, we were quite pleased with this redemption.
 

waldorf astoria los cabos pedregal award availability 

Even if you are paying with Hilton Honors points, a standard room can be booked for 120,000 points per night. The only property that will cost more in Hilton's entire portfolio is the Waldorf Astoria in the Maldives where standard rooms are 150,000 points per night (if you can find them).

But even at 120,000 points per night, in my opinion, it's one of the best redemptions in Hilton's portfolio – especially when you see what a standard room looks like.

At Thrifty Traveler, we don’t accept freebies. We use our own, points, miles, or cash to pay for every single flight or hotel you see reviewed here – including this one.

 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Location

The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is just under 30 miles away from the Los Cabos International Airport (SJD). Expect about a 45-minute drive from the airport to the hotel.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal location 

The property itself is located very close to the city of Cabo San Lucas, making it very easy to leave the property for meals and other entertainment. In fact, the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos has a few golf carts they'll gladly use to  drive you to the edge of the property, making for an easy walk into town. And I'd highly recommend leaving the property for at least a few meals – especially if you are staying for more than a few nights. While the food at the resort is great, it's expensive.

When you first arrive at the property, you'll drive through a long tunnel cut through a mountain that brings you right up to the main lobby area. It's a pretty dramatic entrance.
 

waldorf astoria los cabos pedregal tunnel
Photo courtesy of the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

 

Getting to the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal from the Airport

The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is about a 45-minute drive from the Los Cabos International Airport (SJD). Being we headed here after a brief stay at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, we didn't make this drive on the way to the resort – only on the way back to the airport.

But the cab situation at the Cabo airport, and in Cabo San Lucas in general, is perfectly adequate: We didn’t have to wait long to get one at all. There is a queue outside the airport to line up a taxi. Expect to pay around $75 each way. The process was quick and easy.

On our ride from the resort back to the airport for our flight home, we were greeted at the airport by a Waldorf staff member who helped us quickly get to the right area and take care of all our paperwork. While it certainly wasn't necessary, it was a very nice touch and evidence of the level of service at this property.

 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Lobby & Check-In

When we arrived at the front gate of the property, we were greeted by a staff member who welcomed us … and asked if we would like a complimentary margarita or a glass of hibiscus water.

By the time we made our way through the tunnel and into the cab drop-off area, there was another staff member who already had our margaritas ready, taking our bags while we completed the check-in process. Side note: The margarita was amazing.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal driveway

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal driveway

waldorf astoria los cabos pedregal driveway 

In the weeks leading up to our stay, we had exchanged a few emails with our personal concierge Claudia. She had helped us make a dinner reservation and also book a Mezcal tasting at the Agave Study – don't worry, more on this later. Wouldn't you know it, Claudia herself greeted us as we arrived at the property, ushering us into the check-in area. I don't think I have ever stayed at a hotel where the person you email with before your stay is the one to take care of you once you are at the resort. It was certainly a nice touch.

Our room wasn't quite ready when we arrived, so we were invited to enjoy a cocktail at one of the restaurants on the resort while we waited. We were told they would send us a text message in about half an hour once it was ready.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal lobby 

After about an hour, we hadn't yet received the text message, so we decided to follow up to see if our room was ready. They did confirm it was ready and they quickly came down to get us. They had clearly forgotten to let us know – not a huge deal, and it was really the only minor service blunder in an otherwise pretty flawless stay.

Throughout our stay, our concierge continued to check in with us via text message to see if we needed anything and make sure our stay was going well.

 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Rooms

The rooms at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal are simply incredible.

Our room 326 was in building three, just off the main lobby and considered a standard pacific view double queen room. But there was nothing standard about this room.

The room itself was roughly 900 square feet with a massive bathroom, a sitting area with a small fireplace, and a beautiful walk-out terrace with a small plunge pool that was kept at around 80 degrees. The rooms looked great, especially the wood beam ceilings.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal room 

I personally loved the mattresses as well. I prefer a mattress a little on the firm side and these delivered.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal room 

The walk-out terrace with the plunge pool was easily my favorite part of the room. We had beautiful views of the Pacific and it was just generally a great space. When we sat out there, it truly felt like we were the only people at the resort: We didn't see or hear another guest.

Just before dinner, the staff dropped off some complimentary fresh-made guacamole and chips with a few Coronas for us. And the outdoor terrace was the perfect place to enjoy them. This is complimentary for all guests every day between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. All you have to do is text your concierge to arrange a time for delivery.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal terrace

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal room view 

The bathroom included a separate toilet stall, a double vanity, a huge walk-in shower, and a spa-like tub. There was even a large sliding door to completely close off the bathroom from the rest of the room which was a nice feature.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal bathroom

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal bathroom 

The room also had a Nespresso machine and a small fridge with complimentary water, soft drinks, and juice.

But one of the most impressive details is that each guest at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal gets a complimentary 375ml bottle of Clase Azul tequila with the Waldorf Astoria branding on it. That's no small expense, as this is some of the best tequila you'll find: It regularly retails for around $160 for a full 750ml bottle in the U.S.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal clase azul 

Only the bottle of tequila is complimentary. If you want the rest of the set it is presented with, you'll have to buy it. Our concierge informed us that we could either enjoy the tequila during our stay, or they could wrap it up so we could take it home with us. I chose the latter.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal clase azul 

Overall we had zero complaints about the room. It delivered in every way that a room at a high-end resort should.

 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Pools

In total, there are four pools at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos.

Just two of them are beachfront, and that's where most of the guests hung out during our stay. Still, we never had to fight for spots at the pool. Both times we arrived in the pool area, we were immediately greeted by the staff who helped us get settled, brought an umbrella and took drink orders.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal pool

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal pool 

The main pool also has a swim-up bar that opens every day at around 11:30 a.m. Talk about a beautiful spot…
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal pool 

Plus, one of the infinity pools has a hot tub built right into the center of it overlooking the Pacific, which was a really cool design.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal pool 

Further away from the beach, you'll find the other two pools. These were much quieter – in fact, we didn't see anybody using them during our stay. If you're OK trading a better view for even more solitude, this is a solid spot.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal pool

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal views

 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Beach

The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal has a beautiful beach. But as is typical at most resorts in Cabo, don't plan on swimming in the ocean.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal beach 

There were red flags flying up and down the beach to indicate that no swimming is allowed. The rocky shoreline and large waves would have simply made this impossible. Still, it's a beautiful spot to lay and soak in the views of the ocean.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal beach 

But if beach walks are your thing, you're in luck: The beach is pretty extensive. During our say, there were a handful of walkers each morning, but other than that, it was mostly quiet.

And how cool is this? There's even a dedicated bar on the beach itself, a small setup with swinging chairs to enjoy a few drinks. What an awesome spot.
 

walford astoria los cabos beach bar

 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Restaurants & Bars

On the property, you'll find two restaurants, a dedicated bar called the Agave study, and a coffee shop. And while all the food and drinks we had during our stay were incredible, it's undeniably expensive.

To save money, I would suggest going into Cabo San Lucas for at least a few meals as you should be able to eat for about a third of the price. But due to the short nature of our stay, we ate on the property for all of our meals.
 

El Farallon

El Farallon is the signature restaurant on the property, and we had a dinner reservation here on our first night. A few weeks before our stay, our concierge recommended we make a reservation if we wanted to eat here as it fills up fast, due in part to the fact that it is also open to outside guests.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal el farallon 

The restaurant itself is located on the far end of the resort nestled into a cliff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The setting is pretty amazing, sporting some of the best views you'll find at the resort. But for the two of us to eat and have a few drinks, the bill was over $200.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal el farallon 

When you first arrive at the restaurant, you'll first encounter the Champagne Terrace, a small area where you can enjoy a glass of bubbles while you wait for your table.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal el farallon

 

Once our table was ready, we headed into the restaurant. There isn't a table in the restaurant that doesn't have incredible views and I can't overstate how cool the space is.

When it came time to order our meal, they make the process pretty easy. They bring out a big chalkboard with all of the offerings for the day. You simply choose your main course, a few sides and you'll automatically get a soup, appetizer, and dessert included with the price. Expect to pay around $55 to $70 per person.

The soup was a lobster bisque that was incredibly tasty.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal el farallon

 

next up was a plate of appetizers that included a salad, a few pieces of amberjack, and a salsa with some chips. All of it was delicious.

 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal el farallon

 

For our main courses, we went with the Amberjack fillet which was the fresh catch of the day, and the shrimp with grilled asparagus and a baked potato side. It was so great I forgot to take a photo.

While it may be spendy, you should eat here at least once if you're staying at the property. You won't regret it.

 

Don Manuel's

Don Manuel's is the main breakfast restaurant at the resort and it is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. After 11:30 a.m., the restaurant turns into the beach club and serves lunch fare (you can also eat this poolside). We only ate breakfast here.

Don Manuel's also has a bar which was a popular spot in the evenings. This is also where we enjoyed a drink while we waited for our room upon checking in.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Don Manuel's

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Don Manuel's 

Thanks to my Hilton Honors Diamond status from holding the Hilton Aspire card, we received a complimentary continental breakfast. This includes pastries, fruit, coffee and homemade granola and cereal.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Don Manuel's

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Don Manuel's 

But for an additional $9 per person, you can upgrade to the Mexican breakfast option. This includes all of the continental breakfast offerings as well as eggs, chilaquiles, quesadillas, and a made-to-order omelette bar. Trust me: Go for the Mexican breakfast upgrade. It was delicious.

Thrifty Tip: By charging the breakfast upgrade to our room, it triggered the $250 resort credit – another Hilton Aspire card benefit.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Don Manuel's

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Don Manuel's

 

Neutral Cafe

Neutral Cafe is the coffee shop at the resort. Warning: it isn't cheap.

The morning of the day we left the resort we headed to Neutral cafe and ordered a latte and a double espresso. Both drinks were $12 … each. Woof.

If you are ok with the complimentary espresso in your room, I would go that route. And remember, coffee is included with the breakfast options at Don Manuel's.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Don Manuel's

 

The Agave Study

Just off of the main lobby, you'll find the Agave Study. This is where the resort hosts all of its tequila and mezcal tastings.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Agave Study 

Through our concierge, we booked a one-hour mezcal tasting for $150 each. While that's certainly not cheap, it was a really cool and educational experience.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Agave Study 

We tasted through five different mezcals, learning about how they are made and the different species of agave.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Agave Study 

One cool tidbit is that our tasting host had just completed a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico – the birthplace of mezcal – to learn more about the spirit. He indicated the trip was paid for by the Waldorf to further his education and provide a better experience for these tastings.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Agave Study 

If you are interested in one of the tasting classes, I would suggest booking them ahead of time. They are only offered at certain times of the day and they seemed to fill up quickly.

 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Fitness Center & Spa

If you plan to get a workout in during your stay at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos, they do have a full fitness center with cardio equipment, weights and a yoga room to make it happen.

It's certainly not the nicest nor largest hotel gym I have seen, but it was perfectly adequate.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal fitness center 

If you are part of the Peloton craze like I am, there is even a Peloton bike available in the gym for your use.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal fitness center 

Just down the stairs from the main lobby, you'll find the Spa. We didn't do any spa treatments during our stay, but if you are interested, I would suggest setting up an appointment with your concierge.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal spa

 

Service at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

I can't say enough good things about the service at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal. In fact, I would say it's the best service I've ever had at any hotel in the world.

Every staff member we interacted with was warm and attentive and truly excited to have us as guests. The ability to text message our concierge with anything we needed quickly was pretty incredible and it absolutely elevated our stay.
 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal seating 

Outside of the small snafu at check-in with our room being ready, we were extremely impressed. Even for a resort charging $1,000-plus per night, the service was above and beyond what I'd expect.

 

How to Earn Hilton Honors Points (And Free Night Certificates)

Unless you plan on paying north of $1,000 per night to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos, you need either Hilton Honors points, Hilton free night certificates, or some combination of the two to stay here.

Thankfully, Hilton Honors points are relatively easy to earn through the suite of American Express co-branded Hilton Cards. Hilton is even an Amex transfer partner, meaning you can transfer points from cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express or the American Express® Gold Card straight to your Hilton account on a 1:2 basis – every 1 Amex Membership Rewards point nets you 2 Hilton Honors points.

While there are certainly more valuable Amex transfer partners, this could certainly make sense to get the last few thousand Hilton points you need for a stay at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos.

 

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

We think the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express might just be the best hotel card, period.

While it has an annual fee of $450, it comes with an insane amount of benefits that can easily offset that. And it starts with a lucrative hotel night certificate.

Each year you hold the card, you'll get a free weekend night certificate that can be used for a standard room at almost any Hilton hotel in their entire portfolio (subject to availability). This includes the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal.

But throughout the pandemic, Hilton and American Express have made these free weekend night certificates more valuable: Through Dec. 31, 2022, all free weekend night certificates can be used any night of the week – not just on weekends. So for the time being, these are the most powerful hotel free night certificates you'll find. You can even earn an additional free night certificate by spending $60,000 or more on the card in a calendar year.

In addition to the powerful free night certificate, the Hilton Aspire Card also provides automatic Hilton Honors top-tier Diamond status just for holding the card. It's the only hotel card that will give you top status just for holding the card, unlocking benefits like room upgrades and certificates of up to $25 each day to use for dining during your stay.

The card also provides a $250 Hilton Resorts statement credit for incidentals charged to your card at participating Hilton resorts. This can be used for just about anything you charge to your room, including spa treatments, restaurant charges, and more. You will also get a $100 Hilton on-property credit when you book at least a two-night paid stay at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad properties through HiltonHonors.com/aspirecard

And if that isn't enough, you'll get an annual $250 airline fee credit for incidental charges on your select airline each year. If you are familiar with the $200 credit provided by the Platinum Card® from American Express, this works the same way.

And as a cherry on top, the card comes with a Priority Pass Select membership that gives you access to over 1,300 airport lounges across the globe.
 

Read More: Why the Amex Hilton Aspire Card is the Best Hotel Credit Card
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
 

Apply Here for the Hilton Honors Aspire Card. All information about the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by Thrifty Traveler and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
 

Read More: Earn Up to 130K Points with the Hilton Credit Cards!

 

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal Final Thoughts

The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is an amazing property and easily the nicest resort I have stayed at in Mexico. Everything about our stay was top-notch, and the level of service is unlike anything I have seen at other hotels.

It's easily one of the best ways to use Hilton Honors points and the free night certificates you can earn from the suite of Hilton Honors credit cards.

I don't often go back to hotels I've already stayed at, but this property has me rethinking that notion. I can't wait to return, and this property alone is reason enough for me to justify keeping the Hilton Aspire card in my wallet.

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

12 Responses

  • Hi Nick, thanks for your great article on Waldorf as well as Hyatt Ziva. We are planning to stay at these two locations in the same trip. Do you have suggestion on which one stay at first or it doesn’t matter?
    I noticed that you wrote in this article that you stayed at Ziva before checking in at this Waldorf. I am curious about your Covid Test experience. Did you take a Covid test at the Waldorf? Was it a deep nasal swab?
    Thanks a lot!
    David

    • Hey David. Glad you enjoyed them.

      My suggestion would be to do Ziva first and then the Waldorf. They are pretty different experiences, but I would suggest saving the best for last. I was glad we did it this way.

      We actually took our Covid test at the Ziva so I don’t have any experience with it at the Waldorf.

  • Hi Nick,
    Thanks for the prompt reply. I really appreciate your response.

    Keep up the good work on the reviews. Your article is easy to read and touched on all points of interest. Your thought process, in particular relative to points, rewards, and status benefits from credit cards really resonate – we are also using free nights and points for the reservation. I hope to see more reviews, in particular Hyatt and Hilton because I think they have the best deals. I would also be seeing articles on what you think is the best use of the Amex Platinum FHR benefit. We recently used it for staying Bellagio and it was one of the best experience and deal.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks David! Glad you enjoyed it. Enjoy the Waldorf! It’s one of my favorite hotels I’ve ever stayed at. Amazing use of a Hilton free night certificate.

  • Hi Nick,

    Thank you for the wonderful, and detailed review. How long did it take for the Aspire resort credit to post after your transaction?

    • Thanks, Nobita. Glad you enjoyed it. My credit hit about a week after the purchases were posted to my card account.

  • Nick, thanks for a detailed review! did u get emails or comm from a Concierge or anyone there before arrival? saw some folks exchg emails with special requests… i haven’t yet recd anything so thought to ask; also, did u happen to go/walk to town from the resort? if so, any previous eateries u do recommend? TIA

    • Hi Dan. Glad you enjoyed it! We did exchange a few emails but only to set up our mezcal tasting. We didn’t go into town, but my guess is that the concierge would have some great recommendations.

  • I continue to try and book a standard room with our Hilton Free nights and am told it is not possible. Do you have any advice?

    • This property can be a bit tough to find standard room award space. Generally speaking, you’ll have better luck looking at dates not too far out.

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