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San Nicolas Hotel and Casino 3.0

Ensenada, Baja California Norte, Baja California

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Convenient downtown Enseneda location close to bustling First Street
  • Rooms have private furnished balconies, flat-screen TVs, and coffeemakers
  • Large and attractive outdoor pool and three hot tubs, plus seating on wooden sundecks
  • Poolside restaurant and bar, plus 24-hour room service
  • Large on-site casino has slots and table games
  • Meeting and event space includes convention center for up to 500 people
  • Free Wi-Fi and parking

Cons

  • Lackluster and dated decor throughout
  • Some rooms are small
  • Noise issues from the pool 

Bottom Line

Apart from its convenient location in downtown Ensenada, the main draw at this three-pearl hotel is its large and attractive outdoor pool, complete with three hot tubs and plenty of seating -- including chic wooden sundecks. The on-site casino is another highlight, while a poolside restaurant and bar as well as meeting and event space round out the features here. The property itself could use a refurbish, however, as interiors are dated and feature lackluster decor: Guest rooms have cheap floral bedspreads and industrial maroon carpet. They're clean and have flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi. Travelers might also want to check out the nearby Americas Best Value Inn - Posada El Rey Sol, where some of the guest rooms have been more recently updated. 

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Scene

Lackluster interiors but lovely pool area; attracts leisure tourists and some business travelers

This hotel draws tourists with its central location and variety of on-site features, including a casino and large swimming pool, while its meeting and event space attracts corporate travelers. Large cherry red signage adorns the simple facade of the property, but inside, the look and feel is fairly standard. Though decor is lackluster, the interiors are clean and pleasant. Gleaming tile floors in parts of the lobby make it look bright and airy, while simple padded bamboo seating lends a tropical touch. Further in, dark-colored carpeting dates the space, as do the mirrored walls, and some of the seating, decked out in colorful cushions, could use a refresh. Colorful Mexican art adorns walls throughout the hotel -- including murals by artist Alfredo Rodriguez, the former assistant to famous painter Diego Rivera -- a nice touch that adds a touch of culture and history.

The highlight here is the outdoor area: the large interior courtyard offers an attractive pool surrounded by plenty of loungers as well as chic wooden sundecks with comfy seating. It's a nice place to soak up some sun and relax under the tall palm trees and among the greenery. 

Location

Downtown Ensenada location, a 10-minute walk to First Street 

The hotel is situated in downtown Ensenada, within walking distance of restaurants, bars, and the waterfront. First Street, which is lined with restaurants, bars, cafes, and souvenir shops, is just a couple of blocks away (about a 10-minute walk). Nearby attractions include the Centro Estatal de las Artes (three-minute walk), the Museo de Historia (eight-minute walk), and the Caracol Museum (10-minute walk). La Bufadora, an impressive marine geyser that's a popular attraction, is about a 50-minute drive south of the city. Wine lovers might want to head north to the Museo de la Vid y el Vino, which is about a 35-minute drive. Ensenada Airport is about a 15-minute drive from the hotel. Tijuana is about an hour-and-a-half away, but crossing the border into the United States takes a bit longer -- drive times vary depending on traffic, which can get congested.

Rooms

Simple and dated rooms with private balconies 

Much like the rest of the hotel's interiors, the guest rooms are dated and could use a refresh, but they're clean and all have private furnished balconies that either overlook the pool or street. Cheap and colorful floral patterned bedspreads match the curtains. Cream-colored walls are left mostly bare except for a few pieces of colorful art pieces and brick accent walls. Burgundy carpets need to be replaced. Furnishings are simple, and rooms have work desks as well as sofas or armchairs.

Standard amenities include air-conditioning, 39-inch flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, bottled water, and free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms are simply tiled in white and have step-in showers, though fixtures are dated and could use a refurb. Hairdryers and wall-mounted soap dispensers are provided. Note that some of the rooms are small, and past guests have complained of noise issues from the pool.

Features

Large, attractive outdoor pool and three hot tubs, poolside bar and restaurant, and a casino

The hotel's highlight is the large outdoor pool, which is set in a pleasant interior courtyard. There are plenty of loungers and chic wooden sundecks with seating surrounding the water. The pool area also features three hot tubs.

On-site dining is available at the hotel's poolside restaurant and bar, a casual dining space that offers both indoor and outdoor seating. Room service is available 24 hours. There's another bar at the on-site casino, which provides 400 gaming machines and 10 game tables. There are two additional bars inside the casino. 

The hotel provides meeting and event spaces, including a large convention space that accommodates up to 500 people. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property, and there's free parking offered on-site.

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Address

First Street and Guadalupe, Ensenada, Ensenada Municipality 22800, Mexico

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