Most of Rosarito ’s hotels line busy Boulevard Juárez, which runs parallel to the beach. Condos and vacation homes are another option for travelers who want to cook some of their own meals. Contact the tourist office at the north end of town (Juárez, tel./fax 661/612-0200, www.sectur.gob.mx , 9 A.M.–7 P.M. Mon.–Fri., 10 A.M.–4 P.M. weekends).
Originally built by the same family that established the Rosarito Beach Hotel and Rene’s Sports Bar, Motel Paraíso Ortiz (Km. 28, Carr. Libre a Ensenada, tel. 661/612-1020, US$45–65) consists of simple beach cottages close to but not on the beach, behind the Rosarito Beach Hotel.
Comfortably removed from the noise of the main strip (and therefore hard for some first-time visitors to find), Hotel Los Pelicanos (Ebano 113, tel. 661/612-0445, US$60–85) has 39 large rooms, all with heat and TV. Call ahead for directions.
On the north side of town, Hotel Quinta Terranova (Juárez 25500, tel./fax 661/612-1650, www.hotelquintaterranova.iwarp.com , US$65–109) is pet friendly, as long as your pooch is well-behaved and you bring proof of current vaccinations. Midweek rates drop to US$34 for standard rooms.
The best part about a stay at the Rosarito Beach Hotel (south end of Juárez, tel. 661/612-1111, toll-free U.S. tel. 800/343-8582, www.rosaritobeachhotel.com , US$90–150) is the beachfront location. This property has evolved into an enormous complex over the years. Given the piecemeal construction of the hotel, the rooms can vary in age and decor. The newly opened Pacifico Tower has the most up-to-date rooms. Visitors continue to report their disappointment with the basic nature of the accommodations. At any given time, some rooms will need a fresh coat of paint, and hot water may or may not work. Some rooms have kitchenettes, a great way to save on restaurant tabs.
North of the Rosarito Beach Hotel, the Hotel Festival Plaza (Juárez 1207, tel. 661/612-2950, toll-free U.S. tel. 888/295-9669, www.festivalplazahotel.com , US$100–160) is still the party epicenter in Rosarito for summer and spring break. Its proximity to the beach clubs keeps drawing the crowds, but in recent years readers have reported thefts, incidences of bedbugs, and general disrepair at the hotel. The valet parking system is of particular concern, since you have to leave your keys with the staff.
The hotel/entertainment complex includes a Ferris wheel and tequila bar, plus restaurants, clubs, and a heated swimming pool. The 114-room hotel section has basic rooms that have been frat-partied nearly to death. Suites, condos, and casitas are better, though pricier, options. Service tends to be a little better in the off-season. Wristbands are required to enter the hotel, so you won’t be able to invite guests back to your room unless they are staying at the hotel already.