Your first exposure to Ensenada, Mexico’s 3rd largest seaport may be as a port-of-call on a cruise. But this seaside town with a sweet little downtown area offers much more to see and do than cruisers can possibly accomplish in a day. Therefore, you may want to return and spend some time in the area. Here are some amazing accommodation options spanning a wide price range for your vacation in Ensenada.
**Disclaimer: Aspects of this trip were hosted, however, all opinions are my own. I strive to provide my readers with my most authentic sentiments.
While some of these places to stay are not directly in the town of Ensenada they are all within close proximity to downtown. A few are so amazing you won’t want to leave. But if you do, here are some things to do while you’re out and about.
Casa de Los Siete Patios
If you are planning to stay in Ensenada for three days or longer, you might consider Casa de Los Siete Patios. This private hacienda, owned and designed by Jean Loop Bitterlin for his mother, sits on the outskirts of town. It is secluded, secure, and boasts unobstructed views and ocean breezes. There is a large pool with a cabana and bar on the property.
This unique circular home surrounds a central patio area and features all the amenities for entertaining. You can rent one to 5 suites, but you will never share the villa with anyone outside your party. The cost of your stay includes kitchen staff who prepare your breakfast and lunch.
Additionally, there are some charming outdoor features for the youngsters. On the property is a children’s carousel, as well as the coolest two-story playhouse. It reminded me of a life-sized Barbie Dream House. It just needed the pink convertible.
On my first visit, we arrived to see Siete Patios at sunset. That twilight time just before darkness takes hold is simply magical. There really is no other word for it.
Siete de Los Siete Patios is the perfect location for a destination wedding and if you are interested, they will arrange it. The two acres of outdoor space provide several locations for the nuptials and reception. The venue allows for up to 650 guests.
And as a bonus for any self-respecting Gen Xer, Bono has been one of Siete Patios’ famous guests. Stay here and you can brag that you slept where Bono slumbered.
This Gaudi-inspired, multilevel, open-concept home is another of Jean Loop Bitterlin’s creations and his private residence. It provides an intimate space for a couple or family. It could even be an ideal space for the parents of the bride- and groom-to-be to stay, assuming they all get along.
While Villa Bitterlin does not have the circular shape of Siete Patios, it is absent corners. It features, brightly colored mosaics and stained-glass windows. A spiral staircase leads to the upstairs sleeping quarters and at one-time water flowed along the banister. The sunk-in living area opens to the third floor with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the ocean offering spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Other elements of the space include a working fireplace and a formal dining area.
This property sleeps up to six and offers 2.5 baths. It has a fully equipped kitchen. Villa Bitterlin is probably one of the nicest mid-size vacation rentals in Ensenada. It’s available through both VRBO and Airbnb.
Both Villa Bitterlin and Casa de Los Siete Patios are located near the famous San Miguel surfing beach.
Posada El Rey Sol
If Casa de Los Siete Patios and Villa Bitterlin are outside your budget, have no fear. Bitterlin owns a budget hotel in town. I’ve now stayed at Posada El Rey Sol twice. This is a newly remodeled “motel-style” accommodation with room entrance from the exterior. However, beyond that nothing about this place says “motel.”
Typically, I worry places like this will be noisy. I found this not to be the case, either time, and on my second visit, my room faced the street. The rooms are modest in size but comfortable. The beds are quite cozy. In fact, I would say, on my first visit to Baja California I got my best night’s sleep here. The bathrooms are updated and upscale with a large tiled shower and basin sink. I would not hesitate to recommend Posada El Rey Sol.
Additionally, Posada El Rey Sol offers guests some nice amenities including a welcome drink, WiFi outdoor pool, and free American breakfast at Restaurant El Rey Sol, the oldest French restaurant in Mexico. Also owned by Bitterlin.
Hotel Marea Vista
This lovely oceanfront hotel built in 2016 offers 24 eco-friendly rooms of varying sizes and comfort levels. Hotel Marea Vista strives to reduce its carbon footprint by using sustainable flooring materials in the rooms and lights that are only activated when the key card is present. This prevents guests from leaving lights on while not in the room. Rather than lighting empty hallways, lights are on motion sensors. These are just a few of the eco-friendly initiatives they have taken.
Marea Bar and Lounge offers live entertainment Wednesday through Saturday with a Happy Hour from 6 pm to 8 pm. This intimate lounge faces the ocean and offers terrace seating for those warm Mexican evenings.
In addition, there are two restaurants on-site, MV Steakhouse which features Baja Med cuisine, and Temaky which serves Japanese fare.
Coral Hotel and Marina
You’ll find this lovely resort on the outskirts of Ensenada. As the name implies it is a hotel and a marina. Coral offers all the amenities you would expect of a resort including restaurants, bars, a fitness center, a full-service spa, beauty salon, multiple pools, and more. The rates seem quite reasonable and they offer an all-inclusive option.
This Ensenada hotel’s rooms are spacious and comfortable. Many with an ocean view. They have larger suites available. I viewed the Presidential and the Honeymoon. These are large accommodations with separate living and sleeping spaces. As you would expect, they overlook the ocean. The honeymoon suite even has a massage table in the room. How sweet is that??
We ate breakfast at the Bistro and Cava which offers both menu and buffet options. I opted for the buffet which was rather extensive with Mexican and American selections. I visited mid-week and would imagine that the buffet is more encompassing on the weekends.
As you would imagine, this lovely resort offers wedding packages for your destination wedding.
Bonus – Cuatro Cuatros
While on the outskirts of Ensenada, I think Cuatro Cuatros is associated more with Valle de Guadalupe. Perhaps this is because it is primarily a winery.
Cuatro Cuatros offers a different kind of stay in Ensenada. This is glamping at its finest. Situated on a massive 144-acre property which is a working winery and extends up to a high cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean, Cuatro Cuatros offers luxury accommodations, an open-air restaurant, multiple bars, and of course wine tasting experiences.
Cabanas are located in the valley near the winery and elevated to afford splendid views of the vineyard from the terrace. They have full baths, mini-bar, fireplace, and air-conditioning. Rates start around $200 US per night and there are only 19 units.
With so many amazing options for where to stay in Ensenada, it will be tough to choose. However, I hope this provides either a starting place or a bit more information.
If you are looking for Valle accommodations, here are some great options, as well as, top places to eat.