The view from the beach at Hotel Marea La Paz. Photo: Suzie Dundas

Review: Hotel Marea Is a Beachfront Steal in La Paz, Mexico

Epic Stays Beaches and Islands
by Suzie Dundas Jan 15, 2024

It doesn’t take much of a search online to figure out what my hobbies are — after all, I’m a travel editor, and I write about the things I like to do when traveling. Usually, that involves some kind of outdoorsy activity, like mountain biking, hiking, scuba diving, wildlife watching, or something else in that vein.

So it’s not a surprise that I love La Paz, Mexico — a colorful, laid-back, and beachfront town about two hours north of Los Cabos on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, in the state of Baja California Sur. While it offers all kinds of outdoorsy activities (whale watching is one of the most well-known), scuba divers know it’s the gateway to the colorful Sea of Cortez. And the Sea of Cortez has some of the best diving in North America, with wildlife like whales, hammerhead sharks, sea lions, giant rays, and all kinds of reef fish, coral, and other creatures.

But all that aside, one of the best things about La Paz is that it’s way more relaxed than Los Cabos, with a welcoming malecón (boardwalk) that attracts both locals, foreign tourists, and domestic visitors. It feels more like a real town in some ways than Los Cabos, which can sometimes feel like the only people there are American tourists.

hotel marea la paz - outdoor breakfast area

The outdoor breakfast area at Hotel Marea. Photo: Hotel Marea La Paz

But a quiet boardwalk can still be loud, which is no good if you’re trying to sleep because to get up to scuba dive or meet a tour guide at 6 AM. Fortunately, there’s one hotel that sits about a minute walk from the southern end of the La Paz Malecón: Hotel Marea La Paz. It’s inexpensive, comfortable, has a fantastic breakfast restaurant, and offers guests access to a huge private beach with some of the best sunsets in La Paz. Here’s what to know about Hotel Marea La Paz, one of the best lodging secrets in La Paz.

Hotel Marea is a boutique hotel with just eight rooms

Room at hotel marea la paz

The outdoor breakfast area at Hotel Marea. Photo: Hotel Marea La Paz

Hotel Marea is small. It’s a boutique hotel with just eight rooms, so you don’t need to worry about loud neighbors. Rooms have balconies with views of the garden and ocean, with quick Wi-Fi and bags of custom coffee blended just for the hotel’s guests.

One of the best things about Hotel Marea is the rooftop palapa, open for all guest to use. There’s a full outdoor kitchen and dining room, plus a couch and cozy chairs. It has views of the water and great breezes. All rooms have mini-fridges with beers and sodas (priced at a reasonable $4-ish each), but the outdoor fridge in the palapa is large enough to store groceries and additional personal drinks.

hotel marea la paz - coffee

Custom coffee (and some of the coolest coffee mugs) come standard in every room. Photo: Suzie Dundas

We used the palapa quite a bit in the afternoons after our morning dives. We didn’t’ see any other guests use the space during our stay, which made it feel like it was our own private outdoor living area. It was one of the best features of the hotel, kind of like being in a spacious indoor-outdoor suite.

The beach is enormous

Hotel Marea La Paz beach

Since the hotel is small, there’s always plenty of space on the private beach. Photo: Suzie Dundas

Hotel Marea sits on a primo spot just south of the La Paz Malecón on a downright huge stretch of beach, all reserved just for hotel guests. There’s an outdoor fire pit and space for way more people than the hotel could host, which means you can count on lots of space to yourself. There’s also a private pier from which many of the resort’s activities leave, and colorful Adirondack chairs under umbrellas for guest use.

The hotel also has a pretty spa, which sits at the far end of the beach, ensuring you’ll hear only the sounds of the ocean while you get your massage, rather than the sounds of tourists like you may hear if you stayed downtown.

Hotel Marea La Paz is an ideal location

When I emailed the hotel in advance to ask if it was possible to walk to downtown La Paz and the malecón, I was told it was, but they wouldn’t recommend it because it was so far. Spoiler: it’s not. It’s just under a mile to reach the southern tip of the boardwalk, along streets with bike lanes and not much traffic (so it’s an easy walk). I found the walk extremely pleasant, taking about 15 minutes from the hotel to downtown.

For me, Hotel Marea La Paz’s location is unbeatable: it’s on a private beach just a quick walk to town, which means it’s peaceful and quiet when you want it to be, but close enough to the malecón that it’s easy to go out for dinner and drinks without too much planning. If you’re iffy on walking back at night (though La Paz is extremely safe), you could always walk to dinner in the early evening and grab a cab for the way home. It’ll cost about $10.

Activities at Hotel Marea

scuba diver Isla Espiritu Santo la paz

Snorkeling or diving with sea lions is one of the most popular activities around La Paz’s Isla Espiritu Santo (Espiritu Santo Island). Photo: Suzie Dundas

In La Paz, it’s easy to book just about any outdoor adventure you want in advance online. Divers should check out the Cortez Club, a 30-year veteran of diving in La Paz that offers everything from beginner dive experiences to advanced, deep-water shark diving. But it also offers most other popular activities in La Paz, like deep-sea fishing, horseback riding hours, whale watching cruises, and guided tours to swim with whale sharks.

But if you want to make things easy, Hotel Marea can assist with booking any activity you’d like — the beauty of having few other guests is everyone gets personalized attention. If you’re staying at Hotel Marea, you can book activities like whale shark tours, all-day beach tours via speedboat, or even combo tours that combine snorkeling with sea lions and paddleboarding at uninhabited beaches. And better still, you can leave directly from Hotel Marea’s pier, so you don’t need to rent a car or arrange a taxi.

Hotel Marea can also arrange tours of nearby Los Cabos, in case you want to see the town but not stay there. Tours include a stop in the beautiful town of Todos Santos, a glass- bottom boat ride in Cabo, a tequila tasting, and time to enjoy the sun on one of Cabo’s prettiest beaches.

It’s shockingly inexpensive

hotel marea outdoor palapa

All guests get access to the outdoor palapa, regardless of what room they book. Photo: Hotel Marea La Paz

I’m not sure if it’s because it’s 15 minutes from the malecón, because it’s independently owned, or because it doesn’t have an on-site dinner restaurant (the tasty on-site Bahia Restaurant closes at 4 PM), but the hotel is far less expensive that I’d expect. Especially considering that the rooms have local art, balconies, and daily housekeeping service (plus a very welcome lack of bugs, mosquitos, or any of the other critters that thrive in warm locations), I’d think it would cost a heck of a lot more.

According to the Hotel Marea website, rooms start around $200 per night. But do a quick online search, and you’ll see they’re actually available for a lot less. On TripAdvisor, rates start at $124 per night (including breakfast), depending on what time of year you visit (summer is the least crowded, winter is busiest). On, they’re $140 per night, or even less, if you sign into your member account.

But it’s not a big resort

Hotel Marea La Paz local art

Hotel Marea isn’t a large resort — but it does have art from local artists, like this whale shark mural and tiled outdoor dining table. Photos: Suzie Dundas

Call this a downside, or an upside: Marea has just eight rooms. There’s no on-site dinner restaurant, and you won’t find a concierge planning daily activities like volleyball tournaments or tequila tastings. There’s also no pool. For me, this is no problem, especially if I’m spending the mornings scuba diving or snorkeling — and since there’s a resort beach. But if you’re looking for a more resort-like experience, Hotel Marea probably isn’t it.

Alternatives to Hotel Marea La Paz

tress and chairs, hotel marea la paz

Hotel Marea is laid-back, with plenty of space to relax outside. Photo: Hotel Marea La Paz

If the boutique/guesthouse-style La Paz hotel doesn’t appeal to you, there are other options in town. While La Paz doesn’t have the all-inclusive mega-resorts of Cabo San Lucas, it does have larger resorts.

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Baja Club La Paz


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The Baja Club is smack in the middle of the malecón and is much larger than Hotel Marea. It’s from the early 1900s and has a Mexican-Colonial feel. Rooms are a bit smaller than those at Hotel Marea, as well as pricier — rates start in the high $200s per night. But it does have a rooftop bar and a small pool.

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Hotel Indigo La Paz

Hotel Indigo La Paz sits to the north of the malecón (about 25 minutes north, so not within walking distance).  It’s a larger hotel and has more of a luxury resort feel akin to what you’d find in other areas of Mexico. It’s on a golf course and has a private sandy beach, a large pool, and an onsite spa. Rates start around $280 a night, plus resort fee.

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